I love Hong Kong and I love cute stuff. We are able to watch both Irish and Asian channels and I always complain to Sing ‘Why western commercial cannot be so cute with dance and puppets?’. Unless it’s Hong Kong’s Swipe commercial – I heard the theme song so many times I could hate it more only if it was my morning alarm ringtone.
Make something cute and you can be 99% sure I will buy it. I’m a sucker, I agree. At the age of 24 I’m the proud owner of the cutest desk in our IT company. If you have a Rilakkuma memo on your desk, you know who left it.
As my husband, Sing know that too well. He sees me seeing something cute and I can sense his fear that I will get it.
But there’s a good side of it – if he comes across something cute, cool and worth sharing he will let me know.
This is why I want to share with you the cutest Hong Kong MTR art ever! There were many attempts to put Hong Kong’s subway stations into art form, but so far this one is my favorite! Not only because of the cuteness, but also because of the information that stand behind them.
We made a little description for the one that are not obvious with local background based on the sources below and our own thoughts but if you have your own opinion on the drawings, please share with us!
Admiralty – 金鐘, which literally means Golden Bell. Yellow umbrella is a symbol of last year’s Umbrella Revolution started. Hidden meaning of the airport station – there are two perfectly fine runaways, but HK government tries to convince everyone HK Airport needs a third runaway which is completely unnecessary.
Personally my husband’s favorite art – I don’t know why he likes a picture of an expensive flat that could fit only a mosquito, but apparently two hearts in mosquito’s eyes made Sing fall in love. So if you look for cheap and decently sized flat, it’s not the area you look for. Used to have landmarks, stage etc., in exchange you got chain stores like SASA, Chow Tai Fook and other famous brands.Let’s quote the classic (and the artist) – NO MONEY, NO TALK. 錢錢錢錢錢錢錢錢錢錢錢錢….Rainbow. Cute and easy to remember.There are good tourists and bad tourists. Sadly a lot the bad ones, for some reason, choose Hong Kong’s Disneyland. Good there are still more decent one, tho!The top of the hill used to look like a white powder that’s why the name is literally ‘Powder hill/moChauntain/peak’Sound mistranslation – original meaning was ‘River shore’ but there’s that one dude who screwed all translations up he was like ‘Oh, charcoal’.炮台山 – means literally Battery Mountain. That’s pretty much it, but it makes memorizing much easier. In the old times it used to be a place soldiers stationed. HKU is a centre of ‘elitism’ (we couldn’t find a better word, sorry!), LKF is their common party zone. Fragnant harbour – it says everything!Why this idea for the picture? Because you have a concert hall with a tickets hard to buy… and a funeral house very close to it. It’s quite reassuring that you can get some free entertainment once you’re dead. But seriously, I wonder who thought of this great logistic solution? Probably the same guy who put 3 of my working stations in 3 different corners of the room.Nine Dragon Pond that is also full of cheap love hotels. Dirty, yet still cute. Literally – Nine Dragons, you have two dragons forming the character for ‘nine’. Clever!Used to be a place where salt was made.Literal meaning is lychee view. As seen in the framed picture 😉Literally means salty farm. Next station after Kwun Tong so you can keep those two salty stations in mind when you travel.
It sounds like happy and rich, but the original name sounds like Tiger Stone. It lies near Lion Rock – there’s a story about HK governor who played Chinese animal chess and said ‘A mountain cannot have both lion and a tiger’ so they changed the name into the one you have now. It’s another urban legend (or maybe not?), but you chose which one is cooler!Location with ‘unfortunate flats’ – if you are superstitious you should not move there!
Just a fun stereotype about this place – people believe there are plenty of housewives living there are soooo good with stock market. People, be aware – legal housewives can steal your jobs (or something similar Trump would say)!
Don’t laugh, recently Momzilla told us I should consider to be one of those ladies. A lot of HK gangster movies take place in Mong Kong. You can see those thugs collecting ‘protection fees’. Also, for some unknown to me reason, people online make fun of ‘MK guys’ and their ‘specific’ style being different like ‘Shibuya109 vs the rest of Japan’ but that’s Sing’s description and I don’t know what’s going on. Literally meaning – South Prosperity. And how else says ‘prosperity’ more than a huge dollar sign?
Cow horn corner – place famous from some super-famous-drama-seen-by-everyone-but-us. Do you know the title? 😀North Point – the picture is pretty literal, but it’s also the place parties associated with Communist Government get most of their votes. The most popular landmark among locals in this place is… a rain shelter that is quite useless and cost looooots of money. See this link if you want to know why. Station with Chinese Central Government Office. People laugh that the ‘disco ball’ is to make the banquets more fancy.
You can start wondering when the name of Sha Tin will be changed to SASA Tin. Don’t get me wrong, I like cosmetics and beauty stuff, but there’s just too many of them! And too many jewerely stores, in my humble opinion.
Literally – Bucket Bay. In the past there was a church with a sign saying ‘Believe in Jesus and you will get an eternal life’ (really loose translation), but something happened and the signed got damaged, changing into ‘Believe in Jesus and you will get a water cow’. Urban legend or really bad coincidence? At least you will keep it in mind!Very sad thing, but it’s a place recently known as a smuggle centre. Not only people do illegal trade and buy out products including milk powder, but also leave huge, huge mess. It’s sad, both for locals and the good people that are just affected by being born in the same place. Sigh, sigh.Mostly selling dry seafood and there’s an owner having lazy cats sleeping. I think I will just stay there forever.One billion of healthy. Do you even English, Sing? 😀Matching the positive image of Disneyland.Fun fact: used to be a shipyard and the name Tai Koo was actually a handwriting mistake made by a manager from Swire. What he wanted to write was 大吉.Tai Po is another sound ‘mistranslation’ of Tai Bo which should mean big step. Big Step because the area was full of trees and you just wanted to get away from it ASAP.Tin Hau literally means God Empress, but now more and more restaurants and bar open in the area so it becomes a popular place for Open Rice reviewers. And the God Empress gains some weight from all the good food.Originally it meant ‘Neck hanging hill’ because of Canadian businessman who committed suicide there. Later on they kept the similar sound, but change the name to something like ‘Changing view hill’. Doesn’t make sense, at least with our translation, but it definitely sounds better.
Tuen Mun, my husband’s home and my favorite place, has ‘屯’ in it, which means both village, but also station troops. In the past the army use to station there, but now it has an army of smugglers. I kid you not, I try to be rational, but go to TMT Plaza next to the bookstore I think 2nd level and you will trip over smuggler carts and luggages. I wish it was known from something else,but that’s the sad reality in a cute cartoon.Kawaii studying potato. Makes me think of my hubby! Did you know the distance between Wan Chai and TST changed from 2km to 900m? Pretty sad.
Urban legend of Yau Mai Tei – if you run tap water, you don’t actually have water, but oil. Literally – Oil Pond. Why lion? Because there’s a brand producing Peanut Oil called 獅球嘜 with a cute little lion as a mascot.In the old time this place and Tuen Mun used to be a countryside of Hong Kong but nowadays there are shopping malls everywhere in Hong Kong, so please don’t ask anyone there if Yuen Long has cows or not.
Really, Sing’s old landlord when asked where is he from in HK did the ‘Oooohhh’ face when he told her he’s from Tuen Mun.
I hope you will like them as much as I do, learn some puns or learn about the areas, cultural background or just current situation/news in HK. Hopefully they will help you to get around Hong Kong or just know the city’s background more – it’s much easier once you see this!
Do you like cute art and stuff? Maybe you know some cute art from your own hometown? Let me know! I would love to see them!