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> History

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 simple restaurants.

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 the village.

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.