Nam Chung (南涌), an area in northeast New Territories, is home to five major Hakka villages where residents mostly bear the following surnames: Yeung, Cheng, Lo, Cheung and Lei.
It is peaceful to take a walk in the mornings among the rural cottages that lie between numerous fish ponds. And visitors would also find it amazingly refreshing to travel along the Ping Ka Stream (屏嘉石澗).
Getting off at the entrance of Nam Chung village, hikers will soon be greeted by the calm of the Starling Inlet.
The tidal mudflats along the Starling Inlet are an important feeding site for egrets and herons of the egretry on A Chau (鴉洲), which is known to be the largest breeding and nesting site for the species.
Between January and July every year there could be as many as several hundreds of nests on the unmanned island. Its ecological value is no less of that of Mai Po Marshes.
Since the 1960s, Nam Chung has seen its indigenous inhabitants migrate overseas in large numbers. Today, much of the farmland has been converted into fish ponds. Some are for fish culture while some are recreational fishing sites.
Recently, I was fortunate to enjoy moments of solitude during a trip there as there were not too many holidaymakers doing fishing.
Ping Ka Stream, located to the north of Pat Sin Range, is the biggest pothole zone in Hong Kong. You can get around that by taking the path on the left of the dam.
And around a 10-minute walk downstream from the dam is the beautiful 15-meter-tall Ka Lung Pool Falls, where water seemingly slides through a series of large and small potholes.
Leaving the pool and going uphill, it is the Edward Youde Memorial Pavilion. Built 1988 by North District, the pavilion serves as a memorial to Sir Edward Youde, the 26th Governor of Hong Kong.
At the pavilion, hikers can take an overview of villages of Nam Chung and Luk Keng, as well as hills of Sha Tau Kok afar.
To go to/return from Nam Chung: Take 56K green minibus at Fanling MTR station to Nam Chung Lei Uk village stop.
Reference: Government website with map
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 22.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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