Scouting: Hong Kong // Pt. I / by Dzulkanean Ali


Hong Kong. Hong Kong. Hong Kong.

I’ve always thought that Singapore’s advance with her architecture and technology; but boy I was wrong about that when I had the opportunity to travel and scout Hong Kong — or maybe I was just ignorant.

Hong Kong’s always been that one place that I have to visit in my travel book. Perhaps it’s all those Hong Kong action films that I grew up watching; be it a Jet Li being a policeman movie, Jackie Chan saving the world, Donnie Yen’s IP Man or the kung fu master himself, Wong Fei Hung. Or it’s the beautiful and modern architecture. Whatever it is, I’ve got mixed feelings for you, Hong Kong… And you’ll find out more about it later.

Well without further ado, here’s part I of my Scouting: Hong Kong post! Yeah, it’s too long to put them all in one post so I’ll break them into 3 parts.

I booked my plane ticket and accommodation a month in advance and a week before my trip, word of Occupy Hong Kong started to rise. What great news. (Drake’s YOLO moment right here.)


(My first, and please let this be my LAST budget air trip.) Don’t get me wrong. The services are as expected. The only issue I have is how cramped the seats are. It’s too uncomfortable and abit claustrophobic for me… Thankfully, it’s just a 4 hr flight from Singapore. Can’t imagine the struggle for those flying to Sydney (7hr flight).


Here are some quick history on Hong Kong. HK, is very much like Singapore; it’s an island city. In fact, it’s a little bit too similar that it makes you wonder who is actually copying who. HK used to belong to Great Britain (another similar moment) and since her independence, she now belongs to mother China. The language spoken in HK is Cantonese, which is one of the many Chinese dialects. They’re the great OG’s of Dim Sum. Fact: The original spelling for HK is Hung Kong with a “U” instead of an “O”. Cantonese have this thick accent which turns the “U” to an “O”. So they just decided to name it Hong Kong internationally. (You can correct me on this. But that’s what our tour guide told us.)


Now here’s something you don’t get to witness in Singapore. En route from Hong Kong International Airport to Tsim Sha Tsui (my “home” for the next few days) we were greeted by these towering bridges.


Since I had an early flight, we had our first day free and easy. Made full use of this time to visit the famous Sneaker Street.

Sneaker St.’s been dubbed as that one cool place for all sneaker heads. Word is they have EVERY sneaker you’d want, from your usual retail kicks to those limited edition Nikes, they’ve got you covered. BUT! It was abit of a disappointment for me. Let me rephrase it. Sneaker St would be a paradise if you’re a big fan of Nikes or Adidas — because that’s 90% of what you’d see. You’ll walk into atleast (minimum) 3 Nike / Adidas stores along that exact stretch of street. I was on a quest to find my ASICS Gel Lyte III and out of the 75 shops I walked in, only 2 carried them… I don’t know if it was pure bad luck, but they did not have any size 9 left… 


And if you walk far enough, you’d end up at the protesting site. We actually ran into the protest site and had to make a U-turn back. It was really a “Fuck Da Police” moment there — real tense shit.


One of the many reasons that Hong Kong made into my travel book is because of their beautiful lit neon signs. This video (click here) opened my eyes. As a designer, when you understand and learn design, it sort of becomes an art form itself. You take notice of your surroundings. You are more aware of the beauty that people take for granted.

These neon lights that you see, it takes years to master. Yet sadly, it’s becoming a dying form of art. The picture above illustrates exactly what I mean. You can easily pick 5 neon signs out of the 20+ signs…

It makes you realise how far technology have changed our lives; for better or for worse. Thus, it explains my mixed feelings for Hong Kong. You have all this modern skyscrapers which signifies development, and on the other spectrum, you have a dying art form which I feel that Hong Kong should value more…


With that being said I guess this concludes Pt I of Scouting: Hong Kong! Part II is just around the corner. It’ll be up within a day or two.

PS: A blog post like this takes me around 1 full day to compose. I’m not a writer. I did not pick up journalism. But I just like to contribute my reflections for the universe and hopefully get people to ponder. I would greatly appreciate it if you share the post around and show some love. 

I bid farewell for now, and stay chill guys! Adios.