Located on a strategic hill overlooking the narrow eastern channel to Victoria Harbour, this is actually two museums in one. Inside, displays cover 600 years of Hong Kong's coastal defense, beginning with the Ming Dynasty's forts and batteries in the 14th century to repel Japanese pirates and then Portuguese invaders and continuing with the British occupation, the Japanese invasion in 1941, and the 1997 handover to China. There is officer armor from the Ming and Qing periods, information about the development of two Chinese coastal forts in Hong Kong (Tung Chung and Kowloon Walled City, foundations for which still remain) and the opium war, explanations of how Hong Kong became the major British military base in the Far East, and exhibits on the 1941 Battle for Hong Kong and the subsequent three years and eight months of Japanese occupation. The other area of interest is the building itself, the former Lei Yue Mun Fort completed by the British in 1887 and never put to the test until the Battle for Hong Kong. The redoubt now holds the exhibits, while other original structures include batteries, underground magazines, torpedo stations, caponiers, a protective ditch, and weaponry, which can be seen on several walking tours through the grounds. The fort also provides panoramic views of the surrounding harbor. Plan on between one and two hours here.
- Beth Reiber