Marvel, Star Wars, Transformers, Playstation, Xbox, Apple, iPhone, Galaxy S’s, Nvidia…if any of these names pique any kind of interest for you, then Hong Kong is definitely a mecca that will satisfy any of your geeky hobbies…
Let it be known that I also love everything on this list…be it video games, superhero movies or the overwhelming urge to get your hands on the latest in hi-tech gear, every time I am in Hong Kong, I find myself running to the malls dedicated to all my hobbies.
Mongkok and its surrounding areas on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong is a haven for fanboys, geeks, nerds, tech savvy shoppers and street fashion connoisseurs alike.
For a walkthrough and comprehensive guide of three of the most popular malls for gaming, toys, phones and computers check the video and article below…
The Sino Centre
(582-592 Nathan Road, Mongkok)
A dream for lovers of Comi-Con. You’ll find the Sino Centre on Nathan Road, in-between Mongkok and Yau Ma Tei MTR stations. This is the epicentre for all things related to gaming, comics, cosplay and action figures. You will also find just about everything cute (and some things not so cute) imported out of Japan, Korea and China here.
Whether you are looking for the latest PS4 games or a life size replica of Iron Man’s head, there is something here to please almost any fanboy. For some reason it’s not easy to buy video games in Hong Kong, or the selection is usually lacking in many of the bigger electronics chains. It’s a safe bet, however that the Sino Centre will carry whatever you are looking for, come release date (or sometimes even before).
The three-story mall consists of densely packed booths. The cramped spaces leads to the products sold being piled onto each other or spilling out of the store into the hallways.
The owners here are excellent in English and knowledgeable about what they sell. For some of your bigger purchases (as with many of the malls such as these) it is possible to bargain…if you pay in cash. Better deals come to those who buy more. A standard 3% fee is tacked on to any purchase if you decide to pay with a credit card.
If you can’t find what you are looking for at the Sino Centre, you might want to try your luck at Superman Toys on the 2nd floor of the CTMA Centre on the corner of Nathan and Dundas Street also in Mongkok.
Sin Tat Plaza
(83 Argyle Street)
Just outside of the Mongkok MTR station due east on Argyle Street is the Sin Tat Plaza. The go to place for all things related to cell phones. Whether you are looking for the latest phone or just a case to protect it, then this is the place.
If you prone to accidentally dropping your phone or iPad, the Sin Tat Plaza has three floors dedicated to repairing, unlocking, buying or selling your communication devices. Some of the phones sold here I have never seen outside of Asia.
If you do decide to make a purchase, make sure to ask where the phone is from. Some phones are made specifically for a certain region. If you are from North America, a Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korean or Chinese made phone might not work to its fullest capabilities once you return home.
Some shop owners here do not speak English and will bust out their trusty calculator to haggle price. This is apparent as you travel deeper into the mall and as you ascend to the higher floors. The booths that do speak English however, are more than capable about knowing which phones work where.
Some stores often sell multiple versions of the same phone from different countries. If they don’t have what you are looking for then they usually run off for a couple of minutes returning from somewhere with what you want in-hand (I still have no idea where they go.)
Wan Chai Computer Centre
(8-8A Nelson Street)
Finally, if you are looking for that special computer part needed to repair your ailing PC or the latest and greatest video card to kick your gaming rig into overdrive, there is the Wan Chai Computer Centre.
Just outside the Wan Chai MTR station on Hong Kong side, this two-floor mall has everything you could possibly want relating to computers, computer gaming, hardware and software.
Sure, if you are looking for a brand new MacBook Pro, you’ll find it here…but if you’re also in the market for that special rumbling gaming chair that will output 8.1 stereo surround sound…well it’s also here as well.
There are also many booths which will build a desktop PC for you from scratch. The price lists are plastered all over the front, back and sides of the stores. If you can’t read Chinese, most booths I visited were very proficient in English.
If you wish to stay on the Kowloon side, there is also the Mongkok Computer Centre at 8A Nelson Street. While they carry essentially the same products and are competitively priced to Wan Chai, the Mongkok Computer Centre feels just a bit too cramped, which is why I prefer to make the extra trip to Wan Chai on the island side.
If your hobbies lies elsewhere…fear not. The avid photographers can visit the Sim City Camera Mall located at Shan Tung and Sai Yeung Choi Street South for camera equipment needs.
For the sneaker heads looking for that obscure limited edition Nike kicks, you’ll be happy to know that Hong Kong has an entire city block dedicated to just running shoes on Fa Yuen Street…both of which are also in Mongkok.
As you can probably see, if you are an hobbyist of any kind and are planning a trip to Hong Kong, then Mongkok should surely be on the top of your list of places to explore when travelling to the “Pearl of the Orient.”