Stanley Market in the Rain
Yes, more rain, but not that, that’s unexpected, well this is HK in the summer. I was expecting to lose anything up to half this trip to bad weather, but that’s what shopping is for.
Anyhow, the last time I visited Stanley Market was a little over 10 years ago, and yes that was also a wet day, but worse than this time, as it was the beginning of a typhoon.
So, with the rain, the plan which was to head out to Lamma Island for some exploration, had to be postponed, as walking in the open while its pouring with rain is not something I really look forward to.
Stanley market for those who are not aware, is a street market located on the far side of the island in Stanley.
Now for the question, how to get there?
The options are, taxi or bus, as there is no MTR within walking distance, so me being me, and the rain being very heavy, I decided to take the first option.
With my liking of the Star Ferry, and starting the day Kowloon side of the harbor, after fuelling up with breakfast, I jumped on the ferry to the Island, and got a taxi from the ferry wharf.
Yes, HK taxis are cheaper than they are back home, but still its $140, which even with the exchange rate of 5:1 sounds expensive. Oh well, at least its quick at about half an hour, and I arrived dry.
One thing to note about HK taxis, is the majority do not take credit cards, which in some cases can be annoying, but if you plan for it, it’s not a problem. Although it’s something I would like to see change, come on, if Singapore can do it, HK most definitely can
The dry part was about to change, as exiting the taxi, I took the banner at the top of this page, through the window, it was that nasty fine rain that soaks you quick, yuk 🌧️
The markets are in a T shape, so down to the far end, and take a left, and start the hunt for bargains.
Speaking of bargains, I did not have a list or even any real ideas on what I was looking for, but with my liking for Chinese art, and the history of buying from this market, I was sure something would call me.
Now this being back memories, little has changed, and even in the rain, its more or less dry in here, just watch out for the drips. And that warnings from first-hand experience 😉
Wandering down checking out the shops, the first one which drew me in was selling all sorts of metal statues and seemed to be higher quality, than some I have seen. You know the feeling when you see a display and it looks better than the usual Tourist traps with very cheap offerings.
After spending a while looking around in that store, I decided on a small monkey statue, and having been born in the year of the monkey, it was a good addition to my collection.
The staff member in this shop was friendly, allowed me to take the above photo, had good communication, and most importantly for me, was not even slightly pushy, we had a chat on what I liked, where I came from, and some memories from my many previous visits, etc.
That’s a big positive for the markets, not a single pushy salesperson so far.
Moving on, I checked out a few other shops, but nothing drew my attention until I came across one selling art, and again the quality pulled me in.
Talking to the staff, it seems they had been in the Markets for decades, and it’s very likely I had bought from them in the past, and even found several paintings very similar to some I already own.
Again, I spent some serious time looking at what they had and made several purchases, including one unusual one painted on cork.
I was a little concerned about how to get them home without any damage, however the staff packed them very well for me, so all should be ok.
* SM-S908E, 6.4mm, f1.8, 1/100s,
(GPS: 22° 13' 8.19" N, 114° 12' 45.67" E)
Shock horror, by the time I emerged from the markets the rain had finally stopped.
Now the rain may have stopped, but venturing outside, they sky is looking very ominous. So thinking to myself, that there must be more to stanley than the market, and from memory I know the market was close to the ocean, so I picked a direction and headed off, keeping an eye on the sky hoping to avoid getting drowned.
Interesting I ended up on the waterfront, and surprise surprise there is a walk heading along the shore.
Which after some research it seems there is a coastal walk which goes all the way around the island to Kennedy Town, and yes thats quite a distance at about 35km.
Now I would normally consider doing this walk, and yes even in the 35c with horrible humidity, but today the weather gods where annoyed at me, so this was not something for today. 35km in the rain is not something I would call fun. 🥵
If time and the weather gods allow, that walk is going to happen, yes sounds like madness, but walking is my thing. 🚶
Now remember earlier I talked about the options to get to the markets from Central, well now I needed to get back there, but this time, as the rain had stopped, so I made the decision to take the bus.
Yes really, the bus.
Now there is some thinking behind this, put simply get on the bus and see more of the island as the route is far from the direct path the taxi takes, plus these buses are double decker, so the upper deck views are well worth it.
So, the bus it is, and I managed to get the ideal seat, on the upper deck right at the front.
This is the first time I had been on any HK bus for several decades, and the experience was good, they are air conditioned and just as comfortable as those back home.
One thing to note, is on the trip back, the driver exhibited some serious skill in getting a bus this big down narrow roads, past trucks, other buses and just about everything else you can think of.
The result, I would recommend that any visitors to the markets take the bus for at least one of the directions, you see more this way.
As for the markets, well, there are changes since my first visit, but not as much as expected, and the total lack of pushy salespersons is excellent, not that this was ever much of a problem here.
In short the markets are well worth a visit. Just be aware that they can get very crowded on the weekends, so I would visit midweek and late morning if at all possible.
Anyhow, the daily stats are: 19,344 which Samsung health tells me is around 15km.