Discover Tai Kwun

Discover Tai Kwun II: Behind the Scenes

Date & Time

5 minutes for each episode




Free of charge


Stepping into Tai Kwun, the compound’s stories slowly unfold amidst the 16 historic buildings. Discover Tai Kwun navigates your journey through time and space across the heritage site to learn about its history, conservation, and revitalisation. Stories surrounding the buildings, the people, and their various activities prompt new considerations towards the historical, architectural, and social significance of Tai Kwun in the heart of Central.

Once a heavily gated compound and now open to all, there are hidden places and stories of Tai Kwun that are little known to visitors. Discover Tai Kwun II: Behind the Scenes brings you to locations that are currently unavailable for public access due to conservation and operational reasons. Take a closer look at these places and discover how they are protected, adapted for new functions. Explore the many ways in which they enable us to relate history to present-day experience.

Episode 1: Underground Passage in the Court

Host to a 1975 court case, visitors can visually open the Central Magistracy’s ‘secret’ underground passage and discover the details of its architectural conservation to learn why it is currently not open to the public. 

Episode 2: Balconies and Verandahs

As a character-defining element of Tai Kwun’s historical buildings, balconies and verandahs were conserved through collaborative efforts in our revitalisation. Conservation specialists will explain the work involved, why these areas have to be protected from heavy use, and the evolution of such features on local buildings.

Episode 3: Ablutions Block and Immigration

Now a revitalised back-of-house area for Tai Kwun, Ablutions Block, once housed supporting facilities of the police station, was also the location of an immigration office from the 1980s until the site’s closure. Discover the stories within the former immigration building and how it prompts us to think about Hong Kong’s immigration history. 

Episode 4: WWII Air Raid Shelter

As a compound that stood witness to WWII, locations related to the war can be found around the site. Follow our tour guides through the underground passage in the Police Headquarters Block, which now houses the back-of-house facilities of Tai Kwun. Once rumoured to be used as a wartime air raid tunnel, we invite you to explore this historic passageway.

Episode 5: Prison Ladder Store

Once a storeroom for locking up the best tool for prison escape, the Ladder Store retains its function as a storage facility after the revitalisation of Tai Kwun. Rumour has it that it was the entrance to an old tunnel. Find out what’s behind this door with our tour guide.