Had he not died at 32, this year would have been Bruce Lee’s 75th birthday. To honor the occasion we took a whirlwind pilgrimage through Hong Kong!
■ Don’t think. Feeeeel!
Our writer Masanuki Sunakoma decided to head to Hong Kong earlier this month on a pilgrimage of places related to the legendary Bruce Lee in honor of what would have been the martial arts master’s 75th birthday. His first stop was at the place where one famous scene from Enter the Dragon took place: Qīngsōng Temple, only a 10 minute taxi ride from MTR Tuen Mun Station. Several placards and life-size cutouts of Bruce Lee and other characters from the movie can be found around the temple. Aside from these additions, it still looks almost exactly like it did in the film 42 years ago.
Masanuki told us he could feel the power of this location. In fact, it was so powerful that, with the help of a little post-production and sepia filtering, he was able to “find” himself in the scene!
Afterwards, our travelling writer headed over to one of Bruce Lee’s former residences, and, while Masanuki’s Chinese isn’t great, but he said it appeared to be some kind of liquor shop now. Not quite what we were expecting!
Finally, the writer went over to the Red Pepper Restaurant, which was made famous when it became the setting for Game of Death. While there, he also learned that it was famous for kick-ass spicy shrimp.
■ Joining the club
The next day, Masanuki’s destination was MTR Yau Ma Tei Station, which is near where The Bruce Lee Club was located. It’s the largest fan club in Hong Kong and has a network that spans the globe. It’s well-known as a treasure trove of Bruce Lee paraphernalia — and Masanuki had plans to do some shopping!
However, he was surprised to find that the inventory largely consisted of ultra-rare and therefore ultra-expensive items. In the end, he got a T-shirt, deck of playing cards, and some yellow nunchaku. Not the greatest souvenirs in world, but at least he wasn’t breaking the bank!
From there it was over to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, where, until mid-2018, they are holding a special Bruce Lee: Kung Fu, Art, Life exhibit. There was a 75 minute video presentation on the martial arts master, though Masanuki had to admit he couldn’t understand anything anyone was saying! Fortunately, the exhibit was full of hundreds of items and documents from Lee’s life, so he hadn’t wasted his time.
Next it was time to get as close to the living Bruce Lee as possible by visiting Madame Tussauds wax museum in Victoria Peak. A tourist favorite, the spot was rather crowded when he arrived, but it was still possible to get some one-on-one time with Lee.
Finally, Masanuki stopped by another popular sight: the Bruce Lee statue on the Avenue of Stars. At least, it was supposed to be on the Avenue of Stars, but Masanuki couldn’t find it anywhere! Luckily he was able to track down Lee’s chiseled physique nearby at the Garden of Stars. It had been moved due to renovations, but looked gorgeous in front of the brightly lit Hong Kong skyline.
It was a short trip, but Masanuki was delighted that he had managed to squeeze in a lot of stops along the way. Upon returning, the writer got ready for his favorite part of traveling: unpacking the souvenirs! He always enjoyed looking at all the things he’d bought, remembering how he felt and what he was thinking when he bought them.
However, when he pulled out two pairs of yellow nunchaku that he had no idea how to use, Masanuki’s mind went blank. Clearly he wasn’t thinking then, he was feeeeeling.