10. Confluence of Two Rivers
If you look towards the direction of Yuen Long Town centre, not far from here is the confluence of the old natural channel of Kam Tin River and Shan Pui River. Before the river training works, the confluence of Kam Tin and Shan Pui River was to the south of Nam Sang Wai instead of to the north as at present.
The river environs was more prosperous in the past. The village, Shan Pui Chung Hau Tsuen, was established beside the river, and stilt houses are still found along the riverbanks today.
During the Ming Dynasty, Shan Pui River was deep enough for navigation. During the Qing Dynasty, people travelled between Lantau Island and Yuen Long by small boats. There was once a boat factory nearby making wooden boats and paddles. Navigation contributed to the establishment of Yuen Long Market, which is now called Kau Hui, the Old Market. It was more prosperous here in the past. Shan Pui Chung Hau Tsuen (a village) was established by the river, and stilt houses can still be found along the riverbanks. In the early 20th century, land transport gradually replaced navigation by river channel, as Castle Peak Road was connected to Yuen Long and the river channel became increasingly shallow. Today, there is basically no waterways travel along Shan Pui River.
The estuary is a rich fishing ground. In bygone days, fishermen set up stake nets on the mudflats at the Shan Pui River estuary to catch fish that swam into Deep Bay as the tide ebbed, e.g. Yellowfin Seabream (Acanthopagrus latus) and Japanese Eel (Anguilla japonica).
The confluence of the old natural channel of Kam Tin River (left) and Shan Pui River (right)
Stilt houses at Shan Pui Chung Hau Tsuen
Shan Pui Chung Hau Tsuen was established by the river
During the Qing Dynasty, people travelled between Lantau Island and Yuen Long by small boats via Shan Pui River.
A hand-pulled boat at the old Kam Tin River estuary in the 1970s (Photo by Howard Leung)
Hand pulled boat are used to cross the old river channel of Kam Tin River
© Copyright by Green Power