Stumbling Upon an Off-the-Beaten-Path Fish Market in Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market may be the area’s claim to fame, however, local haunts hidden off-the-beaten path offer a more intimate look at local life. Wandering away from the busy water’s edge and sprawling wholesale market, I come across a large white building framed by a red awning. A stream of people enters and exits through a large open door. No signs mark the otherwise inconspicuous façade. Stepping into the building and down a flight of stairs, I find myself emerging into a dark, windowless interior. Within, a cramped space lit by fluorescent bulbs hosts a bustling fish market.
I am greeted by a cacophony of noises. An assortment of sea creatures splash in brightly coloured baskets, while hawkers haggle with prospective buyers. Red lamp shades cast a subdued glow as I make my way through the crowded, maze-like market.
Proprietors appear not to call out to passers-by to advertise their wares, rather, stall owners wait to catch the eye of a keen shopper. Few words but many gestures are exchanged as fish, snails, crabs and squids are weighed, wrapped in red plastic bags and handed over the counter — after accepting the agreed upon fee.
These tiny, tucked-away markets are hidden throughout Hong Kong. Unlike the expansive open-air wholesale market, vendors work out of stalls roughly 6-feet by 10-feet large — if not smaller.
As locals complete their daily shopping, I navigate my way out of the winding stalls and join the queue of people heading for the exit — red shopping bags in-hand. Upon surfacing back into the bright Hong Kong morning, my eyes adjust slowly to the sunny day so opposite to the fish market’s hazy red and yellow glow.