A Travellerspoint blog

In Search Of The Hidden Lotus.

Exploring the Burma Lines.

sunny

There was one more thing I wanted to do in Fanling, but I couldn't do it when I visited on Tuesday, as I was really tired by the end of my heritage trail. No problem; all I had to do was go back and today I did just that. I took the MTR to Fanling, exited through exit A and walked through a shopping centre to Fanling Town Centre. I hate when an MTR exit takes you out into the middle of a shopping centre. It's always hard even to find the way out to street level. I was just thinking I will never find my bus from here when suddenly I saw a sign for the 78A bus and knew my adventures were going to go smoothly after all.

When I was walking down the steps to the bus-stop, my bus was just pulling in. I rushed to join the queue and took the bus all the way to Shan Lai Court. I got off and walked back down Lung Ma Road towards the small roundabout. Just before the roundabout, I took the sloping ramp off to the right and went around the edge of the public toilet on the ladies' side. There wasn't much of a path. What there was, led straight to a hole in the high wire mesh fence. Inside there was a 'Government Land, No Trespassing sign'. I went through the hole in the fence. This was going to be a strange walk! Believe it or not, despite all this subterfuge, I was actually trying to locate a listed building.

Down the slope and round the edge of the ladies' toilet.

Down the slope and round the edge of the ladies' toilet.

Through this hole in the fence.

Through this hole in the fence.

Oops I wasn't expecting this.

Oops I wasn't expecting this.

I was on the site of the former Burma Lines. This is an old British Army Camp located on Queen's Hill in Fanling. The camp was situated here, so that the British could keep an eye on the nearby border with Mainland China. The army camp was decommissioned in 1992 and for a while the site was used by the Hong Kong Police Force. When they decided they no longer wanted it, it was abandoned and left to crumble. In recent years a massive housing estate has been built where much of the army camp once stood.

When I got through the fence, I saw a fairly clear path off to my left and another path off to my right that looked like a dead end. I had a look to my left first and found lots of buildings which I believe were once used as dog kennels. I'm not sure but I think these may date from the days when the site belonged to the police force.

Old Dog Kennels.

Old Dog Kennels.

Old Dog Kennels.

Old Dog Kennels.

I then returned to my right. The path was not a dead end. It was an extremely narrow steep path next to the wire fence. At times I had to grab hold of the fence to pull myself up it. The way was pretty overgrown and every now and again I had to climb over or go round toppled trees. Normally nothing would induce me to climb such a thing, but I had read there was something special at the top. I could only hope I wasn't about to be the victim of an elaborate practical joke.

Through a second hole in the fence.

Through a second hole in the fence.

Follow the narrow path next to the fence.

Follow the narrow path next to the fence.

If I get any fatter I won't even be able to walk here.

If I get any fatter I won't even be able to walk here.

Suddenly the path levelled out and I came face to face with what I had come here for. I was in front of a mysterious green pointy building. The army camp here was once home to many Gurkha soldiers from Nepal and they had built a Hindu temple shaped like a lotus flower to worship in. The lotus is a symbol of purity and rebirth. When the army camp closed, the temple was abandoned and all the religious items inside it were removed. It has survived remarkably well.

Suddenly I was in front of a very strange building.

Suddenly I was in front of a very strange building.

Off to one side of the temple, there is a little shrine filled with images of Hindu gods and goddesses. As the temple is dedicated to Shiva, the destroyer, his image is placed centrally on the shrine. There are also several colourful pendants here and a little bell you can ring.

The shrine.

The shrine.

Close up of the shrine.

Close up of the shrine.

The central picture at the back is Shiva.

The central picture at the back is Shiva.

Wind chimes and pendants.

Wind chimes and pendants.

The temple has a pretty unique design. It is made of twelve concrete triangular slabs which are standing upright. At the top of the temple these slabs meet to create a six point crown. The outside of the building is green. There is a plaque on one of its outer walls with information about the temple's history. The building has five doors, so you can enter it from any side. Above some of the doors there are narrow pointed windows. In 2010 this building received grade three historic building status.

The Temple.

The Temple.

Look one way and you could be in the middle of Angkor Wat.

Look one way and you could be in the middle of Angkor Wat.

Look the other way and you are right next to a massive housing estate.

Look the other way and you are right next to a massive housing estate.

I think there's something behind me. Oh look! What's that doing there?

I think there's something behind me. Oh look! What's that doing there?

Looking at the roof.

Looking at the roof.

The inside of the temple is empty. The walls are painted bright red and deep blue. A star shape is depicted on the floor and at one end there's a raised area that was once the altar. Someone has placed Hindu images on the wall here. I thought I was alone here at first then realised someone was photographing me photographing them through one of the temple doors.

Peeking in through the door.

Peeking in through the door.

Large star on the floor.

Large star on the floor.

The Altar.

The Altar.

Pictures above the altar.

Pictures above the altar.

Sunlight pours in through the tall narrow windows.

Sunlight pours in through the tall narrow windows.

Everything in the temple is an odd shape.

Everything in the temple is an odd shape.

Looking up at the roof.

Looking up at the roof.

On the other side of the temple there was a small army building and the walkway. I followed the walkway. I came to a metal staircase that was covered with fallen trees. I went round this. It looked like if you stepped on it it would collapse. I was beginning to understand why this place was sealed off. Eventually I came to some old British barracks. I went inside some of the rooms and realised I was now wearing a spiders web on my face. Yeuk!! Looking up I could see the ceiling was probably close to falling in. I removed myself from the building. Behind the first row of huts, there was a second row in similar condition.

Walkway and Army Barracks building.

Walkway and Army Barracks building.

The Walkway.

The Walkway.

Hut next to the walkway.

Hut next to the walkway.

I don't think I will use these stairs.

I don't think I will use these stairs.

Side view.

Side view.

Camouflaged army huts. I guess that's why the temple is green, too.

Camouflaged army huts. I guess that's why the temple is green, too.

Rows of huts.

Rows of huts.

Rows of huts.

Rows of huts.

Rows of huts.

Rows of huts.

Rows of huts.

Rows of huts.

Venturing in.

Venturing in.

A look inside.

A look inside.

A look inside.

A look inside.

A look inside.

A look inside.

I got carried away at this point and started wandering down a very steep muddy path through a tangle of trees. Someone had placed ribbons along it, so I thought it must go somewhere. It was really slippy and about half way down, I got bitten or stung by some kind of ferocious insect. My arm began to blister around the bite. I decided perhaps I had had enough adventures for one day, reclimbed the slope, disinfected my arm with hand gel and headed back the way I had come.

Back on the bus, I noticed the man across from me kept staring at me. At first I thought it was just because there aren't that many white people in Fanling, though Hong Kongers don't normally stare. Later I ran my fingers through my hair and removed a twig and a couple of dead leaves. Guess I may have found out why he was staring.

Back in the centre of Fanling, I decided to revisit the most famous Taoist temple here. This is called Fung Ying Seen Koon and it's very close to Exit B of the MTR. Last time I visited it was being renovated. Unfortunately that was still the case. Everything seemed much the same.

Fung Ying Seen Koon.

Fung Ying Seen Koon.

Fung Ying Seen Koon.

Fung Ying Seen Koon.

Fung Ying Seen Koon.

Fung Ying Seen Koon.

Animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

Animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

Pavilion, Fung Ying Seen Koon.

Pavilion, Fung Ying Seen Koon.

Outside the pavilion.

Outside the pavilion.

View from Fung Ying Seen Koon.

View from Fung Ying Seen Koon.

Posted by irenevt 07:34 Archived in Hong Kong

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

Hi, Irene! I see you never get tired of your adventure tours and hikes ... Many thanks for sharing your exciting story!~ Keep safe!~

by Vic_IV

Hi Victor, I enjoy exploring around me and now that I am not travelling overseas, I'm making the best of where I am.

by irenevt

Did you talk to the man who was photographing you? Maybe he was checking to see that you didn't take anything.

by greatgrandmaR

Hi Rosalie, no I don't think he was checking up on me. Like me, he just wanted some photos. He probably didn't notice me at first either. To be honest there was nothing to take. I think in Hong Kong people are very superstitious. No-one here would damage or take something from a religious site.

by irenevt

The big question is . . . did you ring the little bell in the Hindu temple?

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally, no I didn't actually. Do you think I should go back?

by irenevt

I DO like when you exit from subway into an shopping center! Or I did anyways, many fond memories from Budapest and Westend Mall, it was my favorite place. Then when I use to love shopping ;)

You don't say, was it the steep hike worth it? I definitely like the photos! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, I must admit I hate shopping all together. The hike was short and steep. Definitely worth it.

by irenevt

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login