Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Les Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine - Jean-Paul Belmondo (1965) - Mongkok Ferry Pier, Mongkok

Until I saw this film and started investigating this location, I had no idea that there was a ferry pier in Mongkok. I knew about the old vehicular ferry pier at the end of Jordan Road but this one was a new discovery for me. You see, I also widen my knowledge about HK thanks to these films.

Anyway, after chasing the runaway king size around the southern parts of HK island for the best part of a few minutes, it finally comes to rest in front of a ferry pier. The pier is actually disguised and has a sign on the front saying (in English) "Ferry to Sey Chang".

Of course "Sey Chang" is a made up place name and the location used for it will be looked at in the next post, but anyone who reads Chinese will be able to see that the real sign above says it is the Hong Kong Island ferry service (the Chinese reads R->L): 來往香港.

Looking at an old map, I can see that the Mongkok Ferry Pier was situated at the very end of Shantung Street. So when the bed arrives, it is Shantung Street that the camera is looking up. You can compare it with the modern Streetview image at the bottom. Sadly

Shantung Street 1965
Shantung Street now

The reclamation of the harbour on the west side of the Kowloon peninsula is vast in scale and Ferry Street marks the previous demarcation between the water and dry land. There's now an additional 600 metres of land between the spot we see above and the current coastline. The reclamation actually occurred in the 1990's, but the Mongkok pier had already been removed by 1972 when it was replaced by the pier at Tai Kok Tsui. Both pier locations succumbed to the 1990's reclamation.

Luckily for us we get some good views from this film and it appears a couple of times as the protagonists head to and return from the fictitious island of Sey Chang. The shots below show part of the return journey.

The building under construction at the back is the previously mentioned Yuen Fat Building which opened properly in 1965. Other than the Yuen Fat Building and a building at 9-11 Shantung Street, every building seen in these screen shots has since been demolished and replaced. I'll leave you with a fairly good comparison with Streetview so you can see how much has really changed. You can just see the Yuen Fat Building poking out in the Streetview picture, it's the blue building at the end of the yellow line.

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