Stories behind MTR stations2016.10.27
The easiest way to get around Hong Kong is by travelling on the MTR. We can also learn more about our city by taking the train to visit places.
THE development of the mass transit railway has helped Hong Kong to prosper. The vast network offers fast and convenient travel to various parts of the city. Junior Standard has picked five stations which reflect the history and culture of Hong Kong.
Yuen Long--From swamp to town
YUEN Long (元朗) was developed as early as the Qing Dynasty which began in 1644. It was once a swamp surrounded by small hills. But its rich natural resources attracted settlers. In the 1970s, the Hong Kong government developed Yuen Long into a new town. Since then, its population has grown along with urbanisation. Yuen Long station on the West Rail Line (西鐵綫) is the perfect stopover for people travelling to the northern New Territories.
Yuen Long and Sheung Shui (上水) have become paradises for parallel traders. They snap up popular goods such as infant milk powder and household products and take them across the border to sell at a huge profit. The practice was so rampant that the government has restricted the amount of milk powder that can be taken out of Hong Kong.
Olympic--The golden touch
WINDSURFER Lee Lai-shan made history at the Atlanta (亞特蘭大) 1996 Olympics by securing Hong Kong’s first – and so far only – gold medal. Also in that year, two Hong Kong paralympians struck gold. Their achievements prompted officials to rename the proposed Tai Kok Tsui (大角嘴) station on the Tung Chung Line (東涌綫) as Olympic station (奧運站).Illustrations of Hong Kong athletes adorn the MTR station, which is the only one to have a name that bears no relevance to its location.
Tin Hau-- Honouring a sea goddess
HONG Kong began life as a small fishing village. Its seafarers worshipped ‘Tin Hau’, the sea goddess and looked to her for protection. The city has many Tin Hau temples where people pray and burn incense. Tin Hau Station (天后站) on the Island Line (港島綫) was named after a nearby temple in Causeway Bay (銅鑼灣). The surrounding area has since been called Tin Hau. Most people who visit Tin Hau nowadays do so to enjoy cuisine from various countries.
Choi Hung--The colours of the rainbow
CHOI Hung (彩虹) in Cantonese means rainbow. One station on the Kwun Tong Line is named after a nearby public housing estate, Choi Hung Estate(彩虹村). The housing blocks are painted in different colours of the rainbow. The design is reflected in the station’s platforms. Visit Choi Hung Estate for a sense of nostalgia. There are many family-run grocery stores and restaurants. Neighbours are friendly with one another. Rediscovering the beauty of old Hong Kong has become a photography fad, so take a snapshot with the colourful building blocks in the background!
Whampoa-- From ships to trains
WHAMPOA Station is now the new terminus of the Kwun Tong Line (觀塘綫). Its completion eases traffic congestion in the Hung Hom (紅磡) area. The station was named after the Whampoa Dockyard. It was once among the largest and most important dockyards in Asia (亞洲), but was heavily bombed by Japanese (日本的) aircraft during World War II. In 1985, the dockyard was converted to a large private housing estate, Whampoa Garden. One of the two exits of Whampoa station is right beside the housing project.