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Report - Ma Wan Ghost Village, Hong Kong, July 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by HughieD, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    Did quite a lot of exploring over the Summer in Hong Kong. There's some really top-notch sites to explore. The place in question here is Ma Wan fishing village. It sits on the small island of Ma Wan sandwiched between Tsing Yi island to the North and the very large Lantau Island to the south. The island with an area of barely a square kilometre in total was very traditional and was famous for fish farming, producing shrimp paste and its many seafood restaurants that HongKonger's flocked to.

    Things changed, however, when the island found itself on the new expressway between the mainland part of HK and the new airport at Lantau, via the Tsing Ma bridge, in the mid 90s. By 2000 the island's population was around 800 but this rocketed with the completion of the Park Island high-rised residential complex, developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties, in 2006 which housed 5,000 families. Displaced residents were offered traditional 3-storey houses on the south side of the island.

    Things took a bit of a controversial turn around 2009 when Sun Hung Kai Properties built the Ma Wan theme park featuring a life-size copy of Noah's Arc next to the Park Island. This was used as a pretext for the government to then relocate all the residents in the fishing village elsewhere by compulsorily purchasing their homes, resulting in the ghost town we see today. Some observers saw this as an under-hand way of clearing the south side of the island for a second residential development along the same lines of the Park Island complex. This theory was further supported by the corruption trial of SHKP chairman Thomas Kwok and his brother and co-chairman Raymond Kwok, for allegedly bribing HK Government chief secretary and No.2 in charge, Rafael Hui Si-yan, following their arrest in March 2012. The Kwoks were alleged to have paid Hui tens of millions of dollars to be their "eyes and ears" in government. After a high-profile trail Hui was found guilty in December 2014 and jailed for 7 and a half years. Raymond Kwok was acquitted while his brother was found guilty and jailed for 5 years.

    The explore itself was a relaxed one. I spent several hours wandering around the massive site. One miscalculation on my part was not to put on mosquito repellent so the local mozzies get themselves a right feast! There are loads of pictures so I’m going to split this up into two reports.

    Welcome to Ma Wan!

    [​IMG]img0134 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    …and the many, many fenced-off houses:

    [​IMG]img0135 by HughieDW, on Flickr
    [​IMG]img0148 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The first thing you come to is a number of decaying wooden fishermen’s stilt houses:

    [​IMG]img0144 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img0141 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img0140 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img0149 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img0150 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The majority of the abandoned houses are three-storey houses though:

    [​IMG]img0164 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img0159 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Individually they aren’t so striking architecturally. It’s more about the sheer number of them:

    [​IMG]img0174 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Inside most are pretty bare:

    [​IMG]img0178 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img0180 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    But others are pretty much full of stuff:

    [​IMG]img0185 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img0186 by HughieDW, on Flickr



    [​IMG]img0187 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Some people, understandably, weren’t too happy about the government evictions:

    [​IMG]img0179 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    [​IMG]img0182 by HughieDW, on Flickr
     

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  2. drhowser

    drhowser Bespectacled & irrelevant
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    Ah cool, I took a wander round here. It's interesting isn't it. Did you go to Yim Tin Tsai too?
     
  3. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    I certainly did mate. That's the one with the boat ride innit?
     
  4. scotty markfour

    scotty markfour 28DL Regular User
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    topsnotch report n pics ....wanna go honkers now !
     
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  5. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    I like it. Looks really interesting.
     
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  6. bhg

    bhg In Search of Lost Time
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    Interesting place, thanks for sharing!
     
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  7. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Liking that, something a bit different and who doesn't like a ghost town :)
     
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  8. Jim Sullivan

    Jim Sullivan 28DL Full Member
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    Awesome. Looks like some interesting artifacts were left behind. It always makes me sad to hear about forced relocation. It's a shame everyone had to leave the town just so that it could sit and decay.
     
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  9. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers Jim. Yup - very sad, especially as before the force relocation it was such a busy and bustling fishing village. If you look at the second report there are a few pix from before its abandonment.
     
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  10. host

    host 28DL Regular User
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    Love it, i wish i had more time to visit place alike this or new it was here when i visited some years back. I bet theres loads of places like this kicking about.
     
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  11. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    There are tens of ghost villages in HK. Explored quite a few. Will put some more pix up soon...
     
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