Dialogue in the Dark
What it is all about
Dialogue in the Dark offers the Hongkong tourist a travel experience like no other. It is a 75-minute walking journey through a room that closely simulates the streets of Hong Kong, but in total darkness, and led by blind guides. The concept started in Germany, with the hope of promoting public awareness, and the goal of inclusion for the visually impaired.
There is a maximum of 8 people per tour, we were 6 in ours, which I feel is a good number. Before the tour began, we were asked to put all our valuables in the locker. We couldn’t take anything inside except for HKD10, which was to be used for a segment of the tour. We were also handed a cane.
Admittedly, I had no expectations when I arranged for this tour. I found the concept interesting and since I had seen the realistic Hong Kong sights many times in the past, I wanted to give this simulation a shot. In my mind, I had thought that “my eyes would simply adjust to the dark” as they usually do, but I was wrong, they never did. I could not see anything at all. We were led through the entire labyrinth only by the voice of our guide, Daniel.
As our tour began, were led “outside” where we could smell the pine trees, feel our feet against the grass/soil, touch the moist leaves of a tree, and hear the birds chirping. When our guide asked us where we thought we were, everyone chorused, “At the park!”. With that, he started hitting on a large wooden thing and asked us what we thought it was. We all surmised it was a bench, and all of us took turns assisting each other take a seat. As each one maneuvers in the dark, with only a cane and a voice in the darkness as guides, it is highly likely for you to bump into each other. I didn’t mind this at all; it was part of the experience.
After the “outdoors”, we were led to cross “Victoria Harbour” aboard a “ferry”. We were guided to “embark”, going down a ramp and finding our seats in the dark. Then, the engine started, and strong winds blew in our faces. It was a refreshing experience. I had just done this boat ride a day before, the real one of course, and I was mesmerized by the vibrance and the energy of the harbor. Now, in total darkness, I learned to appreciate the feel of the wind and the sound of the other ferries as they passed each other by.
After the “ferry ride”, we had to cross the street. That familiar ticking sound of the Hong Kong pedestrian stop lights helped us to know when to go or not to go. That ticking sound which seemed to annoy me when I was above ground, proved to be of great importance to the visually impaired. This became an eye-opener for me, no pun intended.
We were led to the town’s local “stores” and the “market”, where we had to name what we were shopping for. We were using our hands, trying to guess the different grocery items. The surroundings seemed noisy, like people were talking and engaging with each other. I grabbed something circular which I knew to be an orange, followed by an apple. I was in the fruits section. Others identified pasta, canned goods, rice and some local Chinese delicacies.
Then we were led to the “cinema”. We all had to find our own seats, with the help of the guide. We used our hands to touch the walls, to make sure we knew what was in front of us. I guess, for the visually impaired, staying close to walls and hand rails is a lot safer than being in the middle. At that point, I was beginning to wonder how a blind person could appreciate a movie. The music started playing, and here we were, so relaxed on what felt like lazy boy chairs. We let our imagination soar and made up stories in our heads. There were no dialogues in this film, just music. After, our guide asked us after what we thought the movie was about, and though our views differed, we all had answers.
The final segment of the tour was a “café” or a “restaurant”. We were all led to a bar where we had to purchase drinks of our choosing. (This is where you use your $10) I took the milk tea; others bought Coke or juice. Then we sat ourselves down.
This was when the guide divulged that he was actually blind, and he shared his story of how he lost his sight. Everyone in the group shared their learnings. I, for one, found it an overwhelming experience to rely on my other senses other than my sight.
Dialogue in the Dark is truly a remarkable and enlightening experience that leaves you richer and more aware of your surroundings. I definitely recommend it and urge you all to try.
Note : Pictures are put for representation only as pictures are not allowed inside
Note: Not for those afraid of the dark and the claustrophobic. Also, refrain from using neon or light emitting clothing and shoes.
Address: 2樓215鋪, Nob Hill Square, Mei Foo Sun Chuen, Hong Kong
Facebook: https://www.face book.com/DiDHK
|Weekdays (Tur to Fri)||Sat, Sun & Public Holidays|
· Full-time student (Local and overseas)
· Elderly (aged 60 or above)
· Adult birthday month discount
· People with disabilities
Tue – Sun & Public Holidays: 10:00am – 7:30 pm
*Closed on Mondays
How to Get There:
Mei Foo Exit G
Mei Foo Exit C1
This was really useful, we used it to lead us to the place itself.