'Beach Chalets' in Tsuen Wan district | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

'Beach Chalets' in Tsuen Wan district

There are at least 4 old buildings - pre-war - on the steps down from Castle Peak Road to Ho Mei Beach in Tsuen Wan district which I can only describe as, at a guess, old beach chalets.   I was wondering if anyone knows the background history to these ?    You have to take a look to see the curiosity value in them - apologies, no photos this time!

The steps to the beach are next to the Airport Core Programme Exhibition Centre - in the old Homi Villa built for the Ruttonjee family and later British Army quarters.

There is a picnic site on a brick edged platform between chalets 1 and 4 ( they are numbered on the outside ) which looks as though it used to be a concrete wartime bunker - not surprising as the view from that location is quite commanding, and is presumably why the marine department Ma Wan control station is nearby,  controlling shipping flows around the Tsing Ma bridge.

There is also a similar looking chalet near Lido Beach a little further along in Ting Kau - but this one looks less interesting.  Perhaps there were more in this location before the widening of Castle Peak Road.

It's a slightly off-beat subject - but I thought I'd post it on the off-chance someone knows which source material might have the answer !  Thanks !


There's a photo of half of the chalet at the lowest level ( actually on the beach ) here: http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/beach/graphics/Beach/large/TW-Hoi%20Mei%20Wan%20Beach.JPG

And the beach is called 'Ho Mei Wan Beach'.

Hi anon, I don't know that area so well. Wondering if this picture is taken in that area. http://gwulo.com/node/6937

I think it was, you're right.  At the ACP exhibition building, there's a terrace looking east at that location - perhaps the photographer was invited to Homi Villa at the time that it was army officers quarters - presumably post-war.

But it does look odd, as to the right of the building is water - so it looks as if the photo is of land being reclaimed.   Perhaps it was just a very high tide on the beach.   From the alignment of the hills behind though, it certainly looks like the location.  If you tilt your view of the location in Google Earth more towards the horizontal it sort of gives you the confirmation of the location.

The beach in the distance looks in the right location to be Lido Beach.  

Anyone know if there actually was a lido at Lido Beach ?  If so, it could have been either a sea water lido, or a fresh water lido - the latter might have used the mountain stream coming down the gulley now covered by the massive pillars for the viaducts at the north end of the Ting Kau Bridge.

Incidentally, there was a landslip blocking Castle Peak Road just above Lido Beach the day after the handover, resulting from the massive downpour.

I am Anon, now logged in.

I posted under Bungalow by the Sea some time ago. If you do a search for John Olson on the site you will see this posting. There is a picture there. My family called it a bungalow by the sea they were building and this was about 1918.

You will see there was no firm identification from the post.

Hope this will be of help.

Sean - I'm unsure if you're telling me that your photo is from that same location as I have mentioned or whether you're asking for help identifying the location of your photo.  

From my knowledge of the coastline along the Castle Peak Road, your photo location could well be from somewhere along there, but it could equally be almost anywhere else.   Even with those headlands in the background in your photo, it's very difficult to imagine where the location could be.  

Assuming a location of somewhere around the western New Territories, my best guess is that it might be around where the Siu Lam Police Quarters are now - a headland just to the west of the Tai Lam Chung estuary.  You can look across to Lantau from there and the headlands in the background look to be about the same elevation and distance as in your photo, and very approximately the same profile.   The gap in the headlands would be where the road is now from Sunny Bay MTR towards Disneyland.    A complete guess of mine - it could be, but probably is not.  :)

Thanks for the trouble you have been too. I have given up trying to identify where the bungalow was but thought it might be of  some help to you as it might accord with your info. Just taking a chance.

Afraid my family in HK took the view that when they left in the early 1920s they would keep their past in the past! Not surprising probably as they were Eurasian or married to Eurasians and the times did not like that. The story is in www.thehongkonglegacy.com if you are interested.

Again thanks for your help.


Does anyone know where to look for info on the topic here ?

The only replies so far have really been about other people asking for help in identifying their own locations...

Thanks !

Anonymous, I'm not sure.

It's a bit hard to visualise what you're describing - photos would be a big help, and might get you some more ideas.

Regards, David