Today it is an exclusive urbanization located in Hung Hom, in gigantic and bustling Hong Kong, but for years Whampoa was home to one of the most powerful shipyards in China, a vigorous naval hub founded in the 19th century that ended in decline due to the stakes of World War II and financial difficulties. In a nod to that past, those responsible for the area made a less striking decision: beach a yacht in the middle of the neighborhood, right on an old dam.
Not just any yacht, of course. the ship, 109 meters long and that it would not clash moored at the docks of Puerto Banus, is actually a shopping center with shops, restaurants and a large supermarket on its lower level. Located just 300 meters from the seafront, nestled in an area full of buildings, the ship, named Whampoa, has various heights, terrace, deck, anchors and is even equipped with auxiliary boats, just like a ship that was ready to set sail at the least expected moment towards the Pacific.
Like on a cruise… but without seasickness
The yacht is the main attraction of Whampoa Garden, the large residential and commercial area of Hung Hom that today occupies the land of the old shipyards. Although the surroundings are full of large buildings, it is a far cry from the heart-stopping skyscraper landscapes of central Hong Kong. The reason: the proximity of Kai Tak International Airport, which until the late 1990s, when it was replaced by the new airport terminal, Chek Lap Kok, welcomed much of the flow of business trips and tourism in the city. The proximity made it necessary to control the level of the blocks.
The lure of Whampoa makes it by far the most photographed spot in the Whampoa shopping scene —The Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa—, through which hundreds of businesses and restaurants are distributed. In 2017, photographer Andy Yeung actually managed to become a contest finalist. National Geographic Photographer of the Year thanks to an impressive image of the yacht obtained with a drone and in which the commercial ship can be seen “stranded” between buildings and streets. To further enhance its appeal, those responsible for Whampoa light up your deck at night.
What can be done inside Whampoa? Well, in addition to feeling on board a ship trapped in a raft of cement and asphalt, the ship houses an AEON supermarket, a gym and a wide range of restaurants and shops spread out on the second floor, with fashion, jewelry, sports, electronics, children’s clothing and beauty brands and spaces for leisure. the travel guides They detail that the environment is completed, for example, with a bowling alley and game rooms and a cinema.
Almost, almost like being on a cruise ship. Only without suffering the effects of the tide.