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Singapore vs Hong Kong

Author: Debra Tay
Friday, 6 September 2002
It has been a long ongoing battle. Singapore and Hong Kong are constantly being matched up against each other, be it economic progress, education standards, the food, competitive prices of electronic goods or the party scene. Having spent the past 1 year partying in Asia (ok, only Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong), I have concluded that Hong Kong is the clear winner in terms of club scene, while Singapore is possibly more advanced in the other areas.

Whether you are a glamour queen and enjoy mingling with the Tattler crowd (the people that constantly appear in the Tattler magazine), or whether you are into techno raves, there is always some revelry somewhere you can go to. When I first landed on the island's shores 3 weeks ago, I was expecting Canto-pop parties (a la the Hong Kong movies) but I have been pleasantly surprised.

The clubbing scene in Hong Kong is largely influenced by the dense expatriate population as well as Hong Kong's close neighbour, Japan. From the vast number of different parties each weekend, you can gather that the people here are extremely receptive of new genres of music. Unlike Singapore, where every time you go to a techno rave, or a drum and bass party, you see the same faces, events here are much better received.

There is also a larger variety of parties to go for. Hip Hop and R&B parties for the B-boys and B-girls, Psychedelic Trance and Techno Parties for the rave-heads, Retro and Top 40's, House, Jungle, Garage, Jazz, Breaks, Drum & Bass, Indie bands… I can almost guarantee that you will find a club that plays the genre of music you like. This is quite different from the Singapore scene, where other than the superclub-Zouk, few clubs dare venture beyond the commercial sounds of 80's pop. In fact I only know of a handful.

While I did not make it to the Gatecrasher tour, or any of the other major rave parties, I took it upon myself to do a quick review of as many clubs as I could here in Hong Kong. Here are some places that you should definitely visit (or maybe not visit) if you do come to this side of the world:

C Club
This is at the basement of California Tower, which is the centre of Lan Kwai Fong. The crowd comprises mainly well-dressed locals, and a handful of tourists and expats. They randomly charge a cover of HKD 100, depending on whether you look like a regular or not. Nice sexy house music, but one bad thing is that everyone seemed to know everyone else. I think it used to be a "to-be-seen" type of club, but it wasn't as plastic as I expected it to be.
30-32 D'Aguilar Street, Central.
Tel: 2526 1139

Club Ing
I like this place, because it is one of the biggest clubs I'd been to in Hong Kong, and because they play commercial hip hop and R&B. There are three areas - hip hop, R&B area, techno area and a chill out area which apparently is a karaoke area, but I didn't see (or hear) anyone singing. I went there on a Thursday night, because ladies get free entry and drinks all night. I had this misconception that it would be a young crowd, so I wore my trainers and found out they actually have a "no jeans and trainers or slippers" policy. The door-guys were really nice and let me in, probably because I had my glittery purple trainers on, but they were being pretty pedantic with some of the other clubbers. Most of the people are in their early 20s, and are quite good looking.
4/F, Renaissance Harbour View Hotel, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.
Tel: 2836 3690

As the name suggests, it's the place to be for trance-heads. It is quite funky, and they say it is Members only at the door, but I didn't have any problems walking in. There isn't a designated dance floor, and people just make their own space. I'm not sure how strict the drug laws here are, but everyone looked in bliss.
Basement, On Lok Mansion, 39-43 Hollywood Road, Central.
Tel: 2543 8856.

I went to Liquid on one of those Heineken World Groove party nights,