A Travellerspoint blog

March 2021

The Grand Canyon of Hong Kong

Pineapple Mountain.

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Today I decided to do quite a different type of hike. Most of my recent hikes have involved woodlands, reservoirs and war remains. This one took me to a dried up, parched, desert like landscape with a rocky ravine that I would say is fairly unique for here.

To get there I first travelled to Nam Cheong on the Tung Chung Line, then transferred to the West Rail Line towards Tuen Mun. I got off just before Tuen Mun at Siu Hong Station. This is an area I have been to very rarely. I was about to travel on the LRT which stands for Light Rail Transit. This is a light rail system which serves the Tuen Mun and Yuen Long Districts.

I walked to platform 5 where I boarded train line 505 and travelled five stops to San Wai Station. When I left the train, I crossed the tracks and walked through a residential area called San Wai Court towards Leung King Court. Just after the barrier into Leung King Court, I turned left onto Castle Peak Range Road. There was quite a pretty Chinese style garden at the end of San Wai Court, where lots of people were doing their morning Tai Chi exercises.

The LRT.

The LRT.

The LRT.

The LRT.

This colourful wall served as a useful landmark.

This colourful wall served as a useful landmark.

Chinese Garden.

Chinese Garden.

Chinese Garden.

Chinese Garden.

Chinese Gardens.

Chinese Gardens.

Chinese Garden.

Chinese Garden.

Castle Peak Range Road is a steep paved road leading up to Leung Tin Au Pass. You will certainly feel the strain on your leg muscles as you climb it. Fortunately, there are several things to look at on route which helps take your mind off the pain. There were bird cages swinging from branches of trees, roadside shrines dotted here and there, beautiful flowering trees and even a man racing large remote controlled cars. On one side of the walk there had been an extensive hillside fire, possibly caused by someone leaving burning incense on one of the hillside graves there. I'm not sure when the fire happened but the smell of smoke still hung in the air. Every now and again there was a view back towards Tuen Mun. When I finally reached Leung Tin Au Pass, I took a rest on one of the many shaded seats there, enjoyed the views and drank lots of my water. The walk I was doing is not always open to the public as parts of it are on an army firing range. When firing practice is taking place, the route is sealed off. Firing practice does not take place at weekends or on public holidays so this is the best time to go.

Starting Point of the Walk.

Starting Point of the Walk.

Washing drying in the sun.

Washing drying in the sun.

Hibiscus.

Hibiscus.

Bird Cages Hung on trees.

Bird Cages Hung on trees.

Pagoda.

Pagoda.

Roadside Shrine.

Roadside Shrine.

Roadside Shrine.

Roadside Shrine.

Roadside Shrine.

Roadside Shrine.

Waving Cats.

Waving Cats.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Vegetation.

Vegetation.

Bamboo.

Bamboo.

Roadside Shrine.

Roadside Shrine.

Roadside Shrine.

Roadside Shrine.

Remote Controlled Cars.

Remote Controlled Cars.

Burnt Landscape.

Burnt Landscape.

Grave on the burnt landscape.

Grave on the burnt landscape.

Chinese Writing on a rock.

Chinese Writing on a rock.

Today's wildlife was pigeons.

Today's wildlife was pigeons.

Seed Pods.

Seed Pods.

Seed Pods.

Seed Pods.

Warning Sign about firing practice.

Warning Sign about firing practice.

Much of the trail is on a paved road.

Much of the trail is on a paved road.

Steep Climb.

Steep Climb.

Get Ready to Run.

Get Ready to Run.

At Leung Tin Au Pass.

At Leung Tin Au Pass.

View over Tuen Mun.

View over Tuen Mun.

Tuen Mun.

Tuen Mun.

Hikers and View.

Hikers and View.

Dry, Parched Landscape at Leung Tin Au Pass.

Dry, Parched Landscape at Leung Tin Au Pass.

At Leung Tin Au Pass several trails branch off the road. This is one of the starting points for the Castle Peak climb and there are good views of Castle Peak from here. Castle Peak is one of Hong Kong's three sharp peaks. The other two are Sharp Peak in Sai Kung and High Junk Peak in Clear Water Bay. These are considered some of the most challenging hikes in Hong Kong due to their loose rocks and steep inclination.

View Towards Castle Peak.

View Towards Castle Peak.

Looking back towards Castle Peak.

Looking back towards Castle Peak.

Looking back towards Castle Peak.

Looking back towards Castle Peak.

I was heading for Por Lo Shan Gorge. To get to the gorge I followed the paved road up until it became a dry sandy path. I then went downhill on this path. The landscape here is quite unusual for Hong Kong. All you can see is cracked yellow sand and areas of exposed rock. In some parts there is some tall, parched looking golden grass. The only colour in this area is the bright pink of the occasional Bouganvillia bush.

Fellow Hikers on a parched landscape.

Fellow Hikers on a parched landscape.

Bouganvillia provides a rare patch of colour.

Bouganvillia provides a rare patch of colour.

An Unusual Shrine Thing.

An Unusual Shrine Thing.

Tiny Pond.

Tiny Pond.

Bouganvillia Archway.

Bouganvillia Archway.

When I neared the gorge the paved road was replaced by a dry sandy yellow path. The closer I got to the gorge the drier and rockier the landscape became and there were several large cracks on the ground. From here there are excellent viewpoints looking across the sea towards Shenzhen in Mainland China and, if you look in the other direction, towards Castle Peak and Tuen Mun. On this part of the trail and around the gorge itself there is no shade. I ended up a bit burnt even though I had put on sun screen.

Parched Landscape.

Parched Landscape.

Parched Landscape.

Parched Landscape.

Rocky Landscape.

Rocky Landscape.

Rocky Landscape.

Rocky Landscape.

Cracked Ground.

Cracked Ground.

Soon I came to an area from which I could look down on the gorge in the distance. Por Lo Shan or Pineapple Mountain is a rugged natural gorge. Its bumpy surface reminded locals of the cracked bumpy surface of a popular local snack - the pineapple bun, hence its name.

Looking down on Pineapple Canyon.

Looking down on Pineapple Canyon.

Looking down on the gorge.

Looking down on the gorge.

Pineapple Gorge.

Pineapple Gorge.

Pineapple Gorge.

Pineapple Gorge.

Pineapple Gorge.

Pineapple Gorge.

Pineapple Gorge.

Pineapple Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Red Rocks.

Red Rocks.

Rugged Terrain.

Rugged Terrain.

Rugged Terrain.

Rugged Terrain.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Gorge.

Red Rocks.

Red Rocks.

Red Rocks.

Red Rocks.

Living on the edge.

Living on the edge.

Sharp Rocks, Pineapple Gorge.

Sharp Rocks, Pineapple Gorge.

Pineapple Gorge.

Pineapple Gorge.

Warning signs are everywhere.

Warning signs are everywhere.

I could have continued on past the gorge and downhill towards the village of Pak Nai, which has a popular beach, but I didn't. I was put off by stories of people having to wait for over an hour to catch the only minibus out of there back to Yuen Long. Instead I doubled back and returned the way I had come. On the walk back I climbed to a viewpoint for views towards Shenzhen. I once again enjoyed the views of Castle Peak and Tuen Mun. I even passed someone who was taking his tortoise, which he appeared to have painted, for a walk. Soon I was back at my landmark wall and the LRT again.

View Towards Shenzhen.

View Towards Shenzhen.

View of Shenzhen.

View of Shenzhen.

Lord of all he surveys.

Lord of all he surveys.

View Over Gorge and Shenzhen.

View Over Gorge and Shenzhen.

A splash of colour.

A splash of colour.

Golden Grass.

Golden Grass.

Parched Landscape.

Parched Landscape.

View of Castle Peak.

View of Castle Peak.

Taking a Tortoise for a walk.

Taking a Tortoise for a walk.

Painted Tortoise.

Painted Tortoise.

That Wall Again.

That Wall Again.

Back at the LRT.

Back at the LRT.

I didn't go straight home. Instead I got off the LRT at Ching Chung Station as I had heard there was a beautiful temple there. I thought I had seen the temple on my trip past earlier so set off that way, but I found that what I had thought was the temple was actually a crematorium and cemetery. It is close to Ching Ming Festival when people tend their ancestors' graves so there were many people here tending graves and burning paper offerings. The Chinese believe that burning a paper offering of something, such as a house or car, sends it to their ancestors in the afterlife. I had a quick look round then headed back to the actual temple I had been looking for. It was right next to the LRT Station.

Paper Offerings.

Paper Offerings.

Offerings.

Offerings.

Offerings.

Offerings.

Offerings.

Offerings.

Offerings.

Offerings.

Ching Chung Koon Temple has a pretty garden filled with bonsai trees, rock gardens, pagodas, pavilions, fish ponds, waterfalls and colourful flowers.

Bonsai Tree.

Bonsai Tree.

Beautiful Pagoda.

Beautiful Pagoda.

Temple Garden.

Temple Garden.

Temple Garden.

Temple Garden.

Temple Garden.

Temple Garden.

Rock Garden Door.

Rock Garden Door.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Temple Garden.

Temple Garden.

Rock Garden.

Rock Garden.

Bouganvilia and Waterfall.

Bouganvilia and Waterfall.

This white pigeon followed me all around the gardens.

This white pigeon followed me all around the gardens.

That white pigeon again.

That white pigeon again.

Garden Window.

Garden Window.

A pile-up of turtles.

A pile-up of turtles.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Ching Chung Koon means Green Pine Monastery. The green pine is a symbol of immortality as it never loses its leaves. Ching Chung Koon is a large Taoist temple which was founded in 1949 by the Dragon Gate Sect of the Complete Reality School of Taoism. It is dedicated to the immortal Leoi Dung Ban. It holds a bonsai festival in April or May each year. The temple was also very busy with people bringing paper offerings to their ancestors who are enshrined here.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple.

Temple building.

Temple building.

Temple building.

Temple building.

Gateway.

Gateway.

Temple Drum.

Temple Drum.

Paper Offerings at the temple.

Paper Offerings at the temple.

Tomb markers.

Tomb markers.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Lion.

Lion.

After visiting the temple, I set out on my journey back home.

Posted by irenevt 08:34 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (2)

Here's One For the Books ......

Book Week at school.

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This week was Book Week at school, the first fun event we've had since covid kicked in last year. Unfortunately for me my teaching was mainly on Zoom and only involved one day with actual kids. On that day we had dress up as a book character, paint a hardboiled egg to look like a book character and a scavenger hunt in the school library. I can't put up pictures of my kids, even though they looked really cute, but I can put up ones of the staff so here goes.

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We've been doing a unit on books that involve witches, can you tell? We didn't disclose our costumes to each other. So oops! Two of us turned up as Winnie the Witch and one of us turned up as Baba Yaga's house, complete with chicken legs, now that last one was pretty unique.

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More witches and a Bartholomew Cubbins and the 500 hats because we hadn't all been doing witches.

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It wouldn't be Book Week without a few characters from Alice in Wonderland.

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We also had one of the Three Little Pigs, not sure if it was straw, brick or wood. Different year groups currently have children in on different days so it wasn't as large an event as usual, but it was fun nonetheless.

I can't put up pictures of my lovely class, but I can post some of their egg designs which I thought were really very very good. The eggs were also supposed to look like book characters. My own personal favourite was Rapunzel, but they were all great. How many can you spot?

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Posted by irenevt 11:00 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (4)

Reservoir Fogs

The Peak, Pinewood Battery and Pok Fu Lam

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Yesterday I decided to continue exploring sites linked to World War II by visiting the Pinewood Battery. Then I decided to walk from it all the way down to Pok Fu Lam Country Park.

To get to Pinewood Battery I took the number 15 bus up the Peak. I had not realised that this bus doesn't stop at the Outlying Ferry Piers until 10am, before that it only leaves from Exchange Square Bus Station. Unfortunately, this held me up a bit at the start, but I was eventually on my way.

When I got to the Peak, I took a quick look at the usual sights before heading off on my walk. It was a dark, cold day with the odd spit of rain. I looked at the view from the Lion's Pavilion Lookout Point but it was bleak and somber. In some ways I think gloomy weather and war remains are well-suited to each other.

The Peak Cafe.

The Peak Cafe.

The Peak Tram.

The Peak Tram.

The Peak Tram.

The Peak Tram.

Lions Pavilion.

Lions Pavilion.

Lions Pavilion.

Lions Pavilion.

Lions Pavilion.

Lions Pavilion.

Somber View.

Somber View.

Somber View.

Somber View.

To walk to the Pinewood Battery, I headed to Lugard Road. The first part of the walk is the same as the Peak Circular Trail. On this part of the walk I passed some beautiful flowers. I also passed the Lugard Falls which were very lacking in water, but are supposed to be spectacular in the rainy season. I also saw a beautiful painted stone lying on the ground. This sort of thing has become popular in Hong Kong. I think it started on Bowen Road where a German lady got her children to decorate fairy doors then leave them scattered along Bowen Road Fitness Trail for other children to find. Soon lots of children were making these and placing them along the trail. This has kept many children amused during Covid when they don't have normal school every day. From this part of my walk there was also a foggy view over the reservoir I would head to later.

Beautiful Flowers on Route.

Beautiful Flowers on Route.

Decorated Stone for Children to Find.

Decorated Stone for Children to Find.

Beautiful Flowers on Route.

Beautiful Flowers on Route.

Roots.

Roots.

Beautiful Flowers on Route.

Beautiful Flowers on Route.

The Mighty Lugard Falls is just a Trickle.

The Mighty Lugard Falls is just a Trickle.

Beautiful Flowers on Route.

Beautiful Flowers on Route.

View over Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

View over Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

When I reached the playground where several roads meet, I left the circular trail and started following the trail marked Pinewood Battery. First I walked past some public toilets which were also on the Morning Trail. After a few minutes, I saw some stairs going down to my left. These led towards the Pinewood Battery though I did not notice any sign saying this. As I walked down the steps, I came to a sitting area with beautiful views in both directions. After admiring the views, I reached a picnic site. This is right next to the remains of Pinewood Battery.

Playground where the trails meet.

Playground where the trails meet.

On the Morning Trail.

On the Morning Trail.

Steps down to Pinewood Battery.

Steps down to Pinewood Battery.

View from near Pinewood Battery.

View from near Pinewood Battery.

Picnic site.

Picnic site.

Pinewood Battery was one of the many coastal defence batteries which were once dotted around both sides of Victoria Harbour. At 307 metres above sea level it was the highest of all the coastal batteries. It was originally built in 1903 and housed two six-inch guns which were supposed to help defend Victoria Harbour if it ever came under attack. However, in 1913 these guns were removed. Then between 1923 and 1925 this site was used as a campsite for groups of boy scouts. Later in 1936 the original guns were replaced with two three-inch anti-aircraft guns. On the 15th of December 1941 Pinewood Battery was very badly damaged in a series of bombing raids carried out by the Imperial Japanese Army. At the time there were about thirty men stationed here, most of them belonging to Indian regiments.

There are several maps of the Pinewood Battery site plus a series of information boards dotted around this area. I actually arrived at the last two sites listed on the plan, but despite this I'll describe it as if I started from number one.

Number One on the map is Pinewood Bungalow which was a colonial-style house which used to be a caretakers' house and a mess hall for the gunners. Unfortunately, it was demolished in 1948 and nowadays you can only see patches of its foundations. The grassy area next to the bungalow was once the parade ground. There is a drawing of how the bungalow would once have looked on the information board here.

Drawing of the Bungalow.

Drawing of the Bungalow.

Foundations and Parade Ground.

Foundations and Parade Ground.

Foundations and Parade Ground.

Foundations and Parade Ground.

If you are next to the ruins of the bungalow and facing the nearby pavilion, you should then go right and wander up the stairs to Site Two - the number one gun platform. Pinewood Battery had two gun platforms, an underground magazine, a command post and a lookout tower. Apparently each of the circular platforms in the gun battery had two mounted BL 6-inch Mark VII guns. These could fire a 50kg shell between 12,000 and 14,000 yards.

The Number One Gun Platform.

The Number One Gun Platform.

The Number One Gun Platform.

The Number One Gun Platform.

The Number One Gun Platform.

The Number One Gun Platform.

Site Three is the battery command and magazine where shells and other propellants were stored.

Battery Command.

Battery Command.

Site Four was once the battery command post and then later in 1936 it became an anti-aircraft gun battery.

Command Post as anti-Aircraft Battery.

Command Post as anti-Aircraft Battery.

Former Battery Command.

Former Battery Command.

Site Five was the Number 2 Gun Platform which had a rapid fire range of eighteen rounds per minute and was once manned by a crew of around eleven. Next to the gun platform was a small bunker with a distinctive funnel sticking out of its roof.

Number Two Gun Platform.

Number Two Gun Platform.

Gun Battery2

Gun Battery2

Gun Battery2

Gun Battery2

Site Six at the top of a flight of stairs was the battery's Observation Post. This was once home to two three inch guns, a range finder and a predictor. Gunners here tried to explode shells close enough to an enemy aircraft to cause considerable damage rather than score a direct hit.

Observation Post.

Observation Post.

Observation Post.

Observation Post.

Site Seven which can be reached down a set of stairs was the latrine. This had no drainage system and the 'night soil' from it was collected manually, yeuk what a dreadful job, and used as manure.

Steps to the Latrine.

Steps to the Latrine.

Latrines.

Latrines.

Reclimb the stairs from the latrine, continue on the path, then go left and you'll see Site Eight, the Battery's splinter-proof bunkers, which flank both sides. These were built in the 1930's and were protected by earth on either side making them the site's safest structures. They were used for accommodation and for storage.

Splinter-Proof Bunker.

Splinter-Proof Bunker.

Splinter-Proof Shelter.

Splinter-Proof Shelter.

Splinter-Proof Shelters, Pinewood Battery.

Splinter-Proof Shelters, Pinewood Battery.

Two more similar structures were the Pinewood Battery shelters. These were built in the 1930s and were used as "stand to" stations for gunners awaiting deployment.

Shelter.

Shelter.

Shelter.

Shelter.

War shelters.

War shelters.

Shelter.

Shelter.

After looking at the gun battery, I found a sign post pointing towards Pok Fu Lam reservoir and followed it. The walk was beautiful. It took me through lots of colourful woods and every now and then it had good view points. I had thought it would all be a downhill hike but it was actually more up and down with some flat stretches in between.

Rocky Path.

Rocky Path.

Colourful Path.

Colourful Path.

Views.

Views.

Mountains.

Mountains.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Beautiful Pathway.

Beautiful Pathway.

Autumn Colours.

Autumn Colours.

Autumnal looking Path.

Autumnal looking Path.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Wildlife on walk! Today it was a lizard.

Wildlife on walk! Today it was a lizard.

Finally, the path I was following descended down to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir. Pok Fu Lam reservoir was the first reservoir ever created in Hong Kong. It is also the smallest and dates from 1883. There is a heritage trail around the reservoir. The first part I saw was the air vents above the reservoir. From there I went down a steep set of stairs to a lovely old colonial building which was once the watchman of the reservoir's cottage. This is also part of the heritage trail. From there I walked along one side of the reservoir. On the far side there was a little waterfall and some more war remains.

Air Vents Above Reservoir.

Air Vents Above Reservoir.

Watchman's Cottage.

Watchman's Cottage.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Colourful trees next to the reservoir.

Colourful trees next to the reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Masonry Bridge.

Masonry Bridge.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Rock Climbing at the Reservoir.

Rock Climbing at the Reservoir.

I walked a short way up one of the major trails just past Pok Fu Lam Reservoir where I could see even more of what I suspect were war related remains.

War Remains next to the reservoir.

War Remains next to the reservoir.

War Remains next to the reservoir.

War Remains next to the reservoir.

Next to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Next to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Leaving the reservoir area and heading towards Pok Fu Lam, I passed the Pok Fu Lam Public Riding School. Peering through the fences I could see a few horses wandering around.

Horse in Pok Fu Lam Stables.

Horse in Pok Fu Lam Stables.

Horses in Pok Fu Lam Stables.

Horses in Pok Fu Lam Stables.

When I reached very busy Pok Fu Lam Road, I noticed lots of beautiful colourful trees by the roadside. Their flowers were an amazingly lovely deep purple colour..

Beautiful Roadside Flowers.

Beautiful Roadside Flowers.

On the other side of the road stands Bethanie. Bethanie was built in 1875 as a sanatorium for French missionaries to recover from tropical diseases. Later it became part of the University of Hong Kong and then in 2003 it became part of Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. It's a beautiful building but unfortunately you can't see much of it without going on a tour. Apparently it has a lovely chapel and some octagonal buildings which used to be dairies.

Bethanie.

Bethanie.

Bethanie.

Bethanie.

Bethanie.

Bethanie.

Pok Fu Lam was where the Bauhinia was first discovered. This later became the emblem of Hong Kong. It was also the site of Hong Kong's first dairy farm in 1885. I did not do full justice to Pok Fu Lam but I did take a quick look at Pok Fu Lam Village. The first thing I noticed was some scary looking dragon heads which were on display. These are used as part of a fire dance ceremony to mark Mid-Autumn Festival. Pok Fu Lam Village has existed since the beginning of the seventeenth century. The original villagers came from the Chen, Huang, and Luo clans and were farmers. There are many flower and vegetable gardens here today so their descendants still have green fingers, too. The village also has towers and a pagoda but I did not see these as I was tired and did not explore thoroughly.

Dragon Heads Pok Fu Lam Village.

Dragon Heads Pok Fu Lam Village.

Dragon, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Dragon, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village Dragon.

Pok Fu Lam Village Dragon.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Beautiful Bouganvillia.

Beautiful Bouganvillia.

Colourful Murals Pok Fu Lam Village.

Colourful Murals Pok Fu Lam Village.

Shrine Pok Fu Lam Village.

Shrine Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Pok Fu Lam Village.

Shrine, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Shrine, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Mural, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Mural, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

Garden, Pok Fu Lam Village.

After looking at the village I jumped on a bus heading towards Admiralty, got off at Hong Kong University Station and went home.

Posted by irenevt 01:57 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (6)

Water Under the Bridge ......

Exploring Aberdeen Country Park.

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Today I decided to get my weekly exercise by walking to Aberdeen Country Park. I began by taking the MTR to Wan Chai Station, exiting through exit D and heading towards the Hopewell Centre. I then took the lift to the 17th floor so that I could exit onto Kennedy Road, head left and start climbing up Wan Chai Gap Road. There was some weird art in the Hopewell Centre, not sure what it was about. The Hopewell Centre itself is interesting. It was once the tallest building in Hong Kong – and the second-tallest in Asia. It is a cylindrical building with a revolving restaurant on top and an observation lift on its outside wall. Feng Shui experts claim that as its shape makes it look like a giant cigarette, it is a fire risk, so a swimming pool was placed on its roof to cancel out the flames. The Hopewell Building has 2 entrances: one on its ground floor on Queen's Road East and one on its 17th floor on Kennedy Road. This is loved by hikers as it cuts off the need to climb some of the dreaded slope of Wan Chai Gap Road which is where I was heading.

Sleeping Duck??

Sleeping Duck??

The walk from Wan Chai Gap Road to Aberdeen Country Park - takes you from the north to the south of Hong Kong Island. Wan Chai Gap Road is really steep, you can hear your calf muscles screaming as you climb it. I took it slowly and tried to distract myself by taking the occasional photo, but I was so relieved when I finally reached Bowen Road. That's not the top of the climb, but it's a place to take a rest and, though the Wan Chai Green Trail which is next is also steep, it isn't quite as bad as the first bit. Bowen Road has a pretty park, a fitness trail and a stairway leading to Lovers' Rock. I haven't been to Lovers' Rock yet. I imagined it would be a rock shaped a bit like an embracing couple or something, but it is actually a rock shaped like an enormous penis. Apparently people go there to pray if they are having fertility problems. I'll save it for another walk.

Tree Roots.

Tree Roots.

Bowen Road.

Bowen Road.

I sat in the park at Bowen Road for a little while to drink some water and get my breath back. The park here is quite pretty with a pagoda, a bridge, a stream and lots of flowers.

Park on Bowen Road.

Park on Bowen Road.

Park on Bowen Road.

Park on Bowen Road.

Flowers in Bowen Road Park.

Flowers in Bowen Road Park.

The next stretch of the walk isn't as steep as the first but it's longer. I tried to distract myself with the occasional view, a lovely waterfall and a cute little street sign for Dutch Lane complete with windmill. Apparently staff at a Dutch shipping company long ago had accommodation provided near here and used this path to walk down to work, hence its name.

Bridge.

Bridge.

View over Hong Kong.

View over Hong Kong.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Scenery on the Climb.

Scenery on the Climb.

Dutch Lane.

Dutch Lane.

Dutch Lane.

Dutch Lane.

Not long after Dutch Lane, I reached Stubbs Road. Many roads intersect in this area. I headed to a little park just across the road. I was pleased to see it had a Thai themed garden which had previously been entered for the Hong Kong Flower Show replanted here. It also had many plants, a pagoda and some interesting rock formations.

Thai Garden.

Thai Garden.

Thai Garden.

Thai Garden.

Thai Garden.

Thai Garden.

Thai Garden.

Thai Garden.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Rock Garden and Pagoda.

Rock Garden and Pagoda.

Rock Garden.

Rock Garden.

I was heading for Aberdeen Country Park but before going there, I decided I would pay a visit to the Police Museum. I hadn't realized that this involved climbing more steps or I may not have bothered, but actually the museum was quite interesting. The Police Museum is located in the former Wan Chai Gap Police Station at 27 Coombe Road and it is dedicated to the history of policing in Hong Kong. There were lots of old photos on display here. Having been visiting things related to World War II recently, I was very interested to see pictures of the skeletal inmates of the Japanese prisoner of War Camps in Stanley being released at the end of the war and the raising of the Union Jack ceremony when Hong Kong again became a British colony. The Japanese occupied Hong Kong for three years and eight months. There were also displays of police uniforms from different time periods. Then there was an exhibition on heroine making and heroine smuggling, including different hallmarked bags heroine was carried in and toys with secret compartments where it was hidden. Also interesting was a display about Hong Kong's triad organizations. I know very little about these and had not realized how much ritual and ceremony was associated with them. Linked to the triads, there was a display of many rather evil looking weapons that had been confiscated from triad members. Finally there was a display of counterfeited money which had been confiscated over the years.

The Police Museum Building.

The Police Museum Building.

Gun In front of the museum.

Gun In front of the museum.

Police Box at entrance to Museum.

Police Box at entrance to Museum.

Old police telephone.

Old police telephone.

Police Booth and Phone.

Police Booth and Phone.

Traffic pagoda.

Traffic pagoda.

Traffic Pagoda in Old Photo.

Traffic Pagoda in Old Photo.

Traffic Policewoman inside Traffic Pagoda.

Traffic Policewoman inside Traffic Pagoda.

Police Vehicles.

Police Vehicles.

Old Police Uniforms.

Old Police Uniforms.

Old Police Uniforms.

Old Police Uniforms.

Triad Robes.

Triad Robes.

Triad Ceremony.

Triad Ceremony.

Triad weapons.

Triad weapons.

Heroine Smuggling Bags.

Heroine Smuggling Bags.

Survivors of Japanese Prisoner of War Camp, Stanley.

Survivors of Japanese Prisoner of War Camp, Stanley.

Raising the Union Jack Ceremony at the end of World War II.

Raising the Union Jack Ceremony at the end of World War II.

Vietnamese Boat People Many of Whom Made Their way to Hong Kong as Refugees.

Vietnamese Boat People Many of Whom Made Their way to Hong Kong as Refugees.

A lot of policemen were members of the Sikh community.

A lot of policemen were members of the Sikh community.

Views from outside The Police Museum. There are lots of posh houses in this area.

Views from outside The Police Museum. There are lots of posh houses in this area.

Views from outside the Police Museum. Posh Houses.

Views from outside the Police Museum. Posh Houses.

After looking around the museum, I headed back past Wan Chai Gap Park and walked along Mount Cameron Road until, just before the houses, I saw a sign for Aberdeen Country Park. There must be a lot of street sweepers in these parts because there were certainly a lot of brooms hanging around.

Brooms and Hut.

Brooms and Hut.

A sweep of brooms, if that's not their collective noun it should be.

A sweep of brooms, if that's not their collective noun it should be.

Entrance to Aberdeen Country Park.

Entrance to Aberdeen Country Park.

Cute little sign on one of the trees.

Cute little sign on one of the trees.

I could have taken the direct and fast route to Aberdeen Upper Reservoir, but I was attracted to a sign for Lady Clementi's Ride and I decided to follow that one even though it was much longer. This trail is named after Marie Penelope Rose Eyres. She was married to Sir Cecil Clementi, who was at one time the governor of Hong Kong, so she was officially known as Lady Clementi. Both Lady Clementi and her husband loved horse riding and both have trails here named after them. I have walked parts of Sir Cecil's Ride in the last few weeks, now it was his wife's turn, but I wasn't doing it because I am obsessed with governors or anything, honest. It was because I had heard this trail has two beautiful old masonry bridges and I wanted to see them. What I didn't know was that it also had lots of remains from World War II as well. I'm beginning to wonder where in Hong Kong hasn't? Lady Clementi's Ride is beautiful. It wends its way through woods and is crossed by lots of little streams. If I had followed the entire trail I would have ended up at Black's Link, but I didn't want to do that so I only followed part of the trail.

Lady Clementi's Ride.

Lady Clementi's Ride.

War Remains, Pill Box.

War Remains, Pill Box.

War Remains, Pill Box.

War Remains, Pill Box.

War Remains, Pill Box.

War Remains, Pill Box.

War Remains, Pill Box.

War Remains, Pill Box.

Colourful Foliage.

Colourful Foliage.

Colourful Foliage.

Colourful Foliage.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

First Masonry Bridge.

First Masonry Bridge.

First Masonry Bridge.

First Masonry Bridge.

First Masonry Bridge.

First Masonry Bridge.

Flower Filled Path.

Flower Filled Path.

Flower Filled Path.

Flower Filled Path.

Pools.

Pools.

Sylvan Path.

Sylvan Path.

Fallen Trees.

Fallen Trees.

Wartime Pill Box.

Wartime Pill Box.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Second Masonry Bridge.

Second Masonry Bridge.

Second Masonry Bridge.

Second Masonry Bridge.

Second Masonry Bridge.

Second Masonry Bridge.

War Remains.

War Remains.

Sylvan Paths.

Sylvan Paths.

Colourful Foliage.

Colourful Foliage.

War Remains.

War Remains.

War Remains.

War Remains.

Pavilion near the Upper Reservoir.

Pavilion near the Upper Reservoir.

After I had seen the two beautiful old masonry bridges, I left Lady Clementi's Ride and started following a path going towards Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.
Aberdeen Country Park has two reservoirs: an upper one and a lower one. These were built to supplement Pok Fu Lam Reservoir in supplying fresh water to the west of Hong Kong Island. The Lower Aberdeen Reservoir dates from 1890 and was originally owned by the Tai Shing Paper Factory. Later it was bought by the government and expanded. The Upper Reservoir was built by the government and opened for use in 1931.

Bridge across Aberdeen Upper Reservoir Dam.

Bridge across Aberdeen Upper Reservoir Dam.

Looking across Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Looking across Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Dam Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Dam Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Dam Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Dam Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Aberdeen Upper Reservoir.

Aberdeen Upper Reservoir Dam Wall.

Aberdeen Upper Reservoir Dam Wall.

Once I had crossed Aberdeen Upper Reservoir, I spotted some more war remains, so I took a look at those. I then walked down lots of stairs to get a view of the dam wall before heading to the lower reservoir.

War Remains.

War Remains.

War Remains.

War Remains.

I spotted some fruit on a tree.

I spotted some fruit on a tree.

I spotted some fruit on a tree.

I spotted some fruit on a tree.

Beautiful Pathway.

Beautiful Pathway.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

Aberdeen Lower Reservoir.

After viewing both reservoirs, I decided to leave the Aberdeen Country Park. There were lots of beautiful flowers on the way to to the exit.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

I jumped on a bus that was going to Central, but got off at Hong Kong University Station and admired the artwork on the walls there before heading home. Hong Kong University Station has a thirty metre long street scene by artist, Stella So, which shows the streets, shops, buildings and people of Western District getting on with their everyday lives.

Hong Kong University Station.

Hong Kong University Station.

Hong Kong University Station.

Hong Kong University Station.

Hong Kong University Station.

Hong Kong University Station.

Hong Kong University Station.

Hong Kong University Station.

Hong Kong University Station.

Hong Kong University Station.

Posted by irenevt 14:06 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (2)

Black Christmas.

Hong Kong 1941.

rain

The weather here has been beautiful recently, but on Sunday I woke up to black skies and a constant blanket of drizzle. Despite this I decided I would still go out for a walk. In fact, maybe the gloomy weather was actually appropriate, as I intended to walk the Wong Nai Chung Gap Trail. This is a war relics trail and goes to ten of the places which witnessed some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting in World War II. This walk seemed a natural follow on from my visit to the Gin Drinkers’ Line last week.

The Japanese began occupying Guangdong, Mainland China, in 1938 and Hong Kong was nervous about the possibility of invasion. Winston Churchill’s view was that Hong Kong would be impossible to defend due to its long, rugged coastline and mountainous terrain. He actually reduced the number of troops stationed here, as he needed so many to cope with the war in Europe. Just a few weeks before Hong Kong was invaded Churchill relented a bit and two battalions were brought into Hong Kong from Canada: the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Quebec City Royal Rifles.

The Japanese opened hostilities here by bombing Kai Tak Airport, on the 7th of December 1941 and in doing so took out most of Hong Kong’s aerial defences. On the 8th of December, a few hours after their attack on Pearl Harbour, the Japanese crossed the Sham Chun River from Shenzen and launched an attack on Hong Kong. The first line of resistance here was the Gin Drinkers Line which was manned by the Royal Scots and two Indian regiments - the Punjabs and Rajputs. This line was insufficiently manned and fell within just two days. The British retreated first to the Devil’s Peak on Lei Yue Mun and then abandoned Kowloon altogether and retreated to Hong Kong Island.

On the 18th of December the Japanese invaded Hong Kong Island, crossing Victoria Harbour and landing at North Point and Aldrich Bay. Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the North Point Power Station which the Japanese left destroyed in their wake. Then the Japanese troops marched in seemingly never ending lines along Sir Cecil’s Ride, a pathway I walked just a few weeks ago, towards the Wong Nai Chung Gap. The British defences were divided into two brigades. The West Brigade was composed of the Royal Scots, the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Punjabi Regiment. They were defending Wong Nai Chung Gap. The East Brigade were made up of the Quebec City Royal Rifles and the Rajputs. They were based around Stanley. The 1st Battalion Middlesex and the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps were helping both brigades. The Japanese succeeded in separating these two lines of defence. They then forced the surrender of the Winnepeg Grenadiers. It was the beginning of the end for the British. At this point they were only still in control of the area around Stanley. The Japanese had also gained control of all the reservoirs and thus the entire fresh water supply. Eventually Japanese troops even managed to storm St Stephen’s College just outside Stanley which was being used as a makeshift hospital. Here they massacred the doctors, nurses and patients inside. Finally on December 25th 1941, forever after referred to as Black Christmas, Hong Kong Governor, Sir Mark Aitchison Young, surrendered to the Japanese on the third floor of the Peninsula Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. The Japanese had commandeered this hotel as their headquarters. At least 1,500 British troops, most of them from Scottish, Indian, English and Canadian regiments had been killed in the fighting.

Japanese Soldiers Marching Through The New Territories After Destroying The Gin Drinkers' Line.

Japanese Soldiers Marching Through The New Territories After Destroying The Gin Drinkers' Line.

North Point Power Station  on fire.

North Point Power Station on fire.

The Japanese advance along king's Road, North Point.

The Japanese advance along king's Road, North Point.

To get to the Wong Nai Chung Gap area I took bus number 6 from Exchange Square Bus station in Central. I got off the bus just after the Cricket Club and tennis courts, near to the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park. At the bus stop I noticed a memorial on a traffic island in the middle of the road, so I went to take a look at it. It was a war memorial in memory of those members of the St John Ambulance Brigade, Hong Kong, who lost their lives in the Second World War.

War Memorial.

War Memorial.

War Memorial.

War Memorial.

After looking at the memorial, I crossed back to the petrol station at the bus stop and walked up some steps and then climbed a slope towards the reservoir. Although it was not part of my trail, I began by having a look at the reservoir itself. Every description of this I have read mentions that the reservoir is filled with big fish and turtles. If there were any, they were hiding from the rain when I visited. The reservoir park has toilets and a little cafe.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

Wong Nai Chung Reservoir.

From the reservoir I walked a further five minutes uphill then crossed the road to station one of the trail. Each station displayed a map of the entire route. I have placed a copy of it below.

Route Map of the Trail.

Route Map of the Trail.

Station One of the trail is the former ammunition magazines which supplied ammunition for the two 3.7-inch anti-aircraft guns which were deployed at Station Two. There were also some other remains near them, though some were lost when a carpark was built next to this site.

Ammunition Magazines.

Ammunition Magazines.

Ammunition Magazines.

Ammunition Magazines.

More Remains near the Ammunition Magazines.

More Remains near the Ammunition Magazines.

More Remains near the Ammunition Magazines.

More Remains near the Ammunition Magazines.

The guns at Station Two managed to shoot down a Japanese aircraft on December 16th. Later the Japanese overwhelmed this position, killing the twenty-five men defending here in the process.

Site of Anti-Aircraft Guns.

Site of Anti-Aircraft Guns.

Site of Anti-Aircraft Guns.

Site of Anti-Aircraft Guns.

The buildings below were not actually marked on the trail, but they were so close to Station One and Station Two and so old looking that I am guessing they had something to do with the war, maybe they were store rooms.

Store Rooms, Maybe?

Store Rooms, Maybe?

Store Rooms, Maybe?

Store Rooms, Maybe?

Store Rooms, Maybe?

Store Rooms, Maybe?

To get to Station Three I had to walk along the edge of a catchwater. There are several reservoirs nearby and many things related to the Waterworks Department. I saw the strange looking ruined structure below next to the catchwater, not sure what it is or if it is war related. Every so often there were views which would have been beautiful in good weather but basically just showed me dark, threatening skies.

Structure by the Catchwater.

Structure by the Catchwater.

Structure by the Catchwater.

Structure by the Catchwater.

Structure by the Catchwater.

Structure by the Catchwater.

Along the Catchwater.

Along the Catchwater.

Along the Catchwater.

Along the Catchwater.

Along the Catchwater.

Along the Catchwater.

Station Three did not actually have any remains. It was a viewing point where you could look out over a valley and see where the western and eastern defences were located. It wasn't the best day for doing anything that involved viewing something in the distance, but it was certainly atmospheric.

View.

View.

Ferns.

Ferns.

I then walked on to Station Four and Station Five. These were both pillboxes and were located near each other. Station Five was located higher up than Station Four. The pillboxes were located like this to offer each other protective covering. Pill Box Four was manned by the Hong Kong Volunteer Force. Pillbox Five by the Winnipeg Grenadiers. Both positions managed to hold off the Japanese attack for around twelve hours before they were overwhelmed. The Japanese finally succeeded in climbing the pillbox at Station Five and dropping grenades down its ventilation shaft. It was during this stage of the fighting that one Canadian soldier, Company Sergeant Major J.R. Osborn of the Winnipeg Grenadiers, fought so bravely that he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry. He threw himself on top of a Japanese grenade that had landed near his men in order to save their lives. He was killed instantly. There is a memorial to him on one of the Hong Kong trails but I haven't seen it yet. Next to Station Five there was a lovely forest path and beautiful flowers. It was hard to imagine scenes of brutal fighting taking place in such a peaceful setting.

Photo of the Hong Kong Volunteer Force.

Photo of the Hong Kong Volunteer Force.

Pillbox at Station Four.

Pillbox at Station Four.

Pillbox at Station Four.

Pillbox at Station Four.

Pillbox at Station Four.

Pillbox at Station Four.

Pillbox at Station Four.

Pillbox at Station Four.

Beautiful Flowers growing right next to pillbox at Station Five.

Beautiful Flowers growing right next to pillbox at Station Five.

Beautiful Flowers growing right next to pillbox at Station Five.

Beautiful Flowers growing right next to pillbox at Station Five.

Pillbox at Station Five.

Pillbox at Station Five.

Pillbox at Station Five.

Pillbox at Station Five.

Pillbox at Station Five.

Pillbox at Station Five.

Ventilation Shaft of Pillbox at Station Five.

Ventilation Shaft of Pillbox at Station Five.

Walking to Stations Six and Seven involved going along a pleasant path through some woods. There were lovely view points here, although not quite so beautiful on a rainy day, and there were some beautiful plants and flowers. Both Station Six and Seven were situated on top of the covered over Jardine's Lookout Reservoir. Station Six was a View Point over the valley where Wong Nai Chung Police Station Headquarters were once located and where the West Brigade Headquarters were located. Intense fighting took place here as the Japanese wrestled for control of the valley. The Royal Scots and Punjabis came to help their comrades who were struggling here, but were ambushed and killed on route. Station Seven is also a viewpoint looking out over the city with information about how the British tried and failed to stop the Japanese from reaching Wong Nai Chung Gap.

Stations Six and Seven were on top of a covered reservoir.

Stations Six and Seven were on top of a covered reservoir.

Beautiful Flowers on the walk.

Beautiful Flowers on the walk.

Beautiful Flowers on the Walk.

Beautiful Flowers on the Walk.

Stations Six and Seven are on top of a covered reservoir.

Stations Six and Seven are on top of a covered reservoir.

Views from Stations Six and Seven.

Views from Stations Six and Seven.

Views from Stations Six and Seven.

Views from Stations Six and Seven.

Views from Stations Six and Seven.

Views from Stations Six and Seven.

From the covered reservoir I walked down a stairway towards Station Eight. Station Eight is actually part of the Sir Cecil's Ride Trail. This trail was called after Sir Cecil Clementi, a former governor of Hong Kong who liked to ride his horse here. The Japanese followed this trail from Quarry Bay to Wong Nai Chung Gap to launch a surprise attack on the British troops.

Steps down to Sir Cecil's Ride.

Steps down to Sir Cecil's Ride.

Sir Cecil's Ride Pathway.

Sir Cecil's Ride Pathway.

Colourful Plants on the way.

Colourful Plants on the way.

Beautiful Flowers on the Walk.

Beautiful Flowers on the Walk.

Colourful Plants on the way.

Colourful Plants on the way.

Sir Cecil's Ride.

Sir Cecil's Ride.

Fried Egg Plant Flowers Knocked Down by the Rain.

Fried Egg Plant Flowers Knocked Down by the Rain.

Vegetation sparkling clean after the rain.

Vegetation sparkling clean after the rain.

Looking over the Hong Kong Cricket Club.

Looking over the Hong Kong Cricket Club.

Little Streams on Sir Cecil's Ride.

Little Streams on Sir Cecil's Ride.

Little Streams on Sir Cecil's Ride.

Little Streams on Sir Cecil's Ride.

Trees with Twisted Roots on Sir Cecil's Ride.

Trees with Twisted Roots on Sir Cecil's Ride.

Jungle on Sir Cecil's Ride.

Jungle on Sir Cecil's Ride.

Japanese Soldiers Marching Along Sir Cecil's Ride.

Japanese Soldiers Marching Along Sir Cecil's Ride.



For Station Nine and Ten I had to return to the start of the walk, then cross Wong Nai Chung Gap Road and head downhill for a short way. Station Nine was right next to a petrol station. This station was once part of the headquarters of West Brigade. It was manned mainly by Winnipeg Grenadiers, but also by some British troops. The Japanese went all out to destroy it. Reinforcements were called in to help the soldiers here, but they were ambushed and killed on route. The remains of several overgrown bunkers can be seen at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Ruined Bunkers at Station Nine.

Station Ten was just slightly further down the hill from Station Nine. The buildings here also formed part of the West Brigade Headquarters. The information post here told that the last attempt by the British to repel the Japanese was led by the Quebec City Riflemen who charged at the Japanese across St Stephen's Cemetery. When they were defeated, the British finally surrendered. The station here had photos of the governor signing the surrender treaty.

Governor Young Surrenders in the Peninsula Hotel.

Governor Young Surrenders in the Peninsula Hotel.

The Headquarters of West Brigade at station Ten.

The Headquarters of West Brigade at station Ten.

The Headquarters of West Brigade at station Ten.

The Headquarters of West Brigade at station Ten.

Although there was a lot to see on the trail, it was nor really all that long, so after I finished I jumped on a number 6 bus and decided to look at a few things in Wan Chai before going home. I had been intending for a long time to look at a few things on or near Queens Road east. I started by looking at the Wan Chai post office. This building was opened in 1915 and served as a post office continuously until 1992.

Wan Chai Post Office.

Wan Chai Post Office.

Wan Chai Post Office.

Wan Chai Post Office.

Wan Chai Post Office.

Wan Chai Post Office.

Not far from the post office stands a cylindrical building known as the Hopewell Centre which has a revolving restaurant on its top floor.

The Hopewell Centre.

The Hopewell Centre.

The Hopewell Centre.

The Hopewell Centre.

The buildings I was seeking out though were three colourful buildings known as the Blue House, the Yellow House and the Orange House which I have often passed on the bus and wanted a closer look at. The Blue House is a four-story tenement building which dates from the 1920s. It is an example of a tong lau which means that it is a kind of residential building with balconies. The Yellow House and Orange House are next to it. I went in the Blue House and took some photos of the exhibits inside. My favourite things were the lovely posters in the courtyard. As I was looking around this area I suddenly saw a beautiful, friendly cat and as I neared it, it immediately turned really angry. I was surprised by this till I noticed a huge dog had appeared behind me. Fortunately, the dog was on a lead so no battles broke out. Another thing I liked was the vets near the Blue House which had great paintings on its outside walls.

The Blue House.

The Blue House.

Inside the blue house.

Inside the blue house.

Inside the blue house.

Inside the blue house.

Inside the blue house.

Inside the blue house.

Inside the blue house.

Inside the blue house.

Blue House Doorway.

Blue House Doorway.

Blue House Courtyard.

Blue House Courtyard.

Poster in the Blue House Court Yard.

Poster in the Blue House Court Yard.

Poster in Blue House Courtyard.

Poster in Blue House Courtyard.

Old Houses in Wan Chai.

Old Houses in Wan Chai.

Overflowing Shop.

Overflowing Shop.

Angry Cat.

Angry Cat.

Painting on a nearby vets.

Painting on a nearby vets.

Painting on a nearby vets.

Painting on a nearby vets.

Painting on a nearby vets.

Painting on a nearby vets.

Painting on a nearby vets.

Painting on a nearby vets.

The attendant at the Blue House gave me a map of things to see in Wan Chai and though I decided I'd leave most of the things for another time, I noticed that there was a temple really close by, so I thought I would take a quick look. I don't know why but I expected it to be small and probably not too interesting, but it turned out to be fantastic. Not sure why it isn't better known. The Pak Tai Temple is located at number 2 Lung On Street. It was built in 1863. It is a temple dedicated to the Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven. Once again it adds weight to my belief that the Taoist religion base their gods and goddesses on real people, as Pak Tai was a prince of the Shang Dynasty. He lived over 3,000 years ago. Apparently this is the biggest temple you will find on Hong Kong Island. It is beautifully decorated inside. I particularly loved the flower shaped lamps.

The Entrance To Pak Tai Temple.

The Entrance To Pak Tai Temple.

Dragon, Pak Tai Temple.

Dragon, Pak Tai Temple.

Lamps, Pak Tai Temple.

Lamps, Pak Tai Temple.

Lamps, Pak Tai Temple.

Lamps, Pak Tai Temple.

Lamps, Pak Tai Temple.

Lamps, Pak Tai Temple.

Incense Coils, Pak Tai Temple.

Incense Coils, Pak Tai Temple.

Bell and Drum,  Pak Tai Temple.

Bell and Drum, Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Pak Tai Temple.

Berries in the courtyard,  Pak Tai Temple.

Berries in the courtyard, Pak Tai Temple.

Lion, Pak Tai Temple.

Lion, Pak Tai Temple.

Horse, Pak Tai Temple.

Horse, Pak Tai Temple.

Finally, on my way home I went along Lee Tung Avenue where there was an exhibition called 'Butterflies of Hope' which I thought was very beautiful. This was created by Victor Wong. it is an AI interactive art display with over 350 LED butterflies as well as traditional Chinese red lanterns. Apparently it lights up at night and plays music. There were lots of interesting statues here, too. I'm not sure if they are always here or if they were part of the exhibition.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

Statues.

Statues.

Statues.

Statues.

Statues.

Statues.

Butterflies of Hope.

Butterflies of Hope.

I then walked through South Horn Playground, got on the MTR and went home, stopping to admire some beautiful azalea on the way.

South Horn Playground.

South Horn Playground.

South Horn Playground.

South Horn Playground.

South Horn Playground.

South Horn Playground.

Azalea.

Azalea.

Posted by irenevt 13:10 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (4)

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