HISTORY – The Abandoned Military Base on HK’s Wild Outpost of Tung Ping Chau (Part 3)

A final collection of shots from Hong Kong’s wild ‘Jumanji island’. Tung Ping Chau is the territory’s furthest flung ‘ghost’ island, too isolated to be featured on most maps. Its proximity to mainland China has meant there has long been a security detail based on the island…

In 1975, British military Gurkhas built a training camp on the strategically important outpost of Tung Ping Chau. It was constructed over 7 months, years before the prospect of HK’s handover to China was even discussed.

The camp is relatively small in size and has now been mothballed – air-conditioners, doors and windows have been solidly boarded up and the site is surrounded by fences and barbed wire.

Ping Chau was of particular importance during WWII as the Japanese invaded HK. Today, the island is mostly abandoned and has no consistent water or electrical supply. Ferries only run at weekend so less than a dozen residents remain during the week.

Next door to the camp is a police post – the authorities still maintain a constant presence on the island and often check the identities of visitors. Occasionally, they still intercept boats of people attempting to enter Hong Kong illegally.

There are also telecommunication towers and nuclear fallout shelters on the island as it is opposite Daya Bay power station in Shenzhen. The camp itself is one of three emergency meeting points for the island’s nuclear fallout plan. Creepily, the Marine Department remote radar station (built in the late 90s) emits a loud, low-pitched drone which battles with the electrical buzz of cicadas.

The government recently looked at the feasibility of redeveloping parts of the island. Ping Chau Camp was the only area with potential to transform into holiday accommodation, but plans were shelved as the site is too small and the island deemed too lacking in infrastructure and amenities.

The remnants of a lonely basketball court may not see another game any time soon…

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It appears the camp was designed to be largely self-sufficient. The latrine and what appears to be an incinerator are still intact…

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