Lai Chi WOW! Ep 1: The Four Mascots and Village History Lai Chi WOW! Ep 1: The Four Mascots and Village History Lai Chi WOW! Ep 1: The Four Mascots and Village History
Lai Chi WOW! Ep 1: The Four Mascots and Village History
The Four Mascots of Lai Chi Wo
Lai Chi Wo is located at North East New Territories. It is part of the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark. It cultures a diversity of species in its various ecosystems such as a mangrove forest, rice fields and a water lily pond. Four protected species at Lai Chi Wo: Orange-tailed Midget (dragonfly),
Plain Hedge Blue (butterfly), Chinese Bullfrog (frog) and Rice Fish are together our “Four Mascots of Lai Chi Wo”. Watch the video to know more about them!
There are 128 species of dragonflies in Hong Kong, over 40% can be found in Lai Chi Wo. One of the most common species is the Orange-tailed Midget, which inhabits the rice fields. Its nymphs mature to adulthood in a year, grow wings and fly into the sky. You can see them in Lai Chi Wo from Summer to Autumn.
Plain Hedge Blue
The Plain Hedge Blue is a rare butterfly species that can be found at the rice fields in Lai Chi Wo. 160 out of 266 species of butterflies in Hong Kong inhabit Lai Chi Wo. We can see butterflies collecting nectar from March to September.
There are 23 species of frogs in Hong Kong in which 10 of them can be found in Lai Chi Wo, including the Chinese Bullfrog. They are active around the water lily pond at night. Different species of frogs have different voices, just like a choir.
RiceFish, a.k.a. Oryzias Curvinotus, is a native freshwater fish species in Hong Kong. They are active in rice field habitats. Juvenile Rice Fish is only the size of a needle while mature ones are about half a tail finger big. A conservation group launched a restoration scheme of Rice Fish in Lai Chi Wo in 2018. There are now more than 2000 of them!
Fiddler Crabs and Shuttles Hoppfish live in the mangrove forest
A rice field in Lai Chi Wo
The water lily pond is frogs’ home
Apart from the above-mentioned species, there are many more at Lai Chi Wo. Go visit them someday!
On top of its rich biodiversity, Lai Chi Wo has a very long cultural history. It is a more than 300 years old Hakka village, the largest of the seven “Hing Chun Alliance” villages, founded by the Wong and Tsang families. As its population grew to its threshold of over a thousand villagers, some of the families moved out to build new villages nearby. In the past, many lychee (“Lai Chi” in Cantonese) trees were planted in Lai Chi Wo. It has three sides of mountains and one side facing the sea like a nest (“Wo” in Cantonese), thus is named “Lai Chi Wo”.
In the 60s to 70s, more and more villagers moved to the city, causing the village to decline. In 2013, people’s awareness to the life in countryside aroused. Parties collaborated to start community and farming revitalisation projects in Lai Chi Wo. Some of the Hakka houses were refurnished into hostels. Most of the Hakka architecture features were kept for the travelers to experience Hakka farming life.
Nowadays, various activities are held in Lai Chi Wo, such as village festival workshops, eco-tours, live music performance. There are also exhibition centres, Lai Chi Wo Story Room and Siu Ying Story Room. The former was refurnished from Hakka house, introduces Hakka lifestyle culture in four main aspects: traditional medicine and herbs, Hakka cuisine, ceremony of traditional weddings, and Hakka folk songs. The later exhibits the history of the seven villages, its farming and trading, and more. It is formerly a part of the Siu Ying Primary School.
Traditional Hakka stove was kept in the house
Visitors can listen to Hakka folk songs in Lai Chi Wo Story Room
Siu Ying Story Room is formerly a part of the Siu Ying Primary School