What do a mall in TST and a Cambodian brothel have in common?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 October, 2008, 12:00am

In my line of work, good news is bad news. But I am nevertheless excited to report not one but two pieces of related good news.

Does K11 ring a bell? Well, in Hong Kong, it's the name of the newly completed grand mall, serviced apartments and hotel jointly developed by the Urban Renewal Authority and New World Development. The site has taken a long time to develop and pre-dated both developers. Basically, it has caused Mody Road and the surrounding area to be dug up on and off for almost a quarter of a century, so that neighbours must now be rejoicing at the grand opening of the 340,000 sq ft mall. At least they don't have to worry about being run over by bulldozers.

Billed as the city's first art mall, it has had a soft opening and will officially launch next year. It will be a place to celebrate artistry, which presumably inspired the name. K11 was, apparently, the site's lot number when the URA first started its handy work. Now, what creative imagination to come up with that name for a giant mall.

And this brings me to the second piece of good news. As a reader wrote to remind me, K11, as naughty tourists know, is also the name of the notorious red-light village for under-aged prostitutes outside the capital of Cambodia, many of whom came from Vietnam. It is so called because it is 11km from downtown Phnom Penh. But, thanks to international co-operation and periodic police crackdowns, many globetrotting paedophiles are now behind bars, or in hiding, and the place has been, relatively, cleaned up. Well, at least they are not as brazen as they once were.

Now that's cause for celebration: the opening of K11 in Hong Kong and the shutting down of K11 in Phnom Penh. The world is becoming a better place.