Sunday, 8 June 2014

Hong Kong Spinning Its Wheels

Interested in checking out Hong Kong on this observation wheel?
Whether we like it or not, Hong Kong is getting its version of the London Eye that will apparently will be up and running by September. That's what Swiss AEX director Leon Snep said te other day.

The observation wheel will be located where the the Central ferry piers 9 and 10 are and it will be a 60-metre high wheel, less than half the size of the 135m London Eye.

Local residents are already griping about this project that is paying HK$825,000 per month in rent and has yet to materialize, though Snep promises all the parts are now in Hong Kong.

The company also has a three-year lease on the land and the first year is already up. Why nothing has happened is because Snep claims he had to get all the relevant permits and tests on the soil first.

In any event locals are wondering why the Hong Kong government is keen on having a wheel that's not very tall -- there are skyscrapers in the city taller than this wheel -- and a better view of the city from The Peak (when it's clear).

Another gripe is why are we catering to tourists? Why not create an inviting environment by the harbour to encourage people to come and appreciate the area? With this wheel coming up, it will be flooded with visitors so why would locals want to go there?

We don't blame Swiss AEX but the government for assuming this would be a good way to stimulate the local economy and keep visitors coming back for more -- not.


  1. If memory serves me right, a few years before the Tamar site was occupied by the government offices, there was a temporary ferris wheel there. Have to say that, as a visitor, I wasn't interested in checking it out -- preferring to get views from, as you say, The Peak instead.

    I've enjoyed rides on ferris wheels in Paris (there was a temporary fair near the Louvre when I visited) and Osaka (the ferris wheel near its aquarium is huge!). But ya, I probably am going to give this one next to Victoria Harbour a miss -- the one at Ocean Park suffices for me!

    1. HI YTSL -- Hmmm interesting if you are right about the temporary ferris wheel! I've been on the Singapore Flyer and as a visitor it's interesting, but that's because there aren't many buildings that are very tall. However I hear the Singapore Flyer went into receivership a year ago!

  2. "there are skyscrapers in the city taller than this wheel" -- that's not exactly saying much. Every single ferris wheel in the world is shorter than at least 164 extant Hong Kong buildings, according to Emporis.

    Funny thing about ferris wheels: they're round. If you wanted to make a ferris wheel taller than any of HK's skyscrapers, not only would it be almost three times the height of the tallest ferris wheel ever made, it would stretch from the middle of Jardine House to the middle of Central Barracks. It would need one of the largest -- and quite possibly the very largest -- single lots of land on the whole of Hong Kong island.

    Personally, I think this is a pretty cool idea, and I'd love to go on it. About the only thing I think they've missed is that they've put it on the wrong side of the harbour -- a Tsim Sha Tsui location looking *towards* the island would have a much greater impact. (And if you stuck it in front of the hideous, windowless ski jump, nobody would even complain about the lost view.) It might even help draw more people to the TST waterfront, and give the Star Ferry a much-needed boost.

    But be that as it may, I'm sure I'll still give it a try in its chosen site.

    1. Hi Anonymous -- Thanks for your comment! Yes you're right about it not being on the Kowloon side... not enough space by the Star Ferry! And yes I lament not using it more after it moved locations... it's a drag walking over in Central...

  3. another white elephant like the Macau bridge and West Kowloon Art Area.

    I won't pay for the wheel in HK, given tall buildings within the area...