Ongo Pongo and 100 years before the birth of Doraemon

Hong Kong is a funny place with a funny name. The first time I visited Hong Kong, around three years ago I was staying on the Kowloon side and visited all of the touristic spots: Stanley, the night market and Victoria Peak, also witnessing life in water- houses, the same as in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This time around, tired from a week worth of temple sightseeing, market hopping and mild hiking I decided to experience Hong Kong in an entirely different way- experiencing and enjoying its modernity.

With a Wallpaper travel guide in my hand it was easy to spot the trendiest attractions. Fist, primary attention must be paid to the exquisite modern architecture, which luckily I could experience every morning when I woke up and every night before I went to bed, from my hotel room.

In the vicinity there was the IFC mall, which I highly recommend for all shopaholics! Also it is a great place to spot all the JP Morgan corporate executives, lunching and discussing big money J. It was a huge shock for me seeing so many Western people in such a tightly confined space; in South Korea I was lucky to see one or two a day!

Seeing western expats out and about is completely normal in Hong Kong, because as you know, it was a British colony until 1997. This of course provides a special charm to the city-state- British organization combined with Chinese noisiness. Still to me Hong Kong cannot be more Chinese than it already is! It is like China Town times a million encapsulated by London ‘City-esque’ Fortresses of high, modern and shiny buildings.

Shopping wise, to my surprise, Hong Kong has much more to offer than London, in terms of products from global brands, though London is more alternative and creative in my opinion. This of course is a mere reflection of Hong Kong’s economy- Hongkongnians possess a higher purchasing power then Londonians especially in the midst of the European recession. Still when it comes to making purchasing decisions they are disciplined and rational- I saw many people browsing but not buying goods in shops, rather, they choosing to spend their budget on lunch or dinner with friends and family.

And what is this about the 100 years before the birth of Doraemon- I was curious myself until I randomly found an article about it in the Hong Kong City newspaper. I was shock to see the crowd gathered around the chubby blue Doraemon figurines in front of the Harbour city mall. It turns out that they represent a creative art project launched by a collaborative platform consisting of 100 Japanese companies to celebrate the Doraemon cartoon, that apparently is “the high school musical or Hanna Montana” of Asia. Anyway it was really fun experience the atmosphere and take a couple of good shots, followed by a walk and some black Yunnan tea in Harbour mall!

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