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Mong Kok
Sai Yeung Choi Street South in Mong Kok
Chinese 旺角
Literal meaning flourishing/busy corner

Mong Kok or Mongkok (Chinese: 旺角; the English name is a transliteration of its older name 望角 or 芒角 which is pronounced "Mong Gok", and named after its plentiful supply of ferns in the past when it was a coastal region. Its present Chinese name "旺角" is pronounced "Wong Gok") is an area in the Yau Tsim Mong District on Kowloon Peninsula, Hong Kong, China. Before a 1994 merge, Mong Kok was part of the Mong Kok District.

The name in Chinese means "flourishing/busy corner". Recent road works revealed some antique potteries, indicating that there might be settlements that early as Jin Dynasty (265-420). [1]

The district is characterized by a mixture of old and new multi-story buildings, with shops and restaurants at street level and commercial or residential units above. Major industries in Mong Kok are retail, restaurants (including fast food) and entertainment.

Mong Kok's population density is extremely high, according to Guinness World Records, Mong Kok has the highest population density in the world (mean 130,000 per km2 or 340,000 per mi2) and with a development multiple of four.


History of Mong Kok

The area of Mong Kok has changed a lot over the years. The heart of the present-day Mong Kok was Ho Man Tin whilst the proper Mong Kok was north of it, near present-day Mong Kok East Station of MTR. With cultivated lands, it was bounded south by Argyle Street, west by Coronation Road (present-day Nathan Road), and east by the hills. To its south is Ho Man Tin and west Tai Kok Tsui. Stream from the hills east offered water for cultivation.

On 10 August 2008 the Cornwall Court fire broke out. More than 200 firefighters were involved in the rescue operation with 4 dead, including 2 fire fighters.[2]

Streets & Markets

HK Mong Kok view2008.jpg
Argyle Street in Mong Kok

Kowloon Tung Choi Street.jpg
HK FaYuenStreet SportsShops.jpg
Mong kok from above.jpg
Mong Kok seen from above

IMG 8849 Mongkok.jpg
Aeral view of Mong Kok

Mong Kok preserves its traditional characteristics with an array of markets, small shops, and food stalls that have already disappeared from other areas in Hong Kong over the past several decades of economic developments. As such, a few of these streets in Mong Kok have acquired interesting nicknames reflecting their own characteristics. Some interesting sites are:

  • Ladies' Street (女人街, Ladies' market on Tung Choi Street) - This market specializes in women's clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and the like. It is open daily from noon to 00.00 a.m. at Tung Choi Street on the east of Nathan Road. Typically, where there is a market, there are also food stalls selling noodles, seafood, and congee for mid-afternoon or late-night snacks. A grocery market is also located in the vicinity, quite convenient for housewives to buy fresh vegetables and pantyhose on the same trip.
  • Sai Yeung Choi Street South, (西洋菜南街) - A street full of shops selling consumer electronic products, comestics, and discount books, the last of which usually located on the lower floors above ground floor of buildings.
  • Temple Street (廟街, sometimes referred to as Men's Street), extending into Jordan, is also in the area, however, the area famous for the Hong Kong specific goods are only in the section between Yau Ma Tei and Jordan.
  • Bird Garden - Hundreds of songbirds in exquisitely crafted cages can be seen at this market, which is on the other side of Nathan Road on Yuen Po Street. The garden is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is close to Mong Kok East MTR Station and Mong Kok Stadium. Packed with booths selling birds, Hong Lok Street (Bird Street, 雀仔街) was closed as part of an urban renewal project in June 1998. The Garden was constructed by the government to accommodate some of the booths.
  • Fa Yuen Street (花園街, sometimes referred to as 波鞋街, which means Sneakers Street) - This is a small neighbourhood with many small retailers which sell sports equipment and clothing. It has a wide diversity of sports shoes, including many shoes of rare or special editions from different places.
  • Flower Market Road (花墟道) - This is a street market near the Mong Kok East MTR Station with lots of flower shops and street hawkers showing colourful displays, the sweet scents and the exotic blossoms of many houseplants.
  • Goldfish Market - There are a dozens shops and hawkers selling various tropical freshwater or marine fish near the MTR train station. Different types of aquarium equipments can also be found there. This market opens very early in the morning.
  • Tile Street - This is a section of Portland Street near Argyle Street and Bute Street with more than 50 retailers selling materials for construction or renovation, such as tiles, wall paper, window frames and bath tubs.
  • Photocopy Street (影印街) - A neighbourhood near Ho Man Tin is noted for having remarkable number of photocopying shops due to the number of schools in the vicinity. The students from those schools have creates a great demand for photocopying, mostly for copyrighted textbooks and class handout, in mass quantity.

Some popular shopping plazas are located in this dense area, including:

  • Sino Centre Arcade (信和中心) – In this plaza, there are many products about Japanese cartoons, such as Video CDs, DVDs, and comics. Beside that, there are shops selling music CD albums, including ones by Hong Kong, Japanese, and western pop singers.
  • Ho King Shopping Centre (好景商場)- In this plaza, you can find many products having to do with computer and video games. They are sold for relatively low prices compared with other shops. The fourth floor of the plaza is infamous for being formerly the biggest base of pornographic CDs and DVDs. These have recently been diminished in a large operation by the police and customs, although this action has driven some shops to the office section of the building, with the products and customers causing distress to female workers there.
Langham Place, 4th floor.
  • Grand Century Place (新世紀廣場) - This is a new plaza next to the Mong Kok East MTR station. Most of the famous-brand and popular shops can be found here.
  • Langham Place (朗豪坊)- This shopping mall/hotel/office complex opened in 2004 in central Mong Kok. Built according to the Hong Kong Government urban redevelopment scheme, and at 59 stories high, it is the tallest landmark in Mong Kok.
  • Argyle Centre (旺角中心) - This usually crowded centre, located next to the Mong Kok MTR station, has shops selling low-priced clothes and shoes.


The Mong Kok area has many curb-side "food-booths". Most of them sell traditional snacks such as fish balls, fried beancurd (tofu) and various dim sum. These snacks and "fingerfood" are very popular in Hong Kong, especially for folks on the run.

Many different kinds of cuisines, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and Thai food, can be found in the area.


Traffic congestion in Mong Kok.
Exit B1 of Prince Edward Station, with Exit C1 across Prince Edward Road West.

Mong Kok in popular culture

Mong Kok was the setting for the 2004 hit film One Night in Mongkok directed by Derek Yee. The movie portrays Mong Kok, one of the most densely populated places on Earth, as a hotbed of illicit activity. Similarly, the district was also the setting of the 1996 film Mongkok Story (旺角風雲) directed by Wilson Yip which depicts a young man who becomes involved in a Triad gang.[3][4] The literal Chinese title of the 1988 film As Tears Go By by Wong Kar-wai is "Mong Kok Carmen". Part of Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Supremacy was set in Mong Kok.

See also


  1. ^ Kan, Nelson Y. Y. and Tanf, Miranda K. L. New Journey Through History 1A. Published by Aristo Educational Press LTD. Chapter two, P.48.
  2. ^ Yahoo. "" Four dead as HK nightclub fire spreads. Retrieved on 28 August 2008.
  3. ^ IMDB. "" Wong Gok fung wan. Retrieved on 28 August 2008.
  4. ^ "" Mongkok story. Retrieved on 28 August 2008.

External links

This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.

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