Chai Wan was a collection of small villages before the British began developing the area. The colonial military built a fort here in 1845, and the atmosphere changed. The district’s commercial core was built on reclaimed land backed by Pottinger Peak and Mount Collinsion.
The district is on Hong Kong Island, east of the Eastern Harbour Crossing. The Island Eastern Corridor (Highway 4) follows the coast and accesses accommodation in Chai Wan. Along the coast are several parks and leisure areas including Heng Fa Chuen Playground, Siu Sai Wan Stadium and the Aldrich Bay Promenade.
The atmosphere in Chai Wan is mainly residential, with a few industrial complexes mixed in. It's not an especially busy place for tourists, though some expatriates rent apartments in the area. Real estate is cheaper in Chai Wan, and the MTR can connect to downtown Wanchai or Kowloon in around 30 minutes.
The major exception is Big Wave Bay, located to the southeast of Chai Wan. It’s a beach near Shek O Country Park and Golf Course. Tourists come for the facilities and a glimpse of the ancient rock carvings here on Cheung Chau Island.
Hotels in Chai Wan include beach resorts around sheltered bays, along with a few three- and four-star business hotels. Affordable long-stay hotels and serviced apartments are also popular.