Known for providing affordable accommodation in the city’s heart, Mahjong Hostel now also serves as a community sharing space. The name “Mahjong”, which literally means “sparrow”, contains several meanings. Firstly, sparrows are usually spotted in flocks in the nearby area; secondly, Mahjong is one of the most representative games in Hong Kong; thirdly, the pronunciation of “mahjong” in both English and Cantonese sounds similar, which makes it easy to promote Cantonese to foreign tourists. Lastly, it implies the hostel is small in size but well-equipped with everything.
The merit of staying in a hostel is that guests can communicate and make friends in the common area. Before the pandemic, the hostel had a very high occupancy rate that booking in advance was a must. To utilise the idle space during the outbreak, the living room is turned into a shared hangout for cultural activities such as screening events and exhibitions.
According to the owner, the reason to start a hostel in To Kwa Wan is the uniqueness in its neighbourhood which gathers industrial buildings, public housing estates, old tenement houses and private residential buildings all in one place. Lined with a captivating array of small businesses, the streets give foreign guests a glimpse into the real side of Hong Kong.