Finally, I’m back in Hong Kong … and the weather has cooled down. It’s now so much nicer to stroll around Hong Kong, without having to carry lots of water and a towel with you!
Last weekend I walked through Sheung Wan, just strolling around the streets until I found Wing Lee Street. This is a tiny, tucked away street, far away from all the hustle and bustle on Hollywood Road.
I immediately noticed that the small street looked different – the houses were all in the tong lau style (like the Pawn). They were originally built in the 1950s after the war.
Tong lau means a shop is at street level and the family lives right above, and other residents live on the other upper floors. Apparently the Wing Lee street was popular with printers, every shop was a printing business in the past. Now it seems only one or two are left.
Over the years they became quite run down and there were plans in 2003 and 2010 to scrap them and rebuilt the area. Luckily this could be stopped.
The houses have been nicely renovated, but not turned into restaurants or shops. There is a small info centre that shows the state of the houses before and after the renovation, I took these pictures there:
There is an interesting article on HK Magazine that describes that the eleven tong laus are designed by two architects, A. H. Basto and N. H. Fok, so the buildings are of two particular styles. Find out more about Wing Lee Street by also reading this article.