What to Buy and What to Skip! CHINA Shopping Tips & Tricks! Part 3 of 3

Ok so by now you are an expert at shopping in Taiwan and Mainland China– Woohooo!

My last stop on the trip…Hong Kong!  Boy was I glad to get out of Mainland China and back to a big city!  Hong Kong was definitely the coolest city out of the 5 cities we went to.  It used to be owned by Britain so they still have a lot of British influence.  For one they drive on the lefthand side of the road and they have the double decker red buses just like England.

Here I had the chance to explore a bit as the business part of the trip was over and I was by myself for a day before I headed back to the states!  So I went to the highest point I could find- Victoria’s peak!  You can take a tram ride up and then when you get to the top there are gorgeous views of the skyline!  It was so amazing and their skyline is voted #1 in the world- even over my precious NYC!  And yes of course I sported my Multi Chic Wrap!

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After that I booked it to Stanley market- the famous seaside market where you can buy a lot of things at a discount!  You all know how much I like a good bargain!  As I’m already pretty well versed in haggling for a good deal…I mean I do go to Chinatown in NYC often… I was well prepared to get the best price possible!

Stanley Market
Stanley Market

At this market you can get everything from souvenirs to silk items and tea sets.  I got some awesome bags, one of which is a real designer bag for only $20!  People often question whether these designer bags are real and you definitely need to do your homework and check really good.  It could be real leather but maybe the logo is off or there is a tiny defect with the bag.  If after a lot of inspection it looks good, then it’s probably real.  How can that be you say?  What often happens is that these products are already being produced in China.  The factory workers will over produce and not tell the Designer.  They then sell the bags to a reseller who then sells it to you at a ridiculous price.  (Which just goes to show you how much it really cost to produce these things).  I also was able to get some good angora cashmere sweaters and other things here for only about $15 which is a steal!  According to Wikipedia In 1994, China had an estimated population of 123 million goats and is the largest producer of cashmere down.  This is why it’s so inexpensive.

I also had a chance to explore the shopping area of the Mong Kok district which reminded me very much of the Night Markets in Taipei….but maybe that was also because I went there at night and the stores stay open til midnight LOL.  But they were very similar with little boutiques that only carry “Free Size” and street food markets that sell some mystery food items (ummm what kind of meat is that really??).  There is also the famous Jade Street/Jade Market which is very popular.  Although I didn’t get a chance to see it myself, I did have a friend inform me of how difficult it is to shop for Jade and how you really need to know what you are looking at in order not to get ripped off.  Typically speaking the darker green the color, the more expensive the piece.  However Jade does come in all sorts of colors (even light purple) and other less precious stones can be made to look like jade when they’re not.

Mong Kok District
Mong Kok District

I did end up getting some really good items from the Mong Kok area, which I will post in a future blog, but one thing that I couldn’t get anywhere were shoes!  Apparently I am Big Foot compared to Asians LOL (I wear a size 9) and so most stores that I went into did not even carry my size!  They go by European sizes there which means I should be a 39 or 40 however most of the size 40’s I was trying on were too small so I really needed a 41.  After going into endless shoe stores in hopes that one would have my size, I managed to find these adorable tweed slip on platform sneaks I fell in love with and they were only $20USD so I asked once again for a size 41.  They told me they had size 40 and so I tried but with no luck they were still too small.  They said they could stretch them out for me (as I watched them stick a wooden contraption inside the shoe and twist it several times).  After 10 mins of waiting I tried them on again and they fit! I was so ecstatic!! Finally I found a pair of shoes!  Or so I thought…. After I flew home and put them on few days later they had shrunk back to their original size and are now too small :(Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! I am so upset as I loved these shoes so much.  BUT I am going to try my Fashion Angel Warrior Shoe freezing trick and see if I can permanently stretch them out.  Click the link in case you missed this blog!  In the end, the lesson I learned from all of this- Asians will try to sell you ANYTHING- even if it doesn’t fit!  So don’t let someone scam you like they did with me!

Tweed Slip on Shoes I bought in Mong Kok
Tweed Slip on Shoes I bought in Mong Kok

So what did I learn about Shopping in Hong Kong:

1. Know how to sniff out a fake DESIGNER BAG- so you don’t get ripped off!

2. Buy lots of CASHMERE pieces! I wish I bought more

3. Study your JADE facts if you plan to buy some jade pieces

4. Don’t let them stretch out your SHOES- they will just end up going right back to the original size :(

5. Side note- Don’t bother bringing your FLAT IRON or curling iron with you as the voltage doesn’t usually convert even if you buy one of those travel convertors.  I tried to use mine and ended up blowing it out so now I need to purchase a new one :(

So are you ready for your trip to China?  Post below and let me know what was the one thing that shocked you the MOST about my adventures in Asia!?!

And of course please share this blog with all your friends :)

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