Event #9: Lei Yue Mun
December 13, 2014 / 1:00pm – 4:30pm

Lei Yue Mun: Land of defense and quarry

The name of Lei Yue (Carp) Mun (Gate) is based on a description in the document from the Qing Dynasty, which reads “Lei Yue Mun, located to the east of Gup Shui Mun (Rushing Water Gate). According to the folklore, if the carp leaves and swims to the ocean from here, it will turn into a dragon.” Located at the far edge of the southeast of the Victoria Harbor, Lei Yue Mun on the island side is actually a sea passage, whereas the Lei Yue Mun at Sam Ka Tsuen (Three Families’ Village) near Yau Tong on the Kowloon side is most well-known to the public as a seafood bazaar.

Lei Yue Mun is the only soil surviving the destruction of the natural coastline of Kowloon Bay where continual reclamation had begun since the 1910s. This city-village is still full of natural sceneries and is well worth visiting. The area is today renowned for her exotic seafood. She is mistakenly regarded as an old fishing village by most visitors, even the historians. In fact, Lei Yue Mun had never been peace and calm like today. In the early 20th century, most of the inhabitants earned their living from the quarry as miners. Granite was the most famous production from the village. Nearby is Devil’s Peak, where local pirates stationed and the British Army once garrisoned to control the passage of Lei Yue Mun.

Tin Hau Temple

The history of this temple can date back to 1753, it was believed to be built by Cheng Lin Cheong, a “Pirate” and a subordinate of General Cheng Shing Kung, vestigial loyal subject of the late Ming Emperor. Yet, what can be seen today was mostly rebuilt in 1953. Worshipping Tin Hau (Goddess of the Sea) seems to be reasonable for villagers living by seashore; however, the location of this temple was more likely to be a warning fort to watch for the imperial navy fleet approaching for the pirates.

The Old Quarry

Lei Yue Mun is rich in granite; it used to produce granite from the famous quarry, which supplied the stones for urban construction a hundred years ago. In the early 19th century, Lei Yue Mun and nearby districts were mountainous areas well known for the production of stone quarries in Kowloon. Hakka people there formed alliance and named it “Four Mountain”. Stone quarry grinding is the pillar industry of these areas. It is said that the Former Legislative Council, the old Bank of China building in Central, or even Sacred Heart Cathedral in Guangzhou, were all built with the granite from “Four Mountain”.