- 1 Yuen Po Bird Market Hong Kong – a serene spot in busy Hong Kong
- 2 The caged bird DOES sing
- 3 The essential insider info – getting there.
- 4 Key points of interest
- 5 World Schooling – interesting facts
- 6 Our Top Tips for exploring this area
- 7 Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
- 8 Google map link
- 9 The Inside Scoop
- 10 City Essentials
Yuen Po Bird Market Hong Kong – a serene spot in busy Hong Kong
Visiting a market in Hong Kong is one of the must-do things for families. There’s plenty of markets to choose from – you can find markets selling electronics, flowers, lizards and turtles, goldfish, clothing, travel goods and more.
But if you have kids who LOVE wildlife and zoos, then there are TWO markets you must not miss – the Yuen Po Bird Gardens on Yuen Po street, and the Goldfish Market on Tung Choi Street in Mong Kok, Kowloon.
(Click here for details of our visit to the Goldfish Market.)
The Yuen Po Bird Garden (or as locals call it, the Bird Garden) is a small market designed in the style of a traditional Chinese garden. It is filled with hundreds of bright orange cages, scores of ornately designed handmade timber birdcages, and bird-keeping paraphernalia. There’s also scores of orange-beaked songbirds, Chinese thrushes, parrots and cockatiels patiently waiting to be purchased by Hong Kong locals.
As much as this is a market, it is also the daily meeting place for those interested in the hobby of bird keeping, a chatterbox spot for (mostly) older men who delight in the age-old practice of feeding and caring for their birds hoping for a sweet melody in exchange. As a woman traveller, with two young boys and a Gnome in tow, I’m not sure these men knew what to do with me! So they just ignored us and left us to potter among the birds as we liked.
I did have a moment where I questioned my sensibility about taking the kids to a place with lots of birds (you know, remembering the Bird flu outbreak from 20***) but I figured as long as we washed our hands when entering and leaving, and didn’t stay too long, we’d be ok as it wasn’t flu season and we hadn’t heard any reports of an outbreak.
The caged bird DOES sing
The boys loved listening to the singing birds, including this Common Hill Myna bird, and had many questions about why the birds were caged. (Ned didn’t like that the birds were caged and not free to fly around.) We spoke about how these birds were here for a moment, just while they waited for a new home and owner to sing to. Ned was happy enough with that, though he hoped the new owners would hurry up.
The essential insider info – getting there.
Take the MTR train to the Prince Edward Station in Mong Kok. Leave the station via exit A, turn back and enter Playing Field road and walk along it to the end, then turn right into Sai Yee street and left into Flower Market Road. The entrance to the Yuen Po Bird Market Hong Kong is near the end of the road on the left as the corner turns. Spot the Chinese red gates and potted trees lining the pathway and head on in.
Or you can leave the station by exit B1 and walk north along Nathan Road for about 10 minutes until you reach the intersection with Yuen Po street. The route to the Bird Garden is well signposted.
Key points of interest
A little bit of insight from the Bird Market website:
- The Bird Garden is open every day from 7am in the morning. If you visit early in the morning you will see retired people “walking their birds” and sitting around and chatting. Unlike bird fanciers in other countries the keepers of birds in Hong Kong rarely if ever take their songbirds out of their cages.
- Instead they have the cages up in convenient locations so that the birds can get the fresh air and sunshine while their owners pass the time reading newspapers or chatting.
- It is not until later in the day that the Bird Garden becomes more active. Mid afternoon is generally the best time as this is when the songbirds are most active, depending on the time of the year, and the stalls are full of the sounds of their songs.
- Although the Garden itself doesn’t close until 8PM most stalls have shuttered by 6PM, and have started their sometimes lengthy cleaning process by 5PM. Therefore arriving any time around lunch time and spending a couple of hours in the area would be the best way to enjoy what is special about Bird Garden.
World Schooling – interesting facts
- Common Hill Myna birds (of which there were lots at the Bird Market Hong Kong) can produce an extraordinarily wide range of loud calls – whistles, wails, screeches, gurgles – melodious sounds and others that mimic human talking.
- Each bird has a repertoire of three to 13 such call types.
Our Top Tips for exploring this area
- The Bird Market Hong Kong is FREE!
- Combine a short visit (30 mins maximum) with a walk along the Flower Market Road, and back to the Goldfish market (Ned’s favourite thing in Hong Kong)
Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
The Inside Scoop
Thinking about a trip to Hong Kong? Here’s a link to find ALL the information you need to know, in one place.