Hong Kong: Museum of Correctional Services

 I really do love going off the beaten track, and one type of place I frequent is prison and law enforcement museums. The Hong Kong Correctional Service Museum is located in Stanley next to the prison there.
 The courtyard holds some of the original wall and a bell.
 The museum is first arranged chronologically. It starts about 160 years ago.
 The old artifacts are the coolest, including this register of officers' reports.
 Old locks from the prison doors.
 There are occasional videos to help explain more about the system.
 The left photo is of an electro-shock therapy machine; the right image is a criminal fingerprint record.
 The top floor tour ends with a replica of the former Stanley Prison. Replica cells are on the left, fake doors on the right.
 The first cell on the left is a modern cell. You know, metal bars and stainless steel toilet.
 The second cell is of the older building with an original door.
 The new cell actually overlooks the gallows, too.
 Downstairs are more thematic rooms. Uniforms are a standard.
 These are name stamps; stamps are more commonly used in Asia (China and Japan, for example) than signatures. I have an official name stamp for paperwork here.
 Every prison museum I've seen has a contraband display. Note the playing cards on the top shelf.
 And here's a book with a knife hidden inside.
 A homemade sword and shield from a trash can.
Shanks... and a bird cage.

Stanley is a nice smaller town with its own market and a completely different feel from downtown Hong Kong and Kowloon. You could plan a bit of extra time in the area to get more out of the trip; unless you're really into this type of museum you'll probably be disappointed after coming all the way out here. Stanley is kind of out-of-the-way, especially for those with a limited time frame.

The museum is free, open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-5:00 (closed public holidays).

Regular bus service is available from MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D, at the Exchange Square Bus Terminus. Take bus 6, 6A, 6X, or 260 and get off at Stanley Prison. I used the regular bus service to return to the downtown area.

Minibus service is also an option from Causeway Bay Station Exit C. On Tang Lung Street, catch a #40 minibus and get off at the minibus terminus near the prison. I used the minibus to get there, which is an experience all by itself.


  1. Cool museum. Pretty sure I've never been to a law enforcement museum... but I have gone to Alcatraz. That was pretty cool.

    1. Alcatraz is cool, though I feel it could be even better. (On the other hand, it sees so many tourists that any changes could be quite difficult.) I have seen better law enforcement museums, though not by far.