Pictures from Wan Chai Market. A typical and easily accessible street market at the heart of Hong Kong Island.
I’ve been stumped over how to do this post about Wan Chai Market. I’m STILL stumped, so I decided to just go ahead and get it done and over with. I’m just going to share the better pictures I took.
These were shot on the final day of my recent Oct/Nov Hong Kong trip. The morning before my afternoon return flight, to be exact. Being an experienced solo traveller, but nonetheless also middle-age, panicky, and prone to sudden bouts of paranoia over travel disasters, I was looking for somewhere (extremely) near my hotel to spend an hour or two at. You know, so that I could easily race back to my hotel to catch the airport transfer bus.
This venerable market and its surrounding streets thus fulfilled my requirements, being just minutes away, although in the end both areas weren’t large enough to fill up a full hour. Overall, I would say the visit was pleasant and convenient. There was nothing particularly eye-catching or memorable during the visit. The market wasn’t as fascinating as Ladies Market or Temple Street Night Market either. But seriously, there was also nothing to particularly gripe about.
Speaking of toys, I didn’t know that one of the lanes, Tai Yuen Street, is nicknamed the Toy Street. (I.E. I didn’t check it out) The consequence of ill-research before a visit!
The actual Wan Chai Market itself is within an air-conditioned building bordering Cross Street. It’s not the original market; the latter being the historical structure located next door. (Now part of a modern living complex)
Regarding the old market, I regret to say I have somewhat disturbing memories of it. When I last visited Hong Kong, the vendors were in the process of being shifted and as you would expect, not all were thrilled about being relocated to new but substantially more expensive stalls. A loud and furious banner was thus draped over the old entrance of the old market when I passed by it during that trip, with variations of this found elsewhere in Wan Chai too. Thanks to this memory, and the fact that a stall keeper glared at my camera when I stepped into the new air-conditioned one, I was somewhat … edgy inside the new market. I only managed to snap two pictures. Actually, I was rushing through.
Anyway, the wiki page on the old market has plenty of info. For example, what the basement was once used for …
How to Get to Wan Chai Market: The market and its surrounding streets are easily reached by using the A3 exit of Wan Chai MTR station. Geographically, the area is there about the centre of the highly urbanised northern stretch of Hong Kong Island. Adjacent to the Admiralty and Central skyscraper district.