PHOTOGRAPHY – The Ghost Villages of Yung Shue Au & Sam A Tsuen

Yung Shue Au 榕樹凹, translated as ‘Banyan Pass’, is located just outside of Starling Islet within Plover Cove Country Park.

As with many villages in the area, the population dwindled during the 50s, 60s and 70s as the residents left for the city and for Europe, leaving the buildings to be slowly digested by nature.

Occasionally ex-residents return at Chinese New Year, as shown in this 2010 YouTube video of the Wan Clan.

South-east of the village, past streams, mangroves and through the forest, lies the semi-abandoned hamlet of Sam A Tsuen.

Only a few buildings remain. There is also a pier, Hong Kong’s most remote cafe – the Fook Lee Teahouse – and occasional groups of border police…


Yung Shue Au 榕樹凹 and Sam A Tsuen are best visited as part of a whole-day tour of Plover Cove’s ghost villages.

Runkeeper map - excluding stops.

Route times exclude stops. Click for detailed info.

Transport links are more reliable if you begin the day at Tai Po Market MTR. Head to Exit B for a green taxi (HK$100) to Wu Kau Tang. Bear left then out of the village, following signs for the Sam A villages. Continue to Lai Chi Wo > So Lo Pun > over the ridge to Yung Shue Au > Kuk Po > Fung Hang > Luk Keng. Minibuses from Luk Keng run regularly to Fan Ling MTR.

80% of the 8-hour hike is flat with some of the best scenery in the territory. There is are cafe stalls in Sam A Tseun, Fung Hang and (on Sundays) Kuk Po – otherwise there is little food/water available, so take supplies. Hikers will pass by mangrove forests, old farmland, lots of coastal features and huge trees. It is a full-day hike, though some choose to camp at a half-way point such as So Lo Pun.

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Exploring forgotten corners of HK where nature is winning…