Have you heard of the Hong Kong Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree known locally as 林村許願樹.
It has always been my wish to visit this famous Hong Kong Wishing Tree (林村許願樹) on my trips to Hong Kong. I saw it in movies, a few TVB serials, TV advertisements and some Hong Kong web sites. But I never found the time as I think it will take a very long time to reach it. I had also actually thought it would be quite difficult to go (since it is located at outskirts of Hong Kong) and would be not so easy for a foreigner to go into the New Territories area. And the name sounded to be quite rural. It is a VILLAGE. (村) = Chinese for Village.
Well, it is actually not that difficult with a bit of research and now you have my blog to show you the details too :)
In this blog post, I am going to share the directions I took to reach there. Next blog post, I will share with you what happened when I reached there and other photos :)
Take the ever fantastic MTR to Tai Po Market stop (careful. it is the Tai Po MARKET stop).
This is on the blue line and usually you change to that line at Kowloon Tang stop.
The train is slightly different in layout and design from the normal underground MTR in the Central or Kowloon area. The route is land so you see more things :)
On reaching the platform of the train station, you can see this nice sign:
At the station,
exit to the RIGHT of the station and then go to Exit A3., there is a good MTR station map at the left of the station which you can use to find the exit (at the time I was there, it was A3 but since in Feb 2013, it has changed.. I forgot to take a photo in Feb 2013).
Update in Feb 2013: Just take the exit as prescribed by the MTR station map (so please check it) and you will be walking through a set of underground paths to exit at the right place exactly to take the bus :)
You then go to the KMB bus interchange nearby via a short underpass. The bus terminal/interchange is under a shopping centre and is pretty dark :)
Look for bus 64K terminal stop. The sign is very prominent and you should be able to find it pretty easy.
The bus itself:
One thing to take note that while the full fare is HK 7.30, you don’t actually pay that amount. I think it is HK5. The amount is written on the board at the bus stop.
Why is that the case ? I am not sure but my gut feeling tells me that most people who take this bus will depart at stops half way (along the route to the various New Territories villages, farms and industrial areas) instead of all the way to Yuen Lang. And a lot of old folks are taking the bus (I am not kidding. We are the only people less than 40 years old in the bus that morning :p) and maybe it is a good concession ?
Anyway, after paying the HKD 5, how do you know when to get off the bus to reach the Wishing Tree ?
It is the stop no 12 from the Tai Po Market MTR bus terminal. My suggestion is that you use this web site to get the exact route details (I have the route printed and then loaded into my iPhone and use it as a guide along the route). I think you even download the company’s mobile app or the many bus apps in iTunes app store.
Here’s my screen shots:
Finally the bus itself also have an electronic display that stated clearly the NEXT STOP coming up at the front of the bus (just above the driver). You cannot miss it either ! :) :)
It is a very pleasant bus ride as it goes through Tai Po area which turns out to be a very prosperous area. There are quite a lot of shops, MacDonald, 7 Eleven and even many banks (including Singapore’s DBS bank).
After a while (about 6 stops), it will turn into the slightly more rural areas and you start to notice the difference and be aware of the need to pay attention to the right stop.
If you got off the stop 12 correctly, you will see this at the bus stop.
And ho and behold, the wishing tree is just opposite the bus stop. It is not hard to see it at all. It is just by the road side opposite the bus stop.And you can also see the entrance to the Lin Village. Very grand :)
And someone will try to sell you the various stuff needed to make your wishes at the wishing tree. I will tell you what you DO ACTUALLY need to buy in the next blog post :)
For those who who need GPS coordinates, these are the coordinates:
View Larger Map
I leave you with one more picture of the Wishing Tree:
One last point. The same bus stop where you stop is also the same place where you can continue the journey to Yuen Lang (元朗). Hence, my suggestion is you go to Wishing Tree as part of a trip to the equally interesting 元朗 or (update in Feb 2013) the other Wishing Tree known as 元朗大樹下天后古廟.
Also, at this bus stop, you can either take the bus 64K to Yuen Lang or in our case, we prefer to take the private mini buses. You can see them very frequently at the bus stop. It is somehow more comfortable for me in a mini bus but it might be different for you :)