Hong Kong Street Fashion
Found treasures at Upper Lascar Row
Tourists flock to the street market around Upper Lascar Row – more commonly known as Cat Street – for kitschy chinoiserie and mass-produced Chairman Mao memorabilia, but locals go there for another reason entirely: to hunt for found treasures. One stall, run by a man known as Uncle Szeto, spills out of the confines of its green wooden frame with boxes of vintage postcards, family photos, keepsakes and curios, not to mention an impressive collection of old Bruce Lee movie posters, which were acquired at a movie studio liquidation sale 10 years ago. Other objects are acquired at flea markets in Vancouver, home to many Hong Kong expats, and they're a glimpse into a vanished Hong Kong: pictures of women in cheongsam dresses, Roadmaster double-decker buses, the recently-demolished and much-lamented Star Ferry clock tower.
• Corner of Upper Lascar Row and Tung Street. Open 11am-6pm Monday-Saturday. No phone.
Kowloon City MarketPhotograph: Alamy
Kowloon City is the epicentre of Hong Kong's Thai population, so not surprisingly it's also a great place to find fresh fruits from south-east Asia. In the Kowloon City Market, whose porthole windows give its exterior the appearance of a deconstructed cruise ship, you'll find vendors selling plump, juicy mangoes, tangy, chewy rambutan (which looks like lychees in need of a haircut), and earthy longan, whose name means "dragon's eye" – open one up and you'll see why. Come in mid-summer to meet the king of fruits: durian, notorious for its fearsome spikes and unique odour. Fresh durian is sweet, creamy and decadent, with flavours ranging from butterscotch to sweet onion.
• 100 Nga Tsin Wai Road, Kowloon City. Open daily, 6am8pm
Me & GeorgePhotograph: JTB Media Creation/ Alamy JTB MEDIA CREATION, Inc. / Alamy/Alamy
Here's a secret about old ladies in Asia: they're fashion pioneers. Blouses with old-fashioned cuts and bright retro patterns; tapered silk slacks with floral prints – it's the "eccentric auntie" style on sale at an H&M near you, only more authentic. The place favoured by such trailblazers is Me & George, also known as Mee & Gee, a no-frills shop in the Ladies' Market packed to the brim with surplus Japanese fashion and vintage dresses, shoes and bags sold for unbelievably low prices. You won't have to stay long under the harsh fluorescent lighting to find entire racks of clothes for just HK$5, around 40p. Some of them are a bit worse for wear, but a dedicated rummager is always likely to come away with a brilliant find that's so uncool it's cool again.