Like many old china hands, the Old China Hand has significant connections with the fading world of Suzie Wong, of which only a few glimmers remain in a number of bars in Wanchai. Richard Mason, the author of the World of Suzie Wong, wrote many stories about this enigmatic heroine, the best is that she is alive, toothless & waiting for you in the streets of Wanchai. Suzy would be hitting 70 now but as many Old China Hand’s will attest, that is when life begins.

The premises which are now occupied by the Old China Hand, were the centre of operations for the renowned Lily Bar during the heady days of the United States forces almighty dollar. ‘Lily’, who inspired the bars name, is alleged to be the young (as she was then) lady whose restored portrait, found in the debris of the demolished interior in 1977, hangs on the side wall of the Old China Hand.

Also found in the debris are two Chinese Guards engaged in their customary task of protecting the tavern from evil spirits, these are set into the entrance directly outside the Old China Hand.

In its day, the Old China Hand was even reputed to have hosted James Bond in his filming here in Hong Kong.

But time marches on and Wan Chai has become more of an extension to the Central business district, but still remains a playgound for some.

The tavern has been written of in local press which can be seen around the walls, regularly appeared in the ‘Top Ten Bars’ in Hong Kong. London writer, Ronald Atkin of the ‘Observer’ in his book, ‘Great Bars of the World’, mentioned the Old China Hand as one of only four Hong Kong Pubs eligible for the inclusion.

The management are proud to have been able to give the Old China Hand a pat on the back after 34 years of hard slog. For the year 2012, the Old China Hand has been given a bit of TLC and is now in full force catering to the needs of countless drinkers and serious British fodder dwellers.

In recognition for its hard work we have made the first step towards modernisation. Hence oldchinahand.com.hk, check this site out, along with our Facebook page which are updated regularly and you’ll find out what antics the locals are up to.

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