Monday, April 13, 2015

Tung Chung Fort

Awhile back, one of my friends and I had planned to find the Tung Chung Fort.  That didn't pan out quite right, but we did discover Ma Wan Chung.  And that was a nice little find.  But, since that day, I've happened across a sign that pointed in the direction of the Tung Chung Fort, which is what this blog post is all about today!

How to get to the Tung Chung Fort:
1.  From the Tung Chung MTR Exit B, walk to the bus barn

2.  Hop onto 3M, 11, or 34

3.  Hop off at the Ha Ling Pei Village stop

NOTE:  The bus ride is probably 5 minutes.  Quite short.  You'll see the Tung Chung Fort sign when you get off the bus.  And when you follow it, you should see the stone gateway above.  The fort is directly straight ahead (1 minute walk).

The fort was build back in 1832.  It was declared as a monument in 1979 and is one of Hong Kong's protected historical buildings.  These days, it is quite the abandoned monument, with the occasional television program using the location for a shoot (some television network was taping at the fort when we went to visit).

The day we visited, I walked into the fort and thought how lovely it was that it was being used by the local residents to dry fish!  Then I realized that it was for a television program.  The wooden drying pans and the dried fish were placed there by the television network, but they seriously looked real!

There is a mini museum attached to the fort at the left side of the courtyard.  It's like a lot of Lantau's mini museums (like Tai O's or Mui Wo's community museums).  It's pretty much a little introduction to the history of Lantau and the fort.

The coolest thing about the fort is that you can walk the walls.  Though it isn't so high, we could definitely gain a good view of the immediate surrounding area.  There were also little look out posts that, if I were a kid, would have enjoyed playing FORT in.

The fort also had six cannons that pointed towards the housing estates right across the street.  Again, if I were a kid, I think that this would definitely be a dream playground because it had real cannons (which were filled with cement…though) to play with and a lot of space to run around with.

The cannons were awesome, though.  It was like touching history.  These cannons were built during the Qing Dynasty (when the fort was built back in 1832) and were probably used…against the invading British.

I thought it was so funny how the cannons now face the housing estates across the street!

Beyond the courtyard and the main row of buildings (where you can find the museum space), is another row of buildings.   One space seemed to be occupied by a woman who was teaching Cantonese Opera.  She said she taught classes to the local ladies, but there seemed to be no one there for her 1 pm class.  She also attempted to sell us her CDs, videos and teach us some Cantonese Opera techniques.

Behind the fort is a public restroom, which I am totally not sure if it is working!

***The views from the Tung Chung Fort wall***

Online, the Tung Chung tourist info sites say that this is one of the local hot spots for tourists, but I think it is quite a bit more mellow than I thought it was going to be.

It seems more like a place where you would take a walk to in the afternoon with the kids and just hang out in.  It might be a nice spot to visit when visiting all of the other great things in Lantau, but, for me, it was a nice little 10 minute look around spot.