A village that is at once abandoned and new

I blogged about hiking to Trio Beach from Hiram’s Highway (西貢公路). This past Saturday, I went a similar route, but instead of going to Trio Beach, my destination was Ma Nam Wat Village(麻南笏村). This is an even more interesting route.

The path is set in stone, instead of cement. That gives you a really good feel of walking. Ma Nam Wat Village, as many villages in Hong Kong, has been largely abandoned. Yet, because of the beautiful sea and mountain views it commands, and it has boat transportation to Pak Sha Wan (also called Hebe Haven) next to the Hiram’s Highway, a number of new and luxury houses with glass windows and stylish decors have stood up in the village.One even has its own pier.

The private pier with some chairs on it

It is likely that the indigenous villagers who have left the village sold their rights to building small houses to developers, which is allegedly illegal. Under an existing outdated law, Hong Kong’s indigenous villagers are entitled to building 3-story houses on their village land, which are supposed to be lived in by themselves. But they have all gone overseas or to the city, so these houses have been built solely for selling and profit. While the residents in the city have to work their whole life for a small apartment, the indigenous villagers are profiting from their rights and exerting endless demands on land – their male heirs are also entitled to the rights.

If you arrive at Ma Nam Wat Village, you will understand why the developers are interested. It is beautiful here.The journey back to Pak Sha Wan pier from the village is most interesting and riveting. There is a boat going between the two places for HK$10. I was the only passenger on the boat, taking in the bay with its moorings of pleasure boats against the surrounding mountains. The boat ride is the climax of the whole trip.

How to get to the starting point
At Hiram’s Highway, near Sai Kung town centre, there is this crossroads with many signs including “Ma Nam Wat Village”, “H.K. Marine” and “LIONS Nature Education Centre”. This road diversion from the Hiram’s Highway is “Che Keng Tuk Road”.

Follow the road and the sign to “H K Marine ”. You will come to see the Hong Kong Marine Club and moorings of many yachts at some point.

the Juncture

At this junction, if you turn right, you will go to the Martine Club. But if you go towards the cluster of houses on a gentle slope, you will see a stone path flanked by trees extending from the houses. You are now right on the track. Simply follow the sign to Ma Nam Wat Village.

The boat service from the village is not regular. Just stand on the pier and wait. The boat will come to you sooner or later.

The boat at the Pak Sha Wan pier

The whole route, including the boat time, is about 1.5-2 hours, if the boat can come quickly to pick you up.

5 Replies to “A village that is at once abandoned and new”

  1. Just make sure to go to the pier in time for the last boat at 7:00 PM. I missed it tonight and had to hike all the way back out in the dark. :) It was fun thougb and I did not get eaten by wild animals.

  2. I will leave not far from the Ma Nam wat peninsula. Do you know how I could find a detailed hiking map of the area?

    Thanks

    fred

  3. Dude…. um… what do u think about building a road in Ma Nam Wat to the city, what will affect the villagers and what will happen to the Village after building a road in Ma Nam Wat Village

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