Causeway Bae

If you've been following (or stalking) us on Instagram, you probably had
figured out that we went on a little FAMILE vacation a few weeks ago.

And if your ignorant or just plain poor at identifying place, let's just say
we went to Hong Kong.
We stayed at a place called:
@Nathan Rd.,Tsim Sha Tsui.

Yes, it's a mansion but not the pricey kind.
It's a mansion in the sense that the buildings within are a collection of
inns and guesthouses.

We prebooked (via agoda) a room at Tom's Guesthouse.
The room itself looked pretty sweet.
You have an aircon unit, two beds, a TV, a bathroom and that's it!
And quite frankly, those are the only things you'll ever need in a hotel/inn/guesthouse.
You're not there to admire the panoramic views from your window,
a large portion of your trip takes place outdoors. Where all
the people are.
And one of the many perks of the said guesthouse is that they do offer
free-wifi. Not public wi-fis but room exclusive wi-fis. Making updates on
social media a breeze.

And despite the bad reputation the place had been receiving over the years, at no point in our stay did I ever feel unsafe.
Police visibility and CCTVs are definitely one of the many steps the Mansion had taken to ensure it's guest of their safety.
Convenience is definitely top priority, for the first floor alone is packed with various stores,
Luggage bags like these are definitely one of the more common items being sold not only
at this place but everywhere else within the said country.
various curry restaurants, foreign exchange offices,
cellphone shops and this high tech looking Instagram/photo booth.

And since it's December, yuletide-y stuffs are being displayed everywhere.
Case in point....
At Harbour City:
At Sogo (Tsim Sha Tsui branch):
At ISquare:
At Nathan Road / Tsim Sha Tsui:
At Windsor House:
At In's Point (Yau Ma Tei):
(Courtesy of Point Cut HK)
At Hong Kong International Airport:
Ok, so maybe diamond skullsdinosaurs and cartoon like aliens weren't too christmas-ey
but you get the general idea.

And no trips to an asian country would be complete without spotting out some
funny store/street names,
(And believe it or not, they DO have a gun at Noonday Gun. Well, more like an artillery cannon but at least they weren't lying about the gun part.)
A video posted by sirenegraphy (@sirenegraphy) on
So, when are we having LAM?
Holly Land?
Tsyeah right, more like Wu-Tang Land!
and not to mention slap tagging with the local graffiti artists.
Sticker bombing in Hong Kong was quite a blast!
Vandalism laws do apply and HK Authorities were definitely
everywhere but are more concerned with enforcing road and public safety. And as always,
slap with caution. A large number of our slaps could be found around the Harbour area. Where local names like Xeme and The Black Eye Patch rule the land.

We've also spotted a couple of Shepard Fairey slaps at Causeway Bay.
A BNE slaps at Yau Ma Tei.
and an Invader slap at Apliu Street.
These are definitely exciting times to be a sticker bomber.
And according to ARTSY, we were at the right place and at the right time!

Getting from point A to point B
is made easier by Hong Kong's very reliable road maps,
signages (most of which have English equivalents written on them),
public transport systems
and by the more than accommodating men and women in uniform.
OK, that last one was definitely a robot!
I'm amazed as to how many robots there are in Hong Kong. I guess they are quite prepared for the impending Robot Singularity.

But still, the bestest way to go around town is thru good ol' fashioned WALKING!
And you better get used to it, for you would be doing a lot of THAT from sunrise to sundown.
Depending on your own personal endurance, I guess?

Food could also be both a tasty treat
or a screaming bowl of diarrhea.
So choose wisely
& carefully!

Tall buildings were everywhere!
Plenty of which were as old as the hills.
But worth pointing out were some of the more odd looking ones!
Like this block for example.
It sure looks like chocolate. Or better yet, Majin Buu's house!

Or this one that looks like a Rubik's Snake.
I'm kidding!
That one's definitely a famous Hong Kong landmark, it's the Bank Of China Tower to be exact. The fourth tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong.
Which is also celebrating it's 100th year anniversary.
This dome looking thing...
Nah, that's actually the Hong Kong Space Museum.
This futuristic looking building,
And last but not the least, this CAT looking thing!
OK,that last one definitely is the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro!
The view from within the Catbus:
Housed within Times Square.
And within Donguri Republic.
A store that sells Studio Ghibli related figurines and collectibles.
Speaking of geeky things, the best time to go shopping is around the afternoon-night time.
Since most of the smaller and less commercial stores opens at roughly around 1-2pm and closes around 10-11pm.
Stores like:
Metro Comics & Clark's Comics

Sugar St. in itself was pretty difficult to find. But Causeway Bay Shopping Centre does offer not one but two comic book stores. Most of their products cater to a more western crowd. But for $5-$10 per back issues then that's definitely a steal. The shop also carry most of the newer (New 52, Marvel Now) stuff and plenty others from less mainstream companies such as 2000 A.D.Vertigo and IDW.

And, what's this???
Hey there, little random store from Hong Kong!
Are you trying to tell me something.
Something I should be working on right about now?
Oh Mona, you cheeky little bastard, you!

And just a corner away from the centre, you would find: The Commercial Press.
A four-five floors worth of both eastern and western books. Para siyang National Bookstore. Everything looks good and all, except for the fact that I don't have any money to purchase most of them.
It still is considerably cheaper than the ones being sold at Asahiya Bookstore (Sogo).

In's Point

The third floor has a candy store,
Yokai (the anime show and not ancient Japanese monsters) themed cafe and an Ultraman themed barbershop.
SHFiguarts seems to be the in thing nowadays.
Despite the wide selection of DBZ characters to choose from. I was never really into these sort of things. I'm more of a retro/vintage collector. Something which the place caters to as well.
All of this is quite fitting, now that DBZ is celebrating it's 30th Anniversary.
But sadly enough, the only ones that DO fit in within my budget are these....
It's not THAT bad but not entirely that good either. Sakto lang!
Well, these are relatively inexpensive.
Ohhh, both Kurama and Hiei costing a bit more. Much to the dismay of YYH fangirls everywhere!
Vintage toys would always be more expensive and be a more profitable investment most especially when you're planning to resell them in the future.
Equally expensive Jordan sneakers.
Random shots of LEGOs.
A few of the cooler things we've found.
Also display cabinets like these are simply amazing!
They do offer more diverse items than the ones being sold on personal shops. Some of the items included were: cassette tapes, original cds and various volumes of mangas (most of which is that of a particular character's first appearance).
You could actually purchase some of it's content provided that the owner of the said
case is still within the area. We arrived a little late hence we weren't able to buy anything.

Golden Computer Arcade

Apliu Street also used to be filled with video games and geek related merchandises.
But recently it has been reduced to but a shell of it's former self.
Call it signs of the times but everyone else seems to be more interested with mobile phones and similar gadgets.
Golden Computer Arcade used to be our go to store for all our SNES (Super UFO days)and GAMEBOY (Pirated Multicart days) needs.
I'm quite pleased that they STILL do live up to my expectations but
it still is a bit disappointing to say the least.
FC Pocket 88s were being sold everywhere and so are these 2 player arcade sticks
loaded with retro or Capcom figting games.
I would've bought one if only it wasn't so god damn expensive (roughly around $1,200-$1,300 per unit).


Is where you'd go to for all your legit CD needs.
The store also sells speakers,earphones, phonographs, vinyl records, band shirts and a few TPB comics from both Marvel and DC Comics.
They also do have an Ultraman and Gatchaman display cabinet.
Which incidentally is the only place you could photograph since everywhere else is off limits.
Finally saw one of these things up close.
It DOES look pretty good!
Hence, good job, BigBoysToys HK!

The three Hollywood films that were being promoted at the time of our visit:

This was part of Maxim's product line-up.
I've always found it fascinating as to how Darth Vader merch. seems to randomly pop up whenever a Star Wars movie is being shown. Regardless of whether he does or does not appear in the movie, his likeness alone is synonymous to the franchise. I've been hearing nothing but positive reviews about the film. Most of which were geared towards Donnie Yen's Chirrut Imwe character and as to how badass the Death Troopers are in this movie.

The two songs that I kept on hearing at McDonalds and every other trendy place I went to:

The two event/exhibition that we discovered by accident but was more than glad to have been a part of.

Indulging In Imagination: Exhibition Of Old Master Q's Comic Works
which took place at an area called:

Which is 4 huge ass floors worth of exhibition spaces, cafes and a public libraries. Which was one of the coolest area in the entire building but I'll get to that in a little while.
Quite like Sugar Street, Mallory Street is yet another one of them "hard to find streets in Hong Kong". We've heard about the Old Master Q exhibition thru an advertisement at Wan Chai's MTR Station.
Intrigued by as to how a comic book exhibit would look like, we've decided to look for the said establishment. But after numerous attempts and considerably giving up on the said search, we've finally arrived.
And boy, was it more than what we've expected!
Old Master Q is an iconic Hong Kong manhua character by Alphonso Wong.
Most of his strips are comedic and could be understood thru his strong visual style alone.
The themes for these strips ranges from everyday life to social/political commentaries about fashion, music and western/pop/youth culture in general.
Topics that would still be quite relevant even as we enter the computer age.
Most of his strips were 4-6 panels long. But longer story arcs would usually involve Old Master Q and the gang time travelling to a more Wuxia setting.
Most of these story arcs would usually consist of numerous pages and be colored at times.

All four floors features an interactive Old Master Q installation art of some sort.
But the 2nd floor would by far be the most jam-packed section of the entire exhibition area.
Character descriptions and history are then showcased side by side with the said character's first or best appearances.
We've entered the area through the backdoor,
hence all of our photographs are in the reverse order. Old Master Q should've been first, then Big Potato and so on and so forth....
Quite noticeably, they've decided to exhibit the original pages as opposed to reprinting them. 
These pieces were pretty exciting to see up close for Alphonso's precise inking and lettering skills closely mimics the one we do get to see on print.
There were also a few standees 
and unfinished pieces up for display.

And now for the BEST part of this trip, remember that mini-library we were telling you a while ago? Well, here it is:
True to it's name, it really is a HOME BASE for comic books.
And not just eastern comic books, they really do house a collection of books from around the world. 
And best of all, the place is open 24/7. I don't even know how the place earns money now that it's fully air-conditioned and doesn't charge a cent for admission. Some of the books were donated by library patrons. The place missed out on a grand opportunity to make itself self-sustainable by including a small store that actually SELLS comic book. Comix Home Base was built on a restored building. Most of it's interior still reflects it old city vibe.

On a related note, we seriously noticed a decline on both sales and general interest of the Hong Kong public towards comics. I guess our sentiments were best shared by a fellow Hong Kong comic artist named : Chichoi Lee.

Most of the big manga libraries had closed down.
Tankobons by the bundles were nowhere to be found.
The streets no longer carry the usual "muscular dudes with big swords" (totally not a gay euphemism for something else!) titles that the Hong Kong comics were popularly known for.
These photos were taken from 9-10 years ago. Comics might have fizzled out but big tits and pornography are still everywhere.

There was this one old lady in Temple Street and another old man in Kweilin Street. (No personal photo available, out of respect to these individuals, I guess?)
But this photo closely resembles the said person:
A photo posted by Delf. 🍩 (@delf.music) on

And a slightly hidden one on King's Road:
I guess, there are four other places I kinda missed out on while I was there:
1. Hong Kong Avenue Of Comic Stars
2. Old Master Q Restaurant
3. Ani-Com Park@Harbour "FUN"
4. Sino Centre

And despite looking like a boring old building that sells watches. In it holds countless treasure troves just waiting to be unlocked.

A photo posted by David Cheng (@chimpcheng) on

A photo posted by Phil Chang (@heyphilchang) on

And last but not the least,
The 51st Hong Kong Brands & Products Expo:
Yet another accidental discovery while trying to find more bookstores in Hong Kong.
An annual event, taking place in Causeway Bay's Victoria Park.
Entrance ticket cost around $10.
And it was well worth it! With all the free taste 
and free drinks and all..
It is what it is, 
a food and beverage expo.
Ranging from candies, local delicacies, beef jerky, dried/canned goods,
winter clothes and even UNDERWEARS!
Nothing out of the ordinary I guess,
but my god were the booths and signages elaborate as hell!
OK as well!
Yus indeed!

And with that in mind, thus concludes our rather lengthy (and image heavy) retelling of our humble little trip to Hong Kong. And no, we did not prance around like a god damn tourist for this wasn't exactly our first time in the said country so yeah...

Join us again on our next entry as we share to you the few things we got (while on a tight budget) for ourselves and quite probably for friends and relatives.
Ta-ta, fine folks of the interwebzzzz!!

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