MTR 180: TAI PO MARKET & TAI WO
Pearls, markets, administrative offices and trains....
Early records about Tai Po can be traced back to the Tong Dynasty, when the area was famous for pearl fishing. Due to the invasion by the
northern tribes, residents of south China moved further south and took up residence in Tai Po during the Sung Dynasty. The pearl making
business reached its peak during the Song Dynasty and started to decline gradually in the midst of the Ming Dynasty, though it continued
right into the 20th century, by which time Tai Po had developed into a fishing port and market town.
Commercial activities continued to flourish and, in 1893, a new market was established near Tai Wo on the Lam Tsuen River by a federation
of seven groups of villagers from some sixty-four villages. The land was donated by Tai Hang Village and each group (or yeuk) was permitted
to build shops. The first shops were built on both sides of the Man Mo Temple along Fu Shin Street and sets of public weighing scales were
introduced and kept, as they are now, in the temple.
The completion of the Kowloon Canton Railway (KCR) in 1910 with a station serving Tai Po market made it an important market centre for the
New Territories. By the time the railway opened, the government had already built a police station and administrative offices and quarters on
the small hill, where the Union Jack was first hoisted over the New Territories in 1899.
Tai Po remained a quiet rural area until the 1970s, when the land between the market and the former District Office was developed in
accordance with a Town Planning Office scheme kick-starting major reclamation projects. The plan included making Tai Po the site of the
first industrial estate in Hong Kong and reclamation for the Tai Po Industrial Estate began in 1976. At the same time, work began on the
reclamation for the first public housing estate, Tai Yuen Estate. A large temporary housing estate was constructed in 1977 at Yue Kok to
accommodate people displaced by clearance for the development.
To get the climbing out of the way, we start our walk by having a look at the revitalised government buildings on Flagstaff Hill. Returning to
sea-level, we walk along the Lam Tsuen River and through the Kwong Fuk Public Housing Estate to reach the wonderful Tai Po Waterfront
Park. Next, we make our way through more housing estates (and a tiny fraction of Hong Kong’s largest shopping complex) to return to the old
town and the market and Man Mo Temple at Fu Shin Street. The original Tai Po Market Station is located at the end of the market, so we will
end the outing by visiting the Hong Kong Railway Museum before walking across the Kwong Fuk Bridge to Tai Wo.
The walk ends at Tai Wo station at 12:30 pm giving you a choice of catching a train home or grabbing lunch at one of Tai Po’s many eateries.
|... exploring Hong Kong's other side...
|Hansen's Urban Hikes
|by Hansen's Events
|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.