Convenient feng shui and Chinese gods at Waterfall Bay Park

Convenient feng shui and Chinese gods at Waterfall Bay Park

A little-known seaside spot in Hong Kong makes for a great day trip
waterfall bay park hong kong
The park's namesake water feature.

Convenience is the hallmark of Waterfall Bay Park, an oasis that sits oddly beside the Wah Fu public housing estate on the west of Hong Kong Island. For centuries, passing ships found it a handy spot to stock up on the fresh water that cascaded into the sea from the waterfall.

Today, it is one of the most peaceful places you can easily reach from the center of the city.

Despite its accessibility, the park remains untrammeled by weekend crowds. The low-key atmosphere has helped to maintain an idiosyncratic stock of attractions.

Next to the waterfall, the ruins of a World War II pillbox and searchlight are a bleak reminder of Hong Kong's wartime history. With a commanding view over the channel separating Lamma and Hong Kong islands, the pillbox served as a bunker for Allied troops fighting off the Japanese, who invaded and occupied Hong Kong in 1941.

Next to the pillbox the old searchlight, known as a Lyon Light, was powered by a small gas generator. You can explore the ruins by walking across the bay at low tide; at high tide, a path runs over the top of the waterfall.

Further along the coast, at the other end of the park, lies another surprise: hundreds of porcelain gods meticulously positioned in the woods, along a path and on rocks next to the sea. Many people consider it unlucky to discard a statue of a god, so rather than throw it into the trash, they bring it here for a lengthy seaside retirement.

Similar collections of statues reside in other spots around Hong Kong, usually on hillsides or next to the ocean, but this is one of the largest and most impressive. Somebody has even gone to the pain of cementing some of the figurines to an offshore rock; how they survive the summer typhoons is a mystery.

In the midst of all the statues stands a small shrine that is used as a weekend gathering spot for men who play cards and Chinese chess. It’s no wonder why they return every week, or why this location was chosen for the religious statues: the feng shui here is amazing.

In fact, it’s so good that Wah Fu Estate, which overlooks Waterfall Bay, is claimed to be Hong Kong’s most fortunate public housing estate, which might explain the number of BMWs and Audis parked in its garages.

How to get there: Waterfall Bay is located in Wah Fu, which is served by a plethora of buses. From Kowloon, take the 970, 973 or 170. From Central, take the 40, 40M, 30X or the 4. From Causeway Bay, take the 72, 42, 41A or 69 minibus. Follow signs to the waterfall, which is roughly a 10-minute walk from any point in Wah Fu.

 

waterfall bay park hong kongPicnic perfect bay.

waterfall bay park hong kongOld dudes chilling out contribute to the mellow vibes at the park.

 

waterfall bay park hong kongThe statues' seaside retirement home.

Christopher DeWolf is a writer, photographer and self-styled flâneur.
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