Jade is a very auspicious stone in Chinese culture. It has been associated with long life and good health for ages, making it a prized material for jewelry and charms. Jade Market, on the junction of Kansu and Battery Streets in Yau Ma Tei, is where the jade trade is most active in Hong Kong.
Dubbed as the biggest outdoor market in Kowloon, the Jade Market is comprised of more than 400 booths selling different kinds of jade items from jewelry, Buddha statues and other trinkets made from the stone. However, expect to find non-jade goods as well, such Chinese fans, chopsticks, feng shui accessories and other fancy stuff.
Jade comes in a variety of colours from deep green to yellow, brown and white. Finest quality jade is pure green in colour and is very expensive. Such item also usually come with a certificate that indicates its grade. Be warned that the stones sold in the Jade Market are usually not of the highest quality so it is wise not to buy high-priced items from unknown vendors unless you know how authentic jade looks like.
Don't be fooled by a jade's color as it is very easy to enhance a low-quality jade by using dyes to make it look high-grade. Just bear in mind that the Jade Market is a great place for cheap gifts and souvenirs that you can take back home. For authentic jade jewelry, go to established jewelry stores in the malls.
Expect a bit of shouting and yelling at the Jade Market as some vendors will try to get shoppers attention to check out their stall and buy their wares.
Try to haggle down prices before making a purchase. That's one of the charms of the Jade Market, you can take home items way below their original asking price! Be warned that some vendors hike up their good's prices to shoppers who look like foreign tourists. Don't be gullible and try to bargain, if the vendor does not give you the price you want, simply walk away and look for another stall.
Near the entrance of the market is a jade stone weighing three tonnes. It marks an area of Canton Road known as Jade Street. Also nearby is Temple Street, the location of the busiest night market in Hong Kong where hundreds of carts sell cheap products such as electronic goods, clothing, fake jewelry, souvenirs and even adult toys. Stalls here are open from around 2pm to midnight. There are also stalls, similar to dai pai dong, selling a variety of street foods.
How to get to the Jade Market: Take MTR and get off at Yau Ma Tei Station. Take Exit C. Walk along Nathan Road to Kansu Street.