Music in the streets: a side of Hong Kong I never knew

I was in Hong Kong over the past week. Prior to the trip, I did some research on things I could do, especially off the beaten path. Most recommendations revolve around dining, shopping, and visits to the usual tourist attractions such as The Peak, night markets, the Big Buddha and Lan Kwai Fong. Not exactly things that appeal to me.

One evening, I went to the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade to catch “A Symphony of Lights” multimedia show – just to fill out my itinerary. I’m glad I did, because I came across a surprise find which I have not read nor heard about in my Hong Kong travel research:

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Yes, street performers busking in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.

You would read about checking out street performances in Hongdae when it comes to South Korea. But I never knew about this aspect of Hong Kong, so it was a pleasant surprise to catch street performers in action.

There were at least 8 groups and individuals busking on the promenade and the surrounding areas the Friday I was there. I went back again on the Saturday and there were performers different from the day before.

Here are a few whose performances I enjoyed:

HALFBUCKET | 半桶水 // Instagram: half_bucket

Buskers in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong (Sep 2016)
HALFBUCKET | 半桶水 // Instagram: half_bucket

This group was the earliest to perform, starting just before “A Symphony of Lights” show began. The singer has a very good voice, can sing both fast and slow songs and accompanied himself on most of the songs. His guitar strumming is flamboyant but he possesses a great sense of rhythm – laudable, considering that he has to sing and play at the same time. They also asked the audience for song requests from time to time.

Zach Wing // YouTube: ZACHWING

Buskers in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong (Sep 2016) // Zach Wing (YouTube: ZACHWING)
Zach Wing // YouTube: ZACHWING

This group sounded fuller since they had three guitarists and a cajón player. Good guitar playing from the singer who has a good voice too. As with the group above, they had a good crowd watching them perform.

Ricky // Instagram: Ricky.The.Busker

Buskers in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong (Sep 2016) // Ricky (Instagram: Ricky.The.Busker)
Ricky // Instagram: Ricky.The.Busker

Standing near the exit of the Tsim Sha Tsui ferry terminal, this young man had a good number of people stopping to listen to him sing, and he sings well. He obliged when someone in the audience requested to sing a song with his accompaniment. I say, let the young man strut his stuff and leave the karaoke singing to another time.

Other than the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and surrounding areas (ferry terminal and underground walkways), I also came across buskers along the overhead walkways just outside the Central Ferry Piers. Interestingly, there were also buskers who play the erhu and the accordion.

Indeed, this trip has brought a delightful discovery of a side of Hong Kong I never knew before.

Do you know of other places in Hong Kong to catch street performances?


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