A Travellerspoint blog

In at the Deep End...

Repulse Bay to Deep Water Bay by Seaside Promenade.

rain

Over the weekend we concentrated on housework, swimming and eating out.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at the Bounty Bar.

Eating out at the Bounty Bar.

Eating out at the Bounty Bar.

Eating out at the Bounty Bar.

I had plans for Monday and Tuesday of this week, but the weather put paid to them. We've had the typhoon three, amber rain, thunderstorm and flooding warnings up for the last two days. It's nowhere near as bad as the devastating flooding taking place in Northern Europe at the moment. That sounds absolutely horrendous. Some parts of China have had severe flooding, including a group of passengers being stuck inside an underground train which began filling up with water. To me that sounds like the stuff of nightmares.

Finally - today Wednesday - although it was still dark and drizzly, I decided I had to get out. I started by taking the MTR to Central. I was heading to Repulse Bay by bus but before going there, I had a look at the statues on the IFC podium. This was because I wanted to see the statue of the comfort women which has been placed there and has been causing some controversy. I wasn't exactly sure where to look for it, but it turned out to be near all the other podium statues, so I photographed all of them, too.

The first statue I came across was 'Above the Clouds' by Beijing artist Ren Zhe. It's supposed to show a man battling himself to try and surpass his past achievements.

'Above the Clouds' by Ren Zhe.

'Above the Clouds' by Ren Zhe.

The second were two statues of people doing Tai chi. There was one of these in the tai chi garden of Hong Kong Park, too. These are by Taiwanese sculptor, Ju Ming. He also did the 'Lining Up' statue - a queue of people outside the Cultural Centre in TST. His style of people is described as blocky. Personally I rather like it.

Tai chi.

Tai chi.

Tai chi.

Tai chi.

Tai chi.

Tai chi.

Next, I looked at 'Water Buffaloes' by British sculptor Dame Elisabeth Jean Frink. Apparently she is famous for doing lots of statues of people and animals and people with animals.

Water Buffalo.

Water Buffalo.

The Comfort Women statues have been here for several years, but I personally only just discovered them a couple of days ago when I was researching something else and I thought what on Earth are these. I've no idea how I could have missed them. Apparently in 2018 someone tried to steal them. They now have a guard watching over them. They are placed here in remembrance of the horrendous ordeal Korean, Chinese and other Asian comfort women went through during World War II. I have just read a book called 'The Amulet', based in Singapore and depicting the lives of these poor women. That's why I wanted to see the sculptures.

Comfort Women statues.

Comfort Women statues.

Next I looked at 'Oval with Points' by Henry Moore. This is popular here because it looks like a number eight. That is a lucky number here, because it sounds like the word to prosper.

Oval with Points.

Oval with Points.

Finally, I looked at 'Sitting Couple' by British sculptor, Lynn Chadwick. Again this is one I rather like.

Sitting Couple.

Sitting Couple.

Then I boarded the number 6 bus towards Repulse Bay. It was luxury travelling on it on a dreary week day when noone else wanted to go to the beach, because at weekends this bus is at the end of a very long line indeed.

Repulse Bay's Chinese name, Tsin Shui Wan, means Shallow Water Bay, in contrast to nearby Deep Water Bay. Its English name is less well understood. One theory is that this area was at one time occupied by fierce pirates who frequently attacked the ships of foreign traders. The British fleet attacked these pirates and repulsed them i.e. drove them out.

The number 6 goes over the top of Hong Kong Island rather than through the tunnel. Thus it's slower but has great views. I took a couple of rainy day shots of Happy Valley from the window.

Happy Valley in the rain.

Happy Valley in the rain.

Happy Valley in the rain.

Happy Valley in the rain.

I began my wanderings around Repulse Bay by looking at the luxury shopping mall and restaurants which occupy the site of the former colonial style Repulse Bay Hotel. This once upon a time world famous hotel was built in 1920 by Hong Kong's wealthy Kadoorie family. During World War II this hotel was used as a hospital by the British forces. In literature, writer Eileen Chang used this hotel as the meeting place for her main male and female characters in her novel 'Love in a Fallen City'. I found a beautiful memorial to her on the nearby Repulse Bay Beach. Many famous people have stayed in this former hotel, including George Bernard Shaw, Noël Coward and Marlon Brando. In addition, Prince Juan Carlos and Crown Princess Sofia of Spain spent their honeymoon here. Sadly, the wonderful old Repulse Bay Hotel was demolished in 1982 and a residential building was built here in its place. This residential building is famous for having a square hole in its centre, which was apparently added for Feng Shui purposes to allow the mountain dragon behind the building access to the sea. Fortunately, a replica of the original hotel lobby was created here in 1986 and that is what I was wandering around. I loved the grand staircase, the courtyard, the greenery, waterfalls and fish ponds, plus the old photos and posters which adorned the walls of this building.

I loved these beautiful flowers in the Repulse Bay Hotel grounds.

I loved these beautiful flowers in the Repulse Bay Hotel grounds.

More of the same flowers.

More of the same flowers.

Fountain outside main entrance.

Fountain outside main entrance.

Fountain, restored lobby and residential building with hole in it.

Fountain, restored lobby and residential building with hole in it.

Lobby and residential building.

Lobby and residential building.

Side wing of the restored lobby.

Side wing of the restored lobby.

Inside the restored lobby.

Inside the restored lobby.

Inside the restored lobby.

Inside the restored lobby.

Grand staircase.

Grand staircase.

Courtard of hotel lobby.

Courtard of hotel lobby.

Hotel Lobby.

Hotel Lobby.

Window.

Window.

Ornate window.

Ornate window.

Walkway behind lobby.

Walkway behind lobby.

Walkway behind lobby.

Walkway behind lobby.

Beautiful stain glass window.

Beautiful stain glass window.

Old picture of Peddar Street, Central in the 1930's.

Old picture of Peddar Street, Central in the 1930's.

Former hotel guests.

Former hotel guests.

On the cruise ship from England to Hong Kong.

On the cruise ship from England to Hong Kong.

Ways of staying in touch - air mail.

Ways of staying in touch - air mail.

Enjoying yourself - swimming and picnics.

Enjoying yourself - swimming and picnics.

Casual wear.

Casual wear.

Enjoying an evening of jazz.

Enjoying an evening of jazz.

Old Hotel Poster.

Old Hotel Poster.

Postbox with cat.

Postbox with cat.

Even the toilets are quite ornate.

Even the toilets are quite ornate.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Fish ponds.

Fish ponds.

Walkway in gardens.

Walkway in gardens.

Lush, wet vegetation.

Lush, wet vegetation.

Waterfalls.

Waterfalls.

Waterfalls.

Waterfalls.

When I had finished exploring the former hotel, I wandered down towards the beach. On the way I passed the memorial to Eileen Chang and some interesting park benches. Eileen Chang was born in Shanghai in 1920, but came to Hong Kong to study literature at the University of Hong Kong in 1939. She was still here when the Japanese invaded in 1941. Among her many books, she wrote a short novel called 'Love in a Fallen City'. This describes the lives of several people from Hong Kong and the mainland who find themselves cooped up at the hotel in Repulse Bay during World War II. Eileen Chang certainly looked incredibly elegant in her photograph on her memorial.

Eileen Chang.

Eileen Chang.

Ornate Benches.

Ornate Benches.

Ornate Benches.

Ornate Benches.

Next I wandered down to the beach itself. It was still warm despite the gray skies and occasional drizzle, so several people were swimming in the sea and a few were sunbathing, or perhaps relaxing is a better description, on the beach. There were also a group of people learning about kayaking. Repulse Bay Beach is one of the longest in Hong Kong at about 292 metres long. The beach was extended with artificial sand
to enlarge it to cope with the crowds who flock here at weekends. A relatively recent complex called the pulse behind the beach provides several restaurants here.

Repulse Bay Beach through the trees.

Repulse Bay Beach through the trees.

Looking back at that building again.

Looking back at that building again.

View along the beach.

View along the beach.

And looking the other way.

And looking the other way.

Looking out to sea.

Looking out to sea.

Kayaking.

Kayaking.

Kayaking.

Kayaking.

Repulse Bay Beach.

Repulse Bay Beach.

Luxurious apartments behind the beach.

Luxurious apartments behind the beach.

Although I intended to walk along the seaside promenade to Deep Water Bay, I first headed the opposite way to see the lifesavers temple. This is not a real temple. Apparently it is a training school for lifeguards but is surrounded by various cultural relics. These include huge statues of Kuan Yim, goddess of mercy and Tin Hau, goddess of the sea. There are lots of other deities, too, an entrance gateway, a pavilion and the longevity bridge - each time you cross it three days are added to your life. I've only ever been here when it has been thronged with people. It was luxury to have the place almost to myself yesterday.

View of lifesavers temple from beach.

View of lifesavers temple from beach.

View of lifesavers temple from the beach.

View of lifesavers temple from the beach.

Entranceway.

Entranceway.

Beautiful statue near entrance.

Beautiful statue near entrance.

Kuan Yim.

Kuan Yim.

Tin Hau.

Tin Hau.

It's good luck to throw money in the fish's mouth apparently.

It's good luck to throw money in the fish's mouth apparently.

Entrance to lifeguards' training area.

Entrance to lifeguards' training area.

Ornate staircase.

Ornate staircase.

Dragon.

Dragon.

Statue.

Statue.

Buddha.

Buddha.

Statues.

Statues.

The Pavilion.

The Pavilion.

Detail of pavilion.

Detail of pavilion.

View from pavilion.

View from pavilion.

View from pavilion

View from pavilion

Longevity bridge.

Longevity bridge.

Pavilion and bridge.

Pavilion and bridge.

Dragon.

Dragon.

Statues.

Statues.

Statues.

Statues.

Rams.

Rams.

I then turned around, walked along the path behind the beach and headed towards the Seaside Promenade - a short coastal path that runs between Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay. There are lovely views back across Repulse Bay Beach from the start of the walk.

Seaview Promenade sign.

Seaview Promenade sign.

Walking the Seaview Promenade.

Walking the Seaview Promenade.

Looking back over Repulse Bay.

Looking back over Repulse Bay.

Looking back over Repulse Bay Beach.

Looking back over Repulse Bay Beach.

Looking back over Repulse Bay Beach.

Looking back over Repulse Bay Beach.

I also passed a forlorn set of gateposts. These are all that remain from the once magnificent castle, Eucliffe Castle, that once stood on the cliff here. Eucliffe was one of three castles in Hong Kong, all now sadly demolished, which were built by Eu Tong Sen. Eu Tong Sen was a business tycoon who made his money from rubber and tin mining. He was also vice-president of the Anti-Opium Society. In the 1930's anyone who was anyone in Hong Kong partied at Eucliffe. The castle contained a large collection of ancient armour and stained glass windows. In 1941, during the eighteen day Battle of Hong Kong, the Japanese took over Eucliffe. They slaughtered fifty-four prisoners of war here by making them sit on the edge of the cliffs then shooting them. Their bodies fell to the rocks below. Miraculously, one of these prisoners of war survived to tell the tale. He was wounded by the shot, survived the fall and hid in a nearby cave until he could escape. Following this horrific event Eucliffe became known as “the most ill-omened house in Hong Kong”. For many years it was used as a TV and movie set before being demolished.

If they could only talk ...

If they could only talk ...

These gateposts could tell a tale or two.

These gateposts could tell a tale or two.

This walk is only a couple of kilometres long and takes around twenty minutes to half an hour. It is mercifully far away from the busy road and thus is very peaceful. Around the middle of the walk there are views over Middle Island. This is home to one of the three clubhouses of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, one of the clubhouses of the Aberdeen Boat Club, a beach and two temples. A free sampan runs back and forth taking people over to the island. On the opposite side of the path away from the sea there was lush vegetation, flowers and even a few waterfalls.

Looking towards Middle Island.

Looking towards Middle Island.

Looking at yacht club, Middle Island.

Looking at yacht club, Middle Island.

Looking at yacht club, Middle Island.

Looking at yacht club, Middle Island.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Waterfall with Buddha.

Waterfall with Buddha.

Lush vegetation.

Lush vegetation.

Bird of Paradise Flowers.

Bird of Paradise Flowers.

Looking towards Nam Long Shan and Ocean Park.

Looking towards Nam Long Shan and Ocean Park.

Seaview through vegetation.

Seaview through vegetation.

Interesting rock formation near Deep Water Bay.

Interesting rock formation near Deep Water Bay.

Interesting rock formation.

Interesting rock formation.

Interesting rock formation.

Interesting rock formation.

Interesting rock formation near Deep Water Bay.

Interesting rock formation near Deep Water Bay.

Pier near Deep Water Bay.

Pier near Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay viewed through the aerial roots of a banyan tree.

Deep Water Bay viewed through the aerial roots of a banyan tree.

Rowboat near Deep Water Bay.

Rowboat near Deep Water Bay.

View towards Deep Water Bay Beach.

View towards Deep Water Bay Beach.

At the end of the promenade I arrived at Deep Water Bay Beach. Due to all the rain the waterfall on the opposite side of the busy main road was in full spate. The barbecue sites here are still closed due to covid. There is, however, a Thai restaurant called Coconuts and an Italian restaurant called Lido Cucina Italiana here. On the other side of the road from the beach there is a small Taoist shrine. Apparently, Deep Water Bay is home to many of Hong Kong’s most famous business tycoons, around nineteen billionaires live around here, making it the richest residential neighborhood on earth.

Waterfall across busy main road.

Waterfall across busy main road.

Barbecue site, Deep Water Bay Beach.

Barbecue site, Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Co co nuts Restaurant.

Co co nuts Restaurant.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

After looking at Deep Water Bay, I jumped on a 6X bus back to Central. This one goes through the tunnel rather than over the top of the island. I got off in Wan Chai as I wanted to look at Nam Koo Terrace another of Hong Kong's derelict haunted houses. This was used by the Japanese Army to house comfort women during World War II. However, I could not get near this building due to all the construction going on around it. Instead I looked at the temple of Hung Shing on Queens Road East.

The Hung Shing Temple was built in 1847. It's neighbouring Kwun Yum temple was constructed in 1867. The temple was built using huge boulders from the hillside and you can still see these behind the main shrine. The temple is managed by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

Temple bell.

Temple bell.

Kuan Yim.

Kuan Yim.

Outside the temple.

Outside the temple.

Finally, I walked from Wan Chai to Pacific Place in Admiralty in pursuit of British sliced bread. On the way I passed a colourful geometric design painted for one of the Hong Kong Walls Festivals.

Hong Kong Walls. The Wall of a Thousand Thoughts by Jasmine Men's bridge.

Hong Kong Walls. The Wall of a Thousand Thoughts by Jasmine Men's bridge.

Hong Kong Walls.

Hong Kong Walls.

Hong Kong Walls.

Hong Kong Walls.

Pacific Place.

Pacific Place.

Pacific Place.

Pacific Place.

Posted by irenevt 06:23 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Hi Irene, I'm going to miss Hong Hong when you leave.. Do you know when ?

by alectrevor

Hi Alec, maybe I should rename the blog coming to a close very very slowly. It looks like we'll leave in 2022. We decided to stay a bit longer because the covid situation in the UK doesn't look good.

by irenevt

Your photos are so good that they should be used in Hong Kong travel guides! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, what a lovely thing to say.im glad you like them. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

I like the building with the large hole in it. I am sure the dragon appreciates it.

All your sculpture photos are great fun. I love sculpture.

by Beausoleil

That building costs a fortune to live in. I'm not sure but I read recently part of it is still a hotel and part is apartments. I'd have loved to see the old hotel, but at least part of it remains.

by irenevt

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