Sai Ying Pun is an area in
the western part of Central and Western District, on the Hong Kong
Island of Hong
In the Chinese language
(西) means "west" and Ying Pun
"camp", especially military camp. It was where early British
Shek Tong Tsui
and Kennedy Town
are suburbs to the west, Sheung Wan
and Tai Ping Shan
are to the east, and
is higher on the hill to the
Harbour is the north. Sai Ying Pun is built
on the steeply sloping lower slopes of Victoria Peak and also on the western reclamation.
Sai Ying Pun is build on top of the Hong Kong Granite. The granite
was formed in the Upper Jurassic
is from the last phase of intrusions in the Hong Kong area. The
granite is found over most of the north and centre of Hong Kong
Island, and also Kowloon. The flat parts of Sai Ying Pun near the
harbour are reclaimed land, built from landfill.
Queen's Road was the first road built in the area.
meandered around the camp structures and extended along the north
coast of Hong Kong Island.
Sai Ying Pun was settled as Chinese immigrants moved into Hong Kong
and built to the west ofTai Ping Shan. Europeans were assigned
areas above High Street where Chinese were excludedfrom
In the early 1880s sewerage was installed into the area, with the
main flow coming downCentre Street. Streets were macadamised or
concreted at this time also.
Around 1882 Battery Road was renamed Bonham Road.
From 1884 to 1887 many brothels were declared by the Government to
be unlicenced and closed down. These were mainly in First, Second
and Third Street, but also in Sheung Fung Lane, UiOn Lane and
In 1894 an epidemic of bubonic plague
struck and afflicted Sai Ying Pun residents. It wasnot as bad
initially as in neighbouring Tai
, which was resumed, abandoned and demolished to
improve hygiene. However Sheung Fung Lane residents were almost
wiped out.Government Reports called this area the number IX health
district and went into great detailabout the buildings where the
disease occurred. In 1896 there were 115 cases, in 1898, 153cases,
in 1899, 263 cases, in 1900 98 cases, in 1904 there were 149 cases
with 144 dying, and55 cases in 1905. The great majority of
infections in this district resulted in death.
In 1902, number 10 and 12 Second Street partially collapsed killing
four people and injuring six. An additional storey had been added
to number 10 at the beginning of 1901. It fell on number 12 and
caused it to collapse as well. The extension had been designed by
architectsDenison and Ram. Also in 1902 a cookhouse at 56 First
Street collapsed, one person waskilled.
In 1899, there were 1017 houses and a population estimate of
24800.Most houses in Des Voeux Road and First Street were three
stories, and in Second and ThirdStreet they were two stories.In
1904 population was 24900 and average occupancy per floor of each
house was 8.9. In 1905population was 25083.
In 1903, most houses were made from soft blue bricks, they had
basements, and retaining walls at the front and back due to the
In the early 1900s there was a Berlin Foundling House in High
Street, a Sailors Home, and a Lunatic Asylum.
There are many small lanes in Sai Ying Pun, mostly open only to
pedestrians. They had more importance in historical times when they
were used to access many houses. Now they are mainly cross connects
and back alleys. Some lanes are private, and some may have
disappeared. The interest nowadays is in their names, as very few
places now have addresses in them.
- Algar Lane
- Cheong On Lane
- Chung Ching Street
- David Lane
- Fuk Luk Lane
- Fuk On Lane
- Fuk Sau Lane
- Fuk Shing Lane
- Fuk Yu Lane
- Fuk Ching lane
- Heung Hing Lane
- Ki Ling Lane
- Kung Shu Lane
- Kwok Hing Lane
- Lau U Lane
- Leung I Fong
- On Wai Lane
- Praya West - renamed to Connaught Road when reclamation moved
- Rienacker Street
- Sai Yuen Lane
- Sheung Fung Lane
- Sheung Hing Lane and Alley
- Tak Sing Lane
- Torsien Street
- Tuck Wa Lane
- Ui On Lane
- Un Fuk Lane
- Un Shing Lane
- Wai On Lane
- Water Street
- Yu Lok Lane - contains the oldest existing houses in the
Sai Ying Pun
Early street planning of Sai Ying
is a proposed
on the Hong
Kong MTR Island line
serving the neighbourhood of Sai Ying Pun.
Trams run along Des Voeux Road West, taking passengers to the east
or west of the Island.
Many bus routes run along Des Voeux Road and Queens Road West, with
some routes routed through the lower parts of Water Street
and Pok Fu Lam Road.
Most streets are too steep or narrow for buses, however the Green
Mini Bus and some Red minibus routes travel through the upper
Taxis frequent First Second and Third Streets.
A series of escalators can take pedestrians from First to Third
Street via the markets.
The Western Harbour Tunnel goes from Sai Ying Pun under Victoria
Harbour to West Kowloon and is a popular route for cars, trucks and