Sustainable Future, Hong Kong Tales
Ray YIU Tze Sin: Tranquility in Southern District

Web editor, 25 years old

Lived in Ap Lei Chau for 25 years

“I have been living under the same roof in Ap Lei Chau for 25 years.  I also received primary and secondary education in Aberdeen.  Unlike other districts in Hong Kong, the Southern District is particularly peaceful.  We don’t have big shopping malls but you can get the groceries you need.  Nature is well within reach.  We go to Aberdeen Country Park for hiking and barbeques, and visit Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay for their great beaches.

I’m particularly fond of Aberdeen’s Old Main Street.  The old street epitomizes the whole district.  It is a narrow, single-lane road full of stationary stores, food outlets, snack shops, glass shops and other small businesses serving our daily needs.  Pedestrians are often forced on the road during peak hours.  My secondary school was close to Old Main Street, so we used to go for snacks after school.  There was a Ramen store over the corner where we used to visit. My favourite was Tse Kee, a store that sold fish ball and fish slice.  It was where my parents took us to during weekends.  If there was a queue on Old Main Street, we knew people were lining up for Tse Kee. 

Aberdeen is the heart of the Southern District.  Ever though they are connected by bus, I prefer taking the half-hour walk from Ap Lei Chau to Aberdeen.  The Ap Lei Chau Bridge offers a view of Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau Main Street. If you look far enough, you could also see the Hing Wai Industrial Building in Tin Wan, Wah Kwai Estate, fishing boats and yachts on the Aberdeen Harbour.  I’m never alone on the bridge.  People jog or walk their dogs; and after sunset, people carry their cameras and tripods for a great snapshot.  On the other side of the bridge, I can see Jumbo Kingdom, Sham Wan and even the Ocean Park.  However, the suspended tracks built by the MTR South Island Line have obstructed our view. 

The South Island Line is the biggest intrusion we’ve seen.  High-end residential towers and serviced apartments have mushroomed along the MTR stations in Sham Wan and Ap Lei Chau Main Street.  However, they feel so out of place in the simple and humble Ap Lei Chau.  For instance, the small Lei Tung Commercial Centre has been remodel and upgraded. Stringent rules ensure that all stalls conduct business within assigned grids.  There used to be a zebra crossing neatly arranged between the Lei Tung shopping centre and bus stop.  Both the bus stop and zebra crossing have moved around ever since the MTR constructions began.  I am afraid that I will soon forget what Lei Tung Commercial Centre looked like in my childhood.”         

Issue: #027 - 25 July 2016
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