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Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Hong Kong has long had to protect its enviable position on the South China Sea coast, and one of the most formidable military installations built to ward off a potential sea invasion is now home to an intriguing exhibition of military memorabilia.

Built by the British in the 1880s, the Lei Yue Mun Fort that houses the Museum of Coastal Defence sits perched upon the heights overlooking the narrow strip of water at Lei Yue Mun. The fort finally saw some action during the Second World War, when its brave defenders suffered heavy casualties as they unsuccessfully tried to hold off the invading Japanese forces.

The museum now holds a fascinating permanent exhibition entitled ‘600 Years of Coastal Defence’; an intriguing collection of military memorabilia covering the past 600 years of Hong Kong's military history. It includes exhibits and relics from the Ming period (1368–1644) right up to the present. Several of the museum's 11 galleries are devoted to the first Opium War (1839–1842), the colonial period, the Battle of Hong Kong (WWII), the Japanese occupation, and the post-handover Hong Kong Garrison of the People's Liberation Army. The upper part of the Redoubt is dedicated to thematic exhibitions such as the Coastal Defence Weapons Theatre and the Cost of War. 

The military relics scattered around the Lei Yue Mun headland have been restored, and a fascinating historical trail has been built, enabling visitors to stroll around a variety of defence remnants, including a British Comet tank, an armoured personnel carrier and a 10-inch breech-loading gun.

 

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