Hey /trv/, does anyone know of places similar to the old, now demolished walled City of Kowloon? I'm interested a in a gritty, place with a thriving underworld that's neatly compacted & cheap as HELL.
Kowloon walled city was built that way not because it wanted to, it's because it's an ENCLAVE, thus it can't expend beyond the grounds it was bordered. So what you are really looking for is small enclaves, which there are tons in europe, specially in those tiny countries between germany and france
Most Asian slums have things in common with Kowloon Walled City, except for the high-rise part. The slum in Klong Toei in Bangkok is probably one of the most accessible, and it's incredibly densely populated (an estimated 100,000 people in Just a sq km or two), but it's corrugated shacks on a swamp rather than tall buildings. And culturallyit resembles a very large rural village more than a seething urban underground (although there's obviously crime, it's more a gathering place of glue-sniffing children than mafia headquarters). Pic related.
But have you spent time in KWC, or in Hong Kong at all? If not, you would probably be content with Chungking Mansions, even if the most common underground activities are probably violations of intellectual property laws or smuggling of second-hand cellphones to Africa.
first time posting on /trv/
just stopping by to let you know that you are assmad
Do you think I could find quality opium & prostitutes at the Chungking Mansions? Also how difficult is it for law enforcement to navigate the place and is the culture anything like that of the City of Kowloon?
If you are white you will get offered hash, coke etc before you even entered Chungking Mansions.
Don't know about prostitutes, it's a fun place though stayed there a few days last year. Pretty good Indian restaurant as well.
There are indeed drugs around Chungking Mansions, although I think heroin is probably more common than opium, there as everywhere (including the late KWC--opium hasn't really been the done thing in China apart from in some minority mountain villages for close to two hundred years). Don't know about hookers but I'm sure they exist. I know there are girly bars/massage parlors elsewhere in Hong Kong.
>Also how difficult is it for law enforcement to navigate the place and is the culture anything like that of the City of Kowloon?
Well, it's a crowded complex of tower blocks, with insufficient elevators and fire stairways; it's hard for ANYONE to navigate. And there is more than a little gray-market and gray-area business taking place there, which was sort of the defining feature of the late KWC. (Probably not as romantic as you think it was). Culturally 'like the City of Kowloon' sounds funny, because Chungking Mansions is IN the city of Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, although I know you meant Kowloon Walled City. And like KWC, it's obviously a theoretical Cantonese-majority area, so that culture is the same too, although Chungking Mansions is also host to large South Asian and African visitor/visa seeker/traveling salesman populations, as well as more than a few mainlanders, either low-end tourist or entrepreneur. It's lively and seedy, the cheapest place to stay in HK (the blocks are full of semi-legal guest houses), and not everything that happens there is allowed by law. You'll probably enjoy it.
Kowloon isn't a "City" per se, more a borough, and if you want to be really precise then CM is actually in TsimShaTsui, otherwise I agree with your description of the place.
TBH unless you want to sew the "HK RealTraveler" badge on your organic cotton slingbag, you'll be far better renting a bed in one of the numerous hostels in TST or MongKok.
CM is not a secret underground place, just an overpopulated firetrap even tho it has been refurbished last year. I couldn't imagine it being pleasant to wait 15mn at peak hours to get to or from your room, just to save 2USD a night compared with cheap hostel.
Any more precise info on HK needed, just let me know!
>Is HK actually worth going to with a limited budget?
Define limited budget, I know nobody with infinite monies
>Am I going to get shot get stabbed there?
Safest metropolis in the world with Tokyo.
>How long do you plan to stay?
A week, maybe two or three.
>What are you into?
Museums, food, alcohol and loud music.
My biggest concern, as I've never done anything Asian that by myself before is that I won't get by on English alone.
2000 € after airfare is more than enough for a couple weeks, food is cheap.
HK Heritage Museum, HK Museum of History, Dr. Sun-Yat-Sen Museum, Po Lin Monastery, 10.000 Buddhas temple.
Food: everywhere. Really, do go out of your comfort zone.
Try dim sums (my fav is Char Siu Bao) Peking Duck, and any crowded place should be good enough for you to discover some local delicacies. When in doubt, just go for fried rice or fried noodles.
Alcohol and loud music: LKF and Soho, mainly on thu/fri/sat nights
Every HK Citizen you'll meet has followed English courses during school. Mainlanders not so much but you'll always get by with English only.
Only tricky part is with the places names, whenever possible have the chinese address written down. There's also an app for that.
Enjoy the greatest city (to me)!
Airfare is kinda big, for a poor student like myself, but I guess I don't really want a new phone anyway.
I guess I'll go for it, I mean what's the worst that could happen?
Also, am I gonna get the shits if I eat street food?
>most common underground activities
Was talking just last night to some german backpackers who were complaining about drug dealers hounding them in CkM.
At night it's pretty sordid, (low-class) hookers and dealers everywhere on Nathan rd there and outside Mirador Mansions too.
There's a lot more interesting crime going on than knock-off watches and handbags.
>quality anything at Chungking Mansions
You can get some good Indian food, and if you go to the shop-front money-changers then the currency is legit, that's it for quality and legitimacy there. The pros are low-quality at best, I've never been desperate enough to try them but they pale in comparison even to the street walkers you see just in Jordan and Mong Kok around Temple st etc.
>Also how difficult is it for law enforcement to navigate the place
They don't really care about anything beyond visa violations. It's not a priority and although they could probably put an indian cop in undercover, they'd be recognised sooner or later and it wouldn't work twice. It's probably already been done and doesn't work any more. They don't give a shit about knock-off watches and the dealers will get tip-offs from their bosses most likely, the bosses will have cops on their payroll. TST is mostly Sun Yee On territory I believe? Though all the triads except maybe 14K get involved.
The police DO do occasional sweeps of the place and check ID on fucking everybody in the building but they're mostly looking for visa violations, not other stuff. They probably wouldn't search anyone unless they were obviously a dealer or something.
Don't I remember this thread popping up a month ago? Someone posted caps and a link to the book.
>Biggest threat in CM would be pink eye or getting the shits because of overpopulation
I think you're safe food-wise but there was that rape a while back. Given the numbers of people moving through the place, it's probably not statistically significant but that two year old incident is the one thing anyone on the mainland knows about CM, I was looking at rooms in HK and my gf immediately asked why a place full of rapes could be so expensive.
Since you're going to ask: http://english.sina.com/china/2013/0603/595867.html
Apparently the guy had a job delivering drinking water to hostels there or something, saw a hot chick who left her door open and went for it. Not too bright obviously, especially given the cctv EVERYWHERE in that building.
>an app for that
>in Hong Kong with $40,000 USD? If I had a heroin habit, lived in the slums and dealt with prostitutes
If you have a heroin habit, it's not going to last long. I don't speak from experience but isn't that a trick question? Addicts can't handle money.
WIthout the habbit, it would last a while, rent is expensive and slums can descend to new depths in HK, you could sleep in a cage in the real slums for $500/month I think and fuck dirty middle-aged fat pros for $150 a time but I have no idea what you'd be spending on drugs.
More realistic, not to mention bearable, is to share an apartment in the 'burbs with some other expats for about $2000/month and fuck girls from miss148.com for whatever they charge, go see for yourself. I still don't know the cost of drugs though.
HK is mostly as/more expensive as/than the west, it's not a bargain except maybe for food.