Former Lime Kiln and Match Factory

Former Lime Kiln and Match Factory

It might be somewhat surprising to know that the placid island of Peng Chau was once a hive of industrial activity and the centre of Hong Kong’s lime and matchstick production. Traces of these busier days gone by can be found in the ruins of the island’s former lime kiln and match factory.

Lime kiln
Reflecting the scale of the industry in the 19th century, the Sing Lei Hap Gei Lime Kiln Factory consisted of two buildings. (There was a total of 11 kilns on the island). Lime was produced by burning oyster shells, clam shells and coral, and was widely used in construction, paper-making, dyes and ship maintenance. The industry went into decline when modern construction materials began to appear in Hong Kong in the 1950s.

Match factory
Peng Chau’s match industry took off when Liu Hong-sheng, a.k.a. ‘The Match King’ from Shanghai, built a factory on the island in the 1930s. Now, all that remains of the Great China Match Factory, which was Hong Kong’s biggest, are the large numbered stones that marked its boundaries. Due to safety concerns, these were the ‘line in the sand’ through which non-staff members weren’t allowed to pass. In the 1970s, the advent of affordable lighters made the factory obsolete.

2 Nam Wan, Peng Chau
How to get there
Lime Kiln Historical Site:
Take a ferry to Peng Chau from Central Pier 6 (the journey takes about 40 minutes). Turn right from the Peng Chau Ferry Pier and walk along the coast for about 10 minutes.

Match Factory Historical Site:
Take a ferry to Peng Chau from Central Pier 6 (the journey takes about 40 minutes). Walk from Peng Chau Ferry Pier to Kam Peng Estate for about 10 minutes, turn left and continue to walk for five minutes.
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