Hong Kong As It Is Hong Kong As It Was

A city view to be lost – graham street market

Hong Kong’s oldest open air market in Graham Street and nearby lanes in Central is set to be demolished, to pave way for the redevelopment of the area. A so called “old street” will be created, in an attempt to represent the old days of the neighborhood. But don’t be fooled. The shops and buildings in the “old street” are mere replicas.

The Hong Kong government, as always, has a logic of its own: the replicas can replace the original, especially the old, which are run down and obsolete. So why not just tear down the old rather than preserve them? Conservation is time and money consuming, anyway.

And do not forget that tearing down the old is a very profitable business for the territory’s powerful quarters- the property developers. With redevelopment of the Graham Street area, a 96,000 sq ft hotel, a 400,000 sq ft commercial building, and two residential buildings accommodating 290 units will be put up here. There is no need to say who benefit most from the redevelopment. Btw, who can afford to live in these two luxury residential buildings in this very prime area of Hong Kong? The wealthy, of course.

That is how Hong Kong’s general public is being rid of their public space and heritage in a city whose government knows only redevelopment but not conservation.

Besides Graham Street, there is Wedding Card Street in Wan Chai being torn down and re-developed. Before, not long ago, we witnessed the sad fate of Star Ferry pier in Central.

Where to Stay

Short-term apartment rental in HK (part two)

Since the previous posting about apartment rental in Hong Kong, I’ve noticed more options on the Hong Kong island. One is causeway corner ( Monthly rent ranges from HK$11,660 (partial seaview) to HK$33,000 (with sea view and balcony). Conveniently located in Causeway Bay, the apartments are run by a Japanese company and that is why their website is available in Japanese as well.

Another is Domus (www. They have 69 well furnished apartments in Tin Hau, near Causeway Bay. Monthly rent ranges from HK$16,800 to HK$28,500. But the minimum stay is two months.

Here’s some choice that I stumbled upon of recent and found it a bit interesting – city loft ( The website boasts modern living in historical buildings (i.e. old buildings). The studios are all refurnished and refurbished, available in Sheung Wan, Central, Wanchai and Causeway Bay, all major and busy areas on Hong Kong Island. Monthly rent ranges from HK$6,000 to HK$10,000.

HK-Shenzhen Transport

“Hong Kong – Shenzhen Airport”: the old way of bus transport

I mentioned in my previous post about the direct bus service between Hong Kong and Shenzhen Airport via the Hong Kong – Shenzhen Western Corridor. This bus service departing from the Kowloon Station of Hong Kong Airport Express has the advantage of passport control under one roof, i.e. convenience. The whole journey takes about 75 minutes only.

Actually there has been another bus service running between Hong Kong and Shenzhen Airport for some years via Huanggang checkpoint, which takes about 3 hours and the passport control is inconveniently under two roofs. That means when the bus arrives at Huanggang, the bus passengers must get off and go for Hong Kong side’s passport control. They then get on the bus, and be driven to the Shenzhen side’s passport control building. They get off the bus again, and get on the bus again after the passport control is finished.

The new bus service for Shenzhen Airport is obviously a lot more convenient and quicker. But the old bus service can provide an alternative in terms of departing time and departing locations. You can take the bus from the Hong Kong International Airport, Prince Edward of Kowloon, or Hong Kong Disney Land. It costs differently, ranging from HK$90 to HK$180, depending on the departing location.

If you come from Shenzhen Airport to arrive at Hong Kong, you can be dropped off at Prince Edward MTR station or Wanchai Ferry Pier.

The bus company is called Trans-Islands Chinalink. Its service and ticket centre in Hong Kong is at
G/F., 364 D Portland Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon
Tel:(852) 2336-1111

You can also buy bus tickets at:
-Hong Kong International Airport (Kiosk A09, Arrival Hall HK International Airport, opposite to Exit A)
-Shenzhen Airport (Kiosk A and Kiosk B, Arrival Hall Shenzhen Bao An Airport)
-Branches of Wing On Travel, Hong Kong
-MTR Travel Service Centre at Hong Kong Station 
-Branches of Gray Line Tours, Hong Kong
-Branches of China Travel Services, Hong Kong

For the bus timetable, check out here.

Travel Tips Where to Eat/Drink Where to Visit

Hong Kong East: Harbour View and Soho Feel

Visitors to Hong Kong are usually advised to take the Star Ferry from Central or Tsim Sha Tsui to see the Hong Kong harbor, especially at night when the skyline is lit. They are also told that the Soho area, the hot spot of trendy bars and restaurants, is in Central.

These are all true, except that Hong Kong has another spot where you can see the famous Hong Kong harbor as well as experience “Soho”. It is in Lai King Wan (鯉景灣) of Sai Wan Ho (西灣河), in the Eastern part of Hong Kong Island.

Take the MTR to Sai Wan Ho Station. Go out at Exit A, and turn right, to walk toward the waterfront (there are also signs indicating the direction). It is about 5-minute walk before you come to the waterfront and a long promenade. From here you can take in Hong Kong’s harbor and the Kowloon East across it. The promenade allows you to take a relaxing stroll while witnessing the daily life of locals.  You rarely see tourists here.

The area is also called “Soho East” where you will find a host of restaurants and bars adjacent to the waterfront. This Soho East is not as busy as the Soho area in Central because of its slightly remote location, but over the weekend, it attracts many locals to drive to this area for dining and relaxation.

HK-Shenzhen Transport Travel Tips

Hong Kong check-in for Shenzhen flights

Hong Kong is the gateway to China and understandably there are many flights each day from Hong Kong to major China cities. But flying is not cheap. A sure way to save money is go to Hong Kong ‘s neighboring city Shenzhen and fly from there. As it now becomes the domestic flight, the flight ticket will cost a lot less.

Hong Kong Shenzhen Western Corridor

The good news is, you can now check-in in Hong Kong for flights from Shenzhen Airport. The Shenzhen Airport authority has set up a flight waiting room in the shopping mall right above the Kowloon Station of Hong Kong Airport Express. After check-in, you can just take the direct bus to Shenzhen Airport from Kowloon Station via the newly opened Hong Kong-Shenzhen Wesetern Corridor port of entry (this entry is convenient as the passport control of Hong Kong and China sides is carried out under one roof – in the same building.

The aforementioned through-bus is a new service, the first of its kind, launched at the same time as the Kowloon Station check-in service. Buses depart almost every half an hour, running from 6:15am to 7:15pm at Hong Kong side, and from 9:30am to 9pm at Shenzhen side. The whole journey costs about HK$100 and takes about 75 minutes – that is the ideal bus journey time, excluding time for immigration etc. So always allow more time for catching a flight.

For details of the direct bus service, see this post.