The district of Wan Chai was nationally and internationally renowned for being the party area, where late night debauchery is common. Nowadays, though still popular for it’s lively night scene, it’s a pleasant neighborhood that caters to all who want to wander, shop and explore.
The forever-blooming bauhinia is the floral emblem of Hong Kong that can be seen on Hong Kong’s coat of arms, flag and coins. In the Golden Bauhinia Square, a golden sculpture of this emblem –a gift from the Central Government – sits proudly upon its pedestal marking the 1997 handover. It’s a popular tourist destination, particularly for the mainland Chinese visitors, who come to take pictures of this significant symbol of reunification. If you visit between 7:50 – 8:03 a.m., you’ll be able to witness the daily flag-raising ceremony performed by Hong Kong police officers against the beautiful harbor backdrop.
It is said that the Hung Shing Temple in Wan Chai was built between 1847 – 1852 as an altar upon a rock, to which many fishermen, farmers and sea traders would come to worship their deity. Despite the changes to the city streets surrounding the temple and the land reclamation that meant the temple became situated further inland, the temple is still very much in use today by those who wish to ask for protection from the sea deity and those looking for more insight into Chinese religion.
Central Plaza is yet another focal point in the Hong Kong skyline within the Wan Chai district. Not only is it a 374-meter-tall building with 78 stories of lettable office space and made of 50,000 square meters of glass equating to 11 standard football pitches, it also houses Lightime– a high-tech lighting system that indicates time through changing colors in a regular sequence. It consists of four neon bands that change color every quarter hour.
With it’s 40,000 square meter aluminum roof sculpted into the shape of a seabird souring in flight, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is hard to miss. It’s a major landmark within the city skyline and acts as a major venue for cultural exhibitions and performances. Over 44,000 events have been hosted since its first opening in 1988, and the building now consists of five exhibition halls, two convention halls, two theaters, 52 meeting rooms, seven restaurants and more. So, if you’ve got the time, be sure to check out the programs available and get sucked into the exciting events.
Considered to be one of the best locations to see an unobstructed view of Wan Chai, Stubbs Road Lookout is perfect for those wanting to see a spectrum of famous buildings and scenic spots in Hong Kong. The best time to go would be just before sundown, in order to see the city change between glorious day scenes to shimmering night lights in a stunning panoramic view.
One of the main reasons people venture to the Hopewell Centre is usually because they’re looking to find alternative ways to view the city. This 64-story building boasts a pair of glass-fronted elevators that allow you to witness some lovely views of the iconic skyline. It is the first circular tower in Hong Kong and is also home to a revolving restaurant, The Grand Buffet, which completes a 360 degree rotation every hour.
A four-story building named after the color of its walls, the Blue House is a perfect example of one of the few remaining balcony-type buildings in Hong Kong – now listed as a Grade I Historic Building. Originally the site of the first hospital, Wah To Hospital, the reconstructed building is now used to house the Hong Kong House of Stories, a museum that aims to pass on culture by creativity and to raise local awareness for cultural conservation.
Covering an area of around 1.76 hectares, the park was opened to the public in October 2011 and provides a wonderful green escape within the heart of Hong Kong. The spacious green lawns are perfect for a summer picnic (just pray it doesn’t rain sporadically), and the park offers beautifully picturesque views of Victoria Harbour. With facilities such as an amphitheater, a floating platform, water features and more, it’s an elegant and minimalistic park that emits tranquility.
The Hong Kong Arts Centre is a self-financed, non-profit organization that highlights art within the community – a huge player in promoting Hong Kong’s contemporary art and culture scene to the general public for the past 38 years. They provide a number of programs that are held within their numerous facilities: cinema, theaters, galleries, classrooms, studios and restaurants.
If you’re traveling in Hong Kong with your lover, or hoping to find someone new, Lover’s Rock is an interesting monument symbolizing the traditional superstition and belief that this is the home to the God of Love. Overlooking Wan Chai from Bowen Road, this rock formation is draped with paper prayers where people come to pray for eligible partners – a well-respected rock that sees local visitors almost everyday. Old traditions have seen that the stained crimson rock has turned into a symbol of luck and fortune for those also wishing for fertility, by offering bottles of wine whilst they pray.