Sha Tin may be considered "off the beaten track" for many visitors but for those with more than just a short 3 or 4 day stay... more » in Hong Kong, can prove to be a very rewarding day trip with a surprising number of attractions and something of interest for everyone.
Sha Tin is one of Hong Kong's nine new towns which have been developed in phases in the New Territories since the early 1970's to accommodate its rapidly expanding urban population. Prior to the development of these new towns, the New Territories consisted almost entirely rural villages and small towns and Sha Tin has grown from a market town with a population of 30,000 to a major community of over 630,000 people since 1973. Its name means "sandy field", but until British colonisation in the late nineteenth century it had been known as "Lek Yuen", It is built on land mostly reclaimed from Tolo Harbour and one of its major features is a man-made river channel which extends the Shing Mun River from the foot of the hills surrounding Sha Tin, through this reclaimed land to the re-formed shore of Tolo Harbour. Many consider it to be the most attractive of Hong Kong's new towns, being overlooked by mountains and peaks and with parks and gardens and the river channel dividing the town.
Whilst, in common with all Hong Kong's other new towns, the development features mainly high-rise apartment blocks Sha Tin has a surprising amount of cultural heritage and attractions of interest. This walk reveals some of Sha Tin's "hidden gems" and features one of Hong Kong's most unusual and interesting monasteries, a temple, ancient walled village, Hong Kong's largest museum, parks, gardens and one of Hong Kong's best shopping malls. less «