Kat Hing Wai Walled Village, is a heritage site in Kam Tin town, one of the oldest settlements in New territories, Hong Kong. It is located in Hong Kong’s Yuen Long District and was built during the Ming Dynasty around 500 years ago.
Headed by Tang Pak-king, Kat Hing Wai is the first of the many villages established by the Tang clan in the New Territories. The rectangular (100m × 90m) village features a 6-metre perimeter wall made from blue bricks and serves as a protection against bandits, pirates and other intruders, including tigers, which used to roam the area.
The village has a symmetrical configuration with a shrine in the north and an entrance gate in the south. Four towers guard the four corners of the village.
While new structures have been built within the walls, some of the village’s original features, including the moats and iron gates remain intact to this day. In fact, Kat Hing Wai has one of highest-graded heritage sites in Hong Kong because of its historic iron gates.
According to historians, the fortress almost resisted British occupation when the New Territories was leased by China to Britain in 1899 but eventually lost the battle. As a booty for their victory, the village's iron gates were shipped to then governor Sir Henry Blake's home in Ireland. They were only returned in 1924 after village leaders petitioned the British government. As a gesture of goodwill, then governor Reginald Edward Stubbs went to the village for the ceremonial return. The gates remain intact and still guard the village today.
The village provides a glimpse of how settlers live way back when. Villagers still retain the habit of wearing the old-style wide-brimmed black hats. Tourists are asked for a $3 donation each to go inside and look around.
To get to Kat Hing Wai Walled Village, take MTR to Kam Sheung Road Station, Exit B. Walk to Kam Po Road through footbridge and then turn to Kam Sheung Road. It takes around 20 minutes from Kam Po Road to Kat Hing Wai.