Hong Kong has long been one of the world’s great trading centres and it’s multi-cultural heritage, extremes of wealth and poverty, hi-tech and historic make this global cross-roads one of the most exciting places to visit and shop.
In this episode, Megan McCormick explores the contradictory elements that make Hong Kong so special. Having measured up for a suit at the famous Sam’s tailor shop in Kowloon, she takes a room and afternoon tea at the traditional Peninsular Hotel. It’s a classic edifice from the British colonial days and was long known as the finest hotel east of the Suez Canal.
From this base she explores the islands and mainland areas of Hong Kong and Kowloon. She meets Renee K, Hong Kong’s enfant terrible of glamorous fashion design to see how western and Chinese concepts interact. She discovers the importance of Feng Shui in the design of every building and finds out how this belief even affects the success of different Hong Kong banks.
While Hong Kong’s space age skyline might rely on ancient beliefs in its design, older buildings and antiques are attracting greater significance as Hong Kongers begin to think more fondly of their colonial and Chinese past. So, Megan visits Murray House on its new site, following outcry at its planned demolition and cruises the Chinese antique shops of Hollywood Road in search of investments opportunities in ancient art. She also finds a new trend in more recent “antique” furniture from the fifties and sixties, as well as fittings and fixtures from some of Hong Kong’s British government buildings.
The next day, Megan catches the train to Shenzen, in China’s Special Economic Zone. She takes advantage of the high-quality low priced beauty treatments available before seeking out bargains galore among the myriad clothing, home entertainment, art and jewellery stalls and shops in this packed temple to trade. Back in Hong Kong, after an open-air Tai Chi lesson on the waterfront, she stuffs herself on a delicious dim sum lunch in the City Hall and then goes to the Happy Valley racetrack for a flutter on the horses – one of Hong Kong’s favourite pastimes. Then on to the best of Hong Kong’s nightclubs for an encounter with, of all people, Mick Jagger! It’s all part of the glamorous, crazy lifestyle that makes Hong Kong so exciting.