Po Fook Hill Cable Car
Cemetery is always the ending of everyone. In whatever place and in whatever culture, cemeteries always give people a feeling of horror and sad.
Located in Shatin, Hong Kong, Po Fook Hill is dedicated to break this destiny! Founders of Po Fook Hill believe, “Death” is an obvious ending of every human and therefore is not a taboo at all. They emphasize that “A beautiful life journey should include its beginning and its ending”. If you have ever been to Po Fook Hill, you will have such a feeling. Everywhere inside Po Fook Hill are Chinese pagodas and pavilion, surrounded by birds and flowers. Coupled with the goldfish pond, you can only feel the liveliness within, instead of gloomy feeling that can be found in most cemeteries.
In fact, Po Fook Hill is so different from others. It hosts a beautiful website, constantly advertises on medias and sets up sales offices everywhere in Hong Kong. Although with Taoism background, it is willing to accompany with other religious background of their customers. This makes them well accepted by people and also grants lots of business for themselves.
Apart from that, Po Fook Hill is so special because of one facility inside. It operates a private railway system for their customers, the “Po Fook Hill Cable Car”!
Visiting cemetery during Ching Ming and Chung Yeung Festivals is a traditional Chinese custom. In order to assist their visitors climbing up to hill, Po Fook Hill built an escalator system along the slope. The escalator system allows large number of visitors climbing up the hill quickly. However, it cannot fulfill the needs of elders and wheelchair users. In order to solve this problem, Po Fook Hill also built a Cable Car system. As a cemetery, owning a private railway system itself is so unbelievable. This also makes rail enthusiasts fired up!
“Po Fook Hill Cable Car” can be called as “unknown” to the general public. It is because not a single map of Hong Kong ever showed its existence. Also, no books featuring this system can be found. And even the website of Po Fook Hill did not mention that. So if you have never been to Po Fook Hill, you can never know such a system exists! Even only a few rail enthusiasts know about it. Because of that, let me introduce this hidden railway for you.
Going to Po Fook Hill is simple. Just exit from Exit B of Shatin MTR Station. Head to the direction of Grand Central Plaza. Po Fook Hill is only in five minutes walking distance.
You cannot find “Po Fook Hill Cable Car” from any map. But you can see it clearly in satellite photos of Google Map.
Doors of “Po Fook Hill Cable Car” open this way. From the video clip, you can see the doors of “Po Fook Hill Cable Car” are double layer. The operation is exactly the same as that of an elevator.
Cable car just departed from the lower terminus and moving slowly to the upper terminus.
Cable car climbed slowly along the tracks and finally arrived the upper terminus.
After all passengers alighted, the cable car started to move along the tracks, back to the lower terminus to pick up other passengers. The speed of going downhill is as slow as going uphill.
Looking out from the cabin, the feeling of going uphill is like this. When the cabin reached the end of the track, it shacked a little bit.
The traveling time of the cable car from one end to the other is about 2 minutes. Including the time for boarding and alighting, the maximum headway of “Po Fook Hill Cable Car” is about 5 minutes. Using escalators is normally faster than taking this cable car. And “Po Fook Hill Cable Car” is the lowest capacity railway system in Hong Kong.
How about the feeling of going downhill? Since the cable car has climbed to a certain height, it is very scary to look out from the windows. Pay attention to the middle part of the video clip. You can see the moment when the balance passing underneath the cabin, heading to the opposite direction.
How to get there?
Po Fook Hill is located in Shatin, Hong Kong. It is adjacent to Shatin MTR Station. The walking distance from Shatin station is about 5 to 10 minutes. Apart from taking MTR, there are also a large bus terminus next to Shatin station. Many bus routes provide direct and convenience services to different areas. Also, car park is available in Po Fook Hill for car users.
There are soft drink vending machines and washrooms inside Po Fook Hill. Also, a number of shopping malls can be found nearby with lots of restaurants.
Po Fook Hill welcomes anyone to visit. No reservation is needed and no entrance fees will be charged. Visitors with no relatives or friends buried inside can also come. So, if visiting cemetery is not a taboo for you, it is absolutely fine to treat it as a place for picnic. But be aware that it can be quite crowded during Ching Ming and Chung Yeung Festivals.
“Po Fook Hill Cable Car” is one of the facility inside. Riding is free of charge. Visitors are allowed to ride as many times as they wanted. And the only term is priority riding should be given to people in needed!
Taking photos inside Po Fook Hill is not forbidden. But since it is a private premise, I would like to suggest all rail enthusiasts to be concealed when visiting and never cause any inconveniences to other cemetery visitors. Thank you!