Dai pai dongs or street hawkers in Hong Kong are a dying breed, passed down through generations but now a rare sight in the city. The city struggles to maintain the few for the sake of collective memories and the tourists that visit. They only congregate mostly in the Central district and in the street markets of Sham Shui Po. Dai pai dong means a lot to me, it's about Hong Kong's food culture. I've gradually come to regard the street-side food stalls with a tinge of nostalgia as more of these traditional eateries are being forced into extinction by a government eager to clean up the streets.
Built from scrap-metal sheets, Sui Kee's 70-year old kitchen shack and six folding tables with stools sat on a sloping street off Gutzlaff Street in the city's Central District. The dai pai dong, its tables balanced precariously on the steep grade, was just a short walk from the gleaming heart of this global financial hub. Sui Kee specializes in cow offal served with noodles in broth. Deep-fried wontons are also popular options.
One of the oldest Dim Sum restaurants in Hong Kong - Lin Heung Tea House (Central) 香港老字号的港式茶楼：莲香楼 (中环)
A visit to an old school dim sum place in Hong Kong is quite an unusual experience for the uninitiated. And with a touch of tension all built in, in this case, the Lin Heung Tea House in Central Hong Kong. If you are searching for that greasy hole in the wall serving up dim sum food, look no further. Lin Heung Tea House is one of the oldest tea-houses in Hong Kong and they are still serving dim sum and traditional recipes with no signs of slowing down.
Lin Heung Tea House has remained authentic in terms of both décor and recipes since opening in 1920. As the name “dim sum” implies, a table full of food shared in good company will “touch the heart.” Be prepared to shout over the table as this place does not shy away from noise. Step back into the 1930s with the old paintings, authentic hot water kettle and the ceiling fans.
莲香楼位于中环的威灵顿街，它在上环还有一家分店 – 莲香居。两间茶楼的门口都挂上两个红红的大灯笼，非常古色古香。
Hong Kong is my favourite Asian city, and I visit it whenever I have a chance. With every visit, I discover a new face of the city.
I spent several days wandering its streets to find and capture striking shades and shapes, especially moments where the concrete is broken up by different details. Other images focus on the geometric shapes and contrasts created as the city’s skyscrapers jostle for position. I became especially fascinated by the scale of Hong Kong’s tower blocks, which house thousands of people, and I used street level perspective to draw attention to their size. The buildings’ towering presence is further emphasised by the minuscule clothes that dot the balconies, and the juxtaposition of nearby amenities.
I wanted to present the exteriors of these buildings in opposition to their interiors. The goal was to highlight the light and delicate features. I really wanted to find new angles and perspectives through my lens. Honing in on bolts of brightness and panelling that wraps around the outside of buildings, this series of images reframe the city’s architecture.
As many of you know, I love Hong Kong. For me, nothing beats the energy and life of this amazing city. The dynamic landscape (that changes by the minute), the convenience, the hecticness and the diversity of cultures is what sets this city apart from the rest of the world. I used to go to Hong Kong at least three times a year, I even had a Hong Kong frequent visitor card. Sadly, that card has expired.
I come back often and whenever I do, I feel a lot - memories, changes, what ifs, the lot. So I usually ride heavily on nostalgia, visiting every haunt and old-timer cuisine I can find to pen photo stories. Strangely, Hong Kong itself seems to be doing the same thing. It's very apparent that this city is changing: economic slump, political struggles, gentrification, and tensions between Hong Kongers and Mainlanders that I’ve read daily in the news.
Typhoons are also a fact of life living in Hong Kong and like any bad weather system are unpredictable. Summer is typhoon season in Hong Kong, which can experience storms of such severity that the entire city shuts down. It was also reported that Hong Kong was left picking up the pieces last week after a battering by the biggest storm in five years.
People’s impression of Hong Kong is often centred around the dominating architecture and hectic, people filled streets, and what with so much looking up at the skyline it often takes a few days to focus on the multilayered and intricate cultural elements in the city. But this time round, I’m all about immersing myself in the day- to-day lives of the locals and see how the locals clear up a heavily damaged Hong Kong after the storm left behind a trail of destruction.
I’m off to Hong Kong! See you all soon again. Till then, pls take care and stay happy.
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
That's Life, Capture It! Blog is Pledged to Singapore Memory Project
Browse That's Life, Capture It! Blog @Flickr
Follow That's Life, Capture It! Blog in Twitter