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This review is from: Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong (Paperback)
This is a book for people who has actually been to, or are planning to pay a visit to ChungKing Mansions or those who are generally interested in micro towns. Fascinating on how a building has somehow managed to turn itself into an important trading hub for those passing through from many foreign countries, and houses so many people from different aspects of life - Chinese guesthouse workers, travellers passing through, africans trading goods, pakistanis selling mobile phones, drug dealers, asylum seekers... Baring in mind this mix of backgrounds the place doesn't really have a seedy feel one might think. When I visited the 17 storey building first hand in 2011 I didn't feel any less scared or vulnerable than walking in London. We even saw some monks who resided in ChungKing's residence because it is the cheapest accommodation around that district; a district completely surrounded in 5star hotels and designer brands. Reading this book definitely gave me a different outlook when visiting ChungKing Mansions, to me it wasn't a place crammed with criminals but an important trading hub and employment resource from fraught souls trying to earn money to send home to their families.