Hong Kong’s most pampered pets are not typically the four-legged variety. In fact man’s best friend comes in a small package, convenient in a city where space can be scarce.
Located in Mongkok on the Kowloon Peninsula is the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden. Most active in the morning men take their feathered friends in bamboo cages for walks here. They stop to chat with one another hanging the cages in trees or on a fence and compare the warbles of their songbirds.
The garden is flanked by Hong Kong’s premiere bird market. It makes for an interesting place to stroll and take in a little Chinese culture where songbirds are prized among pet owners. Dozens of stalls line two long narrow alleyways filled with a variety of songbirds and a smaller selection of boisterous parrots. Birds are often chosen for how they sound, not how they look.
The market also sells food and accessories. Live crickets are sold in clear plastic bags. Pampered birds are fed the creatures with chopsticks. Rows of bamboo and teak cages are displayed along with blue and white pottery food and water dishes.
To get to the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden and bird market take the MTR to the Prince Edward Station. On the way you’ll pass though a large outdoor flower market. Here is a map. The market is open daily from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.