Nathan Road Special

Oh hi! I love the Nathan Road la! Coming soon...dumb westerners who love HK...

The Cantina Bar - You'll be sorry....

For Star Wars fans, Nathan Road and Tsim Sha Tsui in general, may very well be Hong Kong’s Mos Eisley. Obi-Wan Kenobi could have been talking about TST when he said “…you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious…”


Copy watch boss? Suit?

I’m not sure of the success rate of the copy-watch, handbag, suit, hashish, hooker or merchandise salespeople on Nathan Road…but judging by the amount of fat, slow, pale tourists lolling around clearly out of their element…it must be a deadset kill zone.

If I was to take a guess based on what I’ve seen I’d say it’s pretty easy for Tommy Tourist to outmaneuver the roving or corner based copy-watch guys. They’re pretty harmless – even the ones who try to sell you drugs:

“Copy watch boss? Copy handbag? Take a look!?…Hashish?”

They are pretty persistent, just like the suit guys who want you to go see their shop. If I wore suits I might even look into it. Anyway, I think most tourists are pretty leery of these street sellers and they have enough common sense to be suspicious of complete strangers.

The real slaughter seems to happen in those neon signed camera shops…the ones with 4 salesmen per square meter who look like they wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. These are the guys who stand on the step of their shop and study you with cold and indifferent eyes. In their defense, maybe the sight of Mom & Pop Mudburger and their 3 humongous children waddling into the shop day after day, their eyes sparkling with the myth that Hong Kong is still a shopping paradise of cheap, cheap cameras and mind bogglingly high tech gadgets, would jade the living shit out of even the purest heart.

Nathan Road

Be that as it may, many, many tourists don’t know they’re walking into a trap.

Nathan Road - It's a trap!

You read and hear it everywhere – don’t buy shit from the camera shops on Nathan Road. But do they? What do you mean ‘do they‘!?

Handbag? Very good for you.

I walked into one of these camera shops once and instantly felt cold and unwelcome, foreign and watched. It didn’t matter that it was a shop and I was a potential customer. Maybe they sensed I wasn’t there to buy their shit. I lasted no more than 20 seconds before I just had – to – get – out. Chilling. Cruel eyes. I got away…but many tourists don’t. You can smell death in those shops – tourist blood.

Merchandise? Merchandise?

What about those chaps who sit on the fence outside the Chung King Mansions? Salt of the earth? Mind my suitcase while I tie up my shoe? Vultures? Unfortunate exiles? I dunno but they are almost as creepy as the bowels of the Chung King Mansions themselves.

The bottom of Nathan Road is like that part of the river where all the wilderbeast must risk a crossing…where watchful and wily crocodiles wait to take the weak under.

If you find yourself in a situation with some mustache twirling, gold toothed grifter who calls you ‘boss’ or ‘chief’…and who tells you he has a death sentence in 12 systems

remember Mos Eisley and the Cantina Bar

Copywatch? Rolex, Timex, Citizen, Sharp, have a look...

I didn't catch what this guy was selling

Nathan Road isn’t that bad. You’re not going to get shanked or raped and if you’re careful you wont be sweating on STD clinic results the next day. There’s more physically dangerous places in the world, for sure. But if you like hanging out with straight up scumbags you probably couldn’t find a better place.

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22 Responses to Nathan Road Special

  1. Iago says:

    The Sevens was the highlight of my shitty, miserable, festering fucking turd of an experience in HK.

    There was very little ‘Hong Kong’ to do with the entire event, funnily enough…

  2. Lotus says:

    It must be so hard for you to walk by those guys without saying anything, I know what a strain it must be on your ex-pat mind to ignore something that bothers you… Imagine people trying to make a living by getting customers, especially since Hong Kong is where people go in order to get quality suits made. If there was no demand for copy watches, fake hand bags, and suits, those people would not be there… they are catering to your western tastes… ‘we want to look stylish, and have the newest and shiniest watches, and brand name hand bags, but we are to cheap to buy the authentic merchandise, so instead lets go to Hong Kong and buy a knock off so we can look rich back home.’

  3. Iago says:

    ‘…so instead lets go to Hong Kong and buy a knock off so we can look rich back home’

    Yeah, back home in the Phillipines.

    These guys are total scum – they don’t understand the word ‘no’, and they keep going. India must be just like HK.

  4. m says:

    “I know what a strain it must be on your ex-pat mind to ignore something that bothers you… ”

    Well, yes! Not ignoring a problem is how stuff gets fixed.

    Compare and contrast with the “local” mindset 😉

  5. Cletus says:

    They sell good hash though. Hey now!

  6. K-man says:

    Nathan Road…. good times had by all. Hookers, hotels, drugs, and fake goods… What more could a tourist want on their four day tour to Hong Kong… Once every second fortnight it is worth going down there just to remind myself why I don’t go down there more often.

  7. FormerLongServingEx-Pat says:

    Kong Hong truly does suck.

    Excellent blog btw.

  8. Thanks…there’s a lot to hate about Hong Kong…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Never ever trust any of those curry smellin’ fuckheads along Nathan Road (or wherever)! I’ve heard too many horror stories of them

  10. Anonymous says:

    @Lotus – fuck off

  11. David says:

    You are a liar!!!
    Tourists are NOT coming ONLY for cheap fake products.
    Myself, I have good friends espacially living in TST (chinese people). Three of my favorite beer pubs are there. I don´t look for prostitutes or drugs. Does that means I may not enter TST or Nathan Road? Fuck You!
    Many times I had backpacker-rooms in Mirador Mansion and Chungking Mansion.
    I used to let make two custum suits…..without being catched by those street hookers. They are USELESS and I give a big shit on them, trying to catch me and stand in my way.
    If it´s possible, I try not to pass Nathan Road because of this pesky people. I thank god for the possibility to try the MTR-underpasses to get to my friends and favourite places in that area.

    I love Hong Kong!
    By knowing “my” places, I enjoyed my stays in this convinient city for already nine times, mostly in combination with other destinations in east asia.

    For those who hate Hong Kong: Stay away or leave it!

  12. Open your eyes and get your fingers out of your ears dickhead

  13. manisha says:

    I agree with your posts about pretty much everything said here about hk. But dont generalize things..india is NOT like hk. There is a lot more warmth and friendliness there. I came here 4 years back and i hate it here. i AGREE india can be loud and filthy as well but at least we dont pretend to be something we are not…if you know what i mean. travel to India..see for yourself, and then we’ll have a rational argument.

  14. manisha says:

    The earlier post was a reponse to ‘IAGO’s comment ‘India must be just like Hong Kong’..
    Dudley, i love your posts!

  15. manisha says:

    For instance we dont particularly see the need to carry Gucci bags (real/ fake) in order to be deemed a worthy human being….

  16. hongkrap says:

    special of retard yeah!
    @lotus how come western ask for this shit, wich demand you talk about!?
    We earn much better than them , if we need a watch then we go to the store for quality one.
    No demand for shit like this made in china , in a terrible conditions of human right , surround by toxic products and sale by this indian jerks…..

  17. James P. says:

    While you are right that the scammers on Nathan Road are a pain in the ass, I disagree that the rest of Hong Kong should be painted with a broad brush. It has some fun spots, its just commuting to those spots can be a hassle. It doesn’t suck overall, just Nathan Road and the other touristy areas suck.

  18. 15wongnh1 says:

    I thought Lan Kwai Fong was Mos Eisley…

  19. Jeanette says:

    These negative comments all sound so naïve & pathetic. Hong Kong is a totally different culture & lifestyle. If you don’t like it, why bag on it? There’s no perfect place to live. The world is a beautiful place regardless of some people who sell knock off products. I’ve lived in Los Angeles my whole life. You wanna know about knock-off products? Go to LA. Open your eyes & learn about every culture before you open your mouth. I’ve been in HK for a month now & yes there are many differences compared to westernized culture esp in LA. but what do you expect? Grow up people. Live outside of your bubble & love the world for what it’s worth.

  20. Anonymous says:

    ‘Cause at least when you walk into a McDonald’s in LA the guy in front of you gives the door a push so it doesn’t close on you before you get to it
    ‘Cause there’s diversity in LA and real Mexican food
    ‘Cause the people in HK hate everyone — Chinese racist against other Chinese!
    ‘Cause there’s indentured servitude in the city
    ‘Cause the expats are spoiled twats
    ‘Cause expats like you defend this shithole

  21. Roly Poly Fish Heads says:

    Jeanette has been here a month, hahahaha you’re still just a tourist; you don’t know shit. After you live here at least 6 months I would like to see what you think of it.

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