Java Shots: Mong Kok (望角)

Back when I was a kid, I used to hate going to Mong Kok (望角). It was too noisy, and too smelly, too crowded.  Throw in a less than memorable experience by mom during those days and you’ve got the perfect formula for a phobia.   I was 5 years old.

Who would’ve thought that 25 years later, it was these very things that I grew up detesting the most as about it would be the very things that I come to love about the place.  Overwhelming noise of the modern city full of life, the smell of cultural cross roads where old and new traditions meet, and the crowd of people from all walks of life converge with nary a worry about where they stand in life.

Here’s a brief intro about Mong Kok from Wiki:

Mong Kok (also spelt Mongkok), less often known as Argyle (see Name section), is an area in the Yau Tsim Mong District on Kowloon Peninsula, Hong Kong. Before the 1994 merger, Mong Kok was part of the Mong Kok District.

The district is characterized by a mixture of old and new multi-story buildings, with shops and restaurants at street level and commercial or residential units above. Major industries in Mong Kok are retail, restaurants (including fast food) and entertainment.

Mong Kok’s population density is extremely high. According to Guinness World Records, Mong Kok has the highest population density in the world (mean 130,000 per km2 or 340,000 per mi2) and with a development multiple of four.

My love affair with this part of Hong Kong Began around about the same time I got Mikuru in 2009.  What initially was just a quick stop to satisfy my hobby shopping for every trip to Hong Kong became a must go to part of our itinerary for every visit.  While I may have grown up in a very congested city, one with think that escape from the hustle and bustle would be the first thing in my mind for every vacation.  Mong Kok offered a different kind of hustle and bustle.  Here at home, my weekday routine involves waking up, shuttling to work, meet up with the folks after wards, occasionally have dinner out, fiddle around with my hobbies at home.  While I may have varied hobbies, it offers little to preserve my (in)sanity to keep me from going postal.  Escaping to living, breathing city like HK is, for me, a good way to really feel alive.

On my last evening during my brief stay in HK last week, I figured I’d hang around about after picking up a package from Dollfie World.  I should probably hang around the place more often.  While I consider myself to be quite knowledgeable around most of Hong Kong, Mong Kok is one place I would most likely get lost if I went and explored it without local knowledge.  I ought to dedicate an entire day going around its nooks and crannies on my next visit.  I hope that @stepswalker, @Quentinlau and/or @tonybsd are free when that happens.


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