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Hong Kong – Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees 林村許願樹

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

Make a Wish..and wait for the magic to happen

Located at Tai Po 大埔 in the New Territories 新界, Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees 林村許願樹 are one of the most popular shrines in Hong Kong and featured in many Hong Kong dramas. Lam Chuen is especially crowded during the Lunar New Year when everyone flocks to the trees to make their wishes for the coming year. So no doubt I was full of anticipation to visit the place and make a drama wish for myself.

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

How did the wishing custom start in Lam Tsuen?
In the past, fishermen would throw paper josses to every Tai Pak Kung (earth god) tree on their way to the New Territories, wishing that this would bring them good luck and protection. When a dying fisherman who sought a miracle from the tree got his wish granted in the 1960s, worshippers started flocking there and the wishing custom was set.
Another version says that there was a worshipper whose son was very slow in learning. After he had wished upon the tree, his son completely changed and made incredible academic improvement.

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

There are actually two Pak Kung trees in in Fong Ma Po. One is the Wishing Tree near the entrance of the village and the other is a banyan tree farther away.

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

There is also an area with statues bearing the 12 zodiac animals. Looks like a scene out of a sci-fi movie where some galactic beams will start to shoot down anytime, and an immortal appears. And I faint there and then :D

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

This, is NOT a usual sight at all – we got the tree all to ourselves!
It has been raining cats & dogs so there was no visitors, and the rain was just stopping as we arrived (now I call that luck).

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

Even the dog wants a wish :)
(I wish it would stop raining!) lol

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

So what do I do?
Get a wishing card tied to an orange from one of the sellers around, write your wishes on the card and toss the wish up on the tree. The higher the wishing card lands on the tree and stays there, the more likely your wish will come true. Believe me, it’s harder than you think.
People may try to sell you incense sticks, candles and lanterns too (this is the touristy part). You do not need to feel pressured to buy.

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

Talk about advancement – wishes now come in a checklist! LOL
Just tick the wishes that apply. I was tempted to be greedy and tick ALL OF THE ABOVE.

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

Off to make my wishes!

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

If you had the same suspicion as I did looking at the tree, you are probably right. It’s an artificial tree.
The original wishing tree was a camphor tree which was accidentally burnt down by the huge pile of offerings left by visitors. It was then replaced by a bauhinia, which collapsed due to the excessive burden of offerings. The banyan tree which was then planted suffered the same fate in 2005 when the weight of the oranges caused branches to fall off. This practice was then replaced by hanging your wishes to wooden wishing boards according to your Chinese Zodiac sign instead. I guess visitors must have found this alternative not as exciting, hence this artificial tree was erected so they can continue tossing their wishes up.

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

Wooden wishing boards similar to those in Japanese temples
You write your wishes on a piece of yellow joss paper, roll it up and hang the “宝碟 bou dip” on the wishing board bearing your Chinese Zodiac sign.

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

This is the poor Banyan tree currently undergoing rehabilitation. I call this “abuse by oranges.”

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

It’s like a very, very old lady with so many poles to prop her up. So poor thing! Human desires sometimes can be overpowering, and become a destructive force.

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

While you are there, do go try the handmade beancurd store just across the road from the entrance.
You can also visit the nearby Tin Hau Temple which was built in the late 18th century, or continue the day’s journey to Yuen Lang 元朗 (via Bus 64K or the private minibuses) where there’s more yummy food and sights.

Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree 林村許願樹

Ryan BB is certainly excited to eat beancurd :)
Hong Kongers eat their beancurd with orange coconut sugar. It’s so addictive, I now buy that to eat with my beancurd now.

Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees
Lam Tsuen, Tai Po, New Territories
Tel:   +852 2638 3678
Opening Hours: 9:30AM to 5:30PM
Email: lamlukwing@hotmail.com
Website: www.lamtsuen.com

Getting There
1) Take the East Rail line to Tai Po Market station and take Exit A1. Hop on KMB bus route 64K or 65K (bus fare about HKD5-7) or minibus 25K and alight at Fong Ma Po Bus Stop (12 stops). Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees (林村) are across the road.
2) Take the Tsuen Wan Line to Tai Wo Station and take Exit A. Take Bus No 64K or minibus 25K and alight at Fong Ma Po Bus Stop. Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees (林村) are across the road.
3) Take the Tsuen Wan Line to Tai Wo Station and take Exit A. Take a taxi :)

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Photography – 人情味 Human Touch

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人情味
香港比肩继踵;人情味更重

People say Hong Kong is full of two things – people and neon signboards – which were aptly captured in a signboard I spotted at Yau Ma Tei. I was attracted by the many “人” (man)  on it. I used to be quite scared of the Hong Kong people cos’ they were curt and I was forever getting scolded at restaurants for being too slow in saying out my orders.

This has changed over time, and I have grown to love the boisterousness of the whole atmosphere; Hong Kongers are not rude by nature, they are just conditioned to operate in very quick-moving environments with little tolerance for indecisiveness which slows down their workflow. In fact, the people I have met on my recent trip were all very friendly, and I do not even get scolded for taking their photos – some even posing for me! I grow to love this country a little more with every trip here :)

Look of the Day – Technicolour

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Look of the Day - Technicolour

Even a storm couldn’t stop me from doing a Look of the Day :) 
Top & Leggings – From Hong Kong
Tulle Skirt – Microwave (one-of-a-kind custom made for a HK celebrity – I forgot to ask who)
Shoes – Isabel Marant
Bag – Muchacha

Look of the Day - Technicolour

Guess what’s the wall behind me made out of?
Bracelets – Vintage Hollywood

Oyster Wall at Lau Fau Shan

Oyster shells! That’s the most famous produce from Lau Fau Shan ( 流浮山 or literally ‘Floating mountain’)

Lau Fau Shan Seaview

Look of the Day - Technicolour