28 October 2016
Lo Wu Bridge connects Luohu village in Shenzhen (left) and the Lo Wu district of Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ
Lo Wu Bridge connects Luohu village in Shenzhen (left) and the Lo Wu district of Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ

Walking in a rural village at the border

Lo Wu is probably best known as the busiest land port of entry between Hong Kong and mainland China.

The border crossing handles an average of 225,000 travelers a day, according to the latest official figures from Hong Kong.

Thanks to the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory in 1898, it was divided into Lo Wu of Hong Kong and Luohu District on the mainland.

By 1951, the British colonial government assigned the Frontier Closed Area – a zone that extended inwards from the border with China – as a buffer to prevent migrants and other illegal activities from the mainland.

Since the development of the zone has been tightly controlled, Lo Wu’s natural landscape has been largely preserved. On the other hand, Luohu has become highly urbanized.

With the implementation of the reduction of the area from 2012, ordinary people can come close to the boundary without special permit.

It doesn’t take long to walk to Lo Wu MTR station from Sheung Shui along River Indus, also known as Ng Tung River.

Directly opposite to the station is the village of Tak Yuet Lau (得月樓), where there is a police outpost named after it.

Going further to the west one will reach Liu Pok village (料壆), whose indigenous dwellers mostly bear the surname Fung.

At the entrance, you are welcomed by a large fishpond which you could imagine has stayed the same over the past few decades.

Though it is not a walled village, it has a fortified multi-storey watchtower and an old-style Chinese private school building which now houses the office of the rural committee.

Walking around the village, you couldn’t help but wonder how space and time could possibly be frozen, and allow you to walk in the last genuine rural district of Hong Kong.

Getting there:

To go to/return from Sheung Shui: Take MTR to Sheung Shui MTR station.

Time: About four hours

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 22, 2015.

Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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