Hong Kong - Days 1 and 2

i first went to Hong Kong back in 2008 for 6 days, 2 of which i spent having debilitating food poisoning from Hainan chicken.  Regardless fell in love with Hong Kong and it's been kind of a dream of mine to live here.  You'll see why through words and photos in the next 10 days.

the infamous chungking mansions, made famous by Wong Kar Wai's film, "Chungking Express".  It's one of my favorite films and a must see for anyone before they go to Hong Kong.  Let's go back to the summer of 2002.  I had just come back from a year of studying abroad in Korea and was stranded in my tiny country hometown, Canisteo, New York.  This was bob's last summer at home before he started college and SUNY Albany, just like i did 3 years before.  I was craving culture, bob was craving culture, so we set out to watch as many Academy awards best picture winner's as possible.  Sure there was Dances with wolves, when harry met sally, amedaus, etc... but somehow Chungking Express was picked by us (not a best picture winner or even American) and it stuck with me.  How can you not be enchanted by HK after seeing it?  Just so you know Faye Wong is great in it, as is Tony Leung (as always).  The first half of the movie takes place in and around the ChungKing mansions with the first scene chasing some bad guys right through this front entrance.  As usual Wong Kar Wai paints a very stylized and romantic picture of HK of which i will reference a few more times in the coming days.  this place was apparently a hotbed of criminal activity back then in the 90's.  There are a lot of south asian, and african, and probably other nationalities run businesses in this huge building.

I booked the Ashoka hostel from hostelworld.com 


it's Indian run and the family is very nice and accomodating.  they were one of the cheapest.  it's not so bad if you think about where you are and if you don't stay in your room for too long and are out seeing HK like you're supposed to be.

time travel services? yes please!

just like in london only with chinese

man, is this what i look like?  an 18 yr old little poof who's trying to backpack around asia and looks nervous about everything?  Well 18 yr old poof or not i have to give him credit for being out here and doing it.  keep on truckin' young lad.

Ladies market north of the chungking mansions.  all this stuff is on the Mong Kok side which is physically connected to mainland china, while Hong Kong island is across the water and is where the peak and the HSBC building, etc... is

effective cigarette warnings on the backs of packs?

I met Eugi for dinner, it seemed like 50% of the food choices she pointed out ended up being from Taiwan.  Sounds like i need to get over to Taiwan.  So online everywhere says that the Chungking Mansions is shady and almost dangerous.  Only if you're a dumbass.  the touts didn't seem that aggressive at all.  and it seemed all that they were asking is if i need a room.  how bad can guys trying to sell you a room be? 

shot from the window of my 13th floor hostel room.  that building with the mcdonald's sign on it apparently has a kung fu school that's also a hostel in it.

shot in the day.  i took a night and day timelapse series so eventually you will see the video of that on this blog.

Met Eugene and Vivian and Hsaio for drinks at "the pawn".  this is a shot from the balcony.  the tram goes right by here so it's cool to be at that level.

a lot of taxis here seat 5 which is nice, unlike in NY when it seems that you always have 5 people and they will only take 4 and its raining.

"Sparrow" directed by Jonnie To is his love letter to HK.  It took him years to film and is the movie he always wanted to make, so it looks amazing.  In the movie Kelly Lin runs down steps like these (although in the daytime) while simon yam serendipitously photographs her on his tripod setup.  are these those steps?  i've seen a few sets that look like they could be the steps.  Sparrow is a notch lower than ChungKing Express but is just as beautiful and still a must see for anyone, especially those going to HK.  Are these steps magical?  just as I was taking this photo with my tripod setup these two girls came along and started talking to me (they're young).  



Soho is so interesting.


tifffany_keep_going said...

iam very reader from hk!!!
si glad that u love this place;)

limostarz said...

this place was apparently a hotbed of criminal activity back then in the 90's. There are a lot of south asian, and african, and probably other nationalities run businesses in this huge building. Limo Services in Bay Area