Ping Shan Heritage Trail

Ping Shan Heritage Trail

Ping Shan Heritage Trail mapThe well-preserved heritage sites of Yuen Long are a nostalgic reminder of a time when this modern town in the northwest New Territories of Hong Kong was merely a humble market village.

Wedged between residential and commercial developments, centuries-old ancestral halls are windows into the lives and culture of the early clan settlers of the New Territories, and Hong Kong’s heritage.

One such clan is the Tang and the Ping Shan Heritage Trail takes you on a journey in a historical part of Hong Kong that has been populated by them since the late Yuan dynasty (1271–1368).

1. Tsui Shing Lau Pagoda

Hong Kong’s oldest pagoda, Tsui Shing Lau, is believed to have been built in 1486. The three-storey, green-bricked building is hexagonal and stands 13 metres high. The top floor of the pagoda is home to Fui Shing (‘Champion Star’), the deity responsible for success or failure in exams. There are auspicious Chinese sayings inscribed on each floor.

Address: Ping Shan, Yuen Long

How to get there

MTR Tin Shui Wai Station, Exit E. When you arrive at the ground floor, cross Tsui Sing Road and you will see Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda.

2. Shrine of the Earth God

Just before entering Sheung Cheung Wai you will come across the Shrine of the Earth God, who is known as ‘She Kung’ in this village and believed to protect villages and homes. His shrines are usually simple brick structures on which pieces of stone are placed to represent his presence.

How to get there

Follow the Ping Shan Heritage Trail signs from Tsui Shing Lau Pagoda to Sheung Cheung Wai.

3. Sheung Cheung Wai

This 200-year-old walled village consists of rows of symmetrical houses enclosed by a green brick wall. The gatehouse, shrines and some of the old houses are still standing. Part of the wall may be missing, but enough remains to give a feel for what a traditional Chinese walled village looked like.

How to get there

Turn left at the Shrine of the Earth God.

4. Yeung Hau Temple

Located in Hang Tau Tsuen, this temple is dedicated to the deity Hau Wong. The exact date of construction is unknown but renovations took place in 1963 and 1991. The temple is divided into three bays, which house the statues of Hau Wong, Kam Fa (Patron Saint of Expectant Mothers) and the Earth God.

How to get there

Walk to the old well from Sheung Cheung Wai, the temple will be on your left.

5. Tang Ancestral Hall

Constructed in 1273, this Tang clan ancestral hall is a magnificent three-hall structure with two internal courtyards, and is one of the finest examples of this type of building in Hong Kong. Note the high elevation of the pathway in the courtyard — this indicates that one of the Tang clansmen held a high-ranking position in the imperial government.

How to get there

Return to the last junction and then turn left. Continue to walk along the road until you see the Tang Ancestral Hall.

6. Yu Kiu Ancestral Hall

Built in the 16th century by two 11th generation Tang clan brothers, Yu Kiu Ancestral Hall served as a school for the children of the Ping Shan villages. The layout is identical to the Tang Ancestral Hall, with three halls and two internal courtyards.

How to get there

Yu Kiu Ancestral hall is next to the Tang Ancestral Hall.

7. Kun Ting Study Hall

Used both as an ancestral hall and a place of study, this 1870s edifice is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. It is a two-hall building with an enclosed courtyard, noteworthy for its finely carved granite columns and granite block base along the façade. The distinguished design in the interior reflects the impressive skills of the craftsmen of that time.

How to get there

Follow the signs to the Kun Ting Study Hall and Ching Shu Hin. Enter the Kun Ting Study Hall from the side entrance.

8. Ching Shu Hin

Built in 1874 as a guesthouse for scholars and prominent visitors, Ching Shu Hin is a feast for the eyes, decorated with carved panels, murals, patterned grilles, carved brackets and plaster mouldings. In combination, these demonstrate the grandeur and elegance of a wealthy Chinese family’s residence.

How to get there

Ching Shu Hin is next to the Kun Ting Study Hall.

9. Hung Shing Temple

The deity Hung Shing is widely worshipped, especially by fishermen and people whose livelihoods depend on the sea. Built by the Tang clan in 1767, this temple commemorating him is a simple two-hall building with an open courtyard in between. This curiously differs from most other temples in Hong Kong, where the open courtyards are usually roofed over to make incense towers.

How to get there

Turn left onto Ping Ha Road, then continue to walk until you reach the Hung Shing Temple, which is next to Hang Mei Tsuen Park.

10. The Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery cum Heritage Trail Visitor Centre

The visitor centre is housed within the Old Ping Shan Police Station, which was constructed in 1899 and is one of the few remaining pre-Second World War police stations in the New Territories. After being superseded by the Yuen Long Police Station in the 1960s, it continued on as a training centre and headquarters for the Hong Kong Police Dog Unit. It has been listed as a Grade II Historic Building.

Address: Hang Tau Tsuen, Ping Shan, Yuen Long, New Territories
Tel: +852 2617 1959

How to get there

Follow the trail to its end after Hung Shing Temple or go straight there via MTR Tin Shui Wai Station Exit E.

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