Sandwiched between Causeway Bay and Tin Hau, the small neighborhood of Tai Hang is undergoing a modern renaissance, of sorts. The South China Morning Post published an article on July 27 titled, "Tai Hang emerging as the next SoHo," which stated Tai Hang is now "in the throes of a face lift that looks set to turn it into a dining and nightlife area to rival Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo in Central and Star Street in Wan Chai."
Does Hong Kong really need another SoHo or LKF? I've lived in Tai Hang going on four months after moving out of my Caine Road SoHo apartment from hell, and I couldn't be happier with the great atmosphere in the relaxed yet active area. Change is inevitable, but drastic change isn't always a good thing, especially if Tai Hang ends up like SoHo or LKF in 10 years.
The central, lower-level neighborhood of Tai Hang as it is right now is growing and changing, with at least five new restaurants opening in the time I've lived there, and three more under construction. The portion of Tai Hang along Tai Hang Road is mostly made of up affluent residences snaking up onto the hillside, a stark contrast from the Tai Hang of the 1980s.
For now, walking around the streets lined with mechanics, restaurants, salons and mom-and-pop stores, you get to witness a vibrant and colorful daily life easily enjoyed by both locals and newcomers. With the moneyed hillside residences overlooking the small neighborhood and property values rising along with interest in the area, how
long will scenes like the ones below last?
Here's Tai Hang daily life as seen today, spread out over the course of a few days of the week from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Friday, 6:04 a.m
Around 90 Tung Loh Wan Road near Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang. The neighborhood hasn't quite woken up yet, and the scene is especially quiet sans cars. Tai Hang usually starts kicking at about 8 a.m.
Friday, 6:09 a.m
Near 18 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang: A fruit vendor stocks up for the day.
Saturday, 2:20 p.m
Wun Sha Street near 7/11: A few of the older local residents take it easy in the afternoon heat.
Saturday, 2:24 p.m
In an alley between Wun Sha Street and Ormsby Street a woman washes outside a restaurant. Quite a few restaurants in Tai Hang carry their operations into the streets.
Saturday, 2:25 p.m
On the corner of Ormsby Street and Sun Chun Street a man takes a break in one of the mechanic shops.
Saturday, 2:27 p.m
Autoshops and detailers are prevalent in Tai Hang. Here a man works on detailing a Taxi towards the end of Sun Chun Street.
Saturday, 2:28 p.m
A construction worker takes a break from working on a new luxury residence on Warren Street. A short walk around Tai Hang reveals numerous construction projects.
Saturday, 2:31 p.m
Inside the parlor of one home on Sun Chun Street, these women play a friendly game of mahjong. Walking the streets you can see various games going on inside mechanic shops and homes.
Saturday, 2:34 p.m
A man rummages through tubes and all manner of pipe searching for something on Warren Street near School Street.
Wednesday, 8:08 p.m
Street dining is still possible and popular in Tai Hang, as can be seen around dinner time on Wun Sha Street.
Wednesday, 8:18 p.m
Tai Hang is a neighborhood of routines. We spotted this man in the exact same spot two nights in a row on School Street.
Wednesday, 8:27 p.m
A famous, local mom-and-pop shop on the corner of Ormsby Street and Sun Chun Street, complete with mom watering the plants and pop closing down the store for the night.
Wednesday, 9:14 p.m
Two men socialize and relax on School Street. When it gets hot out, socializing moves outdoors into streets still relatively quite after rush hour.
Thursday, 8:59 p.m
On the corner of King Street and Brown Street, this famous local congee restaurant and its family and customers mix together in a comfortable home-style kitchen atmosphere. Long time family-owned businesses still subsist on charging inexpensive prices for meals.
Thursday, 9:02 p.m
On the corner of Brown Street and Sun Chun Street, this makeshift eatery opens only every couple of days and plays host to some tasty outdoor dining.
Saturday, 11:30 p.m
While some carry on at Cafe on the Corner (open until 2 a.m.) or the new Buddy Bar, others have obviously finished for the night.