Friday, December 26, 2008

Bargain Bazaar

This afternoon we checked out The 43rd Hong Kong Brands & Products Expo held in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay.

I don't normally check out these kinds of fairs, but it was a way to kill some time in the afternoon.

After paying a HK$10 entrance fee, we were inundated by the scale of the bazaar and the number of people in it.

Practically covering the entire area of the park, booths were set up everywhere in rows and organized into categories like "Hong Kong Brands Square", "Living & Household Zone", "Beauty & Healthcare Zone" and "Fashion & Stylish Products Zone".

But we first encountered the "Food & Beverage Zone" with vendors shouting out to people to try a variety of snacks for sale, from fish balls to slices of pancakes filled with jam and drinks. Luckily there were lots of garbage cans around for people to dump their trash.

There were also lots of food demonstrations from how to best use knives from Henckel, to buying XO sauce from Lee Kum Kee (three jars for HK$200), and Pei Pa Koh, a kind of Chinese herbal cough syrup that apparently had some bird's nest in it. We sampled it but didn't find any of the Chinese delicacy in the plastic cup.

However, we got a good deal at the Sun Shun Fuk stand that is known for its noodles. They were selling four bowls of instant noodles for HK$60 and we bought eight and the woman threw in several other packages of noodles and udon.

We won't have anymore hunger pangs in the middle of the night anymore.

Apart from the food stalls, there were others selling homeware, like plates and bowls, vacuum cleaners and even heated toilet seats from Korea.

But the fashion section was disappointing, with booths selling lots of fleece or winter jackets, strands of pearls that seemed too good to be real, and shoes that were not quite stylish.

On the whole it was quite crowded, but things went relatively smoothly as long as you were patient and willing to take your time. After about an hour we had had enough and just before we left, spied a statue of Queen Victoria, after whom the park is named.

The public space is best known as the place where candlelight vigils are held to remember the victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre and usually the start place of protests.

I remember many years ago sitting above the park at the Park Lane Hotel and looking down during the Mid-Autumn Festival, and seeing it completely it with candles and lights, creating a beautiful, luminous atmosphere.

1 comment:

ks said...

the chinese life is dominated by food. this is another example. the focus of the fair is mainly to promate ready made food and cook wares, household products. it was too crowded and noisy fitting for a bargain bazaar.