How feng shui shaped Hong Kong's skyline

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, August 1, 2018
  • Hong Kong’s superstitious skyline.
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    Hong Kong’s famous skyline is known for its colorful lights and modern buildings, but a closer look reveals some unique designs inspired by feng shui. Like the gaping holes in the middle of buildings to let dragons fly through or cannon-like structures installed to deflect bad “qi” (pronounced chi).

    The main belief in feng shui is that destiny is bound to the environment, so good fortune and harmony can be invited in and bad energy can be warded off by arranging objects and buildings around us. It's an ancient Chinese practice that has come to define Hong Kong's skyline.

    In this episode of Borders, we explore feng shui principles, explain the circumstances that allowed it to flourish in Hong Kong and take a look at the unique designs around the city.

    Vox Borders is an international documentary series by Emmy-nominated producer Johnny Harris exploring life at the edge of nations. For more, visit

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  • Vox

     (Aug 2, 2018)

    We should clarify that while construction firms have specifically cited feng shui as a motive for putting holes in their buildings, the unique design also has other purposes other than superstition, including heat ventilation and city code compliance. Feng shui is not always a factor in these design decisions but we did hope to show that the belief system has influenced architectural decisions in Hong Kong.

  • fair weather

     (Jan 16, 2019)

  • The Boyo

     (Dec 4, 2018)


  • _Bob McCoy

     (Aug 1, 2018)

    *Can't the dragons just fly **_over_** the buildings?!*

  • Laila Robert

     (Jan 29, 2019)

    I see you everywhere

  • Evil side

     (Jan 27, 2019)

    chinese dragons like to go through the holes like snake

  • ArchOfWinter

     (Aug 1, 2018)

    Superstitions aside, having large holes in tall buildings is actually very good for the surrounding area. It let the air flows and help keeps air from getting stagnate, a heat island effect, to a certain extend. Many older districts has buildings that act like a giant wall to maximize floor space, but it alos keeps hot air trapped in surrounding areas.

  • 麥草羊

     (Oct 29, 2018)

    albear972 People really hard to breathe living in low level / staying in street behind those buildings without holes especially in summer !!

  • Yes Theory

     (Aug 1, 2018)

    This series is so freaking good

  • MV Bus Channel TV

     (Mar 8, 2019)

    Yes! I love British Hong Kong

  • King Salid

     (Feb 26, 2019)

    Yes Theory what up I love your videos

  • ArchOfWinter

     (Aug 1, 2018)

    The HSBC building also has no tall building blocking the water view, thus, keeping the wealth flowing and assets liquid. This status/view is literally set in stone. The HSBC and the HK government has an agreement that no tall building will ever be built in front of the HSBC building.

  • steve crawford

     (Jan 15, 2019)

    I have a dragon in my pants, which is why I have a big hole my underwear facing the water...

  • tuan nang dang

     (Aug 19, 2018)

    additionally,HSBC bought the land in front of the HSBC building. that is the real reason no tall building blocking the sea view

  • Our Founding Liars

     (Aug 3, 2018)

    This video helped me confirm that dragons were the ones the brought down the twin towers. Keep asking questions

  • Warathanut S.

     (Aug 25, 2018)

    Also, brought down the wall in the north for white walkers as well.

  • Michael Jay - Value Investing

     (Aug 1, 2018)

    So thoughtful! I am sure the dragons appreciate this.

  • Worldwide Countdown LIVE

     (Jan 10, 2019)

    why are you everywhere? You are the new Justin Y.

  • jane jiang

     (Oct 26, 2018)

    yep, I have the same opinion...

  • Zedek

     (Aug 2, 2018)

    Regardless of feng shui being a superstition, the city just looks beautiful.

  • Luke

     (Oct 7, 2018)

    K Z A No hong kong is def nicer than nyc

  • Paul Han

     (Aug 22, 2018)

    K Z A “no. Hong Kong is way nicer” it’s called an opinion you don’t have to say no something else is better.

  • james chan2

     (Aug 1, 2018)

    its actually because of the buildings in hong kong are so high, the buildings sometimes have a hole in them so that the air can be ventilated instead of being trapped in an area, making the city even hotter. but i guess feng shui plays a small part too.

  • Tu Tony

     (Aug 10, 2018)

    i think so. They are doing that to reduce heat island effect other than superstitious considerations.

  • Jaw Ji

     (Aug 4, 2018)

    That is one reason, the main reason they put holes in buildings is because they are strict plot ratios in HK, so putting holes in buildings means the developers can reduce the space taken up by lower floors and thus build higher; as high floors sell for more. It is the same reason many buildings in HK have L shapes.

  • Donald J Trump

     (Aug 2, 2018)

    I thought it was glory hole for Godzilla.

  • R023 G0ld

     (Nov 18, 2018)

    Mr President please confirm with Xi Jinping on your next meeting