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Sha Tin also has still many villages, including Pai Tau,
that are very close to the MTR and the city centre.
Sai Lam Temple
Sai Lam Temple / 西林寺 (Xilin temple) was built in 1923.
This monastery is close to Siu Tin Toa home for the aged.
This old lady is helping to do Joss paper. Traditional joss is cut into
individual squares or rectangles. Each square of paper has either a thin piece of square
foil glued to its center or it may be endorsed with a red ink seal from a traditional Chinese seal.
From the Siu Tin Toa home for the aged, it is possible to see the
Po Fook Ancestral Workshop Hall on the left then the Ten Thousand
Buddhas Monastery on the right then the Sha Tin Dau Fong San, which is a sacred place
of Christanity in the background. A huge Cross erected high above the hill top is visible.
Sai Lam temple was known as one of the Four Scenic Spots of Sha Tin in the 1950s and 1960s.
The other scenic spots were the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Che Kung Temple and Tsang Tai Uk.
Sai Lam Temple was a famous temple in Sha Tin with ten monks living there.
There was a vegetarian restaurant there.
Sai Lam Temple was a lively place. Many Hong Kong Kung Fu movies were shot there.
Some landslides damaged the temple and the area.
Since decade 1980s Sai Lam temple deteriorated day by day. Sai Lam temple had fallen into disrepair.
In 2006, a man invested heavily in repairing the temple. The reconstruction project was
completed in 2009, and it was converted into a columbarium, which is very different from
the old temple.
Almost all of the original old buildings were demolished, except for the gate tower built in the 1930s
and the Taoist Sam Yuen Temple.
The gate tower, an unrated historical building, was destroyed in year 2016
as it was found to be built on government land.
Sai Lam Temple was set up by Buddhist monk Woon Ching.
In 2017, the temple faced the Private Columbarium Ordinance describing land lease and city planning.
The planned use of the temple location was "village-style development" and not allowed to be used as a columbarium.
The above pictures of Sai Lam temple were taken in year 2006.
Wo Che village
Sheung Wo Che and Ha Wo Che are villages mainly occupying the lower hill.
Old houses can still be found.
New and beautiful modern village houses are built in Sheung Wo Che village.
Lung Wah Hotel was found in 1951. It was the first hotel opened in Shatin
during the postwar period. The hotel has to close in 1985 due to the government's
city development in Shatin.
Lung Wah Hotel's pigeon dishes is the best
and famous among all. A local saying emphasizes "you did not visit Hong Kong if
you have not tried the Lung Wah pigeons."
In year 2001, the Environmental Protection Department provide
sewerage to eight villages in Sha Tin (including Sheung Wo Che and Ha Wo Che) and Tai Po as
part of the government effort to improve the water quality of Tolo Harbour.
In year 2008 thirty residents were evacuated
and three people injured after a fire broke out in a hut in Ha Wo Che.
Villages located in New Territories always include colorful
red Chinese temple or shrine.
Such villages are at risk in case of landslides triggered by rainfall during high
Shrines are in various states of repair or dilapidation according to the
devotion and resources of the villagers and shrines may sometimes be
On the top of Ha Wo Che village, a few private monasteries and temples can
Pai Tau village
At the end of the New Year Holiday, lanterns are dressed and hung in the
Ancestral Hall. Any local family, whom son has been born during the past year, brings
a lantern to the Ancestral Hall.
The old Pai Tau Village is situated right next to the MTR Sha Tin Station.
In front of Pai Tau Village (Pai tau Tsuen), a stall selling local snacks can be found
Some old houses have been transformed in small eateries offering
basic Cantonese food and pizza for staff working in surrounding governmental
During years 2010 and 2011, Pai Tau villagers complaint
that the government didn't enquire their opinion to build a bridge across the village
to Grand Central Plaza. It may pull down some trees which impact the "Feng Shui"
of their village.
New nominations happen following Village Representatives elections in Shatin.
Huge colorful banners near the Sha Tin Rural Committee announce the
new representatives in June 2011.
The maximum expenditure allowed for a by-election campaign was 48000 HKD.
If candidates spend more, it may be considered as used to corrupt people, so
they might be invited to drink coffee at ICAC (Independent Commission
These huge colorful banners to announce new representatives nomination
are really typical in New Territories region. They can also be seen in
Chinese Traditional festivals such as Yu Lan (Hungry Ghost festival).
Pai Tau, traditional village, is going through strong modernism with
old Chinese houses replaced by new houses.
Pai Tau village, small traditional village, is now included in Shatin New Town.
It still features a few old houses.
Despite modern changes in Pai Tau village, it still features traditional
shrines to protect the inhabitants.
In Pai Tau village, some traditional 3-storey houses are completely
transformed to become modern hairdresser shop.
Whenever going to Shatin post office, it is always enjoyable to walk
through the traditional Pai Tau village and its old houses.
Po Fook Ancestral Worship Hall is near Shatin post office, Hongkong and
behind Pai Tau village.
Small deity altar protecting the village in Pai Tau traditional village,
New Territories, Shatin.
Scene of ordinary life in Pai Tau traditional village, Shatin, New Territories.
This small deity altar is protecting Pai Tau traditional village. It is located
under a big tree. The shop is selling miscellaneous items such incense sticks for people
going to Po Fook Ancestral Worship Hall.
There are about 40 temples dotting the hills around Pai Tau village.
Some are open to the public, but many are not.
Pai Tau village is changing a lot as many houses are built by replacing older
With Lung Kee shop, it is possible to rent a bike in Shatin and drop it in Tuen Mun / Yuen Long / TSW.
The Lam Ancestral Hall buildings in Pai Tau village are also recognised
as being of historic importance.
Small deity altar located at the village entrance and protecting the inhabitants
in Pai Tau traditional village, Shatin, New Territories.
Like many other villages, Pai Tau village may end up with the ancestral hall
as being the only old building left.