Hong Kong: Time Travel at Starbucks (懷舊星巴克), Night Stroll

There’s something I love about Hong Kong that I can’t explain.

Maybe I can.

I love old buildings, old things, old streets; things that have a history and a story behind it. Unfortunately, every time I go to Hong Kong, it seems like a part of its soul has been sold to large corporations. Rent has skyrocketed and smaller businesses are being replaced by corporations. All you see nowadays are international fashion houses, brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, Gap, H&M, Top Shop, the list goes on.

So it’s a bit ironic that we visited a Starbucks which features a corner that showcases Hong Kong’s culture in the 50-60’s. It’s supposed to replicate a (冰室 – “bing sutt”), direct translation – “ice room”. Ice rooms are places that sell drinks and snacks back in the old days. Most of the ice rooms that were established in HK  in the 60’s and 70’s are now gone.

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Here’s the entrance.

The cafe is located at 都爹利街 – “doh de lay gai”, Duddell Street. It was built around the 1870-80’s and the last 4 gas street lamps in Hong Kong remains on this street. It has been kept to retain a part of Hong Kong’s history.

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It really is a beautiful street. We saw some people taking wedding photos here.

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You can see where the Starbucks splits. Half of the coffee shop is renovated with old decorations and the other half is like any other typical Starbucks.

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This is my second visit to this coffee shop. It had not changed since my last trip 3 years ago. I really wanted to bring Bill and let him experience this unique Starbucks location.

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We went there around 1.5 hours before they closed and there weren’t that many people there. By the end of our visit, the place was quite empty.

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This is just outside the coffee shop.

After our visit, we took a stroll down around Central and here are some pictures:

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This is a famous qipao or cheongsam store in Hong Kong. They used to be located in a more humble location near the subway exit in Central, but they’ve moved just down the street from the Starbucks.

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Office buildings. It’s common for workers to pull 12 hour days.

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This intersection gets very busy during rush hour.

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A huge Coach. I believe this store is where the Body Shop used to be. Rent at this location is about CDN$300 per sq.ft; they’d have to sell a lot of soap.

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Gap recently opened a store in Hong Kong.

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I believe this is where there used to be a fresh market, but I’m not exactly sure. It might also be a garbage facility. It’s a painting with a classic Hong Kong cartoon character named 13 Dot.

Thanks for reading!