Yim Tin Tsai
The tiny island of Yim Tin Tsai, which literally translates to ‘small salt field’, was once the home of a Hakka village overlooking the now long-gone salt fields – hence the name of the island.
“Even when I was a boy, the salt fields were no longer in use,” eighth-generation ex-resident Colin Chan tells us. The population was about 200 when Chan was a boy, but they have since moved overseas in search of education and employment. But the village has certainly not been forgotten. Headed by Chan, the Yim Tin Tsai Village Rural Committee is in the process of restoring buildings. The committee hopes to bring life back into the village and offer the restored buildings as a place for peace and prayer away from the chaos of the city. The Catholic church was refurbished in 2003 and, along with its adjoining classrooms, has been turned into the Yim Tin Tsai Heritage Museum.
But for now, the former houses look as though the residents simply disappeared one day, leaving behind the evidence of their daily lives – bottles on shelves, clothes on hangers and rotting wooden chairs rising out of the rubble.
How to get there: Take the kaito (small ferries) from the Sai Kung Public Pier during Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.