Sha Tin District
Ma On Shan Park
Constructed at a cost of about $96 millions, the 5.5 hectares Ma On Shan Park was opened to the public in August 1998. It is situated at Ma On Shan town centre. Overlooking the Tolo Harbour with the Pat Sin Leng at a distance, the Park offers visitors great enjoyment by providing a panoramic view to the horizon. The Park's facilities include a mining history exhibition area, a maze garden, a children's play area and a fitness trail as well as a pebble walking trail and elderly fitness equipment. In addition, there is a great variety of flowers, for example, azaleas, camellias and desert roses. It is a highly educational landscaped garden.
Enquiries: 2643 5320
Ma On Shan Promenade
The 3.2-kilometre-long Ma On Shan Promenade is the second large-scale waterfront promenade in Sha Tin, which is located along the coast of Ma On Shan and occupies an area of 5.2 hectares. It overlooks Sha Tin Hoi and offers a magnificent view of the peaks of Pat Sin Leng, featuring a panorama of the sea and the sky. The Promenade also offers a wide array of facilities to people of all ages, including children's playgrounds, fitness stations, jogging trails, walking tiles, elderly fitness corners, Tai Chi areas and a bougainvillea garden. In order to promote environmental awareness, three wind turbines to provide electricity to some of the floor lightings as well as two solar and wind hybrid lamps have been installed in the Promenade. In addition, the children's play equipment embodies the elements of natural science and environmental protection. Children can acquire related knowledge while having fun.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong and its Art Museum
The Art Museum was founded in 1971. It is a part of the Institute of Chinese Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. It is a teaching museum cum research centre on Chinese art and archaeology. The Art Museum organises various exhibitions, drawing upon various sources. It displays in rotation, its own collection covering a broad spectrum of art from Chinese paintings, calligraphy, ceramics and decorative arts, to archaeological finds, from ancient times to modern. A free audio tour guide is provided in the Museum to help visitors appreciate the exhibits.
Art Museum Website: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/ics/amm/index.html
If you have more time, you may explore the spacious campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong after visiting the Art Museum. The Chinese University was inaugurated in 1963 and consisted of 3 colleges - the New Asia College (founded in 1949 in Kowloon), the Chung Chi College (founded in 1951 in Sha Tin) and the United College of Hong Kong (founded in 1956 on Hong Kong Island). Since 1986, the Shaw College, established by a generous donation from the Shaw Foundation (Hong Kong) Ltd, has become the fourth college of the University.
The University offers a wide range of full-time and part-time programmes leading to bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and doctorates in its eight faculties and a Graduate School with a total of 58 departments.
The campus of the Chinese University occupies some 137 hectares of land at various elevations above sea level at the northwest end of the Sha Tin New Town. It commands a scenic view of the Tolo Harbour. You may walk from MTR East Rail Line University Station to the Chung Chi College campus to visit the lily pond and a Chinese pavilion or go higher up the slope to visit the tree-lined University Mall and the University Square at the mid-level of the campus where major buildings including the Art museum are located. The University Square has a sizeable sculpture, a forum structure and a reflecting pool. A cafeteria, a coffee shop and a souvenir counter are located in the nearby Benjamin Franklin Centre and John Fulton Centre, for you to rest, refresh or to get a few mementoes.
CUHK website: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/english/index.html
Sha Tin Racecourse
The Sha Tin Racecourse, completed in 1978, is located at the northwest bank of the Shing Mun River. This is one of the world's finest racetracks. It can accommodate more than 83,000 spectators. The newly refurbished paddock, with an all-weather retractable top, was completed in November 2004. It can accommodate about 5,000 spectators, which is double from before the refurbishment. Race meetings at Sha Tin are usually held weekly during the racing season from September to the following June, on Wednesday evenings or Saturday/Sunday afternoons. Bona fide overseas visitors over the age of 18 (who are in Hong Kong for less than 21 days) can obtain admission badges which will admit them to the Members' Enclosure at the track. Local residents can obtain admission badges and tickets from designated outlets. For further information, please call the Hong Kong Jockey Club on 1817.
Alternatively, you may join the Hong Kong Tourism Board's Come Horseracing Tour. The package, available for either the Sha Tin or the Happy Valley track, provides transportation, admission badges, racing information and lunch or dinner in the Members' Enclosure. For further information, please call the Hong Kong Jockey Club on 1817 or refer to the leaflet on the tour available free from any Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Information & Service Centres.
Up on top of the hill at the end of Sui Wo Road in Fo Tan, the Lions Pavilion was built in a traditional Chinese architectural style in December 1981 by the New Territories Lions Club. Up at the Lions Pavilion, you can have a full and panoramic view of the Sha Tin New Town which runs from the north of the Lion Rock Tunnel at the southeast end, to Ma On Shan at the northeast end of the New Town. You can have a good perspective of the layout of various public and private housing developments, commercial and recreational facilities on both banks of the Shing Mun River which flows through the centre of the New Town.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Sze)
The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is located mid-way up a hill within walking distance from the MTR East Rail Line Sha Tin Station. The walk, including climbing up some 400 steps, takes about 25 minutes.
Once you reach the Monastery's forecourt, you will see the forecourt adorned with large and colourful statues of Buddhist deities and animals. A nine-storey pagoda stands opposite to the main worship hall. Climbing up its spiral stairway offers even better vistas of Sha Tin.
The main worship hall houses over 13,000 Buddha statues of a similar height but slightly different poses. On the pillars at the entrance of the main worship hall there are Chinese couplets written in beautiful Chinese calligraphy.
Fortune-tellers provide their services in the main worship hall on Sundays and public holidays. Make sure you know the fee before engaging them. If you can stay a little longer, you may like to try the vegetarian dishes the Monastery's kitchen offers. They are very reasonably priced.
Enquiries: 2691 1067
Tao Fung Shan Christian Centre
The Tao Fung Shan Christian Centre is situated at the Tao Fung Shan, Sha Tin. It was established by the Norwegian evangelist Dr. Karl L. Reichelt in 1930 and designed by a famous Danish architect, Johannes Prip-Moller. The Centre preaches Christian doctrines through traditional Chinese cultural arts. The temple-like buildings such as the Chapel, the map of the whole Tao Fung Shan and the bible stories inscribed on the colourful porcelain in the Centre are in Chinese style. The Centre includes a church, a library and a shop selling hand-painted porcelain and handicrafts. The Chapel and the Pilgrim's Hall are also available for Sunday Worship and retreats. A 12-metre-high big cross which stands to the east of the Centre is the hallmark of the Centre.
Enquires: 2605 0839
New Town Plaza
The New Town Plaza is a private development situated next to the MTR East Rail Line Sha Tin Station, above the bus termini. Developed in three phases in the 1980s, the complex brings together a comprehensive range of shopping, recreational and entertainment facilities as well as five residential blocks, an office building, a hotel and a cinema. This grand complex offers over 139,400 square metres of shopping space with eating places offering numerous choices of cuisine are abundant in the complex.
Customer Services Counter: 2697 9898 / 2699 5992
Sha Tin Town Hall
Located next to the MTR East Rail Line Sha Tin Station, the Sha Tin Town Hall is the cultural centre of the eastern New Territories. Walk for a few minutes from the MTR East Rail Line Sha Tin Station and you will reach the Hall. The Hall was built at a cost of $138 million and officially opened in January 1989. Well-designed performance and exhibition facilities are provided, notable amongst which are the 1,400-seat Auditorium, the 300-seat Cultural Activities Hall and the 378 sq.m. Exhibition Gallery. They are ideal venues for professional performances as well as school and community activities. You can watch world-class ballets or listen to orchestras in the auditorium or enjoy paintings on display in the gallery or sculptures on display in the podium outside the Town Hall. Some free cultural performances are also provided in the plaza of the Town Hall from time to time.
Enquiries: 2694 2509 / 2694 2542 (General) and 2694 2550 / 2694 2551 (Booking)
The 3,700 square metres Snoopy's World with over sixty different sized Peanuts figures is the first outdoor Peanuts playground in Asia. It offers a wide range of entertainment facilities with six amusement zones: Snoopy's House, the Peanuts Academy, the Canoe Ride, the Peanuts Dugout, the Peanuts Boulevard and the Party Pavilion.
The construction of the Playground took eighteen months at a cost of over HK$30 millions. Its theme is Snoopy's everyday life, and each zone follows a story line so visitors feel like they are in the comic strip.
Enquiries: 2601 9178
Sha Tin Park
The 8-hectare Sha Tin Park is located by the Shing Mun River. It is separated from the MTR East Rail Line Sha Tin Station by the New Town Plaza and the Sha Tin Town Hall.
This park was provided by the former Regional Council at a cost of $75 million and took five years to complete. It was officially opened in September 1988. It consists of six gardens of distinctive styles and there are over 110,000 plants of various species inside. The Main Plaza in the Park is one of the most popular venues in Sha Tin for holding community and recreational activities. Leading away from the Main Plaza is the Lek Yuen Bridge which spans over the 200m wide Shing Mun River and is open only to pedestrians.
Enquiries: 2695 9253
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is situated in Tai Wai, Sha Tin. It was built by the former Provisional Regional Council at a cost of over $800 million and opened to the public on 17 December 2000. It occupies an area of some 28,500 square metres. The architecture of the museum is modelled on the traditional Chinese "Si He Yuan" structure (i.e. a compound with houses built around a courtyard). The museum has 12 exhibition galleries. As the largest museum in Hong Kong, it aims to cover the history, cultures and arts of Hong Kong and the South China region. Cultural relics of China and the New Territories, a collection of Chinese paintings by Zhao Shao Ang and the historical development of Cantonese opera are exhibited. In addition, there is a community arts hall for displaying the works of local students and disabled artists.
Enquires: 2180 8188
Tsang Tai Uk
Tsang Tai Uk is located near the southern end of the Pok Hong Estate and not far from Lion Rock Tunnel Road. It is a typical Hakka fortified village built in 1848 as a stronghold for the Tsang clan. It is the best-preserved Hakka fortified village in Sha Tin said to have taken twenty years to build with granite, grey bricks and solid timber. The House consists of three rows of houses arranged to form a rectangle. All the houses are interlinked by passages and small courtyards. Embrasures and loopholes were arranged orderly on the fortified walls and defensive towers were built at the four corners to ward off enemies. At the Northern wall, there are three arched entrances. The main or ceremonial entrance in the middle leads to the ancestral hall in the innermost row of houses, where ceremonies take place. In the old days, villagers winnowed and dried their harvest in the massive courtyard in front of the House.
Enquiries: Tsang Tai Uk Village Office 2609 1312 (except Sunday and public holidays)
Che Kung Temple
The temple was built in honour of "Che Kung" (General Che), a great general in the Sung Dynasty (AD 960-1279) who had suppressed a rebellion in South China. It is said that he protected the Emperor during his escape to Hong Kong before the fall of the Sung Dynasty. People began to worship him after his death for his loyalty and prowess.
Another lore surrounding the Che Kung Temple's origin was that, Che Kung accompanied the last Emperor of the Sung Dynasty and resided in Sai Kung. Che Kung was well received by the villagers in Sai Kung because of his good medical knowledge and his love towards the villagers. Thus a temple dedicated to him was established at Ho Chung in Sai Kung by the villagers after his death. Afterwards, the villagers of Sha Tin wanted to "invite" Che Kung to Sha Tin in order to get rid of a plague. However, the village elders of Ho Chung only allowed the villagers of Sha Tin to "invite" Che Kung's grandson to be worshipped in Sha Tin.
The present temple is a new one completed in late 1993. The architecture is very much in the Japanese style. (The original temple was built some three hundred years ago. It is hidden behind the new temple and is normally closed to the public.) Admission is free but visitors normally give small donations towards the maintenance of the Temple.
On the stone pillars at both sides of the entrance of the Che Kung Temple hangs a Chinese couplet. There are quite a number of fortune-telling stalls along the corridor at the left side of the Temple. There is a bell tower and a drum tower at each side of the main hall. The respectful giant statue of General Che is placed in the middle of the altar and the famous "windmills" are at the sides of the statue. Worshippers believe that tuning the windmills will bring good luck to them.
Enquires: 2603 4049
Amah Rock (Mong Fu Shek)
Amah Rock is located on a hilltop in southwest Sha Tin. The rock is approximately 15 meters in height. The rock's shape looks like a woman carrying a baby on her back. The poignant story behind has been passed on from generation to generation in Sha Tin. The legend tells of a woman whose husband had one day sailed out to sea to fish but never returned. Since then, the woman has waited, with her baby on her back, on the hilltop, day and night for her husband's return. One day, a sudden thunderstorm swept through and turned the woman and her baby into the now well-known Amah Rock.
Shing Mun River
Shing Mun River flows through the Sha Tin District. In daytime, people can have a cycle ride along the river promenade and enjoy the lovely view over Sha Tin Town Hall and other architectural buildings along the river. At night, people can have a leisure walk along the promenade while magnificent colourful lights shine upon them.
There are also dragon boat races to be held at every Dragon Boat Festival (also known as the Tuen Ng Festival). Thousands of spectators gather along the riverbanks and cheer for the competitors.