Hiking Lantau Trail – Lung Tsai Ng Yuen – Lantau gem

Hiking is truly the best way to explore Hong Kong. Last weekend as we continued on the Lantau Trail and just after distance marker L50 on the fifth stage, Ruth and I passed a very surprising sight: a Chinese landscaped garden.

Lung Tsai Ng Yuen (The Small Dragon’s Garden) is a beautiful private property. It is located about 2-3km up from the nearest paved road in Tai O Village and you cannot get there any other way than by following one of the hiking trails (Lantau trail in our case).

It was built in 1965 by Mr Woo Quen-sung, a Chinese spice merchant, for his own private use. It took 5 years to build.

After his death, public access to the garden was granted on weekends when the caretaker was in. Unfortunately, in February 2012 it was closed once again.

While we were there, however, we spotted a small group of people taking wedding photos – legally or not, I don’t know.

While taking photos from the trail, I couldn’t get over the surprise of seeing this place. Not once during my entire time hiking in HK did I expect to find anything like this. These pictures really do not do justice to how charming and simply stunning the place was. Hopefully, one day it will be officially open to the public and brought back to its former glory.

It’s inaccessibility and our accidental discovery of it, after hiking for over three hours, left such a powerful impression on me. I have seen many types of lotus pond gardens in China but they were always very crowded, too polished and new. The Small Dragon’s Garden is one of the few with a sense of history, nostalgia and hidden romance.

Sadly closed gate.

Derelict building next to the main gate. We could just about see the main house and surrounding buildings through the lush green trees further up the hill.

Traditional lotus pond with large pagoda. I would love to see these lotus flowers in full bloom.

Zigzag bridge with old style lamps. Still beautiful. While the garden looks well maintained, apparently the bridge is not safe anymore as it has not been maintained in years.

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