Monday, February 04, 2008

Hong Kong's street markets under threat

Is it time to move on from the photo scandal yet? I hope so...

One of the best things about Hong Kong is how you can step out of a modern shopping mall in Central after buying your latest designer label goods and in a few minutes find yourself in a bustling street market, stepping though puddles made by live fish swimming in their polystyrene boxes.

The traditional street markets are not immune to change, though, and there is conflicting opinion in Hong Kong as to how best to deal with them.

Some say the government simply wants to 'clean up' the streets and get rid of the traditional markets, whilst the official line from the Urban Renewal Authority is that if the government doesn't modernise the markets and manage them properly, they face being eroded bit by bit, over time.

To be honest some markets e.g. in Mong Kok can be quite a drag to walk around at the most crowded, peak times but I love the feel of a traditional streetmarket. I hope whatever happens that they don't destroy that unique atmosphere.

The SCMP reports:

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