Tung Shing Lei

Back in 1996-97, I was asked to take over some uncompleted field survey work for a proposed floodway bypassing Yuen Long town centre. I was tasked with doing a site walkover and recording anything of interest or value along the route, including ecology and heritage. Most of the western end of the site was abandoned agricultural land fringing sprawling unplanned villages. The villages had some interesting temples and shrines but the route had previously been razed to allow the construction of the Yuen Long southern bypass road, severing the links with the landscape to the north.

The eastern end of the site around Pok Oi Hospital was a different matter. South of Pok Oi Hospital was an array of cultivated lotus lilyponds.

Looking north across the lotus lilyponds towards Pok Oi Hospital

Looking north across the lotus lilyponds towards Pok Oi Hospital

This manmade aquatic habitat supported additional crops such as Taro, and was surrounded by willow trees. The variety of vegetation (planted and natural) supported a rich ecosystem of fish, insects, birds and reptiles and amphibians. This was the most diverse habitat along the route, in my opinion.

This manmade aquatic habitat supported additional crops such as Taro, and was surrounded by willow trees. The variety of vegetation (planted and natural) supported a rich ecosystem of fish, insects, birds and reptiles and amphibians. This was the most diverse habitat along the route, in my opinion.

To the east of the hospital was an attractive old building with its fung shui pond in tact.

Overshadowed by Pok Oi Hospital

Overshadowed by Pok Oi Hospital

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Further to the east is a later period building that I guess was an old colonial administrative building.

Further to the east is a later period building that I guess was an old colonial administrative building.

And to the northeast, lies the habitation known as Tung Shing Lei, cut off from everywhere by the New Territories Circular Road.

A double row of houses with, I believe, a central courtyard. I never saw anything like this anywhere else in the New Territories.

A double row of houses with, I believe, a central courtyard. I never saw anything like this anywhere else in the New Territories. The frontal view from the SW end.

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The frontal view from the NE end

The frontal view from the NE end

Viewed from the rear, not quite so impressive.

Viewed from the rear, not quite so impressive.

 

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4 responses to “Tung Shing Lei

    • I’ve more to add to this post, but it’s been cogitating for so long I thought I ought to put a marker out to force me to complete it.

  1. Well, the house I lived in after WW2 in Canton was similar to your Tung Shing Lei. Two stories with a central courtyard. My aunt who was a music teacher had a piano in the living room and played Mozart ,Chopin every day, when I was playing in the front yard listening to them after my elementary school. Those were the wonderful years !The music I listened to gave me the foundation of the classical music I loved so much all my life ! BTW, Yuen long middle school was the location where our Pui Ching middle school graduating class two day field trip in 1955 took place. I shall never forget that ! George Wu, A.I.A. 伍荣基 2014-7-5

    • Beautiful memories, George. Thanks. I’ve remarked on other posts that so many of the lovely historic houses around the new territories are dated around 1926-28. Have you any idea why those years were so productive?

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