Mystery buildings at Lo So Shing beach, Lamma Island

HF: At the northern end of Lo So Shing beach on Lamma Island are a few steps leading up into undergrowth and trees. Years ago I noticed almost hidden away there were some dilapidated structures that I thought might have been a small manufacturing concern.

I was at the beach recently and had another look. All that is now left are the remains of two rectangular buildings and a much smaller square one. Some concrete posts, a few angled, wooden roof supports and some rusty, corrugated iron sheets. No walls, windows, doors etc remain.

One building is about 5m x 5m. The other 7m x 5m. Both are 3m tall.

The smaller building is about 2m high, 2.5m long and 1.5m wide. In and around this structure are a number of ceramic bowls, cooking pots, plastic container. There was a sign there with a printed packet of cigarettes and hand painted Chinese characters. All of which strongly suggested a restaurant.

I asked Mak Ho Yin to confirm that the sign was indeed what I thought.

Ho Yin writes: Decades ago the cigarette industry enjoyed more freedom of advertising in Hong Kong, therefore there were The Marlboro Tennis Open (later Salem Tennis Open) and The Viceroy Cup (football). Besides these million-dollar budget sponsorships, they also provide signboards of small posters for restaurants so that we still saw their names on our street corners. The same as what Coca Cola does at our cha-chaan-tengs [literally: tea restaurants].

The photo of the signboard you sent me is an item of this kind from Viceroy cigarettes, presumably put at a restaurant. The top is the pre-printed advertisement of Viceroy; the hand-written words in white from the shop owner mean “Welcome” and “Cold drinks available; on the wooden shelf”.

HF: So there we have it. However, if my memory serves me well this eatery must have closed at least 20 years ago. And the buildings seem too large to have been only a restaurant in what was a rather remote spot in the mid 1990s. Were they ever used for something else?

Can anyone add anything further about these mystery structures?

HF: I took these photos on 2nd December 2015.

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One comment

  • tngan

    Hi there,

    Back in those days, the site is likely renting out some items like Mahjong sets with chips and folding tables, Outdoor lightings, BBQ stuffs. Other than ciggy, cooked food and softdrinks (including beer if they have the permit) they may have other packaged stuffs. Straw hats, maybe? Maybe even a crude locker/tent/shower facilities for swimmers……

    Probably a setup similar to present day Ah Por Dau Fu Fa between Hung Sing Yeh Beach & Yung Shue Wan along the way but with a bit more varieties to offer.

    My 2 cents,

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