Lim Ah Hong

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Lim Ah Hong was a prominent Chinese pirate of the late 16th century who was particularly active in the Philippines.

According to legends which are most probably apocryphal, Lim is often said to have been a prince of the Imperial family who broke away from the Ming Dynasty and sought to establish his own state.

Lim left China in 1573 with three thousand Chinese, Malay, and Japanese men on several hundred ships, with the aim of establishing a base of operations from which to attack Spanish shipping. He arrived in Manila the following year with more than sixty Chinese vessels, and launched a number of attacks upon Spanish positions, but was ultimately forced to retreat. He then remained in the Philippines for a time, raiding other islands and establishing fortifications. He is also said to have dug a canal at that time which still bears his name today.

It is unclear whether Lim was ever captured by the Spanish; some tales relate that he simply sailed away.


  • Matt Matsuda, Pacific Worlds, University of Cambridge Press (2012), 106-107.