All things in Hong Kong, a shopping heaven
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(by Kim Hyojin) Hong Kong is famous for a lot of good sceneries like those in movie scenes and the exotic foods which may please your palate. In addition, as it is recognized as a shopping mecca, many fashion sensitive people around the world visit here.
In 19th century, people visit Hong Kong ports from not only Britain but also from Portugal, Spain and other European countries in their ships. Most of the various stuffs around the world gathered in and around Hong Kong ports. Hong Kong was the hub where a lot of diverse and fantastic things gathered from all over the world and played a role of department store for the world. This kind of Hong Kong history continues to this day and many famous brands are coming to Hong Kong. So, with the discount event for every season, many people visit Hong Kong from around the world for the shopping.
This has been the best luxury mall located in Central until IFC mall was created. It is famous for the quiet and typical shopping mall. As it has the antique mood, the customers who like that mood prefer to visit here. With the simple internal structure and good guiding signs, it is easy for people to shop here. The luxury brands such as Harvey Nichols, Dior, Prada, and Miu are located here.
Since its completion in 2003, it has taken position as the largest shopping mall in Hong Kong. As an 88-storied high-rise building, it is the second tallest building in Hong Kong. As it is directly connected to Peak Tram, MidLevel escalator, Central Station (MTR) and Star Ferry, it is easy to move to other places. The most distinctive shop in the mall is the large Apple shop using two stories. The rooftop garden on the 5th floor is famous for the good night view of Hong Kong.
Tsim Sha Tsui_Harbor City
This is famous for its largest size among many shopping malls in Hong Kong. As the size is big and the internal structure is complicated, you may easily get lost. So, be sure to check the sign installed on the route. As it has the Star Ferry dock nearby, it has a lot of restaurants and pubs on the side of seashore. If you finish enjoying the shopping, you may come down to the seashore and sip a cup of wine.
Tsim Sha Tsui_1881 Heritage
As soon as you enter 1881 Heritage, you may think that you arrive an urban plaza in Europe in 20th century. The walking along the shopping mall surrounded by the antique buildings would make you feel that you are walking through a walking path rather than a shopping mall. Just browsing each boutique shop would be a good tour for you. Especially in nigh time, there would be the beautiful lights which would make you feel the mood in the antique European city.
Tsim Sha Tsui_Elements
As it is located away from Tsim Sha Tsui, you can enjoy the shopping in a relatively quiet way. If you make an early check-in to the shopping mall connected to Kowloon Station (MTR) where the airport high express railway (AEL) passes by, you can enjoy the shopping comfortably. As it has big size and various brand shops in it, you can get the happiness of browsing the shops. If you want the quiet and comfortable shopping, this is just the place for you.
Checklist for shopping in Hong Kong
1. Check out the period of sale
The shopping malls in Hong Kong usually make the year-round sale. But, especially, when you take advantage of the mega sale period, you can buy the stuffs at lower prices. The mega sales period includes from late June to late Aug and from Jan to Feb. During this period, all shops across Hong Kong start the big sale at the same time and as time goes close to the end of the period, the discount rate goes higher. However, if the time gets closer to the end of the period, the kinds of items available may get fewer. Therefore, it is recommended that you buy your stuffs around the middle of the sales period.
2. Open time
Most of shopping malls in Hong Kong usually open at 10:30 am. However, as each shop has its own opening time, you had better check it out before starting to go out. That also applies to the closing time. Some shops may close earlier than that for the total shopping mall. Therefore, if you visit your shop close to the closing time, you may not buy your stuffs.
3. Tax exemption
There are the special limits for tax exemption, which you should understood before you go to Hong Kong for shopping. If you return to Korea, the limit for tax exemption is US$600. If you purchase more than that level, you have to pay the tax amounting to 30% of the purchases in excess of $600. But, when you return to Korea, the additional tax exemption is possible with 1 liter of wine (not more than $400) and 200 cigarettes (not more than $400) in addition to the general tax exemption.
The finish shall be made with delicious food
If you finish the shopping, you would feel hungry. You can taste the Korean food in Hong Kong at Goobne Chicken which is no. 1 oven grilled chicken brand and which is well known in downtown Hong Kong. Goobne Chicken has its shops in Tsim Sha Tsui, Tesung Kwan O and Causeway Bay. As it offers Goobne Honey Curry Basasak Chicken, Pepper Basasak Chicken which has spicy taste, and Soy Garlic Chicken which has the sweet taste are very popular for not only the local residents here in Hong Kong but also the foreigners who are not accustomed to this kind of chicken products. If you release the stress by using the chimaek (the combination of chicken and maekju (meaning beer in Korean)), you would enjoy Hong Kong more before your departure of Hong Kong. (photo by Goobne Chicken, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Landmark Hong Kong, IFC Mall Hong Kong, Harbor City, 1881 Heritage, official website of Elements, bnt news DB)