Tag Archives: stroller

An almost seaside walk

It is now possible to walk to Admiralty again if you’re by the Wan Chai convention center. The walk is still not scenic, and neither romantic nor quick, but it does open up a vital channel which is shorter than doing the crazy walk out near Gloucester Road.

On the bright side, it is entirely flat, relatively smooth (great for strollers) and shielded from the construction site.

if you want to know how much of the Harbour has been filled here, take a look at the picture below.

There’s space for a whole new dual carriageway and the tunnel beneath.

Too bad the Wan Chai beach idea never made it past the drawing board.

Heading out to the bookstore? Know this…

The two largest bookstores in Wan Chai are JP books (right by exit A3 on Johnston road) and Cosmos books which is on Lun Fat and Johnston, more or less opposite Fook Lam Moon restaurant.

The JP bookshop has only one entrance and is a multilevel shop with 3 floors. The ground floor is where the entrance is and you’re required to head up to the first floor and upwards (ie if you want to get to the kids section be prepared to walk up 4 flights of stairs).Cosmos books has a similar layout, it’s a massive sprawl of books set out on two floors, in the basement and on the first floor. The ground floor serves as the main entrance.

So going to the bookstore, you’re faced with these two entrances.

If you’re heading out to the bookshop to pick up a few travel or summer reading books for yourself or the kids, remember to leave the stroller at home. These bookshops have comprehensive collections but are definitely not stroller nor disabled friendly.

Without resorting to couch purchasing on Amazon, what would your stroller options be then?

Kelly and Walsh opened recently in Pacific Place. It’s tucked into a corner sort of opposite and one level up from the cinema. That bookstore has aisles that would make mothers smile…. and an excellent selection of English books.

Alternatively if you’re in Wan Chai this weekend, you can brave the crowds and head to the book fair at the Exhibition center.

New MTR exit and underpass in Wan Chai now open

Updated 2019: Hear hear, an opinion in SCMP that reflects my sentiments….

If you live in the Avenue on Lee Tung Street, you’ve now got a nice underground walkway to get you to the Wan Chai MTR station without navigating street traffic across Johnston Road. This underpass took around two and a half years to build so I’m relieved it’s finally done.

To get to it, take either escalator or lift down to the basement where the supermarket is and walk along the corridor until you get to the end where you’ll see an escalator taking you down to the tunnel.

Okay, so it’s escalators in the middle, stairs to the right. What about barrier free access?

Initially I thought this was a ramp. (Yay!). But no… it’s a lift for wheelchairs 🤔🧐.

The big pain is that you can’t just use it like in other buildings, you have to call the staff to switch it on. (Call in advance! 3791 2103) That is just so lame. Why couldn’t they just put in a ramp or just leave it on for the convenience of anyone in need of it. Why create another step and waiting time?? MTR Corp you are slowing down my journey!!! Hell, I’ll just use the escalator for my stroller. I feel sorry for the wheelchair users.

When you do get down into the tunnel, it’s nice and wide (at least 3 meters wide), slopes uphill going to mtr station and downhill if you’re walking to Lee Tung Avenue. From the design of it, Sino Land and Hopewell seem to expect a crowd heading in their direction. I suppose this is in anticipation of their next development and continued connection to Hopewell Center II. There are spaces created for a few new retailers in the station too.

That’s a new circle K shop coming up next to the platform lift (under repair until May 2018).

And here’s another shop undergoing renovation on the left opposite Circle K. Not sure what it is yet.

I’m not sure if behind this white sheet there will be a shop or an advertising installation. You can see beyond it however that there’s a corridor for future expansion into Southorn Playground’s new underground mall when that gets done.

So this exit is D and here’s a reminder of the opening hours.

I guess the arcade corridor access and lifts to the surface remain operational during these hours too. Check out the promotions from the basement arcade shops below.

Marks and Spencer Food Store Opening Hours

Why don’t corporate websites publish their opening hours?

This morning rogue #1 requested a clementines. She said: “I like the ones ethat are easy to peel and without seeds. Can you go to uynh Spencer to buy them.”

Geez. Ok so rather thanks ttidisappoint a four year old, I checked that the local fruit shops didn’t have anything similar (ok they had the Japanese Mikan xxrgr fversion at twice the price) and hopped on a bus to the nearest M&S food hall.

I recalled that opening hours were later on Sundays and public holidays than the rest of the week but I couldn’t remember if it was 8am instead of 9am or 10am instead of 9am.

I looked up their website only to find this.

Hmm. Ok address yes but no opening hours. Urgh. Am I going to wait around for an hour or get there just on time?

CORRECT opening hours for Marks and Spencer in Queens Road East

It was 8.45am on a Sunday morning and I waited 17 minutes. The auto glass doors rolled open for me at 9.02am and two other waiting women (who arrived just after I did).

I picked up 3 packs of easy peelers and 1 pack of Satsumas at 49 HKD each. Three freshly baked croissants at 13 HKD each.

The clementines were a hit with the kids on our hike, I distributed them at the summit and the wonderful perfumed scent of small citrus fruits filled the air.

So now you know when the opening hours are for M&S in Queens Road East..!

Marks and Spencer has now updated their corporate website to include the opening hours of each store around the world. But… it’s not correct..! So please continue to refer to my version 😉

WRONG opening hours

Bringing your stroller to Wan Chai by MTR? ACCESS DENIED.

This is just bordering on ridiculous. How can The lift serving the concourse to platform be out of order for renovation for 7 months?!!


Ok MTR Corp, in May I’d like to see 3 lift shafts where there was only one before and each lift capable of taking at least 5 strollers instead of the 3 that we can pack in like sardines (if all mobile people take the escalators). 


If any renovation lasts more than 3 days, MTR Corp should be obliged to put up a proper explanation of what is being done to justify the inconvenience, extra staffing and general annoyance this causes the public. 


I’m waiting for my reply.

Intriguing sign at Wan Chai MTR

One of the two elevators at Wan Chai MTR breaks down every few months. They take turns. More often, it’s the one that slogs the lazy people (and the occasional handicapped person or stroller family) from the basement concourse to the ground floor and the overhead bridge. But I don’t think it’s the lazy people that’s the cause of the breakdown, though they are a major contributing factor. 

It’s the goods hauling guys who use this as a cargo lift. They shift weights that could be the density of two or three people on a single trolley. It’s almost downright dangerous to have elderly, disabled people and babies or young toddlers in the mix. 

Too often I’ve seen able bodied people squeeze into this elevator when there’s an escalator nearby to both ground and overhead bridge. Here in Hong Kong, people must be tired of commuting and even a few extra steps saved is worth inconveniencing others who need the priority access passage. 

Look at this ridiculous sign showing the realistic yet ironic situation at the lifts.


If you were in a line 7 strollers (prams) deep, it might take you half an hour to get from the ground floor down to the concourse. One lift only fits one family.

What can or should MTR Corp do about this?

SOLUTIONS?

  • Firstly how about putting the escalators next to the lift so that everyone standing in the queue has NO excuse not to use it. 
  • Or, put signs on the floor directing people to the escalators.
  • Then how about lifts that can actually move  at least 20 people at one go. We’re talking airport sized lifts, not small cramped coffin style ones from the 70’s.
  • All goods hauling has to go by a separate lift.
  • Signs indicating that only 1 able bodied person should accompany the baby or disabled person. How often have you seen 3/4 people accompanying one stroller or wheelchair user? The flocking is laziness. They should just meet at the platform. 

Hong Kong MTR Corp needs to put some of its profits (US 1.32 billion) to making the transport system accessible to everyone. It’s an efficient train system no doubt but the old stations need renovation and a re-think on providing barrier free and priority access to those who need it. 

Safety and Speed. Both important considerations in this busy metropolis. The MTR planners and architects should try pushing a stroller on a weekend to see where the chokepoints are.

Functional Map of Swatow Street, Wan Chai

I’ve finally gotten around to drawing my functional map of Swatow street, Wan Chai.

Access from Johnston Road for pram/ strollers/ wheelchairs. Everyone else take the stairs from Queen’s Road East.

Lots of cool cafes and trendy takeaway stalls are populating the street, you now see only a few electrical stores and sand/ cement shops left. There’s a friendly stationery shop that is very comprehensive.

It’s loaded up in full resolution and I’ve tried to make the text bigger this time round.

Street map of Swatow Street, Wan Chai