Friday, March 1, 2013

Hong Kong Part 2: Shopping

Hong Kong is an amazing place to travel to - one thing that always stands out when I visit is how great their public transportation system is. It's super easy to get around in HK because everything's got English on it, and I never had to wait over 5 minutes for any train which is AMAZING compared to the 20 minute waiting periods I get in Melbourne sometimes.

But this post isn't about transport - I apologize for getting slightly carried away up there - it's about shopping. And gosh, Hong Kong is a perfect place to go if your a shopper!

There are a heap of designer brands in Hong Kong like Burberry, Louis Viutton etc etc but I spent most of my shopping time at shops which I don't have access to in Melbourne and those are the stores that I will be blogging about in particular. These stores are all pretty much in the low to medium price range ... so definitely are all affordable. 

Okay so firstly? Forever 21. I know that international shipping is available on their US site, but it's crazy expensive so although I've browsed their online store a heap of times, I've never made it past the checkout. The total price in the end just never seems worth it.

 There's only one store in Hong Kong and it is located in Causeway Bay and has six Levels. Yeap, SIX levels. I found that the clothes weren't as cheap as they are online, but are still very affordable nonetheless as most items ranged from AU$20-$35.

Causeway Bay is a very busy and touristy place and because of this as well as the fact that there is only one F21 store, it gets pretty crowded from about 2pm everyday. Hong Kong shopping centres are filled with people most of the time - even on weekdays - which is why I like to do all my shopping in the morning because I like to shop in a more quieter, less hectic environment. (note: most shops open at around 10am-11am though)

The one thing I didn't like about Forever 21 was the fact that there were pretty much no sales when I was there. I know the clothes are cheap, but I'm always hearing people talk about the amazing sales F21 has at all the other stores throughout the world- why not Hong Kong?!

I think I spent about two and a half hours in F21 but it was NO WHERE near enough!

Also with a store located in Causeway Bay is Hollister. I took one step into that dimmed entrance and I seriously thought I was entering a club or something because of the music blasting throughout the store. And yes, the front of the store is lined with LCD screens. I LOVED the smell of the shop - despite being a men's cologne they spritz inside, I was contemplating whether or not to purchase it but I didn't and now I'm kicking myself for not getting it! Next time I visit a Hollister store, I'm definitely getting a bottle. It smelt soooo good! I would sit around any guy all day if he smelt like that!
(....that was slightly exaggerated.)

The clothes in Hollister are slightly on the expensive side - most things I looked at ranged from AU$30-$90 and they are very casual pieces of clothing. The guys who work there are super good looking though and they all speak English too! ... and they have American accents! I loved it in there, ha! They also had a really good playlist going.

I think there are two stores currently open in Hong Kong - one at Kowloon Tong's Festival Walk Shopping Centre and one in Causeway Bay at Hysan Place. There's also an Abercrombie & Fitch in HK which I didn't get a chance to visit.. but I heard the guys who work there are good looking too. ;)

H&M is actually making it's way down to Australia! Unlike Forever 21 and Hollister, H&M is located at a number of different locations. My favourite store to go to would be the one at Olympian City Shopping Centre, because it is the quietest! I've been to many of the other stores and each time I go there, I end up wasting a heap of my time in queues for both the fitting rooms and the check out. At Olympian City, I go in afternoon and the store is still surprisingly quite.

The store sizes vary depending on the location you visit. Some only have one level whereas others have two or three. H&M has clothes that are in the same price range as F21 and also clothes that are a little more expensive. They also have great sales every week! Compared to Forever 21, I find the clothes at H&M to be of slightly better quality and I noticed that they also target their clothes to a wider range of ages.

If you're a makeup lover, then Hong Kong is also the perfect place to go. Sasa, Colourmix and Bonjour are similar stores that carry various brands of beauty products. The brands in these three stores vary and these three shops are pretty much everywhere in HK. And I mean EVERYWHERE. I think I saw three Sasa stores on the same road once. 

Aside from those three stores, you could check out department stores which have what seems like a never ending range of counters specifically for beauty products or even just go to a shopping centre which will without a doubt have makeup stores for particular brands. From designer brands like Chanel, YSL and Georgio Armani to MAC, Bobbi Brown, Benefit, Shu Uemura, etc etc etc etc... Hong Kong pretty much is a one stop shop for cosmetics. If you're a fan of Korean cosmetics, they also have various shops that sell those brands too.

I realised that I've forgotten to mention a place that's quite popular for affordable shopping in Hong Kong - these are the little unnamed boutiques that sell items of clothing for ridiculously cheap prices. I'm talking AU $8 for skirts and $13 for knitted sweaters. They also do a pretty good job at keeping up with the latest trends. I would recommend checking out Mong Kok's Argyle Centre for a multi story building filled with these stores, or even Kwai Fong's Kwai Chung Plaza. I did shop in these stores and I definitely do like them because of the prices, but keep in mind that the quality of the clothes sold here are not made to last. 


The specific stores I mentioned today probably only make up about 20% of the range of places you could shop at in Hong Kong. Sorry for the post being so wordy but I could really go on forever. I cannot express how perfect this place is if you love to shop. But this concludes Part 2 of my Hong Kong trip. 

I've decided to have a third part which will be on my digital perm that I got whilst in HK and will be up soon, so until then!

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