Day view of Causeway Bay in the Wan Chai District
|• District Council Chairwoman||Miss Yeung Suet-Ying,Clarisse|
|• District Council Vice-Chairman||Mr Mak King-Sing|
|• District Officer||Mr. Chan Tin-Chu, JP|
|• Total||10.2 km2 (3.9 sq mi)|
|• Density||15,000/km2 (39,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (Hong Kong Time)|
|Largest neighbourhood by population||Happy Valley (34,259 – 2016 est)|
|Website||Wan Chai District Council|
|Wan Chai District|
|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. Of the four on Hong Kong Island, it is north-central, and had 152,608 residents in 2011, a fall from 167,146 residents in 2001. The district has the second-highest educationally qualified residents with the highest-bracket incomes, the second-lowest population and the third-oldest quotient. It is a relatively affluent district, with one in five persons having liquid assets of more than HKD 1 million.
The zone, within, colloquially known as Wan Chai is loosely that surrounding Tonnochy Road and the Wan Chai Station of the MTR, which is 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 stand, refers to the zone 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 were quarantined, suspected of being infected or in contact with the H1N1 virus during the 2009 swine flu pandemic. 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 – it has 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. It has a multitude of home decoration shops, bars and Mahjong centres. 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, popular for jogging and walking by politicians, movie stars, and government officials.
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. Within this Fenwick Pier hosted the only McDonald's that served alcohol in Hong Kong until 2004; its replacement is an up-market restaurant.
Johnston Road and Queen's Road East are the two major streets in the area. Export clothing shops line Johnston and Luard Roads predominantly. Queen's Road East has many stores selling Chinese style wooden furniture.
Spring Garden Lane and Tai Wo Street are lined with stalls selling for vegetables, fruit and household items.
Tai Yuen Street specialises in toys in stalls and shops.
Lee Tung Street was in the 2010s converted into a Lee Tung Avenue zone of luxurious residential apartments, shopping, restaurants and bars.
Hotels in Wan Chai District include:
- The Charterhouse Hotel
- Empire Hotel
- The Fleming
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
- Hotel Indigo Hong Kong Island
- Luk Kwok Hotel
- Novotel Century Hong Kong
- Renaissance Harbourview
- South Pacific Hotel
- St. Regis Hong Kong
- Wharney Hotel
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 2000 computer game Deus Ex features Wan Chai Market as the main district in the Hong Kong chapters of the game.
- Almost a third of the 2001 video 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 11 June 2012.
- District Profiles, Hong Kong Government, 8 December 2017, retrieved 15 April 2020
- 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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