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Wan Chai: looking through the lens

LUXE City Guides
  • Written by LUXE City Guides, Images by Nicolas Petit

As one of the most diverse districts in Hong Kong, Wan Chai is also one of the most photogenic, filled with opportunities to capture that perfect shot to remind you of this vibrant city or for your social media almost everywhere you look. Heaving markets, hidden laneways, quaint temples, modern skyscrapers and leafy trails, Wan Chai covers the gamut of this great city in one district. To get you started on your photographic adventure, we asked five talented local photographers to share a few of their favourite places to snap in the district, from hip and happening to historic and heritage.

Calvin Sit (@calvinsit.photography)

Calvin Sit (@calvinsit.photography)

Just three blocks from the Happy Valley tram terminus is the F11 Foto Museum Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info , in a beautifully restored orange art deco building. From the moment I turn the front door handle, which resembles an oversized camera film lever, I’m captivated. F11 houses the largest Leica camera collection in the world, from the earliest models that date back to the 1920s to newer limited editions. It also hosts photographic exhibitions and has a great collection of titles from the Magnum Book Collection. Entry to this non-profit museum is free and by appointment so book ahead for a guided tour.

Vivien Liu (@vdubl)

Vivien Liu (@vdubl)

Step into this mid-1800s temple dedicated to the ancient deity Pak Tai Temple on Wan Chai Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info , the Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven, and experience the stark contrast between Hong Kong’s modern landscape and its historic architecture. Hidden on Lung On Street, behind Stone Nullah Lane, you will journey to the past and discover a feast for the eyes, especially on sunny afternoons when light infiltrates this temple through courtyards and clerestories. It’s made even more dramatic when the rays penetrate through the smoke of burning incense.

Monika Kulon (@bykulonmonika)

Monika Kulon (@bykulonmonika)

I love exploring Hong Kong’s streets. That’s how I stumbled on this tucked-away corner of Wan Chai. Sau Wah Fong is a charming little lane with a collection of cute cafes, chic boutiques and clothing stores alongside traditional businesses, including an old-fashioned barbershop. My favourite place is Jouer Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info , a French-style artisan cafe and atelier. The first thing that catches my attention is the lovely patio with flowers, then my eyes travel inside to the cupboard full of beautiful vintage tableware and lifestyle items, which are for sale. I’m also drawn to the displays of homemade mini macarons and the divine cakes. It is a perfect place to escape from busy Hong Kong and relax with a cup of tea or coffee and your favourite book.

Jaffe Road neon

Nic Gaunt (@nic.gaunt)

Neon tubes first arrived in Hong Kong in the 1950s and have become synonymous with the city’s fabric and identity. It has become a topic of debate over the last few years about whether they should be removed from the streets, because some people see them as light pollution, while others see them as an important part of Hong Kong’s heritage. We are in the latter camp and think that we should celebrate something that gives life and character to the canvas of this vibrant city. The neon reflects the colourful tapestry and playful side of a metropolis which comes to life after dark. A walk down Jaffe Road and the surrounding streets when night falls gives an opportunity to tune into the excitement and beauty of this unique city. Long may neon continue to adorn our streets and sidewalks.

Bowen Road

William Furniss (@williamfurniss)

Bowen Road Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info is an emerald green tunnel of trees and tarmac floating along the hillsides above Wan Chai and Happy Valley. Built in the 1800s on top of the aqueduct that brings water from Tai Tam Reservoir, this road is mostly pedestrianised and a haven for walkers and runners. I love Bowen Road for its unique perspective on Hong Kong. I am immersed in forest and at the same time am level with the tops of skyscrapers. As a photographer, this makes for great opportunities both night and day. Hong Kong’s easy access to nature right up against super dense city neighbourhoods is one of its most special features and one epitomised by Bowen Road.

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The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.


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