A Brief Introduction to the History and Attractions of Lam Tsuen.

Situated south of Tai Mo Shan in a picturesque valley, Lam Tsuen is surrounded by
green hills and clear brooks, with a weather-like spring all the year round.

Over 700 years ago, in the Sung Dynasty (1287 A.D.), clanspeople began to
settle there. Today, Lam Tsuen spreads over a large area, covering 26 villages,
namely, Sheung Pak Ngau Shek Village, Ha Pak Ngau Shek, Ng Tung Chai, Chai Kek,
Tai Yeung Chea, Ma Po Mei, Shui Wo, Ping Long, Tai Om Shan, Siu Om Shan, Tai Om,
Lung Ah Pai, Tin Liu Ha, San Tong, San Tsuen, Shea Shan, Tong Sheung Tsuen,
Chung Uk Tsuen, San Uk Chai, Fong Ma Po, Hang Ha Po, Kau Liu Ha, Wai Tau, Nam
Wah Po, Lin O Lee Uk and Lin O Cheng Uk. In this land where footpaths
crisscross between the fields, people in the community share their joys and
sorrows together, caring for one another. It is indeed a peaceful oasis in the
hustle and bustle of the city.Luk Wo Tong (六和堂):Founded in the Qing Dynasty,
"the Tong" had a history of over 100 years. It was in fact the local
administrative centre, although its obvious functions were to take care of the
ancestors' properties and enshrine and worship Tin Hau. In ancient China, there
was a so-called "Po Kup" (保甲) system, under which a "Pai Tau" (牌頭) was to be
chosen from 10 households, a "Kup" (甲) from 10 "Pai", and a "Po" (保) from 10
"Kup". Lam Tsuen, with its over 20 villages, was divided into 6 "Kup". That
was where the name "Luk Wo Tong" (Six Harmonious Hall) came from.Lam Tsuen
Valley Committee:First established in 1954, the Committee replaced Luk Wo Tong
as the highest administrative body of Lam Tsuen, where local administration and
policies are carried out. Initially, the Tin Hau Temple was used as the office
with Mr. Cheung Chi-fan, M.B.E., J.P. as the first chairman. Subsequently, in
1981, the Lam Tsuen Valley Committee Building was completed. The building was
yet again pulled down for reconstruction in 1998. It has now become a
3-storeyed magnificent building.The Lion Club Lam Tsuen Youth Centre:Built
with the generous donation from the 303 Branch of the International Lion Club
towards part of the construction costs in 1972, the Centre houses a library and
a multi-purpose grand hall. Apart from serving as a place for students to meet
and make friends, the hall is also the venue for various activities held on
special occasions, such as the New Year Fun Day, Tin Hau's Birthday and Respect
the Elderly Day on the Birthday of Goddness of Mercy. A Youth Centre Committee
is also set up to assist the Lam Tsuen Valley Committee in organizing and
promoting the activities.Tin Hau Temple:Built in the Qian Long period of the
Qing Dynasty (1736 A.D.), the Temple has a history of more than 200 years.

After renovation in 1967, it is presently the most impressive historic temple
in Tai Po District. A large bell hanging in the Temple bears inscription which
says, "Engraved in Qian Long 36th Year (1777 A.D.)". Inside the temple is a
tablet inscribed with the name of the deceased Tang Chim Yat and his Wife.
Legend has it that at some stage during the initial construction of the Temple,
funds began to run out. Fortunately, with the immense donation from Mr. Tang,
who happened to travel byway of the local area, the temple was completed. To
commemorate the couples' benevolent act, a tablet inscribed with their names
was set up for worshipping. There is also another tablet inscribed with the
names of the 12 martyrs who lost their lives when they were protecting the
local villages, the stories of whom are recorded and displayed in the Temple.
Every autumn solstice local villagers will come to pay respect. In recent
years the Temple has become quite popular and is fully packed with worshippers
most of the time, the majority of whom come from other areas like Aberdeen,
Lei Yu Mun and Sai Kung, etc.Tai Ping Ching Chiu (Religious Service praying for
Peace):Since the construction of the Temple in the period of Qian Long, Lam
Tsuen has arranged to hold a Tai Ping Ching Chiu once in every ten years.
This tradition has been passed on today. During this religious service, which
lasts for several days, felling trees and slaughtering of livestock is strictly
prohibited, and all the villagers will purify themselves by fasting and bathing
so as to thank the gods and placate the roaming spirits. Cantonese opera will
also be publicly performed to please both the human and the deity. The purpose
is to wish for favorable weather and peace in the whole area.

Wishing Tree:Towering beside the Tin Hau Temple in Lam Tsuen, this Tree seems
to be covered in deep crimson colours from a distance. Only up close do you
realize that the Wishing Tree is actually laden with wishes written on bright
red paper. It used to be a camphor tree where a tablet for enshrining and
worshipping Pak Kung was placed. As time went on, the branches and leaves
began to wither and eventually it became a hollow tree. Legend says that a
worshipper had a son who was very slow in learning. As a result of the wish
he made after worshipping the hollow tree, his son, however, had completely
changed and made incredible improvement in his academic performance. Words
spread and people flocked to the place to make wishes, and the Tree was quite
generous with its magic. Today, it not only attracts people from all around
Hong Kong, but it is also popular with foreign visitors. It has become one of
the biggest tourist attractions of Hong Kong.Lam Tsuen Waterfalls:Located on
top of Tai Mo Shan, they can be reached by turning into Ng Tung Chai Tsuen from
Lam Kam Road, and going along the footpath at the rear of the village. On the
way is Man Tak Yuen, and ascending the winding path for a while you'll reach
the destination. The roaring waterfalls gush down the edge of the precipice
with such force that they look like over-hanging white silk, making a most
spectacular sight. Also, as the place is surrounded by dense scrubs and bushes,
it remains pleasantly cool in the heat of the summer, and it attracts many
hikers and nature-loving people on holidays.Man Tak Yuen:A Taoist monastery,
it was built in 1975 and is in fact one of the most impressive attractions in
Lam Tsuen. Despite its limited space, the design of the Yuen is perfect and in
food taste. The elaborate Chinese architecture, the winding paths, the
majestic santuary, the solemn atmosphere, or even a tree is enough to lead one
into wonderland.Kadoorie Farm:Situated beside the section of Lam Kam Road along
Pak Ngau Shek Tsuen, Lam Tsuen, it covers and area of over 150 hectares. With
the assistance of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, the Kadoorie
Brothers set up the "Kadoorie Agriculture Aids Association" in 1951. They also
established a test ground with an area of more than 100 hectares in Kwun Yin
Shan, making low-interest loans to farmers and teaching them how to rear
domestic animals and fowls and plant vegetables. They have made great
contribution to the farmers in the New Territories. Today, the Farm is
partially open to the public for touring.

Lam Tsuen Valley Committee
President: CHEUNG Chi-fan
Chairman: CHAN Hing
Vice Chairman: CHEUNG Hok-ming