Lan Kwai Fong:
Hong Kong's International Nightlife District

The exotic and exuberant blend of international cultures, cuisines and people make The Fong a favorite of Asian American travelers looking for after-dark action.

by Jack Song



Lan Kwai Fong:
Hong Kong's International Nightlife District

ong Kong isn't known for its wild nightlife, but what life there is can be found in “The Fong”. Lan Kwai Fong occupies only a crowded two-block stretch between the heart of Central and the mid-levels, but makes up for its lack of spread by exuding the kind of energy that's attractive to visiting Asian American professionals looking for a good time. There's something liberating about being the city's international entertainment district.

     Unlike Tsimshatsui, which caters to moneyed locals or expense-accoaunt business entertainment, or Wanchai with its Suzie Wong overtones, the cosmopolitan mix of restaurants, clubs and bars of Lan Kwai Fong and adjoining SoHo (South of Hollywood Road) make up a sort of no-man's land. It attracts a combination of expats, youthful locals and tourists from North America and Europe. You're as likely to find youself chatting up a Lufthansa flight attendant as a Chinese American lawyer from L.A. With a few exceptions, no one group feels so at home as to take obnoxious liberties, yet everyone feels removed enough from familiar haunts to sport a carefree attitude. That makes for some exciting dining, barhopping or outright revelry.

An Italian cafe called La Dolce Vita is a great place to people-watch and warm up for an evening in Lan Kwai Fong.


     On weekend evenings some of that latter variety is likely to spill out of the establishments and onto the area's narrow streets and alleys in scenes reminiscent of frat keggers. Convivial drunks in need of fresh air or just plain standing room can be seen nursing beers and milling on the sidewalks. This is especially true in SoHo, the more casual (not to say funky) side of The Fong. SoHo probably boasts one of the world's densest agglomeration of eateries representing cultures from around the world. Small Indian, Cajun, French, Cuban and Chinese establishments vye for patrons with flashing neons.


C Club
Basement, 30-32 D'Aguilar Street, Central

     This youthful dance club attracts a big crowd of look-but-don't touch girls and would-be-casanovas. And why not? It tries hard to look like a pickup joint, what with a big double bed in the corner and suggestive lighting. The decor is a cross between post-apocalyptic and nouvelle redlight district. The only drawback is the possibility of having to stand in line to get in, but if you do, it is with the consoling knowledge that what awaits will be worth the wait.

39-43 Hollywood Road, Soho

     If you want a crowd and have a taste for exclusive ambience, this is the place to hit after you're properly warmed up. It's known for employing some of Hong Kong's top DJs and attracting a smattering of local celebrities. The decor is hip but comfy, the drinks are overpriced and the doorman acts like a Secret Service agent, but it's all in good, pretentious fun. The lychee martinis are worth a try. PAGE 2

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“You're as likely to find youself chatting up a Lufthansa flight attendant as a Chinese American lawyer from L.A.”

The area south of Hollywood Road (SoHo) is adjacent to Lan Kwai Fong and offers a less fashion-conscious alternative.


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