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four shoes Lin Ma Hang visit

Upcoming schedule for this tour:

Sun 13 Jan '19, 10:00 (Book now)

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This tour is suitable for children of age 8 and up.

Buried deep in the New Territories, close to the border with China, is the village of Lin Ma Hang. All but forgotten about, as for decades this was part of the boder closed area: a stretch of land along the border of China that was off limits for visitors, set up to stem illegal immigration from China.

Now most of this land has opened up, and this includes the area around Lin Ma Hang. So finally we can go and visit this place without too much fuss!

It is a quite interesting place thanks to its history of being closed off, severely limiting development in the area. Main sights of interest are the temples and the fung shui pond in front of them, the former residence of Ip Ting-sz, a nearby MacIntosh Fort and the now defunct Lin Ma Hang lead mine.

The residence of Ip Ting-sz is a colonial style building, and one of the places where Sun Yat-Sen met his friends and collaborators as he plotted the revolution in China, which would in the end overthrow the emperor.

The MacIntosh fort nearby is the only one that is still manned overnight, the other forts are currently automated. This string of seven observation posts was built around 1950 to guard the border against an influx of illegal immigrants, refugees from a politically unstable China. Originally they were manned day and night. The forts are now grade II historical buildings.

The Lin Ma Hang lead mine was mined intermittently from 1915 until 1958, when mining stopped. The mining license was withdrawn by the government in 1962, after which the mine was fully abandoned. About half of the lead reserves of the mine have been mined. It is best known for the characteristic three-portal entrance. The mine is now recognised as SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) as it is home to Hong Kong's largest bat colony, and the inner shafts have been closed by fences. Only the portal is still freely accessible.

Even though Lin Ma Hang is now not in the restricted area any more, the road leading to the village is. This means we can take the minibus only until the last police post, from there we have to walk: first along the road, soon after a bypass through the woods. This is at times a rough trail, with really steep sections. Some of these places even have ropes in place to help you scale the slopes.

The MacIntosh fort is (of course) on a hilltop, with a long flight of well maintained concrete steps leading towards it, making it a quite strenuous climb.

Itinerary

  • 10:00 meet at Sheung Shui MTR station.
  • Take minibus until the police checkpoint (about 30 mins - fare $9.1, not included).
  • Hike to the village - bypassing the restricted area. Some scrambling up/down steep slopes.
  • Lin Ma Hang village.
  • Residence of Ip Ting-sz - colonial style building; friend of Sun Yat-Sen.
  • Macintosh Fort - up the hill - great viewpoint towards Shenzhen.
  • Lin Ma Hang lead mine - the famous entrance with three portals.
  • Same way back to the police checkpoint; minibus to Sheung Shui.
  • Approx. 16:00 return to Sheung Shui.

This is not an easy tour: the hike to the village is challenging, and the fort is at the end of a long flight of steps.

Bring food and sufficient water and other supplies, there is nothing available in the village.

Fee for this tour: HKD 190 per person, HKD 150 children 3-12. Recommended age: 8+.