There is a famous saying “You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you”. Truly Hong Kong is one of the world’s most iconic cities and a hub of shopping and sightseeing. There is a gem in heart of Hong Kong, Golden Bauhinia Square, located on the side of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, facing the sea of Wan Chai. It has been a historic landmark and symbol of Hong Kong. This site is hugely popular with Chinese visitors who come to take photos of the Reunification Monument and to enjoy the pomp and symbolism of the daily flag raising ceremony.
Golden Bauhinia Square was a gift from the Central Government to mark the 1997 Handover, an occasion that held tremendous significance for the world’s largest nation and stands out as a landmark event in the 20th century history.
How to Get Here?
Golden Bauhinia Square is very popular landmark, so it is quite easy to find. It is only a 15 minute walk from the Wan Chai MT Station. You can walk across the footbridge and continue walking to Central Plaza and pass through the overhead walkway.
The Daily Flag Ceremony
The Square memorializes the handover of Hong Kong from the British to China and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on July 1, 1997. The daily ceremony begins at 7:50 am and goes for about 15 minutes, conducted by Hong Kong Police Officers. On the first day of every month, there is an enhanced ceremony where the police officers and the rifle unit perform the flag raising after the Police Bank plays the national anthem. Just when the Hong Kong and China Flags are raised and the police leave, the Police Pipe and Band enters and performs around the Square for about ten minutes.
The rifle unit wears their ceremonial attire. The police band also leads the national anthem and closes the ceremony with a musical performance. You will have to rise up early and get there by 7:30 am to watch the full ceremony.
The Symphony of Lights
Symphony of Lights is the nightly multimedia show, which involves more than 40 buildings on both sides of the Harbour. It is named as the “World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show” by Guinness World Records. You will see some colored lights, laser beams and searchlights perform in an unforgettable all round spectacles synchronized to music and narration that celebrates the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong.
The light show is based on five basic themes like Awakening, Energy, Heritage, Partnership and Celebration. You can watch this show at every Monday, Wednesday and Friday night and even listen on radio every night on 103.4 FM in Hong Kong.
Standing just near the Hong Kong Convention Centre, this statue symbolizes a Hong Kong Bauhinia flower. The Square is named after this 6 m tall statue. The Golden Bauhinia statue was a gift from China to the city island back in 1997 when Hong Kong was returned back to the mainland by the British.
On the corner of the square, there stands a 20 meter high Reunification Monument. It was built by the 206 stone plates. Each stone plate represents a year between 1842 and 2047, of which six round stone plate light colored was made of granite stone representing 1842, 1860, 1898, 1982, 1984 and 1990.
You can see some breathtaking view of Victoria Harbour and admire such iconic buildings as the Bank of China from Golden Bauhinia Square. Victoria Harbour is a popular gathering place for tourists as well as for locals, especially for The Clock Tower, A Symphony of Lights, the Avenue of Stars and Hong Kong Space Museum. If you are interested to spend some more time on the water, you can consider enjoying a Harbour Tour on the Victoria Harbour. The Harbour is also used for recreations like swimming and water polo.
Both sides of Victoria Harbour have interesting tourist attractions. You can enjoy the sea breeze and tour the attractions around the Harbour including great museum, free public parks, zoos and amusement areas. It is a strategic location and was and important part of the British Empire. Now it plays an important part in China’s foreign trade and for Hong Kong’s tourism.
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Adjacent to the Bauhinia Square, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre here is one of Hong Kong’s most impressive and stunning pieces of architecture. It is a striking visual testament to Hong Kong’s ongoing development with its sweeping sails and vast glass windows. It has been an ideal venue for exhibitions, trade shows and international conventions from years. It hosts more than 45 different trade shows and fairs and remains busy the whole year around.
The fans of Jackie Chan may remember the building as the setting for the dramatic grand finale of New Police Story. Internationally, the HKCEC is known as a world class convention and exhibition centre and was voted the best Convention and Exhibition Centre in Asia for the ninth time by Industry Awards in 2012.
There are many other attractions around the square like Ocean Park, Space Museum, Wong Tai Sin and more. If you are in Hong Kong then the Golden Bauhinia Square is a must on your ‘places to visit’ list.