Hong Kong Area Guides: Admiralty 金鐘
Blink and you'll miss it on the tram from Central to Wan Chai, Admiralty was until the 1970s an area of British military bases including Admiralty Dock, Murray Barracks, Victoria Barracks and Wellington Barracks gradually developed over time since the mid-19th century.
The area was handed back to the Hong Kong government in the 1970s and the MTR Station is now a busy interchange between the Tsuen Wan Line Line and the Island Line.
Directly above the subway station are the 1980s office and retail towers of Admiralty Centre, Queensway Plaza and the United Centre.
Queensway Plaza (Tel: 2529 6203) is the main shopping mall in Admiralty with lots of local retail outlets and boutiques.
South of the Admiralty MTR Station is Hong Kong Park, site of the former Victoria Barracks. The 8 ha park opened in 1991 and its grounds preserve a number of garrison buildings built between 1842 and 1910 are home to the Edward Youde Aviary, a Conservatory and Flagstaff House.
Flagstaff House (Tel: 2869 0690) was the former residence of the commander of British forces in Hong Kong and is the oldest colonial building still standing on its original site. The building now houses the excellent Museum of Tea Ware, a branch of the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The museum displays fine Chinese porcelain tea ware including bowls, cups and teapots. The Museum of Tea Ware is free, closed on Tuesdays. The adjacent KS Lo Gallery displays Chinese pottery and stone seals from the collection of Vitasoy magnate KS Lo.
Named after a former governor of Hong Kong, the Edward Youde Aviary (Tel: 2521 5041) opened in 1992 and contains around 800 birds from 100 species in beautiful, natural surroundings. Another former military building, the Cassels Block now hosts the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre (Tel: 2521 3008) with displays of local prints, ceramics and other art works.
The former Supreme Court now the High Court of Hong Kong (Tel: 2869 0869) is just east of Flagstaff Place and deals with both criminal and civil cases. Further along Queensway on the tram line is Pacific Place (Tel: 2844 8900) a high-end shopping mall with a number of good restaurants, a cinema and the Conrad Hong Kong, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, and the JW Marriott Hong Kong hotels.
The 186m tall Lippo Centre designed by American architect Paul Rudolph lies opposite the High Court and is a distinctive Hong Kong skyscraper, with debate surrounding whether the building recalls a koala clinging to a eucalyptus tree. Just past Harcourt Garden and the Police Headquarters is the western edge of Wan Chai.
Image of Admiralty high rise by Wing