Initially published: Sept 2021
Republished: Nov 2023
Pokfulam Village, located on the western edge of HK Island, is one of the oldest villages in Hong Kong, dating back to the 19th century. Some historians and cultural heritage experts regard Pokfulam Village as "the only traditional village on Hong Kong Island” because it is only in Pokfulam Village that the descendants of the original residents can be found to live together.
The Dairy Farm was set up back in 1886 by Scottish surgeon, Sir Patrick Manson and five businessmen to improve the health of Hong Kong by breeding cattle locally to provide Hong Kong with fresh milk at affordable prices. Imagine rearing cattle in a sub-tropical place like HK, it must have been a challenge!
At its peak, there were around 50 cowsheds on 300 acres of farmlands at the Dairy Farm. The farm closed in the 1970s and many parts of it became housing estates of Wah Fu and Chi Fu Fa Yuen but even today you can see some cattle sheds, manure pits on the peripheries! Today, the Dairy Farm company still exists but in a new avatar. It is a giant retailer with many household names in HK such as Wellcome, Mannings, Maxim’s and the franchises of 7-Eleven and IKEA.
The Dairy Farm occupied the hillsides above Pokfulam Village, between Pokfulam Road and Victoria Road, and below Victoria Road where Bel Air (not) On The Peak now stands. Some of the original site has been redeveloped and is now occupied by the Vocational Training Council and others. An easy point of access to the un-redeveloped part of the site is through this garbage collection point on Pokfulam Road, opposite Chi Fu Estate.
Entry to un-redeveloped parts of the village
Although the Dairy Farm has ceased to exist, the tight-knit community continues to thrive and cultural traditions maintained across so many generations. The village is home to people from different Chinese ethnic groups. The community's most important tradition is the Fire Dragon Dance that takes places during the Mid-Autumn Festival every year. Villagers insert incense into a straw-filled, hand-crafted dragon and visit each household, they believe this is a form of bringing blessings and fostering a spirit of community. The dance was inscribed on Hong Kong's Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2011.
Pokfulam village today
Now that you know the history behind the village, why not get away from the hustle-bustle of HK city and take a walk back in time in the Pokfulam village!
For a walking trail map around the village, check out: https://pokfulamvillage.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/s_Kitty-Yuen_mapping_03.jpg