Golden Bauhinia Square
The Golden Bauhinia Square is a spot on the waterfront of the Victoria Harbour in the Wan Chai district. It consists of an open area with a large statue of a blooming golden bauhinia blakeana and flag posts holding the Hong Kong flag and China’s flag. It’s also known as the Expo Promenade.
This golden bauhinia statue was built to symbolize the handing over of Hong Kong from British rule back to China. This happened on July 1st 1997, after over 150 years of British rule.
Behind the Golden Bauhinia Square lies the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre. This unique building can easily be picked out from far away since its architectural design looks like a bird (some say it looks like a turtle). The handover of Hong Kong back to China occurred inside the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre on July 1st 1997.
The bauhinia flower is a very symbolic part of Hong Kong. A specific genus of this flower, called the bauhinia blakeana, was discovered in Hong Kong in 1880. Since then it has become a very popular flower that has been planted all over Hong Kong. It’s sometimes referred to as the Hong Kong Orchid. If you take a look at the Hong Kong flag, you’ll notice that the flower in the middle of the flag is a bauhinia flower. This same flower is also displayed on the back of all of the Hong Kong coins made since 1997. The bauhinia flower is a symbol of harmony to the Chinese.
If you get to the Golden Bauhinia Square early enough in the morning, you can witness the flag raising ceremony. This flag raising ceremony is performed daily by Hong Kong police officers at 7:50 am and lasts for about 10-15 minutes. The Hong Kong national anthem is played during the ceremony. Also, on the 2nd Sunday of every month a selected youth group will perform the flag raising ceremony.
If you have a chance to see the flag raising ceremony on the 1st day of any month, I’d recommend going on that day. An enhanced flag raising ceremony occurs on the 1st day of every month. This ceremony is performed by the Hong Kong Police officers and a rifle unit dressed in ceremonial attire. The Hong Kong national anthem is played by the Police band. After the national anthem is played, a short performance by the Police Pipe Band occurs. You will have to show up a few minutes earlier since the ceremony starts at 7:45 am on this day and lasts for almost 30 minutes.
If the weather is bad that day, the flag raising ceremony may be cancelled. To make sure the ceremony is still going to happen, you can call the Police Training School for the most up to date information.
The closest MTR station to the Golden Bauhinia Square is the Wan Chai Station. It takes about 15 minutes to walk here from the MTR station, so plan ahead accordingly if you want to see the flag raising ceremony in the morning. Alternatively you can get here by the Star Ferry. From the Wan Chai Star Ferry Pier it’s just a short walk to the Expo Promenade.
Since the Golden Bauhinia Square is located in the Victoria Harbour, very beautiful views of the harbour can be seen from here. You can see a great view of A Symphony of Lights from here at night. The Wan Chai Star Ferry Pier is nearby as well.