In the same day, I saw a lion and a tiger in Hong Kong. The tiger – or rather, its head – is housed in the city’s Police Museum, located in a building atop the Peak. The bus ride there gives stunning views from Bowen Road, as it winds above the skyscrapers, before stopping at a little park. From here, its a brief climb to the colonial police station where the museum sits.
It is a surprisingly interesting collection, housing a bamboo basket used as a boat by Vietnamese refugees, a replica of a heroin laboratory with examples of colourful packaging used by 1980s crime syndicates to market their drugs and some triad regalia. There is also a 1988 real-life “robocop”. But the jewel in the crown is the head of the Sheung Shui tiger, which killed two policemen before it was shot near the Chinese border in 1912.
It is just a shame that the museum follows the self-defeating policy, in this social media era, of banning photography (hence the internet-derived photograph above).
Not far as the crow flies, clinging to the verdant lower slopes of the Peak, is the Asia Society where I was to head next, home of an exhibition starring the Mari-cha lion and a motley, and somewhat poorly curated, selection of other lion-related items in Asian art. Of these, the most interesting (I thought) was this interractive “make your own lion” generator. As at the police museum, photography was banned, but I managed to sneak this one in 😉