Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Spy (TV Series) - Robert Culp (1965) - Braemar Hill Cottage Area, Tai Hang

Okay, so the term 'cottage area' probably conjures up various different images depending on where you might live. For instance, in my homeland - the UK in case you didn't know - a cottage area is either a place filled with quaint little country houses or an area where you might bump into George Michael...

However, in the context of Hong Kong a cottage area is basically a bit of land filled with temporary housing such as squatter huts. They were prevalent throughout the territory until the Govt embarked on their - rather impressive - social housing project.

The Braemar Hill cottage area was fairly extensive and had already been featured in The World of Suzie Wong as the location of Suzie's house, but here we are again - 5 or 6 years after Suzie and the place is the scene of some espionage courtesy of Culp and Cosby in So Long, Patrick Henry.

I particularly like the last few snaps because you can see that the film crew had managed to capture Tiger Balm Gardens in the background. Of course, these guys have already been there during the pilot episode Affair at T'sien Cha, but this is definitely on a  much sunnier day compared to then. Actually, despite the gardens being redeveloped, the wall in the background of the thrid from bottom picture is still around - as is the watchtower.


  1. Presumably, from the angle of the Tiger Balm Gardens shot, the squatter village (never heard them called cottages before) spread up the hill from about where the Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel works are now on Google Street View. (Perhaps running where there is a current-day concrete path, just left of the works?)

    Wonder if there's any trace of the squatter village's foundations on the hillside today? I remember the foundations of a recently-demolished squatter village in Pik UK, where I lived as a kid, being quite substantial. Had they not later been built over, I could easily imagine something from them having survived...

    1. actually it is quite common to find remnants of these places on the hillsides: tiled floors, steps, wall foundations etc I can think of one very clear example in my head where under a shot-creted slope you can still see the steps leading up to the squatter huts - though this is another area I am thinking of , not Braemar Hill, but I imagine you can find some there too.