I'll Take Hong Kong

I'll Take Hong Kong

Travel & Leisure, 1995 September

I'll Take Hong Kong






Expect to pay $900 and up for most of Kelly's Tibetan carpets. He also carries contemporary Chinese painting.

Nearby Plum Blossoms Ltd.

(305-307 Forum 1, Exchange Square; 852/2521-2189) stocks a good collection of Tibetan rugs, as well as Vietnamese paintings and contemporary Chinese art.

Remember that Americans can't take Persian (Iranian) rugs home, and even if you attempt to pass one off as Turkish or Afghani, you risk having it confiscated at customs.


Talent, beauty, and lineage may earn you respect in other cities, but in Hong Kong, it's money that gets you a table in the current hot restaurant. Money is the obsession here,

both making it and spending it. Hong Kong women also like to wear it: they drape themselves with yards of precious metals and dazzling gems. They cover all that glitters, as if to compete with the brilliant lights of the city, which, it's said, has more jewelry

shops per square mile than any other place on earth.

Jade and gold are Chinese symbols of good fortune and prosperity, but today's trendy combo—as ubiquitous as Armani suits and cellular phones- is diamonds set in gold.

An abundance of skilled labor in China (where most of the jewelry is produced) and Hong Kong's free-port status keep the prices low, and visitors can have just about any design copied here. Before you leave home, check out prices and quality for comparison; then bring along good photographs, or, better yet, the piece you want copied.

Reputable jewelers will give a full refund on any defective workmanship.

I confess to having never bought a bauble myself, but the following establishments are recommended by women who take their accessory shopping very seriously.

Kai-Yin Lo (at the Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Rd., Central; 852/2524-8238; also at the Peninsula, Pacific Place, and Ocean Terminal) is the local girl who made good. Her jewelry is sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, I. Magnin, and

Neman Marcus. and 1s worn by the likes of Estée Lauder and Queen Noor

After the shops: the Peninsula awaits. of Jordan. Kai-Yin Lo's various collections include Asian-inspired de-signs, and make use of everything from bone to diamonds. Prices range from $100 to $3,000.

If you bring your own stones to be set at K.S. Sze & Sons (at the Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Rd., Central: 852/2524-2803), it will cost anywhere from $200 to figures I'm too polite to print- but it will still be cheaper than at home. Earrings and rings take about three days, and more complicated pieces up to three weeks. Regular customers send photographs and a deposit ahead. Well-mannered bargaining is expected here.

Pan Am Pearl (9 Lock Rd., second floor, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon; 852/ 2723-9231) has the old Pan Am Airlines logo on its business card, which reads,"Exporter and wholesaler of jewelery, precious stones, Rose brand blouses, cloisonne, table linens, beaded sweaters, beaded hand bags, embroidered silk blouses, and kimonos." But this shop is known to several generations of flight attendants for its imitation pearls. The afternoon I stopped by, the place was SRO with United Airlines crews. An opera-length strand of 8mm pearls will set you back only $15.

Locals usually turn up their noses at Hong Kong's discount jewelry outlets, but there are exceptions. Tse Sui Luen Jewellery (Wah Ming Building, 34 Wong Chuk Hang Rd., Aberdeen; 852/2873-2618) is recommended by the Peninsula's concierge. TSL will pick you up at your hotel or refund your taxi fare, and start you out with a tour of their factory and huge showroom. They'll design virtually anything you can dream up, and if you're not happy with it, they'll give you your money back.

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