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Wan Chai, or Wanchai, is an area situated at the western part of the Wan Chai District, in northern Hong Kong Island, in Hong Kong, China. It is bounded by Canal Road in the east, Arsenal Street in the west and Bowen Road in the south. The area north of Gloucester Road is often called Wan Chai North.
Wan Chai is one of the busiest commercial areas in Hong Kong with many small- and medium-sized companies gathering, likewise various shopping centres and restaurants serving cuisines of different countries. Wan Chai North features office towers, parks, hotels and a world-class conference centre. The locality is also a highly-populated yet ever-aging residential zone, facing an urban decay problem. Arousing much public concern, the government has put an overwhelming attempt in district regeneration in recent years.
Wan Chai (formerly Ha Wan 下環, lit. "a bottom ring"; as, geographically, its location is relatively low) is one of the earliest developed areas in Hong Kong. Central, Sheung Wan, Sai Wan and Wan Chai are collectively known as the four rings (四環) by the locals.
Wan Chai literally means "a cove" in Cantonese. But Wan Chai itself was no longer a cove due to drastic city development and continual land reclamation. Before the British colonisation, there had been Chinese villagers already dwelling along the undisturbed coastline of Wan Chai, that is, the today's location of Hung Shing Temple, and most of them were fishermen. They got together to work around the area near Hung Shing Temple overlooking the entire harbour and worshiped Hung Shing Ye as God of the Sea. Hung Shing Temple is still erecting in its original location in Queen's Road East, but years of reclamation have pushed the shoreline farther away. Now the temple is surrounded by clusters of residential and commercial buildings. When the British arrived Hong Kong, the areas around Spring Garden Lane began to develop in various businesses.
Causeway Bay or East Point is a heavily built-up area of Hong Kong, located on the northern shore of Hong Kong Island, and covering parts of Wan Chai and Eastern districts. The Chinese name is also romanized as Tung Lo Wan as in Tung Lo Wan Road.Part of Causeway Bay, including Tsing Fung Street, Causeway Bay market, the Victoria Park, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Jardine's Noon-day Gun and the Police Officers Club is in the Eastern District. Queen's College and the Hong Kong Central Library are in Wan Chai District.
Before urban development and massive land reclamation, Causeway Bay was a heavily silted bay. Its former shape can be found on maps by tracing Tung Lo Wan Road, which goes along the former bay. In the early stage of development a causeway was built, which is the present-day Causeway Road. In the 1950s, the coastline was further pushed forward when the remains of the bay was reclaimed for the Victoria Park, when the statue of Queen Victoria was brought back from Japan. The statue had been taken away during the Second World War from Statue Square at Chater Road, Central.
The typhoon shelter of Causeway Bay and the Tin Hau Temple reveal that the area was a fishing village.
The names of Yee Wo Street, Jardine's Bazaar and Jardine's Crescent reveal that the land in this area was sold by the British colonial government to Jardines in the early 19th century. The area was therefore named East Point, after a pointed place on the coastline, east from the centre of Victoria City.