馬灣 Ma Wan: an abandoned village

In the name of modernisation the matchstick flat blocks stand in unison on the north-eastern edge of Ma Wan. Park Island is the name, or perhaps the concept, that was plastered onto the purpose build housing estate and “theme park” looming above the old town.

Decrepit and sinister, loose planks and crumbling bricks are collapsing into the sea. Windowpanes are shattered and gardens matted with overgrown weeds, five years is enough time to remove most traces of the former seaside dwellers.

There is a specific eeriness to the abandoned kitchens, though they are gutted, cupboards ripped off and wall and floor tiles shattered, in some the crockery is still lined up as if ready for the next meal.

 

And the boats are still tied in the alcove of the harbour, dwarfed by the enormity of the Lantau link bridge. Both an eye sore and impressive, the building of bridges has always confused me. At its grand old height 41 meters above sea level it manages, somehow, to even dwarf the sea.

Apparently many jumped at the chance to leave and set up house in a new shiny box, others protested and still do. It’s a simple feat of development but still peculiar that the buildings stand untouched by no more than a spray can and creeping foliage.

The sea air has done a good job at rusting individual fences placed around each property; in fact it seems to be persisting more than the government ban. There’s one light on in all the village – the patriot who just would not leave.


 

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