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Lucky Stone Carp Statue Generating Buzz at HK Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui

Lucky Stone Carp Statue Generating Buzz at HK Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui

The lucky stone carp statue at the Intercontinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong.

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Tourists and business travelers are talking about a decoration at the Intercontinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong (address: 70 Mody Road, TST East Kowloon) in East Tsim Sha Tsui that supposedly brings good luck when touched. The piece in question is a statue that has been dutifully cared for since the hotel's opening.

The hotel, currently owned by the Intercontinental Hotels Group, opened in 1981 as the Holiday Inn Harbor View. It later became the Plaza Harbor View, still part of the Holiday Inn Group, in 1992, then the Grand Stanford Harbor View in 1995 and finally its current incarnation in September 2003.

The ornament generating all the buzz is a stone statue of two carp standing in the elevator hall at the back of the main lobby. It was originally a present to the hotel from a hotel construction company and apparently has been in the establishment through all the changes in management and brand names. A hotel employee said, "I don't know what exactly got all this started, [but] talk bred more talk and now people, particularly Japanese guests, touch the decoration and ask us questions about it."

In the ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui, fish are harbingers of good fortune and carp in particular are often placed as symbols of "great achievements and a fruitful future." In the Chinese tradition, "deng longmen" (meaning "ascending the Dragon Gate") refers to a legendary land called the Dragon Gate located near the source of the Yellow River, one of China's great rivers. There carp swam that could leap over a fast-flowing waterfall and turn into dragons. Because of this legend, carp are fish that have been long prized as the kings of the rivers and the two carp statue was given to the hotel to wish for its success.

One guestroom floor in the hotel has a bronze statue of a horse―this year's animal according to the Chinese zodiac―in a corner. Feng shui principles call the horse a symbol of success, courage and power, so this statue is drawing attention as well. Reportedly, some guests at the hotel "want to switch rooms" to get closer to the horse statue. Guests who feel their luck will change for the better after touching the carp also inquire about getting a room near the bronze horse since the Year of the Horse only comes once every 12 years.

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