The structure housing the market is classified as a Grade III Historic Building, consisting of several blocks of weathered two storey brick and stone buildings that seem like they are going to crumble any moment. Such classification means the building is of some merit but is not yet qualified for consideration as buildings for which preservation efforts should be made. This explains why the structure remains in such dire dilapidated conditions. Other historical artifacts are the Pre-World War II signboards attached on the outer walls of the buildings.
There are around 270 fruit stalls in the entire Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market, supplying fresh fruits not only in the city but also in other parts of the world. As if matching the ancient look of the structure, most of the traders here are still using abacuses for their transactions, giving first time visitors the feeling that they just have stepped back in time.
Despite having a reputation as a haven for drugs, gambling and gang fights years ago, the place is now relatively safe for tourists. The best time to visit and experience the Hong Kong market life is during its busiest hours, around 4 to 6 o'clock in the morning. During this time, fresh produce are delivered to the fruit stalls via lorries and carts pushed by burly tattooed men.