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  • i'm in southeast asia with my 1913 bradshaw's  handbook published at the height of european  

  • imperialism my 100 year old guy book  will leave me on a railway adventure  

  • through archipelagos and peninsulas dotted  with hills forests and paddy fields i'll tour  

  • towering mega cities and magnificent mosques i'll  encounter golden buddhas and jewelled temples  

  • and experience some of the world's most  spectacular and notorious railways as i travel  

  • through the diverse nations of this vast region  i'll learn how they asserted their independence  

  • against the british french and dutch empires to  become the economic tigers and dragons of today

  • i'm in hong kong continuing to explore this  mega metropolis i visited the kowloon peninsula  

  • and crossed victoria harbour to hong kong  island from here i'll head north to visit  

  • the ward villages of the new territories and  west to the remote and tranquil lantau island  

  • i'll meet a descendant of one of the  region's oldest dynasties your family  

  • has been here how long over a thousand years  it makes the british occupation seem like just  

  • learn about the father of modern china  sanyasin is the person who came and made  

  • change in a huge way and discover why hong  kongers are protesting 20 years after the handover  

  • were not being given what was promised the anger  and the frustration is there and it's escalating

  • i'm exploring hong kong island on a metro system  that handles around six billion trips a day  

  • the success of hong kong's mass transit  railway is very hard to believe it's  

  • only existed in its modern form since 1979  and yet it has now 91 heavy rail stations  

  • including some which are indescribably huge  most unusually amongst metros in this world  

  • it is highly profitable and its punctuality  record is just shy of 100 percent  

  • so

  • i'm traveling to hong kong university to  learn about one of its most renowned alumni

  • bradshaws tells me that the foundation stone  was laid in 1910 before that it was the hong  

  • kong college of medicine for chinese and the  physician dr sun yat sen graduated in 1892  

  • since he went on to become a revolutionary  to overthrow the chinese imperial dynasty  

  • and become known as the father of modern china  it makes you wonder what was on the curriculum

  • my

  • in 1911 sunyat sen and a group of revolutionaries  led a successful uprising against the qing dynasty  

  • and founded a republic in china but he  spent his formative years in hong kong  

  • dr ho yin li is an associate professor  

  • in architectural conservation his  grandfather was sunya sen's secretary  

  • i understand that sun yatsen graduated from the  medical school here was his background before  

  • that in hong kong um before he came to hong kong  he was in china as a young person and went to  

  • school as most people who came from a family of  reasonable wealth and he wasn't happy obviously  

  • with the educational system and all kinds of  systems in china then and so in fact he went to  

  • america to hawaii where his brother lived and he  did study for a short while you know in hawaii and  

  • before he came to hong kong while he was studying  to be a physician do you think he was already  

  • having political ideas yes very much by the time  he went to medical school and he was beginning to

  • get into contact with like-minded people to  form a revolutionary idea to overthrow the qing  

  • government and to establish a modern china why  would he have revolutionary ideas what was wrong  

  • with china in those days china i can't even begin  to count you know what's wrong with china then  

  • and so if you look at education and china was  still stuck in a educational system that is to  

  • say the least you know is not about academic  freedom and if you look at the governance  

  • and so it is a huge nation rule by a small  family so it's a royal family but you know  

  • essentially it was a dictatorship and  the worst part is that there is no

  • concern by the government to the demand of the  people eventually to put it uh simply is that  

  • the people of fedor is looking forward to change  you know and so sanya singh is the person who came  

  • and made change in a huge way sunyat sen was  a graduate of an open and modern western style  

  • education in 1923 he returned to the university  to deliver a speech that's remembered to this day

  • oh what an impressive room it is this is  the place where one summer day in 1923  

  • dr sanya singh the founding father of modern  china came to give a rousing speech to the  

  • community of the university of hong kong well  if you come on stage i'll tell you what's insane

  • so in 1923 on that day imagine these rooms  completely filled with people professors  

  • students you know they're all anticipating  what's understanding going to say and he  

  • said that i feel as though i've come home and  hong kong and this university of hong kong  

  • are my intellectual workplace and you can  just imagine the crowd must have been cheering  

  • and he continued to say that and where did i get  my revolutionary and modern idea and he said that  

  • this idea came from the colony of hong kong here  you are a resident in hong kong teaching hong kong  

  • what do you think of sun yat-sen today if you go  back to his the three principles of the people  

  • and in which he advocate for a strong chinese  nation so that means having pride in the chinese  

  • identity and the second thing is that it's about  developing a liberal society with freedom of all  

  • sorts but that's important to this university  intellectual freedom and the third thing is  

  • about the livelihood of people so that means  having a responsible government that addresses  

  • and respond to people's needs in a timely manner  so all of this is exactly what the young people  

  • the protesters are asking for so in fact it's  totally relevant and that there's no contradiction  

  • at all so i wish more people would look into  sanjay's political thoughts you know and think  

  • more about it i think that way hong kong will be  will get out of the trouble that we are having now

  • i'm heading towards hong kong's northern border

  • as i travel away from central districts  the contrast is remarkable skyscrapers are  

  • replaced by mountains concrete by trees and  urban density by thinly populated villages  

  • my preconceptions of hong  kong are being challenged

  • i'm heading towards hong kong's northern border

  • 25 minutes later i'm in kamtindistrict in the new territories

  • this is the walled village of kat hing wai first  settled by the tang clan over 500 years ago  

  • it was built to protect the residents  from rival clans and bandits  

  • at the time of my guidebook the villager's  distinctive brick walls will be tested once more  

  • in 1898 the british wanted to establishdefensive barrier for hong kong and so they  

  • acquired on a 99-year lease the so-called new  territories which consisted of more than 600  

  • villages not all the inhabitants were at all  happy with british rule and there followed a  

  • very bitter six day war with very high chinese  casualties here at the village of cat king y  

  • they closed the gates against the british  nonetheless they were overrun the gates were  

  • stolen and sent to britain and restored to the  village only in 1925 as a gesture of goodwill

  • also in camtain another beautifully  preserved historic village  

  • shui tauswan inhabited by  descendants of the tang clan  

  • featuring traditional cantonese architecture  parts of the village date to the 17th century

  • village leader ying hua tang  is showing me the family temple  

  • this is very very beautiful  how old would this be oh

  • 200 years yeah 200 years haha tell  me about this nidhi haidi sanjibhai  

  • name my daddy my grandfather and all all  the generations oh wonderful may i see okay

  • my father and my grandfather very beautiful and  very moving your family has been here how long  

  • over a thousand years a thousand years yeah or  mr ten one family one thousand years yeah it  

  • makes the british occupation  seem like just a moment  

  • tucked away in the quiet village the yitai's study  hall built during the latter years of the qing  

  • dynasty in the mid 19th century was converted into  a primary school around the time of my guidebook

  • at little desks like this  countless generations of villagers  

  • will have done their confucian  studies and will have learned too  

  • to revere their ancestors it strikes me that in  a place where a family has lasted for a thousand  

  • years you probably view history differently  it's not so much about the isms imperialism  

  • communism capitalism the empires don't matter  so much the qings and the mings and even  

  • for the one-day visitor to the village it  makes you perceive the past quite differently

  • i'm leaving the new territories and taking  the mtr back to the heaving metropolis  

  • where i'm navigating a vast open-air  market in wanchai on hong kong island

  • wang chai is an old residential district of faded  apartment blocks and on them they have grown air  

  • conditioning units like barnacles on the hull of  an old ship but down here by contrast the produce  

  • is incredibly beautiful and fresh well  fresh it should be half it is still alive

  • hello guys hi excuse me are you enjoying hong  kong yeah we are wherever you come from well we  

  • both live here yeah you do yeah so this is our  local our local market oh how amazing how long  

  • have you lived in hong kong uh i've been  here nine months i've lived here for like  

  • a month and a half wow how you enjoy it yeahlove it what do you enjoy about the life here  

  • uh i mean for me we came here because of the  the food and the the travel opportunities  

  • um you can really travel anywhere in in south  asia very easily from here and it's an exciting  

  • place and there's a lot going on it's never boring  there have been protests recently has that been  

  • has that been disruptive that has that had you on  edge a bit uh no it's actually been very exciting  

  • i think for me uh i mean it's not very often  you see democracy like happen in front of your  

  • eyes that dramatically thank you so much so  nice to talk to you yeah your meal tonight

  • this silent and very dignified demonstration  is part of a series of protests that have been  

  • held in hong kong over the proposal for a law  by which hong kong people could be extradited  

  • to the people's republic of china for trial on  charges presumably including political charges now  

  • the british did not really bequeath to hong kong  democracy but they did leave a legacy of laws that  

  • were pretty much fair and non-political and so  hong kong people now fear that they're losing some  

  • of those important rights they're losing their  special standing and they're losing their autonomy

  • it's my last day exploring hong kong and  i'm heading to one of its outlying islands

  • my next stop will be lantau which the chinese call  big island mountain certainly it's a great deal  

  • larger than hong kong island and although it's  vastly populated it is strategically important  

  • it hosts the international  airport that opened in 1998.  

  • i'd like to see how important it was to  the british as they monitored shipping  

  • headed towards the pearl river delta  and the great ports of china beyond

  • be a safe escalator user holds the handrail and  don't keep your eyes only on your mobile phone  

  • lantau island was added to the colony in  1898 as part of the new territory's lease  

  • today it's connected to the mainland by a large  double deck suspension bridge with road above  

  • and rail underneath the largely mountainous island  is often referred to as the lungs of hong kong  

  • a destination for pilgrims the remote poland  monastery with its colorful buddhist imagery  

  • sits alongside the big buddha a 34  metre bronze statue built in 1993  

  • i've arrived in tai o a traditional fishing  village on the west coast of the island

  • what a sight the village of tayo on the same  island as the intercontinental airport but here  

  • houses on stilts long before  people lived in apartment blocks  

  • i suppose this is how they dwelt and  long before they made their living  

  • out of financial services and shipping  it was with a boat and a fishing net

  • no need to ask here whether the fish is fresh

  • hello

  • let's go for a lovely cruise please thank you

  • hmm there's a cool breeze upon the water  and the modern world seems very far away  

  • the fishing village of tayo offers a glimpse  of what life was like in pre-colonial hong kong

  • and just outside the village withcommanding view over the pearl river delta  

  • is a striking example of colonial architecture

  • it's now a boutique hotel  and carl law is the manager

  • carl from the veranda we have a terrific  view lots of islands and actually quite  

  • a lot of shipping as well yes and if i look out  what what can i see if you look all the way far  

  • you can see the macau and jihad so this is quite  a strategic point yes he is this building what was  

  • what was this this building it was a marine  police station and it was a built in 1902  

  • and during that time there's a lot of pirates  around this area so this is why this police  

  • station was built to look after this cold side  also look after this fishing village what were  

  • the tasks of the marine police at the night time  the police officer will use the searchlight to  

  • scan around the area to look after if any illegal  immigrant although also this macro around this  

  • area during that time when did it cease to  be a police station uh this police station  

  • was seen close at the 2002 and the reason it  was closed is because of this village become  

  • safer and safer they only recorded only five  crimes during the period so that's why the