The Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail is the second of its kind established in the New Territories by the government, The idea of setting up a heritage trail in the historic area of Lung Yeuk Tau was initiated by the Antiquities Advisory Board. With the full support of local residents, the North District Council, the Architectural Services Department, the North District Office, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, it was brought to fruition after several years of preparation by the Antiquities and Monuments Office. The Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail was officially opened to the public on 4 December 1999.
Located to the northeast of Luen Wo Hui in Fanling in the New Territories, Lung Yeuk Tau derives its name from the nearby mountain range Lung Yeuk Ling, which is itself named after the “leaping dragon” that legend relates once inhabited the mountain. The area is commonly known as Lung Ku Tau and is also called Lung Ling (“dragon mountain”).
One of the “Five Great Clans” of the New Territories, the Tangs of Lung Yeuk Tau originally came from Jishui in Jiangxi province. They enjoy the strongest claim to royal lineage among their fellow clansmen, as they trace their descent back to the eldest son of a princess of the Song dynasty who, after finding refuge with the clan in the south in the early Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279), married Tang Wai Kap of Kam Tin. The descendants of the eldest son moved to Lung Yeuk Tau at the end of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). As the clan prospered, it branched out to the neighbouring area and established the present-day “Five Wais and Six Tsuens” in the space of a few hundred years.
The “Five Wais (walled villages)” are Lo Wai, Ma Wat Wai, Wing Ning Wai, Tung Kok Wai (also known as Ling Kok Wai) and San Wai (also called Kun Lung Wai). The “Six Tsuens (villages)” are Ma Wat Tsuen, Wing Ning Tsuen (also called Tai Tang), Tsz Tong Tsuen, San Uk Tsuen, Siu Hang Tsuen and Kun Lung Tsuen.
The Tangs of the area still practise traditional village customs, including communal worship in the spring and autumn and the Tin Hau Festival. A lantern-lighting ceremony is held for newborn boys on the 15th day of the first lunar month, while on the first day of the second lunar month an ancestral worship ceremony and vegetarian feast is held. What's more, the Tai Ping Ching Chiu Festival (“the Purest Sacrifice Celebrated for Great Peace”) is held once every decade and celebrated by the whole Tang clan as well as the inhabitants of neighbouring villages.
Many traditional Chinese buildings and structures, including the Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall and the Tin Hau Temple, together with the walls and entrance gates and the residences of some of the walled villages such as Lo Wai and San Wai, have been preserved in their original state.