The Whampoa – Hong Kong - Atlas Obscura

The Whampoa

Take a cruise with no movement but plenty of style in this one-of-a-kind boat mall. 


Anchored in the concrete ocean of Hong Kong is The Whampoa, a commercial center which commemorates the city’s maritime heritage, as well as providing high-end shopping!

This ship-shaped structure is located in Hong Kong’s Whampoa Docks, which was once one of the busiest shipyards in all of Asia. In the early 20th century, it employed over 4,000 people and built some of Hong Kong’s largest ships. However its prominence attracted some unfortunate company in during World War II when it was the site of a major bombing offensive and occupation by Japan.

The dockyards changed hands a number of times after the bombing until, in 1985, the shipyard was transformed into a private housing development for which The Whampoa cruise ship shopping center was erected. Conspicuously stranded in a long pool which used be one of the actual docks, the massive 360 foot-long cruise liner features theaters, department stores, restaurants and even a small theme park.

The Whampoa’s devotion to its cruise ship facsimile even extends to a metal finish on the exterior of the building, yet if the docks ever had to be recommissioned the boat would provide more fashion than floatation. 

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