Shopping in HK part 1 / by Jessica Lee

A snack stand on a busy street corner in HK

Hello lovely readers!

I just came back from a day of "shopping". Actually I kept it pretty low-key. Those of you that know me know that when I go shopping, I mean business. Shopping with me is not for the weak. Once, an ex got mad at me while we were shopping because we had been shopping for a couple of hours and he said he needed a break or something.

Anyway... I'm going to share with you some deals I got today. :)

I spent most of my time at Olympian City, which is described in Wikipedia as "one of the main shopping areas in West Kowloon". If I were to compare it to the Eaton Centre, which is one of Toronto's biggest shopping areas, I would say that Olympian City is double the size of the Eaton Centre. It might even be bigger... I'm not sure because I haven't explored the whole mall yet.

One of my favourite deals of the day was at the grocery store. I got 5 bananas for $4.75 HK money, which is 61 cents in CAD dollars. Outrageous!

At the Pearson Airport before my flight, I bought a single banana at one of the food places for $1.20 + taxes!

Of course, airport food is ridiculously expensive, so I'm not sure if the comparison is fair. But still, 61 cents for 5 bananas is spectacular! If I were extremely poor, I'd just live off of bananas here.

At the grocery store, I also found a North American food staple: cheese strings! They were kind of expensive though. In fact, out of everything I bought, they were the most expensive item. A single stick of cheese cost $9.30 HK money, which is $1.20 in CAD dollars- which isn't that bad, but at a grocery store in Canada, you could probably get a pack of 16 cheese strings for $7? I bought two. They were mostly a sentimental purchase, as I do miss home a little.

For a snack, I also had curry fish balls on a stick and coconut milk sago, which is coconut milk with little tapioca balls in them. I can already tell these are the little things I am going to miss about Hong Kong when I leave. In Toronto, street food consists of hot dogs and maybe if you're on Queen and Bay street, a poutine truck. I think I am going to eat curry fish balls every day I am here just because I can.

I didn't buy many things today. Partly because I literally have no luggage space (there's a hole in one of my newly bought knapsacks because I stuffed lots of books in there and a corner of a book made a small hole)- and partly because I am trying to buy only what I need.

I bought five different varieties of lip balm because choices in Canada are so limited and I love trying out different brands. Also, some hand lotion from EOS (Evolution of Smooth). Finding EOS products here was a pleasant surprise. They are hard to find in Toronto and even when you find them, the flavours that you find them in are limited. Here, they had tangerine, strawberry sorbet and also lemon drop, which are flavours I have never seen before. Obviously I bought them.

I also bought a notebook and a felt pen. Stationary here beats any stationary I've seen in Toronto. In Toronto, the best stationary store I've seen so far is probably the paper shop on 885 Queen Street West. Runner up would be Indigo Books. In Hong Kong, there are LOTS of nice stationary stores. This is probably why when my cousin from Hong Kong came to visit us in Toronto, she said everything was crappy and expensive. There really is no comparison.

Below is a picture of just one section of a stationary store.

Leave me a comment! If you've been here before, what are some things I should check out in Hong Kong? If you haven't, what surprises you about Hong Kong?