The other day I was surprised to find that the "The World of Suzie Wong" spirit is still alive and well in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district.
After visiting some live music in Lan Kwai Fong, I headed with some uni-students to a lively bar at Wan Chai after which I was able to make the following observations :
Lan Kwai Fong looks British. There’s little there that resembles, as far as I can tell, anything Asian. Most of the people visiting there are expats. The fashion, the alcohol stench mixed with unavoidable pollution and cigarette smoke brought up some strong flashbacks from central London.
Drinks are insanely expensive. I can’t remember the last time I paid anything close to 75HK$ (~10US$) per a 330ml beer bottle.
Most foreign expats there seemed above 40, and by the look of it fairly wealthy, atleast judging by fashion. Not that many foreign students around, and although I’m not that young anymore I felt like a kid.
The local foreigner-hunting girls scene is going strong in Hong Kong, especially in Wan Chai. Somehow, I thought the Taipeian Carnegies phenomenon wouldn’t be as strong in Hong Kong, having so many expats here for so many years, but I was dead wrong. There’s also a Carnegies in Wan Chai, but from the little I’ve seen I think it’s safe to say that in most bars and clubs there’s a substantial group of local Hong Kong girls that really dig Caucasians. I honestly don’t understand why. If you want to know just how bad things are, I suggest visiting some of those places on ladies night where girls are totally wasted. Trust me, it gets scary.
I had no idea it would be like that in Hong Kong – nobody seems to care much for visible prostitution (not related to the girls from previous note). To me, some parts of Wan Chai resembled Bangkok’s Patpong, though I admit I didn’t see signs for Ping-Pong shows. Wikipedia reports that "Prostitution in Hong Kong is itself legal, but a whole host of activities surrounding prostitution are not, such as soliciting for sex and living off ‘immoral earnings’. The most visible public venues for sex workers in Hong Kong, especially for tourists, are topless bars, karaoke bars, massage parlours and the so called Japanese style night clubs". Ahmmm…
Places like Wan Chai in Hong Kong make me realize just how naive and laid-back my life in Tel-Aviv and Taipei was.