Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tung Choi Street - Goldfish Market (HK)

This evening, I stumbled across the following video of Tung Choi Street (in Mong Kok, Hong Kong), otherwise known as "Goldfish Street". It brings back quite a few memories from when I was there during my 2012 trip to Hong Kong, and captures a few of the sights I really wanted to take shots of (but couldn't really do, with all the no photography signs everywhere).

In fact, I'd say that this video actually makes it look a lot more impressive than what I saw at the time, with a lot more fish on display and in higher numbers.

 Some sights of particular note:
  • 0:08 , 3:30, 3:53 - The racks filled with little bubble-like plastic bags of fish. These are perhaps the most distinctive feature of the shops there, since they're like little "ready to go" aquariums (as some of these are complete with aquatic plants, on top of its collection of fish). Just add water to a tank, and you've got yourself a ready-made aquarium... perfect for the busy HK consumer lifestyle.
    • Another neat thing about these bags is that each of these features a different type of fish. 
    • (To anyone worrying about the welfare of the fish, from what I saw, they actually make up new bags throughout the day, so I'm guessing that they do let the unsold fish out of the bags for a bit)
  • 0:43 - This store had an impressive long tank with a coral reef inside, complete with little Nemos and Dory's. 
  • 0:50 - I remember that tank in the middle of the store with all the corals...
  • 1:35 - Nemo!!!
  • 4:21 - Tanks like these were quite common in a few stores (which incidentally were some of the ones with the most prominent no photos signs!). It's quite a sight seeing so many fish jammed into such a small space that they become a pulsing red swarm. I really wanted some shots of these, since they'd make some pretty awesome abstract shots!   (Also note how the bags here are ones with the plants; some of the shops a little earlier on had some bags with plants only)
  • 5:51 - The one here has some awesome blue "Dory"-like fish ;)
  • 6:31 - Look at the varieties in the bags!

Other notable points (not covered by the video):
1) There was one store located in the back-portion of the building (i.e. you entered via the stairwell, and if you keep walking straight down the corridor, you end up in the shop) where they had lots and lots of really large, fat cuties...

2) As can be seen, there were quite a lot of "other" shops in the area (which kindof diluted the effect). Of the food outlets, the one which sticks out in my mind the most is the one on the far corner which was selling "smelly tofu". That was my first encounter with the stuff, and also perhaps the most potent memory I have of that street now. Personally, I'd always imagined "smelly tofu" to smell like smelly feet or bad BO (i.e. basically, on par with the repungent sulphur-laden sewer smells you get around Kowloon Station), so I was surprised how that it actually smelt strongly and piercingly acidic.

3) That kind of hustle-bustle on the Hong Kong pavements is always quite amazing to experience (if a bit tiring).

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