New Territories Hong Kong

Shop Shop Shopping in HK! Longchamp was having 30% discount and Gucci had sales too!! For those who wanna go HK to shop… I’ll recommend you stay at Causeway Bay where everything is at your fingertips.Miu Miu is also about $150 to $300 cheaper on the bags compared to Singapore. Therein lies the temptation. I also bought some outfits from a place called Le Forrestt at Causeway Bay which is full of small clothes and shoe shops.

I’ve been to HK countless of times and always stayed around Hong Kong Island or Kowloon area for the food and shopping… so this time I decided to head out to New Territories on the MTR in search of the famous wishing tree. I took the MTR and East Rail Line to Tai Po Market.

Visited the Hong Kong Railway museum which is at the site of the Old Tai Po Station built in 1913 by the british. The train you see behind me is a retired diesel locomotive called Sir Alexandra. Another trains found at the museum is a steam locomotive. There was a model shoot going on on the other side of the tracks… it seems that it’s a good place for wedding and portfolio shots… so I did an impromptu one of my own…. lol… without the fancy equipment or a stylist of course.

Tai Po is mainly populated by chinese people of the Hakka dialect group. I headed to the nearby Man Mo temple that reveres the God of Literature, Man Tai (文帝), Man Cheong (文昌) and the God of War, and Mo Tai (武帝) or Kuan Ti, Kwan Yu(關羽).. The temple was built in the 1800s and a historical preserved site.

The inside of the temple had many incense coils hanging… I would love to have taken some pictures but wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to do so. If you are a gamer than you might also remember that the temple made an appearance in the video game Shenmue II .

The parks around the area are nicely structured with oriental themes. There is also a bridge across the Lam Tsuen River where many of the locals will sit around the benches to chit chat and catch up.

The last stop was the The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees at the Tim Hau Temple. While this was one of the major attraction to venture to New Territories I personally had a bad experience and would not recommend it to friends. I feel that the whole wishing tree has been overly commercialized by TVB drama serials and tourists that visit this site everyday. Firstly, it’s not as fun anymore. In the past… people will tie their joss paper wishes to a orange and fling up the tree. If the wish stays on the tree it’ll come through but if it lands on the ground then it will not be fulfilled. However, the 2 banyan trees have gone through many years of abuse by people flinging their wishes that the tree is very weak with a branch falling and injuring 2 people. So now it is cordoned off for rehabilitation which mean you can only hang the wishes on wooden racks built near the tree.

Secondly, the cost for those joss papers and hugh incense sticks are on the high side. You have 2 joss wishes with 2 sets of incense (one wish for each of the wishing trees) and a last set of incense for the temple itself… so these would set you back by SGD$40 per person on top of the donation they would hint for you to contribute inside the temple. In all fairness, these are hugh incense sticks that needs a blow torch to light up and the temple ladies will guide you through the whole wishing process. I’m not sure how much such praying materials cost outside or if the trees are really so divine. But my advise is to go only if you have a sincere wish to pray for.


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