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Des Voeux Road, Hong Kong

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 04, 2009 at 11:45:42 :: Hong Kong

Des Voeux Road? Strange name for a street in Central Hong Kong?? Here is why:

Des Voeux Road Central and Des Voeux Road West are two roads on the north shore of the Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong. They were named after the 10th Governor of Hong Kong, Sir George William Des Vœux. The name was predominantly spelt with the ligature œ in pre-war documents but is nowadays spelt officially as Des Voeux Road.

Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong, territory of the People's Republic of China


Des Voeux Road Central is shared between motor traffic and the tram line, with tracks and reserved lanes for the trams laid in the middle of the road. A bus lane runs along the road for most of its length. Part of the MTR Island Line also runs underneath the Des Voeux Road, currently terminating at Sheung Wan Station near the Western Market.

Due to the discontinuity between Des Voeux Roads Central and West, the tram line takes a detour along Connaught Road West and then continues along Des Voeux Road West towards Kennedy Town.

Sir George William Des Vœux, GCMG (Chinese Translated Name: 德輔) (22 September 1834 - 15 December 1909) was a British colonial governor who served as Governor of Fiji (1880-1885), Newfoundland (1886-1887), and Hong Kong (1887-1891).
Des Vœux was born on 22 September 1834 in Baden, Germany. He was of French descent - his ancestor Marin de Bacquencourt Des Vœux settled in Portarlington, Ireland in the early 1700s, having come from Picardy in northern France.

In 1887, Des Vœux was appointed as the tenth Governor of Hong Kong, a position he held until 1891. This would be the last post Des Vœux would hold in the Colonial Services. During his tenure, Hongkong Electric Holdings was established, providing electricity supplies for Hong Kong Island. Also, the Peak Tram began operation during this time, providing relatively affordable transportation for people living on The Peak.

Hong Kong's tram system (Hong Kong Tramways - 香港電車) is the only one in the world that runs exclusively with double-deckers


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Hong-Kong, the semi democracy

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 31, 2007 at 11:33:36 :: Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the head of government (ie: like a Prime Minister in England) is called a Chief Executive (no surprise the country is managed like a company!). He's elected. But the vote is restricted to the 800 members of the electoral college (the Election Commitee) who are drawn from assorted business, professional and social groups.

Transportation boat between Kowloon and Hong Kong island


Furthermore, the central government in Beijing, China, has the power to appoint as well as remove Hong Kong's Chief Executive.

Many people in Hong Kong, and especially in the political opposition, request universal suffrage and full democracy. No doubt that with China behind its back, The Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) will struggle to implement a new political system. (source: Time Magazine)

Hong Kong Skyline


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