Modern city shaped by ancient beliefs

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Hong_Kong_HSBC_bank

What do the buildings above have in common? Each of them has been optimized to provide good feng shui for their occupants. Hong Kong’s Central neighborhood, home to an ultra-modern business district and lavish luxury shopping, is awash in feng shui techniques.

Prominent banks and even the most contemporary office buildings have feng shui elements built into their design. Perhaps you walk by them every day yet haven’t considered their purpose. Here are some examples from around Central!

Combinations of rocks, trees and water are the main elements used in feng shui landscaping. As an over-simplification, the belief seeks to achieve and attract positive results through placement. The concepts stretch back thousands of years and have been adapted and interwoven into contemporary Hong Kong society.

Flowing water walls

One of the most impressive of the feng shui landscape techniques are water walls. Certain kinds of flowing water are believed to create a force conducive to attracting wealth. It comes as no surprise then that Exchange Square, home to Hong Kong’s Hang Seng stock market, has a grand water flow at its main entrance.

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Either side of the escalator bank features a wall of flowing water next to an arrangement of plants.

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In a similar way, the entrance to Central Tower on Queens Road (across from HMV) features water walls cascading from several stories above.

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The pathway leading to Hong Kong Park from the atrium of Asia Pacific Centre (home to Citibank) also includes a water wall.

A tree grows in Central?

Ever wonder why there is a massive tree parked in the middle of the sidewalk on the Queens Road side of Cheung Kong Centre?

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Things you may have thought were just strange landscape architecture choices, are often planned to serve a specific purpose. This is an example of a feng shui arrangement.

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Lions stand guard

The ultra-modern HSBC building and the old stone Bank of China building from the 1950’s both have something in common.

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Check out the buildings and you’ll see the same type of statue out front. On the ground there are a pair of lions protecting HSBC’s main headquarters.

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If you walk a few more feet towards Admiralty you’ll be greeted by two more pairs of lions at both the front and side of the old Bank of China.

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Rocks, water and trees

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The new Bank of China just down the street has an even more impressive feng shui arrangement. The building has water flowing around it with a sort of moat and special rock arrangements on either side.

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The moat used to be filled with large gold fish, which are also associated with good fortune.

Beliefs in feng shui are widespread and run deep

Even the youth-dominated hair salons and trendy boutiques that dot the city adhere to feng shui beliefs. Hong Kong business owners will often consult with a feng shui master before signing a lease on a new space. Seemingly perfect locations are sometimes abandoned on the advice of a feng shui expert.

The next time you find yourself pondering something that seems out of place, stop to consider whether it has some sort of feng shui significance.

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