My latest loots

Thanks for all your lovely comments. Glad you enjoy the pics. :)

Great photos! You're great at choosing Tahitian pearls they're always very colourful. Did you look at other types of gemstones as well while you're at the show?

I looked at gold necklaces and jade. Didn't go to look at the diamond section or colored stones cos I didn't have time, budget, nor did I have anything in mind. The fair is quite big so there is something for everyone. I'll post some stuff later so u can get a better feel of the fair.

Saw some nice intense purple jade bangles but they were really expensive so I stopped looking after that. 20k per bangle (faints)...

The white fwp strand is lovely on you but that Tahitian one is gorgeous!! The overtones and luster are great and the variety of shapes makes it so interesting to look at.

Thanks! But I really need to stop getting tahitian ropes. Like I don't have enough. Argh.

It's so good to hear your perspective on visiting and buying at big shows like this! Though exhausting, I bet it was a grand experience. And your new strands are to die for!

The experience would be a consideration in the value of the trip for sure!

Absolutely! As a fun sidebar to a holiday in Asia ...perfect . Id still recommend the Tuscon show to get a feel for it all .

Yes, yes and yes. I absolutely recommend it to anyone who loves pearls, colored stones, diamonds, or just jewelry in general. To me, the shopping itself was great fun. I'm not sure how the Tucson show compares or if the Tucson show is open to the public but this Nov HK fair is so that's great. For those of you from US or further, it's quite a distance so probably worth planning an Asia tour if you go to Hong Kong. I can absolutely see myself spending 4-5 days at a show and enjoying myself tremendously every day but that's maybe just me (super shopaholic you know?)...
Ok, I've been to Hong Kong (HK) a few times for work and leisure so I'll share some travel tips as well. Hopefully useful if any of you decide to make a trip there.

1. Arrival at Hong Kong airport
Tip: After picking up your luggage and passing customs, you'll see a booth that sells MTR/HK Express (ie the train that brings you to town) tickets. If the q is short, pick up your return tickets. Return tickets are cheaper than buying one way tickets. If you are staying on Hong Kong island it's Hong Kong Station and if you are staying in the Tsim Sha Tsui area it's Kowloon Station.

Depending on luck the queue may be quite long at this booth. If that's the case DO NOT join the q. There are two other booths outside in the public area of the airport. So don't worry and walk on out. You may want to stop by the tourism booth to pick up some maps and brochures.

Once you are in the public area, you may also want to pick up a SIM card to have access to internet. There's lots of free wifi (eg in the airport, airport express and even convention center) but I like having constant internet access...

The last few times I went to HK, the 1010 store (yellow signboard on upper right corner) was there and you can pick up a prepaid 4G SIM card from that store.
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I also recommend snacks from Aji Ichiban especially these super addictive seaweed tempura that's an office fav. Personally I like the Chili pepper one
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Anyway once you have your airport express ticket look for signs that direct you to the trains and hop onboard. Whichever station (HK or Kowloon) that you stop at, there may be a free shuttle bus to your hotel or you can just grab a taxi (quite affordable). The mtr website has details so just do a Google search and you should find the relevant details (pls don't ask me cos I wouldn't know off the top of my head either).

Hong Kong, or at least the view from my hotel room during this trip:
Ok. So if you are in HK, you should already have pre registered for the show. Remember to bring along your confirmation and passport and go and register to get your pass. Join the pre registered queue at the convention center.

This was what greeted me at the convention center:

Don't you love the Christmas bauble 'pearl' necklace?

Lotsa queues...
Grab a map so you don't get lost... I didn't do it this time but I will mark off booths on the map so my browsing is more organised next time.

Thousand over booths

Pearl section

Random pic I took at the diamond section but this gives you an idea of the booth/show size...
Icy, it's funny you took a picture of Delifrance in Chek Lap Kok. I was there last Easter Holiday. I didn't hunt for neither pearls nor colored stones. But I had some really good dim sums in Northern Territory, a great trek on Dragon's Back and a lovely bike ride from Sha Tin all the way to Tai Mei Tuk.
Icy, it's funny you took a picture of Delifrance in Chek Lap Kok. I was there last Easter Holiday. I didn't hunt for neither pearls nor colored stones. But I had some really good dim sums in Northern Territory, a great trek on Dragon's Back and a lovely bike ride from Sha Tin all the way to Tai Mei Tuk.

Haha actually I wanted to take Aji Ichiban and the phone shop but was lazy to walk back hence the delifrance.

Yeah lots to eat in Hong Kong and I love shopping (non-pearl stuff) there too. I've long stopped doing the typical touristy stuff after my first trip years ago so really can't advise on the touristy hot spots but transport is easy and the city is quite safe so it's an easy location to visit for those of you who haven't been to HK.
Ok, so I was able to visit the show for the last 1.5 days which isn't so ideal cos I always like to be able to pick my pearls first. Plus quite a lot of the fittings that I wanted were sold out. So try to go on the first day if you plan a visit.

A few shots to show the booths and masses of pearls that you see... plus fittings. I'm sure the other 3 HK shows are way larger but I already found this one quite overwhelming. That said, I did only have 1.5 days so maybe if I had longer time to shop it wouldn't have been so overwhelming?

Was so tempted by these - same as what Elisha/YC got but in more designs/colors.

Akoyas. Saw lotsa blues and some really intensely blue loose baroque akoyas that tempted me but didn't know what to do with them but I passed them on.

Only found 3 booths that sold fwp. Got my loose strand from this booth. Yeah, I went through every single box and only bought one strand...

Fittings! This was a last min find and I literally stayed here till the show ended..
Ok, and then some of the pearls that I would have gotten if I had an unlimited budget...

Pink ssp! Really pink. Beautiful shape n luster.

The old gentlemen at this booth insisted that these are keshi, not baroque tahitians. When I expressed my disbelief, he said that these are really rare. They are all really big, and some have beautiful drop shapes.

A light blue tahitian strand.

And this last one HAUNTS me. A beautiful 18mm ssp with beautiful luster n color/overtones. I almost bought it but controlled myself and walked away. Really really really beautiful.

Wish I had more photos but most of the ones I took turned out crappy under the flickering lights so that's it.
Ok, so some random thoughts after visiting HK for the nov show...

1. If you go, absolutely go for the experience and not cos you think you'll save money. Cos unless you buy thousands of dollars worth of pearls you are not gonna have any savings after factoring in the transport and accommodation costs.

2. It's a fabulous experience to see so many pearls (and diamonds, colored stones, jewelry, settings, etc) and even better to be able to select pearls that you love from the masses of pearls there.

3. It can be painful to have to make a decision on the spot. Thankfully some of the vendors allow you to reserve the pearls for a small token sum so you get a bit of cooling off period to think things through.

4. Go on the first day! I was looking for a beautiful bigger ultra peacock strand and my heart fell when one vendor I asked said he had one but it sold on the first day. That was the only vendor that actually said he had one...

5. I'm not sure if it's a stupid way but I brought along some pearls/strands and after a while I got so tired of searching that I just whipped out the strand and asked if they had anything like it (that's the small ultra peacock strand that I got from the sg fair). But if you are looking for a particular color or to match an existing item, probably makes sense to bring it along.

6. I really like the weather in HK in November. Nice and cooling you know? Summer in HK sucks. Hate the heat and humidity.

7. Bring a big bag or even a trolley bag if you are gonna buy lotsa heavy or bulky stuff. I bought the two pouches n then super regretted having to lug them around.

8. There are cafes that sells not great food in at the back of the convention hall near the toilets. I'll probably see if I can pack a sandwich from outside if I visit next time. Like from pret a manger or something.

9. Be organised about browsing. Mark off booths on the map so you don't get lost and can find them again and to be more efficient re: walking around.

10. Comfortable walking shoes.

11. Make a list of stuff that you want so you don't forget when you are there. I'm glad I did cos I almost forgot about buying wg chains.

12. Pre register! And go early to get your pass cos the qs are crazy long. Crazy long q in the am to enter the exhibition hall too.

13. Oh ya, bring lotsa cash, either hkd or usd. Except for the HK vendors who accepted credit cards, otherwise it was mostly cash only.

I'll end with some food pic. Really didn't have time to eat my usual dim sum but at least I got my wanton noodles fix at the airport. Yums!

I love reading about your pearly adventures icy! Thanks for the photos!
Oh, Icyjade, this is so wonderful! Would you mind just stopping back there for a quick minute, and picking up that pink SSP, one of those gorgeous Tahitian keshi, and that strand of blue Tahitians for me LOL? Oh, I wish :) Thanks so much for sharing things to dream on, Icyjade!!!
Great photos and advice ! That pink SS ..oh my ! And the giant WSS .. that's the sort of thing I find just as I've spent the last of my money . I think you are going to think about that pearl for a loooooong time. There is still one gigantic blue Round Tahitian... but the were asking thousands and my pockets were empty ....
Thanks IcyJade, what a treat reading your thread. I'll need 5 days to window shop, cause I like everything, pearls, jade, gemstones...