MALL wonders

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 June, 2012, 12:00am


First, one serviced apartment opened in Causeway Bay, then another. It seemed as if they might be breeding of their own accord. Names such as Shama, V and Como Como started cropping up regularly in conversations, providing instant social credibility for well-to-do and savvy residents.

It's easy to see why Causeway Bay should be such a serviced apartment magnet. The district is anchored by superior department stores, such as Sogo, and major malls, including Hysan Place, Times Square - multitiered retail playgrounds sporting a host of designer names and a reputation for quantity and quality.

At the other end of the scale, workaday shopping streets, such as Jardine's Bazaar, which has been trading since the mid-19th century, provide an equally thrilling experience.

If Causeway Bay likes to shop, it loves to eat. The streets are lined with restaurants, from cheap and cheerful hole-in-the-wall places to gourmet outlets where reservations are essential.

Causeway Bay is home to one of the loveliest parks in Hong Kong. Step across Gloucester Road, away from the hustle and bustle of the centre, and a 19-hectare green lung is at your disposal. Besides hosting tennis tournaments and annual fairs, Victoria Park is highly popular with tai chi practitioners early in the morning. Hong Kong's main library, containing 23 million items, rises to the south of the park.

Causeway Bay's attractions have not been lost on visitors, who flock here every day. One of the results has been to make it one of the priciest areas in Hong Kong, with monthly rentals eating up the best part of HK$1,000 per square foot.


Points of interest

It's hard to believe that Causeway Bay was once a fishing village. Although a massive reclamation programme is changing the coastline out of all recognition, there are more than a few places where the area's history shines through.

Enduring tradition

Firstly, and most noisily, the Noon Day Gun is fired every day on the dot at 12 noon, a tradition that stretches back to Victorian times and always draws a crowd of tourists.

Island venture

Just next door, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is one of the most exclusive in the city and stands on what was once a Royal Navy powder magazine built on what was originally Kellett Island.

No laughing matter