Rubber Duck

From curry to crystal, traders are cashing in on giant rubber duck

Firms cash in on harbour's tourist draw with duck-shaped curries, a crystal duck, and more

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 May, 2013, 10:05am

Local businesses have taken to a giant inflatable like a duck to water, with restaurants to curio sellers all riding the waves made by Hong Kong's new attraction.

The rubber duck, a 16.5-metre artwork by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, is now on public exhibition in Tsim Sha Tsui, near Harbour City, one of the largest shopping malls in Kowloon. The exhibition may be free, but many of the city's business establishments have gone into overdrive to make money off it.

Some local restaurants have promptly added duck-shaped "curry duck rice" to their menus. Blogs have cropped up on several food websites, giving recipes for the special dish.

On Sina Weibo, the popular Twitter-like microblogging service, users have been trading information on the restaurants that offer the best "duck view".

"I think it is worth a try [for a "duck view" dinner] because you don't know when the duck will come to Hong Kong next," one weibo entry said.

The official weibo account of Harbour City, which is sponsoring the Hong Kong trip of the rubber duck, also has a range of duck-related promotions. One online post by Harbour City recommends a small Swarovski yellow duck.

The market is awash with duck collectibles, from duck-shaped mobile phone docks to soap and shampoo bottles. The One, another shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui and a local rival of Harbour City, has even opened a special section showcasing all duck-related products.

In online travel forums in Shanghai and Beijing, many mainland tourists have been planning "duck view" group trips before the exhibition ends in early June. At least one Hong Kong travel company is doing brisk business selling a one-day package tour for travellers, with a short cruise around the duck.