One of the first things I noticed while staring at the spectacular flashing signs were the names of giant brands that we see week in, week out on soccer shirts. Tottenham Hotspur’s kit sponsor AIA was the first to catch my eye, followed by the bright shining of Chelsea’s former sponsor Samsung.
One of the top priorities was to find somewhere to watch Arsenal versus Liverpool. I wanted to see Petr Cech in action and how Arsenal would fare after a quiet summer, plus how Liverpool’s new boys Christian Benteke, Danny Ings & Roberto Firmino would handle themselves as they tried to shrug off Wenger’s back four.
In the hours prior to kick-off, I walked around Hong Kong for hours through countless interconnecting shopping malls to find somewhere to watch the game but to no avail.
After going around the central part of the city twice, dodging skyscrapers on the way, I finally found a pub showing the game in the lively part of Lan Kwai Fong. With just 15 minutes left on the clock, I entered the bar to find drunk women dancing and one screen showing the match.
Maybe I was searching in the wrong places, but it seemed Hong Kong was largely financial and didn’t cater to soccer fans as much as other major Asian cities such as Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Overall, while Hong Kong has the sporting facilities, trying to watch live soccer (both live local and international on TV) may not be the best use of time in the city as it has much more to offer with their culture and other sports such as horse racing taking a much higher priority.
My next stop is Malaysia, where I’ll be visiting remote islands and embarking on a hunt to find live soccer matches in the country’s capital. Watch out for my next travelogue coming soon.