LUXURIOUS hot spot
Wan Chai has become home to people who can afford luxury, and a hot spot for high-end eateries and entertainment. Wan Chai's serviced apartments are increasing almost on a yearly basis, due to their popularity.
There are about 30 such residences in the area, but they don't come cheap. The most upmarket serviced apartments include Convention Plaza Apartments, which charges up to HK$34,000 per month for a studio flat, and up to HK$130,000 for a three-bedroom unit. Other well-known serviced apartments include V Wan Chai Serviced Apartments, de Fenwick, Fraser Suites Hong Kong, Luard on the Park and Garden East Serviced Apartments, with rates from about HK$15,000 per month.
Lurking in the back streets of Wan Chai, meanwhile, is Star Street, one of Hong Kong's newest hot spots. It includes a range of dining choices: from down-to-earth, authentic Chinese restaurants to hip coffee shops and high-end fusion eateries.
The fine-dining restaurants include Chez Patrick, owned by French chef Patrick Goubier, who has dazzled locals with his simple, authentic dishes. Other French eateries include C?PAGE and La Cr?perie. Bo Innovation is unique, and run by 'demon chef' Alvin Leung, who gives a fusion and creative twist to Chinese dishes. There are also plenty of upmarket bars, and the most prominent is The Pawn, which used to be an actual pawn shop. Other posh bars worth visiting include The Habitat Lounge and 1/5 Nuevo.
There are plenty of must-see attractions in Wan Chai, including Golden Bauhinia Square, the site of the 1997 Handover ceremony of Hong Kong, and where the city's significant formal events take place. A prominent six-metre-tall golden bauhinia flower statue is located in the middle of the square, where a daily flag-raising ceremony is held at 8am.
International trade hub
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, next to the square, is one of the city's main landmarks. This building hosts all the international trade shows, and its distinctive size and shape of a bird in flight is hard to miss.
Further into the heart of Wan Chai is one of the oldest temples in the area, Pak Tai Temple.
Attractions for everyone
For history enthusiasts, the Police Museum is located on Coombe Road. For bargain shopping, the Tai Yuen Street and Cross Street area has hundreds of hawker stalls selling all sorts of goods. Couples may also wish to pay a visit to Lovers' Rock, which is said to magically grant happy marriages.