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B-BOY OR DIE Words: Charlie Shin Last week, I was at work trying to get my shit done when my homie and biz partner, Johnjay, asked me to write something about b-boying. We work together at a company called Cartel Creative, in Seoul Korea, and produce an annual hip hop festival called The R16. First of all, I’m no journalist, so this task is honestly beyond the scope of

what I’m built for. So here I’ve been for the last week struggling to write about b-boying, one of the coolest cultures to be sprung from the belly of Hip Hop yet one of the least understood, most underestimated and nine times out of ten one of the most misrepresented and exploited.

07 Today, we got into Tokyo with no problem. No anti-aircraft fire shot from North Korean Warships. I’m here with 5 b-boys from Korea. We are here to compete and take part in an event called the Redbull BC1. The Redbull BC1 is an invite-only solo tournament that tries to hit every ill hood in the world. It’s kind of dope that I’m here in Tokyo because of Hip Hop in Asia, maybe the whole world, blossomed from our once eager, presently dissatisfied and sometimes bitter OG forefathers who first stepped on this land in 1983 during a tour of a movie called Wild Style. If you don’t know what Wild Style is, you should go watch that on like Youtube or something and then come back. Anyways the Wild Style tour was probably the largest most culturally invasive attack on foreign soil by an American force since World War 2. Tokyo got attacked. I mean attacked and since then Tokyo has flourished from Hip Hop. The Japanese began running the Hip Hop game in Asia and getting mad props from their counterparts in the US. The DJ Krushes, the DJ Hondas, the Muros, the Nigos, even the venerable Hiroshi Fujiwaras of Japan could have only been made possible by the Wild Style Tour and from this tour the most lasting impression was made by the b-boys from a crew called the Rocksteady Crew. So coming back to Korea, just to give you a quick history, the rippling effects of the Wild Style Tour in Japan probably hit Korea the hardest out of any other Asian country. Besides the

proximity to each other, culturally our two countries are very alike. And there was already rampant absorption of Japanese pop culture in Korea unlike any other region. So breaking in Korea entered at the same time as Japan but our entry into hip hop was more affected by the location of the US Army garrison and the growth of clubs catering to young American GI’s in a region of Seoul called Itaewon. Every b-boy old enough now will point to a club called MoonNight as the cradle of Korean hip hop. There were no MC’s or DJ’s, just dancers and mostly b-boys. In Korea, hip hop grew from dance, and dance grew from this one club. It was in one of the seedier parts of town, in a neighborhood where many errant punk and street kid cut their teeth. This club especially was a gathering point for lost youth living cut off from the beaten path. However, the point of all this text is not really about how awesome I think the Korean b-boys are, or how awesome I find the b-boy culture. The thing I want to talk about is where we all go from here. I think that’s the conundrum in which all of us in b-boying are stuck behind. At least in our part of the Hip Hop hood, beyond all the politics, all the hierarchy and all the arguments over b-boy doctrine and dogma between the OG’s and the young, so easily visible on the internet, beyond all these things and more, there is a general excitement yet apprehension in which direction b-boying can go. When I say go, it’s towards the general direction of money, marginal fame

09 out. Selling out is often excused because so many of us are either so hungry we can’t refuse any opportunity or of the type that lack the sense to be able to tell the difference. And there was already such a huge precedent set in the past that most of us are desensitized to the concept of selling out. But seriously, we are excited about where this can all go. So as Hollywood, Sponsors and Investors are hunting us with watchful eyes. All of us in this community are licking their lips, anxiously waiting in line for the ball to drop. We are the last to get our inheritance in the will left by our hip hop forebears. The MC’s were the first to dig into the hip hop created trust fund, with rappers blinging it up in our faces for generations already. The Writers are back on the block too, with crews like the Seventh Letter and graffiti writer’s young and old, and those influenced by Graffiti making bank in the galleries, fashion and design worlds. The DJ’s had a shining moment also, with turntablists making noise and going on world tours. Yet, Panasonic the manufacturers of Technics turntables have announced that they will discontinue the production of turntables as there was a decline in demand for these analog products. So what about us? The bboys, as we had been patiently waiting our turn, to get our shine, to make our dough. Are we also going to be branded as too analog in an iphone/ ipad world? Or will we at least be able to live on forever deep in the server systems over at Youtube.

We can’t get a gig these days, because we are not the hot new trend, we are no longer the proud sons of Korea. Our pants aren’t skinny enough nor do we wear eyeliner. We can’t sell millions of albums nor is there anything we can sell on iTunes because we’d never be able to get clearances on all the music we dance to. So now the people have forgotten us. It’s like the 1980’s in the US but I wonder if we too can survive underground for a decade and come back stronger. A lot of us are going to the army here in Korea, and some of us have gone to jail because we did not want to. Koreans once applauded us for being world champions and bringing pride and fame to Korea. But now they shame us for not living by their standards when it was our decision to live differently from those standards that made us unique and great. They now scorn and punish us, a innocent bunch of b-boys, for our desire to be free and young, putting us on the news, made an example of by the Korean status quo for not wanting to go to the army, forcing us to cover our heads like common criminals allowing a whole nation to spit on us and to top it all off. What the fuck? Right across the sea here, over in Guangzhou, China during the Asian Games, a Korean baseball player who plays in the US Major League cries in relief after winning gold, as this would exempt him from military duty, allowing him to continue his life path making millions of dollars swinging his bat for the Cleveland Indians. Doesn’t seem fair at all. A downright dirty shame!

10 I’m hoping that one day, our amazing hip hop culture, b-boying included will see the light, and truly have anyone’s lasting support and I’m hoping that one day I can wholeheartedly encourage my son to dance and be a part of this culture without having to worry about his future and his financial welfare. But first, North Korea has to stop being so fucking gangster so that I can fly home this Sunday without having to worry about being shot out of the sky. INFORMATION


GALACTIC WORLD OF JABA O: ONCE AGAIN J: JABA O: What do you write, and where you from, what crews do you rep? J: Hello my name is Jabaone and i represent Ultraboys and JNC O: How long have you been painting for? J: I’ve been painting since 1990

O: What do you do for a living ? J: I work now as a Lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic at the school of interactive and digital media, teaching storyboard, matte painting, live drawing and character design. O: You are really good with 3D graphics, where do you get all the inspirations from?



J: My inspirations are from everywhere, I love manga, European and American comics history in general and all kinds of art. O: Tell us some crazy stories back home and in Singapore. J: I don’t have any crazy story from Singapore as I don’t paint illegally over here because I got the chance to work and live here. So I don’t want to spoil this opportunity, the laws over here are very strict! But back home after so many years of graffiti services, I got many cool stories of course!

One of the most memorable one was back in Belgium in 95 or 96 painting a train with 3 guys from Germany and one from England. We got chased by police comin from everywhere we escaped in all different directions. I chose to run towards a small wood next to the yard. The security was very close and the darkness was extreme. Suddenly I felt myself falling in a lake 6 meters down.. Another German also falls into the water. We cross the lake and eventually managed to get out from the other side of the bank pulling ourselves from some tree roots then we ran some more and climbed

into a roof, hiding for hours, the really bad thing was the weather. It was early winter and with all the wet clothes. I managed to take a train back home the next morning, but I ended up sick with a very bad fever for the following days! O: Where in Asia do you like the most? and why? J: I haven’t visited that many places in Asia but so far I had great experiences in Malaysia, China, India, Vietnam and specially in my latest travels in Jogjakarta, I really love the city, plus the

graffiti scene is amazing. There are plenty of walls painted all over the city, very cool spots, good styles and great energy! O: We all know Singapore is a really strict country, does this keep you and every one from painting? J: Yeah, Singapore is an extremely strict country and to be honest graffiti doesn’t really fit in some areas of the city, there is only one or two legal spots to paint besides a skate park in the center of the city, the wall is not that big and is constantly painted.


20 As for illegal stuff, there is almost nothing left in the streets. Very few writers like Mimer, Case or Slac go out to paint illegally, but almost nothing stays. All illegal graff is buffed as soon as possible.

mation i Love “Akira” from Katsuhiro Otomo.

O: Who’s up in Singapore now?

J: Of course our Ultraboys Blog:

O: Recommend some daily websites for us

J: I think definitely Clog Two is doing very cool characters, but it is hard to say that someone is up as there is almost nothing illegal on the streets, but the one who deserves more props for taking risks and effort to paint illegally is Mimer.

O: Can you tell us where to get cans out there?

J: You can buy cans in many places, hardware stores or art supply shops.. I usually paint with local Pylox, Rj , and anchor.

O: Shouts out ?

O: Any exciting things coming up in 2012? J: I just want to visit new places in Asia! I want to go to Japan and Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Phillines, Taiwan.. there are so many places on the agenda. But with my job is not that easy to take holidays.. so we will see! O: What’s your favorite movie and animation? J: My favorite movie is “2001” from Stanley Kubrick I love the design and tempo of the movie and as for ani-

some other crew mates : http://www.aventuresextraordinaires. fr

J: To the JnC Kingz in tox city and all over the world! To all the Ultras, Belgium, France, Spain and Germany. A Big up to all the writers that i had the chance to meet and paint in all my travels during all those years. one Love




FLIP TOP BATTLE Fliptop is the Philippines’s first rap battle league. Rap battling is an aspect of hiphop that consists of emcee one-upmanship - usually in the form of stylized insults, clever put-downs or bragging content between two opponents - using written or improvised lyrics in front of a live audience. The goal of each competitor is to outwit and out-style their opponent in rap

format, with the sole purpose of convincing the audience that they are the better emcee/rapper. Search Fliptop in YouTube and you’ll be able to check out all their battles.

JAPAN WILDSTYLER Words: Suiko I have been given the opportunity to talk about my experience today, so I’d like to tell you a story about the trip I had to China, Brazil, and Germany. I went to Shanghai last May. Graffiti artists, not only from Asian countries but US and Europe were there for an

event, so I had some great encounters with different people. Shanghai had a well maintained look with many surveillance cameras that seemed to be installed recently. European artists painted their pieces in the Shanghai villages. They tried to blend with the people and environment.



I joined the Asian artists and drew some pieces, but somehow the police weren’t impressed with my art, and decided to buff them. Though using my body language, the local people didn’t seem to mind but I was still confronted by the police. But think about it, the whole village was bombarded with graffiti in such a short time, with the appreciation of the local Chinese allowing it that to happen, you can feel the generosity of the locals. Two weeks after my return from Shanghai, I got on a plane heading to Germany with EATER. Germany is my first foreign country to visit 7 years ago, and that’s where I lived for half a year. The streets were filled with graffiti that you can’t see the boundary

between the legal “Hall of Fame” and the bombings in the city. The train I took was bombed to an extent. that you can’t see through the windows. I was mesmerized and inspired by lots of graffiti, its styles, and the values. After returning I pushed through for the next 7 years. It meant a lot to me that I can return to the country with knowledge. After meeting up with my old friend DYSET, who I spent time with for most of my previous stay, we went from town to town, going around 7 places, drawing nonstop for 15 days. I was able to finish 10 pieces. I felt the city of Germany was cleaner than the last time I came here. In Brazil, I tagged along with BINHO. The neighborhood he lives in is filled


with graffiti by him and his friends, and I felt their graffiti has become part of people’s life there. When we got to the central area, we found the Os Gemeos’ huge character drawn on the tall building. I thought why graffiti is widely accepted in Brazil, and one of the reasons is probably the fact that artists in Brazil are good at drawing characters. For example, OS GEMEOS, FLIP, GRAPHIS, TITI, NINA, TINHO, and BINHO is a great artists. There are many characters on the streets, and the whole scene is interesting even if you don’t particularly like graffiti.


MAGZINE GIANT If you’re interested in the art or Asian culture, there’s no way that you haven’t heard of the Giant Robot magazine. A lot of the big names weren’t even really established at the time when they were first featured in Giant Robot. That goes to show the distinctive vision and taste that the Giant Robot Team has. The magazine has been running for two decades and is still going strong. It takes a lot of passion and hard works to keep a magazine alive nowadays. We’re pleased to have the man behind the Giant, Eric Nakamura, to share some of his experiences and thoughts with us. O: ONCE AGAIN E: ERIC NAKAMURA O: Hi Eric, tell us how, who, when and why Giant Robot started?

O: What’s your favorite issue so far and why?

E: Giant Robot started as a zine in 1994. It started because there wasn’t much in print that I liked, and because I was into the punk rock, indie aesthetic of zines. It was staple and folded and photocopied. Martin Wong was there early on and we worked on it and had a lot of fun doing it. At this point how we started means little to me, except good memories. The present is what I concentrate on.

E: That’s a tough one. Issue 20 Yoshitomo Nara. I feel like that’s our modern age beginning. It was in 2001, and I feel like it’s been nearly ten years and we’ve done a lot for art, and art has done a lot for us. O: Is there someone you’d really like to have in GR, but never had the chance to do so?

37 what it’s moving towards. However, I think we still do a decent job, and people don’t realize how much tougher making a print magazine is than making a website. Imagine: writing carefully, editing, editing, editing, copy editing, layout, and so on. For a blog, none of these things apply. O: How do you make a living if the GR aren’t paying bills? E: Working for you. Maybe I’ll work for someone else and see if I can help them out. O: What are some of the best and worst moment in GR? E: Crazy. Kim Jong Il Cribs tour? For the most part, there really hasn’t been too many that I didn’t get to interview. The ones who I didn’t get to interview, are long forgotten by now. O: Is there any article that gave your team troubles? E: Not really. I think photos can be more damaging, but writing? I wonder if anyone reads closely enough to make this even possible. O: I know you guys try to raise funds for GR to keep it alive. Tell us why it’s so hard to run a magazine. E: It’s near impossible. Do people buy magazines? Is there enough content for free online? In the end, people would rather read some bad quality blog post than quality writing. That’s

E: The best is helping so many people and artists. That’s been great. It’s not just a few artists but really a lot, via the magazine, shops, and working in art. The worst moment? It’s probably still

38 things people think they need to do before they die. Really, I’m ok just going day by day until 2012. I take that back. I want to live in Japan for a while. That’s about it. O: Can you share some albums that you constantly listen to? E: In my car, is Sonic Youth Dirty, Linkin Park 1000 Suns, Jawbreaker Dear You, Radiohead Ok Computer. On my iphone, it’s Blonde Redhead Penny Sparkle, My Bloody Valentine Loveless. O: Name 5 of your favorite artist.

coming. I’m waiting for it. O: If you didn’t start GR back then, what do you think you would be doing now? E: Working for you. Kidding, maybe doing graphics. Being a tennis bum. Writer nerd. Crafts person. Maybe marketing. It’s hard to tell, but I like doing a lot of things and I didn’t have a plan at the time.

E: David Choe, James Jean, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Barry McGee. O: Name 3 daily websites. E:,, sherdog. com O: Last thought / Shout outs ? E: 1. Thanks much for doing this. 2. Props to the stray dogs and cats of the world. 3. love.

O: If you know everything will end in 2012, what you must do before the end of the world? E: I don’t believe in having to do things before you die. If you have to think that way, then you really haven’t done enough things. I’m ok without traveling in a space ship, climbing mountains, sky diving, and those typical

4. Economy lessons. 5. Going back to the basics.

THAILAND FLOODING AFTERMATH Words & Photos: Sajjatam Kulsomboon It just seemed so far away. I was watching TV at a restaurant talking to the owner and this was how our conversation panned out:

what I’d do if that had happened to me.”

“All this news about the flooding at Ayutthaya is really depressing.”

“Thank god that’ll never happen to me. How much for the Fried rice with pork? I have to hurry to basketball practice.”

“I know, right? I can’t even imagine

“That’ll be 40 baht.”


And that was it. That was all we could say about the floods that wreaked havoc through Thailand, ranking as one of the most widely affected natural disasters in Thailand ever. We made it seem like a little kitten that had got stuck in a tree and no one had saved it yet. Deep inside, we were feeling sympathetic for the kitten, but we also figured that someone was already on their way to help. It still seemed quite far away. My family got a little worried and started placing sandbags in front of our house like most of Bangkok. We had begun to move some of our stuff from the first floor to the limit where we figured if water reached this high, we’d just stop caring. And yet I was still telling my father that I felt there was no way the flood would affect our house. I think my father thought the same, but

he still felt that he had to protect the house to some extent. I remember watching the news at the same restaurant after I learned that basketball practice was cancelled because my coach was having troubles coming in to the city. “All this news about the flooding around the proximities of Bangkok is really depressing.” “You don’t even know half of the story. My house was flooded two days ago, the good thing was that my family was staying at the condominium. I can’t imagine what it is like at my house right now.” The owner of the restaurant sighed exhaustedly and shook her head. She

seemed tired and how worried she’d been about her house. My friend walked by the restaurant and I asked him the most popular question of the time: Has the flood hit you yet? He sighed exhaustedly and shook his head. He told me that he just moved into the middle of the city because his house was flooded yesterday. Thank god that hasn’t happened to me. Yet. It finally got to me. I was staying with my parents at the Asia hotel because the road to my house was submerged to the waist. After all this time that I had felt it would never affect me, it finally did. When it did, I looked at my situation. I had safely fled to a dry place, most of the stuff in my house had been evacuated to the second floor, and we had moved our grand-

mother out to another province far from flooding threat. And that got me to think about all the other people that hadn’t been as fortunate as I had been; those people that never had the time to prepare themselves, people who never had time to evacuate. And that’s when you really get a feel on how much this whole flood affected the whole country. Because that’s when you change from thinking “Thank god, that’ll never happen to me” to “Let’s hope we all get through this safely together”.


RAW MILF FACTS O: ONCE AGAIN Y: YUI HATANO Unlike the porn industry in the western world, Japanese porn stars, known as “AV idol” is often packaged as an innocent celebrity where they have to be featured as an actress as well as a model. From just the idol jumping around their house in bikinis to hardcore group plays, their performance varies a lot depending on the idol’s character. Since the outbreak of the AV industry in the early 80s, thousands of AV idols have debuted every year, with

an average career span of about a year, appearing in five to ten videos per year. Lucky ones will be opened to more career options like singing and acting, while the unluckily ones get dropped after showing every thing to the world. Like many other AV idols, Yui Hatano went through a series of struggles before she gained her fame, and thanks to her mature looking, she was well received by the Japanese as the hottest MILF!

51 O: When did you shoot your first adult video. Y: I shot my first adult video in 2008. O: How did you join this industry? Y: I was casted by an adult movie production agency in 2008. Then I signed a short term contract with them and now I’m with another company called HMP. O: How many videos did you shoot? Y: Around 80 O: What’s your biggest challenge so far? Y: I guess it was at the beginning when I had no experience in this industry and I had to fully commit myself to it in order to have a good performance. O: Do you know why you’re a famous AV idol? Y: People in Taiwan say that I look like one of their famous actress. And for my fans, I know people like me being a housewife role in the AV movies. O: But you’re only 24 years old, why’s that? Y: I guess I have a mature look and the directors thought I look like a typical housewife. O: Any crazy experience in the past few years? Y: It’s not related to my work, but I was rumored to be dead during the tsunami disaster last year. The rumor was very widely spread. I remembered my agency and friends were so worried when they couldn’t reach me. There was even a music video made to reminisce me.

52 O: So you were completely safe that time? Y: Yes, absolutely. I’m glad that many people care about me and I’m very thankful for that. O: What’s your biggest gain and loss since you’re in this industry? Y: Gains would be friendship and knowledge. Loss would be freedom. O: Any other things you want to try in your career? Y: Maybe singing. O: What do you do normally when you don’t have to work? Y: Cooking, shopping, playing games at home, etc. O: Any upcoming events? Y: I’m doing a few events and attending the adult expo in China. Hope to visit more place and be back in Taiwan.

DESPERATE MINI-BUS Words: YIU Wai-hung What kind of traffic makes you think of Hong Kong? The red junk? The opentop bus? Hey, they are just exoticism for tourists. To let you experience the real life of Hong Kong citizens, here I have to recommend you a traffic that

may risk your life. Yes, the “desperate mini-bus” is always dangerous, but always popular as well. Once you have not taken a “desperate mini-buses”, you still don’t know Hong Kong urban lifestyle.

Although a number of Hong Kongers own private cars and motorcycles, the public transport is still the major means of traffic. The double-decker bus, the two railways and the mini-bus should be considered as the big three. The former two are systemically operated with large passenger capacity. The railways are ubiquitous, connecting the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories. The buses also cover the important spots among Hong Kong city, and sometimes buses can be the cheapest one for a long journey. During the time period from midnight to the dawn, those who take these mini-buses mainly belong to two groups: workers like white-collars exhausted from O.T., or shopkeepers of long hour duty, others are those who just had enjoyed the Hong Kong nightlife at either pubs or karaoke.

They have exceeded the normal lifeclock, so they need to go home to take a shower and go to bed as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the traffic is so smooth in that deep night. Certain minibus lines emphasize that they can travel long distances, let’s say between the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, or between Kowloon and New Territories, by less than half an hour. How can the minibuses be that fast? Firstly, the drivers perform team work like a troop of armored vehicles. They use walkie talkies to communicate with each other, updating the realtime situations on the roads for the teammates. Each line has a leader, who is also driving on the road, responsible for giving commands plus managing the manpower. Some lines have “hotline� for you to book seats, which is in fact the mobile phone number of the team-leader. Such

leader drives, manages, talks to walkie talkie and mobile phone, doing these three tasks at the same time. (Yeah, it is hard to imagine!). Of course, the most critical issue is, that the minibuses’ drivers dare to perform “desperate” speeding – and the passengers dare to take that risk. In 2010, 1100 accidents of minibuses was recorded, which caused 21 death and 187 injured. In the same year, the government requested all minibus to install a speed indicator. It shows the speed on the mini-bus on run for the passengers to know, and it alarms once the speed exceeds 80km/hr, so that the driver will be alert. Nevertheless, the real practice is another thing. At last, I have to mention some shortcomings of “desperate mini-bus”. The “flexible” service never informs the

number of arrivals, and the fares will rise out of our expectation during public holidays. The paying method has not unified yet, some are Octopus cards only, whereas the others insist to receive coins. There are no bells in the mini-bus, when you are about to get off, in this noisy surrounding, you have to shout loud enough to let the busy driver know. Other problems are caused by its highly localized settings. The routes and stops are complicated. Aside from the terminus, there are no clear signs of stops on the streets. Furthermore, almost all drivers speak Cantonese only. It is very reasonable for tourists not to understand how they work. So make som friends in Hong Kong and ask them to introduce to you things that only this city has to offer. Don’t hesitate to take risk of your life!


DOORS OF BEIJING Words & Photos: Kaid Ashton Biking through the streets of Beijing, I was quickly drawn to the alleyways that house many of the cities disappearing hutongs. The hutongs, or narrow alleyways, are home to a way of life that I could imagine that was present in Beijing hundreds of years ago. The hutongs are scattered across the city and each of the buildings in

these condensed neighborhoods are highlighted by their unique doors. The doors helped to give a glimpse into a style of life that’s quickly passing into the folds of time and provided each building with a very unique identity.

THE GREEN BOTTLE If you haven’t tried soju yet, the next time you are out for some Korean BBQ, remember to order a bottle to try it out. The bottle is typically in a small size of around 30ml. It’s made from grain, sweet potato, tapioca, rice and barley. 19.8% alcohol by volume, that means about 40 proof. Most Koreans

(including the ladies) love it and can’t seem to get enough of it. Who knows if you’re the next one to be addicted to the green bottle liquor?


Here in the Urban Map section, we try to deliver you something different from what regular tourist guides offer you. In every issue we will pick a city and introduce an alternative side to our city, which may be more interesting and authentic than the same old tourist attraction spots. For the Hong Kong issue, we’ve picked a few main districts where everything is situated out there. See what you can experience in this big concrete jungle filled with a population of over 7 million people.



About: Hong Kong was colonized by the British from 1898 to 1997. In 1997, after the lease is over, Hong Kong was returned to China as a special administrative region. Hong Kong is a tiny land of 1,100 km2 that consists of 3 main areas: The New Territories, Kowloon and the Hong Kong Island. The New Territories is the biggest part of Hong Kong which connects to the Mainland China. The New Territories is primarily residential areas where the Kowloon side is filled with retail shops and older residential building. Nathan Road (that spans from the north to south of Kowloon) is worth a visit. The Hong Kong Island is well known for high end goods and financial skyscrapers. Lots of the typical tourist spots like the Ocean Park and the Peak are located on the island. Transport: The subway is the best way to get around the city. There are enough stations to cover most of the locations in Hong Kong. Most subway lines stop at around 12ish. You can also try to take the bus or mini bus if you have a local accompanying with you. Trams are available on the Island side, it’s a very cool public transport if you want to take a quick view of the city they are fairly slow yet cheap. The rush hours are around 6-9am and 5-8pm. During those hours it’s best not to take buses. Language: The common language in Hong Kong is Cantonese. Most people would understand basic English, especially the younger generation. Some people speak Mandarin but definitely not the major language.

Currency: Hong Kong Dollars. It’s different from the China Yuan (or RMB) that people use in Mainland China. The rate is $1USD: $7.8HKD. For your reference, a can of coke in 7-11 is around HK$6 and a set meal in McDonald’s is around HK$30. Facts: - It’s okay to drink alcohol on the street. - There are no sales taxes on goods. - You don’t have to tip on your meals since there’s a service charge on your bill already. But of course it’s cool to spare some change if the restaurant is providing a good service. - Rainy and hot seasons start from late May to September. Electricity voltage is 220v. - Cigarettes are fairly costly in retails. You might want to buy some at the duty free shops before you enter Hong Kong. - You can’t smoke indoors. And be extra careful with your cigarette butts, you can be fined $5,000HKD for littering. - Purchase an Octopus card (a rechargable stored value smart card) for your converience. They can be used for travel and purchase at chain stores like 7-11 or McD’s with just a beep. - Most nationalities can enter Hong Kong without a Visa, but you’d probably need to get a Visa if you plan to enter Mainland China. - Local sim cards could be found in most convenient stores or cell phone service providers. Basic sim cards are around $80HKD. - There’s no death penalty, but don’t go too hard. There are CCTV’s and always someone around. - 999 is the magic number for police, fire fighters and ambulance.

CENTRAL The area of Chong Wan, officially named Central in English, was one of the districts in Victoria City. Central is located on the north shore of Hong Kong Island, across the Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui, the southernmost point of Kowloon Peninsula. The area is the main long form as well as the land of luxury goods.

Chun g Ko ng R d

Co nn au gh tR dC

Po ss es sio nS t

Sheung Wan Bonh am S trand


3 Ab er de en


C Rd

Bridges S t

2 9

8 t nS to ing ell W


Pe el St


Ho lly wo od Rd

ux oe sV De

Rd n’s ee Qu


Man Po St


St dham Wyn


Ca ine Rd


Central Ferry Pier

Man Kwo ng S t

Fin anc eS t Ma nC he un g


Hong Kong

Lun gW o Rd

Central n’s ee Qu C Rd

Chat er Rd

6 t eS us o H Ice

Con naug ht Rd



Street Art Crossover Apparel


Rat’s Cave is the first street wear & mini gallery concept store opened by the Hong Kong street art crew Start From Zero. they carries a good selection of artoriented products.


G/F, 18A-B Tai Ping Shan St 13:00 - 20:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2858 9001

HOLLYWOOD ROAD Tired of the same old stuff in museums? Well, check out the few blocks around this area, and you’ll find a bunch of cool little galleries.


Runs between Central / Sheung Wan 09:00 - 18:00 N/A N/A

80+ Year-Old Tea House

LIN HEUNG TEA HOUSE The place to get good dim sum in an old school Hong Kong Yum Cha environment.

3 160 Wellington St 06:00 - 23:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2544 4556 N/A


Contemporary Art District


Surprisingly Good Burgers

SHAKE‘EM BUNS This burger shop has the best patty in town. Not to mention that their menu is funny as hell. Try the “Gang Bang” next time you’re around central.


M/G, 76 Wellington St 11:30 - 00:30 Mon - Wed, Sat 11:30 - 04:30 Thr - Fri

(852) 2810 5533

Clubbing Paradise

LAN KWAI FONG The land of parties. Drink, refill and get drunk.

5 Two ends joining with D’Aguilar St 20:00 - 05:00 N/A N/A

STARBUCKS CONCEPT STORE The interior design of this Starbucks is modified to a restaurant from the 50s. Some local HK food could be found here too.


M2/F, Baskerville House, 13 Duddell St 07:00 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2523 5685


Break of Tradition 18’th Floor of The Tak Woo House, 17 d’Aguilar St (852) 2524 4244



Shrimp Wonton Shop B, G/F Jade Centre, 98 Wellington St (852) 2850 6471




12A Elgin St (852) 2368 1181

U.S. Street Wear

THE LOMOGRAPHY GALLERY G/F, 2 Po Yan St (852) 2915 2205

LOMO Store



Vintage Modern Café

CAUSEWAY BAY The typhoon shelter of Causeway Bay and the Tin Hau Temple reveal that the area was once a fishing village. Now it is one of Hong Kong’s major shopping districts. Causeway Bay is one of the most crowded areas in Hong Kong since it contains many trendy shops carrying both locally made fashion and products from Japan, Europe and the United States. As such, it is a popular social spot for young people.

Wan Chai Ferry Pier

Lockhart Rd

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Rd essy Henn

Wan Chai


Rd hai nC Wa

Johnston Rd

Canal Rd W

Fleming Rd

Rd ochy Tonn

Ave Convention

Wan Chai

Tai Yuen St


n’s Rd Quee


Happy Vall

Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter

Cr os sH ar bo ur Tu nn el

13, 14 15

Causeway Bay


St sell Rus tE rp S Sha


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Lockhart Rd

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Victoria Park

d nR hto Leig Rd ng Chu Nai ng Wo

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Exclusive Designer Eyewear

OCULARPLUS Ocularplus is where you get a tailored fit pair of glasses. The wide selection of specs will have a pair that fits your style.


Shop 105, 1/F Style House, The Park Lane, 310 Gloucester Rd

12:00 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2881 6090

Sk8 Scene Giant

85IVE2 SHOP Well respected skateboard shop that cultivated the local skateboard culture for over a decade.

2 2/F Rm 3 United Success Comm Ctr
506-508 Jaffe Rd 13:00 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2573 9872


A visit to a “Cha Chaan Teng” (Tea Restaurant) is an unmissable part of Hong Kong culture, and Tsui Wah is one of the best. Their menu is simple yet it captures the essence of the local cuisine.


483-499 Jaffe Rd 24HR Mon - Sun (852) 2892 2633 www.tsuiwahrestaurant. com


Most Well-Known “Cha Chaan Teng”


Street Fashion Concept Shop

E.X.I.T. EXIT by double-park, which is another shop under I.T. It’s sort of a concept shop with cool minimalist Street Fashion.


5 Pak Sha Rd 12:00 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2895 2303

Traditional Chinese Sweet Soups

TSUI YUEN DESSERT One of the oldest dessert shop in Causeway Bay. This is where you get local authentic sweet soups.

2 Shop C 83 Percival St 13:00 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2573 9872 N/A

EVERGREEN Another skateboard shop in the area that carries a different selection of skate stuffs than those offered in 8five2.


9/F, Capital Commercial Building, 26 Leighton Rd 13:00 - 21:30 Mon - Sun (852) 2581 9763 w w w.evergreensk ate

Unique Design Book Store

BASHEER DESIGN BOOKS Basheer Graphic is a chain of bookstores across Southeast Asia which specializes in design oriented material.

7 1/F, Flat A, Island Building, 439-441 Hennessy Rd 11:30 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852)2126 7533


The Pioneer


Unforgettable BBQ Pork

JOY HING ROASTED MEAT You’ll see a lot of barbeque or roasted meat restaurant in HK, but talking about a good one, Joy Hing happens to be one of the few.


Blk C, G/F, 265-267 Hennessy Rd 10:00 - 22:00 Mon - Sat (852) 2519 6639 N/A

TIME SQUARE 1 Matheson St (852) 2118-8900

Major Shopping Centre



Japanese Street Wear 2/F, 517 Lockhart Rd (852) 2369 1808




522 Jaffe Rd (852) 2311 7390


Japanese Street Wear

Popular Street Wear 6-10 Cleveland St (852) 2504 0025


TAI YUEN STREET Tai Yuen Street is a paradise for kids who love toys. It houses many toyshops and stalls that offer appealing old school children’s toys.


Near Johnston Rd 07:00 - 19:00 N/A N/A


Local Brand CLOT and Quality Goods 9-11 Cleveland St (852) 2881 0173




9 Kingston St (852) 2890 5200


Trendy Department Store

Shopping Destination 11-19 Great George St (852) 2890 3016



Local Toy Street

TSIM SHA TSUI Tsim Sha Tsui remains a tertiary sector from the colonial days to present. In early colonial days, transport, tourism and trading are the main business of the area. As port and rail facilities moved out of the area, the major industry falls on the later two. Tsim Sha Tsui, like Central, contains several centers of finance.


Bowring St

Tak Shing St

Austin Rd

Aus tin

3 12

Kowloon Park

Ob ser vat ory


d rley R Kimbe

n arvo Carn

Haiphong Rd


10 4,6


d ville R Gran


Ave Prat

Tsim Sha Tsui Hankow Rd

15 Middle Rd

Mody Rd

Nathan Rd

Rd Canton

Peking Rd



Rd eron Cam


rk Dr on Pa Kowlo


e ys Av phre m u H


Chatham Rd S

Nathan Rd

Hillwood Rd

East Tsim S

nA ve

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Hung Hom

Che ong Wa nR d

The Cheapest Accommodation In Town


Words: Nathan Siu Dark and dodgy to most people, but also the home to many; the infamous Chungking Mansions is situated on the most densely populated road of Hong Kong – Nathan Road.

petition continues with everyone trying to direct you around the building to their shops or restaurants.

The infamous ‘Chungking’ is a gathering place for some of the ethnic minorities, including Middle Eastern, Indian, Nepalese, Pakistanis and Nigerians, amongst others.

If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, Chungking is definitely worth a visit, as it is known to have some of the best curries in town with restaurants around the different blocks. African bistros can also be found throughout the buildings.

Even before you enter the building, you find yourselves surrounded by a people trying to sell you copy-watches, suits, guesthouses or even hashish. Once you enter the building, the com-

Chungking is also known for its cheap accommodation, with many backpackers or budget travellers staying in their guesthouses every day for between HK$200-$400 (US$25-$50)




per head depending on the day of the week. The air-conditioned rooms are minimal sized that could fit one or two single beds, a television, a small closet, a toilet and a small shower. It may not be the safest place to be in Hong Kong, but we have definitely seen improvements over the past 20-30 years, with increased security, fire facilities and a freshly renovated exterior. If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay within 15 minutes of all shopping districts, this would be your place if you don’t mind the rough conditions.

36–44 Nathan Rd N/A N/A

The Notorious Ceramic Bowl


There are hundreds of street style food stalls in Hong Kong. Normally, the outdoor food stalls are a bit grimy with rough service, yet Mui Kee, one that made it from outdoor to indoor, kept the original atmosphere of outdoor food stalls and combined with better quality of hygiene and service. Normally most of the outdoor food stalls have similar menus, because they have a fixed group of customers from the neighborhood already. Only a few of them like Mui Kee seems to be more creative when it comes to new dishes. Recommended dishes: -Twisted Cruller stuffed with fish. -Fried Squid -Spareribs with mayonnaise Side note: Nobody drinks beer with glasses in Mui Kee, the iced beers are served in ceramic bowls. Another novelty that you must try out.


LG Kimberley Plaza, 45 Kimberley Road 10:30 - 01:00 Mon - Sun (852)2721-2123 N/A




Kowloon’s Lan Kwai Fong

KNUTSFORD TERRACE Up in the Knustsford Terrace, there’s a bunch of lounges, bars and good restaurants. Why not get wasted for at least a day during your holiday?


Btwn Kimberley Rd & Observatory Rd 18:00 - 05:00 N/A N/A

Old School Amerian Style

STAR CROSSED TATTOO South African tattooists Rich Phipson and Ross Turpin are here to give you high quality tattoos in a cool environment.


2/F, 57 Granville Rd 15:00 - 21:00 Mon - Sun (Wed Closed) (852) 6256 0217


If you saw a bar with the floor full of peanut shells, that’s Prat Avenue Fatt’s Place (Peanuts Bar). The bar also sells the locally brew Hong Kong Beer. Other items on the menu include pizzas, sandwiches, chicken wings, spare ribs and steaks. If you’re not really hungry you can always munch on the free peanuts.

5 2 Hart Avenue 11:00 - 02:00 Mon - Sun (852) 3421 1144 N/A


Getting Drunk On a Budget


Tiny But Delicate

HKIT The freshest skate shop in the Kowloon side.

6 2/F, 55 Granville Rd 14:00 - 23:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2891 5819

Famed Street Brand STUSSY shop C & D, 121-123 Chatham Rd S (852) 2302 0015


DNA GALLERIA Local Designer Brand Collective



U.S. Street Wear G/F-1/F 43-45 Granville Rd (852) 2366 3088




61 Chatham Rd S (852) 2312 7136

4/F, 30 Granville Rd (852) 2369 1808

U.S. Street Wear & Silver

G.O.D. G.O.D.(Goods of Desire) was a good mix of local designs with every-day objects from underwear to i-phone cases.


Shop B02, Basement, Silvercord, 30 Canton Rd 12:30 - 22:30 Mon - Sun (852) 2784 5555


For the Lonely Night


U.S. Street Wear


6-20 Kimberley Rd


Shop 1B-19 Basement, Prudential Centre, 216-228 Nathan Rd (852) 2915 2205


Premium Denim 2/F, 48 Haiphong Rd (852) 2375 5731




Asia Bookstore Chain

Shop 3002, Level 3, Zone A, Harbour City, Canton Rd (852) 2730 6080


To Live Better

MONG KOK Mong Kok preserves its traditional characteristics with an array of markets, small shops, and food stalls that have already disappeared from other areas in Hong Kong over the past several decades of economic developments. As such, a few of these streets in Mong Kok have acquired interesting nicknames reflecting their own characteristics.


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St ong Po F Yim

Fa Yuen



St Sai Yee

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S Choi St

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d St Portlan

Pit St


St Temple

Rd Nathan

Ferry St

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oo Rd Waterl


15 Soy St

Soy St


ai St Shangh t ation S Reclam Rd Canton

W Kowloon

Yau Ma Tei

Pit St

Ming Ln


12 11

ng Sai Yeu



St Nelson

1 St Argyle Mong Kok

17 16 Fife St

Wa ter loo

Kok Rd Mong

ai St Shangh

6 7

King’s Park

Prin cess Mar gare t Rd

Pui Ch ing Rd


Wa ter loo Ave

St Tin Man Ho

St au gH un Ch

s es nc Pri

King’s Park Rise


Ma nF uk Rd

Rd ret rga Ma

Wide Range of Kicks


When it comes to tourist attraction in Hong Kong, the Sneaker Street is always on the top of the list, because when you see so many sneakers stores on the same road that are selling a gang cheap kicks, it’s more fun than praying in front of the big Buddha or flicking with Mickey Mouse. The sneaker street is located in the middle Mong Kok, Hong Kong’s most crowded area. The sneaker street is on Fa Yuen Street starting from Dundas Street to Argyle Street. The area surrounding these few blocks consist of

more than a hundred sneaker shops. The ranges of brands available on Sneaker Street include nearly all the big names that are popular with general sneaker heads which are primarily Nike, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Reebok and Converse. From a pair of limited edition Jordans to a pair of Chucks, they are all available here. The prices are nearly the same is every store due to the group ownership stores ensuring there is a common fair rate for the kicks. However the prices are generally lower than most




of the retails in the States and Europe because of the super low tax rate in Hong Kong. You also don’t have to worry about fakes in these shops due to the good “neighborhood watch” program by the shop owners. So buy with confidence.

Fa Yuen St. (Dundas St to Argyle St) 11:00 - 23:00 N/A N/A


The Leading Toy Store


The grandaddy of toy stores in HK. On the second floor of CTMA center (Toy Mart), you’ll find a bunch of toy shop. And at the very end of the alleyway, you’ll see a display of a gazillion rare toy and that’s Superman’s collection.

2 Shop 222, 2/F, CTMA Centre, 1 Sai Yeung Choi St S 13:00 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2366 2688 hk

TATTOO ON THE ROAD High quality tattoo and piercing in the center of mongkok.

3 Rm 1305, Good Hope Buld, 5 Sai Yeung Choi St S 14:00 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852) 9668 7433 N/A

Urban Battlefield

YAN ON BUILDING The ground floor of this building is like an arsenal filled with guns, grenades and bazookas.

4 1 Kwong Wa St N/A N/A N/A


Extremely Fine Craftsmanship


Red Light Districts

PORTLAND STREET The street is known for the retailing skyscraper complex Langham Place and the biggest red light district in HK as well.


Btwn Bute St & Waterloo Rd N/A N/A N/A

Not Only for Women

LADIES MARKET Typical market place that sells fake cloths and electronics. Grab a local friend with you if you don’t want to get ripped off.


Tung Choi St (Between Argyle St / Dundas St) 11:00 - 23:00 N/A N/A

KAM WAH CAFE The pineapple bun with butter is one of the snacks that you must try and Kam Wah Cafe makes one of the best in Hong Kong.


4 Bute St, Prince Edward 06:30 - 23:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2392 6830 N/A

The Largest Stationery Stores

CHUNG NAM SQUARE The five-storey stationery mega store provides a wide range of art supplies at a fair price.

8 503 Nathan Rd 10:00 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2384 2430


Freshly Baked For The Whole Day


All About Indie Culture

KUBRICK BC A bookstore with a cafe. The bookstore is not that of mainstream, but more focused in the categories of Film, Music, Cultures, Humanities and Travel.


H2 Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St 11:30 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2384 8929


Art Gallery


Urban Wear Outlet



Urban Clothing Shopping Mall



Whole Building of Upstair Café


404 Shanghai St (852) 3485 6499


546-548, Nathan Rd (852) 2722 1094

580A Nathan Rd

38 Dundas St

TEMPLE STREET Temple Night market opens at around 6pm. There’s a bunch of oriental goods to complete your souvenir check list.

10 Temple St (Jordan to Yau Ma Tei) 18:00 - 23:00 N/A N/A


Famous Street Snacks

Shop 4A, 55 Dundas St

Street Show


Mobile Phones Trading Market



SIN TAT PLAZA 83 Argyle St



Filled with Astonishing Items

OTHERS It’s really hard to squeeze all the goodies in here. So in the last part, we’ve selected a few more interesting locations outside the Central, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok. Enjoy!

The Base for Local Art


Shek Kip Mei

JCCAC (Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre) is an art building in Shek Kip Mei that was converted from an old cottage factory building. JCCAC is basically an art village with more than hundreds of artist and organization working there on a regular basis. There is a wide variety of art-forms showcasing at JCCAC, from painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass art, printmaking, installation, to photography, animation and video production, music, dance and drama. On most weekends, visitors may find art events and exhibitions being held in JCCAC’s Galleries and the Black Box Theatre. The JCCAC Arts Festival held in December is the biggest annual event when all the artists come together to work on one big event every year.

Check out their website for the latest news.

30 Pak Tin St, Shek Kip Mei 10:00 - 22:00 Mon - Sun (852) 2353 1311



The First Indoor Skate Park


Ngau Tau Kok

Kwun Tong

Other than skating there during the rainy days, you should also visit SK8five2 during their event days. From photo exhibition to skate tournaments, different events are held at SK8five2 frequently. Visit the 8five2 website to see what’s coming up next. Note: Not everyone can go there and skate. You have to join the SK8five2 membership in order to skate there. Check with the store reps for details of becoming a member.

7/F, D&E Hang Seng Industrial Building,185-187 Wai Yip St, Kwun Tong

11:00 - 20:00 Sun - Thu 11:00 - 18:00 Fri - Sat (852) 2344 3982


Props for the effort of 8Five2 and Vans, the first indoor skate park in Hong Kong was officially opened in February this year. Passing through the 8five2 outlet store (lots of discounted skate brands down there!), you will enter the Vans Sk8five2 skate park. The skate park itself is around 3,000 sq ft. If you know how expensive the land price is in Hong Kong you’ll have to agree that this indoor skate park is absolutely in a good size. The California Ramp Works were hired to design the ramps and layout, so you can imagine that SK8five is absolutely up to the world standard.


Music Never Dies


Hidden Agenda is a dope spot for live and independent performances. Often crushed by the police and authority for no reason. They are now relocateing to another industrial building in Ngau Tau Kok. Head over to their website for the latest events. Support independent music and fcuk the police.

2A, Wing Fu Industrial Bldg, 15-17 Tai Yip Street,
Kwun Tong N/A (852)9170 6073 www.hiddenagendahk. com

FOTANIAN OPEN STUDIO Every year, over hundreds of creative studio located in Fo Tan, a major industrial areas in Hong Kong, will join force together in a open studio program program called FOTANIAN. Go check out what the largest art community in HK has to offer. Fo Tan Industrial Area, New Territories 14:00 - 20:00 Sat - Sun Jan (Year Event) (852) 9487 1984

The Distinctive Red-brick Building CATTLE DEPOT ARTIST VILLAGE It was originally used as a slaughterhouse from 1908 to 1999. It was renovated and developed into a village for artists to hold different functions related to art.

No.63 Ma Tau Kok Rd, To Kwa Wan N/A (852) 2503 1630 N/A


Studios in the Industrial Area


Antiques ďš Souvenirs Flea Market

APLIU STREET A huge flea market containing electronics, electrical components, and related other items. A shopper can find both new and used merchandise in the area. Apliu Street is well known for geek shopping. Btwn Nam Cheong St & Yen Chow St 11:00 - 22:00 N/A N/A

Traditional Chinese Festival

CHEUNG CHAU DA JIU FESTIVAL The four-day celebration includes parades, opera performances, and children dressed in colorful costumes. On the last night there will be a scramble for the buns on the three main towers.

Cheung Chau Island Apr - May (Year Event) N/A




Here comes the Once Again Hong Kong issue.In this issue, Hong Kong is in the spotlight of the “Urban Map” section which is a travel guide de...

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