After Shanghai, the next stop on my visit to Asia was Hong Kong. I didn’t have a show to attend here, but rather a few introductory meetings with some iconic brands and interior designers. Always one to maximise my time, I didn’t let the weather stop me and got out and about to experience the city too.
First stop was the iconic Star Ferry which takes you from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. There were a couple of markets to explore on Kowloon and the iconic Peninsula Hotel with its fleet of Rolls Royce’s too.
The view of Kowloon from the ferry.
When people think of Hong Kong, this image is likely to pop into their mind. Having woken up very early to get the Peak Tram up to the top to see this view was definitely worth it. There weren’t many people and the view was magnificent.
A closer look at the buildings, apparently there are over 8000 skyscrapers in Hong Kong, which is almost double the number in New York City. A lot of the buildings here were designed with feng shui principles in mind, so the architecture in the city does have a calm feeling about it. Feng shui is something I would like to explore more after having my interest peaked in Hong Kong.
Having grown up in Durban, South Africa, a tropical city where palm trees and giant fig trees sprawl out over the city, I felt quite at home in Hong Kong. Similarly, the Victorian buildings in Durban and Hong Kong share that ‘colonial’ architectural style, making Hong Kong feel familiar in a way.
A busy street with lots of people, advertising and lights. Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places on earth.
After the assault of being out and about in the crowds, I headed to the Four Seasons for the afternoon to have a rest and just relax in the calm surroundings of the hotel. The Four Seasons hotel’s are known for their flower arrangements and Four Seasons Hong Kong didn’t disappoint.
Gough Street is known for it’s interior design shops, so naturally it was one of the places on my list to visit. The Homeless store has a fascinating exterior.
Rare by Oulton and Timothy Oulton are also on Gough Street. Rare is a fascinating store as it’s Timothy Oulton’s private antiques and vintage collections that are for sale. You’ll find a lot of Louis Vuitton trunks, from rather small flower trunks (below) right up to big trunks that have been turned into cocktail cabinets.
I spotted this vintage train in Rare by Oulton that has been turned into a lamp – a very cool piece indeed.
Next door to Rare is Timothy Oulton and this is where the contemporary furniture and accessories are sold.
Back out into the city, and there are all sorts of surprises. I found this quite interesting, a gorgeous old building where in each window you could see a big beautiful chandelier.
If you’ve been to Hong Kong, you know that there isn’t a lot of open public space, but there are a lot of stairs between the streets. I came across this installation, which is a whole lot of seats where people can sit and have lunch or just to rest – like a park bench, but on a staircase. I loved the mix of the old and the new…
Off to the Upper House, a hotel designed by Andre Fu. The attention to detail in the design of this hotel is second to none.
The view from the 49th floor – my table at the Upper House.
A poetic upward journey. The map through the hotel that points out the design features and helps you on your journey upwards to the 49th floor.
The Upper House.
At sunset, this busy city turns it’s lights on and puts on a spectacular show.
I really did have a fantastic time in Hong Kong. It’s important to explore a city’s past, present and future to be able to understand the design elements at work. It also helps to understand the brands and designers who operate in a certain place.
Hong Kong was very good to me and I’ll definitely be visiting again.