Once a thriving fishing village with stilt houses, restaurants and a school, Ma Wan village now lies abandoned, slowly crumbling beneath the imposing Park Island residential complex and Tsing Ma bridge.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

In the 1980s, the town had a population of several thousand, though by 2000, it was home to around 800.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP drone.

Fish farming was the main economic activity on Ma Wan and Hongkongers would flock to its seafood eateries.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Industries in the 250-year-old village also included shrimp-drying and shrimp paste-manufacturing.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

By 2011, most residents had been evicted after Thomas Kwok’s Sun Hung Kai Properties bought most of the land.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

A park and Christian-themed theme park were built next to the village as part of the effort to ensure residents would leave.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The developer offered villagers a three-storey house or three units in the new Park Island complex, which was completed in 2006.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

While most accepted the deal, others held out in protest. Eviction efforts continue to this day.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Now, around 5,000 families live in the huge gated housing estate erected next door.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

A dilapidated playground, rural committee building and elderly home are losing their battle with nature and the city’s unrelenting humidity.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Many dwellings are locked up with “Government Property” and “No Trespassing” signs on the rusty doors, but others can be entered freely.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The town remains a tourist attraction for curious visitors, as well as a hotspot for wedding photographers.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Ma Wan is accessible by bus from Tsing Ma MTR Station or direct boat from Central Ferry Pier 2.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Private cars are not allowed and current residents complain of dwindling transport options after fare hikes and cancellation of one of the two ferry services.

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP drone.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

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Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications & New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Quartz, Global Post and others.