Victoria Harbour is a natural landform harbour separating Hong Kong Island in the south from the Kowloon Peninsula to the north. The harbour's deep, sheltered waters and strategic location on the South China Sea were instrumental in Hong Kong's establishment as a British colony and its subsequent development as a trading centre. Throughout its history, the harbour has seen numerous reclamation projects undertaken on both shores, many of which have caused controversy in recent years. Environmental concerns have been expressed about the effects of these expansions, in terms of water quality and loss of natural habitat, it has been proposed that benefits of land reclamation may be less than the effects of decreased harbour width, affecting the number of vessels passing through the harbour. Nonetheless Victoria Harbour still retains its founding role as a port for thousands of international vessels each year; the harbour is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. Lying in the middle of the territory's dense urban region, the harbour is the site of annual fireworks displays and its promenades are used as gathering places for tourists and residents.
The first reference to what is now called Victoria Harbour is found in Zheng He's sailing maps of the China coast, dated c.1425, which appear in the Wubei Zhi, a comprehensive 17th-century military book. While the harbour was charted in maps, the first map depicting it in detail is an 1810 marine chart prepared for the East India Company by Daniel Ross and Philip Maughan, lieutenants of the Bombay Marine; some of the first recreational activities to take place in the harbour were water competitions such as swimming and water polo in the 1850s, undertaken by members of Hong Kong's first sports club, the Victoria Recreation Club. During the Taiping Rebellion, armed rebels paraded the streets of Hong Kong. On 21 December 1854, the Hong Kong police arrested several armed rebels who were about to attack Kowloon City. On 23 January 1855, a fleet of Taiping war boats was on the verge of a naval battle against Chinese imperial war boats defending the harbour; the Chinese defenders were ordered away by the British colonial authorities.
These incidents caused rising tension that would lead to the Arrow War. The harbour was called "Hong Kong Harbour", but was renamed as "Victoria Harbour", to assure shelter for the British fleet under Queen Victoria; the subject of pollution came to the fore in the 1970s with the rapid growth of the manufacturing sector. The water club races were stopped in 1973 due to pollution in the harbour, a year after the RMS Queen Elizabeth burned and capsized there. Studies showed excessive nitrogen input from discharges of the Pearl River Delta into the harbour for decades. After completion of the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation Feasibility Study in 1989, the Land Development Policy Committee endorsed a concept for gradual implementation of this additional reclamation, it consists of three district development cells separated by parks, Central and Exhibition. The latest proposed reclamation, extending along the waterfront from Sheung Wan to Causeway Bay, faced public opposition, as the harbour has become a pivotal location to Hongkongers in general.
Activists have denounced the government's actions as destructive not only to the natural environment, but to what is considered as one of the most prized natural assets of the territory. NGOs, including the Society for Protection of the Harbour, were formed to resist further attempts to reduce the size of the waterbody, with its chairman, Christine Loh, quoted as saying that the harbour "...is a precious national asset and we must preserve it for future generations. I believe an insightful and visionary chief executive would support our stance and work with us to protect the harbour". Reclamation work led to the demolition of Queen's Pier and Edinburgh Place Ferry Pier, structures of historic significance, to massive public opposition. Victoria Harbour covered an area of about 41.88 km2 in 2004. The eastern boundary is considered to be the line formed between the westernmost extremity of Siu Chau Wan and A Kung Ngam; the western boundary is considered to consist of a line drawn from the westernmost point of Hong Kong Island to the westernmost point of Green Island, thence a straight line drawn from the westernmost point of Green Island to the southeastern-most point of Tsing Yi, thence along the eastern and northern coastal lines of Tsing Yi to its westernmost extremity, thence a straight line drawn true north towards the mainland.
There are several islands within the harbour: Green Island Little Green Island Kowloon Rock Tsing Yi IslandDue to land reclamation, the following are former islands that are now connected to adjacent lands or larger islands: Stonecutters Island Channel Rock Kellett Island Hoi Sham Island Nga Ying Chau Pillar Island Mong Chau Chau Tsai Rumsey Rock Victoria Harbour is known for its panoramic night view and skyline in the direction towards Hong Kong Island where the skyline of skyscrapers is superimposed over the ridges behind. Among the best places to view the harbour are the Peak Tower atop Victoria Peak, or from the piazza at the Cultural Centre or the promenade of Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon side. Rides on the Star Ferry, including the route between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, are another way to view the harbour and cityscape; as the natural
Beacon Hill, Hong Kong
Beacon Hill is a large hill in the northern part of the Kowloon peninsula in Hong Kong. It is 457m tall. Beacon Hill is located within the Lion Rock Country Park; the tower and its relevant equipment on the top of Beacon Hill is not open to the public and is a secured facility controlled and maintained by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department. The hill's name date back to the Great Clearance between 1661 to 1669, which required the complete evacuation of the coastal areas of Kowloon in Hong Kong in order to fight against and subsequently defeat the anti-Qing movement, first started and led by surviving Ming Dynasty loyalists. Qing military garrisons were created and stationed throughout most of Kowloon's coastal areas to enforce the Qing government's decree in locations which became referred to as beacons. Geography of Hong Kong List of mountains and hills in Hong Kong Beacon Hill School, Hong Kong Beacon Hill Tunnel
Lei Yue Mun
Lei Yue Mun is a short channel in Hong Kong. It lies between Victoria Harbour, separating Kowloon and Hong Kong Island; the channel is an important passage for the city, forming the eastern entrance of Victoria Harbour. The lands around the channel are called Lei Yue Mun. On Kowloon side, it is famous for restaurants in the fishing villages. On the Hong Kong Island side, it has former military defence facilities; the Chinese name for the channel is pronounced Lei5 yu4 mun4 in Cantonese. It has been variously transcribed and translated over the years, appearing as the Ly-ce-moon Pass, the Ly-ee-moon Pass, Lyemun and the Lye Moon Passage. Devil's Peak Pirates On Hong Kong IslandLei Yue Mun Fort, converted into the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence Lyemun Barracks, converted into the Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday VillageOn Kowloon Sam Ka Tsuen Sam Ka Tsuen Typhoon Shelter Ma San Tsuen Tin Hau temple, a Grade II historic building in Ma Wan Tsuen; the temple was built in 1753 and reconstructed in 1953.
A Hip Tin Temple adjacent to the Tin Hau Temple was added after 1953 for the worship of Kwan Tai. Lighthouse Wish Tree Lei Yue Mun Estate, a public housing estate in Yau Tong Lei Yue Mun Plaza, a shopping mall Ferry: Coral Sea Shipping Services provides a regular service between Sam Ka Tsuen pier and Sai Wan Ho pier. Fare is HK$6 per adult. Bus: Kowloon Motor Bus operates bus no. 14X between Sam Ka Tsuen and China Ferry Terminal. Minibus: Red minibus service is available between Kwun Tong and Lei Yue Mun. MTR: Yau Tong Station Devil's Peak, Hong Kong Lei Yue Mun Road Harbourfront Enhancement Committee "Revitalizing Lei Yue Mun", October 2009 Tourism Commission website: "Lei Yue Mun Waterfront Enhancement Project"
Lion Rock, or less formally Lion Rock Hill, is a mountain in Hong Kong. It is located between Kowloon Tong of Kowloon and Tai Wai of the New Territories, is 495 metres high; the peak consists of granite covered sparsely by shrubs. Lion Rock is noted for its shape: its resemblance to a crouching lion is most striking from the Choi Hung and San Po Kong areas in East Kowloon. A trail winds its way up the forested hillside to the top, culminating atop the "lion's head"; the trail can be followed across the profile of the lion linking up with the MacLehose Trail. The rock provides Hong Kong Island in the distance; the entire mountain is located within Lion Rock Country Park in Hung Mui Kuk, Tai Wai and is made passable by vehicles by Lion Rock Tunnel, which connects Kowloon Tong and Tai Wai. Lion Rock is near the Amah Rock. A road in Kowloon City is named Lion Rock Road. After World War II and communists' victory in the China Civil War, many people who fled to Hong Kong from Mainland China lived in squatters in Kowloon, where the Lion Rock is visible.
The lives of the era, during which Hong Kong was rebuilt from poverty, was depicted by the RTHK TV series Below the Lion Rock. The series featured some of the early work of now famous film directors such as Ann Hui, its theme song "Beneath the Lion Rock", sung by Roman Tam, is considered to indicate the spirit of the Hong Kong people. The name of the series and its eponymous theme song has since been connected to the "Lion Rock Spirit", used to refer to Hong Kong as a whole; the second version of the government-sponsored Brand Hong Kong contains a siloutte of the Lion Rock. According to the brand, the Lion Rock represents "the Hong Kong people's'can-do' spirit". A banner writing “我要真普選” was hung up near the head of the'Lion' on 23 October 2014 to show supports towards 2014 Hong Kong protests; the banner was removed by the government on the next day. The Lion Rock Institute is a public policy think tank advocating free market solutions for Hong Kong's policy challenges. Gavin Young wrote the history of Cathay Pacific Airways in a book entitled Beyond Lion Rock.
The reggae band Culture has a song entitled'Lion Rock'. List of mountains and hills in Hong Kong HK Government Lion Rock Country Park
Kowloon Walled City
Kowloon Walled City was a ungoverned, densely populated settlement in Kowloon City, Hong Kong. A Chinese military fort, the Walled City became an enclave after the New Territories was leased to Britain by China in 1898, its population increased following the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. By 1990, the walled city contained 50,000 residents within its 2.6-hectare borders. From the 1950s to the 1970s, it was controlled by local triads and had high rates of prostitution and drug abuse. In January 1987, the Hong Kong government announced plans to demolish the walled city. After an arduous eviction process, demolition began in March 1993 and was completed in April 1994. Kowloon Walled City Park occupies the area of the former Walled City; some historical artefacts from the walled city, including its yamen building and remnants of its southern gate, have been preserved there. The history of the walled city can be traced back to the Song Dynasty, when an outpost was set up to manage the trade of salt.
Little took place for hundreds of years afterward, although 30 guards were stationed there in 1668. A small coastal fort was established around 1810. In 1842, during Qing Emperor Daoguang's reign, Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Nanjing; as a result, the Qing authorities felt it necessary to improve the fort in order to rule the area and check further British influence. The improvements, including the formidable defensive wall, were completed in 1847; the walled city was captured by rebels during the Taiping Rebellion in 1854 before being retaken a few weeks later. The present Walled City's "Dapeng Association House" forms the remnants of what was Lai Enjue's garrison; the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory of 1898 handed additional parts of Hong Kong to Britain for 99 years, but excluded the walled city, which at the time had a population of 700. China was allowed to continue to keep officials there as long as they did not interfere with the defence of British Hong Kong.
The following year, the governor, Sir Henry Blake, suspected that the viceroy of Canton was using troops to aid resistance to the new arrangements. On 16 May 1899, British forces attacked the Walled City, only to find the viceroy's soldiers gone, leaving behind only the mandarin and 150 residents; the Qing dynasty ended its rule in 1912. Though the British claimed ownership of the walled city, they did little with it over the following few decades; the Protestant church established an old people's home in the old "yamen" as well as a school and an almshouse in other former offices. Aside from such institutions, the walled city became a mere curiosity for British colonials and tourists to visit. In 1933, the Hong Kong authorities announced plans to demolish most of the decaying walled city's buildings, compensating the 436 squatters that lived there with new homes. By 1940 only the yamen, the school and one house remained. During the World War II occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese occupying forces demolished the city's wall and used the stone to expand the nearby Kai Tak Airport.
After Japan's surrender in 1945, China announced its intent to reclaim the walled city. Refugees fleeing the Chinese Civil War post-1945 poured into Hong Kong, 2,000 squatters occupied the walled city by 1947. After a failed attempt to drive them out in 1948, the British adopted a'hands-off' policy in most matters concerning the walled city. In January 1950, a fire broke out that destroyed over 2,500 huts, home to nearly 3,500 families and 17,000 total people; the disaster highlighted the need for proper fire prevention in the wooden-built squatter areas, complicated by the lack of political ties with the colonial and Chinese governments. The ruins gave new arrivals to the walled city the opportunity to build anew, causing speculation that the fire may have been intentionally set. With no government enforcement from the Chinese or the British aside from a few raids by the Royal Hong Kong Police, the walled city became a haven for crime and drugs, it was only during a 1959 trial for a murder that occurred within the Walled City that the Hong Kong government was ruled to have jurisdiction there.
By this time, the walled city was ruled by the organised crime syndicates known as triads. Beginning in the 1950s, triad groups such as the 14K and Sun Yee On gained a stranglehold on the walled city's numerous brothels, gaming parlours, opium dens; the Walled City had become such a haven for criminals that police would venture into it only in large groups. It was not until 1973–74, when a series of more than 3,500 police raids resulted in over 2,500 arrests and over 1,800 kilograms of seized drugs, that the triads' power began to wane. With public support from younger residents, the continued raids eroded drug use and violent crime. In 1983, the police commander of Kowloon City District declared the Walled City's crime rate to be under control; the City underwent massive construction during the 1960s, with developers building new modular structures above older ones. The city became densely populated and "a world unto its own,"an enclave. With over 33,000 people in 300 buildings occupying little more than 7 acres.
As a result, the city reached its maximum size by the early 1980s. As well as limiting building height, the proximity of the airport subjected resi
A refugee speaking, is a displaced person, forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely. Such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status by the contracting state or the UNHCR if they formally make a claim for asylum; the lead international agency coordinating refugee protection is the United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The United Nations have a second Office for refugees, the UNRWA, responsible for supporting the large majority of Palestinian refugees. Although similar terms in other languages have described an event marking large scale migration of a specific population from a place of origin, such as the biblical account of Israelites fleeing from Assyrian conquest, in English, the term refugee derives from the root word refuge, from Old French refuge, meaning "hiding place", it refers to "shelter or protection from danger or distress", from Latin fugere, "to flee", refugium, "a taking refuge, place to flee back to".
In Western history, the term was first applied to French Huguenots, after the Edict of Fontainebleau, who again migrated from France after the Edict of Nantes revocation. The word meant "one seeking asylum", until around 1914, when it evolved to mean "one fleeing home", applied in this instance to civilians in Flanders heading west to escape fighting in World War I; the first modern definition of international refugee status came about under the League of Nations in 1921 from the Commission for Refugees. Following World War II, in response to the large numbers of people fleeing Eastern Europe, the UN 1951 Refugee Convention adopted the following definition of "refugee" to apply to any person who: "owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country. In 1967, this legal concept was expanded by the UN Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.
The Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa expanded the 1951 definition, which the Organization of African Unity adopted in 1969:"Every person who, owing to external aggression, foreign domination or events disturbing public order in either part or the whole of his country of origin or nationality, is compelled to leave his place of habitual residence in order to seek refuge in another place outside his country of origin or nationality." The 1984 regional, non-binding Latin-American Cartagena Declaration on Refugees includes: "persons who have fled their country because their lives, safety or freedom have been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances which have disturbed public order." As of 2011, the UNHCR itself, in addition to the 1951 definition, recognizes persons as refugees: "who are outside their country of nationality or habitual residence and unable to return there owing to serious and indiscriminate threats to life, physical integrity or freedom resulting from generalized violence or events disturbing public order."
European Union's minimum standards definition of refugee, underlined by Art. 2 of Directive No. 2004/83/EC reproduces the narrow definition of refugee offered by the UN 1951 Convention. The same form of protection is foreseen for displaced people who, without being refugees, are exposed, if returned to their countries of origin, to death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatments; the idea that a person who sought sanctuary in a holy place could not be harmed without inviting divine retribution was familiar to the ancient Greeks and ancient Egyptians. However, the right to seek asylum in a church or other holy place was first codified in law by King Æthelberht of Kent in about AD 600. Similar laws were implemented throughout Europe in the Middle Ages; the related concept of political exile has a long history: Ovid was sent to Tomis. By the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, nations recognized each other's sovereignty. However, it was not until the advent of romantic nationalism in late 18th-century Europe that nationalism gained sufficient prevalence for the phrase country of nationality to become meaningful, for border crossing to require that people provide identification.
The term "refugee" sometime applies to people who might fit the definition outlined by the 1951 Convention, were it applied retroactively. There are many candidates. For example, after the Edict of Fontainebleau in 1685 outlawed Protestantism in France, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled to England, the Netherlands, South Africa and Prussia; the repeated waves of pogroms that swept Eastern Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries prompted mass Jewish emigration. Beginning in the 19th century, Muslim people emigrated to Turkey from Europe; the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 caused 800,000 people to leave their homes. Various groups of people were designated refugees beginning in World War I; the fir
Stonecutters Island or Ngong Shuen Chau is a former island in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong. Following land reclamation, it is now attached to the Kowloon Peninsula; the island once boasted at least three mating pairs of sulphur-crested cockatoos as well as many snakes. Black kites hovered overhead, looking for prey and carrion amongst the many tamarind, ficus benjamina and banyan trees; the island was ceded by the Qing dynasty to Great Britain along with Kowloon in 1860 through the Convention of Peking. It was used for quarrying by the British, hence the English name for the island. A Royal Navy Radio Interception and Direction-finding Station was established on the island in 1935. From 1935 to 1939 the base was the main radio interception unit for the Far East Combined Bureau, four miles away across the harbour in the naval dockyard. After World War Two the island became host to British Army units including 415 Maritime Unit RCT and the Ammunition Sub-Depot RAOC. Explosive storage became more important following the 1967 riots and the Hong Kong Mines Division elected to have all commercial explosives stored on Stonecutters prior to being issued to the various blasting sites around the colony.
British Royal Army Ordnance Corps soldiers oversaw all commercial explosive issues post-1968 until the colony was transferred to China in 1997. Before it was the training and HQ depot of the Hong Kong Military Service Corps; the island was policed by Indian Sikhs. The Army Department Police, as they were known, saw continuous service on the island during the British era, they enjoyed field hockey, they were seen playing bare-footed on the field. During the early 1980s the ADP boasted two Indian national hockey players, it was common to see their blue pagris drying in the sun outside their barracks. The Royal Navy continued to provide a ferry service connecting islanders with HMS Tamar on Hong Kong and the Star Ferry terminal in Kowloon. Additional boats were crewed by Local Employed Personnel. During the 60s, 70s and 80s, the island became used as a'Rest and Recuperation' resort, having several chalet style bungalows built around the Navy and Air Force Institutes shop and swimming pool complex on the South Shore.
There was a commercial interest on the island. The factory manufactured other commercial explosives per week. Limited stocks of Chinese and other commercial explosives were stored in the island's Victorian explosive storage tunnels. During the 70s and 80s, the island was the forward operating base of a Royal Navy Hovercraft unit deployed to assist the Hong Kong government with anti-illegal immigration operations; the Royal Navy unit was under the control of Cmdr Chris Stafford and two SRN6 Mk6 Hovercraft were continually operated until 1985 when the unit was disbanded. Some buildings or military facilities within the Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks are now graded historic buildings. Stonecutters Island was captured by the Japanese Imperial Army on 11 December 1941, following heavy shelling. Merchant ships in the island's docks were scuttled, demolitions were carried out at Kowloon Naval Yard and on the island. During World War II, radio installations on the island were used by the Japanese for military purposes and for extending the range of transmission of the NHK Overseas Broadcasting Bureau.
The Japanese used the unique isolation of the island to house a snake farm. The snakes were milked of their venom to provide antidotes for their soldiers bitten on active duty in the Pacific theatre. Following the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997, the naval base is now operated by the People's Liberation Army of the PRC; the island was connected to the Kowloon peninsula by the West Kowloon Reclamation in the 1990s to provide land for the construction of the road and railway network to the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, for the Container Terminal 8 of Kwai Tsing Container Terminals. Stonecutters Island is the site of a large sewage treatment facility known as Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works. Since the facility was built in 2001, it has reduced the amount of E. coli in the nearby water by 99 percent, while other pollutants have been reduced by 70-80 percent, allowing coral to return to Victoria Harbour and make Hong Kong's beaches safe for swimming again.
Stonecutters Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge linking the Kowloon peninsula with Tsing Yi Island to form part of Route 8, opened in 2009. Hong Kong Islands of Hong Kong List of buildings and areas in Hong Kong Stonecutters Bridge Ngong Shuen Chau Naval Base Harland, Kathleen; the Royal Navy in Hong Kong Since 1841. Liskeard, England: Maritime Books. ISBN 9780907771197. Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works Stonecutters Bridge Ngong Shuen Chau Viaduct Ngong Shuen Chau Viaduct Stonecutters Island - A meeting place for previous British Forces residents