Ghost building stands in the crowd

The old Mong Kok Market, surrounded by residential buildings and transportation hubs, has been closed by the government since 2010.

In 2011, the Town Planning Board planned to rezone the old Mong Kok Market to commercial use. However, due to the estate operators’ dissatisfaction with the restriction regulations on new buildings, the need for judicial review has led to the unresolved use of the old Mong Kok Market.

In the past ten years, the population in Yau Tsim Mong District, where includes Mong Kok, has been rapidly aging. As the usage rate of two hospitals in the district has reached 100 percent, medical facilities and elderly service centers face their insufficiency and no longer able to cope with the demand.

Standing in one of the most crowded places in Hong Kong, under the severe land problem, this three-floor building is now used for storing government documents.

 

The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
In front of the unused Mong Kok Market building, traffic flows and people get up and off buses all the time, on Sept. 30, 2018.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
The old Mong Kok Market is surrounded by open market, restaurants, residential buildings, and hotels, on Sept. 30, 2018.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
The old vendor in the open market outside the unused building prepares to weight the candy customers want to buy, at noon on Sept. 30, 2018. In this market outside the old Mong Kok Market, the majority of vendors are the elders.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
Tom Yip Gwok-hung, owner of a braised chicken store next to the old Mongkok Market, born and raised in Mong Kok, age 53, stands inside his store, prepares to close the store, on Sept. 30, 2018. “There is already Langham Palace nearby, and it is not expected to build another shopping mall here,” he said, “the old market was not popular when it was opened.”
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
Wong, who sells apple and grape in the open market, age 66, organizes the apples, on Sept. 30, 2018. “We are selling goods for the neighbors, not for the travelers. If the government open another shopping mall here, the travelers will destroy our business, because they don’t need fruits,” he said.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
Liu buys fish in a seafood store on Sept. 30, 2018. She is one of the few people in the market who speak Mandarin, age 56, from Shanghai.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
Michael, Pui, and Andy (left to right) wait for customers, standing in their store with their faces toward the direction where people come, on Sept. 30, 2018. The Pui’s Seafood Store, which has been open for six years, is the store has staffs at the youngest average age, about 35.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
Mazhar, Pakistani, age 27, staff in Pui’s Seafood Store, waits for customers to sell seafood by using his fluent and well-pronounced Cantonese, on Sept. 30, 2018.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
A vendor rests next to a pile of foam box in the late afternoon on Oct. 1, 2018. The foam boxes had been piled up outside the old Mong Kok Market by the nearby vendors for years.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
A vendor who sells vegetables begins to clean up and close the stall after 6 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2018.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
Another vendor dumps the rubbish in the dumpster after 6 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2018. Next to her is the wall of the old Mong Kok Market that full of graffiti.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
Less than 200 meters away from the old Mong Kok Market, Langham Palace, one of the most famous shopping malls in Hong Kong, begins to get busy at 6.30 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2018.
The Old Mong Kok Market: Ghost Building in the Crowd
A woman passes by the old Mong Kok Market At 10 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2018.

 

Chen Yuyang, Oct. 2,  2018

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