Les, who was in charge and resided at the Tai O Police Station from 1978-1979, brings a wealth of knowledge to our journey. The Tai O Police Station, originally built in 1902 as an anti-pirate station, was restored in 2009 as Tai O Heritage Hotel, earning a Grade II historic building designation by the Antiquities Advisory Board. In 2013, it was conferred the prestigious UNESCO Award of Merit for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
With a deep understanding of Tai O village's history, Les will guide us through a captivating exploration. He will take us on a brief boat excursion up Tai O Creek, offering stunning views of the stilt houses that define the village. Les will also share stories about the old rope ferry and the Sun Kei Bridge, of which he officiated the opening in 1979.
After a delightful lunch at a local village restaurant, our adventure continues with a guided tour of the Tai O Heritage Hotel, where Les will unravel tales of piracy, gunfights, shootings, and a historic murder within the station.
Leave Central City Hall by coach at 9:30 am and return to Central by 6:30 pm.
$680 for Members and $780 for members' guests, including transportation, lunch in the village restaurant, and a boat excursion.
Les Bird, originally from Staffordshire, United Kingdom, joined the Royal Hong Kong Police in 1976 after extensive travels through Africa and Australia. His 21-year tenure in the Marine Police included diverse roles, from rural inspector of West Lantau to overseeing sea duties during the influx of Vietnamese refugees. Post-retirement in 1997, Les ventured into the security industry across Asia and became an accomplished endurance athlete, representing Great Britain at the 2009 Ironman World Championship. He achieved notable feats like swimming the English Channel in 2011 and summiting Mont Blanc in 2012. Les is also the author of two books: “A Small Band of Men” and “Along the Southern Boundary: A Marine Police Officer's Frontline Account of the Vietnamese Boatpeople and their Arrival in Hong Kong".
The opinions expressed in this talk are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong.