The Shing Mun War Relics Trail is situated at the southern end of Shing Mun Reservoir, on the northern part of Smugglers’ Ridge and formed part of the Gin Drinkers line which was constructed in 1937-38 to defend against potential Japanese invasion. The Gin Drinkers Line, or Gin Drinkers’ Line, was a British military defensive line against the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong during the Battle of Hong Kong in December 1941, part of the Pacific War. The concept came from France’s Maginot Line, built after World War I. The British believed the line could protect the colony from Japanese invasion for at least six months and even called it the “Oriental Maginot Line” (Chinese: 東方馬奇諾防線)
Its total length was 18 kilometers. Its key points were the stretch between Beacon Hill and Sha Tin Pass, and the Shing MunRedoubt, the latter of which also housed command HQ for the Line. Names for the various entrances, passages, and exits were drawn from street names in Central London, such as “Oxford Street”, “Regent Street”, “Charing Cross”, “Haymarket”, “Picadilly”, and “Shaftesbury Avenue”, which are inscribed over entrances and exits. The Shing Mun Redoubt was known as the “Strand Palace Hotel”.
This trail is extremely interesting and one can explore the tunnels and go back in time to the Second World War whilst walking through the redoubt ( fort) which housed meeting rooms, kitchens, sleeping rooms besides bunkers, machine gun posts and pill boxes.
I am a history buff and Patricia joined me on this hike on a hot Wednesday.
Difficulty: 5/10 as we scrambled up to Smuggler’s ridge. 70 floors climbed, nearly 10 kilometres.
Duration: 3 hours with stops for photos .
How to get there: I took the train from Central to Tsuen Wan MTR and exited at B1. I met Patricia there and we walked towards Shiu Wo road to the green minibus stop for the number 82 bus. The fare was only HKD 5.60 and it dropped us at the Shing Mun country park.
We took the right from the Shing Mun Country Park sign.
We passed the first dam and came to a bbq site and a sign that mentioned Shing Mun War relics trail. There were toilets and dispensers for water and cool drinks.
We started our climb at the Maclehose trail stage 6 and up we went.
We came to our first stop. There were signs explaining everything.
We walked uphill a bit and got to see the trench too and a board giving details of the Shing Mun Redoubt.
We continued walking on the rugged path and spotted Needle hill in the distance.
We decided to enter the tunnels and walk through it. It was spooky but fun.
We continued to Shaftsbury Avenue and Charing cross tunnel exits.
We continued up the steps passing the Golden Hill marker stone to enjoy the view of Shing Mun Reservoir from the viewing point.
We continued to the artillery post. This was amazing as we entered and walked through every part underneath and ended up exiting at Shaftsbury Avenue near the Golden hill marker stone as a result we had to climb uphill again 😅. Enjoy the pictures.
Beauty graced us as we continued on the rugged path。
We decided to take a short break and snacked on apples and brownies.
Someone had kept little boxes as bins to collect plastic bottles there too.
We continued on our way and suddenly on our left we found a path leading uphill towards Smuggler’s Ridge hill. We decided to scramble up the rocky path to the top. We found ribbons along the way and followed that trail.
We retraced our steps and got back on the normal path.
We finally reached a concrete path and sign pointing towards Tai Po road. We followed that path.
We walked uphill and then downhill towards the Kowloon reservoir which was part of the Kam Shan country park. Here we met some macaques too. We held on to our phones and walked quickly though they looked pretty cute with their red behinds.
We finally reached the Kowloon reservoir. It was dry and the water level was extremely low. However, got some lovely photos of this water body.
We finally reached the end and crossed the road to the bus stop and took the number 81 bus.
What a fantastic hike! We felt we covered more than we had planned to do. We got to explore the historic Shing Mun War Relics trail, hike up Smuggler’s ridge and got to visit the Kowloon reservoir too. It was hot and sunny but we managed to finish this hike in 3 hours with our snack break and photo stops too.
This is a lovely educational hike for children especially if they’re interested in history. However in summer one must carry lots of water, wear sunscreen and carry mosquito repellent.
Do try this hike and let me know if you enjoyed it. Also follow me for more hikes on https://www.facebook.com/honkiehiker.
Happy hiking, stay safe and keep our trails clean. 😊