A former wet market turned fabric bazaar
A lone Edwardian survivor amidst towering office buildings, the red brick Western Market is the oldest original surviving market building in Hong Kong. Formerly there were two separate blocks, South Block and North Block, of which only the Northern block remains today.
Dating back to 1906, Western Market was declared a monument in 1990 when it was ceased to be used as a wet market. It was refurbished and has since become one of the more successful examples of adaptive re-use in Hong Kong, maintaining the original features and reporting consistently high occupancy rates.
The real draw of Western Market is the second-floor fabric market, where you can find a great selection of Chinese brocades, Thai printed silk, wool, cotton poplin and canvas upholstery fabrics. It is more expensive than the fabric markets in Sham Shui Po (try our Sham Shui Po walk) but the quality of the selection is, on the whole, much better.
Fancy architectural highlights
Check out the wide staircases, stained glass windows, high granite arches and the ‘red/white bandaged brickwork’ on the façade.
You may wonder why a market building had such elaborate design details? It was originally built to house Hong Kong’s Harbour Office and only later became a market.