The most globalized spot on the planet

The Chungking Mansions

I have been attending book club meetings every month over the past year. Recently we read several classics and when we felt the need to change we decided to read Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong written by CUHK anthropologist Prof. Gordon Mathews. An in depth study of the importance of the building and its role as a financial marketplace for the sub-Saharan African economy. Lots of information.

We followed up reading of the book with an actual visit to Chungking Mansions. It’s a legendary place among backpackers and budget travelers in Hong Kong. It’s been known for a long time as being the cheapest accommodation in HK. It is a complex of five 17 floor towers. A concrete jungle full of tailors, mobile phone resellers, money exchangers, multiple low-budget hostels, restaurants and simple food stalls.
An estimated 5,000 people live there and another 10,000 people visit on an average day. According to Gordon Mathews there are people from at least 120 different nationalities living in the five towers.

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The Chungking Mansions


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