Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hong Kong Postcard Day 20 Tung Chung Fort Part 1

Hello Thursday! Let's continue our China trip! On the way to Tai O, we decided to stop by Tung Chung Fort but directions were needed so we stopped at a residential area where a kind gentleman pointed us the right way. Some shots captured below as Peter, David and I returned to the car.A back alley was recorded on site, many homes have back entrances, judging by the vents the kitchen must be located by the rear. I noticed pipes were visible on the outside, I remembered this was standard practice in Singapore too, the tropical climate permitted exterior pipelines. They did not look aesthetically pleasing but problems were easier to access and fix should they arise.
At the front of the building residents shared a common pathway that led to main entrances, various seating accommodations were left out for chatting and relaxing in the evening. The metal fence provided a boundary for the small recreational space, but also served as a drying post for mop. Scattered about were a few potted plants, it was heartwarming to note gardening was not forgotten in this limited space.
As we drove away, a shot of the numerous flats, living spaces stacked one on top of another, a reality in highly populated areas. I'm not entirely keen about this congested lifestyle but land is a prime commodity in any big city.
A framed view of the hi-rise neighborhood from the car, things always looks better with a bit of greenery.
Back on the highway, the bus stop area was clearly marked with painted signs on the road, in English and Chinese. We were told to follow the road and turn right where there would be a small parking lot.
There was parking capacity for only 5 cars, we took the last spot and found the sign that directed us to Tung Chung Fort.
Along the way we found an outdoor vending machine for soft drinks, it was surprisingly clean and seemed to be in great working order. Who were the customers? The little trail on the right called out to us and onwards we went towards the residential building.
A small group of multiple dwellings, a few pieces of laundry hung outside to dry, just like the rest of China.
More smaller buildings, but they were not all residences, the bottom floor housed several businesses, most of them were closed on Sunday.
A grove of banana trees, some were bearing fruit, it has been quite some time since I walked under its shady canopy.
If I recalled correctly, I think the admission to Tung Chung Fort was free. A small but quiet area, it was surrounded by luxurious growth, the air felt warm and humid.
Peter pointed out one of the stone huts was a museum, the doors and windows were open but there was no attendant. It housed a small collection of old farming equipment, historical literature hung on the walls but after 20 days of non-stop intense travel in China I merely glanced at them briefly, took a couple of pictures and moved on.
Looking back I wished I paid more attention, what was that interesting looking wooden machinery? Regardless, I remembered liking what I saw.
The outlook at one of the windows, a capture of old and new, the fort was surrounded with more recent developments.
The fort was built in the late 12th Century, it served as a defending post for pirates, was occupied by the Japanese in World War II, later a police station and college, now a Rural Committee Office and a public school. This explained why there was a school yard with a scoreboard and a basketball hoop. Looking at this I recalled exciting games with my Singaporean schoolmates, cries of encouragement as the ball bounced loudly on the concrete.
By the school yard were some stone steps, as we headed up I captured this scene, another shot combining future and history. Where do the stairs lead to I wonder, we will find out next week, stay tuned for another China adventure!

1 comment:

  1. The high rises are quite overwhelming. The contrasts of the new and old offer an uneasy tension. Great post. Have a good weekend.