The reason I went to Hong Kong in January of 2002 was to attend the Hong Kong TOYS & GAMES FAIR and because I've designed some original dice games and I have new ideas for mah-jongg-related products. I wanted to meet some manufacturers and discuss business opportunities... and have a bit of a mah-jongg adventure too.
And of course that's what this page is all about... Mah-Jongg.
I met Alan Kwan, a mah-jongg scholar I knew from the mah-jongg newsgroup. We spent a wonderful evening together, chatting and playing games. It's wonderful to meet internet friends in person. And I've just noticed that I was still wearing my convention badge. Doh!
Alan had told me of a mah-jongg shop near my hotel. The next morning, I went looking for it, but I couldn't find it. It might have closed down; and there were several other possible reasons why I couldn't find it, I'm not worried about that. I found some interesting things along the way.
Click here to see pix I took on the "wild goose chase."
Not finding the mah-jongg shop I was looking for, I went back to the hotel to check the yellow pages. There were TONS of mah-jongg places listed! And one was near the hotel.
At this point it bears mentioning that the Hong Kong yellow pages list not only shops where one can purchase mah-jongg sets and accessories, but also manufacturers. And the yellow pages also list parlours where one can play mah-jongg. I wasn't looking for those, and didn't note the locations of any. I did copy down a few addresses that I thought I could find easily. I didn't have my scanner handy, and I'm not one of those people who rips pages out of other people's phone books.
As things turned out, as I was on my way to the mah-jongg shop, I found myself at the front door of a mah-jongg parlour.
The name kind of gave it away - "Hong Kong Mahjong Co." (It's probably a little hard to read the photo above.)
As I was standing there, the doors happened to slide open (kind of like the sliding doors on Star Trek) and I glimpsed a long double row of tables, piled high with tiles (the big Hong Kong variety). By the time I snapped the picture below, the doors were closing again. I didn't want to press the issue and try to get the doors to open again, so this is the picture I got. You can see a pile of tiles in one table back in there. Looks like a fun place. Probably gets a little smoky during rush hour, though.
Several blocks east, I finally entered the section of Lockhart Road where the shop was located.
I'd walked all the way there, but soon discovered that the shop was very convenient to the MTR station in Causeway Bay.
And there, at last, is the shop. It's called Wing Shing Cheung (512 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong - for more details about how to get there, see FAQ 7m).
The fellow on the right carves mah-jongg tiles by hand. When I came he was working on a Four Crak tile. I pointed at it and said (in Mandarin, because I don't know the Cantonese term), "Suh wan!" And I added (in English), "Very nice!"
He has also offers some very ornately-carved sets. I didn't take a closeup of any of those, and I didn't ask how much they were. (It was a low-budget trip.) But maybe this closeup of the picture above will give you an idea of some of the varied product offerings here.
I saw that they had Vietnamese tiles for sale separately, so I bought a set of those. English doesn't seem to be in big supply at the shop, and I hadn't brought any Cantonese skills with me, so I just pointed at them and said "Vietnam tiles. How much?"
Left to right: Kings (1 through 4), Queens (1 through 4), the green jokers (Emperor, Dots, Bams, Craks), the red jokers (General, Winds, Dragons, Flowers).
They also had playing-card tiles on display, and the thing I'd mainly come to the shop to find, "First-East markers." A little hard to find here in Los Angeles.
The Vietnamese tiles, playing card tiles, and 5 or 6 First-East markers cost me $135 HK. Less than $20 US. I wished I could've bought lots more stuff, but that would've meant another trip to the ATM, and a lot more weight to lug back to the hotel and to the airport.
Click here to see more info about mah-jongg shopping in Hong Kong... and Tokyo too!
I visited the offices of a manufacturer of mah-jongg sets. Here I am with a very kind company representative, Linda Chan. We discussed my crazy ideas for new products, and ways to improve mah-jongg sets, and she taught me a couple things about the mah-jongg business. And I learned a little something about Vietnamese mah-jongg, too!
And I just noticed that I was still wearing that darned convention badge! Doh!
Enjoying this adventure in Hong Kong? Click below to see more about Tom's Excellent Hong Kong Adventure 2002.
THE HONG KONG TOYS & GAMES FAIR
Taking the ferry to the convention centre
SIGHTSEEING IN HONG KONG, 2002
Good sightseeing, even when all you're doing is looking for a mah-jongg shop!
TOM'S EXCELLENT HK MAH-JONGG ADVENTURE
Want to see more of my mah-jongg adventures and mah-jongg friends? Click these links:
Just want to go back and see OTHER parts of the website already? Beat a hasty retreat by clicking below.
SLOPERAMA'S GAME DESIGN ZONE
SLOPERAMA'S MAH-JONGG ZONE
SLOPERAMA HOME PAGE
PICTURES OF JAPAN
This website and its contents © 2002 Tom Sloper. May not be republished without written permission of the author.