Shek Tong Tsui

Shek Tong Tsui

Shek Tong Tsui (zh-t|t=石塘嘴 or 石塘咀, lit. "Stone Pond Spit") is a town in Sai Wan on the north shore of Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. Administratively, it belongs to the Central and Western District.

This district is bounded to the east by Ka On Street, north by the Victoria Harbour, south by Pokfulam Road and Third Street, and west by the intersection of Queen's Road West and Belcher's Street [http://www.eac.gov.hk/pdf/distco/2007dc/dc2007a.pdf] . To the east lies Sai Ying Pun and to the west is Kennedy Town. The area to the south is the slopes of Victoria Peak and High West.

History

The name Shek Tong Tsui was derived from the nearby old quarry, or "Shek Tong" (石塘) in Cantonese. It was located around modern-day Hill Road and The Belcher's, and was used by the Hakka people since the 17th century. "Tsui" (嘴) indicates that the area was a headland.

The area was first settled in 1880 by granite miners. In the early 1900s, Hong Kong Island's brothels were moved from Possession Point in Sheung Wan to this area under orders from the Hong Kong Governor Matthew Nathan. The place thus flourished as a red light district and came to its golden period. During this period, Chinese affluents in Hong Kong came to Shek Tong Tsui for entertainment, and numerous Cantonese opera theatres and Cantonese restaurants were founded in the area. It was known locally in the Cantonese phrase "tong sai fung yuet" (塘西風月), which means "good times west of the quarry". Brothels in this area inspired numerous novels and Hong Kong films, most notably "Rouge "(1987) which starred Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung.

This golden period lasted until the ban of prostitution by the Hong Kong Government in 1935. However, during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese military government relocated all Chinese brothels to the area, which was renamed as Kuramae (蔵前) by the Japanese. Again the area boomed, with about 500 brothels in the area at the time, but they could only serve Japanese agents since the lives under Japanese rule were too harsh to enjoy for commoners.

After the Japanese retreat, the name of the area was reverted back to its Chinese name, as with the rest of Hong Kong. The British ban went back into place, and all traces of Shek Tong Tsui's amorous history were washed away by decades of urbanization.

Transport

The tram terminus near Whitty Street is one of the termini of Hong Kong Tramways. Bus and minibus services are also available along the main streets. The West Island Line, an extension of the existing MTR Island Line, will have a station near this area.

The major roads on Shek Tong Shui are the western ends of Des Voeux Road West and Queen's Road West, Hill Road and part of Pok Fu Lam Road. Connaught Road West is the major access road. Hill Road is a "double decker" road taking traffic downhill from Pok Fu Lam Road to Connaught Road.

There are also a number of smaller terraces roads, including Yat Fu Lane, Woo Hop Street, Clarence Terrace, Po Tuck Street and South Lane. and there is a story that a dragong lived there before the miners came

Constituency

A constituency in the Central and Western District is called Shek Tong Shui. This elects one representative in the district council elections. This electorate extends as far as Water Street and intrudes into Sai Ying Pun. The major housing developments in the electorate are: Chong Yip Centre, Dragonfair Garden, Elegant Garden, Kong Chian Tower, Kwan Yick Building Phase I, Wah Ming Centre. The population estimate in 2006 was 16597. [http://www.chanchoihi.hk/ Chan Choi Hi] was elected in 1999, and 2003.

The Belcher constituency also covers part of Shek Tong Tsui south of Queens Road West. Yeung Sui Yin was elected in 2003. Wong Chit Man was elected in 1999.

References


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