Tai Po District lies in the northeast of the New Territories, covering an
area of some 14,700hectares. The district is made up of two distinct geographical
areas - Tai Po proper and Sai Kung North. Sai Kung North is part of Tai Po
because it was the tradition for residents of Sai Kung North to come to Tai Po to
market their produce, and they have established close links with Tai Po. Over the
years, these links have remained strong.
Documentary references associated with Tai Po date back to the Tang Dynasty
when the district was named Hui Chou Ying. It was then famous for its pearl
During the Sung Dynasty, warfare coupled with frequent foreign
invasions resulted in migration from the mainland southwards. Some of the people
eventually settled in Tai Po, the population of which grew gradually since.
During the Ming Dynasty, the TANG clan settled in Tai Po. They built the "Filial
Son Temple", Tai Po Tau Village and the market place. This market, now known as
Tai Po Old Market, was on a plain north of Lam Tsuen River and it monopolised
businesses in Tai Po. As population and produce increased, the MAN clan of
Tai Hang village organized seven villages in its vicinity into a "Tsat Yeuk"
and in 1892 built a new market, the Tai Wo Shi. In celebration of the
establishment of Tai Wo Shi, the Tsat Yeuk Rural Committee built the Man Mo
Temple. It also built roads adjacent to the temple and developed the town area
which became the Tai Po Market of today. The building of Kwong Fuk Brige
across Lam Tsuen River which once separated the two markets enhanced the
expansion of commercial activities in Tai Po, making it a market centre of the
The New Territories was leased to Britain in 1898. That
year, the then Capta-Superintendent of Police, Sir Francis Henry May,
officiated at a flag-hoisting ceremony at the old Tai Po Police Station site,
signifying the beginning of the New Territories Administration. Since then,
Tai Po became an important administrative centre for the New Territories.
The inauguration of the Kowloon-Canton Railway service
in 1910 further enhanced the development of the district.
There are about 320,000 residents in Tai Po. Most of them live
in private tenement buildings and six public housing estates in the
New and Old Market. The others live in the 80 plus villages in