For the next number of blogs I will be jumping around in space and time so the normal linearity of travel will be a bit jumbled. Having said that, I am trying to write my all my impressions and experiences down as they come back to me, as much as I vow to write these things down when I am travelling there never seems to be the time nor the inclination.
Hong Kong is well-known as a financial and commercial centre, in the mind of most people it is a city full of skyscrapers. Nonetheless, this tiny city is also full of history and memories. I always slow down my footsteps whenever i am in Hong Kong and rediscover its heritage. A prominent example of redevelopment of historic sites in Hong Kong is 1881 Heritage in Tsim Sha Tsui. This was the site of the Headquarters of the Former Marine Police. The main building was built in the early 1880s in a combination of Victorian colonial and neo-classical architectural designs. The site had ceased as the Headquarters of the Former Marine Police in 1996. In an effort to preserve and revitalize the heritage buildings, the site has been renovated and now it transformed into a magnificent hotel-shopping-exhibition complex. It’s stunningly beautiful at night. The Victorian architecture was indeed a sight to behold at night.
The Former Time Ball Tower is also found in this compound. This was used in the early days to signal ships on the harbour. At present, the time ball is dropped every 1pm. The whole compound itself is a fusion of the east and west as retail stores range from the very Asian Shanghai Tang to very European IWC Schaffhausen.
Given the speed with which Hong Kong’s colonial buildings have been torn down, it’s fortunate that the old British marine police headquarters survived at all. Most visitors to the bustling Tsim Sha Tsui area probably did not notice its elegant curving staircase entrance, set back from the neon and noise of Salisbury Road. The 19th-century white-stucco structure had been neglected for more than a decade. The site is not a museum, but it is true to its architectural and historical past.
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