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Stanley - Into the Bandits' Den.

A day trip to Stanley.

sunny

Today I realized hiking is definitely off until next autumn, if we are still here, but sightseeing is back on. In the last week our heat has shot up. Today I was drenched in sweat just getting from my home to the bus stop - about a two minute walk. It was 32 degrees and that was at 8am. Despite the heat, it was a beautiful cloudless day, so I took a couple of photos even at Sunny Bay just to capture the blue skies.

Sunny Bay.

Sunny Bay.

Sunny Bay.

Sunny Bay.

I was heading to Stanley. To get there I took the 6X express bus from Exchange Square Bus Station in Central. This bus goes through the Aberdeen Tunnel rather than over the top of Hong Kong Island as the number 6 bus does. It's still a beautiful journey though, as it follows the coastline of southern Hong Kong Island. I took a couple of shots from the bus window as we passed through Deep Water Bay. Going here is on my to do again list.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay.

Stanley takes its English name from Lord Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, the 14th Earl of Derby. He was British Colonial Secretary when Hong Kong was ceded to the United Kingdom. He then later went on to be the Prime Minister of Britain. In Chinese, Stanley is known as Chak Chue which could mean Bandit's Post, as it is believed that notorious Chinese bandit, Cheung Po Tsai, once had a secret hideaway cave here. However, in Hakka dialect, Chak Chue means red column or red pillar, and many people think this was the original name of the area and that it was called this due to the abundance of cotton trees here with their wonderful, huge, bright red flowers.

When I arrived in Stanley, I got off at the main bus station. I probably should have stayed on until St. Stephen's, as I was heading there, too, but I had forgotten the bus went there. It's been a long time since I was last in Stanley. I immediately headed down towards the waterfront. I realized I had made it on time to catch the boat to Po Toi, the South Pole of Hong Kong, but I didn't board it as this had not been my plan - another one for the future. Currently it would be more appealing if it had South Pole type temperatures. The heat will be unbearable here for months.

The Kaito to Po Toi leaving from Blake Pier.

The Kaito to Po Toi leaving from Blake Pier.

The first sight I headed towards was Murray House. This began life as Murray Barracks in 1844 and was originally located in Admiralty between Garden Road and Cotton Tree Drive. These barracks were named after George Murray, the Master-General of the Ordnance, also known as the MGO. I had absolutely no idea what an MGO was so I looked it up. Apparently it was a very senior British army officer who was responsible for artillery, engineers, fortifications, military supplies, transport and field hospitals. The Murray Barracks were dismantled stone by stone and put into storage in the early 1980's. Then in 1985 the Bank of China was built on the site they had once occupied. The Murray Barracks were later renamed Murray House and were rebuilt in Stanley in the mid 1980's. They once housed Hong Kong Maritime Museum, but when that relocated to Central, they became home to shops and restaurants. They have beautiful balconies, tiled floors and ceiling fans.

Looking towards Murray House.

Looking towards Murray House.

Looking Towards Murray House.

Looking Towards Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

Inside Murray House.

Inside Murray House.

Inside Murray House.

Inside Murray House.

Lobster display at restaurant in Murray House.

Lobster display at restaurant in Murray House.

Murray House.

Murray House.

View from Murray House.

View from Murray House.

View from Murray House.

View from Murray House.

View from Murray House.

View from Murray House.

Right in front of Murray House is another relocated building - Blake Pier. This was also once located in Central, but when it was due to be torn down due to land reclamation, it was relocated. At first this pier was at the end of Peddar Street and was known as Peddar's Wharf. Later this pier was renamed Blake Pier in honour of Sir Henry Arthur Blake, the twelfth governor of Hong Kong. It was used as the landing site for new governors and visiting British royal dignitaries. There are some old photos showing the arrival of Governor Lugard and the arrival of The Prince of Wales. This pier is now the boarding place for the Kaito to Po Toi Island.

Blake Pier.

Blake Pier.

Photo showing arrival of Prince of Wales.

Photo showing arrival of Prince of Wales.

The arrival of Governor Lugard.

The arrival of Governor Lugard.

Also in this area is Stanley Plaza. This is a large open square and a covered shopping centre with many shops and restaurants. In this area there are also two temples. One is the Hung Shing Temple and the other is the Tin Hau Temple.

Stanley Plaza.

Stanley Plaza.

Stanley Plaza.

Stanley Plaza.

The Hung Shing Temple is quite small. It is dedicated to Hung Shing who is also known as Tai Wong. He was a righteous government official during the Tang Dynasty, who promoted the study of astronomy, geography and mathematics. Unfortunately, he died young and was later deified. He is especially loved by fishermen. There are forty-two temples dedicated to him in Hong Kong.

Hung Shing Temple.

Hung Shing Temple.

Hung Shing Temple.

Hung Shing Temple.

Inside The Hung Shing Temple.

Inside The Hung Shing Temple.

Not far away is the much larger Tin Hau Temple dedicated to the goddess of the sea. This temple originates from 1767, but has been renovated and modernised several times. According to legend this is the oldest of Hong Kong's Tin Hau Temples and was built by pirate, Cheung Po Tsai. Apparently there are more than seventy Tin Hau temples here.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

After looking at the temples, I visited Ma Hang Park which is behind Murray House. Ma Hang Park has a hilltop lookout point, an incredibly beautiful temple, scenic coastal walks and access to a pleasant sandy beach. The temple is the Pak Tai Temple. It is home to an ancient and mysterious god, Pak Tai, the supreme emperor of the dark heavens. He originated in northern China, but is nowadays more popular in southern China. I loved this temple because of the brightly coloured paintings on the outside of it and the cave like atmosphere inside it. Down the steps towards the sea from the temple leads to a deep well, which was once thought to have magical properties.

Ma Hang Park.

Ma Hang Park.

Hilltop, Ma Hang Park.

Hilltop, Ma Hang Park.

View of Blake Pier from Park.

View of Blake Pier from Park.

View from Park.

View from Park.

View from Ma Hang Park.

View from Ma Hang Park.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple Painting.

Pak Tai Temple Painting.

Cavelike interior, Pak Tai Temple.

Cavelike interior, Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Well, Pak Tai Temple.

Well, Pak Tai Temple.

Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Beach Ma Hang Park.

Beach Ma Hang Park.

Flowers on Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Flowers on Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Boat on Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Boat on Beach, Ma Hang Park.

Walkways, Ma Hang Park.

Walkways, Ma Hang Park.

After wandering through the park, I strolled along the waterfront. This has beautiful sea views on one side and lots of bars and restaurants on the other. It is a very relaxing and pleasant place for a meal or a drink. There is another small temple located here. This one was built by local fishermen and is dedicated to a water deity, Shui Sin.

Dragon Boats.

Dragon Boats.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Flowers on Waterfront.

Flowers on Waterfront.

The Pickled Pelican British Pub.

The Pickled Pelican British Pub.

Waterfront Restaurants.

Waterfront Restaurants.

View from Waterfront.

View from Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Shui Sin Temple on Waterfront.

Flowers by the small temple.

Flowers by the small temple.

Then I left the waterfront and had a quick walk through Stanley's market. This market sells a wide variety of goods including clothes, accessories, food, but it also has lots of tourist souvenir type things like pictures of your name written in Chinese, silk clothing, paper cuts and other goods.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market Art.

Market Art.

Art in the Market.

Art in the Market.

Market Art.

Market Art.

After the market I walked along the coast to St Stephen's. I wanted to visit here for two reasons. One - because years ago, when we lived in Sha Tin, we used to come to Stanley frequently to swim at St Stephen's Beach. It is a very beautiful and peaceful place.

Along Coast.

Along Coast.

Coastal Walk.

Coastal Walk.

Coastal Walk.

Coastal Walk.

Coastal Walk.

Coastal Walk.

St Stephen's Beach.

St Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

St. Stephen's Beach.

The second reason was, because I have recently been visiting a lot of places connected with Hong Kong during World War II. St Stephen's is home to a military cemetery. It was also the site of a dreadful massacre which took place in St Stephen's College on Christmas Day, 1941. At that time the college was being used as a makeshift emergency hospital. When bands of drunken Japanese soldiers approached the hospital, the doctor in charge, Colonel G.D.R. Black, approached them wearing his white doctor's coat with red cross emblems on his sleeves and waving a white flag. He wanted to inform them that the building was a hospital filled with seriously injured people. The Japanese bayonetted him to death, before killing his second in command, another doctor, Captain P.N. Whitney, who had tried to help the first doctor. The hospital nurses were then rounded up, gang-raped and murdered. Only one managed to survive the ordeal, a Miss Elizabeth A. Fidoe. After the war she gave evidence against the Japanese soldiers involved. The hospital's patients were also massacred in their sick beds. In the cemetery there is a simple grave with the names of the doctors and nurses killed in the massacre. The names of the murdered patients are not all known so it refers to the Chinese, British, Canadians and Indians who died on that terrible day.

Cross in Cemetery.

Cross in Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Old Photo in Cemetery.

Old Photo in Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

Cemetery.

In Memory of Those Massacred in St Stephen's College.

In Memory of Those Massacred in St Stephen's College.

Cemetery with a view.

Cemetery with a view.

After looking at the cemetery I wandered back into Stanley passing a spectacular flame tree on route. It really brightened the place up and its fiery flowers looked spectacular against the blue skies.

Flame Trees.

Flame Trees.

Flame Trees.

Flame Trees.

In Stanley I visited the former police station. This is a lovely old colonial building which dates from 1859. During the war this became the Japanese headquarters in Stanley. After the war it was used as a police station again until 1974. Nowadays this building is used as a supermarket. There is a new police station on the other side of the road.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

Old Police Station. Now a Park 'n' Shop.

New Stanley Police Station.

New Stanley Police Station.

Finally, I took a look at Stanley Main Beach. This is also beautiful, but usually busier than the beach at St Stephen's. This beach is famous as a dragon boat racing location each year. One year we were invited onto one of the boats here to watch the races.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

House behind Stanley Main Beach.

House behind Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Stanley Main Beach.

Posted by irenevt 10:05 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Smashing pictures. -- Surely you wern't there for that Prince of Wales visit. HAha. -- In York once a year there is a dragon boat race on the river Ouse Stay safe . Alec.

by alectrevor

Hi Alec,

I've certainly been here a long time, but not quite that long.

Dragon boat races seem to be popular everywhere. I've never taken part in one, but they are fun to watch.

Thank you for visiting.

Irene

by irenevt

Beautiful walk, but wow thats hot! I would be sitting in the shade somewhere in those degrees :)

I have always founded that kind of "naming system" (Hung Shing, also knowns as Tai Wong or John Doe, Duke of Humbug) very confusing :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna,

I know what you mean. I look up information about Chinese temples, gods etc, as I don't know much about them. Due to different dialects, I find the gods, goddesses, heroes of stories and so on always have several versions of their name. I usually get confused and I often check my facts with a close Chinese friend. Trouble is he usually doesn't know for sure either. Haha. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

Thanks for sharing another interesting place I. Hong Kong. Another place I was supposed to go and can’t. To be fair the first trip to Hong Kong I had to cancel because of getting sick overnight and couldn’t made the flight, that was in 2019 and was hoping we could finally met I. Person and have a drink, the. Boom, covid !!
You are too hot to walk and here in England it’s cold , like winter cold when it is actually May. Still we get around and enjoy it.
Keep us informed if you stay or not.

by MAd4travel

We don't really know for sure whether we will stay one more academic year or leave. We are finding it very difficult to plan anything these days. If you do make it to Hong Kong, I'd recommend autumn, definitely not summer.

by irenevt

Again some lovely pictures here! Thank you for taking us there!

by Jojes

Stanley and its surrounding area is one of the nicest places in Hong Kong, I think. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

You must know more about Hong Kong than most of the natives. Every day seems to be a new adventure.

We're finally getting the heat here too. It's been 105 to 109 for the last few days. We get out and walk very early and Ed has given up afternoon gardening. Our apricots are ripe so we do brave the heat to pick them. They're almost cooked apricots at this point . . .

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally,

I wish every day was a new adventure. Most days I get up at 5.50am and go to work, not exciting at all. About once a week I go out and look at something. In the summer holiday I'll look at things more, but not every day. It'll be too hot and lots of stuff needs doing at home.

All the best.

by irenevt

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