Lonely without you

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Causeway Bay on Lunar New Year
Causeway Bay near Times Square

Bowrington Road Market on Lunar New Year
Bowrington Road Market in Wan Chai

Wan Chai on Lunar New Year

Wan Chai on Lunar New Year
Johnston Road in Wan Chai

Southorn Playground on Lunar New Year
Southorn Playground in Wan Chai

Sunday afternoon at 5PM, in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island. But where is everyone?

It’s of course Lunar New Year today, one of the few days in Hong Kong during the year where shops won’t take your business (they are even open as usual on January 1st).

Tai Hang 大坑: the hippy valley

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Tai Hang 大坑

Tai Hang 大坑

After spending part of my Sunday afternoon two weeks ago exploring Tin Hau and Fortress Hill, I set out to another area that was kind of a black hole to me on Hong Kong Island: the enclave of Tai Hang (大坑) near Victoria Park.

Previously, I only knew Tai Hang, as the name for Tai Hang Road, leading up to the mountain which forks into the “Tai Hang” drive (now with an opulent new development called The Legend). However, this does not represent Tai Hang proper, as the “real” Tai Hang is in fact a valley accessible by road only through Tung Lo Wan Road from the north side.

If you know the Hong Kong Central Library, then you can locate Tai Hang as being towards the mountain, a tad to the east. It’s out of everyone’s way, a 10-minute walk from Tin Hau MTR.

Tai Hang is perhaps also a remarkable spot because it is very slightly built-up, with relatively narrow streets and little traffic. From what I gather, listening to relatives who lived there, or people of my age living in nearby areas, many of the new businesses opened shop only in the past few years, with the neighborhood’s increasing gentrification. To the north of Tai Hang, closer to Tung Lo Wan Road, trendy bars go elbow-to-elbow with fashionable clothing stores and cute dessert houses.

As you walk further to the south, inside the valley, not only does it get darker (because of the taller nearby buildings on Tai Hang Road), but also the “interesting” businesses aforementioned tend to diminish, replaced with motor shops that service taxis and expensive vintage vehicles alike.

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