Explore Hong-Kong | The walled village of Tsang Tai Uk

Tsang Tai Uk, Shatin, Hong Kong

When we think of Hong-Kong, the first things that comes to mind are the skyline we admire from Kowloon, the ‘verticality’ of the city, its density and the crowds vying for space on  sidewalks. Hong-Kong is also synonym of shopping malls, temples, narrow streets in the middle of skyscrapers, a forest of billboards.

For most visitors to Hong-Kong, this is what ‘Asia’s World City’ is about.

Beyond the clichés

To me, Hong-Kong is a transit hub and my gateway to China. For years I have unconsciously limited my view of the city to a few neighbourhoods on Hong-Kong Island and on the Kowloon peninsula.

I had never thought of exploring the New Territories, this area between Kowloon and Shenzhen. In my mind, this area was a (dense) bedroom suburbs where rent was cheaper and whose commuter had to ride the East Rail line (東鐵綫) to get to downtown.

The New Territories are home to Hakka walled villages: something I had never suspected. Tsang Tai Uk(曾大屋) is not your typical ancient ethnic village of rural China.

Built in the 19th century by the Tsang clan, Tsang Tai Uk(曾大屋), the ‘big house of the Tsang’ is an architectural anachronism that stands at the foot of a complex of residential high-rises.

Tsang Tai Uk, Shatin, Hong Kong

 

Tsang Tai Uk is void of tourists. Only the first courtyard and the ancestral hall are open to the visitors, the rest is private.

Tsang Tai Uk, Shatin, Hong KongHow to get there

Hop on the East Rail Line (東鐵綫) either at Hung Hom Station (紅磡) or at Kowloon Tong (九龍塘) on the Kwun Tong Line (觀塘綫).

Change in Tai Wai (大圍) where you take the Ma On Shan line (馬鞍山鐵路). The walled village of Tsang Tai Uk(曾大屋) is located between two stops : Che Kung Temple (車公廟) and Sha Tin Wai (沙田圍).

Tsang Tai Uk, Shatin, Hong Kong