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.
Have you heard about Kam’s Roast goose in Wanchai?
There’s a story of a family feud, arguments over intellectual property and a legal battle. Kam’s Roast Goose is the result of a split off.
This little restaurant in Wanchai that has seats that pack people in like sardines in a tin sees a never ending queue on weekends. Thinking of going at 2 or 3pm to skip the lunch crowd? Forget it, you’ll still be in the line for at least 30 minutes. Perhaps on a day of thunderstorms, that’ll be the time to go.
The location was expertly chosen. Facing the large, busy trunk of Hennessy road where traffic flow is a constant, The restaurant benefits from the wide sidewalk which allows people to queue 2-3 abreast and still provide space for pedestrians. The school occupying the adjacent plot completes the perfection of this lot as no other shops or restaurants complain about people blocking their frontage. The school entrance is on the other side and there isn’t any impedance to either party.
What about the food? I like everything but the goose. Somehow goose doesn’t really appeal to me… the meat is dark, on the dry side and in very small portions. I go for the siu yok, char siew and yao gai. Those dishes are excellent and you can takeaway at a very decent price.
When I went a few weekends ago to buy takeaway, I waited about 15 minutes (there were 3/4 people in the takeaway queue in front of me). A couple came along and asked the reception lady how long they would have to wait. “2 or 3 hours” she said without missing a beat. “Could be faster if people do drop out of the queue“.
If you can bear the wait and queue at the restaurant, bring a face mask because the fumes from the passing buses get really bad. It’s one of the worst stretches of bus fumes in Wan Chai.
Find your way to Kam’s Roast Goose.
I happened to be walking by the John Denver Tree (technically it’s a Banyan) the other day when a shiny plaque caught my eye.
It looks new and much bigger than the previous one. The LCSD must have replaced it.
Does this generation know who John Denver is? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they included a QR code on the plaque to link to his most famous song… or a visit by all the artists who planted the other 622 trees in the Greening Wanchai scheme? That would be a concert not to be missed.
If you don’t know who John Denver is, this is one of his most famous songs... and it happens to be my dad’s favorite.
This is another of his famous songs which I really like, unfortunately and ironically, he died in a plane crash.
It would be really cool if all the trees had plaques in them or were dedicated to specific entertainment legends.. perhaps the public and LCSD could use them as landmarks and everyone would take better care of them.
Check out my trees of Wan Chai page (yeah I’ll be adding to it gradually, it’s really not easy to take nice photos of trees…) and go see this tree at the intersection of Wan Chai road, Johnston Road and Fleming Road. It’s along the Tram tracks.
I just happened to be walking by the old Wan Chai police station today and saw that the damaged brick wall was still not repaired since the accident that happened in February. You can see it he extent of the damage in the photo in the article.
Here’s how it looks now. It’s May, 3 months post incident.
There’s a bit of progress with some brick laying going on which comes up to just about waist height. But if this was any other housing development in the neighbourhood, the contractors would be faulted for lagging behind. It’s the rainy season soon so hopefully they’ll be able to finish it before the typhoons roll in and blow all those barriers away.
One of the fanciest date night restaurants in this part of town has closed its doors and relocated to London.
When I first heard the news, I asked the staff, all of whom denied that Serge was leaving its Wan Chai location. I guess maybe they just weren’t told at the time. Perhaps it was timed with a rental increase.
We wonder what will take its place.
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.
Socially irresponsible drinking’: Sevens means big business for Wan Chai bars
Inside Wan Chai’s love hotels during Hong Kong Sevens week
Rohypnol and rip-offs: the dangers of Wan Chai during Sevens week
Here’s a video describing the articles above.
The darker side of the Hong Kong Sevens Weekend
Here are some of the Art pieces I liked at Art Basel 2018.