Hong Kong is a city as happening as it gets. Lines and lines of skyscrapers give shade to streets where people and traffic hustle and bustle all day long.
When the night comes down, Hong Kong turns on the neon lights and keeps things going. In the district of Kowloon, Temple Street stands out in the night scene. And it’s all because of its almost legendary street market. This is a highly touristic area, yet it offers an entertaining experience that mixes shopping with street food eating. Visitors abound, but that doesn’t mean locals don’t like strolling around here too.
Worth checking out for the people watching possibilities alone, the Temple Street night market is also a pandoras box for shopping lovers. Open it up and allow yourself to dig through all sorts of items made in Asia. Clothes, fashion accessories, home appliances, utilities, random trinkets, mobile phones, gadgets and, fruits and vegetables too.
You can purchase cheap merchandise of all sorts, or just gaze through the fun stuff on display. Sometimes you don’t know you need something until you see it, right? Like these tissue dispensers in toothpaste tube shape, for example…
If shopping is not really your thing, a visit to the area is still worth it. The neighborhood is home to several Chinese medicine clinics, still open after dark. They treat any discomfort you may have using alternative traditional methods. But if you’re feeling fit and healthy, it might not be a bad idea to find out for how long this will last. If you’re curious to find out, allow one of the local palm readers to take you on a trip to the future.
Like in the rest of Hong Kong, and Kowloon in particular, the street food is outstanding. Small street vendors compete with roadside medium sized restaurants, that tend to get packed in the evening. Serving the local specialties, which revolve around seafood, and satiating visitor’s cravings for one of the most popular dishes in town: chili crab! Come ready to enjoy Hong Kong’s culinary tradition, while expecting delicious food at affordable prices!
Once you’ve filled your tummy with seafood goodness, it’s time to pause and watch the world go by. The Temple Street night market displays the typical festivity of a Chinese market, allowing for great photo opportunities. Taking photos at night may not always be easy, though. The dark backgrounds, the excess of lighting in the foreground and the human activity may result in unevenly lit images, perhaps even blurred. If you’re using a smart-phone, selecting the HDR mode is definitely a good idea. On a DSLR camera, try to use a low ISO to avoid noise, or a tripod if you’d like to allow slower shutter speeds and you need a stable base to do so.
Even if the images don’t turn out perfect, what really matters is that you do manage to capture the essence of a place. You want to accomplish a set of images that will bring back memories and feelings down the line. Or so that someone who’s never been there can have a glimpse of what the place and its atmosphere are all about. For that, I’d recommend taking some general photos that give context, but also focus on details. With close-up photos you’’ll manage to capture those little things that add personality to the place where you were.
When in Hong Kong, take the MTR to Jordan or Ya Ma Tai. Head three blocks west of Nathan Road and get lost in the Temple Street Night Market. Even if you don’t care for shopping, the street food and people watching chances in the area will surely make up for it!
Zara is a Portuguese blogger who quit her job in Dubai in 2011 to travel around the world with her now husband Ashray, from India. They’re the team behind Backpack ME, a travel site that aims to share tips and ideas with people all over the place, inspiring them to go travel, no matter where they come from!