Yan O Wan “Log Pond” and Luk Keng Tsuen Lumber Works, Lantau

HF: At Yan O Wan (also Yam), the bay just west of Sunny Bay MTR station on the north Lantau coast, you can still see large vertical tree trunks embedded in the sea floor. If you are in Hong Kong have a look next time you are on your way to the airport, Tung Chung or Disneyland by road or rail.

I remember not so long ago, certainly no more than four or five years, there were logs floating on the sea and kept in place by these. I first saw them when hiking in the area in the early 1990s when there many more but there never seemed to be anything to suggest the business was active.

I wondered then, were the logs floated or brought down by boat from China? Was keeping them partially submerged in sea water an important part of whatever their final use was?

And what happened to them at  Yan O Wan or were they transferred to another place. And were they sawed or less likely used as whole tree trunks?

The blog below suggests there was a lumber mill at Luk Keng Tsuen village situated on the north coast of Yan O Wan. I went to the village in about 2010 and saw nothing to indicate what must have been  a sizeable operation judging by the photos from 1972 and 1976 below.

Can anyone provide information about and an image of the Luk Keng Tsuen/ Yan O Wan lumber mill?

This photo of Yan O Wan was taken by IDJ in 1972.

Yan O Wan-Lantau Island-Log soaking ponds-1972

Yan  O Wan image logs b

Yan O Wan 1976

The lantautraveller blogspot, linked below, posted this in August 2010. I would be grateful if the writer of this blog could contact me: Hugh Farmer indhhk {at} gmail.com

“Thanks to my curiosity and the Internet, I found that there used to be a lumber factory along Sunny Bay, or formerly known as Yam O Bay, at Luk Keng village (literally translated to “deer’s neck” which, in my opinion, is a fitting description of the landscape). Legend has it that soaking lumber in salty water or sea water would make it stronger and more resistant, therefore the stand-in-water-pillars. Yet, years ago, before the time of Disneyland, the factory moved and so were most villagers. The logs were left unattended and created this unique view. Luk Keng village is now mostly vacant except for the occasional fishermen and hikers. And for the lumbers? One by one they were knocked down by the cruel nature, one after one, they drifted away and were lost in the open sea.”

Wikipedia says: Yam O was the one and only natural lumber preservation zone in Hong Kong. True?

Yan O Wan lantautraveller blogspot log photo Aug 2010

Courtesy: http://lantautraveller.blogspot.hk/

Yan O Wan lantautraveller blogspot log photo b Aug 2010

Courtesy: http://lantautraveller.blogspot.hk/

Yan O Wan centamap

See:

  1. http://lantautraveller.blogspot.hk/2010/08/floating-logs-walk-to-remember.html
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yam_O
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luk_Keng_Village

Related Indhhk articles: Log Sawing by hand in Hong Kong

2 Comments

  • Phil

    Hi Hugh

    If you watch Jackie Chan’s 1983 film “Project A”, there is a scene filmed in Yam O with the floating logs. Sadly, I don’t remember seeing a saw mill, but will check again and see if it is captured.
    Cheers
    Phil

    • Hello Phil

      Any information about a saw mill at Yan/Yam O would be helpful. Even better with an appearance of Jackie Chan on location!

      Good luck with your search.

      Best wishes
      Hugh

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