War Relics Trail (Lion Rock and Ma On Shan)
Some 80 years ago, Hong Kong witnessed the Battle of Hong Kong. Before the outbreak of the Second World War in the 1930s, the British military authorities constructed a defence line known as ‘the Gin Drinker’s Line’ along with such military installations as military marker stones, pillboxes, and trenches to defend against attacks from the enemy. With a span of 18 kilometres, the defence line stretches from Port Shelter, Sai Kung to the Kowloon hills, including Tate’s Cairn, Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, Shing Mun, Kam Shan, and Gin Drinker’s Bay (now Kwai Tsing), separating Kowloon from the New Territories. Starting at Gilwell Campsite near Tate’s Cairn and finishing at Beacon Hill, this trail is part of the defence line and there are 17 wartime ruins that tell the stories of the war at that time along the way. Some of them may look like just another massive rock, but are in fact the largest military stone markers discovered in Hong Kong up to now. Despite years of wind and rain, the markings on some of them are still clearly identifiable. However, many of these installations were destroyed by the British forces after the war, leaving the pillboxes in ruins. In addition to the military installations, there are numerous caves that were built during the Japanese occupation period. Kept in good conditions, they were originally built for possible attacks by the Allied Forces, but never came into use because in the end the war did not take place in Hong Kong.