Last night I spent some quality time with Google Earth and found some interesting looking places in Shau Kei Wan. This place is one of them. This is the squatter village beside the Yuk Wan Temple (the Jade Emperor who controls flooding). There are two of these little villages in the area. And if I had to guess, I’d say there are close to 15 families living here. A few Tai-Tais came out to see what I was doing. They were very friendly and when I told them that I liked drawing their house and thought it was beautiful, they agreed wholeheartedly with me.


This style of living was very prevailent in Hong Kong, especially after the Cultural Revolution displaced so many Chinese after WWII. True Fact: Shau Kei Wan tranlates as “Pail Bay” but it used to be known as Ngor Yan Wan which means “Starving People Bay”. In early Colonial times, Shau Kei Wan was one of the most populated places in Hong Kong, home to about 7,000 people in the 10’s. And it was here that the Colonial Government first began building police stations and infrastructure projects to deal with pirates who thrived in the area.

Shau Kei Wan Squatter Village (A Kung Ngam Village)
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2 thoughts on “Shau Kei Wan Squatter Village (A Kung Ngam Village)

  • January 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    The form of this humble structure is strikingly beautiful.

    • January 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      I agree. In contrast to the vast amount of rigid geometry imposed on Hong Kong by modern architecture, it’s nice to see something more organic and freeform. Too bad they are rapidly disappearing as the government reclaims the land. Won’t be any of these villages left in a few years.


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