Upon popular request, the HKU Museum Society is pleased to organize a second guided heritage tour to Sha Tau Kok 沙頭角 curated by Jerry Yeung, Director of a specialized tour company.
Our tour starts from Central where we’ll board a private mini coach. The first stop is to hike to Ma Tso Lung 馬草壟 viewpoint that offers an amazing view of the wetlands and Shenzhen skyline. We will then continue our journey to Sha Tau Kok and Northeast to visit Kang Yung Study Hall 鏡蓉書屋 (a 200+ year old declared monument), Cheung Shan Monastery 長山古寺 built during the Qianlong’s reign 乾隆 (1789), exterior of Fat Tat Tong 發達堂 (a traditional Hakka residence), the historic Hung Ling Station 孔嶺站 (a Grade III historic building by the Antiquities and Monuments Office 香港三級歷史建築), and Fanling Wai 粉嶺圍 (a historic walled hamlet). We will wrap up this tour with a Hakka cuisine lunch and personal time to stroll through the town before returning to Central.
Highlights of Sha Tau Kok
(Note: We’ll NOT be visiting this area of Sha Tau Kok that requires a Closed Area Permit. The information below is for your reference only.)
Situated in Hong Kong’s North District, Sha Tau Kok 沙頭角 is the last remaining major settlement in the Frontier Closed Area 香港邊境禁區 since 1951. Until recently, a visitor will need a permit and a guarantee from a local resident to enter this border town. Most of its residents are from Hakka 客家 farming or Hoklo (Hokkien) 福建fishing backgrounds. However, both farming and fishing have declined in the past few decades, with the better educated younger people moving to live and work in urban areas.
During Britain’s lease of the New Territories (1898), and again after the Chinese Communist Revolution (1945 – 1949), the town gained political relevance due to its strategic location. Sha Tau Kok Control Point 沙頭角管制站is one of Hong Kong’s land border crossing points and the famous Chung Ying Street中英街serves as a section of the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen 深圳 on the Chinese side. A museum was built on this street to celebrate the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong. It has on display a history of Chung Ying Street and its place in the incorporation as a territory of British Hong Kong at the end of the 19th century.
The terminus of Sha Tau Kok Branch Line of Kowloon-Canton Railway, built over 100 years ago, is a testimony to the economic hub that Sha Tau Kok once was. The railway ceased to operate in 1928 and was replaced by Sha Tau Kok Road 沙頭角公路. On this tour, we will follow its track and take a mini coach to discover the interesting Donghe Hui Hakka culture 東和墟客家文化.
Photo credit: Travel Tailor