Stanley Market hours are from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and the weekends are especially crowded. Try to arrive early, and plan to break up your day with a lunch.
The market is on Main Street and is only about two blocks long, which gives some first-time visitors pause because they can't imagine spending more than a half-hour browsing. Little do they know.
GETTING THERE: Cathay Pacific, United Airlines and Singapore Airlines depart for Hong Kong almost daily from the West Coast, as does Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong-based airline.
Sample Cathay round trip fare from Washington, July through September: $1,149 if you travel Mondays through Thursdays, $1,214 on weekends.
The ticket must be purchased seven days in advance, and there is a 25 percent cancellation penalty.
GETTING AROUND: From anywhere in Hong Kong, getting to and from Stanley is easy.
For about 75 cents, bus No. 6 or 260 from the business district's Exchange Square will deliver you to Stanley in about 25 minutes.
For about $8, a cab gets you there 10 minutes faster. The ride is half the fun, because the narrow, hilly road offers spectacular views. Take the top of the double-decker bus for optimum viewing pleasure.
Once in Stanley, everything is within easy walking distance.
WHERE TO EAT: In the middle of the market, on the second floor above a fast-food joint, is a restaurant patronized by the locals, replete with crusty old waitresses prowling around with baskets of steaming dim sum that they serve up tableside upon demand. Seating is family style.
On the fringe of Main Street, near where buses or cabs drop you off, there are outdoor stalls with roaring propane fires heating up fish, chicken and rice.
Or stop for lunch at the fanciest place in town, Stanley's, at 86 Main St. All pink and pretty, Stanley's is owned by three Westerners, including its German chef, Rolf Schneider. If you can, reserve a table on the roof garden overlooking the beach. The menu is European with an emphasis on seafood and fresh produce.
You may like the place so much that you will return for dinner, when the twinkling of fishing boat lights and the warm night air from Stanley Bay enhance the terrace setting. Reservations are recommended. Call the day before: 5 -- 938873.
INFORMATION: Commerce and tourism are among Hong Kong's strong suits. English is spoken widely, and there are Hong Kong Tourist Information offices all around town eager to assist. The main office is on the 35th floor of the Connaught Centre in the central business district, telephone 5 -- 244191 or 3 -- 7225555.
In the United States: Hong Kong Tourist Association, 548 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10036, (212) 869-5008.