• Historical

Tsang Tai Uk – Walled Hakka Village Built Off The Gold Hidden Under Dried Salty Fish

October 13, 2021

Name(English): Tsang Tai Uk
Name(Chinese): 曾大屋
Category: Historical
Phone Number: +852 2264 5789
Address(English): Sha Kok Street, Sha Tin, New Territories
Address(Chinese): 沙田沙角街
Address Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/LBD4ddvh3pXK2S737
Address longitude and latitude: 22.373987784085397, 114.19050281397051
Nearest MTR Station: Che Kung Temple MTR Station Exit D
Nearest MTR Station Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/ipJQ6FnwgHDyKDN69
Nearest MTR Station longitude and latitude: 22.374788003133265, 114.18595052837425
How far from the nearest MTR Station: 5 mins from Che Kung Temple MTR Station Exit D
Opening Hours:
MON 00:00 – 23:59
TUE 00:00 – 23:59
WED 00:00 – 23:59
THU 00:00 – 23:59
FRI 00:00 – 23:59
SAT 00:00 – 23:59
SUN 00:00 – 23:59
Recommended Time to Visit: Before 6pm as not to disturb the residents
Accessibility Note: Easy access

Literally meaning ‘Tsang’s Big House’, this complex is a walled Hakka village situated in Sha Tin. The origins of this complex is steeped in legend: Villagers say that one day in the early 19th century, a group of sea pirates (which were frequenting Hong Kong harbour at the time), approached Tsang Koon-Man, a government official, with 16 pots of salted dry fish one day. Tsang purchased the goods only to realise that gold pieces were hidden in the pots. 

One of the gate entrance and guard tower on the corner

With the sudden riches, he decided to build a stronghold for his extended family in 1848, which took 20 years to complete, and remains one of the best-preserved heritage buildings in the city. Spanning over 6000 sqm, Tsang Tai Uk is made up of three rows of two-storied granite houses, with a guard tower on each corner. There used to be a moat surrounding the complex, but it has since been filled in and turned into a grass field and parking lot. It had a special interlude in WW2, when it housed and protected displaced families from the atrocities of war. All the houses are linked by corridors and courtyards, in which villagers used to dry their harvest and now are inhabited by laundry and gardening. 

Courtyards are now inhabited by laundry
Courtyards are now inhabited by laundry

Tsang Tai Uk’s current residents are generally friendly and quite welcoming to visitors. Be sure to check out the ancestral hall and main hall, in which a portrait of Tsang Man-Koon is displayed. Do explore respectfully as there are members of the Tsang’s family who still inhabit the village!

Ancestral hall
A portrait of Tsang Man-Koon is displayed in the hall

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