Monthly Archives: September 2013


POLITICS – Interests of Conflict Weekly Digest #1

Watch out Hemlock! As of this week, Hong Wrong has a new contributor. ‘Tony Wong’ is our unimaginative pseudonym for an anonymous political commentator who, for months, has been responding to local news stories in his ‘Interests of Conflict‘ mailing list. Wong says that the newsletter is aimed at informed residents “who are encouraged to further develop and rebut the arguments made here, and in the media, to create actual, honest and productive political dissent.”

Hong Wrong will publish a select digest of his musings each week. You are free to distribute and republish anything you read here and can sign up to the daily newsletter by emailing ‘subscribe‘ to [email protected] If you sell your opinions, do so at your own risk, there might be a conflict of interests.

  • Hong Kong’s taxi fares are about to rise by approximately 10%, or 2 HKD for the beginning of the trip and 0.1 HKD for each additional 200 meters. The change will take effect on December 8. Getting the price right for taxis is almost impossible. If it is a little bit too high then passengers switch to other forms of transportation, leaving taxi drivers on the side of the street, unoccupied, jamming the roads and polluting the air. If the price is too low then not enough taxis are available, people have to wait for a taxi and can no longer rely on them… The other variable that changes is the price of the licenses, though that can go either way. Higher prices could mean higher revenues per ride, but that could be offset by fewer rides per day. It remains unclear why this market is still stuck in Stalinist times. In today’s world it would be easily possible to use technology to call a taxi. You set your start and end point, push your request to a platform and allow various taxi drivers compete for it. You will get back several suggestions differing in departure time, travel time, vehicle type and price, could chose according to your preferences and enjoy the price chilling effect of competition and innovation.


HELPERS – HK Maid Community Gather for Global Dance-Off 10

Ahead of the fourth International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees in New York this week, Hong Kong’s migrant community gathered in Central for a globally coordinated dance flash mob…

The UN is set to decide on the fate of 214 million migrants around the world. The ‘High Level Dialogue’ will set policies that enable governments to profit more from the money migrants send home to their families. Millions of migrants and refugees will be excluded from having a say in these negotiations.


BLOG – Guide to Hong Kong’s Beaches 5

A mildly amusing and possibly offensive overview of HK’s beach scene…

Hong Kong Beaches


PLACES – HK’s Least Loved Outlying Island? A Visit to Peng Chau 4

A short distance from the southern coastline of Lantau lies the small island of Peng Chau…

Not to be confused with Ping Chau in HK’s northeast, this rustic yet easily accessible island has an area of less on 1km.


BLOG – Kill It With Fire: HK’s Top 5 Most Dreadful Creepy Crawlies 17

HK has at least 6,784 insect species recorded thus far, most of which are fairly benevolent. However, some are less friendly. Below is a horrifying collection of five of HK’s most dread-inducing creepy crawlies…

Nephila Pilipes Golden Golden orb-weaver  – also known as giant wood spiders or banana spiders, they feature a leg span of up to 20cm and often prey on snakes or small birds. They are one of the biggest spiders in the world and, if you fancy a visit to the lovely Lantau Silvermine waterfalls, expect to be absolutely surrounded by gaggles of these nightmarish arachnids. HK’s ‘Jumanji Island’, Tung Ping Chau, is also teeming with the bastards, ready to devour your first-born child…

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Belostomatidae Kirkaldyia deyrolli – also known as giant water bugs or colloquially as toe-biters, electric-light bugs or Alligator Ticks. A popular delicacy in Thailand, Entomological Science journal notes that the water bugs are happy to attack moving prey such as snakes and turtles…


PHOTOGRAPHY – Lonely Metropolis: More Colourful Shots from Brian Yen 1

More shots from Hong Wrong’s favourite photographer, Brian Yen, below. Check out his other work here: ‘Age, Poverty & Loneliness in HK‘ and here: One Year in Hong Kong (a preview of his upcoming photo book). Yen manages to compassionately sum up HK’s human contradictions in a way which few other photographers manage to do. His shots always showcase the city’s fast-pace and vibrant colours, yet sadness and loneliness always seem to be close by…


HELPERS – Can an Elevator Be Racist? 65

We’ve all heard of The Giving Tree, but how about The Racist Lift? Can an elevator discriminate? One of the most common complaints from HK’s foreign domestic helper community is that of ‘day-to-day discrimination‘ – a phenomena which can often be difficult to prove. However, a video commissioned by the upcoming HK Helpers Campaign revealed how Causeway Bay Centre Shopping Arcade (near Victoria Park) is in the habit of charging HK$5 for the use of their elevator. Manned by two security guards and surrounded by ‘no photography’ signs, the fee is only applied on Sundays, when Indonesian maids pour into the area on their day off.

As Hong Wrong blog went to investigate, Stories Beyond Borders spoke to an activist for Open Door HK. Her organisation noted that the guards were highly inconsistent in their application of the fee, targeting those who can least afford it…

Starbucks at Alexandra House closes their bathroom to customers and non-customers on Sundays. And seating around the base of the IFC miraculously disappears each Sunday, only to reappear on Mondays…


BLOG – HK Mildly Inconvenienced As Typhoon Usagi Passes Nearby (Pictures) 7

Despite bracing for the ‘storm of the century’, Typhoon Usagi passed through southern China having little major effect on HK. The T8 signal remained hoisted overnight, leading to a morning off for many citizens.

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via Vincent Yu/AP

Other territories did not fare so well – 25 people were killed in the mainland and 2 in the Philippines

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Hangzhou, Zhejiang province yesterday., via Chance Chan, Reuters

Video by Edwin Lee et al of Fallout Media…