Wan Chai District
|Wan Chai District|
Day view of Causeway Bay in the Wan Chai District
Location of Wan Chai District
灣仔區 within Hong Kong
|• District Officer||Mr. William Yuen, JP (DAB)|
|• District Council Chairman||Ng Kam-chun|
|• Total||10.2 km2 (3.9 sq mi)|
|• Density||15,000/km2 (39,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Hong Kong Time (UTC+8)|
|Website||Wan Chai District Council|
|Wan Chai District|
|Cantonese Yale||Wāanjái kēui|
|Literal meaning||Little Bay District|
Wan Chai District (Chinese: 灣仔區; Cantonese Yale: Wāanjái kēui, literally "Cove District") is one of the 18 districts of Hong Kong. The district is located at the north shore of Hong Kong Island with a population of 167,146 in 2001. The district has the second most educated residents with the highest income, the second lowest population and the third oldest residents, and is also the only district without the presence of public housing estates. It is a relatively affluent district, with one in five persons having liquid assets of more than HKD 1 million.
The area colloquially known as Wan Chai is often referred to the area surrounding Tonnochy Road and the Wan Chai Station of the MTR, which is located between Admiralty on the west and Causeway Bay on the east. Wan Chai North, where major buildings such as the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and Central Plaza are located, refers to the area north of Gloucester Road, reclaimed from the sea after the 1970s.
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The ceremony of the handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China was performed in the then new wing of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai North.
In May 2009, 300 guests and staff members at the Metropark Hotel Wanchai in Wan Chai were quarantined, suspected of being infected or in contact with the H1N1 virus during the 2009 swine flu outbreak. A 25-year-old Mexican man who had stayed at the hotel was later found to have the viral infection. He had travelled to Hong Kong from Mexico via Shanghai.
Today Wan Chai is sometimes described as the heart of the city, representing the epitome of the Hong Kong lifestyle: there is a well-established arts centre, the large exhibition and conference complexes, luxury apartments, five-star and non-five-star hotels, shopping malls, metropolitan office towers and a large government building cluster – along with a multitude of home decoration shops, bars and Mahjong centres filled with gamblers. Wan Chai District houses a mosque, as well as cemeteries for several different faiths. Five minutes away from the noisy polluted streets is Bowen Drive, one of the more popular places for jogging. Top lawmakers, movie stars, and government officials can be seen jogging there.
Entertainment and shopping
The numerous bars and strip joints in the red-light district part of Wan Chai are popular with tourists and visiting US sailors, who arrive on Fenwick Pier. Fenwick Pier was once the location of the only McDonald's that served alcohol in Hong Kong, but it was closed in 2004 and replaced by an up-market restaurant. Johnston Road and Queen's Road East are the two major streets in the area. Export clothing shops line the streets of Johnston and Luard Road and offer some of the best value in Hong Kong. Queen's Road East has many stores selling Chinese style wooden furniture whilst Spring Garden Lane and Tai Wo Street are also lined with stalls selling for vegetables, fruit and household items. Tai Yuen Street is famous for shops and stalls selling various kinds of toys. The traditional Lee Tung Street was recently redeveloped into Lee Tung Avenue area that has luxurious residential apartments, as well as luxurious shopping and F&B offerings.
Hotels in Wan Chai District include:
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
- Renaissance Harbourview
- Novotel Century Hong Kong
- South Pacific Hotel
- Hotel Indigo Hong Kong Island
- Luk Kwok Hotel
- Wharney Hotel
- Empire Hotel
- The Fleming
Next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is the "Golden Bauhinia Square". There is a huge sculpture of a bauhinia, which is the representative flower of Hong Kong, in the square. This is a popular tourist spot in Hong Kong for mainland visitors and also the location of the flag-raising ceremony which occurs daily and in a special form on Chinese National Day and other occasions.
Notable skyscrapers include:
According to a household survey by the Census and Statistics Department, the median household income is the highest of Hong Kong.
Appearances in fiction
- The computer game Deus Ex features Wan Chai Market as the main district in the Hong Kong chapters of the game.
- Almost 1/3 of the game Shenmue II is spent in Wan Chai. A small portion of the city is divided into fictional quarters modelled after similar locations.
- The location of the 1957 novel and 1960 film The World of Suzie Wong is set in Wan Chai.
- "2011 Population Census: Summary Results" (in English and Chinese). Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong Government. 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
- Cheng, Jonathan; Ye, Juliet; Stein, Peter, "Hong Kong Orders Quarantine of Hotel", The Wall Street Journal, 2 May 2009
- Dasgupta, Saibal, "Swine flu scare: China puts 460 in isolation", The Times of India, 3 May 2009.
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