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How feng shui shaped Hong Kong's skyline

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Hong Kong’s superstitious skyline. Follow Johnny on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnnywharris/ Follow the Vox Borders watch page: https://www.facebook.com/VoxBorders/ Sign up for the Vox Borders newsletter: https://www.vox.com/borders-email Watch episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StW7oGSR_Mg Watch episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQyxG4vTyZ8 Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO 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 vox.com/borders. Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE Follow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o Or Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H
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Text Comments (4566)
Vox (8 months ago)
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 (3 months ago)
The Boyo (4 months ago)
UseFreeSpeech (5 months ago)
soo you basicly saying that the whole video is a lie? okay. nvm
龙虎山Handsome (5 months ago)
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Niko Goga (6 months ago)
I think you tried to rip some views and saying Feng shui and superstitions does that better than just filming the skyline. I really don't get why they pay this guy cuz this is obviously not his thing , and by this I mean journalism
Daniel Ma (15 hours ago)
The way he is downplaying chinese tradition and the cultural revolution...
HKA (1 day ago)
Vox just demonstrated how they are superstitious in feng shui but with little knowledge in it.
why me (1 day ago)
And they wonder why they have housing problems...
THE GZ (21 hours ago)
+why me lol what ok
why me (22 hours ago)
+THE GZ Think I got two citys mixed up nvm
THE GZ (23 hours ago)
JSG JSG (3 days ago)
A person from my class is called Qi and he is from china
Leung Oscar (4 days ago)
Feng Shui is just a big scam for privileges imo, as a Hongkonger.
Yu Wing Lam (5 days ago)
I'm learning a lot even though I am a Hong konger :)
1one1won (7 days ago)
Primitive mind!
Free Dom (7 days ago)
Lesson: Do Not Feng with the Shui
Charlotte Vanessa (7 days ago)
Feng shui isn't only belief or superstition. It also requires mathematics and calculation.
Jeffrey Fernandes (8 days ago)
Why does it look like there is Qi all over your shirt throughout this ep? lol
Ryanstecker (8 days ago)
Being architect in china you can probably excuse any wild idea with feng shui and the clients will eat it up
Qilt (8 days ago)
2:34 anyone see the dragon in the middle of the screen?
Mashupgamer 25 (9 days ago)
In a world where cranes work as cannons And you get paid for complaining about people doing their jobs
直播頻道kc (12 days ago)
It's just because it is cool Btw I'm Hong Kong er
Jurome (24 days ago)
You mean China?
Brilliant video ! i read about this holes in the buildings and dragons long time ago while flighing in the magazine and since than was telling that story to everyone and some people still lought about it. but in my opinnion feng shui works - it is about flow of energies - it creates certain emotons which creates sertain actions and certain prospective- and if everything coordinated and connected the in right order posetive energy , good luck and everything else good will always come .
Dennis Yap (26 days ago)
Step in to the lobbies of major hotels in Asia... You will see Feng Shui in practice... Walk around the compound and you will find a quiet corner housing a shrine for the local deity... It's just part of the culture in most Asian cities
Paper Explanator (28 days ago)
Died of a fatal heart attack? Well he wouldn't have died from a non fatal heart attack now would he?
Hector Javier (28 days ago)
xixi743 (30 days ago)
Feng shui does not just "usually take the form of interior design". It means so much more, especially in the 1800s.
Martin Dalkoff (1 month ago)
Fk the cultural revolution and fk Mao! Every since CR Chinese lost their soul and humanity, have a look at mainland now, poisonous food, poisonous vaccination, fake medicine, fake product, fk mao! from a mainlander
Joshua Emil Fabian (1 month ago)
i wish borders could go here in the philipines!!!
Ben Tong (1 month ago)
interesting fact for those of you who cares, as an architecture student in Hong Kong, i can tell you that most of the time, these holes in the middle of these buildings are there so that the developers could building higher (assuming the town planning board doesn't have a height restriction in that particular area ). developers always and i mean always build to the maximum allowable area, and the one way they can make more money is to build higher cuz higher = better view, and view basically dictates the property price in HK. Also recently there's this shift in focus to allow for better air ventilation in the vicinity of these massive buildings, so "wind corridors" became a compulsory part of all of the new buildings, in fact all buildings now must submit air ventilation simulation reports to make sure they are compliant to the new regulations, so yea, feng shui probably has a part but the majority of the times, its architecture and regulations
Ted Sun (1 month ago)
Right next door, is the communist bank of red China??????? whaaaat?
Jess (1 month ago)
Rumor has it that the Hong Kong HSBC building can be entirely disassembled and shipped out should the Hong Kong situation turn sour
Salman Memehood (1 month ago)
3:00 The Dark Knight opening sequence
NoWireHangerz (1 month ago)
I’m sorry, how do they reconcile the cage homes we saw in your other video with this building feng shui????
Koernians (1 month ago)
Based on geography, I believe the 'dragon' in it implies mountain's wind and meadow's wind that flows from the lower part of the mountain to its peak and reverse as there's a change in temperature. I think, the holes is supposed to not blocked this wind movement, because what 'luck' means is actually the wind breeze that cools down the area.
Conan Edogawa (1 month ago)
Imagine building a swimming pool but no one swimming in there
Gading Surdawi (1 month ago)
maybe it's for the dragons?
Jose Allan Guerrero (1 month ago)
Chinese religion has its beliefs, its rude calling it superstitious!
EppingForest304 (1 month ago)
Superstitious mumbo jumbo 😂
One Rep Max (1 month ago)
Did they consult the dragons before making those feng shui changes?
Patrick Meaden (1 month ago)
I used to live in one of those buildings
Pheonix Flame (1 month ago)
Holey Moley!*
Soumyadeep 980 (2 months ago)
*They* *just* *want* *to* *build* *Very* *fancy* *looking* *buildings* *to* *attract* *more* *visitors* Removing bad luck, dragon blah blah was just an excuse.
Soumyadeep 980 (1 month ago)
+Gading Surdawi Oops :/
Gading Surdawi (1 month ago)
*Feng Shui master wants to know your location*
Jason Kluge (2 months ago)
I thought they made holes in their buildings only to let wind pass through in times of typhoons. I didn't know they were that stupid to believe in feng shui. Are you kidding me? It's 21st century not 12th century! No wonder there's no architecture in Hong Kong. The skyline in that city looks absolutely horrible from an esthetic point of view!
Don Pierson (2 months ago)
This guy is usually biased and portrays Chinese thought as backward. I’ve gone through a few of his videos so not judge by the cover, but yeah, confirmed, he need to broaden his thought
Don Pierson (2 months ago)
Good quality videos though. Hope he gets better and more information for the future. Wish him best
Overlord (2 months ago)
Please excuse this wonderful gap for the dragon to pass, due to the humanitarian aids that the united kingdom[ ] sent to Swaziland, this country is a very cool country.
Deacon Ho (2 months ago)
Lol I didn’t even think of that. I thought it was to prevent some kind of heat island effect.
Dave Law (2 months ago)
Imagine Dragon
Han (2 months ago)
LOL HONG KONG people are so dumb. If stupid feng shui really works then why is Hong Kong losing to many other Chinese cities now.
AHellReign (2 months ago)
Hong Kong and NYC are such beautiful cities
Jarred King (2 months ago)
I can’t handle this dudes shirt
Yuan z (2 months ago)
fengshui is 风水 wind and water
Rodney Koh (2 months ago)
FengShui is plain common sense and deeply rooted in science. Singapore city planners use windflow modelling to orientate the facing of highrise buildings so that breeze (and hence Chi) can permeate an estate.
JBass14 (2 months ago)
Günter Roth (2 months ago)
feng shui always works.... if you apply it... and something good happens... its due to your use of feng shui if you apply it... and something bad happens... it would have been much worse,if you would'nt have used feng shui if you DON'T apply it... and something good happens... it would have been even better, if you would'nt have used feng shui if you DON'T apply it... and something bad happens...it's your fault, as you do not use feng shui... But apart from that, it is a believe and feeling to be respected, and if it is important to the people, simply respect it... like in Europe wearing wearing hats and wigs centuries ago... or todays homeopathy treatments... more scientific it is called PLACEBO... and it works... so respect the believing, but the believers should not force unbelievers, like in the case of the towerwith the edges...
zach hipsley (2 months ago)
TIL that the majority of Hong Kong has the same beliefs as an average 6 year old
Alfred Wang (2 months ago)
Informative, that’s nice. But saying that the reason why Feng Shui is preserved in Hong Kong alone seems forced, for me.😂😂 please explain in detail😂
Joy Channing (2 months ago)
Many HK’s buildings have very interesting stories behind. Lol
임준석 (2 months ago)
Not only China but also many East Asian countries have had this Fung Shei(풍수 in Korean) tradition. It's evident in many rural areas where villages are formed in a way to be in conformity with the 'Flow of Energy'. Of course it is not a serious belief but rather a tradition that is respected.
Shun (2 months ago)
A lot of money being wasted on old superstitious practices which should been eliminated in modern times by now.... This money could've been put to better use.
Kevin Xu (2 months ago)
stupid Vox
x c'HEN (2 months ago)
Jeeves Schadauer (2 months ago)
This reminds me of that episode from cowboy bebop
Crystal Foam (2 months ago)
3:50 looks like the guy noticed you talking
un3diecreator (2 months ago)
Those are not fend Shui. Stop making this inaccurate claim. You should go Macau casino for that
Deadly Panther (2 months ago)
RKOCyrus (2 months ago)
Oriental dragon is a good luck symbol But the hole is useless unless to allow the wind bypassing
Joseph Lioce (2 months ago)
packlesswolf1 (2 months ago)
I'm curious what's the biggest flashiest city world? Lights nightlife . Like cyberpunk
Winona (2 months ago)
My mum, from Hong Kong, is VERY into Feng Shui and I always thought it was hilarious how seriously she took it BUT I DIDN'T REALISE HOW MUCH IT HAD AFFECTED HONG KONG HAHAHHA THE CANONS???
andywolan (2 months ago)
OMG, the HSBC building does have "cannons" on top of the building! I always jokingly thought that, but did not realize that was the true intent. Does anyone know if this "cannon" design is true for buildings in Shanghai as well?
alexander yong (2 months ago)
The host is nice looking
虞海 (2 months ago)
When US media interviewing a WASP Evangelical missionary in China - Q: So what do you think about China? A: No religion. Q: No belief? A: No belief. Q: What about Hong Kong? A: So _feng shui_ is the ancient Chinese superstition blah blah blah. P.S. I am just joking and it's not about this report or reporter.
high C 35 (2 months ago)
Why is he saying fung shuei
王雪兒 (2 months ago)
Borders really does such a good job at unpacking real-world issues in a way that's interesting and easy to understand–thank you so much for this series! (I'm doing a research project on Hong Kong and I was wondering if anyone knows where I can get a citation to back what was mentioned in the video on superstitions still being commonplace in HK because they weren't affected by the cultural revolution on the mainland?)
anh da đen (3 months ago)
4:20 that building which you said "people freak out because they look like smoking cigarette", that's not why people dislike it. People dislike it because it looks like a incense which Chinese use to worship the dead. We really really really don't like anything related to death (in fact we don't have 4th floor because four sounded like "dead" in Cantonese. We skip the 4th floor and name it "5th floor", so does 14th,24th,34th... and so on)
Forexalised (3 months ago)
I don't buy it. The gaps in between the buildings are larger than in the buildings.
D Leong (3 months ago)
I need to open a hole in ur body. Its good for luck.
Use Code Ceedayy (3 months ago)
The twin towers had a hole in it once.
Bushka Kath (3 months ago)
Every hole is a good hole
Mike Koh (3 months ago)
basically geomancy
throne black (3 months ago)
You can see Feng Shui culture from Cowboy Bebop 21 episode hahaha
Info Luxx Hotel (3 months ago)
Hey Johnny, Vox,,,I am so down to being your travel buddy! Love what and how you are educating us .... I will call this BEST of show on YT!!
E O (3 months ago)
Funk Shui
Janelle honey-Badger (3 months ago)
Is this a scientifically proven thing? Or is it the same as taking Rhino horn, tiger balls, sun bear organ stuff to prevent impotence or some crazy belief, like "tortured animals taste better" insanity. You'd think these beliefs would disappear the more contact they have with western society. They're like things a child would believe.
isaac ng (3 months ago)
To be fair, western societies have equally many beliefs that are not scientifically proven. Also, feng shui is so integrated into chinese culture that it is basically impossible for it to "disappear."
王SynDyer (3 months ago)
We have these kinda practices in Canton/Guangzhou as well. There is one famous ancient building on the top of the Yuexiu mountain was built to tame the southern dragon of China in case ppl here would go against the authorities(meaning emperor at the time). It is well kept and maintained till today by generations of governments, rumor has it even the mao time during the cultural revolution, it is still secretly maintained and visited.
md mithu (3 months ago)
md mithu
SOUTH PEPPERS (3 months ago)
Omg ! So interesting !!!
TheInflatableFeast (3 months ago)
What's going on with his shirt?
Kadinette (3 months ago)
Jenny Fanny (3 months ago)
what? fengshui compensations? LOL
kenlau135 (3 months ago)
You know what? British occupied Hong Kong because of feng shui!
Dan Sul (3 months ago)
Thomas Oeler (3 months ago)
Wow, all i can hear is antichina propaganda. Nice job would goebbels say
Inception 4 (3 months ago)
Now we know the diameter and stuff of the dragons
Alex (3 months ago)
wasn't that hole made to prevent typhoon from collapsing a building?
Lam Par (3 months ago)
Wow! High rise buildings in Hong Kong have 'hole' in them, according to feng shui master, it is to allow ' sea dragon' fly through them, to avoid collision. oh I see!
Bosnian Dragon (3 months ago)
I am pleased.
DeezDeez news Official (3 months ago)
They have a space problem yet they have giant holes in buildings
MarkTheKing (3 months ago)
this is so superficial, feng shuei has nothing to do with superstition or dragons or bad luck. It has to do with energy and how architecture affects our lives, something i thought was stupid until i experienced it myself. I lived in bad places and i was always down, depressed, etc... I understood that the place we live, the position, the view, everything affects our psychology. Maybe on some people more than on others, but it does. Think about it, you will find that is true.
Ikromov Kalandarbek (3 months ago)
😂😂😂 cannons, war of luck
Ikromov Kalandarbek (3 months ago)
😂😂😂😂 dragons
Orgil Battulga (3 months ago)
so its basically superstition?
Nogga - PA (4 months ago)
I can’t take it when he says “so next time your crossing this harbor to look at the buildings remember feng shui” .....yeah dude i’ll totally be passing through China next Monday i’ll keep that in mind.. lol?
Admin (4 months ago)
Feng-shui is a Chinese version of Geomancy. The dragon they referred to is actually the flow of energy or chi which can affect luck.
Northern Lighting (4 months ago)
Stupidity is unbelievable people actually believe this crap yes and there is no 4th floor in buildings they skip that

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