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.
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 is void of tourists. Only the first courtyard and the ancestral hall are open to the visitors, the rest is private.
How to get there