Inaugurated in 1993, the Ping Shan Heritage Trail stretches just 1.6 kilometres in length. Brief though it may be, this quiet stretch in Yuen Long district is home to a rich cultural history that's well worth exploring. The trail takes visitors through ancestral villages belonging to the Tang Clan – one of the five main clans of the New Territories – which first settled in the area in the 12th century.
Most visitors start at the end of the trail closest to Tin Shui Wai MTR station, a short walk from Tsui Shing Lau Pagoda. The only ancient pagoda still standing in Hong Kong today, it stands 13 metres tall and is said to have been completed as early as 1486. Nearby, the walled village of Sheung Cheung Wai still boasts the remnants of its original gatehouse, and a shrine dedicated to the god She Kung, the protector of the village.
While modern developments do make up parts of the trail, several of the original ancestral halls and study halls remain, providing a glimpse into the lives of the New Territories' earliest settlers. The former police station now houses the Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery and visitors centre, which offer ample information and maps to help navigate the heritage trail.
Getting there: Start at Tsui Shing Lau Pagoda by taking the MTR to Tin Shui Wai Station, exit E3. For those who wish to visit all of the heritage sites the trail has to offer, be sure to start your trip early, and not on a Tuesday, as most sites close by 5pm, and some areas, including the pagoda, are closed on Tuesdays.