Friday, April 17, 2015

The Young Master - Jackie Chan (1980) - Abandoned House Revisted, Lam Tsuen

Following on from my previous post where I had quite accidentally stumbled upon the old abandoned house courtesy of a local hiking website (see here for a reminder), I decided to go and get some of my own snaps today, and I think it was perhaps a very good job I did.

This post really epitomises what I love about finding these filming locations. I probably first saw this film sometime in the late 80's/early 90's and many scenes are ingrained into my memory. It's a great feeling to be standing in the same spot you saw all those years ago on film.

Anyway, the house is located next to Ling Wan Monastery (淩雲寺) at the far end of Lam Kam Road in Lam Tsuen (actually, the monastery even has its own bus stop on the 64K route from Tai Po to Yuen Long). You simply alight at the aforementioned bus stop and walk down to take the first left next to the cement plant. Keep following the road and eventually you'll see the following archway marking the entrance to the monastery.

Through the archway and just to the right is the entrance to where the house is, but this is why I think it was a good job I went sooner rather than later: the whole area has been taped off in preparation for demolishing the house. :-(

It seems to be just my luck, as soon as I find a place it gets removed or demolished. Such is life, but I guess at least I got to wander around before it was demolished. I was a bit naughty and snuck through the tape and various warning signs and took a bunch of pictures. I've uploaded many of them here for posterity's sake, because who knows when this place will disappear. I've thrown in the odd reminder from The Young Master as well so you can see how much hasn't changed in 35 years.

As you can see the whole front area in front of the house has been cleared. I think this is preparation for its demolition. Even the tree stumps have been burnt to remove them properly. Access at the moment is via a rather dilapidated stairway on the right hand side of the house. And it brings you up to the area where the actors (Yuen Biao, Shek Kin and JC) sit down when they first arrive.

It even still has the same chunk missing from the side of the back archway. The bit where Yuen Biao is sitting is right at the front and he is just afew inches from a 3 metre drop to the ground. I don't know what was through the doorway behind JC back in 1980, but these days there is a (recently) shot-creted slope, you can just see the concrete on my pictures. Next we move into the room at the back where, in the film, there is a rope attached that JC hauls himself up.

There is a vine dangling down now, but the roof - not in the greatest condition on film - has almost completely collapsed with just a couple of remaining crossbeams. It certainly wouldn't support someones weight now. The window at the top is still bricked in. I wish I knew more about the history of the place because I can imagine it being a fairly stylish home before it fell into disrepair.

The above view is from the other side of the building (the side closer to the monastery) and as such I don't think you can get too far back (such as where Shek Kin and Fung Fung are talking) because it goes into monastery property (although the monastery seems to have illegally taken over Govt land).

Finally, I'll leave you with a few more shots taken of various angles of the place.

Looking in from the front 
The stairs up to the house are on the right of the picture

I wonder what the lower windows were for because although there is an airspace behind them, there is no basement as such. I did speak to one of the nuns in the monastery and she told me the house was a Japanese house, so I wonder if it was built during the occupation and has been abandoned ever since? It's certainly a strange enough design that I haven't seen before. Anyway, enjoy these pictures now because I am sure this place will just be a memory fairly soon.


  1. that's so cool!!!! love it!!!!

  2. Hi, the Ruin is still standing. Unfortunately the monastery was closed and the Ruin itself was guarded by 3 dogs. �� I talked to the Housekeeper and she wouldn't let me in and take a picture. So I got only one from the left side from the entrance and the front. Greets

    1. Hi anon, many thanks for the update. I'm surprised it's still there, but with the dogs around it means someone is making an effort to stake a claim to the land probably. The nunnery next door was in trouble with the Govt for illegally using some adjoining govt land, so it could be the govt has finally got around to enforcing something. It rarely happens with the hk govt because they are so slack. Cheers, Phil