My Hong Kong Travel Diary: A Walk around Wan Chai (灣仔)

by - Thursday, July 09, 2015

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Wan Chai (灣仔), located on the north of Hong Kong island is another busy district; particularly on the weekdays for this district is just alive with all the bustle from the commercial activities and the workforce for this is one of the important commercial hubs, evident from the sights of the office towers, buildings and convention centers.
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center is located in this district.

The entire district of Wan Chai; or generally known as Wan Chai District (one of the 18 districts in Hong Kong) in a broader aspect which covers the administrative regions would encompass areas of Happy Valley, Causeway Bay, Jardine's Lookout, Stubbs Road, Wong Nai Chung Gap, Tai Hang, and areas of Wan Chai and its north(Wan Chai North) in general to form the territorial region.

Typically when we refer to Wan Chai, it usually means the area of Wan Chai wedged between the Admiralty and Causeway MTR station (from Wan Chai's MTR Station stretched to Tonnochy Road).

The location of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center (HKCEC - 香港會議展覽中心) is included in the area known as Wan Chai North, a reclaimed land from the 1970s (area north of Gloucester Road).

The strategic location of Wan Chai along the coastline of Victoria Harbor along with Central (Chung Wan), Sheung Wan and Sai Wan makes them part of the earliest development areas in Hong Kong and the four form the Four Rings (四環), as they are affectionately known to the locals.

The Wan word actually translates to "cove" (in local Cantonese) based on the shape along the coastline as they were made up in their appearance, and Wan Chai was actually part of the lower ring; which gave birth to its original name concocted much earlier, Ha Wan (下環) directly translated to mean "bottom ring" or "lower circuit"
Source: Wikipedia

Technically it is no longer a cove in contemporary terms, as much of the original shape has been lost in the progressive development in the region and the continuous process of reclamation from the sea to widen the area coverage of the already densely populated city.

Interesting things to know about Wan Chai District: (directly from Wikipedia)
1. The district is the second district with the most educated residents with the highest income
2. The second in the lowest population in Hong Kong
3. The third with the oldest residents
4. Only district without any public housing residences
5. One of the affluent districts

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The streets were really quiet and even vacant on that Labor Day weekend I was there, and it was due to a public (though peaceful) demonstration taking place.
(I was quite tempted to ask one of the police officers on duty, but I didn't and I found out from the news that very evening.
Note: Never disturb a HK Royal Police Officer on duty, though they are generally very helpful and friendly towards the tourists :-)
I don't know about you, but their presence actually made me feel a lot safer every time I was in the city)
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Wan Chai MTR Station
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Note: I didn't include the photos of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, as I have been there before and this round, I just wanted to focus more on the daily scenes of Wan Chai to show that local side of the area :-)



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