The tradition of night markets in Hong Kong reaches back to the days when the region first became a major trading centre. The days were hot, and with no air conditioning back then, the best time to go shopping was in the evening. Night markets were located throughout Hong Kong though over time and re-development schemes the markets disappeared one by one.
Temple Street Night Market is the last remaining example of a traditional Hong Kong night market. It has been a fixture of the Jordan/Yau Ma Tei District since the 1920’s and perhaps even before. The market takes its name from the nearby Tin Hau Temple and you may have seen it as a backdrop in a number of movies.
People visit to buy inexpensive goods from bags, fashions and accessories, or jewellery, trinkets, electronics and gadgets. Plentiful delicious street foods tease any passerby whether its a feast of snacks, noodles or congee that is all served well into the wee hours.
The market is a popular place for visitors and locals alike to congregate in the evenings. Various forms of entertainment are common while you meander up and down the buzzing street. Expect to find mystic fortunetellers or tarot card readers from whom you can receive glimpses into your future. There is a long tradition of fortune telling in and around temples tho’ the fortunetellers are not located inside the market.
The fortunetellers and tarot card readers are closer to the Temple itself as they have always been. Simply walk along Temple Street Night Market northwards, go past Yau Ma Tei Library until you reach the Temple gardens.
A variety of methods are used including the examination of hands or ears and the use of Chinese astrology. Be sure your fortuneteller knows sufficient English or you may leave a bit confused. Personally, I find Eastern philosophies fascinating so I’d go just to satisfy my curiosity.
After you know your good fortune continue up the road and turn right into an area where the opera singer tents are located. In the tents, you’ll find opera singers who perform Cantonese Opera. If you’re unfamiliar, Cantonese Opera is a unique singing style with its own music genre which is different than what you and I know.
Amateur singers come together to practice and perform in order to encourage one another and develop their craft. You’ll find amateurs from all skill levels, from professional quality to beginners. It’s said that a few singers from Temple Street have gone on to professional careers in Opera Houses. You can listen to the opera singers from 8:30 pm until 11 pm most nights except Wednesdays.
Hong Kong is the epitome of a modern metropolis. Hidden away in Temple Street you’ll find a thriving cross-section of traditional and modern Hong Kong culture, cuisine, commerce and society that you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Temple Street Night Market is an enduring example of theatre and festivity of a traditional Chinese market. And, it’s on show nightly.
Gallery of Photos of Temple Street Night Market
Where Is Temple Street Night Market? Temple Street Night Market GPS Coordinates :: 22°18’21.20″ N 114°10’11.53″ E MTR Yau Ma Tei Station, Exit C, turn onto Temple Street at Man Ming Lane; or, MTR Jordan Station, Exit A. Turn right onto Jordan Road and then take another right onto Temple Street.
Map Showing the Location of Temple Street Night Market