Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree

sights / Religious

Lonely Planet review

Until a short time ago Tai Po was the springboard for this large banyan tree, laden with coloured streamers of paper tied to oranges, in the village of Fong Ma Po to the west. The idea was to write your wish on a piece of paper, tie it to the citrus fruit and then throw it as high as you could up into the tree. If your fruit lodged in the branches, you were in luck – and the higher it went, the more chance there was of your wish coming true. But in 2005 a large branch of the tree came crashing to the ground, dashing most punters’ wishes once and for all.

Now the tree is being left alone to recover and, in the name of conservation, wish makers can only tie their wishing papers to Chinese-style wooden racks, or throw plastic fruits (available from the on-site vendors) onto a plastic tree. There’s a small Tin Hau temple nearby, replete with fortune-tellers, to compensate for your curtailed wish making.

To reach the tree catch bus 64K from the Tai Po Market East Rail station and alight at Fong Ma Po.