Wan Chai District
Central Plaza is a modern office building in triangular shape. Completed in 1992 and occupying 7,230 m2, the Plaza stands in the Wan Chai North’s commercial district. The land and construction costs totalled HK$5 billion. At 374-metre and 78-story high, this skyscraper was once Asia's tallest and the world's fourth tallest building. Today, it is the third tallest building in Hong Kong.
The apex of Central Plaza is designed as a unique neon tower clock known as LightimeTM. It operates from 6:00pm to 6:00am (approximately) and indicates the time by showing different colours at regular intervals. LightimeTM consists of four (spandrel) neon bands which change colour on the quarter hour. When the four bands are of the same colour, an hour has passed.
Most offices in Central Plaza enjoy the enchanting view of the Victoria Harbour. Public members may visit the Sky Lobby on the 46th floor for a spectacular view over the Kowloon Peninsula.
Address: 18 Harbour Road, Wan Chai
Enquiries: 2586 8111
Environmental Resource Centre (Old Wan Chai Post Office)
Built over a century ago and listed as a Declared Monument in 1990, the L-shaped structure was once the Wan Chai Post Office.
The building features overhanging bevel eaves and old style counters. Two Chinese couplets are hung at the entrances. Entering the Centre, visitors are greeted by the sight of a small garden, where a passage wall made from recycled bricks stands. The bronze sheets on the eight garden pillars are each engraved with a creature, namely a barking deer, a frog, a butterfly, a monkey, an eagle, a carp, a turtle and an egret. There is also a mini waterfall in the garden.
Designed with environmental protection in mind, the Centre uses power-saving lamps and recyclable materials. The specially-designed water tank can recycle sewage water and is the first of its kind installed in Hong Kong. Other facilities in the Centre include dual-language touch screen computers which provide information on environmental protection and a reference library. The Centre organises workshops and experiments regularly to raise public awareness on environmental protection.
Address: 221 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai
Enquiries: 2893 2856
Located at the junction of Hennessy Road and Queen's Road East, Wan Chai Tai Fat Hau footbridge offers an intriguing display of art and is the first footbridge gallery in Hong Kong. The sticker pictures on the 50 poles of the Footbridge are made up of 30,000 citizens' fingerprints and lay out the “50 landscapes of Wan Chai”.
Golden Bauhinia Square
Outside Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is the Golden Bauhinia Square, where the “Forever Blooming Bauhinia” Sculpture (Golden Bauhinia) stands. The Golden Bauhinia was a gift from the Central Government to commemorate the establishment of the HKSAR on July 1, 1997.
The daily Flag-raising Ceremony at the Expo Promenade begins at 8:00am. On July 1, the anniversary of HKSAR's establishment and October 1, the National Day, the solemn Ceremony is followed by a parade by the guard of honour, an aerobatics performance by the Government Flying Service and a demonstration by the fire boats, a spectacle which attracts thousands of visitors.
Near the Golden Bauhinia stands the Reunification Monument, which bears inscriptions of former President Jiang Zemin's calligraphy. The Monument’s pillar is made up of 206 overlapping stone slabs, each of which represents a year between 1842 and 2047. For the six circular slabs denoting the years 1842, 1860, 1898, 1982, 1984 and 1990, light colour granite is used. The ring representing the year 1997 is the only flamed ring on the pillar, highlighting the historical significance of the return of Hong Kong to China.
Happy Valley Racecourse/Hong Kong Racing Museum
Built in the mid-1840s, Happy Valley Racecourse is one of the oldest and most famous venues in Hong Kong. Horse racing in Hong Kong began in 1845 and was only available to the rich and famous at that time. As time passed by, horse racing has now become part of Hong Kong people’s lives. Numerous racing events are held every year, attracting countless fans and spectators. With the completion of the redevelopment in 1995, the racecourse is now widened and allows up to 14 horses to compete in each race.
Happy Valley Racecourse is also a suitable venue for organising large-scale activities. Visitors to the Racecourse may also wish to spend time at the nearby Hong Kong Racing Museum to learn more on the history and anecdotes of horse racing.
Address: Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Enquiries: 2966 8111 / 2966 8065
Hong Kong Stadium
Redeveloped in 1994, the Hong Kong Stadium is the biggest multi-purpose outdoor venue in Hong Kong and can accommodate a maximum of 40,000 spectators. The Stadium is equipped with modern facilities including a big colour screen and a large scoreboard, and is suitable for hosting various kinds of international sporting, cultural, entertainment, religious and community events.
As the primary soccer game venue in Hong Kong, major soccer games are frequently held at the Stadium. Each soccer season, thousands of fans arrive at the Stadium to enjoy the matches. On the other hand, every March, rugby fans from near and far make their way to the Stadium for The Hong Kong Sevens.
So Kon Po Recreation Ground, a supporting venue to the Stadium, is designated for hiring by organisations for sports competitions and training.
Address: 55 Eastern Hospital Road, So Kon Po, Causeway Bay
Enquiries: 2895 7926
Hung Shing Temple
Built before 1847, this tile-roofed temple, which is situated on Queen's Road East, used to overlook the waterfront. Subsequent to a number of land reclamation projects, the Temple is now surrounded by modern commercial and residential buildings.
Hung Shing is a famous deity in Southern China, and is also known as the "God of South Sea". The earliest temple dedicated to the "God of South Sea" was found in Canton Province and was believed to be built in the year of 594. Worshippers believe that Hung Shing could protect them from danger. During the Tang Dynasty, Hung Shing was conferred the title of the "King of Kwan Li" which represented good fortune. In the Song Dynasty, the "King of Kwan Li" was renamed the "King of Hung Shing Kwan Li". On the other hand, according to another legend, Hung Shing (originally named Hung Hei) was a virtuous official of the Tang Dynasty and was capable of making accurate weather predictions and often offered his assistance to the fisherman. It was said that, even after his passing, Hung Shing’s spirit saved many lives from typhoons and local disasters. To recognise his good deeds, the Emperor crowned Hung Hei the title of the "King of Hung Shing Kwan Li".
Worshippers of Hung Shing visit the Temple on the 1st and the 15th day of every Lunar month and on the birthday of Kwun Yum (Goddess of Mercy).
Address: 129 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai
Located in the heart of Causeway Bay, Jardine's Crescent is a bazaar with numerous hawker stalls selling bargain clothing, accessories and daily commodities.
Lin Fa Kung Temple (Lotus Temple)
Built around 1863, the Temple houses Kwun Yum (Goddess of Mercy). Kwun Yum is a Buddhist "bodhisattva" and is highly respected for its mercy, compassion and sympathy. It is said that Kwun Yum preached while sitting on lotus blossoms, and some temples dedicated to Kwun Yum are thus known as Lin Fa Kung (“Palace of Lotus Flower”). According to a legend, Kwun Yum was once seen appearing on a huge rock and the villagers then built the Temple near the said rock (also known as the Lotus Rock).
Lin Fa Kung is a small temple, but unique in its architecture. The Temple is a vernacular building with two halls. Its front hall is in half-octagonal shape with a double-eaves-tended roof and a verandah with western-style balustrades. Unlike most traditional temples where the main entrance is constructed in the middle of the facade, access to the temple is through the two staircases on the left and right side of the front hall. The rear hall is rectangular-shaped and consists of two levels, in between is where the Lotus Rock lies.. In addition, altars dedicated to Tai Sui (Sixty Gods of Time), Kwun Yum and Wai Tor (Buddhist Temple Guardian) are found on the upper levels of the rear hall . The ceiling of the front hall is in hexagonal-shaped and decorated with fresco of golden dragon which seems to reflect the Temple's close ties with the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance.
Worshippers pay tribute to Kwun Yum at the Temple on 19th day of the second month, the sixth month, the ninth month and the eleventh month of the Lunar Calendar.
Address: Lin Fa Kung Street, Causeway Bay
Lovers' Rock lies on the hillside of Bowen Road near Shiu Fai Terrace and resembles a stone pen sticking out of a stone base. This special-looking rock is said to have granted happy marriages to devoted worshippers.
On the 6th, 16th and 26th of every Lunar month, men and women wishing for a blessed marriage come to the Lovers' Rock to burn joss sticks and candles. It is also believed that the worshippers’ sincere wishes will come true if they hang a wine bottle on a tree near the Lovers’ Rock.
Many overseas visitors, attracted by its reputation, come to marvel at the Lovers' Rock. From there, they may also enjoy a splendid view of the whole of Wan Chai District, Happy Valley Racecourse, Central Plaza, Hopewell Centre and other famous skyscrapers.
Pak Tai Temple
Built in 1863 by the local residents, Pak Tai Temple (also known as Yuk Hui Kung) is one of the oldest temples in the District and a Grade I historic building in Hong Kong. The Temple has three halls and is dedicated to the main god, Pak Tai, as well as other deities. The Temple also houses various artefacts made more than 130 years ago.
According to a legend, Pak Tai was a prince of the Shang Dynasty about 3,000 years ago. Towards the end of the Shang Dynasty, demons ran wild on Earth, plunging the masses into endless misery and suffering. The Jade Emperor then appointed Pak Tai to lead twelve Heavenly troops to fight the demons. Pak Tai won the battle against the evil. The statue of Pak Tai, which has a serpent and a tortoise under his bare feet, symbolises that the evil will never triumph over the virtuous.
Pak Tai is worshipped throughout China for his courage and valour. On his birthday, the 3rd day of the Third Lunar Month, as well as at the end and beginning of the Lunar Year, worshippers pay their tribute at the Temple.
Address: 2 Lung On Street, Wan Chai
Enquiry: 2573 2086
Established in 1976, the 570 m2 museum details the work and history of the Hong Kong Police Force and houses a significant number of artefacts. The Museum is divided into four galleries in which over 600 exhibits are displayed.
Orientation Gallery – This gallery describes the history of the Hong Kong Police Force through photographs, archives, uniforms, equipment, firearms and other artefacts. Notable exhibits include a 'Plague Medal' of 1894 and the head of the "Sheung Shui Tiger" which was shot in 1915 after bitting two policemen to death.
Triad Societies and Narcotics Gallery - This gallery features the history of local Triad Societies, the scope of their activities and the beliefs and rituals which have been known to be practised by their members. This gallery also highlights the narcotic problem facing Hong Kong through the display of replica drugs, drug smoking and trafficking paraphernalia and a mock traditional heroin laboratory.
Police Then & Now Gallery - This exhibition gives an overview of the transformation of the Hong Kong Police Force over the past 170 years by exploring several areas of interest. As the history of the Hong Kong Police Force is closely tied to that of Hong Kong, through this exhibition, visitors may learn the history of Hong Kong from another perspective.
Thematic Exhibition Gallery - This gallery houses theme-specific exhibitions which change from time to time. Previous exhibitions include “Gems of Collection: Police Artefacts in Modern China”, “25 Years at the Front: A History of Police Escorts in Hong Kong (1986-2011)”, “In Strive for Wisdom, Bravery, Sincerity and Fortitude: Reminiscing the Day Together in Police Cadet School (1973-1990)”, “The Historical Development of Force Communications: Be closely bound up with Communications Branch”, and “Cheung Chau Police Station (1913-2013)”. The exhibition “A History of Hong Kong Police Stations” is ongoing until December 31, 2015.
Address: 27 Coombe Road, The Peak
Enquiries: 2849 7019
Stubbs Road Lookout
Stubbs Road Lookout is a prime location for visitors to marvel at the unobstructed and stunning view of Wan Chai District, Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon Peninsula. Away from the hectic city life, visitors may find the quiet enjoyment of the panoramic view a refreshing and pleasurable experience. The view at night is equally enchanting. The display map at the Lookout provides information on the names and locations of the various buildings in the District.
Tai Yuen Street/Cross Street.
For a distinctive experience of the bustling local street-stall shopping scene, a visit to Tai Yuen Street and Cross Street is a must-do activity. There are about 200 hawker stalls offering a wide variety of dried goods, clothing and household products at bargain prices, including dumplings, Chinese herbal medicine and preserved food. For the overseas visitors, a walk down Tai Yuen Street / Cross Street may be a new but interesting experience.
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
Sitting on the Wan Chai waterfront, the magnificent Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts is one of the most famous buildings in Hong Kong and the only local institute which offers professional training in performing arts and related disciplines.
Established in 1984, the Academy offers academic courses to those wishing to pursue a career in the field of performing arts and entertainment. The Academy attaches equal importance to Chinese and Western performance traditions. Every year, students of the six Schools (School of Dance, School of Chinese Opera, School of Drama, School of Film and Television, School of Music, and School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts) take part in various local and international performances and exhibitions.
The Academy is also one of the major performance venues in Hong Kong for drama, concerts, dance productions, Cantonese operas and Western operas. A variety of painting and art exhibitions are also held at the Academy.
Art enthusiasts may contact the Academy for details on the performances of local and overseas artists. Alternatively, programme schedules are available at the Hong Kong City Hall (at Central), the Hong Kong Arts Centre (at Wan Chai) and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (at Tsim Sha Tsui).
Address: 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai
Enquiries: 2584 8500
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (“HKCEC”) sits on the Wan Chai waterfront. With a unique and majestic appearance, it comprises a first-phase building and an extended annex completed in 1988 and 1997 respectively. Covering a total area of 306,000 m2, the HKCEC has 6 exhibition halls, 2 multi-purpose halls (for conventions or banquets), 2 theatres (with seating for 336 and 637), 52 meeting rooms, and 7 restaurants. With state of the art facilities, the HKCEC is one of Asia's most prestigious financial centres and is ideal for hosting international conferences, exhibitions and other large-scale events.
With the growing demand for exhibition space, the HKCEC commenced its second expansion project in May 2006 and completed it in April 2009. The project has brought about 19,400 m2 of additional exhibition space. The HKCEC now provides 66,000 m2 of purpose-built exhibition space, 20,000 m2 of multi-functional venues and 5,500 m2 of event support space.
Address: 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai
Enquiries: 2582 8888
Completed in 1993, Times Square is one of Hong Kong's premier shopping and entertainment centres. The first 20 floors of the building are homes to hundreds of retail stores and restaurants, while two commercial buildings of 46 and 39 stories respectively sit atop. Located in the heart of Wan Chai District and served by a good transport system, locals and tourists alike visit Times Square for shopping and sightseeing every day.
At the front entrance of Times Square is a giant display screen, which provides news and weather reports. The piazza outside Times Square is the perfect place for hosting large-scale events, such as the annual Apple Countdown on New Year's Eve which attracts many visitors.
Address: 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
Enquiries: 2118 8900