Ma Wan Ghost village, Hong Kong, August 2018

Help Support Derelict Places:

HughieD

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
5,355
Reaction score
10,759
Location
People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
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:

42583559660_bf02e96258_b.jpgimg8503 by HughieDW, on Flickr

…we come across a number of decaying stilt houses;

30524664468_77ab43b960_b.jpgimg8506 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29455293887_5e6021e57f_b.jpgimg8509 by HughieDW, on Flickr

43484137065_6f321a5114_b.jpgimg8511 by HughieDW, on Flickr

43677377504_1fd0b4e40f_b.jpgimg8513 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the centre of the village:

44345349842_ef4960ff8b_b.jpgimg8569 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29457275537_5428b6f173_b.jpgimg8534 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42585868300_8ff4338e1b_b.jpgimg8574 by HughieDW, on Flickr

44345030942_87501e9628_b.jpgimg8515 by HughieDW, on Flickr

43677263244_712d562b8d_b.jpgimg8517 by HughieDW, on Flickr

30526652008_bebe7a2ce9_b.jpgimg8523 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This small tin-box home has really gone:

44394325591_383d6b1f08_b.jpgimg8527 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Nice tiles!

43486377295_8e478729c4_b.jpgimg8532 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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

43677874514_550003f438_b.jpgimg8557 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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

42586117160_a4384ea9f7_b.jpgimg8558 by HughieDW, on Flickr

43677820244_5b825ede9d_b.jpgimg8559 by HughieDW, on Flickr

30527072958_2f033a838f_b.jpgimg8565 by HughieDW, on Flickr

29457893497_8c59c868dc_b.jpgimg8566 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Interesting graff!

42586199320_568cdc97fa_b.jpgimg8555 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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

29458313367_4781517dfc_b.jpgimg8548 by HughieDW, on Flickr

…and a dragon-boat figurehead:

43678011984_c3614e63d8_b.jpgimg8549 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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

30527261108_73100b1a64_b.jpgimg8551 by HughieDW, on Flickr

…and yet more decaying houses:

44395028711_a3d06be713_b.jpgimg8552 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This place is new to me;

30526150128_69f37eb65d_b.jpgimg8546 by HughieDW, on Flickr

44344742312_e570586ed3_b.jpgimg8535 by HughieDW, on Flickr

43677033934_1d12b1e310_b.jpgimg8537 by HughieDW, on Flickr

30526366678_800f853641_b.jpgimg8539 by HughieDW, on Flickr

42585134490_860e3f783d_b.jpgimg8544 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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

44345265722_0a4e576104_b.jpgimg8575 by HughieDW, on Flickr

44345235852_d02e80d613_b.jpgimg8577 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

Hugh Jorgan

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
2,703
Reaction score
1,709
Location
Aberdeen, Scotland
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.
 

Mikeymutt

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
3,194
Reaction score
11,971
Very nice hughie.bet you have a load more from your trip away.lookung forward to them all
 

HughieD

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
5,355
Reaction score
10,759
Location
People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
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.

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!
 

Rubex

Guard Dog Bait
Veteran Member
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
1,753
Reaction score
4,244
Location
Cambridgeshire
From seeing your pictures on Facebook, it looks like you had an amazing trip! Great report and pics, looking forward to the rest!
 

Latest posts

Top