Around North Point

Many of my friends spent their childhood in Hong Kong before moving overseas, and it’s interesting to see how rapidly their old neighbourhoods change in the span of a few years. Compared to other cities, it seems Hong Kong is in constant churn, with land reclamation and construction everywhere, and buildings sprouting like mushrooms. (In Toronto, it takes 10 years to agree on a three-stop subway extension, and another 15 to build it… But I digress. 🙂 )

This post is focused on two areas where a friend lived and went to school on Hong Kong Island. All the photos were taken with a Pentax S-M-C Takumar 28mm f3.5 lens adapted on my X-Pro1. Click on the pics for a larger version.

Kai Yuen Street, North Point

Just east of the busy shopping frenzy that is Causeway Bay lies the appropriately named neighbourhood of North Point, the northernmost part of Hong Kong Island. Steps away from the main thoroughfare of King’s Road, you’ll find quiet side streets where the pace is decidedly more relaxed.

This North Point community is where my friend grew up. I dropped by and took a few pictures around Kai Yuen Street, although the apartment block where she used to live has disappeared, replaced by a huge construction pit presumably for another highrise. Still, the area has its own character – and a very steep hill where, if not careful, a misstep would surely result in rolling all the way down! According to this source, the neighbourhood has a rich history and many were unhappy with the redevelopment.

Kai Yuen Street A selfie!
Kai Yuen Terrace. Looking down from Kai Yuen Terrace. Kai Yuen Street is by the fruit stand.
Kai Yuen Street Hardware shop at the foot of the street.
And opposite, typical apartment buildings tower.
Kai Yuen Street Steep hill up the street. The construction pit is on the left.
Kai Yuen Street Old shops and apartments line the slope.
Kai Yuen Street This really needs an update!
Kai Yuen Street Hong Kong shopkeepers really don’t like their picture taken. He was friendly enough, though. I wonder how much business he gets.
Kai Yuen Street Half way up the street, it branches into a hairpin turn. I’ve never seen construction like this.
Kai Yuen Street Looking south through the apartment blocks, you can see Victoria Harbour and Kowloon beyond.
Kai Yuen Street Another closed storefront.
Kai Yuen Street Any available space is used for laundry.
Kai Yuen Street Baskets and wood blocks. Carpentry?
Kai Yuen Street The big construction pit where the old apartments used to be. According to a shopkeeper, the demolition was 3 years ago but not much progress since.
Kai Yuen Street Left in the drizzling rain.
Kai Yuen Street A the top of the hill, colourful Chun Chu Temple.
Kai Yuen Street Looks like these stairs haven’t been used in years.
Kai Yuen Street Coming home from school.
Kai Yuen Street Steep section down to busier streets.
Kai Yuen Street Schoolgirl making the climb.
Kai Yuen Street Use of the steps is a good idea, especially in the wet.

Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay

I also spent some time on Caroline Hill Road, adjacent to the shopping district at Causeway Bay. This area is also feeling the pressures of redevelopment, especially as Causeway Bay has some of the most expensive commercial rent in the world (apparently higher than Madison Avenue in NYC). A few steps away from the luxury retail stores, this charming neighborhood still has an old-world feel. The street is lined with small restaurants (including the very popular Burgeroom burger joint) and shops. Further down there’s a sports park and St. Paul’s Convent church and school. You can read a little more about the area here.

Caroline Hill Road Caroline Hill Road
Caroline Hill Road This looks like a local dump, which is a shame.
Caroline Hill Road St. Paul’s Convent school.
Caroline Hill Road The front of the school. No looking out the window and daydreaming here.
Caroline Hill Road Kids at the entrance spotted me. Busted!
Caroline Hill Road School’s out!
Caroline Hill Road A quiet tree-lined street just steps away from crowded Causeway Bay.
Caroline Hill Road Convenience store at the end of the street.

4 responses to “Around North Point

  1. Photos of the steps up Kai Yuen Street are so poignant for me as I live up the hill there as a child and went to Kindergarden further on up the hill past the beautiful old mansion house that was there. We had a harbour view and we would visit the temple and go on wonderful hikes and explore HK. What a beautiful place it was to live so sad it has lost its magic!


  2. These pictures are lovely! They bring back so many memories, especially the ones of the steep hill.Too bad my old home is torn down though 😦

    Thanks for taking these pictures!


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