Exploring the Japanese wartime sites at Tai Mo Shan

A couple of weekends ago I joined Thomas to explore the WW2 radar station [1] and anti-aircraft gun sites [2] that the Japanese built on Tai Mo Shan. We'd read Tymon Mellor's account of the Japanese wartime radar site there [3], and wanted to see what remains today.

"Tai Mo Shan" is Cantonese for "Big hat mountain", and it certainly had its cloudy hat on the day we visited. Despite the fog we still found lots to see.

Getting there - the walk to the site

Here's the route we took, marked in red on the map [4].

Military sites at Tai Mo Shan

We started at

Asking for help with Gwulo's running costs

If you enjoy the Gwulo website and newsletters, please consider making a small contribution towards the monthly running costs.

The short version:

  • Running Gwulo takes 20-30 hours of my time each week, plus a couple of hundred US$ expenses each month.
  • It's been ten years since my first post about Hong Kong's history. Gwulo continues to grow but the bills of family life in Hong Kong still need to be paid, so it's time to ask for help.
  • A site called Patreon exists to help fund people working on projects like Gwulo, with monthly contributions from US$1 a month.

So, if you're able to help please visit Gwulo's page on Patreon: 

I've written up a longer explanation of the hows & whys below, but if you've got any questions please let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to answer.

Thanks & regards,


The long version:

What does a patron of Gwulo do?

A patron is someone who finds value in what Gwulo does, and promises to make a small contribution each month.

How much will a patron pay each month?

It'll depend on how much value you get from Gwulo. Here are some suggestions after asking people what they think Gwulo's value is to them

1953 Nathan Road

1953 Nathan Road

Where: We're looking south along Nathan Road. Over on the left, just behind that big tree, is the junction with Kimberley Road.

What: What would you say is the main item in this photo? The photographer has titled it:

Barbara Anslow remembers old Hong Kong. Part 1: 1927-29

In February I visited Barbara Anslow for a chat about her memories of moving to Hong Kong in 1927, aged eight years old. Below the recording I've added photos and additional notes.

(E-mail subscribers, if you can't see the player, please view the web version of this page.)

Additional notes:

1906-40: Warren Swire’s Hong Kong

In 1904, aged just 21, G. Warren Swire became a director of his father’s firm, John Swire & Sons Ltd. Two years later he was sailing east to visit the company’s operations in China. Fortunately for Hong Kong’s record, he was a keen photographer.

Here’s what he saw on that first visit…

1906-7 Dockyard construction

Not surprisingly, he paid most attention to the construction of the company’s Taikoo Dockyard. When finished it would boast the largest dry dock in Hong Kong, and break the Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Company’s monopoly on large-scale ship-building and repair.

Here’s the great dry dock being built:

Constructing dockyard, Hong Kong

The dry dock was the most dramatic sight, but only occupied a small part of the dockyard. Next to the dry dock they built several slips where ships could be hauled up for repair:


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