Ng Yuen (龍仔悟園) Lantau
Lung Tsai Ng Yuen (龍仔悟園) is surely one of the most surprising places in Hong Kong's countryside - a Chinese landscaped garden set in the hills of southwest Lantau Island, accessible only by hiking. I've read that it was developed and planted with ornamental trees by the late Mr Woo Quen-sung in the 1960s (this info from Hong Kong Country Parks, by Stella Thrower). Also known as Ng Yuen Garden, it's within the Man Cheung Po SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).
Though the buildings and zigzag bridge over the carp pond are ageing [by 2012, in worse condition than in my photo here], Mr Woo's descendants maintain the garden - though lack funds for the buildings. Sadly, it's usually closed to the public - though you can enjoy the above view from the dam used to create the pond (signs warn this dam is unsafe; maybe some day it will crumble).
At times, I have been lucky enough to arrive and find the garden was open - so took the chance to wander around, and take photos.
Inside Ng Yuen Garden, Lantau
Just inside the gate, there's this footbridge across a small stream.
Across the bridge is a wall, decorated with ceramic tiles featuring Chinese paintings.
There's a clump of big old bamboo.
A little further into the garden, on the hillside, a pair of ceramic lions (there's also one on the right) guards a stairway to a house.
And there's the main building, topped by this fine viewing pagoda. (Sadly, couldn't access this.)
Then, there's the carp pond, and the zigzag bridge with its own pavilion. It's a wonderful spot for relaxing, and maybe tossing bread to the carp and the few red and orange goldfish.
[Since I took this shot, the bridge has become more dangerous, so is closed to all visitors.]
Though Ng Yuen is a tremendous place, it appears to my eyes that the buildings could use some maintenance. Maybe the government could help - or perhaps HK Govt is too set on dreaming up Big Silly Projects to do something as relatively simple and sensible as ensuring the future of magical Ng Yuen, Hong Kong's only folly.
[The family owning Ng Yuen is beginning a little renovation work, though also seeks funding. As yet, the government has not proven helpful.]