Long overdue! But here we go.
Almost everything about this trip was done on a whim, and I learned so many things about myself during this little solo adventure.
I arrived almost midnight, and was so happy to find that there was a noodle place right at the foot of the building of my hotel, especially since I didn’t really want to eat at McDonald’s during the blessed vacation. Everything in the cafe was in chinese so I had to play a bit of charades to order. Not very photogenic, but this wanton soup and milk tea combo saved the night, really.
I stayed at the Hop Inn on Hankow Street in Tsim Sha Tsui. It’s mostly run by young people, some I assume even younger than me. It’s clean, cozy, and affordable, and the internet, basic toiletries, and drinking water are free. It’s also conveniently very near the train station, and there are grocery stores, malls, noodle houses, and a McDo within walking distance.
Each room in the hotel has a different theme. Here’s mine.
and the views from my window
and the theme of my clothing for the trip. I had browsed through photos of people in Hong Kong a few days before my trip to see how the weather was, and I had packed my clothes accordingly. Only to find out that it was much hotter than I expected haha. Everyone was walking around in their coats and I was sweating all the way.
Here are some of the places I visited, in no particular order.
One of my first stops was the K-11 art mall which was very near my hotel. I went too early so the mall was mostly closed, but a piano exhibit was on display at the lobby.
Dropped by for a little while at Pacific Place for The Artist’s Palette exhibit by Sotheby’s.
Hiked up (literally! Also got a bit lost on my way up.) to The Asia Society Center for Yoshitomo Nara’s first major solo exhibition in Hong Kong. No photos were allowed inside, though. Like probably all artworks, a lot of his paintings’ simple details get lost in print and online, so having the chance to see his paintings in person was really something. He also had a photograph exhibit featuring the time he spent in Sakhalin, Russia, and a fountain sculpture.
Hello, Causeway and the backstreets.
There was an Ultraman diorama at Hysan Place! You could walk through the town ruins and see the buildings up close and all.
At the 11th floor of Sogo Causeway is the Japanese bookstore Asahiya, one of the few bookstores I managed to visit. The other, much bigger bookstore is Eslite at Hysan Place.
Spotted at Causeway Place. I feel ya.
Little loot besides pasalubong. Gudetama envelopes, cheapo .025 navy sign pens and grid notebooks, only one washi tape roll because kuripot, and the super duper hard to find Tekkonkinkreet art book in Black that I had been wishing for. I got the white one from Amazon a while back and had been wishing to come across this black one ever since. Behold, Village Vanguard had it…ON SALE. Aka That Thing Called Tadhana.
Food! I didn’t really spend much on food, and ate mostly at the Hong Kong style cafes. A sandwich here and there.
My favorite is Kam Wah cafe in Mongkok. French toast (with two slices of bread fried together in egg oh yes), an egg tart, and iced Horlicks.
Got lost in Central looking for Lan Fong Yuen to try their noodles with chicken steak, and famed milk tea. Afterwards I got lost trying to look for Tai Cheong to buy egg tarts. It turned out it was just behind Lan Fong Yuen. And THEN got lost again looking for the train station. I think I’m generally good with directions but Central wasn’t very nice to me that day haha.
Chungking Mansions. Of course I had to take a picture.
Mongkok, where there are streets of cafes, goldfish shops, and obscure art supply stores that housed all the pens in the universe.
And Art Basel.
I enjoyed it? But I admit, halfway through the place and my mind was mush from looking at all the artworks haha. I can’t find my cheat sheet for all the artworks, sorry! If you know of the pieces, do leave a comment.
Osang Gwon and a Ginebra-Pacquiao inspired piece.
Brendan Huntley. Hovering about these, I also overheard the gallery manager’s spiel to an elderly couple looking to buy one of the sculptures. She was helping the couple with which piece to get, and also described the artist, where his studio was, and how young he was (“Only in his 30s!” “Oh, our son is also in his 30s.”)
Eunice Cheung Wai-man
Markus Linnenbrink. Not MM Yu!
Achrab Touloub. Interesting piece, but I went on the last day of the fair, and the water wasn’t as clean already. Unless that was part of the piece…
Samanta Batra Mehta
Yoshitomo Nara siopao
Selfie break 2.
Myeongbeom Kim. Much hip.
Tim Rollins and KOS
That’s about it. The rest of the trip, off cam, is history. Okay, so I won’t say it’s the best trip ever, honestly. It fell right smack in the middle of our deadlines in the office, and just right before Art in the Park, so every night of my little trip I had been thinking about all the work I had to finish haha. Sadly, I had also befriended no one, not even the random people who shared tables with me in the cafes. I think I went on this trip for myself, but I found that it got kind of lonely at times, looking at all the beautiful things and having no one to talk about it then and there. Nonetheless! I still still enjoyed it a lot, and it’s a very big lesson learned for me. Maybe I want to go back and just eat all their food.
So. Where to next? Well…