If I asked all of you to choose a place to celebrate Halloween, I am sure that a few places would keep cropping up. Salem, USA maybe, or Mexico for the Day of the Dead. Those were our first thought too. However, in 2011, Mr Fluskey and I took a gamble and decided to spend our Halloween in Hong Kong.
We found ourselves at three separate events and the first one we booked from home before we even left.
1.) Ocean Park – A Few Days Before
Before we travel, I like to sign up for groupon for the city we are off to. This time we struck lucky. HK has two big theme parks, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and locally grown, Ocean Park. Every year they hold a couple of weeks of Halloween Fest nights. These popped up at half price on groupon and we snapped up two tickets.
We were staying in Causeway Bay and from there we jumped straight on a bus down to Ocean Park, near Aberdeen on the South side of Hong Kong Island. It was a very cheap bus ride.
The park kept its zoo area open for the first hour or so, before they had to put the animals to sleep. We enjoyed seeing the Giant Panda but I did feel slightly sorry for it.
All the big rides were open. I say big rides, but there is nothing spectacular for the ride buffs. We enjoyed a go on the big roller coaster. It was just the right amount of rickety to keep you scared.
My favourite ride, wasn’t even a proper one. The park is split over two hill sides, and to get between them, you must take a cable car. It was a great view across the water.
Most of the smaller rides had been converted into the real thrills of the evening. The walk through scare attractions. It is always fun creeping hesitantly through these darkened hallways, bracing yourself for a big jump.
What makes it even better here though is the groups of teenage girls who work themselves into a frenzy and shriek with terrified laughter. You can hear gangs of these girls as they pass through each room and it left Mr Fluskey and I in hysterics!
The final element that made this evening so special were the huge stages. Throughout the evening they hosted fantastic dance shows, with excellent production values.
Our favourite offering was the Michael Jackson thriller/street dance show that we sat and watched for about half an hour. The dancers were excellent and the lip-syncing, highly enjoyable.
2.) Wan Chai – The Night Before Halloween
I have no photos of this night, but I do have a truly scary story.
We had a pretty terrible Couch-Surfing experience in Hong Kong. Among other things, the guy we were staying with wanted everyone to do what he wanted, when he wanted. It was for this reason we ended up in Wan Chai on the Saturday night after Halloween. Wan Chai has a bit of a reputation as a sleazy expat enclave (how perfect that we were with a sleazy expat).
We all went to a slightly sticky bar with local girls dancing up on the bar top. I was knackered and entirely unexcited about going out after a shocking night’s sleep at this guys house (room). We drank a drink or two and tried to dance but I had zero energy!
‘ello ‘ello ‘ello. What’s going on ‘ere then!?
Outside, we found a handy doorstep and decided to people watch instead. Somehow we got chatting to a nice guy in a brilliant costume. He was dressed as a Metropolitan Policeman. He had a super cool toy gun and he let me hold it. I squeezed the trigger and to my absolute horror the thing went off!!!! Turns out, he was carrying an AIR PISTOL!!!
I went slightly into shock as a girl about five metres away buckled, her hand on her bruised thigh. The pellet had hit the top of her leg and a nasty bruise started to quickly develop. I honestly thought I was about to be beaten up, or even arrested by a real policeman. I REALLY didn’t think I’d cope well in a Chinese jail cell. Everyone told me to hush up as the guy in the costume tried to mediate. I was shaking and giggling in fear. Thankfully, the situation seemed to blow over. I spent the next three hours in a tired, guilty, paranoid daze. I still get a guilty tummy flip when I think of this incident.
3.) Lan Kwai Fong – Halloween Night
Lan Kwai Fong, or LKF as it is known to the initiated, is an area of bars at the top of Hong Kong’s mid-level escalators. On most weekend nights the roads are full of late night revellers clutching drinks from inside the bars. Groups of teenage girls perform coordinated dance routines and tall city boys stumble down the sloping streets. On Halloween night, things ramp up to an unprecedented level of awesome.
Emerging from Central Station you are funnelled down to the bottom of the escalators. For Halloween night, the whole thing is a huge one-way system which means you need to plan your bar crawl carefully. You cannot go back down the hill, you must go ALL THE WAY AROUND!
In Hong Kong, the costumed party animals go all out. My favourite costumes were actually all make up; it was theatre-grade stuff. Girls with glass shards seemingly embedded in their foreheads, people who had unzipped faces and huge Transformers roamed the streets.
I had been desperate to buy a costume from one of the many dressing up shops around the LKF area but Mr Fluskey was keeping a tight grip on the purse strings. This is why we had to make do with our tiny attempt at joining in. Next time I go somewhere to celebrate Halloween, I’ll be taking a proper costume.
I’ll be honest, I don’t entirely remember the whole evening. Our photos are as blurry as our drunken recollections but I do know I had an absolute BLAST!!
Thinking of going to Hong Kong for Halloween? Here are some top tips:
- Ocean Park’s Halloween events run for two weeks before Halloween, during which the park stays open until 23:00. Tickets for 2017 can be booked here.
- Coming to Ocean Park by bus, get off at Aberdeen Tunnel Toll Plaza. You’ll know you’re there because you will have just come out of a big tunnel!
- The big LKF party happens on Halloween night but you will find other events on the closest weekend too.
- Remember that Hong Kong has wonderfully warm weather in October and so you can do your trick or treating without worrying about bringing a coat.