Hong Kong Alleyways

Have you ever considered alleyways as something aesthetically pleasant? Those back alleys are nothing worth exploring in most of the cities, but in Hong Kong it is a fascinating piece of local culture.

When I was a child, most times I heard term “Alleyway” it had a negative connotation.

HK Alley

You know, some infamous nooks where thugs do their dirty business like robberies and murders. Also it should be full of junkies, prostitutes and other antisocial folks. HK Alley

As a rebellious kid I wanted to see this on my own. So I visited dark alleys, but unfortunately the most antisocial things I saw there were either high school kids smoking pot or younger ones sniffing glue. But most of the time people just defecated or threw some rubbish in the alleys. HK Alley

So most of my adult life I treated alleyways as something not worth exploring. Until I visited East and Southeast Asia. Probably Seoul and Hong Kong are two cities where alleys are especially fascinating: most of them look like a perfect scene for some Asian detective or cyberpunk movie. HK Alley

Most impressive things are hidden in the back of the street. Street facade is something locals want you to see, while alleys is something they keep for themselves. HK Alley

Here is an example: pipes labyrinth near my hotel. It is placed far from glass facade and looks so cyberpunkish… Just imagine: the night, alley is lightened up by lightnings in the sky and neon signs, drops of water slowly flow down the pipes and walls. HK Alley

Or this quite alley in Kowloon backyard, where red lights show you the way to the whorehouse. HK Alley

And Asian alleys are incredibly beautiful and stylish. HK Alley

You know, very sick kind of beauty. HK Alley

The grungy one. HK Alley

It is always fascinating (and creepy) to track people down and see what’s their business in the alley. HK Alley

Very unexpected things happen here: you may find a bazaar or an underground barber shop in the alleyway. HK Alley HK Alley

Or even real estate agency! HK Alley

But most of the time it is just an outdoor warehouses. HK Alley HK Alley

Typical Hong Kong scenery: a small alleyway with skyscrapers on the background. HK Alley

Hong Kong is the most vertical city in the world, so you’l get most vivid alleyway impressions when you raise your head up. HK Alley HK Alley HK Alley

At first you notice how close those buildings stand to each other. HK Alley

Later you start seeing details like air conditioners or drying frames for clothes. HK Alley HK Alley HK Alley

Clean and shiny alley with an escalator. I definitely saw this place in “Chungking Express” movie by Wong Kar Wai. By the way, movie is awesome and very hongkongesque. HK Alley

Most of all I like the look of Hong Kong alleys at night. HK Alley HK Alley

It looks like 90s dark future sci-fi movie that came true. HK Alley