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I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

05 March 2015

Ping Shan Heritage Trail

I first came across this trail in a brochure for a cultural tour of the new territories at the airport. It didn't look that interesting , but since this was fairly close to the monastery I decided to give it a try. I am very glad I did, this was one of the most interesting tourist activities in Hong Kong.

A problem with the trail however, is that relying on Google maps or Lonely Planet is not going to work. Lonely Planet's description is paltry with no map, while Google map helpfully takes you to the middle of the trail, which requires a fair bit more walking (in doubling back).

The trail is organised around the historical buildings of the Tang clan, in the Ping Shan village (which is itself a collection of villages). Dating back over 800 years, the trail is a great juxtaposition of the modern and old. Many buildings are located within residential buildings, so  it gives a great view of real life. It is refreshingly different to the high rise concrete jungle of the rest of Hong Kong. 

I have organised the photos in the order I think this trail should be done, starting at the top of a small hill at the old Ping Shan police station, now the visitors centre. It also feature s a small museum including an overview of local customs and generation all history of the Tang clan (going back 2500 years!). The hilltop also offers great views of the surrounding area.

The Hung Shing Temple, a small temple dedicated to a deity worshipped by fishermen, is one of two temples in the trail.

The entrance hall of Shut Hing Study Hall is difficult to find, located within a small alleyway. It is ornately decorated, when compared to the other two study halls on the trail, but the entrance is all that remains of the hall.

The Kun Tung Study Hall and the adjacent Ching Shu Hin, have some amazing carvings and decorations - probably the best of the trail.

The Tang and Yu Kiu Ancestral halls are the central highlights of the trail. Built as shrines for ancestral worship as well as clan meetings and celebrations, the refurbished halls are quite impressive structures. The Yan Tun Kong study hall is accessible via the alleyways through the village.

The Yeung Hau temple and Old Well are probably the least well maintained and plain items on the trail. There are koi fish swimming in the well though.

The Sheung Cheung Wai is the old village wall, although it is only the wall and the gates that remain. It is fully functional residential area, so it remains functional.

The last stop is the only remaining ancient pagoda, Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda. It is quite smaller than what I was expecting - but still a cool end to the trail. It is also convenient as it is next to the train line back to Kowloon. On the way to the pagoda, there is a small Shrine of the Earth God.

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