The search for a home with the ideal feng shui led Hong Kong executive Terence Lo to Hac Sa Wan and the new La Marina development

Terence Lo arrived in Macau in late 2019 having been convinced by friends that it’s a good way of life here.  Born in Vancouver, Canada, raised in Hong Kong, with a degree in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego he’s quite the globetrotter, though most of his career in real estate development has kept him living between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.  Now in his late 30’s he felt a change of scenery would do him good, hence the move to Macau.  These days he works as a real estate consultant for Ambiente Properties’ Hengqin company.   “I’m busy planning a series of seminars on buying and leasing properties on Hengqin; with the favourable policies offered Macau and Hong Kong buyers there’s a lot of interest.”

A feng shui enthusiast, Terence set about checking all the main properties in Macau to see which one would have units that would best suit his needs.  It was not an easy task.  “I checked over 30 places, starting by looking on line and using Google Maps.  I wanted to be on Macau-side and there is only one development suitable for me and that’s La Marina, and specifically tower 2, an ‘E’ unit.   My front door must face North East and also face water.   Behind my apartment there must be either a building or a mountain” he explains.  

La Marina is a year old development located on Macau’s north shore, adjacent to the Residencia apartments and Crowne Plaza hotel.  2750 units, ranging in sizes from 864-1365 sq feet, are spread over 6 towers, going up as high as 45 floors.  Almost 60% of the apartments are studios, 15% are 1-bedroom, 25% are 2-bedrooms, and the balance is a handful of 3+ bedrooms.  This breakdown is in keeping with many of the new builds in Macau these days – the focus is on small units geared for the younger occupant, singles and couples.  The crunch comes when there are only just over 1,000 parking spots, around 700 for cars and 300 for motorcycles, so it’s a challenge if one has a car, but fortunately there’s a public bus interchange within a few minutes’ walk.

Like many of the new builds these days, La Marina has installed finger print access for the apartment doors, “or you can open the door using an application on my phone.  It’s very high tech … I get a message on my phone very time the door is opened!” he laughs.

Terence settled on an unfurnished 980 sq feet, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment.   The 2nd bedroom has been converted into a dressing room with closets on either side.  He particularly appreciates having the main door opening into the middle of the apartment, with dining-living area on the left and bedrooms on the right.  “And what’s really great is there’s a huge public area space in front of the main door.  In feng shui terms, it’s a big area for energy to be stored in front of my home.”

The pale wood flooring throughout and good headroom give a light, airy feel to the place.  It has a balcony for 2 people to sit comfortably and from it a great sea view looking towards Zhuhai’s coastline.  All for the princely sum of HKD12,500 rent per month.

“La Marina is in an ideal location for me,” he enthuses, “it’s very convenient for public transport, shopping, all the major supermarkets are within a couple of minutes’ walk, there’s the Hon Yau wet market for fresh fish and vegetables, and there’s lots of restaurants and home delivery services.”  Terence’s favourite local haunts are a nearby sushi shop and a “very nice coffee-brunch place called BENE Café, with all day breakfast, toast and eggs!”  

For fresh air on the weekends, “there’s a wonderful walk along the waterfront – it’s very popular – going all the way to the Macau ferry terminal, around the reservoir there and back; a good hour and a half exercise.”  

Apart from his feng shui hobby, Terence is an accomplished DIY-man and isn’t afraid to tackle his own home improvements!  Having taken on an unfurnished apartment he then bought all his furniture on line on the “Tao Bao Discount Day on 11/11” and set about assembling it; dining table and chairs, side board, coffee table and all the wardrobes.  “I enjoy home decoration, home living, moving things around” to get them just right, he says.  In the living area he’s applied a blue-grey-tan vinyl wall paper, chosen for its feng shui water effect. 

Terence also knows a bargain when he sees one.  He found the curtains in a local shop – “they were on sale as the fabric wasn’t correct for another customer’s order, but they fit perfectly for my place” he laughs.  The sofa, locally bought just across the border in Gonbei, was originally priced at over MOP10,000. “I got it for MOP4,000.  I love it as the two end sections are electric and roll out to include a foot rest.”

The TV is a 65” Mi brand – paper thin and looks almost like a piece of artwork. A framed collection of four antique batik design stamps holds pride of place over the sideboard in the living room and in the bedroom is a blue-gold original by local artist Catherine Bjerke.  An intriguing mask, almost an art piece in itself, sits on the bedstand – its for 15 mins a week UV light skin therapy.  

Several money plants are strategically located about the apartmemt and at the entrance is a small fish tank.  As the fish have just produced offspring that implies more positive feng shui and extra luck to Terence’s home.

So how did Terence become interested in feng shui?  “It started when my father died and I was trying to find a suitable place for his grave.  I met a fung shui master who introduced me to this Asian concept of astronomy, and how the universe circulates.”   Interestingly Terence adds that according to feng shui this apartment is suitable for him until the end of 2023, and then he needs to move to another unit – that being the mirror image of his current one.  So there’s more opportunity for his home decorating skills just around the corner!

This article was written by Suzanne Watkinson, Managing Director of Ambiente Properties, for the Macau Closer magazine, June-July 2020 issue.

Photographs: Suzanne Watkinson