Ng Yuen: The Secret Garden

[Update May 2015: I recently received an email from “Adam” indicating that the garden is currently being revitalized; however it remains a private property, so please respect this and do not enter the premises if you happen to be in the area. Let’s hope that one day the garden will be restored to its former beauty and reopened to the public.]

Hong Kong has its share of abandoned villages, but how about a Chinese garden? Imagine hiking in a lush and remote mountain valley, and suddenly encountering a landscaped garden in the middle of the wilderness, complete with a pagoda and bridge over a waterlily pond. This is exactly the case if you happen to be on Stage 5 of the Lantau Trail, near the former village of Lung Tsai in southwestern Lantau Island. Ng Yuen garden, now derelict and mostly forgotten, is officially closed the public but it is still possible to enter and have a look around this atmospheric (and eerie) place.

Near the front gate, there is a plaque with some information about the garden:

Ng Yuen was developed by the late Mr Woo Quen-sung in 1962. It took five years to bring this Chinese-style landscaped garden to completion. Ng Yuen was initially a private retreat and was later opened to the public. It has become a favoured tourist attraction for several decades. Since Mr Woo passed away, the garden has been in disrepair and there were fewer visitors.

Despite its abandoned status, there seems to be some sporadic maintenance work happening inside the otherwise overgrown interior. The main attraction is a zigzag bridge and pavillion over a small pond (any carp that were here are now long gone). Most of the structures are falling apart, the surrounding forest slowly but surely reclaiming the land. During its prime, Ng Yuen must have been a beautiful oasis among the mountains: Lantau’s secret garden. Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng YuenLung Tsai Ng YuenLantau Trail-1003948 Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen Lung Tsai Ng Yuen

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7 responses to “Ng Yuen: The Secret Garden

  1. Lovely pictures! This is such an amazing place and one of my favourite ‘secrets’ of Hong Kong. You are so lucky that you could access it (at least your pictures make it appear that you were inside). Every time I’ve been there, it was closed and I could only catch a few glances of the marvellous place – it must have been even more beautiful in its heyday.

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    • There was a gap in the fence beside the gate where I could sneak through, and by the looks of it, others have too. However I think the bridge over the pond is at the point where it might be unsafe to walk on, although that didn’t stop me 😉 I didn’t stay too long as it was getting dark and pretty creepy – the big bamboo stalks were swaying in the wind and making loud knocking sounds. On the way out, I noticed that even though the main gate was closed, the inner door was actually unlocked.

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