Field Trip to Hong Kong Observatory and Chungking Mansions
Why We Recommend it
Visit and learn more about two famous Hong Kong buildings—Chungking Mansions and the Hong Kong Observatory—on a field trip led by the Royal Geographic Society of Hong Kong.
This trip takes participants to the heart of the Observatory’s Historic Monument building of 1883, and its surrounding gardens, where measurements are taken in the port city’s pioneering work on typhoon prediction.
The visit includes an introduction in the Observatory’s lecture theatre. This is followed by a viewing of the Observatory’s measuring devices, together with advanced computer equipment linked with other observatories around the world. The Observatory’s work on a daily basis during extreme weather events is also featured. In the exhibition hall, participants can see how weather forecasts are formulated and disseminated to the public at the Observatory, using the latest technology, as well as some former meteorological maps.
After this visit, participants are taken to the Chungking Mansions in a tour led by some of its residents. Chungking Mansions is replete with contradictions: it has the cheapest guesthouses and meals in Hong Kong, in a dilapidated seventeen-storey commercial and residential structure in the heart of Hong Kong’s tourist district, while being located on some of the most expensive real estate on earth. Its design, built to be luxurious in the 1960s, makes it perfect as a place to escape into and never be seen by the police again. From the start, it had no unified ownership, so rapidly deteriorated, plus making it almost impossible to redevelop.
Its tangled history, first in the 1970s and 1980s as a backpacker mecca and then as a developing-world enclave, has made it a tourist attraction. Chungking Mansions is now where people from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and other areas seek their fortunes through temporary employment and low-budget transnational trade.
The tour ends with a lunch at one of the famous restaurants in Chungking Mansions.
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