Tung Chung revisited
Tung Chung is a town near the airport, and it’s an important connection to other parts of Lantau Island like Buddha and Tai O. I have travelled Tung Chung for so many times and in different ways, by bus, rental bike, or sometimes just stayed in a library or cafe. This time, I planned to revisit Tung Chung Fort and Ma Wan Chung village only, however I changed my mind to give up the fort and go to Tung Chung Battery instead when I saw a sightseeing map on the street.
1. Hau Wong Temple (侯王宮)
Hau Wong Temple is located at the beginning of Tung O Ancient Trail, the 4.5-hour walk connecting Tung Chung, Sha Lo Wan and Tai O (a famous and beautiful village in Hong Kong). The trail is only suitable for walking on foot but my friends and I tried to ride bikes there, but it was too hard to do so. That was stupid but it becomes our life memories.
There are several statues in the forest which is not within the designated area of the temple. Interesting. In a city which is planned, everything seems to be controlled and organized but there are still something outside the pattern. If you focus on mortality, you may find those as deviance, while the others realize mess is not a necessary evil sometimes.
2. Ma Wan Chung village (馬灣涌村)
A village next to Yat Tung Estate, the modern high-rise public housing provided by the government. I didn’t know there is a typhoon shelter for residents until I came here again. Besides, there is a bridge to another village in which I haven’t been to. But I didn’t go inside as there was a sign outside the village claiming it was a private area. I ended up returning back, and left Ma Wan Chung to find a new way to Tung Chung Battery.
I imagined those villagers who have lived for long noticed the great changes nearby, especially with the construction of the public housing and the new giant airport opposite to them.
3. Tung Chung Battery (東涌小炮台)
Tung Chung Battery is between Yat Tung Estate and Tung Chung MTR station. Getting there from Yat Tung Estate needs 10-minute walk through a quiet road with some dogs who are homeless and sometimes hide in the forest. The Tung Chung Battery remains part of the wall nowadays. There is also Lime Kiln made in Tang Dynasty but it’s not the whole now. Then I walked through a stair to a small road to go back to Tung Chung MTR station.
Yat Tung Estate is a part of Tung Chung. The best way to commute in between is by bus, with only a few minutes journey. You can also walk, but it can take you at least 20 minutes to complete. Whatever in a hilly road I tried this time, or in pavements, they are both quiet and I think people may feel unsafe, hot to walk through. Perhaps, riding a bicycle is the best option if pollution is considered. The experience let me question if Yat Tung Estate is a bit isolated from the town centre…
The airport is open in 1998, followed by the second terminal and the upcoming third runway. The Chinese font of the sign was once changed and its beauty gone. And most importantly, how come the people far away could read the sign? The staff here adopted the ugly font used in Microsoft Word, and Taipei Airport followed after then!
But the good news is that most of the ugly font signs has been removed. They used the bold font similar to the one and helpful to visitors at the beginning, although the font spacing is a bit large.
Tung Chung and Chek Lap Kok have become a town and an international transport hub respectively from villages. The modernized urban area doesn’t erase everything in the past. The nature is not that far in fact but the design can change one’s impression, especially when Yat Tung Estate is surrounded by high fence with only fewer exists. You will feel like staying in a comfort zone, or like a frog in a well. If you leave the zone, you will find something fascinating outside, you will see the high-rise building far away. But you easily go back to the city in the following few minutes…