Heritage Walk: Central to Wanchai with Cheng Po Hung

In view of the ever-changing cityscape of Hong Kong, we have invited Cheng Po Hung ( 鄭寶鴻 ) , an expert on Hong Kong history, to recount what the city was like before the major reclamations in the early 20th century. He will take us on a walk and share tales beginning with Central, the old banking district that witnessed the growth of banking giants HSBC and Bank of China; important government buildings that represented the British colonial rule; and along the way, visit the original site of Queen's Pier before 1954.

From Central, we will continue to Admiralty, the former military base that includes army barracks and a naval dockyard. Walking eastward we will reach the peripheral area of Wanchai, once used as a burial site before being transformed into a church district. In 1890, the Hong Kong Electric Company was established here, giving streets names of Sun, Moon, and Star, reflecting the brilliance brought upon the city with the age of electricity.

It is hard to imagine that Queen's Road East was the original coastline before 1842. With reclamation, Wanchai developed into a popular residential area for expatriates and locals.We will continue our walk by meandering through the heart of Wanchai – Hung Shing Temple,Stone Nullah Lane, Tai Yuen Street Market and Spring Garden Lane before ending the morning at Lung Moon Restaurant, a popular dimsum restaurant that has remained unchanged since its opening in 1949.

Cheng Po Hung is an expert on Hong Kong history and has been collecting old photographs of Hong Kong for many years. He advises museums on local history and has written a number of books on this topic. His latest exhibition, Early Hong Kong Transport will be held at UMAG (25 March-10 May 2009). Visitors can glimpse the early development for Hong Kong's public transportation over the past hundred years.