The new Wan Chai Ferry Pier (third generation)

Hong Kong is a fast-paced city. Shops and restaurants open and close daily, offices relocate (can you believe that our office moved to four locations in four years?!), buildings get torn down and rebuilt. It is almost a wonder that any historic buildings are left… granted, there are not many but a few, such as the Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware in the Hong Kong Park, the Western market, the Old Wan Chai Post office, Pedder Building, Central Police Station or the Peninsula Hong Kong, have survived.

Wan Chai Ferry Pier August 2015-1

Wan Chai Ferry Pier August 2015-2

One that has not survived is the Wan Chai Star Ferry Pier. Similar to YTSL it took me a while to discover that the “old” second-generation pier from 1968 had been dismantled already months ago and that the “new” third-generation pier has been in operation since August 2014. It is in almost the same location, as you can see from this map.

The pier from 1968 was nothing special – it was a green and white structure that was utilitarian. It served its purpose as a point of embarkation and disembarkation for the Star Ferry. There was a big waiting hall with vending machines and a small corner shop. That was it. I don’t have any pictures of the old pier, but if you head over to this blog post on NextStopHongKong you can see how it looked like. The pier had its last day service on 29 August 2014, and was later demolished as part of the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation.

In comparison, the new pier is very different:

Wan Chai Ferry Pier August 2015-3

Wan Chai Ferry Pier August 2015-5

Not only is it a modern building with an abstract tree pattern on its pillars, it also features an observation deck overlooking Victoria Harbour (but I have no idea how to access it) and has room for several shops. At the moment there are not many, just a book shop and a small stall selling t-shirts. It would be nice to have a small cafe there, not sure whether that’s planned or not.

Wan Chai Ferry Pier August 2015-4

The journey from the new Wan Chai ferry pier to TST takes about 8 minutes – and here is a YouTube video showing the scenic ride. In the past, it took much longer to cross the harbour, but with all the reclamation, the journey has become shorter and shorter. Can you imagine that when the ferry opened in the 1880s a journey between the Pedder Wharf and TST would take between 40-6o minutes? It is crazy how fast-paced our world has become.
Wan Chai Ferry Pier August 2015-6
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