The last walled village in the urban Hong Kong: Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

So it was all coincidental that I stumbled into the Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen. It’s known for the last walled village of Hong Kong in the urban area. The village itself was established in 14th century. The size of the village is not as significant as you might think, only 0.4 hectare. There were words about the Government that would take over that piece of ‘valuable’ piece of land for else use. So this unique walled village will be disappear in the future.

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

The surrounding area is all built with public estates now. Yea,..speaking of monotonous. Gosh,..i just don’t like it. I have said it in the past. I’ll say it again. The public estates and communities are pretty much the same no matter where it’s located. They’re destroying the original landscapes of the area. All the good historical crap would all become memories and quickly washed away by time. Heritage preservation..Hmm..it’s now all about practicality and money..

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Being a citizen of Hong Kong, I deserve to visit this place before it’s gone. I document this place by photography; Somehow someone can still see what the village look like before the removal even from my blog post thru the web

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Maybe the viewpoint of my photos are too ordinary. In my opinion, by using my own eye level viewpoint is the most ideal way to present this place in photos. It’s also the most realistic way to document a place I’ve visited. Years from now when I look at it again, I know this is exactly what I see from my eyes while wandering outside the village. No close-up or anything. Nothing fancy. Overall details worth a zillion words!

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

I guess you guys are lucky that you’re still seeing what’s remain before this historic site disappears, although you’re in our Hong Kong community. In our Hong Kong community, there’re not a whole lot of people care or even know about this. The ignorance by the HK community is paying for this undeniable price.

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

These walled villages, could very well be opened as field studies for school class. I’d not been to any while I was in school. I only remembered myself paying tutor and stayed after school for studies. I never had meaningful field studies from history class…

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

If you wish to visit some of the old village remains and learn about the lives in the village community, I highly recommend you to spend an afternoon to the Ping Shan’s Clan Heritage Trail. There’s a museum at the end of the trail, explaining in depth.
If you’re foreign visitors do not have enough time to walk the trail, you may just visit ‘Sam Tung Uk Museum‘. It features lots of displays, videos, explaining how the ethnic village function as a community in the past, their costume, custom, traditional events, how are they different from the others, etc. A very good attraction if you wish to know about the history of Hong Kong.

6 thoughts on “The last walled village in the urban Hong Kong: Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村)

  1. I think these historical site are nice to preserve for outsiders because it’s special for us. But what about the people living there? I think with these kind of matters you should always ask the locals what they think and want. How are their living conditions, can they be improved or will they become worse?
    Btw, I mean this in general🙂 Not specific to this village that I don’t know anything about.
    Interesting post!

    1. Thanks for your input. The living conditions of this particular village is not that good due to several fire incidents nearby at the district. The fire safety is the number one concern over this place. And there’s the structural concern that walls and even pillars may fall. Everything’s you see had been built by the metal sheets to prevent water to damage further over the original structure. So yes, it’s nice to relocate the residents (that could lead to another debatable issue – out of district relocation)

      For better or worse, there’s not many walled villages left in Hong Kong. If we do not do anything about it, they’ll be gone in years. And history can only be found in images like what you’re seeing.

      Thanks!

      1. Maybe the locals could move if they wanted and the place could be turned into a museum?
        But this will cause other problems such as higher rent, disruption of social life and I guess it will also create higher living expenses? if they move somewhere central?

        This is an interesting conversation haha.
        But what are the living conditions in other walled villages?

      2. Others want to relocate to somewhere near the district. However, it’s just not possible to arrange public housing immediately for them as the capacity of the public estate is near full. That’s what I heard from various news report.

        Museum sounds boring. How about turning the village into a festive spot!😛

      3. haha, good one! But all year round, what about the rainy weather?

        Yeah, I understand that. I heard HK has a very very high density, high rents and not enough land fit for construction.

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