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Chek Lap Kok

Chek Lap Kok
Location of Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong.
Traditional Chinese 赤鱲角
Simplified Chinese 赤뚭角
Literal meaning "Red Perch Cape"
Map showing the reclaimed land of Lantau Island, Lam Chau and Chek Lap Kok.
Aeral view of the airport island in 2010.
View of the Airport Island Angle Station of the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, built on Scenic Hill, the unleveled peninsula in the south of Chek Lap Kok.
Rebuilt Tin Hau Temple in the new Chek Lap Kok Village.

Chek Lap Kok is an island in the western waters of Hong Kong. Together with the smaller Lam Chau, it was leveled and merged via land reclamation into the 12.48 square kilometres (4.82 sq mi) island for the current Hong Kong International Airport, which opened for commercial aviation in 1998. The airport is therefore popularly referred to as Chek Lap Kok Airport.

Hong Kong SkyCity, a business and entertainment complex, is also located on Chek Lap Kok. It includes AsiaWorld-Expo, a convention and exhibition centre, which opened in 2005. Cathay Pacific City, the head office of Cathay Pacific,[1] and the head offices of Dragonair[2] and Hong Kong Airlines[3] are also located on the airport platform.

Contents

  • Name 1
  • Geography 2
  • History 3
  • References 4

Name

The name of the island may be derived from the bareness of the island ('da chek lak'), that the shape of the island resembles the red tripletail Perch ('chek lap', 赤鱲), or that the fish was once abundant in its vicinity.[4]

Geography

The island is located north of Lantau Island off Ma Wan Chung and Tung Chung. Before the building of the airport platform, it was a small and hilly island, about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) long, with an area of 3.02 square kilometres (1.17 sq mi)[5] (other sources mention 2.8 square kilometres (1.1 sq mi)).[4] The southern end of the island formed a small peninsula, which has been left largely undeveloped.[5] This area is facing Tung Chung and is now named "Scenic Hill".[6][7] It is the site of the Ancient Kiln Park[8] and the Airport Island Angle Station of the Ngong Ping 360 cable car.[9]

History

The island has been inhabited on and off since the Middle Neolithic period 6,000 years ago.[4]

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the inhabitants of the island practiced farming, including rice cultivation,[5] and quarrying.[10] Their population was about 200 in the 1950s, raising sharply in the 1960s. It later declined, with some 20 families remaining on the island when the plan for the construction of a new airport was announced in the early 1990s.[11]

Archeological surveys and investigations were conducted on the island starting in the late 1970s.[4] A salvage archaeology project started on October 15, 1990.[12]

The original farming and fishing villages on the island were relocated to Chek Lap Kok Village (赤鱲角村) near Tung Chung on Lantau Island. A Tin Hau Temple had been built in 1823 at the north east of the island. The entire temple was built of granite quarried on the island.[13] It was dismantled in 1991 and rebuilt in 1994 at its present location.[14]

Also, Romer's Tree Frog (Philautus romeri), a unique species of finger-sized frog found only in Hong Kong, was relocated from Chek Lap Kok to new habitats on Lantau Island before construction of the airport.

References

  1. ^ "Hong Kong." Cathay Pacific. Retrieved on 8 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Hong Kong." Dragonair. Retrieved on 8 September 2010. "Head Office: Dragonair House, 11 Tung Fai Road, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau, Hong Kong. "
  3. ^ "Contact Us > Hong Kong." Hong Kong Airlines. Retrieved on 7 November 2011. "Headquarter Office Address: L2 CNAC House, 12 Tung Fai Road, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau, Hong Kong"
  4. ^ a b c d Antiquities and Monuments Office: Chek Lap Kok Island and its history
  5. ^ a b c Plant, G.W.; Covil, C.S; Hughes, R.A.; Airport Authority Hong Kong (1998). Site Preparation for the New Hong Kong International Airport. Thomas Telford.  
  6. ^ Map of Chek Lap Kok showing Scenic Hill
  7. ^ Tung Chung - Ngong Ping Cable Car Project: Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment, March 2003
  8. ^ Press release: "HKIA unveils Airport Trail and historical park", 18 March 2006
  9. ^ Presentation of the Tung Chung Cable Car Project, 31 March 200
  10. ^ Geology of Chek Lap Kok. 1994
  11. ^ Antiquities and Monuments Office: Chek Lap Kok Island and its history. Modern Period
  12. ^ Robert Esser, Chek Lap Kok: project synopsis as of 20 May 1991
  13. ^ Geology of Chek Lap Kok. Chapter 8. 1994
  14. ^ Exploring Islands - Tung Chung

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