Hong Kong Heritage Trail. Take a 600 year walk
Hong Kong is an amazing city with so much to see and do, its no wonder that people fall in love with it. However I’ve gone so often over the years that I was looking for something a bit different to do. I didn’t want to hike that day, or go to one of the outer islands, nothing I needed to buy, and no exhibitions took my eye. So what was I to do? Well I wanted to combine my love of history and my passion for walking/exploring so I decided to do a ‘heritage walk’.
So what is it? Well it’s basically a trail which has historical buildings and monuments dotted around as you go. Definitely a different bit of character compared to SZ. HK has several of these trails so after a quick search I decided to do the Ping Shan Heritage Trail. It is roughly 3km so not long or hard and it is in Tuen Mun area which is extremely close to the SZBAY border. Here’s my guide if you wanted to check it out.
The trail starts from Tin Shui Wan MTR station exit E. Cross the road and you will soon see the Tsui Shing Lau Pagoda, this is HK’s only ancient pagoda is dates back over 600 years. There was an informative and helpful staff member on duty there, even though the pagoda is quite small. She told me the pagoda was built to improve the feng shui of the local area so that flooding disasters were prevented to the village. You can go in and see the shrine and read the information on the wall which gives you its history. You can’t go to the top sadly. There is also a trail map near here which points you in the next direction. Follow the sign and a short walk later you’ll come across the Shrine of the Earth God. This is an outdoor shrine that’s weathered and aged and has tons of character. If you see this you are going in the right direction. Next on the trail is Sheung Cheung Wai, this is a walled village, made up of a small community of houses or apartments. The alleys are narrow and the building is old and you can smell the history here. I saw everyday people going about their business and not giving me a second look, was a nice change!
The Trail Continues
Next is the Yeung Hau Temple, small and will be a flying visit but it’s a grade III listed building so worth checking out. The old village well is also in this area, at one point it provided the drinking water for the entire area. As you pass this you’ll enter what is a residential area, with lots of people milling around, doing their daily business. Nothing to see here really, unless you’ve never seen apartment tower blocks before, they are just part of the route. Follow the signs and for the Ancestral Hall and you will soon be through the concrete jungle and back on the historical trail. If you’re feeling peckish, right about now on the trail there is a local little eatery that did fantastic milk tea and local snacks, I really recommend you try this. If you don’t want to satiate your taste buds then keep plodding forward. Next on the trail are 2 ancestral halls. Tang Ancestral Hall and Yu Kiu Ancestral Hall. These are next to each other and are virtually identical. Except Tang is around 700 years old and Yu Kiu is around 500, they were both members of the same ancestral family. There is also a study hall to see and another small temple, the trail will then lead to the Heritage Trail Visitors Center, which concludes the trail.
Starting location is Tin Shui Wan exit E on the West Rail Line. The way you get here is completely up to you, depending on where you live in SZ there is no ‘best way’. I cross into HK from SZbay so I got public bus number B3/A/M/X to Tuen Mun metro station then get the MTR for 2 stops. The trail is well signposted and mapped, and people will help you if you get lost. Plenty of places to buy food and water, its just a relaxed walk. You can explore the local area too as it’s a lot different to the urban jungle of Central.