Mong Kok
Sai Yeung Choi Street South in Mong Kok
Literal meaningflourishing/busy corner
Aerial view of Mong Kok
Argyle Street in Mong Kok

Mong Kok (also spelled Mongkok, often abbreviated as MK) is an area in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The Prince Edward subarea occupies the northern part of Mong Kok.

Mong Kok is one of the major shopping areas in Hong Kong. The area is characterised by a mixture of old and new multi-story buildings, with shops and restaurants at street level, and commercial or residential units above. Major industries in Mong Kok are retail, restaurants (including fast food) and entertainment. It has been described[1] and portrayed in films as an area in which triads run bars, nightclubs, and massage parlours. With its extremely high population density of 130,000/km2 (340,000/sq mi), Mong Kok was described as the busiest district in the world by the Guinness World Records.[2]


Until 1930, the area was called Mong Kok Tsui (芒角嘴).[3] The current English name is a transliteration of its older Chinese name 望角 (Jyutping: mong6 gok3; IPA: [mɔːŋ˨ kɔːk˧]), or 芒角 (Jyutping: mong4 gok3; IPA: [mɔːŋ˨˩ kɔːk˧]), which is named for its plentiful supply of ferns in the past when it was a coastal region. Its present Chinese name, "旺角" (Jyutping: wong6 gok3; IPA: [wɔːŋ˨ kɔːk˧]), means "prosperous corner" or "crowded corner"; however, the English name did not change.

For a period, the area was also called Argyle, and this name was used for the MTR station when it opened in 1979. The office building Mong Kok Centre [zh], which was named after the area, is known in English as Argyle Centre.


Mong Kok is part of Yau Tsim Mong District. It was part of the Mong Kok District before the district was merged in 1994. The area belongs to the Kowloon West geographical constituency of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.


Displays at the Chinese University of Hong Kong include antique potteries indicating that there might have been settlements in the area as early as the western Han dynasty (206 BC to AD 8 ) to Jin Dynasty (266–420).[4]

The area used to be a Hakka settlement, with about 200 villagers according to Bao'an records in 1819.[5]

The heart of the present-day Mong Kok is along Argyle Street near Sai Yeung Choi Street whilst the proper Mong Kok used to be[when?] to the north, near the present-day Mong Kok East station. Mong Kok was an area of cultivated lands, bounded to the south by Argyle Street, to the west by Coronation Road (a section of present-day Nathan Road), and to the east by hills. To the southeast of Mong Kok is Ho Man Tin and to the west Tai Kok Tsui.

On 10 August 2008, the Cornwall Court fire broke out. More than 200 firefighters were involved in the rescue operation. Four people died, including two firefighters.[6]

Mong Kok received a lot of negative media attention for many acid attacks on Sai Yeung Choi Street from December 2008 through January 2010.

The area was the site of protracted demonstrations during the 2014 Hong Kong protests, including the gau wu campaign, and was also the site of the 2016 Mong Kok civil unrest.

Streets and markets

This section is written like a travel guide. Please help improve the section by introducing an encyclopedic style or move the content to Wikivoyage. (January 2017)
Ladies' Market
Sai Yeung Choi Street South
Fa Yuen Street
Flower Market Road
Grand Century Place. Mong Kok East station is visible at the bottom left. The area in the background is part of Kowloon City District.

Mong Kok preserves its traditional characteristics with an array of markets, small shops, and food stalls that have disappeared from other areas during the past several decades of economic developments and urban transformation. As such, a few of these streets in Mong Kok have acquired nicknames reflecting their own characteristics. Some interesting sites are:

Some popular shopping plazas located in this dense area include:

Langham Place, 4th floor

Other streets in the area include:


The Mong Kok area has many food-booths selling traditional snacks such as fish balls, fried beancurd (tofu) and various dim sum. These fingerfoods are very popular in Hong Kong, especially for folks on the run. In addition, there are restaurants serving different kinds of cuisine, ranging from Japanese to Thai and Italian.

Built heritage

Nos. 600–626 Shanghai Street

Built heritage in Mong Kok includes:

Sport venues

Mong Kok Stadium in 2011, after renovation


Educational institutions in Mong Kok include:

Mong Kok is in Primary One Admission (POA) School Net 32. Within the school net are multiple aided schools (operated independently but funded with government money) and Tong Mei Road Government Primary School (塘尾道官立小學).[14]


Traffic congestion in Mong Kok
Exit B1 of Prince Edward station, with Exit C1 across Prince Edward Road West

The main thoroughfares are:

Three rail lines serve the area:

Popular culture

Mong Kok was the setting for the 2004 hit film One Night in Mongkok directed by Derek Yee. The movie portrays Mong Kok, one of the most densely populated places on Earth, as a hotbed of illicit activity. Similarly, the district was also the setting of the 1996 film Mongkok Story (旺角風雲) directed by Wilson Yip, which depicts a young man who becomes involved in a triad gang.[15][16] The 2009 film To Live and Die in Mongkok and the 2013 film Young and Dangerous: Reloaded are also set in Mong Kok. The literal Chinese title of the 1988 film As Tears Go By by Wong Kar-wai is "Mong Kok Carmen". Part of Robert Ludlum's 1986 novel The Bourne Supremacy was set in Mong Kok.

The area is known locally for a youth subculture, the Mong Kok culture.

2014 protests

Mong Kok was one of the main sites of the 2014 Hong Kong protests. Banks, jewellery stores and clothing stores were closed as a result of the pro-democracy protests.[17]


  1. ^ Ruwitch, John; Baldwin, Clare (3 October 2014). "Hong Kong protesters face backlash, threaten to abandon talks". Reuters. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  2. ^ Boland, Rory. "Mongkok Ladies Market". Guide. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  3. ^ Yau Tsim Mong District Council, You Jian Wang Qu Fengwuzhi (油尖旺區風物志), Hong Kong: 1999. p18. "Mong Kok Tsui" (芒角嘴)
  4. ^ Kan, Nelson Y. Y.; Tanf, Miranda K. L. "Chapter two". New Journey Through History 1A. Aristo Educational Press LTD. p. 48.
  5. ^ "旺角古名芒角 客家人聚居" [Mong Kok, the ancient name of the Hakka settlements Mangjiao] (in Chinese). 1 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Four dead as HK nightclub fire spreads". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 30 December 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
  7. ^ "Yuen Po Street Bird Garden". Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
  8. ^ "Theme Shopping Streets". Hong Kong Tourism Board.
  9. ^ Yanne, Andrew; Heller, Gillis (2009). Signs of a Colonial Era. Hong Kong University Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-962-209-944-9.
  10. ^ Chan, Wing-yip Thomas (2001). Redevelopment of Mong Kok Urban Complex: An Urban Valley Along Fife Street (PDF) (Thesis). University of Hong Kong. doi:10.5353/th_b3198564 (inactive 12 April 2024). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 June 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.((cite thesis)): CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of April 2024 (link)
  11. ^ 潘國靈 (2017). "快富街, 一個拾荒者" [Fife Street, scavengers]. 消失物誌 [Lost Biography]. Hong Kong: Chung Hwa Book Company (Hong Kong) Limited. ISBN 978-988-8488-18-6. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  12. ^ "List of the Historic Buildings in Building Assessment (as of 23 November 2011)" (PDF). Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 December 2011.
  13. ^ "Shui Yuet Kung, Shan Tung Street". Chinese Temples Committee.
  14. ^ "POA School Net 32" (PDF). Education Bureau. Retrieved 13 October 2022.
  15. ^ "Wong Gok fung wan". IMDb. 7 September 1996. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
  16. ^ "Mongkok Story". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
  17. ^ "Protests in Mong Kok, Causeway Bay". The Standard. 29 September 2014. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014.

22°19′21″N 114°10′14″E / 22.32250°N 114.17056°E / 22.32250; 114.17056