I’ve always said that I wanted to visit the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, but I could not find anyone to join me. Patrick said it will be boring, my colleagues told me it’s too far away (which is not true, it’s just not in Causeway Bay or TST, where everyone seems to be spending his/her free time) and therefore I had to wait until my parents’ visit in April to go and explore this gem of a museum.
It is located in a former coastal defence fort overlooking the Lei Yue Mun channel, near Shau Kei Wan on Hong Kong Island. You can travel there by MTR to Shau Kei Wan and then just follow the signs – it’s a 10 minutes quick walk from the MTR station.
You arrive at the bottom, where you can purchase the tickets, and then take an escalator up to the top of the building from which you can walk across to the old fort structure. Afterwards, you can easily stroll downhill and visit the outdoor exhibits on the Historical Trail.
The fort was built by the British in 1887, intended to defend the eastern approaches to Victoria Harbour. It fell into the hands of the Japanese in 1941 and was returned to the British Forces later, to serve as a training ground until 1987 when it was finally vacated.
The fort has now been transformed into a museum with a permanent exhibition explaining the defence of the Hong Kong coastline from the time of the Ming Dynasty, through the First and Second Opium Wars and the Battle of Hong Kong, through to today.
Following the Historical Trail you can visit a few Battery stations, the remains of the gunpowder factory and the Brennan Torpedo station.
It is a great 1/2 day out of a busy city – and not only for history freaks. If you enjoy a nice walk, with some nice views across the channel and some interesting historic facts, then this is a great place to visit.
We spent hours exploring the permanent exhibition and the Historical Trail. Afterwards, we just relaxed by the channel, enjoying the scenery surrounding us.
- How to get to the museum? Just take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station, Exit B2 and walk 10 minutes
- The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm everyday except for Thursdays and the first two days of the Chinese New Year and the time for the last admission is 4.30 pm
- Admission fee is 10 HKD every day, except Wednesday (free admission on Wednesdays)
- Make sure to pack a picknick or bring some snacks with you as the cafe is small and just serves basic food (luncheon meat, toast and instant noodles)