Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Hiking to Lai Chi Wo

The hike to the old village of Lai Chi Wo from the nearest parking lot in Wu Kau Tang is not difficult and is mostly downhill. Wu Kau Tang is a 400-year old Hakka village that is surrounded by bamboo forests used for construction, fuel, and soil management.

Take the Miu Sam Ancient Trail towards Sam A Wan. The path is well paved for most parts and easy to hike.

Abandoned buildings were slowly being taken over by vegetation.

After passing through mangroves littered with crab holes on the ground, the trail skirts along Sam A Wan's coast. I suspect the path will be flooded during high tide.

Sam A Tsuen is a good place to take a break. Several restaurants are in town as well as a public toilet.

Shenzhen's container port is across the water not too far away.

Lai Chi Wo was founded in the 16th century by 2 families (the Wongs and the Tsangs) who built a traditional Hakka village in a grid layout. Named after the lychees nearby, its location was believed to provide good fung shui to keep natural disasters in check. Pass through mangroves with tree roots growing in a spider web pattern as you approach into town.

The village was originally abandoned in the 1960s but has recently been revitalized with tours on weekends. Many of the over 200 Hakka village houses are falling apart, and there are attempts to revitalize some of them into guesthouses. Corporate sponsors have revived some of the rice paddies in town while ferries from the city bring visitors for a day trip on Sundays and public holidays.

Located deep inside Plover Cove Country Park, the village is accessible by foot or ferry only. At its height, 1000 people lived here but it halved by the 1950s. Most residents moved overseas, with a significant diaspora in Birmingham.

The fung shui forest behind the town has several interesting trees. This hollow maple stands over 16m tall and is over a hundred years old. An infection is likely to have caused the original cavity, which has grown along with the tree.

Nearby, a banyan tree strangles onto a maple tree.

The 5-finger camphor tree stands 19m tall. Legend has it that Japanese invaders wanted to chop it down, but villagers made up a story of it being a sacred shine, and only a branch was taken.

A hike without stops from Lai Chi Wo to Wu Kau Tang takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

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