Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art that literally translates as ‘wind water’ which involves arranging an environment based on the energy flow called ‘qi’ – a life energy thought to be present in all things (living and inanimate) which must be given balance in any space.
While some regard feng shui as a science, others call it a superstition. Fact or fiction though, practice of feng shui became a subject of great contention in China in 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was formed and the new government deemed it a “social evil”, banning the use of its practice throughout the country.
Hong Kong existed for a long time outside Chinese rule however, and practice of feng shui has been ever present in the region. It’s thought that as much as 90% of Hong Kong’s residents believe in the principles of the ancient art so it’s not surprising that businesses take the practice extremely seriously.
The HSBC HQ for example is set on one of the five main roads of the island which represent dragon veins, giving it a powerful flow of qi allowing prosperity. The building also has two bronze lions that sit in front of the office’s main entrance which are said to protect the money and people inside.
The Repulse Bay is another famous example of feng shui which features a large hole in the center of the building which allows the mythical dragons that are said to live in the hills behind the residential building to pass through to drink from the bay below.
Designed to resemble growing bamboo shoots to represent growing prosperity, the 72-storey China Bank Tower is one of Hong Kong’s most identifiable landmarks. Not all feng shui experts are fans of the building however, as the design features sharp edges and negative ‘X’ shapes. Business for the Bank of China doesn’t seem to have suffered from the so-called negative qi – but know knows how well they might have done in a more feng shui-friendly building!
If you’d like to see the ancient art in all its glory, many of Backyard Travel’s tailor-made tours to Hong Kong and China can be tailored to include a walking tour of some of the fascinating feng shui buildings and temples. To make an inquiry, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our expert local China Travel Specialists who’d be happy to help!