Antiques & treasures in one of HK's oldest streets
- Hollywood Road 荷李活道
Hollywood in Hong Kong - why this unusual name? Some say the road was named after holy woods, a particular kind of shrubbery that grew along the road; others claim the road was named after the summerhouse of HK’s second Governor Davis, which was between Birmingham and Bristol in the UK.
Art & antiques
Hollywood Road is the destination of choice for antique shopping. It probably has the biggest concentration of art and antique dealers in town.
According to Chinese feng shui principles, this part of town is actually a really bad location. Combined with the proximity to the Tung Wah hospital (#9 in this walk) -which is also considered unlucky - and the large number of hungry ghosts still wandering in the area (#12 in this walk), Hollywood Road became the centre of the funeral industry. Indeed, all along Hollywood Road you can still find clusters of coffin makers, incense dealers, and shops that sell the funeral paper which Chinese burn as offerings to the dead. This is exactly why the antique dealers also ended up here; simply because many Chinese don’t like to buy second-hand goods as they may still carry the unlucky ghosts of their dead owners...
A buyers guide
Ghosts or not, it is undoubtedly the best place to buy a Buddha statue, terracotta army soldier, Ming furniture, porcelain vase or jade sculpture… Hollywood Road is the place for both serious antique dealers and the curio-curious. In one shop you might find museum-quality Ming vases, an original black wood chair and genuine antique painted paper scrolls, while next door has reproduction cabinets painted in a cool colour palette, Mao statues and reprints of vintage maps.
In fact, it seems that the ghosts are slowly disappearing because Hollywood Road’s character is changing quickly. Hip eateries, galleries and shops add vibrancy to the area but this also means that many of the original trades are disappearing.