Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong
香港 重慶大厦(チョンキンマンション)


The higher stories of this building have many cheap hotels, well-known to backpackers. I too stayed at one of them 17 years ago, on a night before my transit flight. I had no guidebook to Hong Kong then. I just heard about those cheap hotels and came to Chungking Mansions, where a runner from one of them caught me successfully.
The room just barely accommodated a bed. I opened up the window, and found a filthy old wall of a building standing next to it, as well as garbage thrown out of windows of the upper rooms. That was all I found! Having given up on finding something worth watching, I had nothing to do but to lay myself down on the bed and look up at the ceiling. There, I found a roach crawling around. This describes how the hotel really was.
These “Mansions” are known to the world as the locations of movies directed by Wong Kar-wai, “Chungking Express”, and “Fallen Angels.”
If you have seen these movies, renowned for their glamorously mysterious images, just try visiting the “Mansions.” I am sure you will find the place is not just mysterious and glamorous, but “fatale” as well, in the sense of “femme fatale.”
The building has a narrow stairway in its middle. Climb up it and turn left, and go straight. You can come to the Indian restaurant where I took one of the photos above.
The table is in the corridor, outside the restaurant, reminding us of a busy street in India. After I took the photo, I came back to this restaurant several days later. I gave them a photo of my coworkers and asked them to post it somewhere in the restaurant.
Then, two weeks later, a friend of mine was visiting Hong Kong. So, I told this friend about the photo. When the friend visited this same restaurant, the photo was gone.
Well, maybe they took is off soon after I left the restaurant.
Across the street, opposite to this messy labyrinth, stands The Peninsula Hong Kong, a five-star luxury hotel. These two exist side by side. This is one of the things that is so attractive and interesting about Hong Kong. And enjoying these two extremes together is partly what makes travel so much fun.
香港 重慶大厦(チョンキンマンション)

Chungking Mansions
36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon、Hong Kong