This large banyan tree, laden with coloured paper streamers tied to oranges, was long considered a good-luck spot. 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 high in the branches, you were in luck. But damage to the tree has recently altered – though not erased – this tradition.
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.