Kau Sai Chau/Yim Tin Tsai Visit - 10/01/2010
Saturday, 27 February 2010 20:51

Kau Sai Chau might be better known to most Hong Kong people as a great place to tee off for golf, but the little fishing village at the southern tip of the island is just as valuable a treasure for heritage enthusiasts.


Our Group paid a visit to Kau Sai Chau village, looking for the prehistoric rock carving that is one of two declared monuments on the island. But we got to see the second one first — a temple dedicated to Hung Shing Kung, a deity worshipped by local seafarers.


Residents were kind enough to chat to us about the history of their village: one legend has it that Kau Sai Chau may have gotten its name because of the narrow water channel between Kau Sai Chau and Jin Island; another suggests that a big round rock located at the eastern end of the village at Kau Sai Chau, together with Jin Island, looks like an opened clam — the rock is the ‘muscle’/'scallop’ (pronounced ‘Kau’ in Cantonese) that links the clam, hence the name ’Kau’ Sai Chau (click here for video).video link






We met 87-year-old Mr Ma and his family there. The elder has lived in the village for most of his life and, although he has long retired from fishing, still knows about the latest catches at sea, the quantity and species of which he says are vastly reduced from times before. He also recalled visits by Dr Barbara Ward, an anthropologist who spent much of her time in the area studying the life of fisher folk.

Later that afternoon, the Group stopped by at Yim Tin Tsai to see the salt fields on the island. The village houses there are largely abandoned, although dedicated villagers return at weekends and public holidays to develop local eco-cultural tourism. Attractions include a renovated church, a former village school that is now a local heritage centre, and the salt fields themselves, all of which the villagers are appealing to the public to help preserve.