HKFP Venture Urban Exploring

HKFP Venture: Ma Wan’s abandoned village frozen in time as final residents evicted

Once a thriving fishing village with stilt houses, restaurants and a school, Ma Wan village now lies abandoned, slowly crumbling beneath the imposing Park Island residential complex and Tsing Ma bridge.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

In the 1980s, the town had a population of several thousand, though by 2000, it was home to around 800.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP drone.

Fish farming was the main economic activity on Ma Wan and Hongkongers would flock to its seafood eateries.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Industries in the 250-year-old village also included shrimp-drying and shrimp paste-manufacturing.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

By 2011, most residents had been evicted after Thomas Kwok’s Sun Hung Kai Properties bought most of the land.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

A park and Christian-themed theme park were built next to the village as part of the effort to ensure residents would leave.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The developer offered villagers a three-storey house or three units in the new Park Island complex, which was completed in 2006.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

While most accepted the deal, others held out in protest. Eviction efforts continue to this day.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Now, around 5,000 families live in the huge gated housing estate erected next door.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

A dilapidated playground, rural committee building and elderly home are losing their battle with nature and the city’s unrelenting humidity.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Many dwellings are locked up with “Government Property” and “No Trespassing” signs on the rusty doors, but others can be entered freely.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The town remains a tourist attraction for curious visitors, as well as a hotspot for wedding photographers.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Ma Wan is accessible by bus from Tsing Ma MTR Station or direct boat from Central Ferry Pier 2.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Private cars are not allowed and current residents complain of dwindling transport options after fare hikes and cancellation of one of the two ferry services.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP drone.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

ma wan abandoned ghost village town

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

HKFP Venture: Ma Wan's abandoned village frozen in time as final residents evicted