Sleeping Dogs Screenshot

Let’s Enjoy A Hong Kong Trip with Sleeping Dogs (Part 1) – North Point

I’ve always found Hong Kong to be such a fascinating city. Don’t you agree it’s such an incredible mix of the East and West, the old and the new, the rich and the poor? A Hong Kong Trip to me is to instantly experience so many different things at the same time, along with all sorts of fabulous food to go with. In my opinion, this former British colony is not only a must-visit for any traveller, it’s a city worthy of any bucket list too. What you’d encounter here would be unforgettable, as well as unfound anywhere else in the world.

Hong Kong Skyline.
Hong Kong. One of the best destinations for an Asian city trip.

A Brief History of the Former British Colony

Hong Kong has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but it remained largely unknown and unmentioned internationally till the First Opium War. After that disastrous fracas, Qing Dynasty China was forced to cede Hong Kong Island to the victorious British Empire in 1842, followed by Kowloon in 1860 and a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. Happy with its possession of one of the best deep-water harbours in the world, the British established a crown colony, which then steadily grew and prospered. British control of Hong Kong would continue till 1997, when all three territories were returned in full to the People’s Republic of China.

What the Name Means

The name “Hong Kong” might be confusing for new visitors. Translated as “Fragrant Harbour,” it can refer to both the first island ceded to the British and the entire ex-colony. Generally speaking, usage of the name under most situations would denote the various territories as a whole. In daily conversations, however, some locals might still use the name to refer specifically to Hong Kong Island. To give an example, “crossing over to Hong Kong” could mean going from the Kowloon area to Wanchai, Central, etc, by crossing over crowded Victoria Harbour.

Map of Hong Kong Island.
Hong Kong Island in dark green. The remaining area in light grey represents Kowloon and the New Territories. | Source: Jc86035

Sleeping Dogs, Our Travel Vehicle

Quick Links

North Point

Aberdeen & Kennedy Town

Central & Victoria Peak


All game screenshots are owned by United Front Games and Square Enix London.


United Front’s Sleeping Dogs was my first proper open-world game. With embarrassment, I share that I didn’t have a clue what open-world meant till I played Sleeping Dogs. For that matter, I didn’t even know about the game beforehand; I downloaded it for free from Xbox Live Gold.

Five minutes into the game, and I utterly captivated. Not only did the game contain spectacular action and an engrossing story, Sleeping Dogs reproduced the best of Hong Kong Island with astonishing flair. Whereas Hong Kong sights have appeared in games such as Bujingai, never before has the fragrant harbour been rendered on such a scale, and with such detail and sound. To share again, Sleeping Dogs was the game that inspired me to someday write articles about traveling the world through video games. Till today, I regularly replay it, mostly just driving around the vast areas while listening to the in-game soundtrack. Every time, it really feels as if I’m having a Hong Kong Trip from the comfort of my living room.

Story

Sleeping Dogs is a classic Hong Kong gangster triad story. Protagonist Wei Shen is an undercover Hong Kong-American police officer tasked to infiltrate the powerful Sun On Yee Triad. His combat prowess soon captures the attention of the leaders of the triad, and he is promoted to the rank of a branch leader. As the triad descends into internal war over who is to be the next chairman, Wei Shen becomes embroiled in the power struggle between the two most powerful Red Poles (commanders). This lands him the golden opportunity to cripple Sun On Yee for good. On the other hand, the slightest mistake could result in a horrific death at the hands of the triad’s most notorious torturer.

Our Guide for this Hong Kong Trip, Officer Wei Shen

Let’s Enjoy A Hong Kong Trip with Sleeping Dogs

“Follow me closely in crowded places. Don’t do what I do not tell you. And enjoy yourself.”

Sleeping Dogs Hong Kong Trip Itinerary 1: North Point (北角)

North Point

The starting area of Sleeping Dogs, North Point (北角), or Pak-Kok­ in Cantonese, is a mixed-used urban district in the northeast part of Hong Kong Island. Densely populated like the rest of urbanised Hong Kong, the area has a variety of architecture ranging from public housing estates, to luxury apartments, to public infrastructure like ferry piers.

North Point is typically not on the itineraries of packaged Hong Kong trips, travel operators preferring instead to bring their guests to the more famous street markets in Mong Kok and Jordan. I wouldn’t say this is right or wrong, but having been to North Point a couple of years ago, I found the area more serene and localised than the touristy areas. This is a good, convenient place to get a feel of how Hong Kong residents typically live. Nowadays, it’s probably where a lot of attractive AirBnB offers are found.

References

Chun Yeung Street in North Point
Chun Yeung Street (春秧街) in North Point. There’s a busy street market here. | Source
Footbridge at North Point Road
Footbridge at North Point Road. | Source: Stomatapoll
More street scenery in North Point.
More street scenery in North Point. | Source: Legoleehk

Sleeping Dogs: North Point

Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
“Let’s begin our North Point Hong Kong trip by taking a ride around the area.”
Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
Pak-kok is nowhere near the most attractive part of Hong Kong. But it’s where you can feel the real city.”
Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
“I’ll show you a secret spot.”
Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
“The waterfront here is not as pretty as that in Tsim Sha Tsui. But again, it is more down to earth.”
Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
“Evening’s coming. Let’s head over to the Night Market.”
Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
Dew. Evening shower. Quick, follow me!”
Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
“We’ll eat something while we wait out the rain.”
Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
“All right. Free time. Check out the snacks or get some new clothes. Don’t upset stall keepers by bargaining too hard. Meet me at the restaurant across the road when done.”
Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
“Finish shopping? Good. Give me a hand with dinner. We’re having Cantonese style roast goose.”
Sleeping Dogs Screenshot
“For our final itinerary, let’s go for another ride around North Point. Hong Kong might feel crowded and gritty to some tourists, but no one can deny it’s beautiful when the lights come on.”
Sleeping Dogs North Point Apartment
“Your accommodation for this evening. It’s basic. But there’s hot water and clean sheets.”
Sleeping Dogs Combat Screenshot
“Get a good rest … while I deal with some other matters.”


All screenshots are from the XBox360 version of Sleeping Dogs. A Definitive, High Res version has since been released. Naturally, the graphics are even more awesome in this enhanced version.


More References

Hong Kong Night Market.
A crowded Hong Kong night market.
Roose Goose Soup Noodles.
Delicious Roost Goose Soup Noodles. A must-try on any Hong Kong trip!

Like what you see? Support the game by getting a copy of Sleeping Dogs today!


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About Scribbling Geek

The geek divides his free time between video games, movies, anime, and attempting to write decent short stories. Oh, and trying not to sprain his fingers from playing demisemiquavers on his Electone.

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