Fanling is located in the remote northern suburbs where Shenzhen's skyline can easily be seen. This part of the city is less touristed other than the parallel traders who buy goods here to haul back across the border to resell.
Fung Ying Seen Koon is a Taoist temple just steps from the MTR station. Built along a slope, the structures face the suburban residential towers on the other side of the tracks.
During the 13th century, a fleeing princess married into the Tang clan from Jiangxi province. They ended up settling in the south, in today's Lung Yeuk Tau. The clan built 11 villages in the region, and a historic trail now connects some of these sights, which are mixed with modern buildings.
Shung Him Tong is a Luthern church that offers services in Hakka. Unfortunately, the building has been fenced off and is not open to the public.
The area is still a living village with farms set against a backdrop of residential towers in the distance.
Ma Wat Wai was built in the 18th century with a gun platform and thick walls. A sign of the less safe times back then, the gate was made of wrought iron to offer protection as well as improve circulation.
The roads through the villages are narrow with pedestrians needing to share the space with cars.
Lo Wai is also a thickly-walled village. The narrow entrance was delibeately built this way for security reasons and placed off on the east side for better fung shui. Similar to the other walled villages, the buildings inside are still inhabited so it is not officially open to the public.
The Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall occupies a vast space near Lo Wai. Originally built in 1525 and rebuilt again around 1700, this is Hong Kong's oldest and largest ancestral hall. One of the memorial tablets is for the Song Dynasty princess that came here with her husband.
Next door, the Tin Hau temple was restored in 1913 and 1981 and is dedicated to the goddess that protects fishermen. The highlight are 2 bells cast in 1695 and 1700.
Village life in these remote parts of the city is tranquil, and a car is a necessity. Back in the old days, security was a major concern with many bandits and pirates roaming the area.
San Wai is another walled village with thick brick walls. Elevated watch towers stand on the four corners, while the moat that once surrounded the walls has been filled in and is now a parking lot.
Shin Shut Study Hall was built in 1840 for worshipping ancestors and educating clan members. It consists of 2 halls and a courtyard.