Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘New Territories’

Reflections on a Hong Kong hike

Yuen Tsuen_1

There is an old Chinese idiom which expresses a person’s unbreakable ties to their family, hometown, and ancestral land: “Falling leaves return to their roots”. Read more

The treasures of Ping Shan

Ping Shan_1

Long before the British set foot on Hong Kong’s shores, five great family clans took root in the New Territories. Of these, the oldest and most influential was the Tang, with a history of local settlement going back 900 years. It is a lineage rich in tradition and folklore: one branch even claims royal descent, thanks to an ancestor who married a princess as the court fled southwards ahead of the Mongol army. Read more

Lai Chi Wo: a near-empty nest

Lai Chi Wo_1

Deep inside the northeastern New Territories, within sight of Mainland China, the Hakka village of Lai Chi Wo remains eerily quiet on the first day of Chinese New Year. Even on this day of celebration, the village exists in a semi-abandoned state, with the confetti-like remnants of firecrackers scattered at the threshold of several houses. Read more

Postcards from Lamma

Fish farms and restaurants, Sok Kwu Wan

The last time I set foot on Lamma Island, before taking Bama there this Chinese New Year, was at least four or five years ago on a boat trip with a pack of old friends. The name Lamma, literally ‘Southern Y’ in Cantonese, is a reference to the heavily indented coastline which resembles two forks, one pointing northwards and the second facing east. Read more

Luk Keng, village at road’s end

The heron stands at rest, perched on a branch half-submerged in the calm, flat waters of Starling Inlet. Across the bay is Mainland China, marked by a proliferation of tower blocks, scaffolding, and off in the distance, Minsk World, a theme park based around a retired Russian aircraft carrier. Read more

Bride’s Pool: a tragic tale

Place names in Hong Kong often have poetic, almost legendary origins. Kowloon, the peninsula of ‘nine dragons’, actually has a backdrop of eight peaks, but the extra dragon denotes a Song emperor, who took refuge here with his entourage to escape the Mongol invasion. Read more

Escaping to Cheung Chau

View from the pier

Many years ago, in the waters of Hong Kong, there lived a notorious pirate by the name of Cheung Po Tsai. At the height of his power it was said that he commanded a fleet of 600 ships and a following of 50,000 men. So great was the threat of piracy that Portuguese mariners named the islands “as Ilhas de Ladrões” – the islands of thieves. Read more

A Walk on the Wild Side, Hong Kong

The café owner looks at me long and hard, his eyes almost piercing beneath a full head of silver hair.

“I remember you. Didn’t you come here as a young boy?”

Astonished, I manage a simple “yes”, wondering how he could have recognised me after all these years. Read more

Waiting for the Sun, Hong Kong.

Sometimes life is all about choosing the crazy option. Whether it’s taking spontaneous trips just days before an important deadline, or moving to a country with barely 5 months of the local language, it makes things a heck of a lot more fun. So when an old friend asked if I wanted to see the first sunrise of the New Year, I inevitably said yes. Read more

Stilt Life – Tai O Fishing Village, Hong Kong.

Ask anyone what they imagine Hong Kong to be like, and chances are that they will describe a neon-lit concrete jungle, martial arts action movies, and a city at the forefront of high technology. But what catches people out upon arriving is the surprising amount of greenery – more than 40% of the territory has been designated as country parks. Hong Kong’s natural beauty is one of its least-known assets, and it is astonishing to consider the options available within such a small area. Half an hour is all it takes to get to a beach, a rural escape or an accessible hiking trail. Read more