A unique experience this year!! Students were vetted and cleared for a tour of an important secure area at the airport. Transportation and cargo security is big business today and students were given a brief presentation and a short tour of the cargo area. We were able to meet with security professionals and see customs officers hard at work.
One of the most interesting attractions we visited was Dialog in the Dark. Dialog in the Dark” is an awareness raising exhibition where blind guides lead visitors in small groups through different settings in absolute darkness. Through this visitors learn how to interact without sight by using their other senses, as well as experience what it is like to be blind.
The exhibition offers the exhibition as well as business workshops, and has created jobs for the blind, disabled, and disadvantaged worldwide. The exhibition aims to change mindsets on disability and diversity, and increase tolerance for “otherness”. Since its first opening in 1988 over six million visitors from more than 25 countries have experienced Dialogue in the Dark, which has provided over 6,000 blind people jobs.
After the exhibition, we stopped and enjoyed some local authentic Cantonese cooking.
Considered one of the best beaches in Hong Kong, and the world, is Sai Wan (and three other remote beaches that are all connected). There are only two ways to get to this remote area; by speedboat or a long hike. The terrain is much like Hawaii and the water and beach is clear and pristine. Truly worth the long hike and/or speedboat ride.
This year I was able to secure an invitation for students from the Hong Kong Security Association and ASIS to a computer security conference held by Axis Communications. Axis is a worldwide corporation which also has offices right next to us in Chelmsford!
The theme of the presentation was the need for standardization of IP protocols in the area of convergence with physical security systems.
Students were also invited to attend a mixer hosted by both organizations after the conference to network and share experiences.
Students had some time to relax at the premier theme park in Hong Kong called Ocean Park. Ocean Park, is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and amusement park, situated in Wong Chuk Hang and Nam Long Shan in the Southern District of Hong Kong. Opened in 1977, Ocean Park has grown to about 35 attractions and rides. The park has won several awards, including The World’s Seventh Most Popular Amusement Park and 33rd Most Visited Tourist Attractions in the World by Forbes.
This year students attended a presentation and were offered a tour of Hong Kong Police Headquarters. Our host was The Chief Inspector of the Crime Prevention Bureau. We learned a great deal about policing in Hong Kong and how theory and practice differs from policing and crime prevention in the USA.
We were also able to see a prototype of a policing robot being used in limited application in Hong Kong.
Students also spent time going to the many free museums in Hong Kong to learn more about its rich culture and history. One stop was the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Its collections now number in excess of 15,800 art objects, including Chinese paintings and calligraphy works, antique Chinese treasures, paintings of historical significance as well as creations by local artists. Here are a few pictures from the Hong Kong Museum of Art.
The second figure is the well know representation of the happy Buddha sitting atop a the three legged frog. It is designed to bring forth wealth and happiness(please!). Students may see this figure in many Chinese restaurants in the USA near the cash register or on a counter.
We were able to see many religious temples this years tour. This one in Sha Tin was very interesting. This temple located in the Tai Wai area of Sha Tin honors Che Kung, a military commander of the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279) whose advantageous power for suppressing uprisings and plagues made him a household name. In popular folklore, it’s said that Che Kung escorted the Song dynasty’s last emperor on his escape to Sai Kung in what is now called the New Territories. His achievements led to him eventually becoming revered as a god.
The original temple was built here around 300 years ago in a desperate move to stop an epidemic that was spreading across the Sha Tin area. According to legend, the epidemic began to subside on the day construction was completed. The structure you see today was erected in 1993 to accommodate the increasing number of worshippers during Che Kung’s festival, which happens on the second day of the Chinese New Year.
See http://www.discoverhongkong.com for more information on this temple.
Students were given a special “behind the scenes” tour of the largest casino in the world; The Venetian Macau. Our guide is the Director of Physical Security. He gave students a three hour tour of the casino explaining the business of casino management, physical security and traffic management.
Since Massachusetts is considering adding casinos, this particular tour was both a well timed educational experience and universally praised by all involved. We were also reminded that “you can’t beat the house”.