Living in Wan Chai and Star Street
The district is made up of a mix of mid-rise older style apartments and ultra-modern, relatively compact high rises that are available to buy and to rent. Overall, Wan Chai presents fascinating and unique architecture that pays homage to both Hong Kong’s colonial past and its cultural heritage – expect to see some of the city’s trademark colourful residential buildings splashed amongst preserved or redeveloped exteriors. There are also many contemporary buildings in the area, especially around Star Street Precinct, in addition to numerous luxury hotels in the neighbouring district of Admiralty. This makes the whole area and its surroundings an eclectic, exciting neighbourhood for families, couples, and individuals to make a home in.
A true blend of old and new, Wan Chai is home to all the amenities you could need: fitness facilities, local wet markets, international supermarkets, organic grocery stores, and more. Famous landmarks and skyscrapers include the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) Central Plaza and Hopewell Centre, which are both prime spots for conducting business and making new professional connections. Digitally-savvy individuals and tech-lovers will also delight in their proximity to Wan Chai Computer Centre, the city’s mecca for digital retail and affordable repairs.
The harbourfront is a quick walk away, which enables you to take the Star Ferry over to Tsim Sha Tsui, or enjoy all the family-friendly amenities available such as renting a pedal boat or children’s go-karting.
Things To Do in Wan Chai
One will never have to wonder what to do in Wan Chai, as the area is so saturated with fabulous restaurants, minimalist cafes, lively bars, galleries, florists, street markets, and home design outlets.
Originally settled in 1889, Wan Chai was a working-class residential enclave. All of that changed after 2004, when Swire Properties opened Three Pacific Place and the Star Street Precinct, which comprises the sloping roads surrounding the new complex. This hip and modern area is a popular hotspot for shoppers and food-lovers, providing a smorgasbord of international dining establishments and healthy restaurants, coffee shops, and boutique stores to get lost in during their free time.
If one is more partial to a laidback, old Hong Kong vibe, they can wander down to Wan Chai Market, which is known as one of the city’s most comprehensive wet markets, offering fresh produce daily. One can also pick up spices from little Thai and Indonesian stores lining the main market stalls, or hop over to Spring Garden Lane for a spot of bargain-hunting, where they sell everything from handmade jewellery and clothes to flowers. Tai Yuen Street will be a hit with the kids, which is lined with toy and stationery stores.
A cosmopolitan escape from the bustling Wan Chai streets, Lee Tung Avenue sports gourmet restaurants and upscale shopping outlets. The area is also steeped in cultural history, where it was redeveloped from the famous Lee Tung Street (otherwise known as Wedding Card Street).
Transport: How to get to Wan Chai and Star Street
Wan Chai MTR station is a roughly 10-minute ride from Central and can be walked in about 25 minutes, mostly under cover and via well-marked paths. Alternatively, Admiralty MTR station is a quick underground walk from Pacific Place Three, which is typically how one would get to Star Street if travelling from other areas of the island. There are also numerous bus routes available throughout Wan Chai district, as well as the city’s reliable and unique tramways to carry you up and down Hong Kong island if you have time to spare.
Improved landscaping has gentrified some of the tourist-heavy streets. Nowadays, it is much easier to access Central on foot via walkways and pedestrian streets, which also take you past Tamar Park for a spot of fresh air and beautiful views of the harbour. Three Pacific Place by Star Street Precinct connects directly to Admiralty MTR Station, providing easy links to three different MTR lines.