Thursday, 28 June 2012

Hong Kong's Ping Shan Heritage Trail

The Ping Shan Heritage Trail was the first Heritage Trail created in Hong Kong, in 1993. Although it's easily accessible by MTR, it is worlds away from the city, and feels positively rural in comparison. These aren't just empty words, either, as some people you see and meet along the trail treat you with as much curiosity as you treat their neighbourhood. Some of the older residents look like they go to the city maybe once per year, and are attired not too differently than you might see in rural Vietnam.

The route of the Ping Shan Heritage Trail, from Discover Hong Kong.

The trail is an easy walk, and good for an hour or so of exploring. I visited the morning of my train to Shanghai, and it was a nice and relaxing way to wind up my stay in Hong Kong.

Lilly through the ruin window

A lily grows in the ruins of a derelict house inside the old Sheung Cheung Wai walled village.

Stepping into the walled village was a bit like stepping into an antiquated slum, the sort of thing one might have expected from one of the slum buildings in Hong Kong proper, like the Kowloon Walled City. In Hong Kong those sorts of buildings made some sense, given the expense of the city and the willingness of people to live in those conditions in order to take advantage of the city's opportunities. To see them persisting in such rural settings made little sense, and would have made even less sense if not for the comparative decrepitude of the entire village in comparison to the city.

Yeung Hau Temple.

Both of the ancestral halls on the Ping Shan trail were created by members of the Tang clan. Ancestral halls are essentially temples that venerate a specific line of ancestors, consistent with Confucian beliefs on filial piety.

Temple altar
Altar at an ancestral hall.

Temple roof
Rooftop ornamentation on ancestral hall.

Fish monster on roof
Decorations on the roof spine.

Louvered doors at an ancestral hall.

Circular doorway
Circular doorway at ancestral hall.

Temple interior
Courtyard of ancestral hall.

Potted plant
Who doesn't like a good succulent?

Refurbishing an old home.

Bike and doorways
An old passageway.

Old police station
The old colonial police station. It has been restored to a gorgeous gallery devoted to the Tang Clan.

Tombs around the Ping Shan police station, with the elevated MTR line running in the background and Shenzhen in the distance.

1 comment:

  1. This such different from the HK that Im seeing from my friends. Actually this is what I am looking for ;) Thank you

    More power