Shek Pik

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Shek Pik
Shek Pik Reservoir, with Shek Pik Prison visible on the right.
Shek Pik Reservoir, with Shek Pik Prison visible on the right.
Shek Pik is located in Hong Kong
Shek Pik
Shek Pik
Coordinates: 22°13′22″N 113°53′52″E / 22.222906°N 113.897839°E / 22.222906; 113.897839Coordinates: 22°13′22″N 113°53′52″E / 22.222906°N 113.897839°E / 22.222906; 113.897839
Country Hong Kong
DistrictIslands District
Shek Pik
Cantonese YaleSehk bīk
Literal meaningStone wall

Shek Pik (Chinese: 石壁) is an area located along the southwestern coast of Lantau Island, Hong Kong. When the Shek Pik Reservoir was built, villages at Shek Pik were demolished and the villagers were relocated to other parts of Lantau Island and to Tsuen Wan.[1] Below the dam of the reservoir is Shek Pik Prison.


Shek Pik was originally a north-south oriented valley, until all the upper part was filled by the water of the Shek Pik Reservoir, which was completed in 1963.[2] Before the construction of the reservoir, the valley was settled by several villages and most of the valley floor and the foothills were occupied by terraced paddy fields.[3] The southern part of Shek Pik is facing the South China Sea and features three small bays. From West to East: Tai Long Wan (大浪灣), Chung Hau (涌口) and Tung Wan (東灣; 'eastern bay').


Shek Pik New Village in Tsuen Wan in 2008.

A tradition mentions that a clan from Ma Tau Wai in Kowloon accompanied the last two young emperors to Lautau Island and finally settled in Shek Pik to avoid the Mongol invasion at the end of Southern Song (1127–1279). Based on the review of historic documents, the existence of village settlements at Shek Pik can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644),[1] although the area may have been settled earlier.[4] The villages were largely self-sufficient farming and coastal fishing communities. The main village, Shek Pik Wai (石壁圍; 'the walled village of Shek Pik'),[4] was located near the head of the main valley.[3] A populous place in the mid-19th century, its population had declined to 363 inhabitants by the time of the 1911 Hong Kong Colony census, and numbered 202 in 1957.[3] Fan Pui Village (墳背村) had 59 inhabitants at each count.[5]

The villages of Shek Pik Valley - Shek Pik, Fan Pui, Kong Pui (崗貝) and the hamlet of Hang Tsai (坑仔)[6] - were demolished and cleared to allow construction of the Shek Pik Reservoir. A total of about 260 people were resettled as a consequence. Most of the villagers of Shek Pik Village moved into five-storey apartment blocks in the urban Shek Pik New Village (石碧新村) in Tsuen Wan. Most of the villagers of Fan Pui moved to a new village nearby, Tai Long Wan Tsuen (大浪灣村) at Tai Long Wan, Shek Pik. Some families from both villages moved to a row of houses near Mui Wo Ferry Pier.[7]

The villagers of Fan Pui had chosen to move to the nearby new rural village of Tai Long Wan Tsuen in order to continue farming. Remodeling long abandoned fields allowed to provide them with about the same acreage of rice fields near the new village.[7] Tai Long Wan had a population of about 120 people in 1970. By 1983, with the younger villagers moving to the city, the population had declined to 22 and most of the farming activity had ceased.[7][8]

Tai Long Wan is a recognized village under the New Territories Small House Policy.[9]

Rock carvings[edit]

Lower Shek Pik Rock Carving

Rock carvings from the neolithic age were found by Chen Kung-chiek in Shek Pik in 1939 when the local villagers told him there was an engraved carving on the upper part of the beach and to the west of Tung Wan.[10] There was the second carving found on the opposite side of the valley. It has been split into two parts by lightning and the rock is now lying face down so the carving can not be seen.[10]

According to the local villagers, there is the third carving further up the valley. This carving, (later called "the upper Shek Pik Rock Carving" to distinguish it from the one found on the Shek Pik Beach) was found on a steep slope in Shek Pik in 1962.[10] The carving is at 350 m (1,148 ft) above sea level.[11][12]

The Lower Shek Pik Rock Carving, located about 300m from the coastline, was listed as a declared monument of Hong Kong in 1979.[11][13][14]


A Hau Wong Temple used to be the focal point of the village life at Shek Pik.[4] It was inundated by the Shek Pik Reservoir in 1960.[15][16] A Hung Shing Temple was located at Chung Hau. It was ruined as in 1979. A new temple was built in 1960 at Tai Long Wan.[15]

Prison and detention centre[edit]

Shek Pik Prison.

Two institutions operated by the Correctional Services Department are located at Chung Hau and Shek Pik: the Sha Tsui Detention Centre and the Shek Pik Prison.[17] Sha Tsui Detention Centre is a minimum security institution for male young offenders. It was established in 1972.[18] Shek Pik Prison is a maximum security institution, housing male adults serving medium to long-term sentences, including life imprisonment. It was established in 1984.[19]


The Hong Kong Red Cross Shek Pik Camp,[20] opened in 1968,[21] is located at Tung Wan.[22] The Shek Pik Tung Wan Beach (石壁東灣海灘) is located nearby.[23] There is also a beach at Tai Long Wan.


The area can be reached from Tai O via by Tai O Road and Keung Shan Road, and from Mui Wo via South Lantau Road.

Shek Pik is located at the end of Stage 8 and at the beginning of Stage 9 of the Lantau Trail.


  1. ^ a b EIA-125/2006. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Receiving Terminal and Associated Facilities. Section 12 - Cultural Heritage
  2. ^ "Water Supplies Department: Shek Pik Reservoir". Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Hayes, James (1996). Friends & teachers: Hong Kong and its people, 1953-87. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 31–56. ISBN 978-962-209-396-6.
  4. ^ a b c Hayes, James (1964). "The Settlement and Development of a Multiple-clan Village". In Topley, Marjorie (ed.). Aspects of Social Organization in the New Territories (PDF). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Weekend Symposium. 9th-10th May, 1964: Cathay Press. pp. 10–15. OCLC 56615727.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  5. ^ Hayes, James (15 June 1994). "Chapter 3: San Po Tsai (Little Daughters-in-Law) and Child Betrothals in the New Territories of Hong Kong from the 1890s to the 1960s". In Jaschok, Maria; Miers, Suzanne (eds.). Women and Chinese patriarchy: submission, servitude, and escape. Zed Books. pp. 51–53. ISBN 978-1-85649-126-6.
  6. ^ "Water from a Barren Rock"[permanent dead link], Water Supplies Department
  7. ^ a b c Hayes, James (2006). The Great Difference: Hong Kong's New Territories and Its People 1898-2004. Hong Kong University Press. pp. 90–96. ISBN 978-962-209-794-0.
  8. ^ Keith Addison, "Tai Long Wan: A traditional farming research and development project", 1983-85.
  9. ^ "List of Recognized Villages under the New Territories Small House Policy" (PDF). Lands Department. September 2009.
  10. ^ a b c Rodwell, Sally (1991). Historic Hong Kong: a visitor's guide. Odyssey. ISBN 978-962-217-212-8.
  11. ^ a b The Geographical Information System on Hong Kong Heritage
  12. ^ Davis, S.G.; Edelstein, Shirlee; Madeleine H., Tang (26 September 1973). "Rock Carvings in Hong Kong and the New Territories". Asian Perspectives. 17 (1): 1–4.
  13. ^ Antiquities and Monuments Office - Rock Carving at Shek Pik
  14. ^ Environment Protection Department - List of Declared Monuments as on 1 January 1999 (archive)
  15. ^ a b Siu, Anthony K.K. (1980). "Distribution of temples on Lantau Island as recorded in 1979" (PDF). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch. Hong Kong. 20: 136–139 (see p.138). ISSN 1991-7295.
  16. ^ Shek Pik Reservoir construction in
  17. ^ Hong Kong factsheet: Correctional Services, August 2011
  18. ^ "Hong Kong Correctional Services: Sha Tsui Detention Centre". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  19. ^ "Hong Kong Correctional Services: Shek Pik Prison". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  20. ^ "Hong Kong Red Cross Shek Pik Camp on Leisure and Cultural Services Department website". Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  21. ^ Hong Kong Red Cross: History
  22. ^ Hong Kong Red Cross Shek Pik Camp: Location & Transportation
  23. ^ Hong Kong Red Cross Shek Pik Camp: Environment & Facilities

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]