Shopping in Hong Kong earned it a reputation as one of the premier hubs of Asia, well-deserved as a gourmet paradise. For its sheer variety and diversity, it’s a dream destination, offering glitzy malls, elegant designer stores, trendy boutiques, huge covered markets, and traditional Chinese product stores. Dedicated shopping districts abound on Hong Kong Island, across the harbor in Kowloon, and in the New Territories, all of which have malls, department stores, and shops lining the streets. In the markets, bargaining is expected.

Best buys are fashions found in the markets at amazing prices and in little boutiques at not much more. Jade jewelry is the perfect souvenir or gift. Reputable shops sell beautiful designs in gold and silver, as well as pearls in lovely settings, but the street markets are not the places to buy precious stones or metals unless you are an expert. Silks and traditional Chinese handicrafts are good buys, with many pottery and metal designs based on ancient patterns.

Genuine antiques can be found at a price but, again, don’t buy in the markets unless you are knowledgeable. Importing ivory items is illegal in most Western countries so check the rules and regulations before you buy. Traditional Chinese clothing is fun to wear and makes a great memento of your Hong Kong vacation. Scrolls, paintings, and wall-hangings are fine décor items for any home, and Chinese teas, including health-giving herbal teas travel well.

For fashionistas on a budget, shoe-lovers will be in heaven with the up-to-the-minute styles at low prices. For those looking for genuine designer gear, the malls and stores in upscale hotels offer everything that’s cool. July, August, and the days up to Chinese New Year in late February are sale times, with bargains to be found everywhere from upscale malls to designer boutiques.