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Lan Kwai Fong
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrSerious. Hollow. Blank-faced. Hong Kong locals are often depicted as dull, restless workaholics who do not know how to have fun. These descriptions may not be entirely untrue, but equating the locals to the idea of boredom is far from an accurate statement. After a day of hard work, they will actually loosen the buttons of their shirts and head towards Lan Kwai Fong, a dazzling area in Central where over 100 bars and clubs congregate to entertain the worked-up crowd.
How It All StartedGordon Huthart opened a disco when the area was still used for garbage collection. Then Allan Zeman, the former executive director of Ocean Park, opened the first western-styled restaurant named “California” in the same area and began transforming it from a deserted area to an upbeat nightlife haunt. That’s when Lan Kwai Fong took its first steps onto its road to fame.
The beginning of this grandiose world may seem unimpressive, but big things always start with small steps and wishful beginnings. Seeing how successful the existing restaurants have grown to be, other businessmen followed Zeman’s lead and began marching into the area with new bars, hubs and clubs. Lan Kwai Fong has since become a household name, the emblem of Hong Kong nightlife and, arguably, the local and expatriates’ favorite place for late night hangouts.
Where the Wild Animals areFor party goers wanting to rock the dance floor, with Lady Gaga blasting in their ears throughout the night, go to Magnum, the most luxurious-sounding club name in Lan Kwai Fong.
Magnum is a member of the Beijing Club Table, a renowned club franchise, and a great deal of party animals are drawn to the name itself, making Magnum the hottest spot to be. But Magnum is more than just a club.This monster franchise claims the entire ground floor of Silver Fortune Plaza, offering party goers a spacious environment. There are a set of stairs leading visitors to the second floor, where the bar is located, and the decor is classy and inviting. Black leather couches are decently aligned at the back of the club, while the dance floor is on fire, the groups can remain in their own little world if they wish to.
Magnum is not only perfect for party people, but also ideal for party organizers. BeautyTech, for instance, previously hosted make-up shows and annual parties in the club. The club is so famous that it even became the filming venue of “Lan Kwai Fong”, a local film that depicts the nightlife of a group of young party goers and their romantic encounters that emerge from it.
Festival CharmLang Kwai Fong is especially magnetic when festival season strikes. People love to gather around the area — usually wrapped up in holiday packages adorned with stripes, ornaments, and ribbons at New Year’s Eve or on Valentine’s Day — to celebrate these special occasions.
Halloween , among all festivals, attracts the largest crowd. On that day, people show up in costumes (the most popular choices being vampires, bunnies, and devil queens) and flock to the street, immersing themselves in this human parade. Game stalls are lined up and special performances are arranged to entertain the guests. Dolce Vita, a local TV show sends reporters to this Halloween celebration party every year to see how wild and tipsy the Hong Kong crowd can be for this western festival. Crowd control will be enforced by local police at this time of the year in Lan Kwai Fong, so be prepared for an hour-long walk from the MTR station to the main street.
Scrumptious DelightsTsui Wah Restaurant, a fast food joint with up to twenty six stores in Hong Kong, chose to open its 24-hour branch in Lan Kwai Fong,, which adds great charm to the area. After a night of wild fun, hoards of party-goers flock to the shop at 4 a.m. with their friends to enjoy early breakfast. Known as one of the culinary giants in Hong Kong, Tsui Wah garners great fame with its signature dishes, which people cannot afford to miss if they are looking for raw, quintessentially Hong Kong tastes to stimulate their numbed taste buds.
For first-time big eaters, try Hainanese Chicken Rice or Rice served with curry and fried pork-chops. Hainanese Chicken Rice is served with Chinese soup, special sauces and fresh cucumbers. One cannot help but be amazed by how delicately the chicken fillets are arranged, and how perfectly the sauces work with the main dish to resurrect your taste buds, delighting you both visually and orally. The oil rice, unlike other Chinese rice, is especially made to fit this dish.
Rice served with curry and fried pork chops is another irresistible cuisine. Flawlessly sliced, juicy pork-chops wrapped in crispy breadcrumbs are absolutely unbeatable. Soft and succulent, Hainanese Chicken Rice has something deliciously amazing in store for customers. Curry is not too spicy though, so for spice-craving people, look for other curry dishes. And always remember, tea is the perfect drink with any Chinese cuisine.
Travelling TipsLan Kwai Fong can get particularly packed after 10 pm even on ordinary days, so detour to the bars upstairs. For sure, visitors can be easily tempted by the neon lights flashing from every direction and over-enthusiastic bartenders attempting to lure them in, but the best place for quiet chats are hidden up high.
The upstairs bars offer you a tranquil environment for couples who prefer to talk quietly among themselves. In some bars, you can even sit by the balcony, where seats are sparsely distributed and privacy — a rarity these days — is protected. What’s better than clinking champagne glasses with your friends while overlooking the magnificent view below and having your peace shielded from the hectic dance scene?
Practical InformationHow to get there: exit D1 from Central.
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Author: IsabelleChan. Last updated: Aug 17, 2014