travel - places

Wan Chai Heritage Trail & Pak Tai Temple – Hong Kong

Tram tracks in Wan Chai

The Wan Chai Heritage Trail was one of those happy accidents, I found while Googling ‘what to do in Hong Kong Central’ one morning. Wan Chai was one of the first areas in the city to be built up, the shipyards arrived, then industrialization and eventually rich Europeans and colonials. The trail is a loosely marked architectural circuit of the area with a stop at Pak Tai Temple, an old temple nestled between the shadows of skyscrapers.


The Pawn building
Happy Cake Shop

I got a coffee, then stopped for a bun at Happy Cake Shop. I’m not great with maps, but have a solid sense of direction, and I ended up looping around Wan Chai enjoying my morning off as I got to know a piece of the city and its history. I walked up to Stone Nulla Lane, past the recently renovated Blue House to stop at Pak Tai Temple.

Blue House, Wan Chai

I don’t know if it was luck or synchronicity, but I arrived in Pak Tai Temple, after stopping to take in the view of the beautiful trees in the courtyard, and watched as they lit the massive spirals of incense hanging from the ceiling and wafting blue smoke into the morning light .

Tree in the courtyard
Incense hangs from the ceiling
Lighting the incense at Pak Tai Temple

After the trail, I circled back down past Blue House and toward the Wan Chai Market, to look for something to eat before I returned to my hotel. It was a great walk, made more curious and interesting by the nooks and crannies and loops between the buildings of Hong Kong, and the slopes and hills of the city that force you to take it slow.

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