A "wishing tree" put a rural village called Lam Tsuen (Lam's Village) on Hong Kong's tourism map. The practice was to write a wish on a piece of joss paper that is tied to an orange, face the opposite direction of the tree, and perform a backward throw. It was believed that the wish will come true if the wishing pack successfully hang to a branch of a tree.
|Wishing Tree at Lam Tsuen, Tai Po, Hong Kong|
With the increasing number of visitors to this famous tree, the villagers have decided to turn this traditional practice into a business. As a results, more and more visitors threw their wishes and heavy oranges onto the tree, and eventually damaged the tree.
The endangered tree is now supported by wooden structures. While visitors can still write their wishes on joss paper, they can no longer throw it to the wishing tree. A plastic tree has been set up however, to give an opportunity for visitors to throw plastic oranges onto the plastic tree.
|The new plastic wishing tree|
Transportation to the village is a challenge. One can reach Lam Tsuen (or simply call it Wishing Tree) by Taxi of mini bus from the Tai Wo or Tai Po Market MTR (train) station. Expect to be approached by villages with a strong "business mind" as you walk into the village. Beware, the "wishing" at the plastic tree and the actual tree are operated by two different parties.
If they offer wishing joss paper for $10 HKD and refer you to the actual tree, it means that you will not be throwing to the plastic tree. If you walk further into the village and pay around $30 HKD, you may make a wish and throw plastic oranges onto the plastic tree.
|Lam Tsuen, Hong Kong|
There are no admission fee to just visits (or browse) the wishing tree and the village.