Uncovering Hong Kong’s gems with The Sam Willows
Local band The Sam Willows co-host travel series about Hong Kong and shoot art for latest single
One of Hong Kong's selling points, apart from delectable cuisine, lies in its old-school charm amidst the modern landscape and bustling city life.
For home-grown pop quartet The Sam Willows, it was the "old-meets-new" vibe that led them to choose it as the setting for the cover art of their latest single, Save Myself.
Bassist-vocalist Narelle Kheng, 23, told The New Paper: "It is similar to Singapore in many ways but Hong Kong has grit. It has a lot of character and edge."
Guitarist-bassist Jonathan Chua, 27, added: "We like the aesthetic and colours so it was perfect. It encapsulated everything we wanted in the picture."
The picture for the cover was shot at Cafe Match Box, one of the places the band visited in June when they were in Hong Kong for five days to film travel series A Taste Of Hong Kong.
They are co-hosting its third episode, Hong Kong After Dark, with Hong Kong celebrity Josie Ho. Together, they explored the city's after-dark attractions.
It is a collaboration with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and Discovery Network.
The fourth season of A Taste Of Hong Kong premieres on Monday at 9.55pm on TLC (Singtel TV Ch 254/StarHub Ch 427).
The episode with The Sam Willows will air on Aug 28.
Among the stops during their trip was SKYE, a rooftop bar and restaurant on the 27th storey of The Park Lane Hotel.
One of the places that was especially memorable was Visage One, a hair salon by day and jazz venue by night.
Touted by lifestyle site Time Out as "one of the city's best kept musical secrets", it is located in a small alley in Central and plays host to some of Hong Kong's best musicians performing in a cosy, intimate setting.
"It is the kind of experience that you discover only with a local," said guitarist-vocalist Benjamin Kheng, 27.
During their trip, The Sam Willows performed at MOM Livehouse, a music venue in 7 Seas Shopping Centre.
They also indulged in Hong Kong's gastronomic delights, stopping at the Michelin-starred Yat Lok Restaurant for roast goose and Mak's Noodles for its wonton noodles.
Chua, the foodie of the group, said: "Eating would have to be my favourite part of the trip. I really had a great time eating, especially because Hong Kong is so well-known for its food."
He added cheekily: "Nobody has time for lousy food."
To complete their experience, The Sam Willows also had their fortunes told.
Sandra Riley Tang, 26, the group's percussionist-vocalist who is also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu enthusiast and yoga teacher, said with a laugh: "Apparently I need to exercise more. Maybe I already knew my future so I started exercising more."
According to Narelle, Tang was also told that she will be involved in a "love triangle" when she is 35.
For Narelle, the fortune teller predicted she will "marry a rich guy" and that Chua "will make a lot of money and must remember there is no free lunch".
The Sam Willows look forward to returning to Hong Kong.
"We will be sure to uncover even more of the street food gems," said Chua.