It’s a wonderful place…a playland.” The Hong Kongers fleeing to Blackpool

In the dining room of a bed and breakfast in Blackpool, a dozen refugees from Hong Kong tuck into Domino’s pizza and Ben & Jerry’s cookie-dough ice-cream. They miss more familiar food, but the Chinese takeaways in Blackpool, a down-at-heel seaside resort in the north-west of England, “just cheat the locals”, says one Hong Konger, laughing.

Blackpool’s boarded-up shops and run-down hotels are a far cry from Hong Kong’s gleaming storefronts and starchitect-designed skyscrapers. The town has the shortest life expectancy in England. It is also home to eight of England’s ten most deprived neighbourhoods, according to a report published by the British government in 2019. Where Hong Kong has tropical beaches with views of lush mountains, Blackpool has the nippy Irish Sea and amusement arcades.

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Main image: The Economist

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