The entrance to Nga Tsin Wai Village 衙前圍村
Nga Tsin Wai: The Last Walled Village of Kowloon
Nga Tsin Wai Village 衙前圍村 is widely known as the last walled village of Kowloon 九龍. Located not far from the former location of the infamous Kowloon Walled City 九龍城寨, the village traces its history back to the 1352 founding of its modest Tin Hau Temple 天后宮. It was fortified…
Aug 2016
A moody view of the endless city
Postcards From Kowloon 九龍明信片
Kowloon 九龍 was my first experience of Asia back in 2012. Anytime I return to Hong Kong 香港 I stay there for at least a couple of nights. It helps that many of the most affordable hotels are located in Kowloon—but I also like how gritty, rundown, and real it…
Apr 2015
Behind the Cattle Depot Artist Village in Kowloon
An Abandoned Slaughterhouse in Kowloon
Urban exploration in Hong Kong 香港 usually involves getting out to the New Territories 新界 and one of the outlying islands. There isn’t much to see on the big city streets, not with property values being what they are. Hong Kong also seems to have a culture of safety and…
Apr 2015
A monument to Kowloon Walled City
A Pilgrimage to the Site of Kowloon Walled City
On my third trip to Hong Kong 香港 I made a pilgrimage to the site of the legendary Kowloon Walled City. Almost nothing remains of the city apart from the Yamen, sanitized and restored to its Qing Dynasty appearance, and this modest monument. It is hard to imagine that this…
Apr 2015
Nights of Mong Kok redux
Return to Mong Kok
Greetings, once again, from Mong Kok 旺角! This was my first stop in Asia back in 2012, an experience I recounted at length in Letters from Mong Kok, also the first travelogue published on this blog. So much has changed since then but one thing remains the same: the view…
Apr 2015
Up the walls of the world city
Up The Walls of The World City
When I first found myself within the immensity of Hong Kong 香港 I was awestruck with the scale of the place. Hong Kong is so unimaginably vast, there seems no way to contain it. The city is perpetually building upward, expanding into the sky, since there is so little room…
Apr 2014
Sham Shui Po by day
The Timeless Market Streets of Sham Shui Po 深水埗
The market streets of Sham Shui Po 深水埗 seem drab and muted compared to those at the southern tip of Kowloon 九龍. Even at night these streets seem uncharacteristically sedate. I don’t mind—this is part of what makes Sham Shui Po feel so authentic. If you look closely at this…
Apr 2014
Polanski’s nightmare
Polanski’s Nightmare
I am quite sure that Roman Polanski would be absolutely terrified of living in Kowloon 九龍. The old apartments blocks lining the arteries at the heart of the peninsula are monuments to the abnegation of personal space and privacy.
Apr 2014
Inside the courtyard at Mirador Mansions
Inside the Courtyard at Mirador Mansions
Mirador Mansions 美麗都大廈 is right next to the more famous Chungking Mansions 重慶大廈 in Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙嘴, Hong Kong 香港. Like its more famous neighbour, Mirador is home to a dizzying variety of relatively inexpensive hostels and guest houses. This should explain all the bedsheets hanging out to dry!
Apr 2014
Peering into the heart of Chungking Mansions
The Infamous Chungking Mansions From The Rooftop
On my final day in Hong Kong 香港 I returned to Chungking Mansions 重慶大廈 for the third time to elucidate more of its secrets. Much to my surprise I found a rooftop access point unlocked and, with trepidation, stepped across the threshold onto the top of Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙嘴.
Apr 2014