Over the years,in Sham Shui Po has evolved into a cultural hub. And yet, as Kongkee remembers, Sham Shui Po has enjoyed a profoundly rich culture of its own for a while. ‘Fook Le Model’ is a gathering point for toy and comics lovers. Kongkee finds the space very intriguing. “The way items are arranged shows its true character. There are so many details involved, such as stickers or small accessories that are full of fun. While most of the customers are ‘otaku’, visitors of different demographics also come and browse,” he explains.
While different districts exude different aura, 29 Coffee just has its own way of making a presence. Sitting at the ground floor of an industrial building on Tai Yip Street in Ngau Tau Kok, adjacent to small restaurants and food stores serving office workers nearby, Kongkee is fascinated by its authenticity and benevolence. "The counter is very small, but coffee is made with great attention and you feel the effort in bonding with the customers. It is a typical mom-and-pop store. Although it does not seem to fit in well with the physical proximity, there is so much life of its own. There are people who come check in every day. Its existence is no different from the grocery stores we used to have when young,” Kongkee says.
Adjacent to Ngau Tau Kok, Kwun Tong has been undergoing extensive redevelopments in recent years. Nonetheless, new things may serve to bring back the past. In Kwun Tong, a place where the new meets the old, Kongkee recommends the Kwun Tong Ferry Pier, a tranquil attraction away from the busy district centre. He describes it as a strange space seemingly co-existing in another dimension. "Although the pier is a bit shabby, the scenery here is still somewhat akin to the Hong Kong I remember as a child — there are not many people, and things here are not fancy. Get on a ferry and slowly you will sail through to North Point," he explains.
Golden Scene Cinema, which opened in Kennedy Town a few months ago, also reminds Kongkee of his childhood. Surrounded by busy streets, the small cinema is located next to the tramway on Catchick Street. When Kongkee was young, he watched classic Hong Kong films in the old theatres of Fanling, Sheung Shui and Tai Po Market. “While streetscapes are constantly changing over time, different people and activities are still going on. You will never know what comes up next — that is why this place feels so real,” Kongkee says.