In my previous article on Malasimbo Lights and Dance Festival, I wrote about the awesome crew I met from Hong Kong, who did their best at convincing my friend Max and me to make the trip over for Cliché Records’ 4th anniversary celebrations. To be honest, it doesn’t take much to twist my arm and just a couple of weeks later, I was on my laptop booking flights to the Fragrant Harbour.
In a city where looking good and having lots of money seem to be the main priorities for most people, I felt very lucky to be with a group of such genuine, fun and free-spirited individuals. We kicked the weekend off in style at KEE Club, where various artists from around the world had been invited to play by Cliché. A handful of us were dressed in different coloured kimonos, which Sophie, one of the girls in the group, had bought as a bit of fun and I have to say, it was one of the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn on a night out! We were treated to Disco and Funky House beats all night long and didn’t stop dancing and swishing our kimonos until the very end. Some of us then decided to move on to an after-hours venue and somehow I didn’t end up going to bed until almost 9am on Saturday…
Just three hours after I’d laid my head down to rest, I was awoken by a call from Vincent, whose apartment I was staying in, telling me that if I could get changed in five minutes and find a taxi to take me to the pier, I could join him and the crew on a Junk boat. Now, this boat party was specifically for the label’s nearest and dearest, and there were only fifty tickets in total, so I was never expecting to be invited. Fortunately for Max and me though, two people hadn’t shown up, meaning the tickets were ours- hooray! I threw on my bikini and kimono, grabbed my bag and ran down to the street to get a taxi. We made it on to the boat (just) and that’s when the fun really began.
Picture this: sunshine, non-stop music, a fridge full of drinks and boxes of delicious food, combined with fifty merry revellers dancing, swimming and enjoying incredible views of the city from the water. I had eight whole hours of that on the boat, and they were the finest eight hours of the weekend. Naturally, as is the case with all the best things in life, time flew by and all of a sudden it was dark and we were pulling into the harbour, which looked mesmerising at night. The fun didn’t stop there though; after showering, eating and chilling for a bit, we were back on the dance floor, this time at an underground club called Basement. The venue was packed all night and, once again, I didn’t end up going to sleep until late the following morning.
I intended to fly back after the weekend, but instead I kept telling myself “one more day” and before I knew it, the week was already over. I’d been to the bustling Kowloon City with Vincent and his brother, where we explored the markets, sampled traditional Chinese food and did a whole lot of walking, and to the much quieter Lamma Island, where we were able to escape the crowds and go hiking and swimming. On Saturday, we decided to return to Lamma, after watching our friends Sweet Talk play a great set in another bar in town the previous night. The lovely Laura hosted us at her parents’ house on the island and prepared the most impressive barbecue I’d ever seen, which we enjoyed from the table on her balcony, before getting up to dance once again (I can’t even begin to express my delight at meeting so many people who love dancing just as much as me!).
Sunday consisted of yet more amazing food at Laura’s, this time a brunch made up of sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, homemade bread, croissants, frittata and crepes cooked on the barbecue (I didn’t even know that was possible). We headed to the beach for a swim afterwards, and that’s where we spent most of the afternoon, before returning to the city by ferry. Seeing as it was Labour Day, nobody had to work on Monday, meaning we had even more time to enjoy one another’s company and make plans. Sophie suggested going on a hike to a waterfall in the suburbs, which everyone was keen to do, so the following morning we got up and piled straight into the metro, riding all the way to the end of the line (and attempting a bit of yoga, in my case).
Upon arrival, we went for lunch at a busy restaurant filled with locals, where we were literally the only non-Chinese people and none of the waiters spoke English. Fortunately, we had Sophie and Gad, both born and bred in Hong Kong and Cantonese-speaking, who were able to order copious amounts of delicious dim sum to fuel us for the hike. As it turned out, we needed that fuel rather badly; hiking to the waterfall may not have been that tricky, but we decided to make things more interesting by climbing up the waterfall over very slippery rocks. It was worth it, as we were the only ones at the top (not surprising really) so we were able to appreciate the nature in peace, but getting down those rocks was truly terrifying. Jungle boy Gad came to the rescue by helping us all with our bags and telling us where to put our feet, and eventually we each made it to the foot of the waterfall in one piece- phew!
I did get round to booking my flight in the end, but it was hard to leave behind the wonderful new friends I’d made in Hong Kong. As much as I liked the city, it was the people who made my time there so special, and it made me realise you can have fun anywhere in the world as long as you’ve got a good crew with you.