I love Hong Kong.

Started Mar 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
Don Ellis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,762
Re: I love Hong Kong.

Lewis offers some good advice, beginning with "Don't ever purchase electronic goods on Nathan Road in Tsimshatsui. Ever. Never. In your life." (Ok, I paraphrased.)

For 15 years, I purchased my gear from Photo Scientific on Stanley Street near the intersection of D'Aguilar Street. But I had two problems with them a couple of years ago and someone recommended Mirama Camera further up Stanley Street near Lyndhurst Terrace. Even not knowing me at the time of my first purchase, they gave me a price lower than Photo Scientific where I'd been a loyal customer for so many years.

So Mirama is where I shop ... you can ask for Benny, but everyone in the shop is friendly. Don't be surprised to find that they're a little hole-in-the-wall shop, but they have lots more than you might imagine, including some used gear. And they've been in business over 30 years.

I don't shop in Mongkok simply because it's further away and I'm not that familiar with the shops, but Man Shing and Wing Shing always get pretty good reviews. A photographer friend of mine shops there all the time and recommends the area.

Remember that if you're buying cameras in Hong Kong you're normally going to get a Hong Kong warranty, not an international warranty. There may be international warranties for lenses. Just be sure to check out the warranty -- and the last thing you want to see is a store warranty from some off-the-wall camera shop ("Just bring it back to us if you have trouble.") for a parallel-imported item.

The Canon Showroom is in iSquare in Tsimshatsui across from Chung King Mansions (which you must go in just to absorb some local, international flavor -- several good Indian restaurants inside and they're all fine. There are also money exchanges and a Western Union in there, plus guest accommodations for the budget traveller).

Here's the address to the showroom. Once you're in iSquare, the first thing to do is find an information desk and ask how to get to the lifts ... it's not obvious at all:

iSQUARE Showroom Address:
20/F, iSQUARE, 63 Nathan Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Opening Hours:
Monday – Sunday 11:00am – 7:00pm (Close on Public Holiday)
Telephone No: (852) 3191 2333

The showroom will let you try any lens you like, but you have to use their cameras, not your own. You can, however, put your own CF or SD card in their camera -- just remember to check the camera out to make sure it's shooting like you want ... meaning RAW, for example, and not just JPG, which most of the cameras are set for. If you're unfamiliar with the camera operation, just ask the person helping you. They'll be glad to do it.

Come to think of it, I may not not get to Mongkok/Mong Kok too often, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. At one time it was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most densely populated place on earth. And it's still got a lot of people, so it's worth seeing. Ask about Fish Street (not its real name) where all the tropical fish are sold. And visit the Night Market (at night, of course) on Temple Street ... you can easily find it by getting out at the Yau Ma Tei subway station and asking.


Final note on spelling: Cantonese is a monosyllabic language: each character is one sound. So it's Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok (actually Wong Gok, but that's another story), and Yau Ma Tei -- but you'll see them written together: Tsimshatsui, Mongkok, Yaumatei. All the same place.

Final note on money: Hong Kong has three money-printing banks and each bank creates its own bill designs. So we have bills for $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1000 -- but there may be three different designs for each denomination. It doesn't mean you're being cheated ... don't worry too much. If you want a quick way to figure out American dollars, just mentally divide Hong Kong dollars by 8 ... you'll be close enough.

Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world -- enjoy yourself and explore anywhere you like, day or night.

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