Goldfish Market is located along Tung Choi Street North (or also known as Goldfish Street of course). As opposed to the Flower Market and Bird Street which had a noticeable quiet and laid back ambiance due to it being in the outskirsts of Prince Edward, Goldfish Market is very much part of the whole hustle and bustle that’s characteristic of Prince Edward and Mong Kok. Incidentally, Mong Kok means “busy corner” in Cantonese and that is exactly what you will get in Mong Kok!
I know here in Manila, we have Cartimar to go to for pets but I doubt if fish are sold there in quantities such as in Hong Kong’s Goldfish Market. Being on this street was a glimpse of a cultural phenomenon that’s possibly distinct to the people of Hong Kong.
Around this area I also chanced upon Fa Yuen Street, which I learned later on was also known as Sneakers Street. I wasn’t really able to see sneakers or sports shoe stores there (maybe at another part of the street) because what interested me was this stall selling scarves.
Then when I turned fully on to the street, I realized that it was a street market with stalls selling cheap but trendy clothes and accessories. Apparently, Fa Yuen Street is the place to be for “bargain-priced trendy fashion and casual wear for men, women and children”. Love it! It’s my own shopping serendipity find!
Ironically, compared to the Ladies’ Market in Tung Choi Street which had more variety and more stuff geared for tourists, Fa Yuen Street had more fashionable stuff for women, especially clothes. I enjoyed myself more here than in Ladies’ Market (but maybe it was because I wasn’t used to the hustle and bustle of the Cantonese yet when I was in Ladies’ Market which I visited in my first night in Hong Kong. I was already more comfortable by the time I visited Mong Kok again on our seventh day, especially since I could already explore it by myself.)
In Fa Yuen, I was able to score some scarves which I bought for a song. And I made a note of this store selling cheap but trendy boots and shoes:
I know that the next time I go back to Hong Kong, I will definitely make it a point to visit and shop at Fa Yuen Street! I already made a note of it in my travel journal :).
Since I was already in the area, I also looked for Kam Wah Cafe which was also in Prince Edward. It’s a hole-in-the-wall cha chaan teng eatery (something similar to Lan Fong Yuen). While they also have savory items in their menu, what they’re really famous for is their polo bun, a yummy Hong Kong pastry. Polo buns are also called “pineapple buns” but they don’t actually have pineapples (their top just looks like the pineapple because of the diamond shapes). The polo bun is #6 in CNNGo’s “40 Hong Kong Foods We Can’t Live Without”.
When I was already along Bute Street, it still took me some time to look for the eatery. While I had the specific store number and address, when you’re on the street there were no actual numbers! Plus, the sign was in Chinese and when I tried to ask the people around, nobody seemed to know and they couldn’t understand English.
Finally, I was able to find it (if you plan to go yourself, make sure you memorize the look of Kam Wah’s sign!). There were actually some people waiting in line for their table.
The place is quite small and the tables cramped together. But I just wanted to buy some polo buns, which were displayed by the entrance.
I got my polo buns (HK$5 each) to go (they were still very hot!) and met up with my travel companion in the Starbucks in Langham Place Shopping Mall, a mall in the very heart of Mong Kok.
The polo bun was really, really good. It’s sweet and fresh, with butter inside. The outer part is quite crunchy but it’s very soft on the inside. I haven’t tasted anything like it here in the Philippines. I’m sure it would have been much more perfect with coffee or milk tea.
Polo buns are very much part of Hong Kong’s food culture and according to many, Kam Wah Cafe makes the best polo bun in Hong Kong. We agree!
Wishing you fabulous travels. Cheers!
- MTR Prince Edward Station, Exit B2. Walk east along Prince Edward Road West until you reach the market.
- MTR Mong Kok East Station, Exit C. Walk to Sai Yee Street via the footbridge and follow the signs.
Fa Yuen Street
MTR Mong Kok Station, Exit D3. Walk along Argyle Street to Fa Yuen Street.
Kam Wah Cafe
G/F 47 Bute Street, Prince Edward
MTR Prince Edward Station, Exit B3
Langham Place Shopping Mall
MTR Mong Kok Station, Exit C3