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Longevity Bridge of Kwun Yam Shrine, Repulse Bay
|Literal meaning||Shallow Water Bay|
Repulse Bay is located in the south of Hong Kong Island, to the east of Deep Water Bay and to the west of Middle Bay and South Bay. Middle Island, Hong Kong is located off Hong Kong Island, between Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay.
In 1841, the bay was used as a base by pirates and caused serious concern to foreign merchant ships trading with China. The pirates were subsequently repulsed by the British Fleet; hence the name. Another theory holds that the bay was named after HMS Repulse which was stationed at the bay at one point.
In the 1910s, Repulse Bay was developed into a beach, and the Repulse Bay Hotel was built in 1920. To attract swimmers, a bus route from Central to Repulse Bay was created, and now stands as one of Hong Kong's oldest bus routes. During the Battle of Hong Kong in World War II, Repulse Bay was an important strategic location.
The beach was extended artificially, and thus the sand closer to the shore is coarser than that further away.
Until the early 1960s, residential buildings were quite restricted. Three blocks of six storey apartments were developed by Dr. P. P. Chiu and his brother P. W. Chiu, part way up the mountain overlooking Repulse Bay. These were luxury apartments with servants' quarters, with only two apartments per floor in Blocks A and B. Apartments in Block C are smaller. For a long time, these were the only apartments allowed on the mountain.
Occupying the whole of the west side cliff above the beach was a large castle with a swimming pool, greenhouse and tennis court called Eucliffe, one of three castles owned by the millionaire Eu Tong Sween. The Eucliffe structure and historical site was demolished to make way for a row of low apartments.
The Repulse Bay area is one of the most expensive housing areas in Hong Kong. The prices are matched only by the Peak. In 2012, some townhouse reached HK$50,000 (US$6,500) per square foot.
The former Repulse Bay Hotel was demolished in 2 stages during the 1970s and 1980s. Later a boutique shopping mall was constructed on part of the old hotel site to mimic some of the lost colonial architecture.
Repulse Bay is served by Repulse Bay Road, which connects Wong Nai Chung Gap Road and Tai Tam Road. It is very convenient for people to travel to Repulse Bay as there many bus routes from Central, such as no. 6, 6A, 6X, 260; or the no. 40 minibus. Transportation either takes you express through the Aberdeen Tunnel, or along the slightly longer scenic route.
Beach-goers may also opt to drive there. The beach provides some parking space, and the nearby Repulse Bay Hotel also has parking facilities.
Author Eileen Chang's novel, Love in a Fallen City (倾城之恋) is set at the Repulse Bay Hotel.
- big happy family again, The Standard, 11 March 2011
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