Hong Kong used to be the shopping destination of Asia, in the same way Thailand has been a source of clothing haven for ladies and the Philippines, the mall capital of Asia with the addition of bazaars, mall stalls and night markets.
In 1991, I took my first trip to Hong Kong. It was a college graduation gift from my relatives, the Lee family. It was also the first time my mom would see Hong Kong and my cousin David was so nice to accompany us all the way.
I was so amazed when I saw the aquarium market. There were pet stores in Singapore but not as many as in Hong Kong. It was surreal; I felt like a car aficionado visiting the streets of Banawe in Quezon City.
When I had my second trip with my wife Suzie after we got married, my main motivation was still to visit the aquarium market. After that, I had another trip with my business friends. Then, this year, my wife and I decided to visit Hong Kong again to unwind and visit Disneyland and Macau.
However, it was clear to her that my main reason was the aquarium market. My supportive wife booked our hotel at Prince Edward, less than 10 minutes away from it. How blessed a husband could be to have such a wife!
Google map was a big help. Years ago, we had to make do with printed maps. We arrived at midnight and checked in at 2 in the morning. Could you guess what we did first thing in the morning?
I told my wife to rest since we slept late. I excitedly proceeded alone to the Hong Kong Aquarium Market. I visited frequently for three days.
Some stores were closed, probably due to stiff competition. Taking care of pets meant time to invest. Online selling might also have led to the decline. In the Philippines, things might be better. There are numerous Facebook groups for different pets and neighbourhood pet stores not present in Hong Kong. Fish, dog, rabbit, and pigeon competitions were held almost weekly in different regions of the country.
Still, we could learn a lot from Hong Kong based on their efficiency. Happy pet keeping!
This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s August 2018 issue.