I’ve always had a fascination with the abandoned and derelict. During my younger more mischievous days, I broke into a house that had been boarded-up for years. Inside was a capsule sealed from time. I still vividly remember dust playing in the shafts of light, and how the stairs creaked as I climbed. On the third floor, far from any exit, I opened a door to pitch darkness, from which a voice screamed, “GET OUT!” at which I did.
Although scared senseless by a hobo back then, the experience only served to further fuel my penchant for urban exploration. Fascinated by the chance of seeing tangible history, I am still to this day drawn to the thrill of exploring abandoned places.
Easily accessible urban exploration in Hong Kong
In the wildest reaches of Sai Kung, far from road or car, there lies an abandoned seaside village. Back in the day, its shores must have been an idyllic place to live. But now, the buildings which once were called home, sag in various states of disrepair.
Peaking through the broken windows is enough to give passersby an idea of how life here played out. Cookware scattered around old-fashioned kitchens and shelves still stocked with containers. While the more adventurous urban explorers are easily able to venture further, they do so at the risk of having a roof collapse upon their heads.
From the scant information garnered online, it seems most of the community deserted their homes in 1970, when Hong Kong underwent its huge economic transition from manufacturing center to financial hub, under governor Murray MacLehose.
Up until it was left to nature, the village had been home to the Hakka Han, a clan from the region’s historic days. In the 19th century, a missionary Italian priest converted the village to Catholicism and built a church, which to some extent, still stands today.
How to get there
– From Sai Kung Town, take bus KMB 94 (departing approximately every 30 minutes), alighting at Pak Tam Au.
– On the right side of the road (facing the direction your bus continues) you’ll see toilets and maps that mark the MacLehose Trail.
– Follow this trail for 30-45 minutes, turning right at the crossroads (following signs for Chek Keng or Ham Tin).
– Instead of hiking back, catch the ferry to Wong Shek Pier (costing 15HKD – no octopus) where you can jump on KMB 94 to return to Sai Kung Town.
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