BKK ruins

19 04 2017


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With swathes of central Bangkok facing the wrecking ball, its a good time to discover the urbex photography of Dax Ward, who has documented the ruins of Bangkok’s ghost skyscrapers, train and aeroplane graveyards and sites like this abandoned Cape Crusader-themed nightclub on Pattaya’s ‘Soi Batman’.


See more at daxward.com.


10 04 2017


I spent a fun afternoon on the water-logged streets of Kowloon Tong celebrating the Songkran Thai New Year, complete with a confetti-festooned Buddha paraded through the streets, fraught dodging of water “snipers” and stops in the park to look at the ruins of the old Walled City and watch Thai dancers. Plus: lunch in the brutalist Cooked Food Centre, and one of favourite eccentric local stores, Hong Kong Treasure, with its tin toys, busts, 1980s designerware and art deco jewellery in a gloomy, Gothic building opposite the Walled City park.

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Hong Kong hidden places #1: Mum’s not home

27 03 2017

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Mum’s Not Home is one of my new favorite Hong Kong hangouts. We first noticed it as a neon light shining in the window of an old Yau ma Tei tenement building, and then climbed up the chipped stairs to find a painted door.


Ringing the bell, we were ushered into a room filled with ferns, racks of colourful clothes on sale, artworks, a papier mache monkey’s head and an oversized menu of sweet drinks and cakes. Avant garde French electro was playing and a saffron-haired HK hipster was taking pictures with his boyfriend against the lush greenery, while a middle-aged woman scooped up rubber dinosaurs on sale.

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I immediately fell in love.

Hong Kong hidden places #2

27 03 2017


Sam’s vinyl museum, on the 12th floor of Causeway Bay’s  Nam Hing Fong building is a small, windowless room housing a plush collection of rare and expensive vinyl records, entered only on condition of sitting through a “lecture” on their history and worth from their excitable owner.

Hong Kong hidden places #3

27 03 2017

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Hidden behind this tiny door in Pok Fu Lam village, opposite the bus stop on Pok Fu Lam Road, is perhaps Hong Kong’s smallest dim sum joint. I’ve never been inside – it seems to be open on weekday afternoons when I’m at work, but one day….

At The Instagram Pier

19 03 2017

A friend was leaving town this weekend, and hosted her “adieu Hong Kong” bash at the ‘Instagram Pier’, a cargo loading bay that has become a de facto public park in cramped Hong Kong. Located along the Kennedy Town waterfront, it was known for many years as a gathering spot for Hokkien-speaking seniors to play mahjong and listen to Chinese opera ( there was some there this weekend) as well as a premium spot for thrill-seekers to watch typhoon waves during the Summer storms. Recently, it has been adopted by hipsters and those seeking the perfect Hong Kong harbour sunset pic (hence the name).

Arriving on a cold and drizzly Saturday night, we walked past vast piles of bamboo poles, ready to be hauled across town for construction projects, by the lines of bobbing tugboats in the dark sea and into the shelter afforded by a little cargo hut. People were walking dogs with neon-glowing collars, cruising past on bikes or skateboards, someone was flying a drone. A woman in a red dress was doing a photo-shoot and some girls were shooting a semi-professional-looking music video while a large group of young Japanese lay on tatami mats, having a picnic.

The highlight though was an impromptu serenade by a string quartet, playing atop a grafittied cargo crate. They popped up, played beautifully and then melted away again into the night…


Jazz Night at Salon 10

13 03 2017


Salon 10 is a bar unlike many others in Hong Kong. It is certainly chic, but also eccentric; not many places could pull off its Henri Rousseau-meets-ET wall mural and Stanley Kubrick-like curved lines. With plush wall banquettes, midcentury furnishings and a rounded ceiling, it feels a little bit like being in a groovy tunnel. Recently, I discovered that the bar is hosting a series of midweek jazz and Latin concerts with free entry, so we decided to go last week and check it out. It was a fun night.