Lan Kwai Fong is a small square of streets in Central, Hong Kong. The area was dedicated to hawkers before the Second World War and underwent a renaissance in the mid-1980s. Today, it is a very popular expat haunt in Hong Kong for drinking, clubbing and dining. It is not unusual to find drunk women at even 10pm. A Street in the area actually closes on Saturday and Sunday evenings to make way for the large crowds. Being and expat haunt and somewhat a tourist haunt, it is not unlikely you can hit upon a lady out for some fun.
Lan Kwai Fong can be expensive and even more expensive than Wan Chai. The key attraction of Lan Kwai Fong is the back to back bars and pubs. Its that simple. The advantage of Lan Kwai Fong however is that there are no Street Walkers, no Freelancers and you will not be approached by Escorts in bars unlike Wan Chai. Lan Kwai Fong is where people go to let lose and party. Not to be surprised if you find a Guy with a Girl he picked up in Wan Chai.
Some say, if you like drunk people, go to Lan Kwai Fong! A guy whom I met once in Wan Chai said he spent just one evening in Lan Kwai Fong and that was it. Now it is not a surprise to me why genuine party goers go to Wan Chai in-spite of all the Street Walkers, Freelancers, Escorts and who else you can find there.
Having said all that, Lan Kwai Fong does have some of the best and more elite bars and clubs in Hong Kong such as Graffiti, Keyaki, Schnurrbart, Bread Street and Hanjan just to name a few. Graffiti is a 3,500 square feet area, a hangout favored by visitors and businessmen. $100 buys you a cup of Strawberry Margarita or a Graffiti Mojito. Keyaki gets its popularity from its snug, izakaya-like atmosphere. The Keyaki prides itself on its decorative wall, covered in posters of Japanese movies and flyers that radiate vintage nostalgia. 90% of the ingredients are imported from Japan. Schnurrbart is a German Pub. Bread Street has a British-European menu. Hanjan is a Korean bar.
Is 7-Eleven actually a Bar? 7-Eleven is exempt from the need to obtain a liquor license and as such is not bound by the same regulations as nearby bars and pubs. In short, it can sell Liquor to pretty much anybody. The Lan Kwai Fong Association recently opposed the presence of the convenience store or shall I say the so called convenience store. It is known as the best bar in Lan Kwai Fong and actually has a queue to get in. This results in people drinking on the street.
One of the most famous venues in Lan Kwai Fong is the Petticoat Lane. The nightclub is a highlight of Hong Kong’s gay scene with regular live shows. Well… Live shows by a Drag Queen and when I say regular, one at 12 midnight and 1 am on some days! Petticoat Lane at
Basement, 57-59 Wyndham Street, Central is the only venue in Hong Kong I have come across that has a Drag Show on a regular basis. Ophelia in Wan Chai does have a drag show sometimes but not so regular. Petticoat Lane only has drag.
Petticoat Lane is quite a small venue and more like two small shop spaces put together. One side has the bar and the other an extremely small dance floor area and seating around it. 5 minutes before the show started, there was an announcement by the Queen to say that the show would be held in the bar area. I just went “what the….!”. The bar area has hardly enough room for people to move. They certainly got their brains in the wrong place if they want to have a drag show there unless it is a Drag Queen moving in-between people and not a show.
Few minutes later the Queen comes back and apologies to say the show will not be in the bar area but across on the other side and it was a mistake. Bullshit! It was just a stunt to make people come to the bar and buy a drink. Are they so desperate? What a stunt! So how was the show? Two songs. Firstly the lip sync did go off once in awhile. Guess no one would notice that… just that I did.
The second song should go straight to the shit-bin! Just plain simple filth from start to finish and didn’t even sound like a song. Two guys, who were standing next to me walked out of the bar and I followed them. I spoke with them and they agreed with me. So its not me who is crazy! On a previous visit to Petticoat Lane, there was supposed to be a show at midnight. I actually got confirmation via Facebook before I went and there was no show.
Given all, this is pretty much the only venue that has a decent (well I cant be calling it that) Drag show but if what I explained is your thing…. well you should go see it. As a bar it is nothing exciting either. For me, Opheila in Wan Chai is better option as there is a variety of performances but you should find out when the Drag Show is before you go. There is a video clip in Walk About Video 7 and two photos.
Best Pickup Area
Having said some negatives about Lan Kwai Fong, lets talk a positive. It is known to be the best pickup area. Obviously there are plenty of Western and European tourists flocking there to Drink, Party and have fun. Now, I am not talking Domestic Helpers, Escorts, Freelancers and the like as in Wan Chai. I am talking genuine people wanting to hookup. People in Lan Kwai Fong are genuine party goers. So if that’s your think and you are a smart young guy…. go for it! If picking up freelancers at bars or on the street or picking up a domestic helper on a Sunday is your thing then you need to go to Wan Chai.