Hong Kong Heritage and History Tour - past to present
Walk Hong Kong offers a guided history tour of the Central district of Hong Kong Island that explains the colourful background to this region. This is a great introduction tour to Hong Kong.
The future meets the past in Hong Kong and nowhere can you see this more clearly than in the Central district. Our guided walking tour takes you among historic buildings that are nestled amid stunning skyscrapers, where the ancient art of feng shui influences modern architecture, and along streets whose very names evoke the colourful history of Hong Kong.
The heart of Hong Kong city, the Central district, has been developing since inception of British rule in 1841. Western-style buildings sprang up as the city grew prosperously and the early 20th century saw Hong Kong develop into a metropolis. Extensive reclamations extending the waterfront and development projects were carried out during different periods and although the outlook of Hong Kong is ever changing, many historical buildings and structures still survive as standing testimony to the history of Hong Kong Island's Central district.
As we walk we admire architecture from well-known architects such as Lord Norman Foster, IM Pei and Kohn Pedersen Fox, but also structures from unknown builders that shape Hong Kong's flow and energy, such as the many pedestrian bridges and escalators connecting the different spaces.
In contrast to the impressive architecture of the business district we also visit at the smaller scaled streets and houses around hollywood road, where unique restaurants, bars, cafes and small businesses created their niches over the centuries.
Highlights of our guided walk include:
Statue Square - over which a seated bronze statue of Queen Victoria once reigned. Within the square stands the elegant and modern HSBC – the fourth HSBC building to occupy the site over a period of 150 years. Built in the early 1980s by Lord Norman Foster, it is a fascinating example of how feng shui and modern environmental features have been merged in present-day Hong Kong.
Supreme Court - one of Hong Kong’s last remaining colonial buildings. Built from Kowloon granite in the neoclassical style, this elegant and historic building was built to house the Supreme Court and is now home to the Court of FInal Appeal. it is situated on the first stretch of reclaimed land.
The French Mission Building - a building of historic importance in Hong Kong. The present three-storey building was built in 1917 on the foundation of a previous structure and is constructed of granite and red bricks. The first Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Henry Pottinger, resided there from 1843 to 1846. The building then had several owners (including an American trading house, the Russian consulate, the Court of Final Appeal), and was acquired by the French Mission in 1915 - a name by which it is still commonly referred today.
St John’s Anglican Cathedral - this beautiful Cathedral, built in the shape of a cross, is a survivor of the earliest buildings of the British era, built on the only freehold lease in Hong Kong, and is unchanged since it early days. It is the oldest surviving Western ecclesiastical building in Hong Kong, and the oldest Anglican church in the Far East, with construction completed in 1849. It was declared a monument in 1996.
Hong Kong Park - The former military site has been turned into a lush park, a green oasis for birds and pedestrians alike.
Flagstaff House - Hong Kong Park houses the oldest colonial residence, now the Museum of Tea Ware.
Hong Kong Tram - No better way to sit and watch life on the street. The tramline connects the hubs along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island since 1904. It was build along what was then the shore-line!
Escalator - This 800m long convenience added in the 90s increased the property value of not only the mid-level residences but also the streets crossing the escalator, and a new neighborhood, called SoHo, was born.
Hollywood Road - one of the first roads of the former colony, it connects the eastern and western part of Central, geographically as well as culturally. The former Police Station and Victoria Prison, the PMQ and the Man Mo Temple all tell their part of Hong Kong's history.
Cost: HK$450 pax Total tour time: 3 hours Tour starts at 8.30am, outside the General Post Office (beside the green stamp-vending machines), 2 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong Island
Facilities: Toilets en route, and refreshment stops available.