Oldest Streets of Hong Kong – Hollywood Road
Oldest Streets of Hong Kong – Hollywood Road

Oldest Streets of Hong Kong – Hollywood Road

A History of Transformation


Hollywood Road was the second road to be built after the colony of Hong Kong was founded. It was completed in 1844, which was a long time before the birth of the more famous Hollywood area of California was ever settled. Hong Kong’s Road actually got its name from the holly bushes that grew prolifically in the area. The first road to be built in Hong Kong was Queen’s Road Central, built a year before Hollywood Road.


Today, Hollywood Road follows the same original path, snaking its way downhill to Queens Road, Sheung Wan, with a maze of steps, laneways and alleys, running off the main street. Architecturally there is a fascinating mix of historic and modern buildings blending in with each other from old shop fronts to luxury real estate and high-rise residential apartments such as Centrestage, popular with expat professionals and Two Two Six Hollywood, with its luxurious interiors.


Eat - Shop - Play


Hollywood Road has become a busy, dynamic and flourishing area known well as a shopping street for art and antiquities, where you can find everything from a Ming Dynasty vase to artworks from some of China’s hottest new and established artists. Once being a neighbourhood for opium houses, gambling dens, and brothels, this street is now lined with fashion forward concept stores, and restaurants. It has become a hot dining area with casual drop in places like Classified for a coffee or brunch, vegan dining such as Grassroots Pantry to some of the most exclusive restaurants with secret doors like Bibo with their incredible food and prized art collection.


One of Hong Kong’s most famous and revered landmarks sits on Hollywood Road - the Man Mo Temple. Built in 1847, this exquisitely beautiful Buddhist temple is popular with both locals and visitors who come to experience peace and solitude. It is a tranquillity which is felt all the more keenly as it contrasts so much with the bustling downtown area of Central, just a few minutes’ walk away. The Temple is named after its two principal deities: Man, the god of literature, who is dressed in red and holds a calligraphy brush; and Mo, the god of war, often depicted in a green robe and holding a sword.


Heavenly Longevity


One of the more surprising aspects that stands out for visitors who wander down this famous street are several old Chinese coffin shops, euphemistically referred to as ‘Heavenly Longevity shops’ by the Chinese, characterised by the lustrous stacks of lotus-shaped timber coffins on display. There are only five coffin shops left today along and just behind Hollywood Road but there used to be a great deal more. Set up originally near to the Tung Wah hospital for Chinese people, to handle the number of deaths from a deadly bubonic plague that ravaged the area around the turn of the 20th century.  


Tai Kwun


The Former Central Police Station and Victoria Prison compound at 10 Hollywood Road, was built in phases between 1841 and 1925, comprising a number of historic colonial buildings which housed the Police force, the Magistrates House and Victoria Prison. Considering how so much of Hong Kong’s colonial past had been bulldozed since the early ‘70’s by developers to make room for skyscrapers and residential towers, this has been a much-anticipated project for Hong Kong. The complex has been painstakingly restored and developed over many years to not only preserve these historical site and buildings, but to integrate it with ultra-modern architecture in order to present live performing arts spaces and galleries. Opened in May 2018 as a major Heritage and Arts Centre, the site was renamed Tai Kwun which is the original colloquial name for the site. A number of retail shops, restaurants, bars and clubs complete the transformation along with sitting areas, guided tours, info stations and a central courtyard.


Interested in living at or investing in areas near Hollywood Road and Tai Kwan? It’s not only a great place to look for apartments for sale in Hong Kong, but also a great place for real estate investing in Hong Kong. Contact our real estate agents in Hong Kong at Engel & Volkers for more information and viewings of the luxury homes and apartments for sale and rental. Engel & Volkers’ product portfolio ranges from elite homes, luxury mansions, premium residential properties, and other real estate for sale in Hong Kong. We also provide information regarding the real estate market and housing market prices.


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