Spoiler alert – we’re officially obsessed!
From the suspenseful clack of shuffling tiles to the thrill of grabbing your first “pong”, there’s a reason Mahjong is enjoying a resurgence as of late. The tile-based game combines the best of strategy, luck and skill for a game you’ll be addicted to playing all night long. What better theme for our first Sassy Social of the year?
Enter Virginia Chan’s Beginner’s Mahjong Class. Though best known for her Humid with a Chance of Fishballs food tours around the city, social distancing restrictions have forced Virginia to find alternative ways to spread the joys of local Hong Kong culture. In lieu of her local tours, she had the idea to use her expertise to host private Mahjong classes. Obviously, here at Team Sassy we couldn’t wait to try it out for ourselves. Keep reading to see how we got on…
Whether you’re a Mahjong newcomer or have played a game or two before, Virginia is able to tailor her classes to all abilities. Virginia’s two-day courses are designed to teach you how to play either traditional Hong Kong/Cantonese-style or Taiwanese-style Mahjong, but since most of Team Sassy were complete beginners, our class really went back to basics. Though the unfamiliar tiles were a little intimidating at first, Virginia’s clear and simple explanations, peppered with fun facts about the history and superstitions of different pieces, were easy to follow. We were on our way to playing our first game in no time!
Though we didn’t quite reach the intensity of THAT Mahjong scene in Crazy Rich Asians, we were able to get through two full games in our lesson. We played the basic “chicken legs” version, which we were able to get the hang of pretty quickly. During this part of the lesson, it was really useful to have Virginia chiming in with tips and tricks in real time, which helped us understand more of the strategy behind Mahjong.
Read more: 10 Unique Things To Do In Hong Kong
Overall, we loved every minute of Virginia’s Mahjong class – so much so that Sassy Editor Jess went out and bought herself a Mahjong set that very same weekend! It’s a fantastic idea for an afternoon of team bonding, or if you just want to try something different with friends on a weekend. Just be warned, Mahjong really is as addictive as they say – be prepared to become obsessed!
Interested in learning how to “pong”, “chow” and “sik wu” like the pros? Virginia offers private beginner lessons on both Hong Kong/Cantonese-style and Taiwanese-style Mahjong, which run over the course of two lessons (2.5 hours each lesson). The course also includes a complimentary two-hour refereeing session that will take place a few weeks after you complete your classes, where you can ask Virginia any follow up questions and check that you’re on the right track. Simply WhatsApp her if interested!
Images courtesy of Sassy Media Group.