Lung Yeuk Tai Heritage Trail

The material in this fact sheet is transcribed from the Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail brochure published by the Antiquities and Monuments Office.

About The Trail

The Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail is the second of its kind established in the New Territories by the government. The idea of setting up a heritage trail in this historic area was initiated by the Antiquities Advisory Board, with the full support of the local residents, the North Provisional District Board, various Government departments like the Architectural Services Department and North District Office as well as other institutions like the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust and the Hong Kong Tourist Association, it was brought to fruition after several years of preparation by the Antiquities and Monuments Office. The Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail was officially opened to the public on 4 December 1999.

Lung Yeuk Tau, commonly known as Lung Ku Tau, is also called Lung Ling (Mountain of Dragon). It is located at the northeast of Luen Wo Market in Fanling, New Territories. The name Lung Yeuk Tau was derived from the mountain range nearby called Lung Yeuk Ling (Mountain of the Leaping Dragon). Its name came from the legendary saying that there was once a dragon leaping in the area.

The Tangs In Lung Yeuk Tau rank as one of the "Five Great Clans" in the New Territories. They originated from Jishui of Jiangxi province and have the strongest claim to the royal descent among their fellow clansmen for they are the descendants of the eldest son of the princess of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279). When the princess took refuge in the south. she was married to Tang Wai-kip of Kam Tin. The eldest son of the royal couple moved to Lung Yeuk Tau at the end of the Yuan dynasty. As the clan prospered it further branched out to the neighbouring area, establishing the present-day "Five Wais and Six Tsuens" within a few hundred years.

The "Five Wais (walled villages)" include La Wai, Ma Wat Wai, Wing Ning Wai, Tung Kok Wai (also known as Ling Kok Wai), San Wai (also called Kun Lung Wai). The "Six Tsuens (villages)" are Ma Wat Tsuen, Wing Ning Tsuen (also called Tai Tang), Tsz Tong Tsuen, San Uk Tsuen, Siu Hang Tsuen and Kun Lung Tsuen.

The Tangs of the area still practise traditional village customs. Apart from the communal worship in spring and autumn and Tin Hau Festival, a lantern lighting ceremony is also held for the new born baby boys on the fifteenth day of the first Lunar month. On the first day of the second Lunar month there are ancestral worship ceremony and vegetarian feast. Moreover, Tai Ping Ching Chiu Festival (meaning "the Purest Sacrifice Celebrated for Great Peace") is held once every decade and celebrated by the whole Tang clan as well as people from the neighbouring villages.

Many traditional Chinese buildings and structures such as the Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall and the Tin Hau Kung together with the walls and entrance gates and even the residences of some of the walled villages such as Lo Wai and San Wai still retain their historic outlook, bearing testimony to the historical and social developments of the area over the past centuries.

Things To See

Siu Hang Tsuen

Siu Hang Tsuen, situated in the northwest of San Wai, was established about two hundred years ago. The Tang clan of Siu Hang Tsuen originated from Lo Wai, but later moved to Lung Tong due to lack of living space. When they settled in Lung Tong, it is said, there were only ten houses. After living there for three generations the Tang clan moved again as the village was frequently harassed by bandits They moved back to Lung Yeuk Tau and established the present Siu Hang Tsuen.

The wall in front of the village, together with the archway at the eastern village entrance was built in about 1960 to obtain better fung-shui for getting more male offsprings. A small temple called Fok Tak Tsz is situated near the eastern entrance to worship the God of Earth.

San Wai

San Wai is also known as Kun Lung Wai because of the characters "Kun Lungtt engraved on the lintel of the entrance- The walled village, which dates back to 1744, is enclosed by green- brick walls. Four watchtowers were constructed at the four corners of the enclosing wails for defence of the village. A pair of chained-ring iron gates were installed at the front entrance. The moat originally surrounded the walled village, has been filled up. The layout of the houses inside the village is in an orderly manner with a communal altar situated at the end of the main alley. Unfortunately most of the old houses inside the walled village have been replaced by new buildings- The tower over the gate, and the walls with the watchtowers were declared monuments in 1988 and 1993 respectively, and were fully restored in 1994 and 1995.

Sin Shut Study Hall

Sin Shut Study Hall. situated in San Uk Tsuen. was built in 1840 to commemorate and worship Tang Wan-kai, the 19th generation ancestor of the Tang clan. The study hall is a two-hall building with a court flanked by covered aisles. A kitchen is located on one side of the entrance hall- Outside the main entrance is a threshing ground with small chambers on both sides. Tile building was used for ancestral worship as well as a study hall. Antique weapons such as long bladed knives, swords, bows and arrows were once kept in the building. After the Second World War, the building was used as a school until 1938. After the wan ir was used as a kindergarten- Nowadays it is occasionally used for holding banquets.

This private property is not open to the pubhc.

Wing Ning Wai

Wing Ning Wai is said to have a history of four hundred years. At the west of the village is the Ng Tung River, a source of goodfung- shui. The tower over the gate was rebuilt in 1744 with red sandstone blocks, but is now in a very dilapidated state. Inside the village are three rows of houses facing the northeast. However, owing to the recent rapid development, only a few traditional Chinese houses remain in the village.

Wing Ning Tsuen

Wing Ning Tsuen, located in the northwest of Wing Ning Wai, is also known as Tai Tang. It was a branch of Wing Ning Wai and has a history of about three hundred years. It is said that the location of the village used to be Red Sand Hill, which got its name because of the red soil in the area. The houses in the village are mainly in three rows and facing the northeast. In order to obtain goodfung-shui, the houses in the front rows were lower than those in the rear rows. There used to be a fish pond in front of the village. Now it has been replaced by a playground.

Tung Kok Wai

Tung Kok Wai, established by the 13th generation ancestor Tang Lung-kong (1363- 1421), probably has a history of more than five hundred years. Tung Kok Wai (Eastern Walled Village) got its name for its being situated in the east of the Lung Yeuk Tau area. The village was constructed on a raised platform which protects the houses against the risk of flooding. The houses inside the village were mainly arranged in four rows and facing the northwest. Originally the village was enclosed by a moat, and grey-brick walls with towers at four corners. The existing tower over the gate was reconstructedin 1953. Inside the tower there are four red sandstone column bases and two large rectangular granite blocks. According to local legends, they were remnants of a temple built around the time of the village.

Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall

Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall, the main ancestral hall of the Tang dan of Lung Yuek Tau, is situated in the east of Lo Wai. The hall was built in the early 16th century in memory of Tang Chung Ling, the founding ancestor. It is a three-hall building with the "dong chung" placed at the central hall. The rear hall is divided into three chambers. The central chamber houses the soul tablets of the ancestors of the dan including the soul tablets of the Song princess and her husband Wai-kip whose posthumous title was Jun-ma (husband of an imperial relative). Their soul tablets were elaborately carved with dragon head, which distinguished them from the others. The chamber to the left is dedicated to the ancestors who had made significant contributions to the dan or those who achieved high ranks in the imperial court. The chamber to the right, on the other hand, is for the righteous members of the dan, one of whom is Tang Si-meng, a brave servant who saved the life of his master. In the late 16th century, he was kidnapped with his master. Claiming to be the son of his master, he volunteered to be detained by the kidnappers in exchange for the release of his master to raise ransom. After the departure of his master, he jumped into the sea and sacrificed himself. He was awarded the posthumous title of "Loyal Servant" and worshipped in this hall. The whole building is exquisitely decorated with fine wood carvings, polychrome plaster mouldings, and murals of auspicious motifs fully reflecting the superb craftsmanship of the old days. Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall was declared a monument in November 1997.

Open daily 9 p.m. - 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Closed on Tuesday, New Year's Day, the first three days of the Lunar New Year, Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Tin Hau Kung

Tin Hau Kung (Tin Hau Temple) is situated between Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall and Lo Wai. The date of construction is not known. However, according to the village elders, the temple was constructed earlier than Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall. It underwent full restoration in 1913 and 1981 respectively. The main hall of the temple is devoted to the worship of Tin Hau and her guards Chin Lei Ngan (who had eyes to see things thousand li [Chinese miles away) and Shun Fung Yi (who had ears to hear sounds as far away as from heaven). Two bronze temple bells are placed on the floor of the the chamber one of which was cast in 1695 as a gift from the Tang clan to thank Tin Hau after having their sons adopted to her. The other bell was cast in 1700 as an offering to Tin Hau so that the young men of the clan could be blessed during their journey to the city for taking the provincial examinations.

Lo Wai

Lo Wai, situated in the west of Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall. was the first walled village built by the Tang clan of the area- Dui!t on a small hill, it was enclosed by ljrick walls on four sides. The original village entrance faced the north, but was relocated later to face the east in order to achieve better fung-shul. The narrowness of the entrance was meant to facilitate defence of the village. Next to the entrance is a well, which used to be the water supply for the village. The houses inside the village arc in orderly arrangement. A raised platfonrn was built on tne nonth wall to function as a watcliuowen In January 1997 Lo Wai was declared a monurnent. A full restoration of the village wall and entrance gate was undertaken in 1998-9 with the generous financial support of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.

Ma Wat Wai

Ma Wat Wai, which was built by the Tang clan during the reign of Quianlong (1736-1795) is located in the northwest of Lo Wai. The village is enclosed by walls on four sides with the main entrance facing the north. A pair of chained-ring iron gates were installed at the main entrance with a red sandstone lintel engraved with the two characters"Wat Chung" denoting the flourishing growth of spring onions. This has proved that the original name of the village was "Wat Chung Wai". All the houses in the village were built in orderly rows. A communal altar is placed at the end of the main alley. Unfortunately some parts of the enclosing walls have been demolished. The entrance gate of Ma Wat Wai was declared a monument in 1994.

Shek Lo

Shek Lo, situated in the east of Shung Him Tong, was built in 1936 by Mr. Tsui Yan-sou, the founder of Wah Yan College. The two-storey building is a blend of Chinese and Western architectural styles. There is a lawn in the front. Despite its colonial-style characteristics, the building has a traditional Chinese pitched roof supported on round fir purlins and timber battens with Chinese clay tiles. Another major feature is its courtyard and the layout of the rooms, which is similar to the layout of traditional Chinese residence. Located in dic middle of the parapet of the roof is a semi-circular brick wall engravect with the name "Shek Lo".

This private property is not open to the public.

Shung Him Tong

Shung Him Tong, which is located at the spur of Lung Shan, is a church of the Society of Basel Mission. It was constructed in 1926, and extended in 1951 as the congregation grew. As most of the worshippers lived together in the neighbourhood, a village named Shung Him Tong Village was gradually developed. Two old houses named "Kin Tak Lau" still survive today. They were constructed in 1910, earlier than the church, and were enclosed by a low wall. The door of the main entrance was engraved with the characters "Kin Tak Mun". The graveyard for the congregarion, opened in 1931, is situated at the back of the village. The chruch was once used as a kindergarten. When the building became dilapidated, it was replaced by a new one in 1983.

This private property is not open to the public.

Stone tablets to ward off evil spirits

A number of stone tablets engraved with the characters "Tai Shan Shek Kam Dong" meaning "the stone from Tai Shan dares to defend" are erected at the "dark spots" to shield off evil spirits. Stone tablets with characters "lam mo au li to fat" (Namo Amitabha, homage to Buddha) are erected at locations where traffic accidents frequently happen so as to ward off evil spirits. Such stone tablets also serve to alert pedestrians and drivers passing by.

Getting There & Away

Green Maxi Cab
54K Fanling KCR Station - Lung Yuek Tau (Circular)
56K Fanling KCR Station - Luk Keng (via Siu Hang Tsuen and Sun Wai)


Last updated on 19 June, 2005 by Cha