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Area

1,800 hectares

Population

About 550,000

Highlights

The Eastern District lies in the north-eastern part of the Hong Kong Island, starting from the Fortress Hill in the western side, stretching eastward to North Point, Quarry Bay, Shau Kei Wan, Chai Wan and Siu Sai Wan. The district has range of community and recreational facilities such as the Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, Hong Kong Film Archive, Island East Sports Centre, etc. These places have become popular entertainment and recreational spots for residents of the district.

Eastern District lies in the northeastern part of Hong Kong Island, ranging from Watson Road in the west to Siu Sai Wan in the east. Eastern District is one of the most densely populated districts in Hong Kong. During the Sung Dynasty (960 - 1279A.D.), the owners of merchant ships and fishing boats traveling between Zhejiang Province, Fujian Province and Guangzhou often went ashore for water when passing Chai Wan (formerly known as Sai Wan). But there is still no conclusion as to whether there were already people living there at that time.

Early settlements flourished in Shau Kei Wan and Chai Wan. Shau Kei Wan, originally named "Starving People's Bay", became a natural typhoon shelter for fishing boats due to its advantageous topography. Before the arrival of the British, Shau Kei Wan had developed into a small fishing village. It is said that because residents considered the name "Starving People's Bay" inauspicious and the bay looked like a bamboo basket ("Shau Kei" in Cantonese), it was renamed "Shau Kei Wan".

At the beginning of the 18th century, some Hakka people moved southerly from Guangdong to Chai Wan and set up six villages there. Chai Wan was called Sai Wan on many old maps. It is said that because a lot of local villagers were used to going to the seaward area of Sai Wan to chop trees for firewood ("Chai" in Cantonese), the place was later renamed "Chai Wan".

In the early colonial days, a commercial and political centre was established in the area that we call the Central & Western District nowadays. Quarry Bay had not started to develop except for some small granite mining projects. Towards the end of the 19th century, Quarry Bay gradually developed into one of the first industrial centres in Hong Kong. Tai Koo Dockyard and Tai Koo Sugar Refinery had built some important composite industrial buildings, as well as developed the area into a self-sufficient community with bungalows, shops of various kinds, a hospital and several reservoirs. Furthermore, a cable car system had been built to carry staff up the hill.

 

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