25 October 2016
Dainty fishing boats are anchored at the Shuen Wan Typhoon Shelter in Sam Mun Tsai. Photo: HKEJ
Dainty fishing boats are anchored at the Shuen Wan Typhoon Shelter in Sam Mun Tsai. Photo: HKEJ

Sam Mun Tsai: A tranquil fishing village

I used to hate Sam Mun Tsai (三門仔). That’s where my aging grandmother was staying in a nursing home. Every time I visited her, it was so heartbreaking to see her condition getting worse.

Just a stone’s throw away is The Beverly Hills, a luxury residential project by Henderson Land Development, which gave me the impression that the breathtaking view of Tolo Harbor was only meant for the super-rich.

But I was taken aback when I discovered that at the end of Sam Mun Tsai Road is a tranquil fishing village.

I found it completely incredible that the wealthy and the common folk are living so close to one another.

Walking into the village, I found rows of terraced houses joined by their side walls.

Two housewives were chatting happily with each other while collecting their clothes from the balcony.

That made me think that only in rural villages do we find people maintaining strong bonds with one another.

With a view of majestic Pat Sin Leng at the back and the postcard-perfect Shuen Wan Typhoon Shelter in front, Sam Mun Tsai Fishermen’s Village has around 1,000 inhabitants.

Most of them are still engaged in fishing. One could see old ladies wearing bamboo-woven hats digging clams at the beach, and wiry, suntanned fishermen throwing seines not far off the coast.

By the sea are ramshackle stilt houses, which serve as meeting areas for the villagers.

Going farther you will reach Yim Tin Tsai and crossing the tombolo will lead you to Ma Shi Chau, which is one of the most ancient islands in the territory.

Dubbed as an “outdoor geoheritage museum”, the island features sedimentary rocks formed about 280 million years ago.

The 1.5-kilometer nature trail runs along the southeastern shore of the island, showcasing 16 attractions with various geological features.

Hikers will find it interesting to learn about the formation of various rocks and tombolos, as well as natural phenomena like wave erosion, weathering and folding.

Getting there:

To go to/return from Sam Mun Tsai: Take GMB minibus route 20K or KMB bus 74K from Tai Po Market station.

Time: About three hours

Reference: Government website

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 18.

Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

 (Cantonese with English subtitles)

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