Praya was a term used in Colonial Hong Kong to refer to a promenade by the waterfront. The name comes from the Portuguese term for broad stone-faced road that run parallel along the harbour in front of the city. [ The Praya, Hong Kong] Illustrations of China and Its People, John Thomson 1837-1921, (London,1873-1874)] HSBC and Dent & Co. were just some of the major companies lined up in the area.


British occupation Hong Kong Island on 26 January 1841, and the colonial government held its first land sale on 14 June of that year. Purchasers were mostly the British, Indian and Parsee traders such as Dent, Jardines, Lindsay, etc. These traders were mainly import and export merchants and required land with frontage along Victoria Harbour. [ "A Historical and Architectural Appraisal of Queen’s Pier, Central (Annexe B3)] , Antiquities and Monuments Office, Government of Hong Kong SAR, accessdate=2007-12-15]

Queen's Road, to the south, was the first road opened. The land lots acquired were subsequently much expanded and reclaimed from the sea without paying rent to the government. The first land reclamations after 1841 were private ones without any planning at all, making the shoreline very irregular.

A number of reclamation schemes took place around the time that John Bowring served as the Hong Kong Governor. Hence many of the major Praya areas were named after him. The long names are usually "Bowring Praya East", "Bowring Praya Central" for example.

Major areas

Praya West

The Praya Reclamation Scheme began in 1868 in this area. It was completed in 1873, adding significant land to Praya West and Central.Bard, Solomon. [2002] (2002). Voices from the Past: Hong Kong 1842-1918. HK University press. ISBN 9622095747] Praya west is now Des Voeux Road West.

Praya Central

Praya central is now Des Voeux Road Central.

Praya East

The Praya East area went through a series of land reclamation projects. The earliest series was known as Praya East Reclamation Scheme. The filled in area is known as today's Johnston Road and Hennessy Road in Wan Chai.Wordie, Jason. [2002] (2002) Streets: Exploring Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 962-2095631] The Hong Kong Tramways first opened its service in 1904 in Praya East.

Roads and areas

*Aberdeen Praya Road
* Cheung Chau Praya
*Kennedy Town Praya
*New Praya, Kennedy Town


ee also

* Victoria City

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