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Thread: Ma Wan Ghost village, Hong Kong, August 2018

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    Default Ma Wan Ghost village, Hong Kong, August 2018


    1. The History
    Ma Wan is a fishing village on the small island of the same name 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 HKer’s flocked to.

    In the 80s the population of the island was around the 2,000 mark. Things changed, however, in 1989 when the government announced the island would form part of the main route between the mainland part of HK and the new airport at Lantau, via the Tsing Ma bridge. Completed in the mid-90s, what could have been Ma Wan’s salvation turned into a false dawn as it proved ‘physically impossible’ to connect Ma Wan to the new super highway. This was partly redressed by the subsequent back-tracking by the government and the construction of an access road in 1994.

    By 2000 the island's population was around 800 but this rocketed with the completion of the HK12.5bn Park Island high-rise 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 then took a bit of a controversial turn. Around 2009 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 remaining residents in the fishing village elsewhere via a compulsorily purchasing order on 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 motive was further supported by the corruption trial of SHKP chairman Thomas Kwok and his brother and co-chairman Raymond Kwok, for allegedly bribing the then HK Government chief secretary and No.2 in charge, Rafael Hui Si-yan. They were arrested in March 2012 with the Kwok brothers being alleged to have paid Hui tens of millions of HK 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." Harvar0educated Raymond remains chairman and MD of SHKP. His brother is due for release from prison in December 2019. Hui is currently in Stanley prison and is due out in June 2022. Ma Wan fishing village remains abandoned and in a state of decay while the other side of the island booms, increasing the island’s population to approximately 10,000.

    2. The Explore
    Second revisit for this place. It’s basically a walk around and there’s so much to see here given the size of the place. Fishermen still cast their rods off the still-in-use pier and dog-walkers and curious Hong Kongers and adventurous tourists have a look-see too. Not too much has changed since my visit a year ago although I did find a few new nooks and crannies.

    3. The Pictures
    Approaching from the east, the Man Wan O Mei shelter section:

    img8503 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    …we come across a number of decaying stilt houses;

    img8506 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8509 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8511 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8513 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    On to the centre of the village:

    img8569 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8534 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8574 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8515 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8517 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8523 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This small tin-box home has really gone:

    img8527 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Nice tiles!

    img8532 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Moving on towards the pier, a former kid’s play-ground:

    img8557 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    …and a number of municipal buildings and the Ma Wan Rural Committee:

    img8558 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8559 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8565 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8566 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Interesting graff!

    img8555 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    On top of the hill are a number of community buildings. Here are some dragon boat race trophies:

    img8548 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    …and a dragon-boat figurehead:

    img8549 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This one used to do what it said on the tin:

    img8551 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    …and yet more decaying houses:

    img8552 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This place is new to me;

    img8546 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8535 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8537 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8539 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8544 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And finally, on the way out, this curious little place:

    img8575 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8577 by HughieDW, on Flickr

  2. Thanks given by: ajarb, Dhavilland, etc100, Hugh Jorgan, J_a_t_33, krela, Mearing, Mikeymutt, mockingbird, noiseboy72, oldscrote, prettyvacant71, Rubex, smiler
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  4. #2
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    Ah, I see that you're back in HK again, so we will be getting some interesting pictures. This one has a nice history write-up to it but those stilt houses are just about falling down. I like the mosaic wall.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  5. Thanks given by: HughieD
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    Very nice hughie.bet you have a load more from your trip away.lookung forward to them all
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

  7. Thanks given by: HughieD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan View Post
    Ah, I see that you're back in HK again, so we will be getting some interesting pictures. This one has a nice history write-up to it but those stilt houses are just about falling down. I like the mosaic wall.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeymutt View Post
    Very nice hughie.bet you have a load more from your trip away.lookung forward to them all
    Cheers both. Yes...quite a few more to follow. Some old and some new!

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    Amazing report man, thank you!
    Jay
    Decay Whore
    Vegan Power <3 <3

  10. Thanks given by: HughieD
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_a_t_33 View Post
    Amazing report man, thank you!
    Pleasure mate. Thank you...

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    An interesting bit of history you have uncovered there HD and with some great shots
    ...

  13. Thanks given by: HughieD
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettyvacant71 View Post
    An interesting bit of history you have uncovered there HD and with some great shots
    Cheers PV, you're very kind!

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    From seeing your pictures on Facebook, it looks like you had an amazing trip! Great report and pics, looking forward to the rest!

  16. Thanks given by: HughieD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubex View Post
    From seeing your pictures on Facebook, it looks like you had an amazing trip! Great report and pics, looking forward to the rest!
    Cheers Rubex! Good trip it was. Didn't get to as many places this time as last but a wider range of places.

  18. Thanks given by: Rubex

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