Special Tourist Destinations: Can Lamma be the Next Sardinia / Corsica? (Part2)   ( 2013/01/22 )

Last time we have talked about how Sardinia and Corsica retain their unique local cultures, while at the same time being tourist hotspots in Europe. In fact, Lamma Island also has the potential to be Hong Kong’s Sardinia or Corsica.

Lamma Island, being the third largest island and one of the most ancient settlement places in Hong Kong, has left many historical traces and natural sceneries. Except the granite-based landscape formed billions of years ago, unique landforms due to weathering and erosions, old stone carvings, villages and temples, the indigenous Lamma people have also retained Lamma’s unique simple lifestyle. For example, they collect various food for their living, such as fish, herbs, sea urchins, abalones, star fruits, and plantains, etc., and produce self-made products such as local shrimp pastes, dried shrimps, and seaweed. All these can be found easily on this tranquil island.

Although the Government has documented a few heritage sites on Lamma Island, some historic buildings such as Yung Shue Ha Village, Mo Tat Old Village and Mo Tat School are not suitable for tourist visit due to dilapidation. Some buildings are even taken over by trees! In addition to years of weathering, it is difficult for others to find out how these buildings really look like and the hidden stories behind. Conservation does not mean simply to keep things untouched, but it requires appropriate human intervention and proper management. These buildings are precious traces of Lamma Island as well as Hong Kong, something has to be done to preserve it!

In fact, the geographical and cultural advantages of Lamma Island are similar to those of Corsica and Sardinia. As an Asian metropolitan, Hong Kong should consider developing Lamma Island as a new world-known leisure destination while maintaining the Island’s original lifestyles and rejuvenating its historical buildings. With just a little more effort, “development” and “cultural inheritance” can co-exist and even complement each other to achieve something beyond our imagination.

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