A couple weeks ago I went hiking in Sai Kung. We were going to hike parts of the Maclehose, and end at a ferry pier to head back to the MTR. We went to the ferry pier, and discovered we had more than an hour before our boat. Chek Keng pier was at the end of a long sidewalk, walking by hibiscus trees and cows (with the inevitable cow excrement) and a family camping. There was a small group of buildings on the hill above, however, gated, locked and barbed wired. No restaurant, and certainly no beer, to be had for our wait.
We decided that of course, this couldn’t be the entire village, and we should certainly go find the rest. So we walked back along the sidewalk, past the grazing cattle and the campers (we debated asking them for a beer) and back to the original path, a section of Maclehose stage 2. About 5 minutes further we come to what appears to be Chek Keng. There was a boat, sitting on the sand, as if the tide went out from underneath, slanted and asking for a shove.
We walked around the sidewalk, through the center of the town, which is being reclaimed by the jungle. It seems like the people left in a hurry in 1986, Saturday the 29th according to the last open calendar page in a living room (either March or November… I can’t tell.) In this village, there is a home that is overtaken by foliage, a set of three rooms that have tea sets and cooking utensils and bedding and shoes, and what appears to be a medical clinic: all overgrown.
I have no idea what happened here. Why they left in the middle of a meal:
This photo shows the date, and the ancestors. This is what solidified the image of a hurried escape in my mind.
There are two questions now: Why was this abandoned? and Why is there still a ferry stop?