Friday, February 8, 2013

Reminiscing Ngau Chi Wan Village 情繫牛池灣村

Ngau Chi Wan Village is located on the eastern Kowloon Peninsular, facing Kowloon Bay and old Kai Tak Airport in the south, Fei Ngor Shan at the back in the north and Lion Rock Hill in the west. It was a farming village of Hakka dialect and was near the waterfront. The population was over 200 in early days.

Ngau Chi Wan Village was one of the 13 villages of Kowloon and is a few old village left in the urban areas. It has a history of 200 years. Kwun Tong Road was the main transportation route whereas Clear Water Road and Hammer Hill Roads all started at Ngau Chi Wan Village.

My early childhood was spent in Ngau Chi Wan Village and had witnessed the implication of urbanization on the changes of many places and villages. The major change in Ngau Chi Wan Village was envisaged in the use of the village farmlands for the building of the Choi Hung Estate and the houses on the front portion of the village were demolished for the building of the Choi Hung Station of the mass transit underground railway (MTR).

In 1992, I returned to Hong Kong and bought some old photos of Ngau Chi Wan from the Hong Kong Lands Department to reminisce the old village of my early childhood and to view the changes of the vicinity. In December 2012, I visited Ngau Chi Wan Village again and accomplished this album for reminiscence.

Photo equipment:
Nikon D300s, Nikon GP-1 GPS
AF-DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6





An air-view photo of Ngau Chi Wan, Diamond Hill and Kai Tak Airport taken on 27th December 1956.  The farmland of Ngau Chi Wan Village was planned for the building of a residential estate (white portion in the middle).

Air-view photo of Ngau Chi Wan Village and Choi Hung Estate taken on 25th April, 1979.  The semi-circular buildings on the lower left were army barracks.  The bus station of early days was located on the road side.

An enlarged photo of Ngau Chi Wan Village (cropped from the above photo)
牛池灣村放大圖 (裁剪以上照片)

Ngau Chi Wan Village in 1963.  My house is on the upper right corner whereas the small village office is on the left of the photo. (archive photo)
1963年的牛池灣村, 我的故居在右上角﹐ 鄉公所在照片左面。(檔案照片)

Ngau Chi Wan bus station in 1953.  Bus route #14 to Jordan Ferry Pier. Bus route #9 to Tsim Sha Tsui.  All were double deckers. Still remember taking bus here with mom to Jordan Ferry Pier. (internet photo)

Left: Ngau Chi Wan bus station on Kwun Tong Road in 1953.   Right: Photo of Lion Rock Hill and Choi Hung Transit Interchange taken on the upper deck of a bus in 2010

An old stone house built in 1927 was behind my house.  It still has the look of  an ancient house.

The original sliding door of wooden poles was replaced with a steel sluice-gate

The weathered old house

A close shot of a row of stone blocks for an old ditch which had already been filled up.

A narrow lane-way between houses

Village seen behind the red flowers

A panorama view of the "Grant Emperor's Hall"

The shrine of the Old God of Lands in the village

Many village boys were playing around here

Part of a village scene

The outside view of the village restaurant.  The Choi Hung Station of the MTR was built just underground of the open area where some of the village houses were demolished.

The village office was built in 1950

Click for more photos 點擊更多照片》

View Ngau Chi Wan Village in a larger map


  1. 牛池灣村亦是我童年曾到過的地方,記憶中陪伴同學回家時經過一條水坑,再經過一排像是鄉公所的古老屋,常跟同學向一位看來是街坊保長的老伯打招呼,我們稱呼他為:[能伯],跟著別過頭來偷笑,老伯覺得理所當然,個名係咁,慣哂。晚上條村好少街燈,非常黑暗,外來人好少入村。牛池灣村的變化亦是相當大,不知香港政府古物保護署有否將之列入受保護古蹟?

  2. Hi, Peter, All the best to you in the new year. Thanks for your blog wherein we enjoy your photos and often share your feelings of nostalgia.

  3. Thank you for photos.

  4. Hi Peter! I am writing an article about the history of Ngau Chi Wan for the South China Morning Post. I would love to talk to you about your childhood in the village. Could you contact me at Thanks!

    1. Hi Christopher! Yes, I am happy to do that for your article. As I am now a musician and will be terribly busy with musical performance and events in daytime , I prefer to have the phone interview after 12:30am in Toronto time. Cheers!