Lai Chi Wo is the site of an ancient Hakka Village which dates back to 400 years ago. Located within the Plover Cove Country Park in the northeastern New Territories, it was once the most affluent communities in the region.
There was a period when the village became very poor. With the help of a feng shui master, the residents were able to change their fates by building 3 feng shui walls around the village in order to get rid of the evil spirits and keep the area safe. Like a charm, the village flourished into prosperity again after the three walls were erected.
The area of Lai Chi Wo is used to be known for its numerous lychee trees, hence the name. However, many of the lychee trees were cut down by residents in the 70s to plant Mandarins, considered a more profitable crop since the fruits are considered as auspicious and in high demand during the Chinese New Year.
At present, Lai Chi Wo is a declared special region for its historical significance as well as a site of Special Scientific interest. The village features ancient buildings, a God of War temple, centuries-old trees and lush vegetation. Unfortunately, some of the abandoned buildings have fallen into disrepair.
The village has also become a popular hiking destination and a part of a nature trail which begins from Wu Kau Tang near Tai Po.
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Spollen/International Herald Tribune.