High Rock is one of those places I originally found out about via the much missed “Things to Do Along the KCR Line booklet. The booklet went missing a few years ago, never to be found again, but in its short time in my possession it introduced me to many of the out-of-the-way sights that spurred me into setting up this blog. Despite this fact I have only just got round to visiting the place – shame on me, because it’s a lovely little building that has a long and varied history in Shatin before its current incarnation as a Christian retreat and hostel.
Archive for Colonial
Continuing with the postal theme, I have Cheddy to thank for bringing my attention to the next one. It could potentially be the territory’s final remaining red post box.
Just to the west of Tai Po, running along the south side the Lam Tsuen river, is a rather nice place called Mui Shue Hang Park. I did a post on it about 5 years ago (yes, this blog is that old but at that time it was hosted by MSN Livespace) because it also has the so-called ‘quali-walk’ inside, but it is a nice place to just wander and look at the nice foliage and flowers. It’s named after a nearby village that I may talk about in a later post – although when I walked past the other day it looked as though the place has gone courtesy of the Tolo Highway widening project.
You may recall a few months ago I wrote about a rather excellent condition Pillar Box (that’s a post box to those who didn’t grow up in the UK) that I saw along Boundary Street. It had a E-II-R cypher on it, which of course refers to Queen Elizabeth the Second.
It’s always nice to see something with a royal cypher on because you know it has outlasted the handover and all the anti-Brit sentiment that followed (just think of all the organisations that dropped the “Royal” from their name – yes, okay, I am aware of the Royal HK Yacht Club but guess what…the Chinese version of the name did change).
It’s even better when you can find a post box with a royal cypher that’s even older.
I recently joined a battlefield tour of the NT (courtesy of Dr Pat Hase and the Orders and Medals research Society) that visited some of the sites listed in Dr Pat Hase’s book on the Six Day War. The tour started off here in Tai Po and to my surprise involved a 30 minute or so tour of the Old Police Station site at the top of Flagstaff Hill. I’ve passed this place many times and even wrote a blog entry on it many moons ago but never got more than a fleeting glimpse due to it being off-limits to the public. So anyway, here are some snaps I took showing some of the compound inside.
On the same trip where we (the Gwulo gang – a bit like the Red Hand Gang only with less bum fluff and perhaps a more mature sense of dress) all headed off to Ho Hok Shan, and after eating lunch (at Tai Hing BBQ restaurant in the nearby Sun Yuen Long Plaza) where we spent most of the time picking bits of the wilderness out of out clothes, we nipped off to the nearby Ping Shan Heritage Trail.
This is one of two so-called ‘heritage’ trails in the New Territories, the other one being the Lung Yeuk Tau trail in Fanling. I must admit it’s taken me an absolute age to get to this place after many, many abortive attempts that have seen me waylayed for various reasons (too many to go into) – so it was nice to finally make it.
Here’s one that despite me living very near to I had no idea it existed. I have Cheddy to thank for giving me a nudge in the right direction because he had some aerial photos that showed the place – try and find it at ground level and the place is completely obscured by trees. Anyway, I promised I would have a dig around and find out what it was.
Penha Hill (Colina De Penha in Portuguese) is one of the higher points of the Macanese peninsula, literally and figuratively. Perched on the top is the Penha Church – a Catholic Chapel that claims a long history in Macau, dating back to 1622, although the current incarnation dates back only as far as 1837, it still just manages to predate the British takeover of HK by a few years. Read more »
Another of the sites worth taking in when you are in Taipa village. Located around the same hillock that houses the Carmel Church and Camoes Park. Praia Avenue is a fine example of how to do heritage conservation, something that Macau just does better than Hong Kong, period. Read more »
Yes, I know, another one that isn’t really off the beaten track, in fact it is slap bang in the middle of everything and is fairly unavoidable. But, like Govt House a couple of months ago, this one every so often has an open day for the public, and the past Saturday (29th Nov 2008) was just such a day. Read more »
Officially now known as Heritage 1881…oh dear! That’s what happens when you put heritage conservation into the hands of a private and very powerful developer: Cheung Kong Holdings aka Li Ka Shing. Read more »
I realise that this isn’t necessarily off the beaten path however, it is rare that you get the opportunity to actually go inside. However, apparently, twice a year or so the gates are thrown open and the rabble are allowed to wander around certain parts of the garden and through the middle of the house. Read more »
Wanchai market has really become an iconic building, more so since it was originally revealed that its fate was doomed. Plans were revealed that the place would be demolished to make way for…wait for it…another high rise residential development. Ai ya!! Of course there was a bit of an uproar because it has to be said it is a fantastic looking building. Anyway, plans were changed (only slightly mind you) so that the facade of the market would be kept as is, whilst the inside would be completely ripped out the make way for the ground floor (lobby, car park?) of the new development. Read more »
Nam Koo Terrace is one of those buildings that makes you just stop and stare in awe and wonder. ‘Awe’ because it is a magnificent example of colonial architecture, ‘wonder’ because again like so many things of historical value in HK it sits neglected, possibly awaiting demolition, to make way for yet another pointless development dreamed up by someone with too much time and money on their hands. Read more »
In the SCMP (6th October 2008) there an interesting article (certainly a rare occurrence for that particular paper) appeared with regards to a proposed Heritage Trail for Wanchai. Good news it seems initially, but on further reading it was noted that many of the proposed sites (24 in total) still have their futures hanging in the balance. Read more »
Signal Hill Garden is one of those places that unless you know exactly what you are looking for, you will miss it. I have to thank drumbrake from the Thorntree for first bringing this to my attention when it was mentioned in a thread about ‘out of the way places’ in Kowloon a couple of years back. It has still taken me this long to make it there even though I pass it most weekends. It also gets a worthy mention in Pete Spurrier’s ‘Leisurely’ guide. Read more »
I have had the dubious pleasure of being interviewed by a police officer inside this building. No, I hadn’t done anything criminal, I was just providing a statement about being touted by a taxi driver in the airport arrivals hall – I didn’t realise it was illegal I must admit but it is only illegal for the touter and not the touted (me). Read more »
Also known as “Old Tai Po Police Station”. It sits at the top of Wan Tau Kok Lane, No. 11 to be precise, behind Tai Po Market MTR station in Tai Po, right next door to the Old District Office North (see an earlier entry for more information). Read more »
Woodside House is a huge colonial-style mansion situated in the lower portion of the Mt Parker Road trail (see another entry coming soon) in the Quarry Bay Extension of the Tai Tam Country Park. The text below (taken from the plaque outside on the road) mentions the continued existance of some of the original internal features, however, we couldn’t get in on the day we went and, actually, I have no idea if it is possible right now. Either way you can still wander through the main gate and have a rest on one of the benches inside the grounds whilst looking at its impressive facade. Read more »
Plover Cove was Hong Kong’s first reservoir and was built as a result of some serious water shortages suffered in the early 1960′s. In fact it was the world’s first freshwater reservoir created by damming off an area of sea – Plover Cove (Shuen Wan in Cantonese) – so it was a pioneering project in many ways. Read more »