Walking Hong Kong, S.A.R. (Special Administrative Region), People’s Republic of China

Older highrise apartment buildings soar above the retail shops in the Sheung Wan District of Hong Kong (Island), S.A.R., People_s Republic of China, the area where the British first cl

Older highrise apartment buildings soar above the retail shops in the Sheung Wan District of Hong Kong (Island), S.A.R., People’s Republic of China, the area where the British first claimed possession of the island

 

A professor from Hong Kong joined a small group of us on the ship for a “breakfast forum” where he spoke about the history of Hong Kong and discussed some of the effects of the return of the “colony” from Britain to the People’s Republic of China in 1997 when it became a Special Administrative Region with the “one country, two systems”-style of government.  Afterwards, we took a van under Hong Kong Harbor from Kowloon (where we were docked) to the Hong Kong Island side of the city.  Our destination was the oldest part of the city, the Sheung Wan District.  Our walking tour encompassed the spot where the British claimed possession of Hong Kong in 1841 and many historic and contemporary sites over the course of the morning.

“Sheung Wan and Western District Highlights include a mix of old and new: ancient temples, traditional Chinese dried food and medicinal shops and markets, the rickety Ding Ding tram, antique and curio laden streets, all next to futuristic skyscrapers, upmarket shopping centers and the distinct and novel Mid-Levels Escalator.  The area comprises the North-West part of Hong Kong Island, and is considered a very ‘Chinese’ part of the city, and is a fascinating mix that is best explored on foot and one of our favourite walks in the city, good for a morning or afternoon of exploring.” — www.hong-kong-traveller.com

 

Possession Street (Chinese- 水坑口街) is a street on Hong Kong Island where on January 26, 1841, the commander of Britain_s Far East Fleet, James Bremer, raised the British flag to

Possession Street (Chinese: 水坑口街) is a street on Hong Kong Island where on January 26, 1841, the commander of Britain’s Far East Fleet, James Bremer, raised the British flag and had a gun ceremony to mark the official possession of Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Possession Street (Chinese: 水坑口街) is a street in the Sheung Wan District (Upper District of “Central”) on Hong Kong Island where on January 26, 1841, the commander of Britain’s Far East Fleet, James Bremer, who came to Hong Kong by HMS Calliope, raised the British flag and had a gun ceremony to mark the official possession of Hong Kong.  The area was called Possession Point (it is no longer on the coast as subsequent reclamation has moved the shoreline further north) and, after brothels were removed in 1903, the area became a residential housing district.   Possession Street’s Chinese name, 水坑口 (Shui Hang Hau), means the mouth of water trench, reflecting the mouth of a stream from Victoria Peak.

 

Set right up along a narrow street, behind a wall, the Man Mo Temple was impossible to photograph, so I captured it_s design with this photograph of a Lego-style model, Hong Kong, S.A.

Set right up along a narrow street, behind a wall, the Man Mo Temple was impossible to photograph, so I captured it’s design with this photograph of a Lego-style model, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

The interior of the Man Mo Temple – dating back to the mid-1800s -- maintained by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

The interior of the Man Mo Temple – dating back to the mid-1800s — maintained by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

“One of the first traditional-style temples built during Hong Kong’s colonial era, the Man Mo Temple pays homage to the Taoist God of Literature (Man) and God of War (Mo).  The temple also houses statues of Pau Kung, God of Justice, and Shing Wong, God of the City.  The plaques near the entrance offer an interesting perspective on the history of the temple and its gods.  The Man Mo Temple’s historical relics include a bronze bell dating back to 1847 and imperial sedan chairs made in 1862.  It was preserved as a Declared Monument in 2010.” — www.discoverhongkong.com   The temple is maintained by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs), located in the neighborhood.  The (TWGHs) are also very active in providing education services, having set up the first free school for Chinese students at Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan in 1880, under British rule.

 

Lighting incense sticks for an offering in the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Lighting incense sticks for an offering in the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Hanging spiral incense burners with prayer notes In the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Hanging spiral incense burners with prayer notes In the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

One of the cultural centers of the Sheung Wan neighborhood a century ago was the Bridges Street Center of the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, now surrounded by high rise apartment buildings;

One of the cultural centers of the Sheung Wan neighborhood a century ago was the Bridges Street Center of the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, now surrounded by high rise apartment buildings; S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Street vendors mix with the retail stores and cafes and restaurants at street level, among the skyscrapers now filling up the Sheung Wan District, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic

Street vendors mix with the retail stores and cafes and restaurants at street level, among the skyscrapers now filling up the Sheung Wan District, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China; note the steep drop downhill from our level to the Harbor level

 

In addition to the famous Mid-Levels Escalator, which we rode up, the area is full of stairs leading up and up and up – eventually to Victoria Peak, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Repub

In addition to the famous Mid-Levels Escalator, which we rode up, the area is full of stairs leading up and up and up – eventually to Victoria Peak, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Prohibition signs outside the gardens of a restored police station, now a shopping arcade, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Prohibition signs outside the gardens of a restored police station, now a shopping arcade, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Both the electric trams (which I was riding on when I took this photograph) and busses are double-decker, greatly helping lessen the congestion in Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic

Both the electric trams (which I was riding on when I took this photograph) and buses are double-decker, greatly helping lessen the congestion in Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

East of Central is Causeway Bay, very popular for dining and shopping, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

East of Central is Causeway Bay, very popular for dining and shopping, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

On Sundays, it has become a tradition for the 10% of the population that are migrant household workers to congregate in Central and Causeway Bay (pictured here) for picnic lunches outdoo

On Sundays, it has become a tradition for the 10% of the population that are migrant household workers to congregate in Central and Causeway Bay (pictured here) for picnic lunches outdoors in public spaces with their friends, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

2 thoughts on “Walking Hong Kong, S.A.R. (Special Administrative Region), People’s Republic of China

  1. Rich,

    Thanks. What an interesting combination of a great modern city of hi-rises and very Chinese street-level activities.

    I wonder whether the God of War, Mo, is the root of the name of Chairman Mao.

    Paul

    Like

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