Tea and Feng Shui in Hong Kong

Last month, on a beautiful Sunday morning, our sleepy little SACS group met at the Shekou Ferry Terminal to take the first ferry to Kowloon. We were cheerfully herded onto the boat.

Upon arrival in Kowloon, we were met by a very gracious and soft spoken tour guide called Joe who, as it turned out, was not only the owner of The Sky Bird Travel Agency Co., Ltd. but also a Feng Shui Master.

He explained to us that Feng Shui is an ancient art to promote health, happiness and prosperity in one’s life. There are five elements that interact to determine this balance. They are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The Yin and Yang, opposites, are also important to achieve the ultimate balance. All these factors combined will decide whether you are sick or healthy, unlucky or lucky, etc. As some of you may know, although the art of Feng Shui is forbidden in China, it is still widely practiced.

On a personal level, when determining your balance point, the day and time of birth is also involved. With buildings, you have to make extensive Feng Shui precautions to keep it in harmony. Many of the Lions at the entrance of buildings are counterpoints to negative Feng Shui elements affecting the structure. It’s extremely complicated and it takes many years to become a Master.

Our bus took us first to a wonderful Outlook Point in the hills of Kowloon. From there we could see the remains of the old airport which must have been rather difficult to land since it was surrounded by hills and high-rises.

After a Dim Sum feast in Mody Square, we drove to Hong Kong Central and tried to practice our newly acquired Feng Shui knowledge on several well known buildings. We were wrong most of the time and soon realized that it must be a nightmare to be an architect in Hong Kong!

Later in the afternoon, we went to Flagstaff House, The Musem of Tea Ware in Hong Kong Park. It’s a charming, small museum that can be seen in one hour. After all the walking it was just enough. The park was also pretty and many newlywed couples were posing for photos.

The final stop was a quaint tea shop near the Western Market. Even though we could hardly fit inside the shop and it was difficult to move among the displays but it was well worth the effort. It was old and very Chinese. We were treated to a tasting and explanations about all the different teas.

After tea, we marched on to the ferry terminal and bid farewell to our wonderful guide Joe. We were pretty tired by then and pleased with our busy day. We had seen parts of Hong Kong that we normally don’t see as well as having been reminded once again how complicated and different Chinese culture can be.

Chinese chefs recognize five distinct flavors – sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty – and must learn instinctively which combinations work together, which ingredients are complementary, and which

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