Wan Chai District
Central Plaza is a modern triangular office building. Completed in 1992, it stands near Wan Chai Bay and occupies 7,230 sq.m.. The land and construction costs totaled 5 billion Hong Kong dollars. This 374-metre, 78-story high skyscraper was once Asia's tallest and the world's fourth tallest building. At present it is the third tallest in Hong Kong.
The apex of Central Plaza is designed as a unique neon tower clock. LightimeTM shows different colours during different periods of time and works every day from half an hour before sunset to half an hour after sunrise the next morning (approximately 6:00pm to 6:00am). It consists of four spandrel neon bands, each representing 15 minutes, and the colour changes from top to bottom. When the four bands are of the same colour, an hour has passed.
More than an innovative clock, LightimeTM has become a new symbol of Hong Kong in a similar way to which the Eiffel Tower reminds people of Paris.
The total floor area of Central Plaza is about 130,000 sq.m. and can hold as many as 8,000 people. Most offices there face Victoria Harbour, enjoying enchanting harbour views. Tourists can go to the Sky Lobby on the 46th floor and have a spectacular view over the Kowloon Peninsula.
Looking down at the enthralling Victoria Harbour from this skyscraper really is a breathtaking experience that you should not miss.
Address: 18 Harbour Road, Wan Chai
Enquiries: 2586 8111
Environmental Resource Centre (Old Wan Chai Post Office)
The Environmental Resource Centre is in the shape of a letter "L". Built 90 years ago, it used to be the Wan Chai Post Office and was listed as a historical interest in 1990.
The building features overhanging bevel eaves and old style counters. Two Chinese couplets are hung at the entrances of the Centre. The sheet of 10-foot tall calligraphy in the Centre, with two ancient Chinese characters "Wan Bao "(meaning environmental protection), is also an attraction to visitors. In front of the entrance, there is a small garden with a passage wall made from recycled bricks. The eight pillars in the garden are each with a creature engraved on a bronze sheet, namely a barking deer, a frog, a butterfly, a monkey, an eagle, a carp, a turtle and an egret. Along with a mini waterfall, these engravings add a traditional artistic feel to the Centre
The sheet of 10-foot tall calligraphy in the Centre, with two ancient Chinese characters "Wan Bao "(meaning environmental protection), is also an attraction to visitors. In front of the entrance, there is a small garden with a passage wall made from recycled bricks. The eight pillars in the garden are each with a creature engraved on a bronze sheet, namely a barking deer, a frog, a butterfly, a monkey, an eagle, a carp, a turtle and an egret. Along with a mini waterfall, these engravings add a traditional artistic feel to the Centre.
Designed with environmental protection in mind, the Centre uses power-saving lamps and recyclable materials. The specially designed water tank can recycle sewage water for reuse and is the first of its kind installed in Hong Kong. Other facilities in the Centre include dual-language touch screen computers that provide information about environmental protection and a library which houses reference materials.The Centre organises workshops and experiments regularly to raise people's awareness in protecting the environment.
Memorial envelopes complete with the official seal of the Centre, produced by local artists, are available to visitors.
The decoration works of the Wan Chai Environmental Resource Centre was completed in early 2013. The centre was reopened on February 25, 2013.
Address: 221 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai
Enquiries: 2893 2856
Wan Chai Tai Fat Hau footbridge provides an intriguing display of art. Made up of 30,000 citizens' fingerprints, the sticker pictures on the 50 poles of the footbridge are designed by famous artists and lay out "50 landscapes of Wan Chai". The Footbridge Gallery is located at the junction of Hennessy Road and Queen's Road East.
Golden Bauhinia Square
Located outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Golden Bauhinia Square, which witnessed the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), represents the end of British colonial rule and the return of the territory to China. The "Forever Blooming Bauhinia" Sculpture (Golden Bauhinia), standing on the Expo Promenade outside the Centre is a gift from the People's Republic of China to commemorate the establishment of the HKSAR on July 1, 1997.
The national flag of China and the regional flag of the HKSAR, fluttering over the Expo Promenade, are raised at 8:00am every day. On July 1, the anniversary of HKSAR's establishment and October 1, the National Day, there is a solemn flag-raising ceremony followed by a parade by the guard of honour, an aerobatics performance by the Government Flying Service and a demonstration by fire fighting boats, attracting thousands of citizens and tourists to witness the spectacle.
Near to the Golden Bauhinia stands the Reunification Monument bearing inscriptions of former President Jiang Zemin's calligraphy. The white ring round the pinnacle denotes the return of Hong Kong's sovereignty to China, and the 50 rings above it symbolise that the HKSAR's way of life will remain unchanged for 50 years.
Happy Valley Racecourse/Hong Kong Racing Museum
Built in mid 1840s, Happy Valley Racecourse is one of the oldest and most famous constructions in Hong Kong. Horse racing in Hong Kong started in 1845 and was only available for the rich and famous at that time. However, as time passed by, it became a part of the lives of ordinary Hong Kong citizens. Numerous racing events are held every year, attracting countless fans and spectators. With the reconstruction in 1995, the racecourse was widened to allow up to 14 horses to compete in each race.
Happy Valley Racecourse is also an ideal venue for holding large-scale activities. On the eve of the new century, thousands of citizens and tourists gathered there to attend the "Millennium Extravaganza".
Happy Valley Racecourse deserves a visit. For those with a busy daytime schedule, night racing will suits them very well. When the curtain of night descends, the racecourse looks enthralling in the brilliant floodlights.
Besides watching the racing, tourists may also visit the nearby Hong Kong Racing Museum to get a better understanding of the history and anecdotes of horse racing.
Address: Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Enquiries: 2966 8111 / 2966 8065
Hong Kong Stadium
Reconstructed in 1994 on the site of the 42-year-old soccer field, the Hong Kong Stadium can accommodate a maximum of 40,000 spectators.
As the biggest multi-purpose venue in Hong Kong equipped with modern accoutrements such as a big colour screen and a large scoreboard, it can host various kinds of international sporting and entertainment events.
Sporting events are frequently held in the stadium, which wins favour from fans from all over the world. In each soccer season, thousands of soccer fans come to watch matches. In March every year, rugby fans flock to Hong Kong Stadium to watch The Hong Kong International Rugby Sevens Tournament - one of Hong Kong's greatest sporting events.
In addition to sporting events, lots of cultural, entertainment, religious and community activities are held in the stadium. Many super stars, international and local, have performed there and pictures of their exploits are on display.
Address: 55 Eastern Hospital Road, So Kon Po, Causeway Bay
Enquiries: 2895 7926
Hung Shing Temple
Built before 1847, Hung Shing Temple on Queen's Road East used to overlook the waterfront. Simply designed, this tile-roofed temple was constructed on large boulders against a rugged terrain. Subsequent to a number of reclamations, it now bears a striking appearance amid modern commercial and residential buildings.
Few people know much about the life of Hung Shing. Even those who claim to know tell different stories. According to legend, the original name of Hung Shing was Hung Hei, the Governor of Kwong Lee in the Tang dynasty (A.D. 618-907). Hung Hei was a virtuous government official who won admiration from the people. During his tenure in office, he encouraged the study of astronomy, geography and mathematics. He even set up an astronomical observatory and his accurate weather forecast proved to be of great value to traders and fishermen.
After Hung Shing's death, the reigning emperor promulgated his virtues to the whole country and bestowed upon him the posthumous title of "Kwong Lee Hung Shing Tai Wong". It is said that Hung Shing still blessed the villagers after his death and had showed his presence to rescue many people during storms.
Worshippers of Hung Shing go to pray in the temple on the 1st and the 15th day of every lunar month and on the birthday of Kwun Yum, the Goddess of Mercy.
Address: 129 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai
Jardine's Crescent is a piazza in the heart of Causeway Bay. Small hawker stalls sell inexpensive costumes and commodities.
Lin Fa Kung Temple (Lotus Temple)
Lin Fa Kung Temple, built in 1864, houses Kwun Yum, the Goddess of Mercy. It is situated at the end of a short street named after the temple.
According to legend, Kwun Yum was a princess who became a goddess and engaged in the salvation of the masses. It is also said that Kwun Yum once showed her presence at the Lotus Rock.
Lin Fa Kung Temple is a small temple, but unique in its architecture. The front half of the temple is built on a platform supported by several stone pillars, ranging from 10 to 12 feet in height; while the rear half rests on a huge stone, which, being hidden by the exterior wall, is difficult to see.
On the ceiling and the upper part of the internal wall, there are murals of flying dragons and phoenixes and patterns of lotuses.
Worshippers pay tribute to Kwun Yum at Lin Fa Kung Temple on her birthday, the day of her becoming a nun and the day of her becoming the Goddess of Mercy, i.e. on the 19th day of the 2nd month, the 6th month and the 9th month of the Lunar Calendar respectively.
Address: Lin Fa Kung Street, Causeway Bay
Lovers' Rock lies on the hillside of Bowen Road near Shiu Fai Terrace and looks like a stone pen sticking out of a stone base. This special-looking rock is said to have granted happy marriages to pious worshippers.
On the 6th, 16th and 26th of every Lunar month, men and women who want a happy marriage come to the Lovers' Rock to burn joss sticks and candles in sincere worship. It is also said that people may indulge their marital invocations by hanging a wine bottle on a tree near to the Rock.
Many overseas tourists, attracted by its reputation, come to marvel at the Lovers' Rock. From that location, they can also enjoy a splendid view of the whole of Wan Chai District, Happy Valley Racecourse, Central Plaza, the Hopewell Centre and other famous buildings in the district.
Pak Tai Temple
Built in 1863 by the masses then lived in Wan Chai Square, the Pak Tai Temple (also known as Yuk Hui Kung) with three halls is one of the oldest temples in the area. It is also listed as Grade-one historic building in Hong Kong. In the temple, a 3-metre high copper statue of Pak Tai, the main god, is enshrined along with statues of other gods. Articles made more than 130 years ago are also displayed there.
It is said that Pak Tai was a prince of the Shang Dynasty about 3,000 years ago. During the last years of the Shang Dynasty, demons ran wild on the land, plunging the people into endless misery and suffering. Pak Tai was appointed the commander to lead twelve troops from heaven to fight the demons and finally won the battle.
The statue of Pak Tai, which stands on a serpent and tortoise, 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 third day of the Third Lunar Month, as well as at the end and beginning of the year, many worshippers pay their homage to this great god in this temple.
Address: 2 Lung On Street, Wan Chai
Enquiry: 2573 2086
Started in a limited form in 1976, the 570 sq.m. museum details the work and history of the Hong Kong Police Force and preserves certain cultural relics for historical studies. The Museum is divided into five galleries in which over 700 exhibits are displayed.
Orientation Gallery – This gallery describes the history of the Hong Kong Police Force through historical photographs, historical archives, uniforms, equipment, firearms and other artifacts. Significant exhibits include a 'Plague Medal' of 1894 and the head of the "Sheung Shui tiger" which was shot in 1915 after killing a policeman.
Triad Societies and Narcotics Gallery - This gallery features the history of local Triad Societies, the scope of their activities and the beliefs and rituals that have been known to be practised by members. This gallery also highlights the narcotic problem in Hong Kong through the display of replica drugs, drug smoking and trafficking paraphernalia and an example of a heroin manufacturing laboratory.
Police Then & Now Gallery - This exhibition gives an overview of the transformation of Hong Kong Police Force over 160 years by exploring several areas of interest. The history of the Hong Kong Police Force is closely tied to the History of Hong Kong itself and it is hoped that through this exhibition, the History of Hong Kong can be seen from another perspective.
Current Exhibition Gallery - This gallery is a thematic exhibition gallery with displays being changed from time to time. The first display carried the theme of 'Marine Police' and was later followed by exhibitions on the 'Traffic Police', 'Police Station', 'Police Uniform', ' Hong Kong Police: Then and Now ', 'Police Dog Unit', 'Gems of Collection: Police Artefacts in Modern China' and ’25 Years at the Front: A History of Police Escorts in Hong Kong (1986-2011)’. The current display is on ’In Strive for Wisdom, Bravery, Sincerity and Fortitude: Reminiscing the Day Together in Police Cadet School (1973-1990)’. The exhibition will last till May 31, 2013.
Heroine Factory - The exhibition displays a heroine production site dismantled by Police in the 1980s. Through the exhibition of seized raw materials, utensils and packaging tools in the Heroine Factory, visitors can realise the adverse effects of drugs.
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 fast tempo of city life, visitors will find the quiet enjoyment of the panoramic view a refreshing and pleasurable experience.
Gazing out from the Stubbs Road Lookout, tourists will have a complete view of the famous buildings and scenic spots, such as Happy Valley Racecourse, Central Plaza and the Hopewell Centre. Names and locations of these buildings and other scenic spots can be found on the map displayed at the Lookout.
After enjoying the picturesque panorama in the day, tourists may want to revisit the Lookout at night. You will be thrilled by the vision that features a myriad of colourful, twinkling lights from numerous buildings - a view which is completely different from that in the day but equally charming.
Tai Yuen Street/Cross Street.
For a distinctive experience of bustling local street-stall shopping, visitors should not miss a visit to Tai Yuen Street and Cross Street. About 200 hawker stalls sell a wide variety of dried goods, clothing and household products there. Interesting goods are offered at bargain prices. Some of them, such as dumplings, Chinese herbal medicine and preserved food are particularly interesting to overseas travellers.
This is a place where old houses and modern mansions gather together, creating an interesting contrast. Today, as Wan Chai has become a business hub, the government is planning to revitalise the open-air bazaar by beautifying it with local characteristics. By that time sightseeing and shopping in Tai Yuen Street and Cross Street will be a brand new experience. Tourists are advised to grab the chance to experience the fun of shopping in the local style.
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.
It is also the only local institute that offers professional training in the performing arts and related disciplines.
Established in 1984, the academy provides those who wish to develop their careers in the field of performing arts and entertainment with training and study opportunities and attaches equal importance to Chinese and Western performance traditions. Every year students of its five schools (School of Dance, School of Drama, School of Film and Television, School of Music and School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts) take part in a large number of local and international performances and exhibitions.
The academy is also one of the major stages in Hong Kong for drama, concerts, dance productions, Cantonese opera and Western opera. A variety of picture shows and art exhibitions are also presented frequently.
Tourists who want to appreciate the wonderful performances of local and overseas artists can inquire at the academy for details. Performance lists are also available at the Hong Kong City Hall (Central), the Hong Kong Arts Centre (Wan Chai) and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (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 sq.m., the HKCEC, one of Asia's most prestigious financial centres, houses 6 exhibition halls, 2 multi-purpose halls (for conventions or banquets), 2 theatres, 52 meeting rooms, and 7 restaurants. With state of the art facilities, the HKCEC is ideal for hosting international conferences, exhibitions and other large-scale activities. With the continuous growing demand for exhibition space from HKCEC’s current and potential new clients, the HKCEC commenced its second expansion project in May 2006 and completed it in April 2009. The project has brought 19,400 sq.m. additional exhibition space to the HKCEC. The HKCEC presently provides 66,000 sq.m. of purpose-built exhibition space, 20,000 sq.m. of multi-functional venues and 5,500 sq.m. of event support space.
Looking like a huge bird taking off from a small island in Victoria Harbour, the extension of the HKCEC is located on reclaimed land and is connected to the first-phase building by a multi-tier atrium and several footbridges. The forepart of the manmade island is only 900 metres away from the Kowloon Peninsula.
Address: 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai
Enquiries: 2582 8888
Times Square is one of Hong Kong's premiere shopping & entertainment centres. Completed in 1993, it comprises two commercial buildings rising 46 and 39 stories respectively. The lower 20 stories of the two buildings contain car parks, restaurants and shopping centres. The spacious square houses hundreds of retail shops, restaurants as well as entertainment establishments.
At the front entrance of Times Square is a giant display screen, which provides the latest news and weather reports. The piazza outside Times Square is a perfect place for holding large-scale activities, such as the annual Apple Count Down held on New Year's Eve, attracting thousands of visitors to celebrate the coming of the new year.
Located in the heart of Wan Chai District and served with good transport, Times Square is a major tourist destination. Citizens and tourists alike visit Times Square for shopping and sightseeing every day, witnessing its well-deserved reputation and popularity.
Address: 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
Enquiries: 2118 8900