Lei Yue Mun (鯉魚門) Step Into The Past

Lei Yue Mun (鯉魚門) Step Into The Past

Sep 6, 2015 | Sights and Travels

Walking around, there are small houses on stilts looking like they may slip into the sea. The path is narrow with fish tanks and seafood restaurants on each side. The fresh sea breeze filters through the small wooden buildings following it out to more open spaces. On one of the nearby outlets is a Tin Hau Temple celebrating the god of water and the sea.

These fishing villages offer a great view of Hong Kong’s past. They lay on the Kowloon side just across from Shau Kai Wan on Hong Kong Island. They have no name, but most call the area Lei Yue Mun (鯉魚門). It refers to the short channel between the island and Kowloon.

Four squatter villages make up the area known as Lei Yue Mun. According to the government, the buildings are illegal.  In the beginning, they were built as temporary housing. Over time residents were encouraged to move into public housing but they refused. Today the buildings are checked by officials to make sure they stable.  The government tolerates the structures because of their historical and cultural value.

The homes are stilt houses or Pang Uk (棚屋). They were built by fishing people who wanted to move on to land from their boats. The structures help them to maintain a closeness to the sea. In the beginning, these buildings were built completely from wood. Half the building is sitting on land while the other half is sitting in the sea on wooden posts. They look like the same houses found in Tai O. Today these posts sitting in the sea are reinforced using concrete and steel.

Many of the stilt houses are supported by wooden or cement beams
Many of the stilt houses are supported by wooden or cement beams

Some of the old homes are now restaurants. They are why most people come to these villages today for the freshly caught seafood found in the Sam Ka Tsuen area. The way of picking and eating seafood can be different than other places. People buy the fresh seafood at shops and then take them to the restaurants to cook and serve the food. This way of ordering food is not the only way as there are more typical restaurants available.

Most of the restaurants are on Praya Road when taking the 15 minute from Yau Tong MTR Station, Exit A2. There is also a green mini-bus 24 to Sam Ka Tsuan Ferry Terminal. When coming from Hong Kong Island, there is a ferry from Sai Wan Ho across the harbour to Sam Ka Tsuan run by Coral Sea Ferry