Hong Kong has long been known as a shopper's paradise but, as more shopping mall clones are constructed across the city, this pastime has become something of a monotonous bore for residents. Horizon Plaza offers a completely different shopping experience. Walking around the Ap Lei Chau complex, with its maze of unique shops, is relaxing and enjoyable; quite different to wandering through some of the almost indistinguishable malls on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon. The shop floors are enormous, staff are attentive but not pushy, and there is so much stock you could spend all day exploring. Shambala ( www.shambala.com . hk), on the second floor, one of Horizon Plaza's flagship furniture and accessories warehouses, was founded in 1992 by Andrew Robbins. He noticed that many people were frustrated with the high prices, limited selection and poor service culture in furniture shops in places such as Hollywood Road. He took a bet that people would drive all the way out to Aberdeen to a huge, warehouse furniture store to obtain quality items at good value. Mr Robbins' regular travel itinerary reflects the eclectic nature of Shambala's stock. 'I am just back from central Java and Vietnam. I am off to India this week, and then to China. We are the Southeast Asian Lonely Planet guide to furnishings,' he joked. His store of 'unique and unusual things' is also home to a coffee shop, where you can pick up a magazine or book, and rest and recover, before resuming your exploration. Widely known as Hong Kong's first warehouse outlet based on the concept of an Asian emporium, the collection includes furniture, sculpture, household accessories and knick-knacks from across the region. 'We have a large range of leather sofas and they are really great quality. Nobody can compare for price or quality,' Mr Robbins said. 'We have huge L-shaped sofas for $14,500 and three-seaters for $8,900. The same models in hi-tech suede micro-fibre material are about 25 per cent less [than elsewhere]. 'Our mosaic Moroccan hanging lanterns have just arrived for some razzle-dazzle colour. Very dramatic. Things are becoming more colourful. More sexy and daring. A bit more drama and theatre.' On the sixth floor is Indigo ( www.indigo-living.com ). Formerly known as the Banyan Tree (since 1975) and Options Home Furnishings (since 2002), Indigo aims to provide a one-stop-shop service and a total home furnishing source for locals and people across the world. 'Our range of superb quality furniture runs the spectrum from classic to cutting edge, traditional to innovative, formal to casual,' said group merchandising manager Jo Allott. 'When customers want creativity, capability and consistency in one neat package, they will find Indigo is the place to go.' The trendy autumn and winter items now on the shop floor include a selection of brightly coloured lacquer Buddhas, quirky twig lamps, a swivel orange (Phuket) chair, and a bamboo coffee table. Ms Allott said the season's global trends for furniture, such as the Phuket chair, include low, wide, long and generous proportions, tight cushioning, bright colours and vivid patterns, and material such as leather, wool, rattan, cane, exposed timber or metal frames. 'Crocodile and snake skin are also making a comeback,' she added. Up on the 19th floor of the plaza sits Euro Sofa's (tel 2873 6766) minimalist but spacious showroom. The space is given over to a generous selection of mostly modern Italian furniture. Walk in and you will see ultra-soft leather or water-resistant, micro-fibre suede chairs and sofas, luxurious recliners and cleverly designed glass tables and cabinets. More traditional European models are on display at the back of the showroom. Reproduction pieces that border on rococo include ornate dining and dressing tables, beds and chairs. Many of Euro Sofa's pieces are from Italian suppliers, such as DeCoro and Incanto Divani. The waiting time for shipping can be up to three months, which is why the shop also offers the cheaper and faster option of ordering items that have been manufactured in Italy but assembled on the mainland. 'We've just purchased a range of L-shaped sofas at special prices,' said shop spokesman Jacky Wong. 'As they are assembled in China, there will be some great promotions - about $10,000 per piece.'