The Hong Kong flower market is part of a collection of markets in Mongkok that are focused around a single product or theme; these include the Bird Market and the Goldfish Market, the latter selling a selection of animals.
Like the Goldfish Market, the Hong Kong Flower Market isn’t really a market in the traditional sense of the word. It is actually a long street, and several side streets, of shops, several dozen at least. There is, however, a market atmosphere, with most of the shops stuffing the sidewalk in front of their shops with flower displays.
It's a jungle of greenery with row upon row of flowers brought in fresh from across the border that morning as well as more exotic blooms jetted in from Holland and Japan. It’s impressive sight and the whole street is painted in colourful blooms and wafting fragrances. Alongside the usual roses and tulips you’ll find many flowers and plants considered lucky in Chinese culture, such as orchids, mandarin trees and bonsai trees.
The market has a rich history. Chinese flower sellers first started clustering here around the turn of the century when British control ran only as far as Boundary Road. They would flog their flowers to fresh from the boast Europeans for a handsome price. Many of the florists are still family run and have been shifting flowers for decades.
It's longevity is thanks to the importance of flowers in Chinese celebrations, especially Chinese New Year when flocks of locals throng the street to pick the most colourful bouquets and get their hands on a prized mandarin tree. It’s during Chinese New Year and other festivals when the market is particularly worth a visit; families cram the road wobbling under the weight of their premium bouquets and it is the best time to soak up the streets market atmosphere.
Festivals aside, business is tough for the flower sellers; a combination of increasing rents, fines for placing displays too far into the street and an appetite from locals for less traditional gifts at festival time. Tourists can occasionally be given a hard time by got-out-of-bed-the-wrong-side grumpy florists but just keep snapping pictures and walk away.
The market runs 7 days a week between 9:30am and 7ish and, as mentioned above, the best time to visit is during a festival period. While bouquets are not expensive you can bag a bargain near closing time when florists will often sell off blooms that are set to wilt soon.
Found on Flower Market Road the best way to get here is to walk from Mongkok MTR station. There probably isn’t much more than an hour of strolling in a visit to the Flower Market, unless you’re really looking to buy, and a visit here is well combined with a look at the Goldfish Market and the Bird Market which are both nearby.