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 Fiona 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.
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.