Want to see a cross-section of Hong Kong society in one short street? Then visit the last remaining Night Market in Hong Kong. Once a popular entertainment known as “Poor Man’s Night Club” the Temple Street Night Market is the last remaining example in Hong Kong. Help us protect this unique part of Hong Kong culture by sampling the wears in the market stalls, Chinese Opera show or by visiting a fortune teller.
How to get to Temple Street Night Market
Being near the centre of Kowloon, located midway between Jordan and Yau Ma Tei MTR stations, the market is very accessable by public transport. However as this is a night market do be aware that when leaving the market very late at night some forms of transport will be closed.
The last MTR train to leave the nearby Jordan MTR Station is at 00:52am. While normal routes such as 112 stop at 00:30am. However there are night buses such as the N122 which run throughout the night.
Temple Street Night Market from Nathan Road
From the northern part of Nathan Road it is just walking distance, if you are within sight of Jordan or Yau Ma Tei MTR stations, you’ll see signs for them, then you can just walk. The Temple Street Night Market entrance is on Jordan Road just 3 blocks from Nathan Road. But if you are in the southern part of Nathan Road, around the Golden Mile and near Victoria Harbour, then take the MTR.
Go into the MTR at Tsim Shau Tsui MTR station or which ever is closest, then take the Kwun Tong line northwards towards Kwun Tong, leave the train system at Jordan Station.
Inside the station read the signs for exit A – this is the closest exit to the Temple Street Night Market. The exit uses steps so is not wheelchair friendly.
Once leaving the MTR Station at Exit A you will find yourself on Jordan Road, near the corner with Nathan Road. Turn to the right and walk along Jordan Road for 3 blocks. The entrance to Temple Street is well marked with a large red Chinese gateway.
Temple Street Night Market from Causeway Bay
Any tourist or visitor to Hong Kong will go to Causeway Bay, it is one of the centres of all interesting things to see in the region with great shopping and dining locations. To go from there to Temple Street is simple.
Hong Kong has an excellent modern bus system, and taking a bus from the Causeway Bay shopping district is simple, but does involve some walking as none of the routes from Causeway Bay stop very close to Temple Street. The easiest option is bus 112 which can be caught in Causeway Bay or North Point. It stops outside the Hong Kong Central Library, just beside Victoria Park, and you can also catch it in Yee Wo Street beside the Jardines Bazaar Street Market.
Finally before crossing the harbour there is a stop for this bus under the flyover behind Times Square in Canal Road. Whichever stop you get on the bus you need only stay on for a few stops as after crossing the harbour via the Crossharbour Tunnel it is the very next stop you should get off at. This is labeled Diocesan Girls’ School for the famed school located nearby.
Continue along Gascoigne Road past the Eaton Hotel and turn left into Nathan Road and go directly across Nathan Road into Kansu Street, which you can follow until it takes you to the end of Temple Street on your left, which you will recognize from the large Chinese Gateway.
If it is past 8:30PM consider instead staying to the right and passing under the Flyover which is to the right of the carpark building, and going directly into the Cantonese Opera Singing area.
Catch the MTR on the Island line from any station in Causeway Bay or North point and take the Island line towards Central, but at Admiralty MTR station change trains. many people change here so when the train car suddenly becomes empty, and you are on station with blue tiles, you’ll know it is the right one.
Change to the opposite platform and continue on the Kwun Tong line as for the MTR instructions above.
Temple Street Night Market from the Airport
Have an evening layover in Chep Lap Kok airport and want to enjoy some authentic Hong Kong street shopping and dining? Then a trip from the airport to the Night Market might be right for you.
Take the Airport Express train, which has a platform inside the airport building just part the arrivals hall, and alight at the Tsing Yi station. There change trains to the Tsuen Wan Line going south towards Central but get off the train when it arrives at Jordan MTR Station.
Leave the station via exit A. When you reach street level turn right and walk along Jordan Road for 3 blocks until you reach Temple Street.
Try the A22 Airport CityFlyer bus which leaves from outside the airport at the ground transpiration centre and goes all the way into Kowloon. You’ll want to get off at the Shanghai Street stop outside Jordan Mansion, then walk along in the same direction for two blocks to the entrance to Temple Street.
The A21 bus would also work, but takes longer and puts you down at Nathan Hotel stop. You then have to cross the Nathan Road and go down Saigon Street until it intersects with the Night Market, about two blocks.
Opening Hours of Temple Street Night Market
The night market on Temple Street in Jordon is an officially regulated hawker bazaar, and as such there are rules and regulations imposed by the government and particularly the Food and Environmental Health department. At times you may consider that not all those rules are followed, but despite the apparently casual style of the market it is actually a very safe and healthy place to visit and to dine.
In order to allow the market to be accessible to locals and visitors alike with the maximum safety the Hong Kong Government Transport Department has declared that the Temple Street area is to have no cars from 2PM in the afternoon to midnight. It is officially listed as a “Part-time Pedestrian Area” and yellow temporary barriers are erected each day at the entrances to the street to stop motor cars entering the area.
Between Jordan Road and Kansu Street each day from 2:00PM until midnight there are no cars allowed.
Therefore the market officially opens at 2PM, but in practice most stalls do not set up for business until around 4PM. But it is not until after dark that the market really “shines” with busy crowds and enthusiastic street vendors selling snacks and full meals at the dai pai dong or open air restaurants. This is primarily a night market and so it is after sunset that it is really active. The fortunetellers, opera singers and such rarities of Hong Kong life won’t be seen until much later.
Expect to visit in the evening, have dinner in the market at the Cooked Food bazaar, and enjoy the atmosphere until at least 10 or 11. Although the market officially closes at midnight, but some stalls are open into the early hours, depending on the day of the week, the weather and hence the number of customers there are.
There is no point in visiting the Temple Street before the lunch hour, there is no market to see though of course there are normal commercial shops which are part of the normal life of Hong Kong to see. Everything from Builder’s supplies with paints and sand and cement, small local style cafes, watch shops and sports clothes boutiques all make this a normal street during the day time.
What to buy in Temple Street Night Market
Go to a market and buy interesting things, that’s sort of assumed, but what is unique in the Temple Street Night market that is a don’t miss choice to buy? There are many categories of things and of course it depends upon your interests but look out for these:
Fashion accessories – From hair combs to bangles, there are Asian specific, modern and the latest trends. Some Hong Kong favorites like Hello Kitty are always seen, but some new inventions like plastic spring strap bracelets appear rapidly here.
Handbags, wallets and belts – Various leather and fabric goods are always popular, the range of choices of styles is dramatic, and stalls will put up an item like a handbag in every color they stock, making a veritable rainbow of choices and ensuring you’ll be able to find one to match an outfit. Huge selections of sunglasses can also be found
Brand and Custom T-Shirts – Plain shirts, branded shirts, football team and car related, there are ever type of t-shirt you can imagine. Some stalls have plain shirts together with transfers that can be applied to the shirt right there in the stall to create a custom look.
Electronics – From fancy desk phones through Hello Kitty appliances, from LED torches to pocket radios, there are no shortage of funny, conventional and outrageous choices. Most are battery powered, but if choose mains powered ensure they will be suitable for your voltage back home.
Novelties – Often electronic but things like like radios in the shape of coke cans or cars, telephones with breasts and so on are also seen here.
Art and paintings – Oil color paintings, hand embroidered scenes, carvings and prints; there is every choice in wall decorations here. While the huge quantity sometimes gives the impression of mass production, these are all actually hand made, but obviously in very large quantities. Paintings are generally sold unframed and the canvas can be rolled for easy transport, while embroideries are usually small and framed.
Traditional Chinese Arts and Crafts – Beadwork purses, ornate carved wooden boxes, Chinese Knotting, tiny Cloisonné items, all can be found here. Made locally or just over the border in China these are very reasonably priced and authentically Chinese. Calligraphy is often pre-prepared and can be purchased such as Chinese Names.
Chinese dresses – In both adult and child sizes, these silk embroidered masterpieces are a great party outfit. Do note though that as these are market stalls there is no chance to try items on. A silk Dragon Robe is a sure fit!
Mobile Phone Accessories – Hong Kong people love to decorate their cell phones, and here you will find every option of practical to funky things to accessories your phone. Cases are just the beginning, with stickers and dangles allowing you to really pimp that phone!
Jade and other Semi-precious stones – Bracelets, rings, dangles, pendants – all available in a range of different jade and jadeite stones. Understand that all these are semi-precious and for decoration, admire the handicraft and workmanship but do not look for valuable jewelry here.
Socks and branded underwear – Currently a hot topic, socks both practical and fashionable can be found alongside branded underwear.
Luggage and bags – Bought too much to carry home? Never fear as Temple Street Night Market has the solution to that too with it’s wide range of luggage and bag stalls. Get everything from a full size hard shell suitcase down to a small backpack, in a wide range of styles and colors.
Fortune Tellers at Temple Street Night Market
There is a long tradition of fortune telling in and around temples, and this has extended now into the Temple Street Night Market were fortune tellers await.
Each fortune teller has a small stall with a table and chair and posters put up explaining his methods. A variety of methods of fortune telling are used including examination of the hands, ears and use of Chinese astrology. Some of the fortune tellers have sufficient English to give a reading to tourists, check with them first before joining a queue! Signs up in English at there stall normally indicate a willingness to do a reading in English.
A little further along the road, turning right again, is into the area where the Opera Singer tents are located.
Cantonese Opera at Temple Street Night Market
Outside the main Temple Street Night market, but still inside Temple Street but just outside the Tin Hau Temple itself, and around the corner from the fortune tellers, is the Opera Singing area.
Cantonese Opera is a unique singing style with its own musical system which is quite different from other types of music. Here in Temple Street enthusiastic amateur signers congregate to practice and perform. Although they may collect donations they are not really busking but are mostly there to encourage and develop their hobby.
You will see amateurs of all levels of skill, from the quite basic to professional quality. In the past some singers from Temple Street have gone on to have professional careers in Opera and other forms.
Performances can be heard from around 8:30pm until 11:00 most nights, but not including Wednesday as this is Horse Race Day.
Hotel nearby Temple Street Night Market
Being near the heart of Kowloon the night market is surrounded by a wide range of accommodation choices, to staying within easy walking distance of the market is not just possible but a great idea. Whether you are looking for luxury, budget or something in between you’ll find hotel and guesthouses all along the nearby roads.
For those on a longer stay in Hong Kong there are also serviced apartments and other longer term choices available which are close enough to use the night market as your dining room and eat here every day!
If you would rather stay in a different part of the region and visit as and when you feel the need for hot tasty food then try one of the other hotels in Tsimshatsui which are still within easy striking distance of the night market using some of the excellent public transport for which Hong Kong is justly famed.
A 3 Hotel – A brand new hotel right in the centre of the market.
“Best Hotel” – Yes, really the name of the hotel, find out more about Best Hotel.
CHI Residences – For those wanting to spend more time, for weeks or months, then a serviced apartment such as those offered by CHI Residences may be just the thing.
Eaton Hotel – A well established business hotel managed by the luxury Langham group, it’s just around the corner from the market.
Hotel Madera – Located off Nathan Road just opposite the entrance to the Night Market at end of Cheong Lok Street.
Rainbow Hotel – Formerly known as Chung Hing Hotel this recently refurbished tower hotel is on nearby Saigon Street.
Nathan Hotel – Recently renovated this well known hotel is literally across the road, Nathan Road, from the Temple Street Night Market entrance.