The light rom-com Far Far Away recently grossed $10 million in Hong Kong — a jaw-dropping record for a local low-budget indie feature! To allow Hong Kongers to learn more about the film’s behind-the-scene stories, Walk in Hong Kong has organized a series of filming locations tours. Last month, we curated a very special, one-of-a-kind tour to Lai Chi Wo, a remote village featured in the movie. It combined hiking, staycation, and even an outdoor movie screening!
As one of the farthest away places in Hong Kong, traveling to Lai Chi Wo is not so straightforward. One may choose to take a ferry there. For our special tour, we hiked an 8 km trail that first took us from Wu Kau Tang Village to Sam A Tsuen, where we enjoyed lunch, before continuing onward to Lai Chi Wo. With the bright sun hanging above our heads, it was truly a sweaty journey.
To further support Lai Chi Wo’s local economy, we arranged to have some special experiences offered by the villagers. We joined the Hakka Steamed Bun workshop, followed by a lovely dinner prepared by the amiable Lady Qun Ying. It was wonderful to enjoy traditional Hakka cuisine in a century-old walled-city surrounded by lush scenery!
As nightfall descended upon us, the long-awaited screening was hosted held at the open space in the village. Watching Far Far Away in a far far away rural area under the stars created an excellent experience for all, especially for the villagers who got to see their village being captured in a Hong Kong movie!
We would like to give a big round of applause to the villagers, the volunteers from the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Civil Society and Governance, and last but not least, our CEO Paul, who joined the effort to deliver and set up the screen, projector, and sound system in the far-flung village to create the makeshift outdoor movie theatre.
After the screening, Amos the, director shared with us the arduous process involved in the production of Far Far Away. The guests chimed in with their thoughts and musings about the movie. By 9:30 pm, everyone headed to their homestay accommodation to wrap up the beautiful night.
After having breakfast the next morning, we did a tour in the Mui Tsz Lam Village and visited their Story Room which showcases the various facets of the traditional Hakka agricultural life. It was also one of the filming locations in the movie where the character Lisa, played by actress Hannah Chan, did an artist-in-residence.
Afterward, we hiked to Kop Tong to enjoy a bountiful lunch under the hot sun. Before departing, some of the guests grabbed the time to wander around the quiet village. Some chatted with the villagers to learn more about their lives. The 2-day-1-night journey came to an end when we took the ferry back to the city.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the Hong Kong Countryside Foundation’s Hakka Life Experience Village @ Lai Chi Wo for arranging the accommodation; the Hong Kong Macau International Exchange Foundation for sponsoring the movie screening; and the HKU’s Centre for Civil Society and Governance for coordinating the volunteers. Without their support, the ambitious idea of organizing a Lai Chi Wo tour that combines staycation and movie screening would not be actualized. Our team at Walk in Hong Kong is proud to have made this tour a reality.
We hope to host the tour again for more Far Far Away fans and, which in turn will help contribute to the long-term development of sustainable tourism in Lai Chi Wo!