Ship Street, Wanchai [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Ship Street, Wanchai [????- ]

Looks like the Hopewell Holdings redevelopment of Ship St, has finally got underway this week...some interesting sights behind the hoardings to be seen, but likely to be gone in the coming days.

Not sure what the final scheme is? There were soothing words about respecting the scale of the neighbourhood, and the historical aspects in some recent dispatches.

Anyone know what we are getting now?





Photos that show this place


Old portal openings below the retaining walls.
  Were these portals part of the building foundations of the old mansion that once stood here I wonder?

Anyone got old photographs of Ship Street in its heyday to share?




Site works in progress

Hi there,

The site used to be 同濟中學/Tung Chai Middle School.  The school used to look somethng like this.  Plese scroll down a bit for the photo of the school.  

They used to have an entrance on Kennedy Road too, which was approximately here.

Best Regards,


Hi, that whole area has been interesting to wander around for years but a lot will be cleared: the basic plan is here:

it's a few years old but they only only agreed on the land premium last yr, hence starting now. They're keeping Nam Koo Terrace and are going to 'revitalise' it

Tks T and 80's kid.

I took a wander around there yesterday, and photographed what I could for posterity.

In the past I explored the upper terraces, and found some nice bits of pottery, including the old bamboo style ceramic balustrades, painted victorian pottery fragments and an intact hand made soy sauce cruet. They sit on my shelves at home.

The Hopewell proposals are still brutal and massive. and nothing of this former era will survive the redevelopment, so its nice to have seen it.

A great number of the smaller indigenous businesses are closing up along Queens Road East now, and the character of the area is disappearing rapidly.

Rather than building another version of the Hopewell Tower beside the existing, they should probably have thought about redeveloping the existing tower, which looks rather 'heavy' and dated by modern design standards.

Just another reminder not to get too attached to anything in Hong Kong - It usually gets demolished minutes later!

Can anyone translate the plaque? It was beside a tree near Nam Koo
 Can anyone translate? This plaque was beside a tree near nam Koo Terrace

Nam Koo Terrace, ship street, wanchai
Nam Koo Terrace rear view - taken from Kennedy Road side

Hi there,

This kind of plaque is a very common, usually to be put at the door or the gate of a building at ground level, meant for honouring local dieties of that particular plot of land.  I have to admit I do not know much about these stuff.  I don't even know exactly what the words represents as traditional Chinese philosophy is sort of fuzzy.  Nothing is exact and open to interpretation.

I could put it down literally though:

五方五土龍神  would roughly translate to dragon gods of the five earthen sectors.   The five sectors could mean North/East/South/West and their cross section in the middle.

前後地主財神 would roughly translate to gods of wealth and masters of the land, ahead and behind.

Sorry, it does not make sense to me either.   I have seen such a plaque in a friend's home, on the ground, with a shelf higher up, where their own ancestor shrine sits.

It is also known that such dieties expect routine offering of incense or other stuffs like tea, liquir, fruits, flowers, snacks, ...... you name it.  You would likely have to ask one of those worshippers for more details.

Best Regards,


yeah Hopewell not known for its sensitive designs. I think they hope to turn that whole area (including the developments to north of Hopewell Centre) into another mainland Chinese shopping heaven to go with the new hotel; their focus on replacing restaurants with Rolls Royce and McLaren showrooms is something of a indication of the clientele they hope to attract.

I agree though, see that part of old Hong Kong hidden on the hillsides while you still can.

Thanks Tgnan for the explanation, and translation. Isn't HK always an incredible juxtapostion of the ancient and the modern. I hope the Dragons look favourably on the Hopewell plans so...

Yeah 80's kid that hacked me off too. Wasn't that Fat Angelos Italian restaurant before along there before? Where you could take the kids, and have an affordable meal.

Now a Rolls Royce and McClaren showroom? I mean thats a really useful outlet to have on your doorstep. I'm in there 2 and 3 times a week.

Mind you its not just Hopewell, Swires new tower block at the bottom of Landale street looks like it just landed from Mars, or was at least transplanted from Quarry Bay. Its a dead ringer for Devon House from what I can see...

Couldn't they have integrated it a little better with its surroundings? Oh let me guess, the plan is to integrate the surroundings with the new tower...Now I get it.

Bye Bye Wanchai!








Hi there,

Before Fat Angelo, there was a Harry Ramsden's.  From what I have been told by a former colleauges in London, that was the only Harry Ramsden's that he had ever seen which looked like an above average western restaurant.

I have to admit only a minority of locals enjoy fish & chips with simply salt and vinegar.  Maybe that was why it folded after just a few years of operation back then.

Best Regards,


Ah yes I remember that Harry Ramsdens actually... back in about 1996 or thereabouts I had dinner in there. It was a little pricey as I recall, or maybe I just had less money then.

However I wonder would it do better today, (now that everyone on QRE is driving around in a Roller?)

Actually joking aside I have noticed local tastes have got quite adventurous and cosmopolitan in recent years - The King Ludwig German Beer Haus just along the way does a roaring trade. Full of Local Chinese at the weekend for dinner.

Time marches on.

Hi there,

I always thought the site location of the Hopwell II development was No:15 Kennedy Road, whose owner built a huge mansion overlooking Hong Kong harbour in the 1920's. Apparently there is little trace of the original building  today. It would be nice to see what the original bulding looked like.

I have been trying to get a copy of the RAS publication Hong Kong:Going and Gone to see whether it would have a photograph of 15 Kennedy Road. Can anyone help me?

Warm regards,



There is nothing listed for Kennedy Road in my 1980 edition of the RAS publication. All the residences listed are in the Mid-Levels & Western District,    ie Bonham Road, Robinson Road, Hollywood Road etc



Thank you, IDJ for your prompt response.

Any idea how I can obtain a copy of Hong Kong: Going and Gone?



The RAS Hong Kong branch web site appears to offer it on their publications page. The title page image is shown

Hi PK,

There is more information about 15 Kennedy Road here:

However, the building is not Tung Chi College whose address is 15A Kennedy Road.