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. 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.
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.
The Praya Reclamation Scheme
began in 1868 in this area. It was completed in 1873, adding significant land to Praya West and Central. Praya west is now Des Voeux Road West
Praya central is now Des Voeux Road Central
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
. The Hong Kong Tramways
first opened its service in 1904 in Praya East.
Roads and areas