A Travellerspoint blog

July 2021

In the Land of Man

A Trip to San Tin.

storm

Recently I was looking through some information about heritage buildings in Hong Kong and found one called Tai Fu Tai, which I thought looked pretty amazing. I was thinking I would love to go and see it, but it sounded so far away. Then I realized it was just one bus-stop further on than the sunflower farm I visited a week or so ago. That was it; I had to go there.

The unbearable hot weather we've been having had cooled a bit today, but the sky was getting darker and darker and thunderstorms were forecast. To get to Tai Fu Tai, I had to take the West Rail to Yeun Long and then get on bus 76K. I was heading for the bus-stop in San Tin. Just like when I visited the sunflower farm I had a long wait for the bus, 24 minutes this time, last time was 25. I didn't count, honest - it's just there's an information board.

Another thing I have been looking up lately is Hong Kong flowers. I discovered one called a water hyacinth that grows on top of ponds. It's a beautiful blue colour and in large groups it forms a spectacular sea of blue. Apparently it blooms and dies in just one day, so it's hard to find and no-one knows where it will appear next. People traipse around the North-West New Territories looking for them. My bus just happened to pass a pond covered in them. I wasn't expecting it, so just sat there stunned and watched it pass by, but I thought I'll get off and look at that on the way back.

Tai Fu Tai is a heritage building located in San Tin. San Tin translates into English as New Fields. It is a village surrounded by marshlands. It's very close to the Lok Ma Chau Border Crossing with Mainland China. Actually I saw an aerial photo of San Tin. It sits on one side of the Sham Chun River, which forms the border. It is a few low level houses surrounded by many fish ponds; on the other side of the river stands the huge glittering metropolis that is Shenzhen. The contrast is quite amazing, especially when you bear in mind that Shenzhen didn't exit until fairly recently. When Hong Kong was still British and the Chinese border largely closed, the San Tin area was known as the Bamboo Curtain. Historically the San Tin area was largely inhabited by members of the Man Clan, one of the Five Great Clans of the New Territories. These early settlers include the Man,Tang, Hau, Pang and Liu Clans.

The Man Clan originated in Sichuan, but gradually migrated south, first to Jiangxi, then to Guangdong. The Mans living in San Tin claim descent from Man Sai-go, who settled there in the fourteenth century. For around six hundred years, the Mans of San Tin earned a living by growing red rice in the slightly salty paddies along the Sham Chun River. This rice was largely exported to Mainland China, but after the Communist Revolution this market was no longer accessible and the village fell into poverty with many of its inhabitants travelling overseas for employment. Many went to the U.K.

The first building I looked at was the Tung San Temple which was right next to where I got off the bus. This is a beautiful and very well maintained temple. It is more than four hundred years old. I particularly liked the lovely lions guarding its entranceway.

The beautiful Tung San Temple.

The beautiful Tung San Temple.

Tung San Temple.

Tung San Temple.

Lions guarding temple.

Lions guarding temple.

Lions guarding temple.

Lions guarding temple.

Peacocks on the outside of the temple.

Peacocks on the outside of the temple.

Incense and temple doorway.

Incense and temple doorway.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Detail on temple door.

Detail on temple door.


Fish behind Temple.

Fish behind Temple.

Shrine behind temple.

Shrine behind temple.

From here it's about a three minute walk to Tai Fu Tai. There's a signpost next to the post office indicating the way. Tai Fu Tai was built in 1865 during the Quing Dynasty. It was the residence of one of the Man family's highest achieving ancestors, Man Chung-luen. He was a merchant and a philanthropist who belonged to the twenty-first generation of the Man lineage. He was awarded the title Tai Fu which means senior official by the emperor for his generosity and good deeds.

Tai Fu Tai is a well preserved example of a typical Southern Chinese scholar-gentry class dwelling. The main building of Tai Fu Tai has two halls with side chambers, bedrooms and a courtyard. On the east side of the main building there is a parlour and an internal courtyard, and on the west side there is a kitchen, a side chamber and toilets. In the grounds of Tai Fu Tai there are two smaller buildings, a well and a fish pond. Tai Fu Tai was completely restored in 1988 using money donated by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. It is free to enter and is open every day except Tuesdays from 9am to 1pm, then from 2pm to 6pm.

The Main building of Tai Fu Tai.

The Main building of Tai Fu Tai.

Looking across the grounds at Tai Fu Tai as the skies darken.

Looking across the grounds at Tai Fu Tai as the skies darken.

Tai Fu Tai viewed across the Fish Pond.

Tai Fu Tai viewed across the Fish Pond.

Internal Plan of Tai Fu Tai.

Internal Plan of Tai Fu Tai.

Inside the Main Courtard.

Inside the Main Courtard.

Side Chamber viewed through ornate door.

Side Chamber viewed through ornate door.

Main chamber with portraits of the Man family.

Main chamber with portraits of the Man family.

Main hall from side chamber.

Main hall from side chamber.

Looking at an upper floor.

Looking at an upper floor.

Looking at an upper floor.

Looking at an upper floor.

Side Chamber with table and chairs.

Side Chamber with table and chairs.

One of the most impressive things about this lovely building is the beautiful decorative touches above doorways, at the top of walls and on doors

Beautiful Doors.

Beautiful Doors.

Detail on doors.

Detail on doors.

Decorative Paintings.

Decorative Paintings.

Decorative Paintings.

Decorative Paintings.

Decorative Paintings.

Decorative Paintings.

Detail.

Detail.

Floral Paintings on the doors.

Floral Paintings on the doors.

Floral Paintings on the doors.

Floral Paintings on the doors.

At one time there was a factory making peanut oil in the San Tin area. All that remains of it is a peanut oil press which has been put on display in Tai Fu Tai.

Peanut Oil Press.

Peanut Oil Press.

Circular doors or moon doors represent happiness.

Circular doors or moon doors represent happiness.

Moon Door.

Moon Door.

Moon Door and side rooms.

Moon Door and side rooms.

Looking out at the garden.

Looking out at the garden.

In the kitchen.

In the kitchen.

In the kitchen.

In the kitchen.

In the kitchen.

In the kitchen.

In the room that was once the parlour there were lots of displays with information about the history of Tai Fu Tai and the Man family. There was also information about the restoration of the building and its official reopening attended by Governor Wilson and his wife. My favourite part of the inside of the house was the beautifully ornate internal courtyard. A great place to sit with a cold glass of beer and a good book if only I lived in Tai Fu Tai.

Governor Wilson at the re-opening of Tai Fu Tai.

Governor Wilson at the re-opening of Tai Fu Tai.

Parlour.

Parlour.

Internal Courtyard.

Internal Courtyard.

Decoration in Internal Courtyard.

Decoration in Internal Courtyard.

Fish water spout in internal courtyard.

Fish water spout in internal courtyard.

Bamboo Design.

Bamboo Design.

Toilet.

Toilet.

Toilet.

Toilet.

The side of Tai Fu Tai and part of its garden.

The side of Tai Fu Tai and part of its garden.

Looking across the garden to one of the smaller buildings.

Looking across the garden to one of the smaller buildings.

Seats and bamboo in the gardens.

Seats and bamboo in the gardens.

In the garden.

In the garden.

There are also two smaller buildings in the grounds of Tai Fu Tai. I had a look at both. One seemed to be largely used for storage, the other was next to the fishpond. Through a window in this building I could see how overgrown the area behind this building was. Hong Kong's jungle is always trying to reclaim anything built in its path.

Buildings used for storage.

Buildings used for storage.

Door in building used for storage.

Door in building used for storage.

Window in building used for storage.

Window in building used for storage.

Alcove in building used for storage.

Alcove in building used for storage.

Well.

Well.

Building near fishpond.

Building near fishpond.

Building near fishpond.

Building near fishpond.

Building near fishpond.

Building near fishpond.

Building near fishpond.

Building near fishpond.

Courtyard in building near fishpond.

Courtyard in building near fishpond.

Inside building near fishpond.

Inside building near fishpond.

It's a jungle out there.

It's a jungle out there.

View over fishpond.

View over fishpond.

When I had finished looking at Tai Fu Tai the skies had gone totally black and I could hear the rumble of thunder. I decided to keep looking around but try and do it quickly. I had a quick look at parts of the village and a tiny temple. I failed to find the ancestral hall, but later read it was closed for renovation anyway.

Pleasant looking restaurant.

Pleasant looking restaurant.

Ornate entryway.

Ornate entryway.

Typical low houses.

Typical low houses.

Typical building and restaurant.

Typical building and restaurant.

Little Temple. I think it is called Fook Tak Temple.

Little Temple. I think it is called Fook Tak Temple.

Inside Fook Tak Temple.

Inside Fook Tak Temple.

Trees.

Trees.

Trees.

Trees.

Narrow Streets.

Narrow Streets.

Narrow Streets.

Narrow Streets.

Ornate Doorway.

Ornate Doorway.

Village Street.

Village Street.

After an extremely rushed look around the village, I hurried to do one last thing. I wanted to visit Man Tin Cheung Park. To get there I went back to the main road where I had exited the bus, headed right, crossed the road and turned left just before the petrol station.

This park has an impressive gateway guarded by two stone lions. I walked through this and climbed the stairs up to a huge statue of Man Tin Cheung. He was a famous poet and patriot, known as one of the three heroes of the Song Dynasty, because he refused to surrender to Mongolian invaders. He was captured, imprisoned for three years then executed. While imprisoned, Man Tin Cheung wrote one of his greatest poems the "Song of Righteousness". There is a six-meter tall bronze statue of Man Tin Cheung in the center of the park. Behind the statue there is a massive stone bas relief showing his life and times. There are good views over Shenzhen from here.

Gateway to the park.

Gateway to the park.

Two stone lions guard the way.

Two stone lions guard the way.

Two stone lions guard the way.

Two stone lions guard the way.

Lilypond on climb up.

Lilypond on climb up.

Statue of Man Tin Cheung.

Statue of Man Tin Cheung.

Statue of Man Tin Cheung.

Statue of Man Tin Cheung.

Scenes from bas relief behind statue.

Scenes from bas relief behind statue.

Scenes from bas relief behind statue.

Scenes from bas relief behind statue.

Scenes from bas relief behind statue.

Scenes from bas relief behind statue.

Scenes from bas relief behind statue.

Scenes from bas relief behind statue.

View from the top of the park.

View from the top of the park.

I quickly descended the hill as the thunder got louder and lightning began to split the sky. I was heading at speed for the bus shelter where I thought I'd have to sit out the storm for around thirty minutes, but a red minibus drove into view. It was heading to Yuen Long so I leapt on. As I passed the area with the water hyacinths the rain was coming down in sheets, the lightning was terrifying and the road was flooding. I decided I had better not got off to look at them, no matter how hard they are to find.

When I got home even the road outside my house was flooded.

Bus driving on wrong side of road to avoid the flood.

Bus driving on wrong side of road to avoid the flood.

Water, water everywhere.

Water, water everywhere.

Posted by irenevt 05:12 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (6)

Round and Round a Rocky Bay.

A Visit to Shek O.

sunny

Today I decided to visit Shek O on the south east side of Hong Kong Island. That's quite a long way from where I live, so I had to take a bus, 2 MTR lines and another bus, but I got there in the end. Shek O literally means Rocky Bay. To get there, first go to Shau Kei Wan, then board the number 9 bus. The drive is very picturesque with beautiful scenery on both sides. Red minibuses also run to Shek O from Shau Kei Wan. Today is Monday; on a weekday the journey to Shek O is enjoyable. At weekends and on public holidays it's busy, busy, busy with very long queues for the bus. That's because many people want to visit Shek O itself or nearby Big Wave Bay, both of which have excellent beaches, or they want to hike the dragon's back, one of the most popular hikes in Hong Kong, or hike Cape D' Aguilar which is also very, very beautiful.

In Shau Kei Wan, before I boarded the bus, I was surprised to see lemons growing on the trees in the bus station. Hong Kong is hot and produces a lot of fruit and vegetables but for some reason it's unusual to see citrus fruit growing here.

Art in Shau Kei Wan MTR.

Art in Shau Kei Wan MTR.

Lemons at the bus station.

Lemons at the bus station.

Lemons at the bus station.

Lemons at the bus station.

When I reached Shek O, I began my wanderings by heading to the main beach. Hong Kong isn't particularly hassely, but I've never managed to come to Shek O without being followed by someone trying to rent me a beach umbrella. If you plan to spend the day on the beach, you'll need one, but I was here more to look around and take photos. I didn't swim, as I had too many valuables with me to leave them on the beach, but I did go in for a paddle. The water was lovely and still refreshing, unlike our swimming pool which is now like a bath. In the distance it's possible to see some of the Po Toi Islands. I want to go there. They are nicknamed the South Pole of Hong Kong as they are the furthest south it's possible to go from here and still be in Hong Kong.

The main beach.

The main beach.

The main beach.

The main beach.

The main beach.

The main beach.

The main beach.

The main beach.

Paddling at the main beach.

Paddling at the main beach.

Enjoying the main beach.

Enjoying the main beach.

The main beach through the trees.

The main beach through the trees.

The main beach through the trees.

The main beach through the trees.

Proof of why it's called Rocky Bay.

Proof of why it's called Rocky Bay.

Surf boards on the main beach.

Surf boards on the main beach.

After looking at the beach, I wandered the nearby shops. They prepare people for the beach, stocking flip flops, inflatable toys, buckets, spades, everything you might need for a day at the beach. They are colourful and fun to wander around.

Inflatable toys.

Inflatable toys.

Inflatable toys.

Inflatable toys.

Inflatable toys.

Inflatable toys.

Buckets and spades.

Buckets and spades.

Flip flops.

Flip flops.

Green Shek O.

Green Shek O.

Then I headed to Shek O Village. On the main Street there are many cafes and restaurants, a lot of them are Thai. On visits here in the past, when Peter didn't have eye problems, we normally swam at the beach then ate at the Thai. I hadn't realised before but I've never really wandered around Shek O Village. Today I did.

Lulu Restaurant.

Lulu Restaurant.

Peaceful restaurant.

Peaceful restaurant.

Advertising a restaurant.

Advertising a restaurant.

Historically Shek O Village was created by fishermen of the Chan, Yip, Li and Lau clans around two hundred years ago. It was once renowned for its lobster. Nowadays it is colourful, flower-filled, relaxed and beautiful. People who live here love the sea and all it entails.

Colourful streets.

Colourful streets.

Colourful streets.

Colourful streets.

Colourful streets.

Colourful streets.

Colourful streets.

Colourful streets.

Welcoming streets.

Welcoming streets.

Blue Houses.

Blue Houses.

Rainbow boats.

Rainbow boats.

Always have your surf board at hand.

Always have your surf board at hand.

And your boat nearby.

And your boat nearby.

I don't know the name of this street, but it should be called Jungle Street.

I don't know the name of this street, but it should be called Jungle Street.

I don't know the name of this street, but it should be called Jungle Street.

I don't know the name of this street, but it should be called Jungle Street.

Cheerful flower.

Cheerful flower.

As pretty as a picture.

As pretty as a picture.

Bicycle with psycadelic background.

Bicycle with psycadelic background.

Ornate doors.

Ornate doors.

Inviting doors.

Inviting doors.

Orange doors.

Orange doors.

Pink doors.

Pink doors.

Flowery Houses.

Flowery Houses.

Flowery Houses.

Flowery Houses.

Flowery Houses.

Flowery Houses.

Flowery Window.

Flowery Window.

The village has a lovely Tin Hau Temple which was built in 1891. It has some very pretty paintings outside. Tin Hau had to have a temple here as Shek O is all about the sea and Tin Hau is goddess of the sea. Fishermen would have prayed here before heading out to sea.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Tin Hau in her temple.

Tin Hau in her temple.

Temple drum.

Temple drum.

In front of the temple.

In front of the temple.

Bird and flower painting outside temple.

Bird and flower painting outside temple.

Horseman painting outside temple. Apparently a scene from Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Horseman painting outside temple. Apparently a scene from Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Chinese ladies painting outside temple.

Chinese ladies painting outside temple.

Horsemen painting outside temple.

Horsemen painting outside temple.

I think this is Jurojin, god of longevity, riding a deer painting outside temple.

I think this is Jurojin, god of longevity, riding a deer painting outside temple.

Lotus painting outside temple.

Lotus painting outside temple.

Behind the village there is a second lesser known beach called Shek O Back Beach. This is smaller, less crowded and more peaceful than the main beach. There is a restaurant bar behind it. While walking here I befriended a pleasant village dog.

Back Beach.

Back Beach.

Back Beach.

Back Beach.

Surf boards on Back Beach.

Surf boards on Back Beach.

I want to sail away on that boat.

I want to sail away on that boat.

Friendly dog.

Friendly dog.

Friendly dog.

Friendly dog.

Looking towards the Shek O Country Club. There's a large golf course next to it.

Looking towards the Shek O Country Club. There's a large golf course next to it.

Boats on Back Beach.

Boats on Back Beach.

Boats on Back Beach.

Boats on Back Beach.

Bar behind beach.

Bar behind beach.

Back Beach Promenade.

Back Beach Promenade.

I wandered around Shek O several times, each time discovering something new and always ending back at the main beach. At one point when I was strolling along the promenade near the back beach a film was being made. I think I accidentally got in the middle of it. Oops! There are pleasant rocky views from this walkway.

Rocky Promenade.

Rocky Promenade.

Rocky Promenade.

Rocky Promenade.

I caught a red minibus back to Shau Kei Wan and tried to take pictures of the stunning views as we sped past. That could explain any blurring!!

I didn't really do justice to the view over Shek O though who came blame me. Red minibus drivers are fast.

I didn't really do justice to the view over Shek O though who came blame me. Red minibus drivers are fast.

Views on the way back.

Views on the way back.

Views on the way back.

Views on the way back.

Posted by irenevt 15:14 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (9)

Forays into a Fertile Field.

Exploring the Kam Tin Area.

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Today I took the west rail to Kam Sheung Road MTR Station in the Western New Territories and set out to look around the Kam Tin area. Apparently Kam Tin means fertile field and gets its name from the fact that during a terrible famine in the late sixteenth century, this area was still able to produce large quantities of rice.

I wanted to visit the famous walled village here and several other sights. When I arrived in Hong Kong in the late 1990's, it was possible to get to this village on a New Territories day tour, but it was pretty complicated to get here by public transport. That's why I have never been before. Nowadays the west rail line takes people to within walking distance of it.

Looking back at Kam Tin Station across the bicycles.

Looking back at Kam Tin Station across the bicycles.

The Kam Tin area is quite different from the rest of Hong Kong. The houses are low-rise. While there are several busy roads, many of the streets are narrow and are mainly used by pedestrians and cyclists. There is a peaceful, laid-back vibe. It struck me as a place where people move slowly, acknowledge the existence of others and are not caught up in the headlong rush that's found in the rest of Hong Kong. This is a world away from Central or Mong Kok. I liked it.

I left the MTR by exit B, walked through the cycle park, turned left and crossed a bridge over the Kam Tin River. On the other side of the river, I came to the Richfield Shopping Centre. Now I am not someone who enjoys shopping and I don't normally like shopping centres, but this one is different. It is made up of lots of shipping containers with plenty of open-air spaces between them. There's even a beautiful, flower lined stream running through the centre of it. The shipping containers have been converted into cafes, bakeries, snack stalls, pet-groomers and even a beauty salon.

Kam Tin River.

Kam Tin River.

Kam Tin River.

Kam Tin River.

The Richfield Shopping Centre.

The Richfield Shopping Centre.

The Richfield Shopping Centre.

The Richfield Shopping Centre.

The Richfield Shopping Centre.

The Richfield Shopping Centre.

Mural next to the toilets in the Richfield.

Mural next to the toilets in the Richfield.

After looking at the Richfield, I headed off to the walled village. The first inhabitants of the Kam Tin area built walled villages to protect themselves from bandits, pirates and wild animals. Some of these walled villages had moats and tall defensive towers. Inside the villages, streets were narrow and people lived close together in densely packed brick houses.

Kam Tin has three walled villages. The biggest and most famous is Kat Hong Wai. This is home to about four hundred descendants of the Tang Clan. The Tangs are Puntis, one of the four indigenous groups that had settled in this area before the arrival of the British. The four groups were: the Punti, the Tanka or Boat Dwelling People, the Hakka and the Hoklo. The Punti came mainly Southern China. They were involved in the salt, pearl and fishing trades.

Kat Hing Wai was built in the fifteenth century. It is rectangular in shape and has thick brick walls. There are watchtowers at the four corners of the walls and the village was once completely surrounded by a moat, parts of this are now filled in. In 1899 this and other Punti villages fought a Six-Day War against the British, who had just acquired the New Territories. When the Punti were defeated, the British took the iron gates from the entrance to Kat Hong Wai and shipped them off to the UK. The Tang Clan later petitioned to have these gates brought back. Governor Sir Edward Stubbs eventually agreed to these demands and the gates were returned in 1925.

Unfortunately, when I got to the entrance of Kat Hong Wai, these gates were barred to me. There was a big sign up saying the village was not letting in visitors due to covid 19, so all I could do was photograph the entranceway and walk around the outside.

Kat Hong Wai.

Kat Hong Wai.

Entranceway.

Entranceway.

Entranceway.

Entranceway.

Defensive Tower.

Defensive Tower.

Behind the walls.

Behind the walls.

Behind the walls.

Behind the walls.

Filled in Moat.

Filled in Moat.

I was disappointed at not getting into the village, but not for long. I soon found that this area has been decorated with lots of beautiful, colourful murals.

The idea for the murals came from a visual arts teacher in a local secondary school, Miss Kwok Yin-ming. In 2017 she arranged for her students and a group of volunteers to paint murals all around Kam Tin each weekend and public holiday to brighten the place up. It has certainly worked.

Loving Couple.

Loving Couple.

Jumping Fish.

Jumping Fish.

Trees.

Trees.

Girl walking her dog.

Girl walking her dog.

Dog and cat.

Dog and cat.

Squirrel in autumn.

Squirrel in autumn.

Butterflies, snails, flowers.

Butterflies, snails, flowers.

Dragon.

Dragon.

Horses.

Horses.

Bird with fancy plumage.

Bird with fancy plumage.

Golden Carp.

Golden Carp.

Love Birds.

Love Birds.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Hands.

Hands.

Hong Kong.

Hong Kong.

Hong Kong.

Hong Kong.

Hong Kong.

Hong Kong.

Hong Kong.

Hong Kong.

Hong Kong.

Hong Kong.

A beautiful place to sit.

A beautiful place to sit.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Fruit.

Fruit.

Magic.

Magic.

Fish.

Fish.

Cats.

Cats.

Cats.

Cats.

Cats and Balloons.

Cats and Balloons.

As I wandered around looking for murals, I kept coming across wonderful old Chinese buildings and narrow character-filled streets. Who needs a walled village when history is all around you?

One of the buildings I found was the former residence of Tang Pak Kau. He was an important member of the Tang Clan who played a leading role in getting the gates of Kat Hong Wai back. His residence's outer walls were decorated with murals. I believe Tang Pak Kau's grandson has set up a trust fund for university scholars in his grandfather's name.

Former Residence of Tang Pak Kau.

Former Residence of Tang Pak Kau.

Mural outside Residence of Tang Pak Kau.

Mural outside Residence of Tang Pak Kau.

Mural outside Residence of Tang Pak Kau.

Mural outside Residence of Tang Pak Kau.

Mural outside Residence of Tang Pak Kau.

Mural outside Residence of Tang Pak Kau.

I also enjoyed wandering the narrow village streets and seeing their houses adorned with flowers and the odd piece of decoration that just made them that little bit more colourful.

Village Street with washing.

Village Street with washing.

Narrow street.

Narrow street.

Narrow street.

Narrow street.

Narrow street.

Narrow street.

Narrow street.

Narrow street.

Decorations near a cafe.

Decorations near a cafe.

Decorations outside a cafe.

Decorations outside a cafe.

Bicycle outside a door.

Bicycle outside a door.

Flowers are dotted around everywhere adding a bit of colour.

Flowers are dotted around everywhere adding a bit of colour.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Window with flowers.

Window with flowers.

Characterful letter box.

Characterful letter box.

Doorway.

Doorway.

Doorway.

Doorway.

Doorway.

Doorway.

I thought this looked very fancy, but a Chinese friend tells me these are put up to pass on information. This one is advertising a new shop selling equipment for aquariums.

I thought this looked very fancy, but a Chinese friend tells me these are put up to pass on information. This one is advertising a new shop selling equipment for aquariums.

During my wanderings I accidentally bumped into another sight - the Red Brick House. This is a handicraft market with more than fifty stores located inside a former candle factory. I was early so not much was open, but the building was fascinating anyway.

Kam Tin Red Brick House.

Kam Tin Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

Inside the Red Brick House.

After looking around here, I returned to the main Street. I noticed the village shops were a real mishmash of odds and ends all heaped up in fascinating, dusty piles. I particularly liked the look of the old clock.

Village Shop.

Village Shop.

Village Shop.

Village Shop.

Village Shop.

Village Shop.

Village Shop.

Village Shop.

Village Shop.

Village Shop.

Village Fruit and Vegetables Stall.

Village Fruit and Vegetables Stall.

When I had finished exploring the main Street, I went in search of the second walled village, which is called Tai Hong Wai. There was no sign here telling me people could not visit, but I did not venture in too far as I was conscious of the fact that it's not very polite to impose yourself on someone's living quarters during a pandemic.

Entrance to Tai Hong Wai.

Entrance to Tai Hong Wai.

Inside the village.

Inside the village.

Village Shrine.

Village Shrine.

Ornate Doorway.

Ornate Doorway.

Village Street.

Village Street.

Village Street.

Village Street.

I thought this was a decoration, but apparently it advertised a car repair shop. Elaborate or what?

I thought this was a decoration, but apparently it advertised a car repair shop. Elaborate or what?

After looking at this walled village, I wandered around this area for a while and discovered that there are still quite a few fertile fields around behind the village houses so maybe Kam Tin still lives up to its name.

Still home to fertile fields.

Still home to fertile fields.

Earlier I had noticed signs pointing to an old, historical study hall and the Kam Tin treehouse. I decided to follow these and see where they took me. I ended up in an underpass below a busy road, then I crossed another river. I was heading towards the village of Shui Tau Tsuen. This village was founded by the Tang Clan in the seventeenth century. Together with its neighbouring village, Shui Mei Tsuen, this village has several old buildings with prow-shaped roofs decorated with dragons and carp. When I was wandering around, I wasn't really sure what I was looking at, as I only found information in English outside one of the buildings. I don't think many tourists come here.

One of the buildings I saw was the Tang Ching Lok Ancestral Hall which dates back to the fifteenth century. This building is used as a gathering point for descendants of the four oldest branches of the Tang family. Newborn baby boys have their names recorded in the lineage registry here. Girls don't as they will marry outside of the clan. On the roof there is a model of a carp jumping over a dragon's gate which symbolises an increase in prestige coming from hard work. Like all but one of the buildings I found this building was closed so I could not look inside.

The Tang Ching Lok Ancestral Hall.

The Tang Ching Lok Ancestral Hall.

The Tang Ching Lok Ancestral Hall.

The Tang Ching Lok Ancestral Hall.

The second building I found was the Hung Shing Temple. This was also closed and behind high bars. This building is thought to have been built during the Quing Dynasty. The Tang Clan refer to this building as the Big Temple as it is the oldest in Kam Tin. It is dedicated to Hung Shing, a deity who protects those travelling by sea. The high rail is to protect the temple from theft or accidental damage.

Hung Shing Temple.

Hung Shing Temple.

Hung Shing Temple.

Hung Shing Temple.

Next I went to the Tang Kwong U Ancestral Hall. This was the only building I could go inside. I didn't see anyone else in there, though there was an attendant somewhere as I could hear his radio. The Tang Kwong U Ancestral Hall was built in 1701 during the Qing dynasty by Tang Tseung Luk in commemoration of a seventeenth generation ancestor of the clan, Tang Kwong-u. The Tang Kwong U Ancestral Hall was declared a monument in 2010.

Entrance to Tang Kwong U Ancestral Hall.

Entrance to Tang Kwong U Ancestral Hall.

Inside the hall.

Inside the hall.

Inside the hall.

Inside the hall.

Inside the hall.

Inside the hall.

Altar inside hall.

Altar inside hall.

Banner in hall. Apparently also about the car repair shop.

Banner in hall. Apparently also about the car repair shop.

Details of wooden panels in study hall.

Details of wooden panels in study hall.

Details of wooden panels in study hall.

Details of wooden panels in study hall.

There were picturesque narrow streets around here, too and a ruined building that I wandered around inside. I'm not sure what it would have been.

Narrow Street.

Narrow Street.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Inside a ruined building.

Then I walked past the Cheung Chun Yuen, which was a school providing martial arts training for village children who hoped to pass the military stream of the Imperial Civil Service Examination. If they passed they gained a lot of prestige for themselves and their village.

Cheung Chun Yuen.

Cheung Chun Yuen.

After this I noticed a tin shack with water behind it. The water turned out to be the Shui Mei Village Pond which is well-known for its still waters that normally have beautiful reflections in them.

Tin Shack.

Tin Shack.

The Shui Mei Village pond.

The Shui Mei Village pond.

The Shui Mei Village pond.

The Shui Mei Village pond.

Not far from here I noted a little pavilion with two bridges next to it: one old and one modern. The old one was the Bin Mo Bridge and there is a legend attached to it. Tang Chun Yuen was brought up by his widowed mother in Tai Hong Wai, the second walled village I visited. When he was an adult, he moved across the Kam Tin River to Pak Wai which is now known as Shui Tau Tsuen. His mother frequently visited him and his wife and children, but to get there she had to cross the river. As this was very difficult for her, Tang Chun Yuen would go to meet her, wade through the water and carry her across on his back. Then in 1710 he built the Bin Mo Bridge for her. Bin Mo Bridge literally translates as bridge for the convenience of mother.

Bin Mo Bridge.

Bin Mo Bridge.

Bin Mo Bridge.

Bin Mo Bridge.

Bin Mo Bridge.

Bin Mo Bridge.

Modern bridge next to Bin Mo Bridge.

Modern bridge next to Bin Mo Bridge.

Abandoned bicycle near the bridge.

Abandoned bicycle near the bridge.

Views of the river.

Views of the river.

Views of the river.

Views of the river.

Views of the river.

Views of the river.

On the other side of the river is the Chou Wong Yi Kung Study Hall, which was built in 1685 by the Tang Clan, in honour of Chou Yu-te and Wang Lai-jen who were two imperial officials who petitioned the Emperor to end coastal evacuation, and let the inhabitants of coastal areas return to their homes in 1669.

Coastal evacuation, also known as the Great Clearance, began in 1661 when the Kangxi Emperor of the Quing Dynasty forced all villagers on the southern coast of China to abandon their villages and move 25 kilometres inland. This was to try and defeat Koxinga, a Ming loyalist who had seized Taiwan from the Dutch and was using it as a base for rebellion.

Chou Wong Yi Kung Study Hall.

Chou Wong Yi Kung Study Hall.

Chou Wong Yi Kung Study Hall.

Chou Wong Yi Kung Study Hall.

Tree near Chou Wong Yi Kung Study Hall.

Tree near Chou Wong Yi Kung Study Hall.

Unfortunately I never did find the Kam Tin Treehouse or the Yi Tai Study Hall which were the signs I had been following, because by this stage I was beginning to feel sunstruck and had to make my way back to the MTR to get out of the sun. Maybe I'll return in winter. The Kam Tin Treehouse is an old house that has become completely enclosed in the roots of a huge banyan tree. One theory about the house is that its owner left during the Great Clearance and never returned.

Posted by irenevt 06:15 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (4)

In at the Deep End...

Repulse Bay to Deep Water Bay by Seaside Promenade.

rain

Over the weekend we concentrated on housework, swimming and eating out.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at Club Sienna.

Eating out at the Bounty Bar.

Eating out at the Bounty Bar.

Eating out at the Bounty Bar.

Eating out at the Bounty Bar.

I had plans for Monday and Tuesday of this week, but the weather put paid to them. We've had the typhoon three, amber rain, thunderstorm and flooding warnings up for the last two days. It's nowhere near as bad as the devastating flooding taking place in Northern Europe at the moment. That sounds absolutely horrendous. Some parts of China have had severe flooding, including a group of passengers being stuck inside an underground train which began filling up with water. To me that sounds like the stuff of nightmares.

Finally - today Wednesday - although it was still dark and drizzly, I decided I had to get out. I started by taking the MTR to Central. I was heading to Repulse Bay by bus but before going there, I had a look at the statues on the IFC podium. This was because I wanted to see the statue of the comfort women which has been placed there and has been causing some controversy. I wasn't exactly sure where to look for it, but it turned out to be near all the other podium statues, so I photographed all of them, too.

The first statue I came across was 'Above the Clouds' by Beijing artist Ren Zhe. It's supposed to show a man battling himself to try and surpass his past achievements.

'Above the Clouds' by Ren Zhe.

'Above the Clouds' by Ren Zhe.

The second were two statues of people doing Tai chi. There was one of these in the tai chi garden of Hong Kong Park, too. These are by Taiwanese sculptor, Ju Ming. He also did the 'Lining Up' statue - a queue of people outside the Cultural Centre in TST. His style of people is described as blocky. Personally I rather like it.

Tai chi.

Tai chi.

Tai chi.

Tai chi.

Tai chi.

Tai chi.

Next, I looked at 'Water Buffaloes' by British sculptor Dame Elisabeth Jean Frink. Apparently she is famous for doing lots of statues of people and animals and people with animals.

Water Buffalo.

Water Buffalo.

The Comfort Women statues have been here for several years, but I personally only just discovered them a couple of days ago when I was researching something else and I thought what on Earth are these. I've no idea how I could have missed them. Apparently in 2018 someone tried to steal them. They now have a guard watching over them. They are placed here in remembrance of the horrendous ordeal Korean, Chinese and other Asian comfort women went through during World War II. I have just read a book called 'The Amulet', based in Singapore and depicting the lives of these poor women. That's why I wanted to see the sculptures.

Comfort Women statues.

Comfort Women statues.

Next I looked at 'Oval with Points' by Henry Moore. This is popular here because it looks like a number eight. That is a lucky number here, because it sounds like the word to prosper.

Oval with Points.

Oval with Points.

Finally, I looked at 'Sitting Couple' by British sculptor, Lynn Chadwick. Again this is one I rather like.

Sitting Couple.

Sitting Couple.

Then I boarded the number 6 bus towards Repulse Bay. It was luxury travelling on it on a dreary week day when noone else wanted to go to the beach, because at weekends this bus is at the end of a very long line indeed.

Repulse Bay's Chinese name, Tsin Shui Wan, means Shallow Water Bay, in contrast to nearby Deep Water Bay. Its English name is less well understood. One theory is that this area was at one time occupied by fierce pirates who frequently attacked the ships of foreign traders. The British fleet attacked these pirates and repulsed them i.e. drove them out.

The number 6 goes over the top of Hong Kong Island rather than through the tunnel. Thus it's slower but has great views. I took a couple of rainy day shots of Happy Valley from the window.

Happy Valley in the rain.

Happy Valley in the rain.

Happy Valley in the rain.

Happy Valley in the rain.

I began my wanderings around Repulse Bay by looking at the luxury shopping mall and restaurants which occupy the site of the former colonial style Repulse Bay Hotel. This once upon a time world famous hotel was built in 1920 by Hong Kong's wealthy Kadoorie family. During World War II this hotel was used as a hospital by the British forces. In literature, writer Eileen Chang used this hotel as the meeting place for her main male and female characters in her novel 'Love in a Fallen City'. I found a beautiful memorial to her on the nearby Repulse Bay Beach. Many famous people have stayed in this former hotel, including George Bernard Shaw, Noël Coward and Marlon Brando. In addition, Prince Juan Carlos and Crown Princess Sofia of Spain spent their honeymoon here. Sadly, the wonderful old Repulse Bay Hotel was demolished in 1982 and a residential building was built here in its place. This residential building is famous for having a square hole in its centre, which was apparently added for Feng Shui purposes to allow the mountain dragon behind the building access to the sea. Fortunately, a replica of the original hotel lobby was created here in 1986 and that is what I was wandering around. I loved the grand staircase, the courtyard, the greenery, waterfalls and fish ponds, plus the old photos and posters which adorned the walls of this building.

I loved these beautiful flowers in the Repulse Bay Hotel grounds.

I loved these beautiful flowers in the Repulse Bay Hotel grounds.

More of the same flowers.

More of the same flowers.

Fountain outside main entrance.

Fountain outside main entrance.

Fountain, restored lobby and residential building with hole in it.

Fountain, restored lobby and residential building with hole in it.

Lobby and residential building.

Lobby and residential building.

Side wing of the restored lobby.

Side wing of the restored lobby.

Inside the restored lobby.

Inside the restored lobby.

Inside the restored lobby.

Inside the restored lobby.

Grand staircase.

Grand staircase.

Courtard of hotel lobby.

Courtard of hotel lobby.

Hotel Lobby.

Hotel Lobby.

Window.

Window.

Ornate window.

Ornate window.

Walkway behind lobby.

Walkway behind lobby.

Walkway behind lobby.

Walkway behind lobby.

Beautiful stain glass window.

Beautiful stain glass window.

Old picture of Peddar Street, Central in the 1930's.

Old picture of Peddar Street, Central in the 1930's.

Former hotel guests.

Former hotel guests.

On the cruise ship from England to Hong Kong.

On the cruise ship from England to Hong Kong.

Ways of staying in touch - air mail.

Ways of staying in touch - air mail.

Enjoying yourself - swimming and picnics.

Enjoying yourself - swimming and picnics.

Casual wear.

Casual wear.

Enjoying an evening of jazz.

Enjoying an evening of jazz.

Old Hotel Poster.

Old Hotel Poster.

Postbox with cat.

Postbox with cat.

Even the toilets are quite ornate.

Even the toilets are quite ornate.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Gardens.

Fish ponds.

Fish ponds.

Walkway in gardens.

Walkway in gardens.

Lush, wet vegetation.

Lush, wet vegetation.

Waterfalls.

Waterfalls.

Waterfalls.

Waterfalls.

When I had finished exploring the former hotel, I wandered down towards the beach. On the way I passed the memorial to Eileen Chang and some interesting park benches. Eileen Chang was born in Shanghai in 1920, but came to Hong Kong to study literature at the University of Hong Kong in 1939. She was still here when the Japanese invaded in 1941. Among her many books, she wrote a short novel called 'Love in a Fallen City'. This describes the lives of several people from Hong Kong and the mainland who find themselves cooped up at the hotel in Repulse Bay during World War II. Eileen Chang certainly looked incredibly elegant in her photograph on her memorial.

Eileen Chang.

Eileen Chang.

Ornate Benches.

Ornate Benches.

Ornate Benches.

Ornate Benches.

Next I wandered down to the beach itself. It was still warm despite the gray skies and occasional drizzle, so several people were swimming in the sea and a few were sunbathing, or perhaps relaxing is a better description, on the beach. There were also a group of people learning about kayaking. Repulse Bay Beach is one of the longest in Hong Kong at about 292 metres long. The beach was extended with artificial sand
to enlarge it to cope with the crowds who flock here at weekends. A relatively recent complex called the pulse behind the beach provides several restaurants here.

Repulse Bay Beach through the trees.

Repulse Bay Beach through the trees.

Looking back at that building again.

Looking back at that building again.

View along the beach.

View along the beach.

And looking the other way.

And looking the other way.

Looking out to sea.

Looking out to sea.

Kayaking.

Kayaking.

Kayaking.

Kayaking.

Repulse Bay Beach.

Repulse Bay Beach.

Luxurious apartments behind the beach.

Luxurious apartments behind the beach.

Although I intended to walk along the seaside promenade to Deep Water Bay, I first headed the opposite way to see the lifesavers temple. This is not a real temple. Apparently it is a training school for lifeguards but is surrounded by various cultural relics. These include huge statues of Kuan Yim, goddess of mercy and Tin Hau, goddess of the sea. There are lots of other deities, too, an entrance gateway, a pavilion and the longevity bridge - each time you cross it three days are added to your life. I've only ever been here when it has been thronged with people. It was luxury to have the place almost to myself yesterday.

View of lifesavers temple from beach.

View of lifesavers temple from beach.

View of lifesavers temple from the beach.

View of lifesavers temple from the beach.

Entranceway.

Entranceway.

Beautiful statue near entrance.

Beautiful statue near entrance.

Kuan Yim.

Kuan Yim.

Tin Hau.

Tin Hau.

It's good luck to throw money in the fish's mouth apparently.

It's good luck to throw money in the fish's mouth apparently.

Entrance to lifeguards' training area.

Entrance to lifeguards' training area.

Ornate staircase.

Ornate staircase.

Dragon.

Dragon.

Statue.

Statue.

Buddha.

Buddha.

Statues.

Statues.

The Pavilion.

The Pavilion.

Detail of pavilion.

Detail of pavilion.

View from pavilion.

View from pavilion.

View from pavilion

View from pavilion

Longevity bridge.

Longevity bridge.

Pavilion and bridge.

Pavilion and bridge.

Dragon.

Dragon.

Statues.

Statues.

Statues.

Statues.

Rams.

Rams.

I then turned around, walked along the path behind the beach and headed towards the Seaside Promenade - a short coastal path that runs between Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay. There are lovely views back across Repulse Bay Beach from the start of the walk.

Seaview Promenade sign.

Seaview Promenade sign.

Walking the Seaview Promenade.

Walking the Seaview Promenade.

Looking back over Repulse Bay.

Looking back over Repulse Bay.

Looking back over Repulse Bay Beach.

Looking back over Repulse Bay Beach.

Looking back over Repulse Bay Beach.

Looking back over Repulse Bay Beach.

I also passed a forlorn set of gateposts. These are all that remain from the once magnificent castle, Eucliffe Castle, that once stood on the cliff here. Eucliffe was one of three castles in Hong Kong, all now sadly demolished, which were built by Eu Tong Sen. Eu Tong Sen was a business tycoon who made his money from rubber and tin mining. He was also vice-president of the Anti-Opium Society. In the 1930's anyone who was anyone in Hong Kong partied at Eucliffe. The castle contained a large collection of ancient armour and stained glass windows. In 1941, during the eighteen day Battle of Hong Kong, the Japanese took over Eucliffe. They slaughtered fifty-four prisoners of war here by making them sit on the edge of the cliffs then shooting them. Their bodies fell to the rocks below. Miraculously, one of these prisoners of war survived to tell the tale. He was wounded by the shot, survived the fall and hid in a nearby cave until he could escape. Following this horrific event Eucliffe became known as “the most ill-omened house in Hong Kong”. For many years it was used as a TV and movie set before being demolished.

If they could only talk ...

If they could only talk ...

These gateposts could tell a tale or two.

These gateposts could tell a tale or two.

This walk is only a couple of kilometres long and takes around twenty minutes to half an hour. It is mercifully far away from the busy road and thus is very peaceful. Around the middle of the walk there are views over Middle Island. This is home to one of the three clubhouses of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, one of the clubhouses of the Aberdeen Boat Club, a beach and two temples. A free sampan runs back and forth taking people over to the island. On the opposite side of the path away from the sea there was lush vegetation, flowers and even a few waterfalls.

Looking towards Middle Island.

Looking towards Middle Island.

Looking at yacht club, Middle Island.

Looking at yacht club, Middle Island.

Looking at yacht club, Middle Island.

Looking at yacht club, Middle Island.

Waterfall.

Waterfall.

Waterfall with Buddha.

Waterfall with Buddha.

Lush vegetation.

Lush vegetation.

Bird of Paradise Flowers.

Bird of Paradise Flowers.

Looking towards Nam Long Shan and Ocean Park.

Looking towards Nam Long Shan and Ocean Park.

Seaview through vegetation.

Seaview through vegetation.

Interesting rock formation near Deep Water Bay.

Interesting rock formation near Deep Water Bay.

Interesting rock formation.

Interesting rock formation.

Interesting rock formation.

Interesting rock formation.

Interesting rock formation near Deep Water Bay.

Interesting rock formation near Deep Water Bay.

Pier near Deep Water Bay.

Pier near Deep Water Bay.

Deep Water Bay viewed through the aerial roots of a banyan tree.

Deep Water Bay viewed through the aerial roots of a banyan tree.

Rowboat near Deep Water Bay.

Rowboat near Deep Water Bay.

View towards Deep Water Bay Beach.

View towards Deep Water Bay Beach.

At the end of the promenade I arrived at Deep Water Bay Beach. Due to all the rain the waterfall on the opposite side of the busy main road was in full spate. The barbecue sites here are still closed due to covid. There is, however, a Thai restaurant called Coconuts and an Italian restaurant called Lido Cucina Italiana here. On the other side of the road from the beach there is a small Taoist shrine. Apparently, Deep Water Bay is home to many of Hong Kong’s most famous business tycoons, around nineteen billionaires live around here, making it the richest residential neighborhood on earth.

Waterfall across busy main road.

Waterfall across busy main road.

Barbecue site, Deep Water Bay Beach.

Barbecue site, Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Deep Water Bay Beach.

Co co nuts Restaurant.

Co co nuts Restaurant.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Shrine.

After looking at Deep Water Bay, I jumped on a 6X bus back to Central. This one goes through the tunnel rather than over the top of the island. I got off in Wan Chai as I wanted to look at Nam Koo Terrace another of Hong Kong's derelict haunted houses. This was used by the Japanese Army to house comfort women during World War II. However, I could not get near this building due to all the construction going on around it. Instead I looked at the temple of Hung Shing on Queens Road East.

The Hung Shing Temple was built in 1847. It's neighbouring Kwun Yum temple was constructed in 1867. The temple was built using huge boulders from the hillside and you can still see these behind the main shrine. The temple is managed by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

In the temple.

Temple bell.

Temple bell.

Kuan Yim.

Kuan Yim.

Outside the temple.

Outside the temple.

Finally, I walked from Wan Chai to Pacific Place in Admiralty in pursuit of British sliced bread. On the way I passed a colourful geometric design painted for one of the Hong Kong Walls Festivals.

Hong Kong Walls. The Wall of a Thousand Thoughts by Jasmine Men's bridge.

Hong Kong Walls. The Wall of a Thousand Thoughts by Jasmine Men's bridge.

Hong Kong Walls.

Hong Kong Walls.

Hong Kong Walls.

Hong Kong Walls.

Pacific Place.

Pacific Place.

Pacific Place.

Pacific Place.

Posted by irenevt 06:23 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (6)

You are my Sunshine, My only Sunshine

A Trip to San Tin Sunflower Farm

sunny

Yesterday I decided to go to San Tin Farm. This involved a bit of a trek as San Tin is up near the border with China, in fact it's practically in Shenzhen.

To get there I took the west rail to Yuen Long, then the 76K bus to Shek Wu Wai. The bus was the hard bit as it isn't very frequent. I had to wait half an hour for one. The bus journey took around fifteen to twenty minutes.

Yuen Long MTR.

Yuen Long MTR.

When I arrived at Shek Wu Wai, there were quite a few people heading to the farm. I had chosen to go on a weekday as it gets very busy here at weekends. I hate crowds, but I like it when a few people are going to the same place as me though, as I can follow them and it's easier to find the way. From the bus stop you have to cross the road, go down a slope, go through a tunnel and then take a path along the side of a river. The way is actually marked with little sunflower signs. At one point I seemed to be the one leading everyone else. It's about a ten minute walk. I stopped frequently to photograph the surroundings. On one side everything is rural, lots of farmhouses and cultivated land. Of course being Hong Kong, on the other side, there's a huge metal fence hiding a construction site. I didn't photograph that.

Along the River.

Along the River.

Along the River.

Along the River.

Bridge across the River.

Bridge across the River.

Clouds reflected in the river.

Clouds reflected in the river.

At the entrance to the farm you must pay $50 to go inside. You are given a little packet of sunflower seeds as proof of payment, rather than a ticket. The sunflowers blossom around June and July. I saw fields in all stages of development: unopened flowers, ripe flowers, dead flowers. I guess they want to stretch out the season as long as possible as they'll make a lot of money from the people coming here to take photographs, especially at the weekends. The farm does grow other flowers, too though, and these are ready in different months of the year.

Entrance to the farm.

Entrance to the farm.

During my visit the best sunflower fields were close to the entrance. You must put your bags in a black box at the top of each slope before entering the field, so you don't bump or damage the flowers and you are not allowed to touch them. I went in the main field twice. When I arrived the sky was turning black, when I was leaving I was blessed with blue skies. I don't normally do selfies, but everyone seems to come here to take photos of themselves with flowers, so I just did the same. The flowers were really beautiful.

Sunflower selfie.

Sunflower selfie.

Close up with blue skies.

Close up with blue skies.

Close up with blue skies.

Close up with blue skies.

Groups of flowers.

Groups of flowers.

Groups of flowers.

Groups of flowers.

Fields of Flowers.

Fields of Flowers.

Fields of Flowers.

Fields of Flowers.

Fields of Flowers.

Fields of Flowers.

Fields of Flowers.

Fields of Flowers.

Later I found fields of a different kind of sunflower with a paler centre.

Later I found fields of a different kind of sunflower with a paler centre.

Paler Flowers. Spot the one that's growing in the wrong place.

Paler Flowers. Spot the one that's growing in the wrong place.

Paler Flowers.

Paler Flowers.

Stages of Life : Young Flowers.

Stages of Life : Young Flowers.

Stages of Life: Ripe Flowers.

Stages of Life: Ripe Flowers.

Stages of Life: Dead Flowers.

Stages of Life: Dead Flowers.

Sunflower selfie.

Sunflower selfie.

When I had had my fill of sunflowers, I headed across a decorated bridge towards a large pond filled with waterlilies and lily pads. I took lots of photos of these, too. One side of the pond was lined with colourful umbrellas. These were one of many props placed around the farm for taking photos with.

Decorated Bridge.

Decorated Bridge.

Decorated Bridge.

Decorated Bridge.

Ponds filled with waterlilies.

Ponds filled with waterlilies.

The edge is lined with umbrellas.

The edge is lined with umbrellas.

Close-up of Waterlily.

Close-up of Waterlily.

Close-up of Waterlily.

Close-up of Waterlily.

Close-up of Waterlily.

Close-up of Waterlily.

View across pond from far side.

View across pond from far side.

View across pond from far side.

View across pond from far side.

Umbrella Selfie.

Umbrella Selfie.

Umbrella Feature.

Umbrella Feature.

Umbrella Feature.

Umbrella Feature.

Other props provided to take photos with were a couple of windmills. The fields around these were pretty bare during my visit, but I have seen photos of these surrounded with flowers. I guess it all depends when you visit.

Windmill.

Windmill.

Windmill.

Windmill.

Windmill plus one of the towers of Shenzhen in the background.

Windmill plus one of the towers of Shenzhen in the background.

As if that wasn't enough features to take photographs with there were also several flower tunnels dotted around the farm.

White Flower Tunnel.

White Flower Tunnel.

Selfie with white flower tunnel.

Selfie with white flower tunnel.

Selfie with red flowers at end of white flower tunnel.

Selfie with red flowers at end of white flower tunnel.

Red flowers at end of white flower tunnel.

Red flowers at end of white flower tunnel.

Sunflower Tunnel Selfie.

Sunflower Tunnel Selfie.

Selfie with purple flower tunnel.

Selfie with purple flower tunnel.

Close-up of purple flower tunnel.

Close-up of purple flower tunnel.

There were plenty of other photographic props scattered around such as: I love you signs, swings with night sky backgrounds, Cinderella carriages, bright pink British phone boxes and post boxes, garden gnomes. When you think about it, this farm is certainly catering for people's non-stop selfie needs.

Garden Gnomes.

Garden Gnomes.

Garden Gnomes.

Garden Gnomes.

I love you signs.

I love you signs.

I love you signs.

I love you signs.

Love Hearts.

Love Hearts.

Night skies and swing.

Night skies and swing.

Night sky swing selfie.

Night sky swing selfie.

Cinderella's Carriage.

Cinderella's Carriage.

Pink phone boxes and post boxes.

Pink phone boxes and post boxes.

In addition to all the sunflowers there were a couple of fields of lovely blue flowers, not sure what they were.

Fields of blue flowers.

Fields of blue flowers.

Fields of blue flowers.

Fields of blue flowers.

All the gimmicks aside, the farm and its surroundings were truly lovely.

Scenery around farm.

Scenery around farm.

Reflected Clouds.

Reflected Clouds.

Flowering tree and pond.

Flowering tree and pond.

Selfie with flowering tree, I was getting carried away.

Selfie with flowering tree, I was getting carried away.

Papaya Fruit.

Papaya Fruit.

Beautiful red zinnia flower.

Beautiful red zinnia flower.

There is a little shop on the farm where you can buy cold drinks, sunflower plants and other souvenirs. I bought a sunflower hair tier. I got a bit of a shock browsing the shelves though when I suddenly came across a sleeping cat. Not sure how much he cost.

Shop.

Shop.

Sleeping cat.

Sleeping cat.

When I arrived at the bus stop to go home, a very friendly local told me I could get to Yuen Long MTR fast by red minibus. He was very helpful. I got back to Yuen Long very quickly without the long wait for the bus. To use red minibuses you must pay cash though; they don't accept octopus. The fare was $8. I had enjoyed my day of sunshine.

Posted by irenevt 04:26 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (8)

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