There were three articles describing how much income, interest (as in wanting to know, not rate) and inebriation would be happening in Wan Chai over these 2 holiday weekends.
From financial conferences to lighting exhibitions, expensive Art shows (Art Basel, see some pics below) to the biggest Rugby sporting event in Hong Kong, a rush of events has brought a huge number of visitors to Hong Kong and specifically to Wan Chai.
Yes, it’s the location. The HK exhibition center is here, the bars and restaurants, the red light districts all within a wandering over some pedestrian bridges.
The prediction of a boom in clients to the bars, prostitutes, late night love motels must send all on that short stretch of Lockhart to Fenwick into a giddy madness.
I wanted to go check out the scene and take a few photos for you, but I sprained my ankle badly on Friday and am unable to put any weight on it.
If you wake early enough on Sunday I’m sure you’ll get to see the “after party scene”. In the meantime I’ll just have to read about it in the news.
I was on the way back to Wanchai from Happy Valley, sitting quite comfortably on the tram when it suddenly came to a halt. This was just after the tram had left Tonnochy station.
Everyone just sort of looked at each other and a few people started getting off. The driver was out on the pavement and telling us that there’d been an accident ahead, our tram could not pass.
Fortunately I wasn’t carrying anything too heavy (besides a huge belly) and the route home was near and familiar.
“No need to pay, umm sai bei qin” the driver called out. He’d switched off the octopus reader and was just waving his hands gesturing for all of us to be on our merry way to find some other means of getting to our respective destinations.
I got off the tram and wanted to see what exactly was blocking our passage. There didn’t seem to be any apparent obstruction on the tracks or the road ahead.
Walking further along the road, I saw a bus which had stopped past the traffic lights in the middle of the intersection of Hennessey towards Heard Street.
There was the bus driver making some notes and taking photos of the bus. I couldn’t see any vehicle that it had run into though. There didn’t seem to be any apparent or significant damage.
Cars and buses were making their way around the stalled bus but the trams didn’t seem to want to try passing even though I thought there’d be sufficient space. These HK trams are pretty narrow, but I guess the drivers don’t want to risk getting stuck and compounding the situation.
It’ll probably take an hour or two to get a tow truck for the bus, so if you’re heading westbound you might want to catch the MTR or bus instead.
Or if you’re close enough, just go on foot as the temperature is just fantastic today despite the pollution 🤔
Surely all men must know that inebriation to any significant degree can end in all sorts of trouble.
In a fairly typical story, this guy didn’t have a companion to ensure he got home after a night of partying and stumbled about until he met a lady in a red dress who took full advantage of the situation. She plied him with a few more drinks, took him to a secluded place and waited for him to fall asleep. Then she made off with his necklace and cash (why was he wearing such an expensive necklace?!).
If it had been a woman in that situation, it may have ended more horribly with not only stolen valuables but physical harm.
By the light of the full moon.. a vampire comes out to play…
Lee Tung Avenue has had great success in creating a public space where small, interesting art and music projects can draw the attention of a steady stream of people. Many are locals, young couples who visit in the evening for a dessert. Some are older people with their helpers, they occupy the benches to soak up the late morning sun. Then there are families, who use this pedestrianised street as a conduit to the schools. They often return after school, in the evenings to run around*.
Halloween has become an increasingly significant occasion for commercial festivity in Hong Kong. It’s nice because it involves the children and all that fancy get up is fun, but it doesn’t teach them much about American culture or what it means. Local and international schools both celebrate it and kids come home with drawings of pumpkins and bats and broomsticks. It’s almost as big a celebration as Christmas.
I thought it was fabulous that Lee Tung Avenue took a different approach to their display. The organisers chose an art installation with significance to both the mid-autumn festival and Halloween. Titled “Museum of the Moon“, a large blown up rendition of 5 km earth’s only moon surface is suspended from the arch and illuminated from within at night.
For the Halloween weekend, Ophelia was advertising a blood sucking gory time on Saturday night and Tuesday night. That vampire was co-opted into posing with visitors along the pedestrian alleyway by the light of the moon.
It was a funny and entertaining sight. The crowds were out enjoying the cool weather and the scene… as was I!
Halloween night walk in Wan Chai.
*Wan Chai really needs a good quality children’s playground, will LCSD please consider this carefully and install a great one at Southorn playground when you’re finished ripping it up for the underground Mall? All the future generated income could be reflected in quality of life an awesome playground would bring to families in the area. And I’m not referring to those red yellow plastic things you presently install all over. Please take a look at the Megan Daley park in Chicago or even this wonderful bamboo installation (since Hong Kong is so fond of using bamboo for scaffolding) at the restaurant Triplets in Chiang Mai.
The 590A plied a route from Admiralty through Wan Chai to South Horizons every 15-30 minutes. This was the bus we took last year to get to school when the South Island Line was still under construction. Since the MTR line opened and the weather became generally worse (hot, humid and polluted), we’d given up on the erratic schedule of the bus service in favour of the South Island Line.
There are pros and cons of course. The 590A always operated a clean nice double decker and took a very efficient route to South Horizons. It is well air conditioned and a very pleasant ride to see what’s happening above street level in Wan Chai. The bus stop is also a few minutes closer to home and as it is a direct route, doesn’t need transiting. It was pretty much the closest thing I could get door to door to South Horizons.
In contrast, the MTR transit requires a bit of a rushed walk with plenty of anxious commuters through the bowels of Admiralty station, 3 escalators down to get to the South Island Line from the main blue Island line.
I fancied taking the bus today. I had time to spare and thought a bus ride would be nice to see the changes happening above ground. Imagine my disappointment when I got to the Wan Chai road bus stop and found that the route had been terminated!
Hong Kong is totally efficiency driven. If it ain’t making money, cancel it…
I’m now walking back to the MTR station… it’s back to the underground.
If you take their suggested replacement route, bus 90, it gets you to Ap Lei Chau estate which is close but still a 10-12 minute walk to South Horizons unless you get off at a preceding stop (say just after the bridge) and catch the 592 or 595 that’ll drop you at the South Horizons bus stop near Marina Square.
All the excitement about a typhoon 8 this Sunday is now dissipating as Typhoon Mawar has been blown northerly and will hit Shantou and the coast of China instead. Perhaps we’ll get some rain in Hong Kong but that’s looking less and less likely now as the storm track shifts. It’s now a T1 and might not get much above that.
I was away when Typhoons Hato and Pakhar blew into town, Hato caused a 2 hour delay in my flight take off time and we sat in the plane the entire duration of the lightning strikes and heavy downpour at the airport. In the robust metal tube of the new A350 the storm didn’t seem all that intimidating.
Friends and neighbours updated me on the disruptions and damage all over (I’m sure you’ve seen the footage circulated online by now). We secured our windows and doors before we left but neglected a few pieces of laundry which were blown to the floor and soaked on our return. Our balcony plants were snapped and decimated by the strong winds and heavy downpour but the flat generally seemed in good shape on our return.
Mr Rammstein took a walk around Queens Road East area after the typhoon Hato blew over and sent me a few pictures. Credit and effort goes to him for these.
And now of some fallen trees and branches pictures.
These fallen branches were all cleared up soon after Hato blew by. But clearing up after Pakhar has taken considerably longer. There are still fallen branches and leaves on sidewalks up by Kennedy road and tree cutters are doing their best on Stubbs road creating large logs out of fallen tree trunks. (You can see this if you hop on the 15 bus towards the Peak from Wan chai).
Many of these trees are still with their snapped branches dangling at crazy angles. It’s probably best to avoid walking near them in the current weather as you don’t know when the rot sets in or the wind might blow it in your direction. Obviously the clearing up will take several more weeks due to the huge amount of work all over the island and beyond.
Digging beneath the dirt… To find the good and the gritty