In a crowded fish market in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay area, mongers prove the freshness of their cod by displaying them splayed and bloody, their hearts still fluttering with life. Around the corner, “voodoo women” hold court under a raised highway, where patrons pay them to attack an effigy of their enemies with old shoes, incinerating notes bearing their foe’s names for good measure. Nearby, at a small temple, worshippers place fruits and sweets on ornate alters while burning incense strong enough to choke a horse, in hopes of gaining some heavenly protection. Rites and rituals like these offer a bracing splash of local color amid the endless big money malls that threaten to internationalize this densely populated region of China into anonymity. Despite its less soulful role as a hub of global commerce and trade, Hong Kong’s quirks still far outweigh its slickness. For proof, stroll down the city’s alleys and nooks. There, you’ll find whole streets devoted to hawking cool sneakers. Or toilets. Or Chinese caskets, some of which resemble noble trees. You can also find tiny restaurants that proudly serve soup redolent of viper, as well as the latest haute outpost from an international chef like Tom… Read full this story
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