Chek Lap Kok

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Chek Lap Kok
Chek Lap Kok location map.svg
Location of Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong.
Simplified Chinese 赤𫚭角
Traditional Chinese 赤鱲角
Literal meaning "Red Perch Cape"
Map showing the reclaimed land of Lantau Island, Lam Chau and Chek Lap Kok.
Aeral view of the airport platform in 2010.
View of the Airport Island Angle Station of the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, built on Scenic Hill, the unleveled peninsula in the south of Chek Lap Kok.
Rebuilt Tin Hau Temple in the new Chek Lap Kok Village.

Chek Lap Kok was an island in the western waters of Hong Kong. Together with the smaller Lam Chau, it was leveled and merged via land reclamation into the 12.48 square kilometres (4.82 sq mi) platform for the current Hong Kong International Airport, which opened for commercial operations in 1998. The airport is therefore popularly referred to as Chek Lap Kok Airport.

Hong Kong SkyCity, a business and entertainment complex, is also located on Chek Lap Kok. It includes AsiaWorld-Expo, a convention and exhibition centre, which opened in 2005. Cathay Pacific City, the head office of Cathay Pacific,[1] and the head offices of Dragonair[2] and Hong Kong Airlines[3] are also located on the airport platform.

Name[edit]

The name of the island may be derived from the bareness of the island ('da chek lak'), that the shape of the island resembles the red tripletail Perch ('chek lap', 赤鱲), or that the fish was once abundant in its vicinity.[4]

Geography[edit]

The island is located north of Lantau Island off Ma Wan Chung and Tung Chung. Before the building of the airport platform, it was a small and hilly island, about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) long, with an area of 3.02 square kilometres (1.17 sq mi)[5] (other sources mention 2.8 square kilometres (1.1 sq mi)).[4] The southern end of the island formed a small peninsula, which has been left largely undeveloped.[5] This area is facing Tung Chung and is now named "Scenic Hill" by Alan Y.L Wan.[6][7] It is the site of the Ancient Kiln Park[8] and the Airport Island Angle Station of the Ngong Ping 360 cable car.[9]

History[edit]

The island has been inhabited on and off since the Middle Neolithic period 6,000 years ago.[4]

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the inhabitants of the island practiced farming, including rice cultivation,[5] and quarrying.[10] Their population was about 200 in the 1950s, raising sharply in the 1960s. It later declined, with some 20 families remaining on the island when the plan for the construction of a new airport was announced in the early 1990s.[11]

Archeological surveys and investigations were conducted on the island starting in the late 1970s.[4] A salvage archaeology project started on October 15, 1990.[12]

The original farming and fishing villages on the island were relocated to Chek Lap Kok Village (赤鱲角村) near Tung Chung on Lantau Island. A Tin Hau Temple had been built in 1823 at the north east of the island. The entire temple was built of granite quarried on the island.[13] It was dismantled in 1991 and rebuilt in 1994 at its present location.[14]

Also, Romer's Tree Frog (Philautus romeri), a unique species of finger-sized frog found only in Hong Kong, was relocated from Chek Lap Kok to new habitats on Lantau Island before construction of the airport.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 22°18′19.1″N 113°55′18.6″E / 22.305306°N 113.921833°E / 22.305306; 113.921833