Vintage shop owner brings a bit of Hong Kong to Beijing

Lau Hui-fai moved to Beijing in 2003, during a particularly melancholy period for people in Hong Kong.

"There were deaths due to SARS at the time. The economy was not promising, and two superstars had passed away," Lau recalled.

The situation at that time made him feel blue, so he decided to move out of the city he had lived for more than 20 years.

Lau moved to Beijing, but he didn't plan to live in Beijing for long. A few years after the move, he opened a vintage shop in Beijing's Wudaoying Hutong. He had been working in design and accumulated many items, clothing, books and paintings, that he had either purchased at from flea markets or brought with him.

"I wondered whether I could open a store to display vintage items from China and the West under one roof. I was trying to experiment," he said.

Over time, as he settled in, Lau found himself not wanting to leave.

"When I was little, I thought the world was small," he said. "But after I came to Beijing, I realized the world is full of possibilities. Beijing is tolerant of different people. Living here exposes me to diverse cultures. I never expected to live in Beijing for such a long time. But I came, and I stayed."

"It's my home now," Lau said.