Ping Shan Heritage Trail in Hong Kong
Explore the history of Hong Kong along the fascinating Ping Shan Heritage Trail. Launched in December 1993, the trail guides travelers through the three villages of Sheung Cheung Wai, Hang Tau Tsuen and Hang Mei Tsuen. Along the route walkers will see impressive monuments and historically important buildings. Located in the Yuen Long District of Hong Kong, the Ping Shan Heritage Trail is well worth investigating.
The Ping Shan district has a long history, with the Tang clan calling the area home since the 12th century. As travelers traverse the trail they will come across a number of monuments, including the Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda, which translates to "Pagoda of Gathering Stars". Interestingly, this is the only remaining ancient pagoda in the country. Tang Yin-tung was responsible for the construction of the pagoda over 600 years ago as a fung shui building to protect the village from flooding and evil spirits. Shaped as a hexagon, the Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda stands at a height of three storeys. The Champion Star statue on the upper floor is used in worship.
Another two attractions to discover along the Ping Shan Heritage trail are the Tang Ancestral Hall and the Yu Kiu Ancestral Hall, both of which were declared monuments in 2001. The Tang Ancestral Hall was built about 700 years ago with three halls and two internal courtyards. The structure is decorated with carvings and pottery imagery of Chinese motifs, dragon-fish and unicorns. The Tang clan still meets here and if visitors are fortunate they may arrive at the ancestral hall during a festival. The Yu Kiu Ancestral Hall has the same design as the Tang Ancestral Hall and was built early in the 1500s.
Further monuments and sights along the Ping Shan Heritage Trail are the Yeung Hau Temple, Shrine of the Earth God, Kun Ting Study Hall, Hung Shing Temple (built in 1767), Ching Shu Hin (from 1870), Yeuk Hui Study Hall, Sau Choi Mansion (tours available by arrangement), Ng Kwai Tong and others.
Those interested in exploring the Ping Shan Heritage Trail can stop past the Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery, which also serves as a Heritage Trail Visitors Center. A number of signposts assist visitors to stay on the path of the trail and information boards provide insight in the monuments along the way.