Thursday, July 10, 2014

Weird Queuing Culture of Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, people queue to buy all kinds of everything – houses, stocks, LV or Prada. Some people queue to buy these expensive or luxury items to speculate. What about queuing to buy cookies? When someone told me that people queue in Tsimshatsui to buy cookies and speculate for money, I was really unable to believe. This is the weirdest thing I ever heard. How much money people can make out of speculating cookies?

When I first pass by this shop with a queue of about 100 people, it made me wanted to find out what they were queuing for.  Cookies.  In fact, these are not celebrity cookies or luxury brand cookies.  I thought most of you may have never heard of this shop.  It is just a high street bakery with only two branches (one in Tsimshatsui and one in Central) and a 5-page website having only couple of photos on each of those pages.

Today when I pass by this shop again, it was midday around 34 degrees Celsius and the queue was as usual – LONG.  Each time only around 10 customers were allowed to enter the shop to buy cookies. What made these people to queue under the sun to buy cookies?  Certainly I’m not the only one curious about this weird scene.  Every time I pass by this shop there were many people taking photographs, although one of the shop posters says ‘photography not allowed’.

The legend did not stop there.  The shop had little to no decoration, having only a stack of cookie boxes at the entrance along with several posters.  One of the posters stated their rules of selling.

·     Accept cash only
·     Do no accept telephone or online order
·     Each customer can only make one purchase per day (not sure how they monitor this)

·     Each customer can buy a maximum of five boxes only

Top notice:  
Accept cash only

Middle notice:  
Working hours - 10am - 7pm Tue through Saturday, close on Sunday (What about Monday??!!)

Bottom notice:  
Price list in Chinese, Japanese and Korean

There were only two core products – 4 or 8 Mix Butter Cookies in large or small boxes.  Small box $65 (320 grams), large box $120 (640 grams).

I have an interesting calculation here.  Assume they can entertain 100 customer per hour and they work 9 hours a day, and each customer buy 5 boxes averaging $450 sales per customer, their turnover will look like this:

Daily: $450 x 100 x 9 = $405,000
Weekly: $405,000 x 6 = $2,430,000 (assume they work on Monday as well)
Monthly: $2,430,000 x 4 = $9,720,000

A cookie shop has a monthly turnover of close to HK$10 million is really amazing.  Would you consider quitting your job and learn to make cookies?  

Hong Kong Travel Blog
Weird Queuing Culture of Hong Kong

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

City of Demonstration – Hong Kong

Hong Kong dominates the headlines of most media worldwide today. July 1, the date of the establishment of the HKSAR, has been an important date for demonstrators in Hong Kong since 1997.

If you want to visit Hong Kong to see something which is REALLY UNIQUE here, July 1 is a good date.  However you have to be SERIOUSLY responsible for your own safety.  Look for some safe places or book a hotel along Hennessy Road and request a room overseeing the Hennessy Road.  I would say this is the safest way.  But mind you, you won’t be able to leave the hotel between 2 and 9pm, as there are road blocks for the demonstrators.

Hong Kong - July 1, 2014
Along Hennessy Road

Depart from the Victoria Park

Gathering at Central

Photo source:  Bloomberg

How Many Protestors Are There?

Was about 500,000 yesterday (July 1, 2014)

Was about 1,000,000 some ten years ago (July 1, 2003)

With these numbers, do you think you want to come to Hong Kong and see it yourself?  The good thing is, it happens VERY PUNCTUALLY once every year on the same date July 1, regardless of weather or anything.

News Headlines for Hong Kong, July 1, 2014

Now let’s review some of the headlines from some major media.

The Guardian

Hong Kong pro-democracy march attracts tens of thousands.Organisers expect 500,000-strong 1 July rally, and student activists plan 24-hour occupation of business district.

New York Times

Huge Crowds Turn Out for Pro-Democracy March in Hong Kong, Defying Beijing.

Wall Street Journal

Massive Hong Kong Democracy Protest, Unwanted Party-Crashers.


After almost 800,000 Occupy Central 'votes,' Hong Kong readies for massive protest.


H.K. Police Clear Protesters After Decade’s Biggest Rally.

July 1: a short history of Hong Kong's march for democracy

South China Morning Post has this video article.  Sit back and take one step further to get to know the history of Hong Kong demonstration.  Highly recommended.

Hong Kong Travel Blog - City of Demonstration