The Arts



Walled Villages of Hong Kong



Most of the walled villages in Hong Kong are located in the New Territories.

A walled village (圍村) is a kind of traditional building which is completely surrounded by thick defensive walls, protecting the residents from the attack of wild animals and enemies. Usually, people living in the walled village are families. Walled villages can be found in mainland China and Hong Kong.

Walled Village Sites

Kat Hing Wai

Kat Hing Wai (吉慶圍) is a famous Hakka walled village in Yuen Long District of Hong Kong. Popularly known as Kam Tin, from the name of the area, it is home to about 400 descendants of the Tang clan, who built the village back in the 1600s.

Kat Hing Wai is a rectangular (100 m x 90 m) walled village. As a family stronghold, Kat Hing Wai has served the Tangs well through the centuries, protecting the residents against bandits, rival clans, and wild tigers. In the Qing Dynasty, a five-meter high blue brick wall and four cannon towers were added to defend bandits. Today, the village is still completely surrounded by 18-foot-thick walls. There is only one narrow entrance.

Houses reflecting in a pond at Fanling Wai.
Fig 1

Fanling Wai

Fanling Wai (粉嶺圍) is a walled village in Fanling built by the Pang (彭) clan. It is recognizable with the distinctive pond and layout including features such as cannons and watchtowers. All these elements were crafted to form an integral part of the village setting. Fanling Wai is the center of the Pang clan who arrived Hong Kong from Guangxi [surely Jiangxi] province late in the Song Dynasty.

Tsang Tai Uk

Tsang Tai Uk (曾大屋), also known as Shan Ha Wai, is another well-known walled village in Hong Kong. It is located in Sha Tin.

Built in the 1840s, Tsang Tai Uk is rectangular in shape and is surrounded by grey-brick compound with high, thick walls and tall corner towers.

Originally designed as the home for a rich quarry-master's clan, the walled village gained its current name when it gave refuge to displaced families after the Second World War.

Sheung Shui Wai

Sheung Shui Wai (上水圍), also known as Sheung Shui Heung (上水鄉), is one of the very few rural settlements having retained its original moat which was built in 1646. Characterized by its magnificent moat and landscape setting, the walled village is the core of the Liu clan, of which ancestors came originally from Fujian during the Yuan Dynasty (1271- 1368). The village is located in Sheung Shui.

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen

Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen (衙前圍村) is a walled village in New Kowloon. It is the one of the only walled villages left in the urban built-up areas of Hong Kong.

Other Walled Villages

Other walled villages in Hong Kong include:

Chik Chuen Wai (積存圍), commonly known as "Tai Wai" (大圍), and located in Tai Wai area.

Sam Tung Uk (三棟屋), a former Hakka walled village in Tsuen Wan, which has been relocated and converted into the Sam Tung Uk Museum.

Sheung Cheung Wai (上璋圍), in Ping Shan, part of the Ping Shan Heritage Trail.

Tin Sam Wai (田心圍), in Tai Wai.


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