Feng shui refers to the traditional Chinese belief regarding the arrangement of buildings and objects. It is based on the idea that nature and cosmology play a big role in human lives. And even though China’s government today is trying to stamp it out by branding it as a superstition, feng shui continues to play a big role in Hong Kong.
The impact of the ancient practice
Hong Kong is well known for being an ideal feng shui spot. Since the region is sandwiched between the mountains and water, feng shui experts believe that it creates a positive “chi” flow. As a result, many buildings also have square holes in them to allow for the wind from the mountains to pass through to Victoria Harbor. According to feng shui beliefs, the square holes are created to allow the “dragons” from the mountains to swoop down to the water. As a result, the square holes are also known as “Dragon Gates.”
Despite actions by China’s government in trying to suppress the practice, belief in feng shui is still pretty strong in Hong Kong. Thierry Chow, a feng shui master, is quoted by TimeOut as saying: “I would say that at least half the population believes, on different levels. Some people are just casually interested in knowing their zodiac, but probably as many as 40 percent believe in it on a deeper level.”
Famous feng shui buildings in Hong Kong
Multinational corporations spend big bucks to ensure that their buildings follow the local feng shui beliefs. This is done so that their company is seen to be honoring the local tradition.
HSBC Main Building — In front of the HSBC Main Building located at Central, one will spot statues of two lions. The statues are said to “guard” the bank’s wealth inside the building, while also ensuring that the business prospers. HSBC also has two cannons pointed in the direction of the nearby Bank of China building to counteract its “negative energy.”
Bank Of China — This is the most infamous building in all of Hong Kong, since feng shui experts say that its design radiates negative energy out to nearby buildings. The Bank of China building seems like a screwdriver that drills out the wealth and prosperity from Hong Kong. And in fact, many adjacent businesses have closed shop reportedly due to the negativity emanated by the building. Several floors of the Bank of China tower remain unoccupied, since people do not wish to risk setting up shop in a building that has been deemed to have bad feng shui.
Disneyland — When Disney decided to open their theme park in Hong Kong, they consulted feng shui masters for advice. And as per their directions, Disneyland was designed with a bend in the path from the main gate to the train station. This was done to ensure that positive energy will not slip away into the sea. Plus, the angle of the front gate was shifted by 12 degrees in order to bring in more prosperity to the park.
Hopewell Center — This building was said to resemble a candle when it was created. Unfortunately, this had a connotation of death. And in order to resolve this issue, feng shui experts advised setting up a swimming pool at the top. This was said to put out the “fire” atop the candle-looking building.