I Love Hong Kong: Mong Kok

If you know me by now, it’s pretty obvious that I am a devoted Forever 21 shopper junkie. I may be twice as old as 21, but that sure the heck doesn’t stop me. Pretty much over 80% of my wardrobe very well may be from Forever 41–op 21! It used to be when I needed a day to chill out, I’d head down to Causweway Bay (20-30 minutes away) and hit the 6 story Forever 21. With that vacated, if I want my fix, I must head over to Mong Kok for the three story Forever 21 that remains in Hong Kong. That’s ok. I love Mong Kok, and even though it’s a little over an hour away, it’s always fun to head to the chaos.

Mong Kok, a neighborhood on Kowloon side that’s even crazier and busier than any neighborhood on the island. But I love it. I love Mong Kok! I did something very, very different this time around for my I love Hong Kong series: I just brought my camera along with me and simply asked strangers to take my picture. That’s right! I’d walk up to people and ask them to take my picture. Hong Kong folks are pros at the selfie, so it didn’t even phase them when I asked.

I will say that this Forever 21, with its three stories, and despite being in the highly dense Mong Kok, is an amazingly calm Forever 21. I have never had to wait for a dressing room, there’s always space to move about, and even though it’s further away, it’s a very manageable shop. The folks over there even know me!

After a thorough look around my store, I head across the street to check out another favorite of mine: NYX Cosmetics. Again, the girls here are so kind. They always help me find something to buy! (I don’t think it’s too hard. I’m definitely easy bait!!)

Now for some of the cultural and very fun bits of Mong Kok. These are the red packets meant for lai see at Chinese New Year. Let me translate–money! Given to anyone younger than yourself. So, if I were a celebrating CNY with my family, I’d be doling out all the cash! I’m the oldest of five with six nephews and nieces; I’d only receive packets from my folks….

These stores, filled with the goods needed at Chinese New Year, are found all over–all year long. Lai see is also given out at weddings too.

Lots of peeps….

I seriously need to ask someone what these tripods are all about, but this is my guess based on what I witness every time I walk down this street. I think there may be two purposes. First, some of the vendors take pictures for people. But this activity seems rare compared to the next. Tons of people, I mean tons, simply sing their own little karaoke hearts out. It’s rather hilarious–without being disrespectful of course. And some of these folks must have true fans because there are always audiences. I’ll have to investigate a bit more to see if my two theories are correct. Hey, maybe I should try a gig of singing. Just kidding! I’m tone deaf.

This is an example of a building under renovation. The entire site will have bamboo scaffolding built around it. This is a very, very common sight seen all over Hong Kong. For such a modern city, the bamboo scaffolding is always a surprise; but hey, if it works, it works!

There you have it: Mong Kok.
Yes, it has one of my favorite stores, but even so, I love going there anyway. There’s always something new to see and learn about Hong Kong!

(Visited 32 times, 2 visits today)
  • Cindy

    I’ve been accused of loving chaos! I’d love to shop with you there! You drew me in with your awesome pics!

    • Can you believe all strangers took my pictures!? That’s the part that cracks me up. I’ll be doing it again for sure.

      A x

  • Judy Gramith

    WOW!! Those are some crowded streets! Definitive hustle & bustle!
    I love your photo technique for this post. Your guest photographers got some very cool “walking and being” with the crowd shots. The post had movement and feeling and captured the energy of the streets.
    Good heavens Annie! I can’t imagine a 6 story Forever 21!! Even the three story one is overwhelming!! I can certainly understand how you could spend several hours there!
    The patch work print top your wearing here is really cute. Your whole outfit is casual-funky and perfect for a day of shopping. Does Gigi like Forever 21? Did you buy anything that day?

    • The top is of course from Forever 21. Let’s see…what did I get on this day….? I bought a fuzzy, cozy, bright white v-neck sweater. I bought I very boho jumpsuit that you’ll see real soon from our travels to Luang Prabang over Chinese New Year. Hmmmm, ooh! I bought some sleek, rose pink, skinny cateye glasses that are waiting to be used! And….Oh! I bought a floral blazer that I can’t wait to style. I love Forever 21. As if I needed any of the above!

      Hmmm, does Gigi like Forever 21? She likes the tees I always pick up for her. She’s a comfort gal, so if it’s not comfortable, she’ll have no part of it. She doesn’t take after me in this area at all. Although she definitely has her very own sporty style.

      Yes, my old haunt had 6 stories. It was wonderful. I’m on my own this weekend, so I might head to Mong Kok again. It’s my version of hiking! Hahah!

      Love, Annie

  • seƱora allnut

    I love some busy streets and lively atmosphere!, but I think I could feel overwhelmed after a while.
    Really amazing neighborhood! Thanks for sharing!