If you’ve never set foot in Mong Kok, have you even been to Hong Kong?
Aptly known as ‘the crowded corner’ in Cantonese, Mong Kok is the busiest and most crowded district in Hong Kong, and in the world. With an average of 130,000 people per square kilometre, it is the Guinness World Record holder for the world's most densely populated place.
Walking through the streets of this bustling district, you’ll see that it’s a melting pot of old and new as you stroll past sparkly multi-storey skyscrapers and gritty, weather beaten residential buildings existing harmoniously side by side.
The neighbourhood is truly a place for anyone and everyone. The only thing is – it can get pretty overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.
So, without further ado, read on for our guide to one of Hong Kong’s liveliest districts, where we’ve broken down where to go and what to do according to your personality!
For the foodies
Mong Kok is the place to go if you’re after a Hong Kong delicacy – street food. Walk along Fa Yuen Street and Dundas Street and you’ll find hordes of people outside the dozens of food vendors lined along the streets.
For beginners, ease yourself into the full ‘sou gai’ (掃街) experience with skewers of curry fish balls, grilled squid tentacles and siu mai. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, surprise your taste buds with items such as stinky tofu, fried pig intestines and beef offal stew.
For days when you want to avoid the summer heat and rain, your next best bet would be Argyle Centre. Head to the food square on the first and second floor to enjoy dishes like takoyaki, handrolls, crepes and Taiwanese beverages.
For the hipsters
It’s not always easy being a hipster in Hong Kong. While Sheung Wan district used to be the hipster hang out of choice, neighbouring Sham Shui Po has undergone significant revitalization by young creatives in recent years, which has led many of them to open artsy cafes and independent stores in the Mong Kok area.
Nowadays, you can find lots of cafes hidden within Mong Kok’s antiquated buildings, perfect for get-togethers with friends or enjoying an Instagrammable charcoal latte. With its charming 50s Hong Kong decor and their quirky cafe menu, Loyi Faateng is one of our favourites. Don’t miss out on a slice of their chocolate lava cake, you won’t be disappointed!
With a little research, you’ll also find countless indie thrift stores tucked away in old commercial buildings, selling everything from the odd decorative knick-knack, vintage clothing, vinyl records, books, you name it, it can be quite the treasure hunt! One particular building worth checking out is located at 66 Sai Yeung Choi Street South. On various floors throughout the building, you’ll find a film camera shop, an indie bookstore, a vintage and antique shop and more. The difficult part is walking away without spending too much money!
Mong Kok is also one of the most photogenic neighbourhoods in Hong Kong.
Simply walk around its streets to take in the fascinating sights of people going about their daily business, the splashes of graffiti and the beaming neon lights and flamboyant billboards that come to life at night. Doing street photography around the neighbourhood can be a fun alternative experience.
For the geeks and gamers
The Sino Centre in Mong Kok is the place to go for all your game and manga needs. Despite being just a three-storey mall, there is more than enough to see when every shop window display is filled with magazines, mangas, comics, toys and figurines.
If you want the full Japanese experience, head upstairs to the maid cafes on the third floor and be welcomed by waitresses in cosplay maid outfits. When travelling is out of the question, Mong Kok is your gateway for a little taste of Japan.
For the pet lovers
Goldfish Market on Tung Choi Street is one of the more unusual streets in Hong Kong. As the name suggests, Goldfish Market is lined with stores selling pets of all types from your standard goldfish and other marine creatures to reptiles and puppies.
While we do encourage everyone to adopt from a local shelter rather than buy a pet from a pet store, Goldfish Market is the go-to for stocking up on pet supplies! And of course, walking down the street looking at all the different animals is a great way to spend an hour or two!
But that’s not all! Pet cafés have been growing in popularity over the years. So, if you just can’t get enough of being around adorable little animals, have a drink at one of the many cat and dog cafés located in Mong Kok.
Langham Place is another popular spot, especially for families looking to spend a day in Mong Kok or those looking to escape the sweltering heat in the summer time.
There are over a dozen floors filled with stores and restaurants selling absolutely everything, as well as a cinema and an arcade. Besides the dozens of restaurants dotted throughout the mall, the food court offers a range of different cuisines from dim sum to Japanese ramen and trendy Korean meals.
For freelancers, remote workers and students
At first glance, you wouldn’t categorize Mong Kok as a business district. But hidden behind its busy street facade, you’d find several coworking spaces dotted throughout the area providing a peaceful environment designed for studying and working, a welcome change of scenery from the usual chaos of the neighbourhood.
One such coworking space is Desk One. We love the café-like of its reading lounge, individual cubicles, private rooms and a common lounge area, not to mention the incredible view overlooking Mong Kok! What’s more, it’s fully equipped with locker service and offers free snacks and beverages, electronic rentals and printing services.
Love the urbaneness and easy accessibility of Mong Kok but still need a tranquil space to get some work done?
You can now book a desk, meeting or multifunctional room at any of the coworking spaces listed above through BOOQED. Download the app on Android and iOS to make the most out of your trip to the most multifaceted district in Hong Kong!