Hidden Chinese garden on Lantau Island

April 08, 2016 19:00
Lung Tsai Ng Yuen features many traditional Chinese garden designs such as the nine-cornered bridge above the lotus pond. Photo: HKEJ

Lung Tsai (龍仔), about 3 kilometers to the south of Tai O, is considered a blessed land with good feng shui: water elements from Shui Lo Cho (水澇漕) and Man Cheung Po (萬丈布) and landscapes from Ling Wui Shan (靈會山), Keung Shan (羗山) and Kwun Yam Shan (觀音山).

Wu Kunsheng (吳昆生), founder and director of Wyler Textiles, was a keen Buddhist and often went to a monastery at Man Cheung Po.

Going uphill, Wu was deeply attracted by the scenic landscapes of Lung Tsai and he decided to turn the place into a Chinese garden for meditation.

Construction work started in 1962, and Wu's garden took four years and HK$2 million to complete. He called it Ng Yuen (悟園) and opened it to the public.

Lung Tsai Ng Yuen follows the classical architectural style of Jiangnan gardens. The two-storey main building lies in the south of the garden and housed various Buddhist articles.

Walking along the labyrinthine corridors from the main building, you can see Chinese wall paintings and calligraphy. Soon you find yourself in the garden of rhododendrons and camellias.

To the north you'll find a wide pond, which used to be the home of tens of thousands of common carp.

In the early days, the Chinese garden also served as home to various animals such as peacocks, spotted deer and snow cranes.

Since Wu's death, Ng Yuen has been left unattended. The place became so dilapidated that it had to be closed down for repairs.

Hikers of Lantau Trail Section 5 could have a view of the garden and what is left of its magnificent architecture from a distance.

Getting there:

To Sham Wat Road: Take bus route 1, 2 at Mui Wo Bus Terminal; or take bus route 11, 23 in Tung Chung.

To return from Man Cheung Po: Keep walking on Lantau Trail until you reach Distance Post L051, then make a right turn and walk along the footpath and catchwater until you reach Tai O Road. Take bus route 1 to Mui Wo Ferry Pier, or take bus route 11 to Tung Chung.

Time: About three hours

Reference: Lantau Trail Section 5

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 25.

Translation by Darlie Yiu with additional reporting

[Chinese version中文版]

-- Contact us at [email protected]


HKEJ contributor