About 180,000 (Resident population)
Wan Chai was originally a fishing village. Throughout the years, it has developed from a residential area to a prime centre of business, conventions, exhibitions, cultural and sports activities, entertainment and shopping, and to a traffic hub and interchange of East / West and North / South bound traffic on Hong Kong Island.
Wan Chai is a diverse, multi-cultural and vibrant community. It has rich historical heritage as well as numerous contemporary constructions of unique design, making it a juxtaposition of old and new, traditional and modern. Wan Chai has a transient population of over 600,000. People of different nationalities, religions, and cultural backgrounds converge in Wan Chai, which is indeed the best miniature of Hong Kong as an international metropolis.
Around one hundred and fifty years ago, Wan Chai, which originally meant "small bay", was a quiet sandy bay on the northern shoreline of Hong Kong Island. Due to its geographical location, Wan Chai was also known as Ha Wan (Lower Circuit). Only a handful of people lived here and most of them were fishermen.
To alleviate the chronic need for housing, the first large-scale land reclamation project in the District commenced in 1921. Within nine years, 36.4 hectares of new land were formed, which stretched from Causeway Bay in the east to Arsenal Street in the west.
Once a quiet neighbourhood before the 1950s, Wan Chai has since transformed into a major transportation hub, which links Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula via the Cross Harbour Tunnel and the east and west of Hong Kong Island via Gloucester Road. Today, Wan Chai is a prosperous and bustling commercial and residential centre.
Wan Chai District Today
With the transfer of Victoria Park and Tin Hau constituencies from Eastern District to Wan Chai District beginning from 2016, the number of District Council constituency areas in Wan Chai District has increased to 13. Up to 600,000 people travel to the District daily for work and leisure. Wan Chai District is served by a sophisticated public transportation system including the Mass Transit Railway, buses, mini buses and trams. For those wishing to cross the Victoria Harbour, boarding the ferry from Wan Chai Pier is also a convenient option.
Every day, people come to Wan Chai District to experience its vitality and fascinating diversity. There are many world-class commercial complexes and skyscrapers in the District, the most notable being Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Central Plaza and Times Square. At the same time, Wan Chai District has preserved its historical buildings, including Old Wan Chai Post Office – Hong Kong's oldest post office building, Hung Shing Temple which has witnessed one and a half century of shoreline development, Pak Tai Temple where a copper statue is dedicated to Pak Tai, the 18th-Century Tin Hau Temple in Causeway Bay, and the Jardine Noonday Gun which has over a hundred years of history.
For nature lovers, they may climb the old stone stairs facing Ship Street or the brae adjacent to Old Wan Chai Post Office and be rewarded with the lush greenery of Wan Chai District; on the other hand, the Victoria Park is an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of the city. The daily Flag-raising Ceremony at the Expo Promenade of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is also not to be missed. The Ceremony is most spectacular on July 1, the anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and October 1, National Day.