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Hong Kong is considered by some to be the shopping capital of the world. Two factors translate this bold claim into reality. Firstly, all goods, other than alcohol and tobacco, are tax-free. Secondly, there is an unparalleled concentration of high-quality goods and vigorous competition. The customer is king here, and with credit card in hand you can rule this shopping empire like nowhere else on earth.

Best buys include jewellery and wrist watches, especially pieces using gold, jade and pearl; and custom clothing and haute couture. Electronics, gadgets, and audio-visual gear like cameras and ipods are not the deals they once were, but you may still find some good prices.

The most popular shopping districts in Hong Kong include Causeway Bay, which contains giant department stores like Sogo and WTC More; the Central district, with high-end boutiques and haute couture; the Admiralty, with a number of shopping malls; and the Peak area, which has an abundance of souvenir shops and brand-name stores. Mongkok is the place to go for bargain shopping on clothing and electronics, but be aware of what you're buying as many products do not come with warranties.

The contrast between the gleaming modern stores and old-world markets gives variety and excitement to a Hong Kong shopping experience. Don't miss Stanley Market's historic fishing lanes, filled with vendors selling Chinese handicrafts and silk creations (a great place to buy gifts and souvenirs). Yuen Po Street's melodious Bird Garden is a magnet for songbird owners, while Hong Kong's Flower Market is a bright and busy scene that makes for wonderful photo opportunities. The Ladies' Market in Tung Choi Street is renowned for its handbags, but the touts are just as famous for their pushiness. Other great markets include the Temple Street Night Market, and Jardine's Crescent. There are several regular Hong Kong weekend markets that have great shopping opportunities as well.

If you have any problems, queries or disputes, hang on to your receipts and call the Consumer Council Hotline on +852 2929 2222 for assistance.

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