Note: this tour is only available on Private Request- if interested, please contact our email [email protected]
for further inquiry.
With the opening of the West Island Line on the MTR, Western District (the area to the west of Sheung Wan) is fast gentrifying into a swirl of new and expensive apartments as well as fancy bars and restaurants. But as it hurtles into a 21st-century facelift, did you know what this north-western edge of Hong Kong Island used to be best known for?
This walk covers two parts of Western District: Shek Tong Tsui and Kennedy Town.
Wedged between Whitty Street and Kennedy Town Praya, Shek Tong Tsui – ‘stone pond spit’ – used to be Hong Kong’s top Chinese entertainment and nightlife district in the first half of the 20th century. For many years, it was a licensed red light district and some of the then-British colony’s most celebrated Chinese restaurants were found here. Women, love, sex and food are an indispensable part of history and Shek Tong Tsui’s fame spread as far as southern China and Southeast Asia. As we trace Hong Kong’s ‘sexiest’ past in this once-glamourous part of town, we’ll hear tales about how men lavished on girls as well as the lives of the Chinese in the pre-war period.
As for the Kennedy Town which was formerly the western end of Victoria City (the heart of early colonial Hong Kong), and faraway from the administrative core in Central, it used to house many ‘unwanted’ facilities like a slaughterhouse, an incineration plant and a smallpox hospital. There were also heaving docks, salty warehouses and toiling coolies, which recalled Hong Kong’s heritage as a key trade port. Traces of Kennedy Town’s ‘filthy’ past can still be found today, even if it is moving inexorably towards an upmarket future.
Since Western District enters a major transformation, this walking tour will relive what used to define this storied part of the city as we try to make connections between Hong Kong’s past and present, and look at our urban surroundings differently.
• Hear colourful stories of courtship in Shek Tong Tsui
• Visit historical spots that point to Kennedy Town’s ‘filthy’ and shipping past
• Retrace the hidden past of long-standing shops and streets that are popular with locals
• Use your hand to physically feel the boundary of Victoria City!