CHA KWO LING & YAU TONG
茶果嶺 油塘

Looking at its dilapidated appearance, it is hard to believe that Cha Kwo Ling was once a vibrant village with a
population of 20,000. In fact, Cha Kwo Ling actually has a longer history than Hong Kong itself as it was already
an established settlement before Hong Kong became a British colony. Skillful Hakka people set up a quarry in
the stone-rich area and it developed into one of four quarry hills and one of the 13 major village districts in
eastern New Kowloon after the British arrival.

Cha Kwo Ling should be a prime target for real estate development. Located in Eastern Kowloon, it has  MTR
access; is well connected by public transport; has great views overlooking Victoria Harbour and, from a feng
shui perspective, is blessed with a hill behind and the sea in front. Therefore, one is surprised to discover that
there is a ramshackle old village perched on top of a developer’s goldmine. Known as a squatter village, its run-
down, almost shantytown-like appearance is due to an influx of mainland refugees. During the Civil War in
China, thousands of refugees escaped to Hong Kong and many chose to make Cha Kwo Ling their home. They
arrived penniless and built cheap, makeshift shacks around the original mining village, causing it to expand
into a maze of rickety buildings and dark alleys.

The village had its heyday in the 1950s, when it was surrounded by an abundant granite mine which provided
employment for many of the villagers. The land was also rich with a type of red clay, the raw material for
making cosmetic rouge.

Between 1983 and 2006, three big fires burned down many of the squatter huts and the majority of villagers
were rehoused to government public housing estates. Now there are only about 3,000 people living in the
village but the community spirit remains strong and the villagers are as proud as ever to call Cha Kwo Ling
their home.

Just next door to this unique community is the huge Laguna City residential complex built by one of Hong Kong’
s biggest developers. In other words; it isn’t that big business isn’t interested in the village. Many developers
have set their sights on this potentially lucrative land but have fallen at the first hurdle. The secret to the
village's survival: Complicated historic ownership rights. In a similar situation to the walled villages of the
northern the New Territories, the village is split into dozens of plots of land all owned by different people. The
community has therefore managed to preserve its unique and fascinating culture by making its land too
complex for anyone to buy.

But, as shopping malls sprawl out and apartment blocks tower overhead, no one knows how much longer Cha
Kwo Ling village will survive. So what better time to explore the twisted allies and meet one of Hong Kong’s
hidden communities?

Cha Kwo Ling is but a short down-hill walk from Lam Tin MTR station. Once there, we shall stroll around its
many small alleys at a leisurely pace – slow enough for all to find the right angle and light for their shots...
There is also time for a snack stop at an old-fashioned café to sample typical snacks, before we reach the
village’s well-preserved Tin Hau Temple – complete with its fertility rocks….

Our route out of Cha Kwo Ling will take us through the old (and dying) industrial estate of
Yau Tong to the
typhoon shelter at
Lei Yue Mun – another of the four quarry hills mentioned above – where we suggest ending
the walk with an early lunch at one of the
waterfront restaurants.
Download Reservation Form here or click here to request more information.
Dansksproget udgave følger snarest...
... photographing Hong Kong's other side...
Hansen's Photo Shoots
by Hansen's Events
Scenes from Cha Kwo Ling
Typical housing in Cha Kwo Ling
Scenes from Lei Yue Mun typhoon shelter
Scenes from Lei Yue Mun
Local grocery store
Exotic fruits...
Excursion Summary
Click on the map
and check the
red line
for an idea of where
this outing will take you.
Click here for an idea of where this outing will take you...
 
Distance:
6 km
 
Difficulty:
1 out of 10
 
Approx. Altitude Change:
Gain: 15 metres
Loss: 50 metres
Price:
HK$210
incl. morning tea
Highest Point:
35 metres
     
Time Spent Shooting:
3 hours
       
Meeting Time & Place:
8:30 am
at Lam Tin Railway Station
     
Finishing Time & Place:
1:20 pm
at Sai Wan Ho Railway Station #
     
  # 11:50 am  
if not staying for lunch.
     
 
Food & Drink:
Morning tea will be offered in Cha Kwo Ling.
Optional shared lunch at waterfront restaurant in Lei Yue Mun at end of outing -
not included.
 
Note:
Consider bringing your tripod, flash and a wide-angle lens. Some motifs might be dimly lit.
Michael Hansen, helping you explore Hong Kong's other side...
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Hansen's Events

Tel: (+852) 9552 0987     E-mail: info@hansens-hikes.com
 
Click here for pictures from previous
Hansen's Photo Shoots
Disclaimer
Participants on all Hansen's Events' hikes and rides take part entirely at their own risk. By joining any of our events all participants are automatically seen to
have agreed to have entered into a disclaimer which exonerates the outing leaders and the organizers from any personal or public responsibility whatsoever
and for any claims, injuries or damages arising thereof.
Due to work commitments, holidays and other personal issues,
Hansen's Hikes & Rides has decided to
SUSPEND all operations until further notice.

Apologizing for any inconvenience caused,
we hope to partially resume our outings towards the end of the year.