Giddy Neon

Hang Heung bakery, Yuen Long

Sixty years ago, when Yuen Long was still a country backwater, trapped between some scraggly hills to the south and a closed border to the north, two bakeries opened on its main street. Somehow, despite the odds, both of those bakeries became famous, spawning chains that now have locations all over Hong Kong.

One is Hang Heung, known for its wife cakes. Another, less than a block away, is Wing Wah, which made its name with mooncakes. As you might expect from a couple of bakeries in Hong Kong in the 1950s, each sought to distinguish itself with extravagant neon signs. Since then, Yuen Long has seen its population explode; far from being a backwater, is now perfectly positioned between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

But the neon signs survive.

Wing Wah bakery, Yuen Long

I have to say — whatever the merits of their respective pastries, when it comes to the sheer giddiness of its signage, Hang Heung really takes the cake.

This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Monday November 08 2010at 10:11 am , filed under Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments are closed.