Leaving Hong Kong: Farewell Gift Guide
Whether you're the one leaving Hong Kong, or the one being left behind, these amazing Hong Kong inspired gifts will make the goodbyes a little easier.
If you’re looking for a farewell gift for a friend who’s leaving Hong Kong then look no further, we’ve got all tastes and budgets covered. We’ve picked the best Hong Kong inspired art, photography, homeware, jewellery and accessories, kids’ gifts, food & drink and a few special experiences. Even if, like us, you’re very firmly staying put in HK you’ll want to get your hands on some of this lovely stuff.
Hong Kong Inspired Art
Designer Louise Hill’s Hong Kong inspired pieces are detailed, multi-layered collages created using photographs, her own illustrations and patterns, vintage images and fabric. They capture the essence of the city and bring it right into your home. Her new ‘China White’ series incorporates a gentle and peaceful white palette and is simply lovely. Prices start at $2,550 (including delivery) for a 53.34cm x 71.12cm framed canvas.
Belinda Bath’s distinctive and stylish photo montage designs capture those all important memories of Hong Kong life. Belinda uses her own original pictures to create her designs, some of which can be personalised. The ready-to-hang range has some eye-popping pieces bursting with color, like the new ‘Teal Bird’. Prices start at $4,500 for a 30″ x 36″ stretched canvas.
Text art fans will love these stylish canvases by Biscuit Moon Designs. The My Hong Kong Memory and My Favorite Places scrolls can be customised with any background colour and prices start at $880 for a 30cm x 60cm canvas. The Special Memories canvas is completely bespoke; customise it with where you or your friends have lived, worked and played in Hong Kong for a really unique gift. Prices start at $1000 for a 30 x 30cm canvas.
Staying on the Hong Kong text art theme, how about this typographical map of Hong Kong by Sugar Snap Prints? The background colour can be customized and costs $700 for a 70cm x 50cm stretched canvas.
Talented artist Florence Traisaac at Arteflo Design paints distinctive and vibrant pieces inspired by Hong Kong street life, especially the bustling markets. Her paintings are packed with fun details and prices start at $2,700 depending on the format. Florence also offers canvas prints of her work and you can find cards featuring her designs in Bookazine. Email [email protected] for more information.
For a unique and beautiful take on that iconic skyline, check out Francesco Lietti’s striking paintings of Hong Kong. Richly coloured and full of detail, these would look great on pretty much any wall. The artist has also transformed his imagery onto elegant 100% silk scarves in six designs, printed in limited editions of 100. Prices are available on application and although they might stretch the budget, perhaps you could treat yourself to one last splurge? See more of Francesco’s work here online or at Yan Gallery on Hollywood Road.
The “Farewell My HK” series by Ciaolink are unique works that capture the essence of Hong Kong in subtle black outlines. Using pachika, a special paper that becomes transparent when heated, the detailed drawing on the transparent areas of the craftwork seems 3D-like. It’ll be hard to choose just one – be it a scene from Percival Street or Man Mo Temple – but at $720 each, presented in a sleek wood and glass frame, you should get a few. Available at Kapok.
Hong Kong Inspired Photography
Ginny Malbon’s unique collages and prints perfectly marry together details and street scenes of Hong Kong in a dynamic and colourful way. Collages can be personalised to create a memory of Hong Kong that’s uniquely yours. Prices start from $300 for an 8″x8″ matted print. She also takes names, words and sayings as photographic prints and makes them into ready to hang canvases, greeting cards and giftware with her China abcs (a = alphabet, b = beauty, c = creative) range. Using imagery from the city, your choice is framed with an artistic touch to reflect on for years to come, and can be made with a space for friends to sign for a special goodbye.
Photographer Nick Gleitzman has captured stunning panoramic images of Hong Kong, in all weathers and at all times of the day or night. And it’s not just Victoria Harbour, if you live out in the islands or New Territories you will also find an image of your Hong Kong home on his website. Prices start at $1,200 for a 61cm by 50cm print, and sizes go all the way up to 5 metres wide.
Getting away from the grand panoramas and focusing on the small details of Hong Kong life, Nick also has a stunning range of other Hong Kong photography on sale. Prices for these prints start at $475.
If photography is your thing then 13th Element has a selection of images that capture our vibrant city, presented in a unusual format. The images are bonded to aluminum and then covered with perspex, which gives the finished product a unique visual appeal. The aluminium mounted prints are $3,999 for a 70cm x 30cm print, canvas and paper options are also available starting at $750.
Hong Kong Inspired Homeware
You could take a wander around Hollywood Road and Upper Lascar Road (Cat Street) to hunt for a unique home decor gift among the antique shops, curio stores and art galleries. But if you don’t fancy pounding the pavements don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this selection of Hong Kong inspired homeware.
Inspired by traditional Chinese culture, these precious Hong Kong letterboxes come in a variety of classic colours with vintage embellishments. The nostalgic icons are sure to spark conversation when featured in the home of a loved one, and can be made bespoke so you really capture their style and taste. Designer Helen Dickson crafts them in a variety of subtle, vibrant and classic hues, with vintage-style locks and tassel adornments. She also makes lovely calligraphy brush/jewellery stands that stand out on one’s dresser or entrance table. Contact Vintage +852 via Facebook for pricing.
Great for a flatmate leaving gift, these coasters made using cutout glitter or mirror acrylic (choose your favourite colour) can be customized with your names along with Hong Kong images, so they’ll never forget the good times you all had together.
Gather a group to sign their names and jot down a memory in this luxe notebook ($150) with Chinese red flocked cover and gold foil-edged paper. The message on the cover says it all: You can leave Hong Kong but it will never leave you.
We know you hardly need us to tell you that Shanghai Tang sell beautiful gifts with an oriental feel, but we just have to mention them because they have so many stylish options (and they have even helpfully rounded up some farewell gift inspiration for you right here). Some of our favourites are the fine bone china cups and teapots, including the new ‘Neon Hong Kong‘ collection by artist Jacky Thai ($880), inspired by the vibrant energy of Hong Kong’s distinctive neon signs and architecture. Pair the mug with the equally lovely bone china scented candle ($1,150) from the range, a beautiful photo frame featuring unique and meaningful Chinese designs (starting at $1080) or a pretty enamel box ($1,080 for this Peony Square box).
Another place to head for Hong Kong related gifts is Goods of Desire. GOD are much easier on the wallet than Shanghai Tang, and we love their quirky Hong Kong inspired designs. Check out these hand painted soap dishes, which can also be used to store jewellery and bits and bobs, in Nathan Road, Sai Kung and Hollywood Road scenes. The Hong Kong street sign wine glass markers ($160) highlight many of the must-visit places in the city and are great for your vino-loving mates.
If you want a more ’boutique’ option for gift shopping you could start with Hong Kong based designer Fiona Paton‘s Hong Kong Style range. Each of these hand cut Chinese paper-adorned luminaries features an intricate design and reflects beautifully when lit (from $160). Fiona also creates trays in bold colours with mounted Hong Kong map prints, along with a gorgeous phoenix and peony version. Prices start from $600.
Thinq Hong Kong’s stainless steel ornaments in classic Hong Kong images come in a pack of three for $150. They will bring a touch of Hong Kong to future Christmas trees and can also be used as bookmarks. Or how about these ‘Heart of Hong Kong’ charms from Lion Rock Press? They make special keepsakes or cute leaving gifts for the kids’ school friends.
A fragrant candle from local shop The Candle Company will fill your friend’s new home with the warm scent of the well known local flower, the White Michelia. Each 100% beeswax candle jar ($280) comes wrapped in paper printed with a Hong Kong street design with matching gift box.
The pieces from Lantau Ren always make for a nice parting gift, especially for the Lantau crowd. Have friends leaving who are hard to shop for? They’ll surely make good use of these super soft bath towels embroidered with island transport icons – the blue taxi and bus ($330, set of two). There’s also things to make them look good, like chic gold-plated necklaces with playful paper plane features (inspired by the airport on Lantau) or cable cars, bringing to mind the famous Ngong Ping 360 ($680 each). Either will look stunning with a pair of 24K gold-plated Chinese fan earrings, handcrafted from sustainable plants and painted in beautiful turquoise, royal purple or silver (actual silver plated) for $270 per pair of earrings.
For that special friend, go all out and gift them this lavish golden-coloured junk from Swarovski, delicately crafted with 272 sparkling facets ($2,700). A gorgeous souvenir to take pride of place on any mantel.
Remember all those cab rides with friends after a wild night in Wan Chai? They’ll come back to life as they flip through the pages of the photography book TAXI ART ($300), featuring Hong Kong taxi dashboard art.
Hong Kong Inspired Jewellery & Accessories
They´ll remember all those good times at our awesome beaches with some cheerful swim trunks. Local brand Float Captain makes all sort of cool prints, including the retro-looking ‘Honger’ trunk ($480).
Everyone can use one of these, so set your departing friends off with some phone accessories with a local touch. A LKF sign power bank or 3-in-1 HK taxi charging cable are both cheap and small for easy gifting and packing.
Your goofy pals will dig the creations of Hong Kong Oapes, who use local culture and characteristics of Hong Kong in their jewellery, like Hong Kong street snacks. Take these pineapple bun cufflinks, yellow jade egg tart earrings or silver waffle pendant.
Award-winning local designer Chailie Ho weaves artwork into beautiful silk scarves with imagery from around the world, including notable Hong Kong views like the Bank of China building ($165), in bold colours.
Keep Hong Kong close to their heart with these cool necklaces depicting the skyline or a 1970’s map of HK from Simon Robin. Prices start at $600 for a choice of silver, black matt, gold or rose gold finish for an original and elegant gift. New to his range is The Pink Dolphin Jewellery Collection, created to raise public awareness about the Hong Kong dolphins’ possible extinction. Buy a complete set – pink dolphin earrings (stud or hook, $350), bracelet ($350) and necklace ($450) – each made with solid 316L stainless steel and 18K rose gold plate. Part of the sales will benefit the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society.
If your friend is a charm bracelet wearing kind of girl then these sterling silver, hand enameled Hong Kong charms from Cool Charm & Collected could be her thing. Choose from Hong Kong ferry, taxi, tram and dim sum designs, that will fit Pandora, Trollbeads, Lovelinks and other brands of charm bracelet. Prices start at $27.00 USD (about $200 HKD).
Add to a Thomas Sabo bracelet or create a true Hong Kong original with trinkets like a small silver junk($540) or these artistic Chinese dragon stud earrings ($3,730) bedecked in glass-ceramic stones and black, red, green and pink colours.
Local designers Louella Odié create gorgeous, high quality bags and purses featuring Hong Kong scenes – the tote is priced at $715 and the wristlet is $600. Literally carry a little piece of Hong Kong with you wherever you go!
PHYE scarves transform original photographs of Hong Kong’s cityscape into textile patterns that become limited edition scarves. Priced at $195USD, these scarves are luxurious, contemporary, stylish and make great gifts.
Patinova take cultural and historical objects of interest and either re-purpose or re-create them in a new way so that their story continues as jewellery. We particularly love these Hong Kong coin cufflinks (prices start at $770). And we bet you never thought you’d find the perfect gift for the dragon boater in your life? Well now you have! The Dragon Boat Paddle collection starts at $925.
When it comes to Hong Kong inspired jewellery, Goods of Desire have a great selection and we love these quirky HK charm necklaces. There are eight designs featuring different Hong Kong icons like a clay pot or dai pai dong stool ($250). Or you may prefer their stylish ‘Silversmith Collection‘, which includes a whole range of Hong Kong inspired pieces for both men and women. Prices start at $350.
Of course if the budget will stretch, then you can’t beat Shanghai Tang for high quality, contemporary jewellery and accessories featuring Chinese motifs. These chic leather bracelets with gold-plated Chinese shou (a modern geometric design based on the symbol of longevity) come in assorted hues ($1480) and cufflinks featured here start at $1280.
Snappy dressers will appreciate these silk pocket squares that will show HK letterboxes or newspapers peeking out from their suit pocket. Casual folk can always do with a pair of flip flops for travel, beach or around the house, and these fun ‘I Love HK’ ones do the trick nicely.
Even if they’re not into rugby, they’ll fondly remember their neighbourhood whenever they don one of these HK district tees ($290) from GOD.
A cool gift idea for teen boys or girls, these bracelets from niin ($390) feature silver and gold-plated charms from a happy Buddha to a Hong Kong map. The red strings, said to bring good fortune and positivity to their wearers, can be worn several at a time for a hip look.
Although they’re starting again in a new city, they’ll always be a Hong Konger deep down. This phone case ($290), complete with the symbolic yellow umbrella, will remind them.
Hong Kong Gifts for Kids
We mustn’t forget the littlest Hong Kongers! Help them cherish their time spent here with a personalised book. The inventive books from Little Beans Toy Chest come with interactive features like zippers, lace, velcro and buttons, each one lovingly handcrafted. Their popular “I Love Hong Kong” quiet book ($390, ages 2 and up) takes kids on a local adventure, celebrating our rich culture with images they’ll be sure to recognise like colourful red taxis, green mini buses, the lantern festival and more.
These delightful coin purses ($40) feature six Hong Kong transport icons and are great for storing their first bit of pocket money. Make it extra special by including some Hong Kong coins inside for a lasting souvenir.
Lantau kids will be reminded of their HK home with these funky socks by conscious locals Eureka Socks. Red or blue-themed ‘I Love Lantau’ bamboo socks will keep their footsies cool and fresh, add a bit of spark to their outfit, and help out someone at the same time: with every purchase, Eureka Socks donate one pair of socks to children and homeless people in need all over Hong Kong and Asia.
This memory book from Thinq Hong Kong ($150) will keep memories of Hong Kong friends alive forever and is a great farewell gift for the kids’ BFFs. There are pages for each friend to complete as well as pictures and fascinating facts about Hong Kong. Why not pass it around the friendship group and get it completed before gifting it?
This beautiful framed HK transport-themed artwork from Fiona Paton Design will bring memories of Hong Kong into their new bedrooms. Die cast metal vehicles like Hong Kong taxis, trams and busses are mounted in a shadow box frame and are all priced at $680.
These kids colouring cards from Lion Rock Press ($55) with tram, taxi, star ferry, dragon dance and dim sum designs would be a great personalised accompaniment to a leaving gift.
Also from Lion Rock Press, these Hong Kong inspired puzzles are perfect for little ones from 18 months to 5 years (from $100). And don’t let them forget their Cantonese just because they’re leaving Hong Kong. This matching and memory game ($150) depicting some of the city’s best loved icons is designed to make learning and recognising Chinese fun and exciting.
Commemorate a child’s time in Hong Kong with a snuggly Little Days ‘Hong Kong Home’ blanket from knitted with their name and birth date. Priced at $720, they come in nine different colours and each one is decorated with iconic HK imagery.
The book ‘My Dragon Hunt’ from All About Me can be personalised with a child’s name and a ‘lookalike’ character using stickers (the vendors will stick them on for you, or you can purchase it as an activity pack for the child to complete). The story follows an adventure around Hong Kong searching for a dragon and seeing lots of famous places along the way (starts at $180 for the DIY sticker book version).
Little Local’s kids clothes (baby – 8 years) are stylish and funky and tell a Hong Kong story. How about a Hong Kong t-shirt ($180) to send them on their way? Those heading for cooler climates might welcome a hoodie ($230)!
These adorable teddies (from $510) decked out in Hong Kong police uniforms from present day and yesteryear make a cute present for the wee ones you know moving away. Throw in some fun stickers ($29.15) of all things HK and the 30-page ‘Enjoy Hong Kong’ activity book ($80) to kill some hours on the plane. Kids can decorate and draw while reminiscing about their time in the city as they fly away.
When they’re in their new home and missing Hong Kong, tuck them in with a bedtime story to bring back all those wonderful memories with this entertaining read, ‘Hong Kong from A to Z’ ($195). Or for younger kids the My Hong Kong Alphabet board book ($160) is full of charming vintage-style illustrations that parents will also enjoy.
Hong Kong food and drink
Ying Kee Tea House, brewing high quality tea since 1881, has charming tea gift sets that are not too heavy and perfectly packaged to plop into the suitcase of a departing friend. Each time they pour a hot cup in their new home, they’ll think of those times shared over tea with you, their thoughtful chum.
The Peninsula Boutique has beautifully packaged Hong Kong-themed edible gifts for those with a sweet tooth, like assorted chocolates from their ‘Heritage Collection’ in handsome boxes illustrated with a Hong Kong scene, or traditional treats like almond cookies and egg rolls from the ‘Old Hong Kong Collection’. Prices are between $160-$720 for Heritage Collection items and $130-$220 for the Old Hong Kong Collection.
When simple tea and biscuits won’t do, go for the hard stuff: baijiu. The clear spirit isn’t for everyone, but there must be something to it as it’s the most consumed alcohol in the world. ‘Hong Kong Baijiu’, sold for $488 at The Bottle Shop in Sai Kung, is a good one to start with. The ‘modern baijiu’ is produced in small batches in Sichuan province and was created to help Westerners develop a love for the potent distilled liquor, with ‘delicate notes of red fruits, green apple, and sweet meadow grasses’. Something for your HK drinking buddy to treasure as they set off.
Send them off with a true Hong Kong original to stock the cupboards of their new house: Yu Kwen Yick chilli sauce. Yu Kwen Yick know a thing or two about chilli (they also do a chilli bean sauce), having been in the business for almost a century. You’ve no doubt seen the slender bottle of spicy red goodness in restaurants around the city, but it can also be purchased at their Sai Ying Pun shop. Your piquant-loving pals will thank you.
Unique Hong Kong Experience Gifts
Before leaving, embrace the local tradition and enjoy a warming afternoon with a tea tasting workshop ($380 per person). Local award-winning tea house MingCha offers an interactive session to explore four different types of tea guided by a tea master, with sessions catered for families and kids too. After, take home a classic gift set to re-enact the experience at home.
Do you know someone who said they wanted to learn tai chi when they got here, but never got around to it? Fulfill that goal for them with a private tai chi class. You can also join them (classes are for minimum two people) and reap the benefits of the ancient Chinese martial art, including enhanced health, reduced stress…and hugs from your thankful mate.
A Hong Kong Urban photo shoot with Paula Weston Photography creates the ultimate personalised leaving gift and memories that will last a lifetime. Shoot in the markets or on the waterfront, or maybe you can include the Star Ferry or the distinctive Hong Kong trams. There are so many choices but they are all guaranteed to look fabulous because you couldn’t get a more photogenic city than this one! Prices start at $4,950 for a Memories of Hong Kong Portrait Session (1.5 hours and 45 edited high resolution images).
Delphine Riche Franz Photography’s style is colourful and contemporary, and it shows. Whether it’s a family climbing up a tree together or happily walking down Soho streets, the photo sessions are relaxed and fun. Delphine is great at capturing precious moments using the diversity of our amazing city as a backdrop, so even if a family member is feeling a bit camera-shy, she’ll get their best side. Book a Mini Session (30 minutes, 10 edited high-res images) for $2,400, a One Hour Session ($2,950, 20 edited high-res images) or get the Full Family Portrait Session for $3,950 (90 minutes, 40 edited high-res images), ideal for urban photography in multiple locations. Make sure your friends aren’t leaving without beautiful family memories of their time in Hong Kong and order them a personalised gift voucher.
For the ultimate tick on that Hong Kong bucket list, book the ‘Sky Tour & Teatime’ package with Heliservices. The package includes a 15 minute helicopter sightseeing trip to take in some breathtaking views of the city, and the classic afternoon tea set in The Lobby at the Peninsula. This package is available for groups of two to four and is priced at $4,588 for two, $6,926 for three and $9,176 for four.
Do you know a special couple who deserve one last memorable night in the city? Book them a romantic dinner cruise, including a candlelit dinner served against stunning views along Hong Kong’s southern shoreline, in a luxurious 48ft private yacht for just the two of them.
Finally, presentation is key, so place the above (usually an email print-out or gift card) into this thoughtful ‘Sorry You’re Leaving’ card, in a Hong Kong skyline paint-splattered motif.
Did we miss anything? Email [email protected] if you’d like to suggest something else we could include in this post.