Hong Kong, Kowloon, Neighbourhoods

Wet market in Mongkok

I just love the markets in Hong Kong, not just the open markets on the street, but the wet markets that exist in every quarter of the city. They are in a communal building, often without windows. The shops spread out on a number of different floors, and there is actually always a set order.

All fish sellers are arranged on the same floor next to each other. So you can easily see what is on offer and you can compare the prices.

The fish sellers are using old-fashioned scales to weigh the fish – just holding the scale with one hand and balancing it out with weights, to establish the price of the fish.

The fish is absolutely fresh, some is still swimming in front of you. As soon as you decide what you want to have, the fish is being prepared – its scales are removed and depending on what you’ve ordered, the fish might be filleted or cut into pieces.

On the second floor they sell meat – all kinds of meat. Most of the shops are specialised on one cut or type of meat. Here’s the first shot of a butcher specialising in pig’s feet…

… and pig’s head. As you know by now, it’s not uncommon for Chinese people to eat the animals from head to toe. So far I’ve only tried a barbecued piglets feet and a fried pigs ear. Both were very chewy and while they were flavoursome, I did not enjoy it that much, so I guess I won’t have them again.

Of course, you can also just opt for the typical spareribs! They are so popular in Hong Kong, you can get them in lots of places and in different sweet, spicy and barbeque sauces.

Finally, around the corner, was the fruit and vegetable section.

Lots of stands with fresh produce and I just enjoy looking at all the colours, different shapes and sizes.

On the top floor of the food centre is the cooked food – small shops and restaurants selling different dishes, not just Chinese, but all kinds of Asian foods are being prepared there. This time we did not go upstairs to the cooked food, as it was already late Sunday afternoon and most likely the majority of shops will have closed by now.

10 thoughts on “Wet market in Mongkok”

  1. Wow, that is a fabulous looking market! We’re moving to Hong Kong in December and can’t wait to have access to all this amazing produce – it’ll certainly be a huge step up from the tiny village market, every five days in our current location!!!

  2. Hi I have just moved to Hong Kong and visited my local wet market today. It was amazing everything looks so fresh and much more fun than shopping in the supermarkets here. I want to know if the fruit & veg is safe to eat ( without sounding like a paranoid expat!) . Just stumbled on your blog and it’s so lovely and makes me want to get out and explore!!

    1. Hi Jane, welcome to Hong Kong! The wet markets are perfectly safe to buy your fruit and vegetables from, they often sell better quality than the supermarkets. Especially once you’ve found the stalls that you like and keep coming back to them, the vendors recognise you and make sure to fulfil all your needs. Prices are likely to be cheaper too (but that depends on your area) and produce is fresher.

      I’ve not bought meat at a wet market though – that’s because I can’t recognise some of the cuts they use and the way it’s presented is a little too much for me (but it’s still safe to eat – if not, then the Health Department would have closed the stall down very quickly). Fish can be nice too, but the challenge is what to pick and how to communicate this! So I stay safe and pick up my fruit and vegetables there – and once I get home, just wash them before use and then I am fine.

      Have fun in Hong Kong, it’s a great place.

  3. HI Bluebalu, can you tell me if this wet market in Mongkok is open every day and approx what time it opens and closes.
    I always stay at the Langham Place but have never visited this market and would love to check it out.
    thank you

    1. Hi Julie, the market is in the Fa Yuen Street Municipal Services Building, which is at 123 Fa Yuen Street. It has three floors and the market is on the first two floors, the top floor is the cooked food centre where small restaurants and stalls sell food. It is open every day, although some stalls might close on a Sunday. The market opens early, I think around 6-7am and you can buy fresh produce until 8pm – but it is better to go earlier in the day, before the afternoon. The food centre has longer opening hours, you can have dinner at some stalls if you like. Hope this helps, Ruth

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