Evolvement of a Fishing Village

Shau Kei Wan

Find out how old traditions persevere in Hong Kong in an old fishing village that lies on the northeastern shore of Hong Kong Island.

Evolvement of a Fishing Village (Shau Kei Wan)
Shau Kei Wan – Evolvement of a Fishing Village mapOnce upon a time, Shau Kei Wan (‘Shau Kei’ means pail and ‘Wan’ means bay) provided a haven for ships that sailed into Victoria Harbour and served as a typhoon shelter for local fishermen. Through the years, the area became known as a centre for shipbuilding and a number of temples dedicated to popular fisherfolk deities such as Tin Hau and Tam Kung sprang up, which you can still visit today.

1. Shing Wong Temple
Shing Wong Temple

Shing Wong Temple was originally called Fook Tak Tsz. It was built in 1877 and expanded in 1974, and has been especially popular with local residents ever since the early 1900s due to its convenient proximity to the Shau Kei Wan tram terminus.

How to get there

MTR Shau Kei Wan Station, Exit C. Walk along Mong Lung Street and turn left onto Kam Wa Street to reach the tram terminus. Shing Wong Temple is adjacent to the tram terminus. Or, take a tram into the Shau Kei Wan terminus from other points on Hong Kong Island and you’ll find Shing Wong Temple right nearby.

Did you Know

Located at the junction of Shau Kei Wan Main Street East and Kam Wa Street, the Shau Kei Wan tram terminus is the eastern end of the line built in 1904 that runs all the way to Kennedy Town in Hong Kong Island’s west.

2. Tin Hau Temple
Tin Hau Temple

This small Tin Hau Temple dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea and a number of lesser deities dates back to 1876. There is a pair of stone lions outside the temple and inside you’ll find a collection of well-preserved murals, woodcarvings and Shek Wan-style pottery.

How to get there

Walk along Shau Kei Wan Main Street East until you reach Miu Tung Street. Tin Hau Temple will be on your right.

Did you Know

It’s fairly hard to believe now, but Shau Kei Wan Main Street East was originally the waterfront! To crack down on pirates that liked hiding here, the Hong Kong government decided to clean up the area in the 1860s by building houses and stores along both sides of the road. While these houses have since been replaced by modern high-rises, there are still a few original restaurants and stores dotted along the street.

3. Yuk Wong Temple
Yuk Wong Temple

This temple was originally a shrine built in the mid-19th century by people from Mainland China who worked in a nearby stone quarry. In the early 1900s, the shrine was expanded into a small temple honouring Yuk Wong, who is credited with solving flooding problems and saving people’s lives.

How to get there

Walk along Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, turn right to A Kung Nam Village Road and proceed along the Tung Wong Road to reach Yuk Wong Temple.

4. Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence
Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence

The Lei Yue Mun Fort built by the British in 1887 to defend Hong Kong against invasion by sea is now home to Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence — an intriguing exhibition of military memorabilia covering the 600 years spanning the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) periods. It sits perched on the heights overlooking the narrow strip of water at Lei Yue Mun, an area now famous for its seafood restaurants. The 34,200-square-metre museum features a redoubt and a historical trail that paints a vivid picture of Britain’s readiness to defend Hong Kong against aggressors.

How to get there

Follow the directional signs, cross Tung Hei Road. Turn right and you will see the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence in front of you.

5. Tam Kung Temple
Tam Kung Temple

One of the few deities known only to Hong Kong, Tam Kung is a much-loved patron of fishermen. Tam Kung Temple is over 100 years old and preserved its original design when it was renovated in 2002. Besides a statue of Tam Kung, the temple also houses a small wooden junk and a dragon boat.

How to get there

Walk back along Tam Kung Temple Road and follow the signs to Tam Kung Temple.

Did you Know

The birthday of Tam Kung falls on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month. For many years, local people held an annual procession on this day to commemorate the time when many were saved from a plague.