Shooting of "The New Adventures of Chor Lau-heung" on 1984.11.9 took place in Bo Ya Saan Jong. At present, only the ornamental gatehouse of Bo Ya Saan Jong remains under a high way in Sha Tin. It was a common shooting location for TVB.
Bo Ya Saan Jong also known as "Wai Bun Castle" or Mei Yuen Villa , is located on the banks of the Shing Mun River in Tai Wai, Sha Tin, Hong Kong, near Mei Shing Court. (Accessed from Mei Lam Estate, Tai Wai, near Mei Wai House)
This was an old-fashioned townhouse. This antique style building is not listed as a historic building, but it is one of the distinctive buildings in the district.
A large gate at the entrance and at the end of the building, the main gate and the rear gate, can still be seen on the stone plaque of Boya Villa, which is inscribed with the words "Kui Chou Spring Establishment", clearly indicating that the renovation of Boya Villa was completed in the spring of 1973.
It was taken over by the Hong Kong International Restaurant Group, which operated the garden-style Chinese restaurant, International City, on the site.
The Shatin International City, located on the banks of the Shing Mun River in Tai Wai, Shatin, was opened on 20 June 1982 and occupies an area of over 100,000 square feet. The restaurant is also home to a famous chef, who serves seafood and game, roast pigeon and crispy farm chicken.
International City was closed in 1987.
Later, in February 1987, the Government demolished most of the buildings on top of Boyer Hill when it wanted to build the Shing Mun Tunnel and the flyover connecting the tunnel was located on top of Boyer Hill. The present view of Bo Ya Saan Jong is only the remains after demolition.
At present, only the remaining part of the townhouse remains.
博雅山莊由香港國際酒樓集團接手後，在這裡營運園林式中國餐館—— [微笑] 國際城。 後來，因政府要興建城門隧道，而連接隧道的行車天橋正處於博雅山莊的上面，政府遂於1987年2月，拆卸了博雅山莊大部分的建築物。 現在所見到的博雅山莊，只是拆餘部分。
For more information about Pok Ngar Villa
Video taken before Bo Ya Saan Jong was demolished
For video with sound see source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyVyhVZ8rjM
Wai Bun Castle, Tai Wai
Hidden away in an obscure corner of Tai Wai is a small park. The park is no different from any other small park in Hong Kong - surrounded by concrete (in this case the Shing Mun Tunnel Road flyover) with a bit of greenery thrown in for good measure - it’s essentially a large HK-style "sitting out area" where lots of oldies gather to play chess and have a natter and possibly an illegal flutter. However, this park has a feature that is quite unique in Hong Kong (as far as I am aware, that is) and gives a little clue as to the prior use of the place.
Standing at the entrance is a rather splendid looking gatehouse - reminiscent of the sort of building that stands over the gates of ancient Chinese towns and cities.
It's an odd thing to see in what is otherwise a run-of-the-mill piece of public space, so suffice to say my interest was piqued and a quick translation of a Wikipedia page gives us the following details...
The name of the place is Bo Ya Saan Jong (博雅山莊)which translates as something like: ‘learned villa’, although it was previously known as Mei Yuen Villa (梅苑別墅). For a time it was the location of a shark fin factory and boasted a total area of nearly 42,000 sq ft.
In 1971 it was the holiday home of the infamous Lui Lok – a Hong Kong Police Sergeant involved in a massive corruption scandal. He was one of the “Four Great Sergeants” (along with Nan Kong, Ngan Hung and Hon Kwing-shum) who grew filthy rich off the back of widespread corruption in the HK police force through the sixties and seventies.
Lui Lok [Source: wiki]
Lui was the most notorious and earned himself the nickname “Godfather” but his activities eventually caught up with him. Although he retired a very rich man in 1968, he had to make a quick exit 5 years later and moved to Canada with his family when a crackdown on corruption started with the establishment of the I.C.A.C and the issue of arrest warrants. His was issued in 1976.
Of course he left behind his real-estate booty including Wai Bun Castle and a block in Sha Kau Wan Road (and many others). He died in May 2010 but it seems as though some sort of out-of-court settlement was reached long before in 1986 and the Govt took over his frozen assets.
The main house (no longer standing) included nine bedrooms (two en-suite) on the upper floor as well as a maid’s room, marbled corridor kitchen and storeroom on the lower. However it was all demolished when the Govt needed to build the flyover in the 1980′s and all that remains is the small, but ornate, building above the main gate.
You can see from the above shot how the flyover completely covers the grounds, and also why there was a need to demolish the main building. The area has been turned into a small sitting out area of the sort that can be found all over HK however this one has the added advantage of its own large concrete rain cover...
In the above shot we can see the other (smaller) entrance. I have no idea if the gateway is original but I believe the vast castle-like wall is, and it used to surround the whole estate. Anyway, in case you are interested, the story of the 4 Sergeants was made into a film in 1992 starring Simon Yam called The Powerful Four. Of course expect the usual liberty with the truth and lots of flying kicks and spraying bullets.
The picture below is from the Govt Archives. Sadly, since this post was first published several years ago, the original link to the photo has gone and I can't seem to find it again). Nevertheless, I've circled the old house on the lower right.
Note that this confirms the castle-like wall is original, but you can also see the main building which is quite long as well as the swimming pool (looks brand new here). The gatehouse is covered in scaffolding for this 1973 shot, and judging by the rest of the grounds I would say Mr Lok was still building/renovating. Shame he didn’t get long to enjoy it all.
When I first posted this on the older Wordpress version of my blog (in case you didn't know, I decided to ditch Wordpress because they started charging me for image hosting), a couple of people made some interesting comments and I have saved them below for posterity.
You probably know it already but there is also a 2 parts movie based on Lui Lok called Lee Rock with Andy Lau playing the character. While it’s no masterpiece and far from accurate from an historic point of view, it benefits from the presence of the talented Lawrence Ah Mon in the director chair.
The funny part being it was a Win’s production. A company which both boss (the infamous Heung brothers) are connected to triad societies.
From what I thought, Lui Lok emigrated to Canada after his retirement and went to Taiwan in 74 for fear of being extradited. Can anybody confirm (or infirm) this information?
Thanks in advance!