previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

Death and Life – the Weal and Woes of the Chinese in Early Colonial Hong Kong

Tour Info

In 1841, the British took Hong Kong Island, and it wasn’t long before Chinese people and Westerners were segregated in many areas of life — a phenomenon that was to develop and persist for decades to come. Sheung Wan, which sits west of modern-day Central, was designated a Chinese area, but atrocious hygiene and crowded living conditions made life unbearable for the Chinese inhabitants there. An influx of migrants from mainland China from the 1850s onwards further exacerbated the situation. Many of these individuals toiled and struggled for years and eventually died alone, in this foreign place, without any family or friends.

The neighbourhood around Tai Ping Shan Street at the heart of this Chinese settlement was ground zero for a horrific outbreak of the bubonic plague in the late 19th century – a deeply poignant irony given the fact that Tai Ping Shan actually means “Peaceful Hill” in Chinese.

Today, Tai Ping Shan Street and its surrounding lanes have transformed into a trendy enclave of cafés, galleries and boutiques, but one only has to look closely to find remnants of Sheung Wan’s macabre past. On this walking tour, we’ll take a trip back in time to see how the Chinese population of the area lived in the second half of the 19th century, and in particular, how the grim spectre of death hung over them, shaping the subsequent political and social developments of Hong Kong. We’ll also visit some local institutions and discuss death rituals in Chinese culture, digging deep into their history and meaning.

Highlights
Details

    "Learned so much from this tour. Truly interesting."

    Liwei W.

    "We have done many walking tours and this was a stand out experience. Not just a standard facts and figures lecture but a truly engaging discussion."

    Maria T.

    "As an avid traveller, I've been on so many walking tours but this was by far the best yet."

    Tristan W.

    Money World

    How did Hong Kong get so rich?

    View

    Island Architecture Walk

    Come experience the distinctively Hong Kong architectural masterpieces in Causeway Bay and North Point, from neoclassical churches to cylindrical public housing.

    View

    Market Hopping Food Tour in Kowloon

    Ignite your senses with a festival of scents, sounds, and colors.

    View

    Letterpress Workshop and Footprints of the Chinese in Old Sheung Wan

    Take a trip to a letterpress workshop and discover its significance to Hong Kong’s history.

    View