Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hong Kong Ladies Street

When my wife and I were in Hong Kong this April, we stayed in MongKok, a district nestled in Kowloon with a vibrant streetlife at night that is far more exciting than what the slew of brick-and-mortar shopping malls in Singapore could give us.

Our hotel was just a stone's throw away from the popular Ladies Street which sells a myriad of accessories not limited to ladies' wear and accessories. Ladies Street, known as Tung Choi Street, is really a treasure trove for shoppers and bargainers as the cornucopia of offerings in the myriads of makeshift stalls there is just astounding!

The picture above shows the make-shift stalls being taken down at the commencement of day, to make way for traffic. From what I have observed, all the stall owners of Ladies Street have to take down and pack their stalls at the beginning of each day so that the roads these stalls occupy can be used for traffic. When evening comes, the road will be closed and then the stall people will be once again busy setting up their stalls, ready for a night of business once again.

It is hence an onerous chore in my belief, to set up, take down, set up and take down the stalls daily, unremittingly. This can be a sisyphean task. The stalls in Ladies Street are really a large-scale version of the Pasar Malams here in Singapore. Similarly, the Pasar Malams in Singapore have to set-up and take-down the stalls daily, but they are doing it for only a week or two, imagine these stall owners at Ladies Street carry out these chores for life, or at least during the years they run their businesses.

I guess they would not complain or gripe about this routine as they depend on it for business and moreover, I believe they hire professionals to do the setting up and taking down of their stalls. Also, I would like to add that not all stalls in Ladies Street have to take down their makeshift stalls at the stroke of sunrise, only certain stalls which proved to be an impediment to traffic would have to do so.

If you are the first customer to any of these stalls in Ladies Street, do utilise your bargaining priviledge as Hong Kongers believe that how their first business transaction experience pan 0ut, will determine the revenue of their business for the rest of the day, hence they crave for a good start to their business day too. This is hence the reason my wife and I enjoyed a better price after our bargain in a stall on our last day of tour.