Cities That Inspire Us
Here at Choo Yilin, we're unabashedly proud of our Asian heritage and unafraid to take inspiration from our roots. This also explains why we've chosen the significant Asian icon of Jade our medium for storytelling of heritage, conservation, and love through fine jewellery.
Bearing all the cultural symbolisms and traditional Asian norms we hold dear such as the important of familial ties and quiet perseverance, we've thoughtfully chosen meaningful motifs to front our various Choo Yilin collections. What better way to proudly proclaim our love for our heritage than through fine jewellery moulded with the modern discerning women of today in mind. In this post, we bring you the key Asian cities that have inspired us and our classic motifs namely, the Cherry Blossom, Bamboo, and the Peranakan aesthetic.
The Historic Town of Kyoto
With their historic and rustic charms, Kyoto, or rather Japan for that very matter, ranks high in our favourite travel destinations at Choo Yilin. Inspired by the Sakura flowers native and iconic to Japan, our Choo Yilin interpretations attempt to immortalise these ephemeral flora into intricate metalwork woven between Type A jadeite pieces. Our highly acclaimed Sakura and it's predecessor the Cherry Blossom collection remains a classic Choo Yilin signature for it's feminine charms and saccharine sweet aesthetic.
In Kyoto, do visit.... Kiyomizu-dera for a beautiful view. Also, walk the charming streets of Gion, Kyoto's famous geisha district.
You can't leave without trying.... their amazing matcha desserts. Psst, a little bird told us that this little dessert cafe called Kyo Hayashiya serves up an amazing matcha parfait.
The best time and place to view Sakura in Kyoto is.... early April at the Philosopher's Walk (Tetsugaku-no-Michi) where the path alongside a canal is lined by hundreds of Sakura trees.
If you have the time.... take a day trip out to the town of Nara where the famed deer park lies. When you're there, pop by this tiny hole-in-the-wall food joint named Maguro Koya for amazing melt in your mouth Ootoro at reasonable prices.
Oriental Charms of Beijing
Beijing, the capital of China and home to the majestic Forbidden City and Great Wall of China is rich in Chinese culture and history. Boasting architecture and artifacts from Ming and Qing dynasties, the city is valuable for its rich historical value. True to the ideals of gentle determination and quiet perseverance embedded into the Asian values dating centuries, comes the iconic Bamboo motif. Its hollow frame allows it sway with the winds yet the deep roots remain ever enduring and steadfast. Like the saying involving the virtue of Bamboo goes - To Bend but not to Break - we translate this symbolic motif along with its underlying significance as a reminder to our Women of Choo Yilin.
In Beijing, you have to visit.... The Great Wall of China, the longest and greatest ancient architecture of the world. Take a trip down to the Forbidden Palace and immerse yourself in natural beauty and rich history where Kings and Queens used to reside.
Foodies, don't forget about the.... the Peking Duck also known as 北京烤鸭 which directly translates to "Beijing Roast Duck". We heard that Quanjude Qianmen Restaurant at Qianmen Quanjude serves one of the best!
You'll find peace amidst the crowds in.... Zizhuyuan Gongyuan also known as Purple/Black Bamboo forest located in the nothernwest part of Beijing. Our Bamboo collection is greatly inspired by the tranquility of this national park where you can join the locals in their morning exercise and participate in many other activities.
If you have the time.... visit the Ming Tombs where 13 Ming emperors are buried. Take a walk along the sacred way which means "road leading to heaven". Lined with large statues that are several hundred of years old, it is quite a breathtaking view.
Malacca, Home of our Matriarch
Home of the straits-born Chinese, the Peranakans, are inhabitants of the Straits of Malacca. As the historical state of Malaysia, Malacca is largely shaped by the many colonial forces that first made contact with Malaysia. Filled with heritage buildings, ancient landmarks and colonial structures, visit Malacca for the rich cultural experience that you seek for. As jewellery storytellers of heritage preservation, our Peranakan Collection is translated from these heritage gems. Now, you too can have your very own piece of heritage that you can wear and get immense pleasure from.
When in Malacca, .... visit the iconic brick red building - Christ Church! Featuring traces of the the Dutch occupation, this 200 year old cathedral has its interiors decorated with handmade pews, decorative fanlights and plaques in honour of the Dutch soldiers and locals. Also, visit Jonker Walk for street shopping and local delights.
You can't leave without trying.... Peranakan food! Along Jonker Walk is Jonker 88, a cafe cum museum which serves local delights such as Gula Melaka, Chendol and Nyonya Laksa! Other Peranakan delights that are a must try and can be found along the Jonker Walk include the Chicken Rice Ball, Nyonya Kueh and Satay Celup. To get an authentic taste of Peranakan cuisine, dine in a local Peranakan restaurant.
Indulge in the rich heritage and culture at.... the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum. Take a peek into the lifestyle of incredibly colourful culture of the Peranakans and be amazed by their unique traditions.
If you have the time.... visit St. Paul Hill which displays Portuguese and Dutch history. Like taking photos? The ruins and statues of the church makes this place picture perfect.
At the core of our brand DNA is our mission to conserve and preserve heritage, especially our own. Asian values and traditions inspire our designs and collections, and will continue to do so in the collections to come. Maintaining our stance as an Asian fine jeweller rooted in our aims - we hope that you follow us on our journey to translate and immortalise the Asian motifs and values that we hold dear into exquisite pieces for life.