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Nestled in the northern reaches of Hong Kong's New Territories, Fanling stands as a testament to the city's unique blend of tradition and modern urban living. This district, bordered by the lush greenery of the New Territories and the dynamic pulse of the city, has carved a niche for itself as a residential haven with a character all its own.
From the development of the area to how you can get there by public transport today – we’ve got you covered with our Fanling neighborhood guide. Read on for more.
The development of Hong Kong’s Fanling
Fanling's story traces back to ancient roots, with indigenous communities laying the foundation for a region uniquely shaped by its ties to mainland China. The Ming and Qing dynasties left their mark, gracing Fanling with the timeless charm of traditional walled villages. Fast forward to the British colonial era, winds of change swept through Fanling, steering it through the complexities of land use and administration. Today, you can see these historical echoes in Fanling's landscape – a fusion of rural and agricultural activities molding the district's distinct character.
This amalgamation set the stage for Fanling's evolution into a bustling transportation hub. With the arrival of the Kowloon-Canton Railway in the early 20th century, Fanling embarked on a new chapter, seamlessly connecting its historical roots with the modern beats of the present. Post-World War II, Fanling experienced a metamorphosis, evolving into a residential haven while retaining its historical charm.
As you walk through the streets of Fanling today, the district emerges as a living canvas where ancient walled villages harmonize seamlessly with contemporary housing estates.
A quick rundown of the situation at Hong Kong’s Fanling Golf Course
So Fanling has been in the headlines a fair bit (at least in ours at TMS), and it’s really because of the Fanling Golf Course.
So, in response to Hong Kong's sky high housing prices, the government proposed a solution in 2019: reclaiming a portion of the Fanling Golf Course for public housing projects when its lease expires in 2023.
This golf course is a historic site dating back to 1911, particularly the Old Course is Asia's oldest championship golf course.
The Hong Kong Golf Club, says that the course's heritage and ecological value, has sought UNESCO recognition and applied for a judicial review to challenge the redevelopment plan. Despite this, the government plans to reclaim 32 hectares from Fanling on September 1.
The government's move will impact eight holes of the golf course, prompting concerns about the future of golfing events in Hong Kong. Now, there’s uncertainty over the fate of other golfing events in the region.
Read more about the Hong Kong government reclaiming Fanling Golf Course land for public housing here.
How to get to Fanling
- Head to any MTR station on Hong Kong Island or in Kowloon.
- Board the East Rail Line (Tsim Sha Tsui Line) towards Lo Wu or Sheung Shui.
- Get off at Fanling Station.
Various bus routes connect different parts of Hong Kong to Fanling. Check the current bus schedules and routes for the most accurate information.
If you're driving, Fanling is accessible by car. From Central in Hong Kong, choose the best route based on your specific location. Common routes include using highways like Route 4 (Castle Peak Road) or Route 9 (Fanling Highway).
What to see in Fanling
Fanling in Hong Kong offers a mix of modern and traditional attractions. Here are some notable places.
Luen Wo Market
Luen Wo Market, lodged in the heart of Fanling in Hong Kong's New Territories, is a vibrant hub of daily activity that provides a genuine glimpse into local life. With its bustling atmosphere and diverse array of stalls, the market caters to the daily needs of residents, offering everything from fresh produce and meats to household essentials. Visitors can immerse themselves in the authentic ambiance of a traditional Hong Kong market, where the animated exchanges between vendors and customers create a lively and culturally rich experience. Luen Wo Market not only serves as a practical shopping destination but also as a cultural melting pot, showcasing the dynamic and interconnected community that defines the neighborhood.
One of the market's highlights is its role as a culinary haven, featuring local snacks and street food stalls that tantalize the taste buds with traditional Hong Kong flavors. As visitors navigate through the market's narrow alleys, they'll encounter the enticing aromas of freshly prepared delicacies, providing an opportunity to savor authentic local cuisine.
Fanling Wai, steeped in centuries of history, stands as a captivating testament to traditional Chinese village life in the heart of Fanling, Hong Kong. Dating back to the Ming Dynasty, the village's architectural charm is evident in its well-preserved defensive walls, ancestral halls, and temples. The symmetrical layout, with narrow winding lanes and courtyards, not only served practical defensive purposes but also contributed to a harmonious and communal way of life. Intricate carvings and detailed craftsmanship on the buildings add to the visual richness, offering visitors a tangible connection to the customs and traditions of the inhabitants who have called Fanling Wai home for generations.
Beyond its architectural significance, Fanling Wai also serves as a living testament to the enduring cultural heritage of the region. While allowing visitors to wander through its historical lanes and absorb the tranquil atmosphere, the village also accommodates modern living, creating a fascinating juxtaposition of the old and the new.
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden
OK, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden is technically in Fanling, but it's located near Fanling and it's a beautiful area with botanical gardens and walking trails. It's a serene escape from the urban hustle, offering a chance to connect with nature.
Positioned in the scenic hills of Tai Po in the New Territories, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden is a sprawling oasis that seamlessly blends conservation, education and recreation. Established in 1956 by the Kadoorie brothers, Sir Horace and Lawrence, the farm has evolved into a diverse facility dedicated to environmental stewardship and biodiversity. Spanning over 148 hectares, the site encompasses themed gardens, wildlife exhibits, organic farms, and walking trails, providing a sanctuary for native plants and animals. The botanic garden aspect showcases a rich collection of flora, emphasizing native species and those with ecological importance. Visitors can explore themed gardens such as the Alpine Garden, Camellia Collection, and the Butterfly Path, immersing themselves in a verdant haven that serves both educational and recreational purposes.
In addition to its botanical wonders, Kadoorie Farm is renowned for its commitment to environmental education and sustainable farming practices. The facility offers a range of educational programs for schools and the public, promoting awareness about conservation and ecological sustainability.
TMS has some exciting content around Kadoorie Farms and Botanic Garden coming out soon. Subscribe to our newsletter here to stay tuned.
Fung Ying Seen Koon Monastery
Fung Ying Seen Koon Monastery, situated in Fanling, Hong Kong, is a prominent Taoist institution renowned for its tranquil surroundings and spiritual significance. Established in 1929, the monastery has played a vital role in promoting Taoist teachings and practices in the region. Lodged amidst lush greenery, Fung Ying Seen Koon provides a serene escape from the urban hustle, offering visitors a peaceful retreat to engage in contemplation and reflection.
The monastery's architecture reflects traditional Chinese design, with ornate detailing and vibrant colors. Its main hall houses statues of Taoist deities, and the tranquil courtyards provide a meditative space for worshippers and visitors alike. Fung Ying Seen Koon is not only a place of worship but also a cultural treasure, contributing to the preservation of Taoist traditions and serving as a spiritual sanctuary for those seeking solace and connection with the ancient teachings of Taoism.
Where to eat
Pad Thai, located in Luen Wo Hui, is a neighborhood favorite known for its authentic Thai cuisine. The restaurant spans two floors, but the main dining room is where all the magic happens. Here, you can savor succulent pork neck, crispy deep-fried shrimp, and aromatic curries served over a portable stove. The distinct aroma of shrimp paste and charcoal-grilled meats is sure to draw you in, making Pad Thai Restaurant a must-visit when in Fanling.
- Where – Shop 1, G/F, 53-56 Luen Wo Road, Luen Wo Hui, Fanling
- When – Monday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
- Phone – +852 2676 2988
Kwan Kee Beef Balls & Pork Knuckles
Kwan Kee Beef Balls & Pork Knuckles is a 40-year-old, family-run shop that has earned a reputation among locals for its fresh, tender beef ball noodles. The beef balls, handmade daily, are served in a delicious soup with your choice of rice noodles or Hong Kong-style wheat noodles. Don't forget to try their homemade roasted chili pepper sauce for an added kick. Despite the usual line, the service is fast, making Kwan Kee a popular foodie destination in Fanling.
- Where – G/F, 5 Luen Cheong Street, Luen Wo Hui, Fanling, New Territories
- When – Monday to Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5.15 p.m.
- Phone – +852 2675 6382
- Price – $
Glasses Man Rice Roll (四眼仔腸粉)
Glasses Man Rice Roll (四眼仔腸粉) is a legendary local street food vendor in Fanling. Despite its small menu, this tuck shop has been a neighborhood stalwart for over a decade. We recommend mixing and matching to create your own snack platter and to definitely order the freshly steamed rice rolls. With all items priced under HK$10, so you can definitely indulge without breaking the bank.
- Where – 43–45 Wo Fung Street, Fanling
- When – Monday to Sunday, 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
- Price – $