Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong

Archive for the ‘hong kong tourism’ Category

in for a disney ride

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danny elfman and i. meeting danny elfman was one of those moments in life where i felt nothing but a 100% pure untainted happiness.

i asked danny elfman, do you have a student, an apprentice/ a disciple learning from you?

he said, it’s funny you asked because it was only last year that i have an intern do things for me for the first time. all these while, i i felt that i had nothing to teach anyone.

i don’t believe that at all. danny elfman has nothing to teach? you have to be kidding me.

hubby beaming ear-to-ear. i have never heard my husband talk so much. not many people know this but hubby was a classical trained musician. see i always dig the artistic type of men

i received a text message from my friend and  it said, darling are you back? do you want to meet danny elfman? he is coming to hong kong for the first time.

i was like – get out of here. danny elfman ? the danny elfman who wrote the theme song to the simpsons? the guy who was responsible for almost half of tim burton movie soundtracks such as nightmare before christmas, batman, alice in wonderland, charlie and the chocolate factory?

how do you say no to that? it is like as though someone gave me golden ticket to visit willy wonka’s chocolate factory -literally.

danny was in hong kong to see the site of hong kong disneyland’s latest attraction – the mystic manor ride. though the ride is not built yet, danny said going on set in search of inspiration is part of his work-in-progress. danny has been commissioned to create the soundtrack for the mystic manor ride. being the only ride of its kind and exclusive to hk disneyland, the mystic manor ride themes itself around the mansion of an eccentric world traveler set in the year 1908 – during the period of imperialism when it was fashionable to collect weird items from around the world. sort of like indiana jones with a monkey for a pet and has a devilish side.

danny had said that he wanted to do it because his favorite ride at disney was the haunted mansion and later on his friend told me, you know the photos of mystic manor – that’s like danny’s house in la. he has five shrunken skulls at home.

i blinked hard and said – you mean to say human skulls?

the concept of the mystic manor. can't wait for it to be built. thinking about the type of music danny elfman will write for it gives me shivers already. shivers of excitement

as i think about it, i am sure there is a reason why the collaboration between tim burton and danny elfman has lasted  longer than most hollywood marriages – 25 years and 12 movies. they aren’t exactly what you would consider the average america suburbia folks.

danny elfman did not study classical music. he admitted that he was a terrible pianist. but you know what, every time i talk to someone successful i realized something about them, a common trait that they share. they don’t give up. i cannot imagine the odds that must have been against him as am sure a lot of “clubby classically trained folks” have a lot to say about his shortcomings.

i said to danny - "danny do you think all of us have a soundtrack?". he looked at me puzzled and i continued. well, i have a soundtrack too. i sang it to him and said, that is my soundtrack. that's the song i sing when i get up to mischief....

it touched me tremendously when he said this – if you look at the story of all successful artists or famous people – ” at some point in their careers, they get a lucky break. if we had released pee wee’s big adventure five years earlier or later, it may not have been successful and i may not have received any attention for being known as the guy ” who does quirky soundtracks” and when your break comes, be ready to work your hardest. thank you!!!

i have not met many people as famous as danny elfman and for someone like him to say that, i take it as an important guide for me -to continue on with my little journey of life, humbled and reflective.

his friend asked me – where do you suggest we should go tonight? someone suggested the peak.

i said do you know about the story of stanley ho, the casino king of macau? well he has four wives and 16 children and they are all fighting for a share of  his empire. best part of all he is still alive. recently the papers published the addresses of all of his wives. i think you and danny should check it out – because if you want real horror, nothing is scarier than a lot of money – four wives and 16 kids.

i mean afterall, danny is searching for inspiration.


the disneyland for adults.. here in asia – macau

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disneyland for adults – now that is a proposition i like. if there was a museum archiving sex, hugh hefner deserves an altar and a worship room. i may not have sat on his lap or became one of his girlfriends but last friday night, i had rendezvous and took a peek into the bejeweled world of naughty fantasies, beautiful women and powerful men.

though that night lasted one night – that was enough for me to prove that hugh hefner really exists and the playboy club is not a figment of imagination.

asia now has a chance to embrace more of it as the first playboy club is about to open its doors at sands macau.


it is not appropriate to ask me what i was wearing, instead you should ask me what wasn't i wearing



faisal can't wait to see all the playboy bunny hopefuls



the winner i think is......


i asked reggie martin the general manager of the club. the guys have all the girls to look at. how about the girls? are you going to make it playboy stud for women? he laughed and said that he would invite me for chippendale ( a strip tease for girls) i’d hold you to it reggie.


remember reggie - chippendale



i think being a bunny is a lot of hard work. no kidding. that suit is hard to wear


you know i have always been curious about the playboy bunny alumni. what do you do after you become a bunny? last friday i met a real bunny – denise pernula. i like denise. she is a small town girl from wyoming and working with playboy has given her a chance to see the world. i asked her if i could touch her bunny tail and she said because i was special – she allowed me the gesture.

the bunny tail was so soft and fluffy. nothing like one of those cheap halloween versions i tried before. feels as though it’s real bunny fur as well.

i suddenly feel as though the playboy icon is everywhere. i wonder if there is some sort of a global pr campaign happening right to try and rejuvenate the brand. i read about the big bunny – hugh’s plane a week ago on the wall street and a few hours ago – i saw hugh on cnbc’s titans.


apparently bunnies come in all shapes and sizes.. i wonder if there was a maximum weight though?


if i ever threw a dinner party to celebrate the lives of great men and women, hefner would be one of the first on my list of invitees.

at the end of the day, i feel that there is so much more depth in this man than his all-play, all sex, all young girlfriends exterior.

i never believe in everything i see but i think hugh is just one of few smart ones who have figured out what sells and what doesn’t.

i think he and i could be friends and we could talk business. i’d love to learn from him.

say hugh are you looking for an apprentice? i am not blonde nor tall nor skinny but i am 10 feet of unadulterated personality.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

October 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm

kowloon – where the wild things are..

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kowloon and its multitude layers of texture. i took a walk along nathan road from jordan to mongkok yesterday at dusk. i think kowloon is beautiful. do you think so? if you don’t think so, let me prove you otherwise.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

June 13, 2010 at 8:05 am

my sunset collection…over the years in hong kong

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i don’t wake up early enough to watch the sunrise and the sun rises very early in hong kong. over the years, i think i have seen a lot of spectacular sunsets in hong kong. i am putting together some of my favorites as a reminder that in life, we need free thrills to keep ourselves happy.. hope everyone had a good weekend!!

sunset in sunny bay lantau island

sunset in mui wo lantau island

sunset at tsim sha tsui overlooking the victoria harbour

sunset over ocean park

sunset at the zaha hadid channel exhibition

sunset at cheung chau island

sunset at the sai kung

sunset at cheung sha beach lantau island

sunset at tai tam reservoir hong kong island

sunset at fan lau lantau island

sunset at pui o lantau island

sunset at nam shan wai yuen long

sunset at causeway bay

sunset at pui o

sunset up on the peak

sunset at tai long wan sai kung

sunset at sheung wan

sunset in wanchai

sunset at home in discovery bay

changing scapes

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nothing lasts for very long in hong kong. the city is too unsentimental when it comes to change. i like change but there are things that i think are worth saving. one of the changes that are unfolding right before of our eyes is wanchai. have you taken a walk lately on queen’s road east?

i walked through the whole stretch the other day and i think queen’s road east is simply amazing. no one talks about in guide books but wanchai is going to be the new soho soon.

i love the small roads off queen’s road east – ship’s lane, wanchai gap road, sik on street. there is the reputed haunted house nam koo terrace, the blue house, off the beaten track art galleries, tree lined roads  and SO MUCH GOOD FOOD. there is a group of people that offer wonderful heritage walks around wanchai – my friends and i went for the haunted tour and went to see all the haunted spots around wanchai. we didn’t see any ghosts but we got good stories to tell our friends after the tour!!!! everybody loves good stories. call them – the wanchai livelihood museum

enjoy my photos and if you want to walk around wanchai – please invite me. i want to show you this really cool road that connects wanchai gap to bowen road where you can see the whole hk skyline- literally at your feet!!!

sikh temple - gives out amazing free vegetarian food every friday. sits at the very edge of queen's road east close to morisson hill

the infamous blue house

the new glitzy buildings along queen's road east

apparently back in the 50s there was a ghostly postman who would deliver death notes to random households in wanchai, the temple was built to stop the overnight delivery

the artistic side of wanchai

the old side of wanchai - wonder how long they will continue to stand

have a little lomo fun…

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i am currently  going through this photo taking obsession phase and have been contemplating on getting a dose of cheap fun by getting a lomo camera. do you know that the hk club lomography is the headquarters for apac?

i initially thought you can either choose the panoramic ones or the fish eyed ones – i didn’t know the collection is so extensive. that is why until now, i am still undecided. they have dianas, holgas and limited edition ones – please see catalogue

priced between HK$400 – HK$ 800 ( not the special editions) i think they make perfect gifts for anyone. even if someone doesn’t take a whole lot of photos, i reckon they make nice decorative items at home or offices.

visit them the next time you’re in hong kong – it’s located at sheung wan, close to hollywood road central. there is a whole lot to see on that road

lomography asia pacific @ sheung wan - just a stone's throw from hollywood road

the lomo lubitel - i love the vintage feel.

tell me how to choose - i want all of it!!!

i think if i do this to the wall - my hubby will kill me!!!

i tweaked the photo to give it a very lomo feel

do you like??

go there even if you don’t think you will  buy anything, it’s definitely worth a look and i think it is one of hong kong’s undeclared attractions. just treat it as a small museum.

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Written by smalltroubleinhk

April 14, 2010 at 3:50 pm

wing lee street – remnants of the past

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there is a thai lady who lives on the second floor in my apartment building and i go to her regularly for massages. she gives the best massage in the world. as it turns out, she was born in a village less than a 1000 kilometers from the border of malaysia. till she was about 20, her little village had no electricity and many of the girls either turn out to be masseurs or prostitutes.

i don’t know about you but have you thought about where you are born and the options you are then given in life? i think a lot about these things. i think about how possibly f**ked up my life could be if i was born a little more north, or i was born in saudi arabia or north korea or even somalia. perhaps you can argue with me and tell me that what do you not have, you will never know what you are missing out. maybe..

people have asked me why is a foreigner writing about hong kong. i can tell you; people of hong kong are some of the world’s luckiest people in the world but some of the saddest too because they want so much, too much as a matter of fact.maybe you too need a foreigner to remind you that – we all need to feel a tad bit of appreciation for the things we have. i need to remind myself that too because i too could have been born a 1000 kilometers more north and walking the streets of bangkok without knowing about the other options in life.

went for a little walk  with hubby to wing lee street – the street where they filmed echoes of the rainbow yesterday.

to go to wing lee street, go to hollywood road at the side of man mo temple

finally wing lee street has been saved from demolition

if echoes of the rainbow hadn't been such a major success, do you think the voices of the people will be heard?

direct translation - save wing lee street

apparently wing lee street has one of the last remaining intact row of tong laus ( old shop lots)

although it is saved the people living there still has to fork out for its maintenance

i enjoy taking photos at a close up angle

lock and keyhole. wonder how many different families have lived here throughout the years

the people living there must find it so noisy these days because taking photos on wing lee street is apparently the in- thing to do in hong kong.. poor thing

i love this picture!!!

this building is so old - weeds are growing on the window ledge. but it's kinda charming

beautiful beautiful texture..

strong tree, strong roots

in every city.. no matter how busy it is, i guess we need to find a little solace in it. i love trees

mr. postman - i only get bills now.. no one really writes except my birthday cards from mum

this old man is too cute

there is a tree lined path that connects wing lee street to the back streets of sheung wan. it’s a nice walk if you fancy seeing a different facet to the city. oh yes, there is also a museum of medicine and herb on caine lane. happy exploring

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