Hong Kong Off The Beaten Path Tips by picek
Hong Kong Off The Beaten Path: 476 reviews and 576 photos
Man Mo temple inside
On the vibrant Fu Shin street, a little on the side you can see small temple building – Man Mo temple. A diffrent world there, atmosphere filled by haze and quiet, yet so close … only a few steps from the market.
It was built in 1891 by Tsat Yeuk villagers and used to be centre of varios (cultural, economic, worship) activities of Tai Wo Shi (Tai Po Market nowsadays). The temple is dedicated to the God of Literature or Man, and the God of War – Mo.
It was first used as the office for Tsat Yeuk Rural Committee; among other services they provided arbitration service to villagers, to symbolize the spirit of fair trade. Temple achieved special status in Hong kong, being important place for local and oversea worshiper.
It is declared historical monument in 1984, in 1985 followed complete rebuilt and kept traditional style.
Take East rail line (blue) to Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau direction. Exit at Tai Po Market or Tai Wo station. Follow the signs for the market.
If you exit at Tai Wo station it is actually shorter walk than from Tai Po Market station and you'll see Fu Shin street accross canal. The temple is somehow in the middle - there are signs.
busy seller at Tai Po market
This market has been called the Tai Po 'new market' because it was moved from the old market site (or Old Tai Po market which farmers got tired of since they had to pay large rents to Tang clan for centuries, although it's not far from its site) in 1892. It takes place on Fu Shin, Yan Hing and Tsing Yuen streets in short distance one from eachother on rather small area (it is much smaller than Mong Kok markets altogether – and less 'touristy' as well).
It is frequented by locals from nearby districts. You can buy fresh fruit, cakes and sweets, meat, fish, snacks, snakes, clothes, fresh vegetables… all that it is being sold here and it comes with traditionally loud and busy atmosphere. Good bargain skills are needed to get okay price, if you want to buy anything.
Take a look to quiet Man Mo temple at Fu Shin road.
Take East rail line (blue) to Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau direction. Exit at Tai Po Market or Tai Wo station. There are signs for the place, so it won't be too difficult to find it.
If you exit at Tai Wo station it is actually shorter walk than from Tai Po Market and you will see it after you have crossed Lam Tsuen river (looks like the straightened canal nowsadays).
Lo Wai entry gate
Best kept 'wai' here on heritage route, I think. It's small walled village and its walls were restored recently and altogether that place is declared monument. It was the first walled village built by the Tang clan of that area, a little on the hill. Main gate is narrow and faces east – and its gatehouse contains a shrine of the Earthgod. Upon, there is gun platform - like you will see on other wai's gatehouses as well. Originally, the main entrance to the village faced north and it was only relocated to achieve better feng shui. You can then notice old well behind the gates, which used to serve as water supply for the wai.
Behind the wall, take a look of the traditional low houses which still have people living in. This area is not open to public, so just take a discrete glimpse and leave. Full restoration was undertaken between 1998 and 1999 and remained faitful to use of traditional style and material. It all makes it very interesting place to see.
Lo Wai stands west of Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall, it is part of heritage trail in Fanling; you can take MTR East rail line to Lo Wu direction and exit at Fanling. It takes some 25 minutes walking through town to get on the trail. These are signs but some map will help you with orientation. You can also take local bus from here. Bus 54 K takes you from MTR Station – Lung Yeuk Tao by circular route. Bus 56 K rides to Luk Keng.
protected gates of Ma Wat Wai.
Only walls (more precisely, what is left of them) of the enclosure still stand for that 'wai' and entrance gate is protected monument since 1994. Originally it was built by Tang clan in 17th century, and it stands close to Lo Wai – to the northwest. Entry gate faces north, the houses were built in rows and main corridor ends in communal altar. The gatehouse has gun platform upon the gates, and they get closed by strong wrought iron from two sides, which allows air circulation (the gates were open when we were there, but you can see it).
It is unfortunate that newer buildings inside are of completely different style, material and built taller than walls themselves, which doesn't fit exactly into historic context of walled village. When I took short walk between the walls, I saw only a few old traditional low houses left here. A bit disappointing experience, so if you want to see good example, go for Lo Wai which is the best kept of those closest to Fanling.
For how it looks nowsadays at Ma Wat Wai inside take a look on photos behind main one here.
Ma Wat Wai is part of heritage trail in Fanling; you can take MTR East rail line to Lo Wu direction and exit at Fanling. It takes some 25 minutes walking through town to get on the track. These are signs but some map will help you with orientation. You can also take local bus from here. Bus 54 K takes you from MTR Station – Lung Yeuk Tao by circular route. Bus 56 K rides to Luk Keng.
wai at Fanling
Antoher 'wai' or walled village worth a short stop. It was established by 13th century by ancestor Tang Lung-Kong, and name stands for Eastern Walled Village, because it stands east of Lung Yeuk tau area.
It stands on an elevated platform which protects it from floods that could occasionally happen in that area; you will notice the difference between your standing point from outside and the interior. In past, the village had been enclosed by the moat and brick towers at its four corners – and one of the original towers by the main gate had been reconstructed in 1953 and keeps good shape until today. Inside that tower, remains of ancient temple can be traced from red sandstone columns. Houses behind the wall were divided into four rows, and facades face mainly to northwest.
When we visited there were not many people around, except eldery lady who handwashed clothes right of the gate tower – there is public well on that place.
Tung Kok Wai is part of heritage trail in Fanling; you can take MTR East rail line to Lo Wu direction and exit at Fanling. It takes some 25 minutes walking through town to get on the track. These are signs but some map will help you with orientation. You can also take local bus from here. Bus 54 K takes you from MTR Station – Lung Yeuk Tao by circular route. Bus 56 K rides to Luk Keng.
detail under the roof
Next to Tin Hau Temple stands Tang Chung Ling ancestral hall, beautiful piece of architecture which belongs to Tang clan of Llung Yeuk Tau and stands out with simple black walls, whose been decorated with fine wood carvings, colored relief features and mural paintings – in the shade, right under the roof so you need to look up; all these details alone are done in very fine manner and deserve extra attention. In paintings you will see men indulging into conversation, beautiful Chinese landscapes and flowers and fine caligraphy. The plastic relief will show another types of landscape, mostly with animals and flowers, somehow standing individually or as part of broader story. Here and then, scenes with men appear on separate level, like manhood being different from the world of eternal, their expressions belonging to this world. Yes, it may take you to another level of understanding… and you surely need to watch these artworks with care.
As a whole, the ancestral hall stands for good tradtional architecture and it has been good taken care of. It was build in the early of 16th century in memory of the founding ancestor Tang Chung Ling and its is three hall building; the rear hall has three chambers – and central chamber of these three holds soul tablets of the ancestors, as well as the soul tablets of Song princess and her husband. Their tablets were carved with dragon heads and man was titled Jun-ma or 'husband of imperial relative'.
Other two chambers to left and right were dedicated to other important ancestors: the left one was of those who contributed significantly to the clan and were honored high ranking persons in the court. The right one is for brave and righteous memberds, like Tang Si-Meng who saved life of his master by sacrificing his life in the kidnapping accident. Had jumped and drowned into sea when his master was released.
Since 1997 the Hall was declared monument. This is trully unique building and one of great importance, worth all attention. It is part of Lung Yeuk Tau heritage trail in Fanling (from MTR Fanling station you can take light walk through Fanling district/town and pass Ma Wat stream where trailbegins - follow the signs since MTR station to lead you into right direction).
Oopen: 9 am – 1 pm and 2 – 5 pm
Closed on tue, new year day, first three days of Lunar new year, chritmas day and boxing day.
in the gallery
This is the place to visit if you're interested in city planning and infrastructure - especially for models and presentations. Its worth to take a look at direction which HK is going to.
Six main sections at the gallery are: Imprint, Hong Kong 2030, New Kai Tak, Transport & Logistics, Sustainable Development and Living Environment. There are few models of these proposals - bridges, city quarters, 3 D presentation of sevage system: the construction processes and size were - very impressive! You can now learn what happens with all that waste water, and where does it actually travel to.
See also large scale model of HK with land use division. It would be even more helpful if you had maps from earlier times so that you could really compare - HK is one of the fastest growing metropolises, and the land reclamations and changes had been very evident. From numerous construction sites you can only immagine its future - and yes, these are huge projects and take world highest buildings (well, at least as long as they used to have the record title...).
Opening Hours : 10:00 - 18:00 daily
Closed on Tuesdays (except Public Holidays) and the first two days of the Chinese New Year
Address: G/F, Murray Road Multi-storey Car Park Building, 2 Murray Road, Central
outside the boat, life goes on
If you're walking along the shore of Victoria harbour on HK Island, a little further from Wanchai promenade and you pass Royal yacht club… you will get the chance to see the boats used for living by some local families. No, not luxurious boats… these are simple and look tradtional, and are small yet nice and decorated with many Chinese good luck symbols. An unusal place to be… with Causway bay district behind and its most expensive real estate in Hong Kong (well, may as well be in the world).
Why I am writing this then? Because those 'boat houses' are vanishing from shores by the centre, it seems. You can see them a few here, other may be well hidden in some of more peaceful remote bays and harbours, somewhere nicer perhaps. Although we walked extensively by the waterfronts on both sides of Victoria harbour we couldn't see those boats real often. Just here and there. Must they all go away soon… maybe. With all that huge projects taking best locations, boats are to be hidden. Somehwere where you won't go often. Don't know… but they look nicer than most of modern boats, they're unique and very traditional.
Tin Hau Temple
This small temple is located between Lo Wai walled village and Tang Chung Ling Ancestral hall, a little bit behind it and it's one of the best preserved traditional buildings of religious architecture along Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail. According to the old people the temple was constructed before ancestral hall (from early 16th century), but the date is not known. In 1913 and 1981 it was fully restored and kept its traditional form and decoration.
The main hall is devoted to the worship of Tin Hau, who is protector of fishermen and popular deity and her guards. One of them is Chin Lei Ngan who has eyes to see things many li (1 li is about 0,5 kilometers) away. Another guard is Shun Fung Yi who has ear to hear sounds as far away as from heaven. In side hall there is Kam Fa, godess of childbirth.
As it is part of heritage trail you can take MTR East rail line to Lo Wu direction and exit at Fanling. It takes some 25 minutes walking through town to get on the track. These are signs but some map will help you with orientation. You can also take local bus from here. Bus 54 K takes you from MTR Station – Lung Yeuk Tao by circular route. Bus 56 K rides to Luk Keng.
view to Lo Wai, the village best kept
This heritage trail consists of walled villages or 'wai', shirnes and temples and takes place in quiet quarters behind Fanling. The name Lung Yeuk Tau comes from the mountain range Lung Yeuk Ling or Mountain of Leaping Dragon.
Wall villages were established by Tang clan, and Tangs of Lung Yeuk Tau were one of the highest ranking in New Territories. They were of royal descent. The princess of Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) took refuge in the south and got married to Tang Wai-Kap of Kam Tin. Their oldest son moved later to Fanling area., Lung Yeuk Tau. Here clan prospered and 5 'wais' were established and are still in the place in more or less preserved condition. Add to that six 'tsuen' or villages – with no wall. Wai is of particular interest here as well as very good shape of Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall and little Tin Hau Temple. These five wais are: Lo Wai, Ma Wat Wai, Wing Ning Wai, Tung Kok Wai and San Wai. Please keep in mind that these wais are residental area not a museum and that you may not be allowed to enter certain villages. If you do take a look be discrete. Also not all wais are in good condition and you may also see that of some the only thing that is left is - their wall.
The clans of the area still practice village traditions and rituals and many traditional Chinese buildings still preserve their historic design.
This heritage trail can be done DIY, there are signs on the buildings with short descriptions but you can as well get brochure with more details – from tourism office and Antiquities and Monuments Office.
Take MTR East rail line to Lo Wu direction and exit at Fanling. It takes some 25 minutes walking through town to get on the track. These are signs but some map will help you with orientation. You can also take local bus from here. Bus 54 K takes you from MTR Station – Lung Yeuk Tao by circular route. Bus 56 K rides to Luk Keng.
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