What Hong Kong Can Learn from Barcelona

The Mercat dels Encants in Barcelona. Photo courtesy Fermín Vázquez The Mercat dels Encants rises like a mirage in the heart of Barcelona, the city shifting and shimmering across its enormous mirrored canopy. Completed in 2014, the structure is part of a vast redevelopment of the area around the Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, but it […]

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Street Food in Busan

I can still remember the ssiat hotteok in Busan: moist, thick pancakes stuffed with brown sugar, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, as if a French crêpe had voyaged to America, eaten too many Krispy Kremes and stumbled head-first into a Korean dry goods shop. It was the perfect salve for the early winter chill. In […]

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How Bangkok Does Street Food

As a corollary to last week’s post about street food in Canada, I thought I’d look at how it’s done in Bangkok, where food vendors can be found on every street at just about every hour of the day. Though it suffers from capital city syndrome, which means the food isn’t quite as good as […]

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The End of the Line

The end of the line is only the beginning — something we wrote about in 2011. That was especially true at On Nut, the eastern terminus of the Bangkok BTS SkyTrain until a recent extension. Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis, but the trains only took you to the edge of the central city. After that, a […]

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The Sacred Food Court

Seats of imperial power are often regarded with a certain reverence — they provoke admiration, astonishment, even fear. That’s certainly the case in New Delhi, where British colonialists built a series of massive, belittling monuments to their rule, or in Washington, DC, where the Mall is increasingly seen by its National Park Service administrators not […]

Open Doors in Phnom Penh

We’re happy to introduce our newest contributor, Yin Khvat. Yin was born in Manchester in the UK and has lived in Australia for the last six years. She is currently on a short stay in Taiwan and has a particular interest in Cambodia. Photo by Bo Nielsen A woman is selling green coconuts off the […]

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Hawkerama

Michael Leung’s “Good Morning” towels were a welcome sight. It was a scorching day on Fa Yuen Street, one of Hong Kong’s most popular street markets, and the energetic young product designer was inviting passersby to take part in a game at his market stall, Hoi Tung (“We’re open”). If you managed to use long […]

Hawker City

Not long ago, I was wandering around Kwun Tong trying to find an Indonesian restaurant. I arrived outside its front door only to find the shutter drawn, with a notice from the Urban Renewal Authority announcing that the property had been acquired for redevelopment. Then I looked around: nearly every storefront on the street was […]

Building a Better Street Market

Photo by Shichao Zhao When a blaze in the Fa Yuen Street market killed nine people last November, it was Hong Kong’s street hawkers that took the fall. Even before arson investigators had discovered the source of the fire, the government’s Hawker Control Officers ordered market stalls to remove their awnings and reduce the size […]

Cabbage Season in Beijing

Beijing, 1994: Mountains of Chinese cabbage — 396 million pounds by the reckoning of the Beijing authorities — began advancing on the capital this month, as one of old Beijing’s agricultural rhythms persists against the onslaught of modern supermarkets and glitzy shopping centers that have sprouted here. Rough-hewn peasants who have been sleeping with their […]

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Morning Coffee: It’s the Rats

The only way to properly explore a city is to walk, walk, walk — and take frequent breaks, especially in a place as hot and humid as Kuala Lumpur. By the time the sun was setting on our meander through Pudu, an old Chinese neighbourhood, we needed a sit down and a nice cup of […]

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(Subsidized) Cheap Eats in Hong Kong

Tai Po Market Cooked Food Centre. Photo by Tommy Ga-Ken Wan The decor consists of handwritten menus and beer posters taped to the wall, the lighting is a harsh fluorescent glare and there’s a constant din from the kitchen. No matter: it’s Saturday night and the Bowrington Road Cooked Food Centre is packed. At one […]

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Closed for the Night

Roaming Fish Vendor

Lunchtime brings Bangkok’s street vendors out in force, especially in the business districts like Asoke Road. That’s where I spotted this woman selling dried fish with some stale-looking limes. When she was approached by a customer, she would sit down on the plastic stool she carried around and handle the fish.