I love discovering abandoned structures in Hong Kong. So, when I learned about an abandoned treehouse that was once a Thai temple in Tai Wo, I had to visit it!
After all, I loved exploring the abandoned Hindu temple in Burma Lines.
About the Abandoned Thai temple
There is something fascinating about finding these hidden gems in Hong Kong. Whether they’re from WWII or built by people that once inhabited this land, it feels like peeling the many layers of this wonderful city.
Although I’m not completely certain about the history of this treehouse, it is located behind Wat Makthumvanaram (sometimes referred to as Wat Tai Wo or simply the Tai Wo Thai temple).
The ruins of treehouse beautifully blend into the natural surroundings. Standing on top of a stream, this temple provides visitors with a sense of tranquillity.
Getting to the ruins is an easy 20-30 minute walk from the Tai Wo MTR station.
You just need to ensure that Wat Makthumvanaram is open and not celebrating any major festival or holiday because access to the abandoned treehouse is through the temple’s premises.
So, let’s highlight the simplest route to this beautiful treehouse in Tai Wo.
Tai Wo MTR Station to Kam Shek New Village
After arriving at Tai Wo MTR Station, take Exit A and exit the mall. From there, walk down the steps, take a right and then a left in order to continue walking alongside the Assembly Of God Hebron Secondary School.
Cross the bridge that is up ahead and then enter Kam Shek New Village. Once inside the village, following the path as it goes around a children’s playground, known as Kam Shek New Village Playground.
This path will lead to the main road on the other side. Keep walking straight on this road, till you exit Kam Shek New Village.
Notice the roundabout on the other side of the road, with a green minibus stop that can be spotted. Cross the road to reach the roundabout.
Shek Kwu Lung Village to Wat Makthumvanaram (Wat Tai Wo)
Once at the roundabout, a noticeable sign for the village and the Thai temple should be present.
Enter Shek Kwu Lung Village and continue along the path until reaching the last house. At this point, the path will curve left and lead to a footbridge that crosses over a stream.
Cross this footbridge and continue on the path that runs alongside the stream. After the path crosses the last house, an incline can be seen going uphill to the right. This incline is accompanied by a sign indicating the presence of Wat Makthumvanaram, the Thai temple.
Take this incline as it gradually climbs uphill and passes under New Territories Circular Road. Continue walking and don’t forget to admire the stream below.
Eventually, the path will arrive at a house with a small garden outside. Stay on the path and walk around the house in order to reach the entrance to Wat Makthumvanaram.
Wat Makthumvanaram (Wat Tai Wo) to the Abandoned Treehouse Thai Temple
Quick reminder, if the entrance to the temple is closed, turn back as this the way to the abandoned treehouse.
Enter the temple premises and walk towards the main courtyard. Please be quiet and respectful once inside.
Wat Makthumvanaram, also known as Wat Tai Wo, is one of the more prominent Thai Temples in Hong Kong and is especially popular during the Thai New Year or Songkran.
The main courtyard is adorned is usually adorned with bright colours and features a large statue of Buddha on the far end.
Walk across the courtyard and locate a flight of steps behind the statues. Walk down these steps to arrive at another footbridge. Located on the opposite side of the footbridge, and across the stream, the abandoned treehouse.
The Abandoned Treehouse
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any authoritative history on the abandoned treehouse, but according to multiple sources, it was once a Thai temple too.
Some refer to it as the Siu Ling Shan century-old treehouse and claim it is over a 100-years old.
But putting the history aside, one cannot help but admire such a beautiful sight. A treehouse built on top of a boulder, alongside a tree whose roots reach into the stream below for nourishment.
The treehouse, now in ruins, has been taken over by nature and become a part of its surroundings.
The stream and the rocks add a bit of fairytale-like charm to the abandoned treehouse, making it almost a mystical site. Despite all the mosquitoes and insects, it was still a magical experience!
Note: Please carry insect repellent when visiting.
Spend some time walking around the treehouse and admiring it from various angles. Try not to enter or climb it as it may be disrespectful, and more importantly, dangerous due to the unstable structure.
And after you’re done soaking in the charm of the abandoned Thai temple treehouse, you can retrace your steps back to Tai Wo MTR Station.
An Abandoned Thai Temple in Tai Wo
On our way back, we noticed a beautiful Chinese pavilion on the other side of the stream, as we were approaching Shek Kwu Lung Village. So, we decide to navigate our way to the village’s narrow alleys to this pavilion.
The Chinese Pavilion too lies vacant and perhaps abandoned. I couldn’t find much information on this pavilion, but we were happy to have seen such a beautiful pavilion along with the abandoned treehouse. It became a two-for-one day!
We hope you enjoyed our guide to the abandoned treehouse behind the Thai temple in Tai Wo. If you loved this abandoned temple, we highly recommend a visit to the abandoned Hindu temple is Burma Lines (Fanling).
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