History of Temple Street Night Market
As the Temple became a major social meeting point hawkers and street vendors provided food and small items to the people who gathered outside the temple. This became a regular market in the 1920's, but as the area became more built up the hawkers were pushed away from the temple itself.
In the 1968 there were plans to build a community services centre on the land used by the market, and after some years of negotiation it was agreed that the nearby part of Temple Street should be dedicated as a night market.
Over 600 separately marked plots were allocated to hawkers and stall holders who were entitle to set up their business in the evenings. This system was first agreed by 1975.
Later in 1998 adjustments were made to allow them to set up earlier in the day and now the market stalls may open at 2PM when the area becomes a pedestrian precinct.
While a popular destination for local residents of Hong Kong the market did not become a tourist attraction until it was mentioned in some travel books such as Fodor's and Baedeker's in the 1980s. At that time it was also sometimes called the Thieves' Market, an exotic name that surely encouraged visitors.
In the peak period of development of the market in the 1950's through 70s outdoor entertainment was common here, both buskers and people just signing for enjoyment were common. Some popular Cantopop stars such as Anita Mui had their start working at these outdoor gigs.