Bright and colourful, Hong Kong has never failed to impress first-time visitors. They are often overwhelmed by the rainbow of colours seen in the brightly lit shop fronts, in the delicious food and on the dazzling skyline. Some would say that this mixture of colours characterises Hong Kong as the melting pot of culture. And each colour represents an aspect of the bustling life that thrives amid towering buildings.
If you ask me what colour comes to mind when thinking of Hong Kong. “Rainbow” would be my answer. Though natural rainbows are rarely seen arching across the sky, the city is compensated with the vibrancy seen in countless man-made bursts of colour. From the vivid red of the urban taxi to the violet hue of the night sky, nearly all spectrums of the rainbow can be found in the “Fragrant Harbour”.
Red: The Energy of Hong Kong
Of all colours in Hong Kong, red is probably the most stand-out. Like a flame burning in the night, it effortlessly bursts through the grey concrete jungle, bringing energy (and movement) to one of Asia’s busiest harbour. From the omnipresent city taxis and the double-decker buses to the cloth lanterns in every single temple, you have to actively try to not see red everywhere you go.
Orange & Yellow: The Cuisine
While the colour red may catch your sight, orange and yellow are the one that will make you drool. These colours represent the city’s vibrant food scene: high-quality, inventive and often well-hidden. From the spicy crabs, the crispy roasted pork belly to the heavenly-tasted beef noodle, all the good food in Hong Kong is “brightened up” with either orange or yellow. The yellow colour also associates with the kitchen light – a place where the chefs create and master his/her dishes.
Green: The Recreation
Standing amid the urban jungle, you might think that green is a rare find in Hong Kong. But you will be amazed by how green the city actually is when standing on the Victoria Peak or visiting one of the neighbouring islands. Forty-percent of the territory’s surface is covered by green areas, bringing a lot of recreational opportunities to its citizens. Besides, the image of Hong Kong’s skyline cannot be complete without the mountainous landscape framing the city.
Blue: The History of Hong Kong
Despite the symbolic meaning of all the aforementioned colours, only the blue can reflect the history of the “Fragrant Harbour”. For centuries, the blue sea has been the life source of the city, providing it with wealth and prosperity. It turned a small fishing village on the Chinese eastern coast into one of Asia’s most important financial hubs. The sea also helped to shape Hong Kong’s identity as the meeting point of East and West by bringing different cultures together.
Violet: The Nightlife
For a restless city like Hong Kong, the sky has never really gone black. Instead, the city’s night sky is characterised by a violet hue created by countless neon signs. Vying for authority and brightness, these signs seemingly clash with each other as they extend over the streets. Some say that these old advertising instruments are the cause of light pollution, and they should be regulated or even banned. Others want to preserve this chaos as a feature of Hong Kong because, for them, Hong Kong will never be the same without these eccentric neon signs.