Considering where to live in Hong Kong? It’s always good to talk to the neighbours! In our regular Street Talk feature, we get the inside scoop from residents of different areas. Here, we chat to interior designer and property renovator Jo Gray about what it’s like living in Wan Chai neighbourhood.
NAME: Jo Gray
OCCUPATION: Interior designer and property renovator
What street do you live on?
Wood Road, Wan Chai.
Closest MTR station?
How long have you lived here? Why?
Two and a half years. It’s a quiet street on the edge of the urban jungle.
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is:
The closest store to your front door is:
Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind fewer:
The unofficial uniform of your street is:
From Ralph Lauren to working girls and everything in between.
If a celebrity moves in next door, it will most likely be:
I don’t think any celebrity would be associated with Wan Chai…
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you:
Walk out of the door and soak up the real Hong Kong.
If you’re missing home, you:
Go to The Pawn and eat a bacon sarnie with brown sauce.
A mandatory stop for taking out-of-town guests is:
The Wooloomooloo rooftop bar.
You’d swap houses in a second with:
Someone with a big garden.
A common myth about your neighbourhood is:
That it’s all about the girly bars on Lockhart Road. There’s so much more to Wanchai!
If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to:
The bloody sirens of the ambulance or fire engines out of the station near our place.
A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to involve:
No idea; we’re 52 floors up so we don’t hear them!
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are:
Thai Farmer, The Pawn, Coffee Academics, OVO Café, 22 Ships, Life Café, Le Creperie, Wooloomooloo.
You won’t find better local food than at:
Fook Lam Moon or American Peking. (Can you tell I’m not a huge fan of Chinese food?)
The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is:
A poodle doing a poo while wearing trainers.
The best bargains in your neighbourhood are:
Wan Chai Market or the factory outlet stores dotted all around.
The guiltiest pleasure in your area is:
One thing you’d never change is:
The blend of all things Hong Kong in one small place.
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is:
Skinny pavements with a million people on them.
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to:
Take care of the old rubbish collectors and allow them to retire. Invest in recycling infrastructure.
Why should your neighbourhood be featured in a guidebook?
It’s a gritty urban district of Hong Kong with an interesting past that has so much to offer for all people from all walks of life.
Do you love your neighbourhood?
Share it with others – just email us at email@example.com with “Street Talk” in the subject line. Include your name and street, and we’ll be in touch.
Like this? See more in our Living in Hong Kong section