Streets of Hong Kong Premium Private Tours--Dispatch #0014: TAI KWUN, THE HISTORIC CENTRAL POLICE STATION RE-OPENS...


TAI KWUN (All Rights Reserved, WilliamBanzai7, 2018)

Tai Kwun ("Big Station"), the Former Central Police Station Compound, was built between 1864 and 1925, comprises 16 historic building grouped under the former Central Police Station, the Former Central Magistracy and the Victoria Prison. Most of the Hong Kong's historic colonial architecture was demolished for development before the British government handed Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories back to China in 1997. After the first building in the Former Central Police Station Compound was built in the 1860s, the site underwent numerous expansions and reconstruction over the next century.

In 2008, the Hong Kong SAR Government partnered with the Hong Kong Jockey Club to conserve the and revitalise the complex. Tai Kwun partially reopened to the public in May 2018.

Tai Kwun once seen by certain elements of the local populace as a symbol of colonial oppression, has been recast as an arts centre. Tai Kwun was built on the edge of Hong Kong Island’s fast-growing downtown in the early 1860s. It is where Ho Chi Minh was imprisoned in the 1930s, where the Japanese army established a base during the second world war, where war crimes trials were subsequently held and where the military units that quashed the 1967 riots were stationed. During the course of Colonial Hong Kong's history, many a rogue spent time quartered in Tai Kwun.

I visited Tai Kwun one fine sunny day in May with a few of my guide colleagues, Amy of Hong Kong Greeters and Lorena of Vive Hong Kong Tours. Lorena was kind enough to have arranged entry passes--Thank you Lorena!

It was early days and not everything to be featured in Tai Kwun was yet in full swing. However, my initial impression was that this is truly a world class heritage site revitalization and given the diversity of buildings and space on the site, a great venue for capturing great architectural images and unusual city views. The juxtaposition of law and order with arts is intriguing as well (Old Bailey meets modernism).

I was a bit pressed for time, but managed to capture the following images. I have no doubt that Tai Kwun will wind up high on many Hong Kong visitor bucket lists. Please note that entry is not open and it is necessary to book entry passes online, here.

To view more of my images of Hong Kong and Macau, please visit my Flickr Stream or visit me on Instagram: @williambanzai7.

Hope to see you soon on the Streets of Hong Kong or Macau!


End of Dispatch


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I am an American of Asian descent from NYC who has spent many years living and working throughout Asia, most recently based from a very old Chinese neighborhood called To Kwa Wan in Old Kowloon for 15 years. I am also a retired international lawyer with strong Asian roots and I have reinvented myself as a professional artist, photographer and street savvy Hong Kong premium tour guide.

I specialize in premium private walking tours with an emphasis on street culture, local history and, for those so inclined, all levels of photography. My private tours are personalized to match your unique interests. Inasmuch as I am a professional photographer, all of the points of interest covered in my repertoire have a very strong visual appeal coupled with a well informed narrative adding dimension and context to your images.

Whether you are into simple travel snapshots, social media image sharing or serious landscape, architectural or urban street photography or just enjoying the Hong Kong experience, I am in a position to maximize your time spent in Hong Kong and its surrounding locales to the fullest.      

Hence, my mission can be encapsulated as follows: To provide all of my clients with an entertaining, deeply informative and street savvy premium travel experience ultimately leading to cherished memories, a portfolio of stunning on-tour photographs, an urge for further investigation and a strong desire to navigate your way back to this wonderfully engaging city.

My premium walking tours are ideal for acclimating and orienting first time visitors to Hong Kong as well as for returning visitors eager for a new experience.

I accept engagements up to one year in advance or, subject to my availability, last minute and/or same day. Families with children are always welcome and children 16 years and under are free of charge. Special needs clients are also welcome.

You can book a tour or send me an inquiry now by going to my Contact/Booking Page.

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