History of Lei Yue Mun
As long ago as the Ching Dynasty 200 years ago when the
Tin Hau Temple on Lei Yue Mun was built by a renowned pirate
(Zheng Lianchang) it has been an inhabited area, but those
early settlers are not related to today's residents.
Despite appearances there is no long history of fishing
or seafood in Lei Yue Mun, although of course many fishermen
worked in the nearby channel they were mostly based on the
other side of the harbour in Shau Kei Wan. While in
Lei Yue Mun the residents were mostly miners and farmers.
Quarries had been operating in the area since the 19th
Century and as they required considerable manpower many
workers were employed who had migrated from Canton and came
to settle in and around Lei Yue Mun. As the population
increase in the 1930s with the turmoil in China driving more
people into the comparative stability of the then British
Colony farming also became a major industry.
In the early 1960s the small fishermen working from the
Shau Kei Wan harbour started to sell their fish directly to
customers from boats they had moored along piers in many
places nearby, including in Lei Yue Mun where there were two
The combination of fresh seafood and restaurants able to
cook the food immediately was a winning combination and was
the start of something great. But at first it remained
small and was popular only with local people.
A boost for the business happened when the government
banned the use of explosives after the Riots. Because
explosives were vital to the mining industry many smaller
mines which were unable to get licenses to use explosives
had to close, creating unemployment in Lei Yue Mun.
The closure of the quarry also opened a more direct route to
Sensing a potential for a new business growth in 1967 the
local businesses of Lei Yue Mun formed a Business
Association and with the help of government regulation
people started to work on seafood sales and seafood
restaurants. The association helped the new seafood
restaurants, which were officially part of a squatter
village, to get piped water, electricity and other services.
By the 1970s with the growth of China trade the nearby
Kwun Tong industrial area gave an unexpected boost to this
business when local factory owners wanting to take their
visiting overseas clients to see authentic yet exotic Hong
Kong dinning selected Lei Yue Mun, causing this initially
locale dining area to become a destination for tourists.
By the 1980s with the support of the Hong Kong Tourist
Association Lei Yue Mun became well known internationally as
a major seafood destination.
In 1992 the local residents association or "Kaifong"
started an annual Seafood Festival which continues though in
a small way to this day.
In 2003 the Tourism District Enhancement program built a
new entrance gateway and paved the roads making the seafood
restaurants easier and safer to reach.