Hong Kong Markets | Nelson Street, Mong Kok

Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market

If you take the Hong Kong MTR (subway) to Mong Kok station and head on foot from there to Nelson Street, you’ll be right in the thick of market stalls and food shops that offer a fascinating insight into daily Cantonese life. Sure, you’ll see cherries from the USA and other imported foods – Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city – but at the same time you’ll see vignettes that have changed little in many years – live turtles and frogs, people making wontons, tofu being made the way it has always been done, fish sellers using weights on old-fashioned scales.

Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market

There are markets all over Hong Kong but Mong Kok is overflowing with them. There’s a Ladies market, flower market, bird market, goldfish market, even a sneakers (footwear) market. This is one of the most densely populated places on the planet, a never-ending sea of people and activity, and needless to say it’s a great place for getting a taste of Hong Kong’s lively and colourful street life.

Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market

You could be forgiven for thinking the markets might have gone the way of rickshaws, but despite the Internet and air-conditioned supermarkets and shopping malls, the markets continue to thrive. Nelson Street is lined with shops selling meat, poultry, live seafood, noodles, tofu, roast meat and bakery products. In front of them are covered stands selling fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, honey, ginger, mushrooms, dried goods and more.

Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market

Following are some snapshots of scenes we encountered. If you are squeamish at the sight of animal faces and blood, I suggest you turn away now, for we saw live chickens and frogs, pig’s heads, fish being scaled, fur being removed from carcasses with a blowtorch, and lots and lots of offal (intestines, kidneys, tongue … you name it).

Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Cherries from the USA, dragonfruit and watermelon.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Oysters drying in the sun.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Bunches of lovely bananas.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Yams.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Quail eggs.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Making tofu.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Kidneys (back left), tongue (front left), chicken feet (centre).
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Chinese lobster.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Sea funghi.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Various types of sausage.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Dragonfruit (left) and custard apples.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Seafood seller.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Enormous winter melons.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Spot the pig’s head.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Crabs (front). Behind is the grotesque-looking (but tasty!) geoduck, a species of very large clam that is native to the coastal waters of western Canada and the northwest United States.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Cauliflower and young ginger.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Deer penis.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Lychees.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Seafood extravaganza.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Whole lotus seeds.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Such weird-looking (to us) frogs.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Tofu made with pig’s blood.
The market stalls and food shops in and around Nelson Street, Mong Kok, offer a fascinating insight into Hong Kong life.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
The fate that awaits.
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market
Nelson Street, Mong Kok Authentic Hong Kong Market

Where? Nelson Street, west of Langham Place, Mong Kok, Hong Kong.
When? Daily from around 7am to 6pm (except the first few days of Chinese New Year).

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