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People enjoy the Easter weekend in Sai Kung amid the coronavirus outbreak in 2020. Photo: Dickson Lee

LettersImprove links to Sai Kung and make it a proper tourist attraction

  • Weekend tourist traffic to Sai Kung is congested and miserable but things can be improved by extending the MTR line, diverting the ferry and moving the bus station
I sympathise with Beijing’s frustration (“Work on Beijing’s plan or be left behind, city told”, September 14), because I sent several emails to the secretary for development about improving the transport corridors to Sai Kung.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, with the restrictions on international travel and the closure of the Macau border, most Hongkongers have not been able to travel. Because they are forced to stay in their home city, the weekend local tourist traffic on Sai Kung’s single-lane roadway is congested and miserable, at a time when local people want to go on outings and spend their discretionary money in Sai Kung, which employs local people.

The response from the Development Bureau was equally miserable. I tried to encourage the Sai Kung district council to invite the secretary for development to a council meeting on a Saturday afternoon, so he too could experience the misery of Sai Kung’s traffic congestion.

I believe the people of Hong Kong want better infrastructure development with an eye on the next 20 years, instead of the deficiencies of the past 10 years.

Tourist facilities in Sai Kung can be improved by:

1. extending the MTR line from Po Lam and Wu Kai Sha;

2. diverting to Sai Kung what was the Macau ferry, which can call at Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and so on, on the way from Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui;

3. moving the Sai Kung bus terminus to use the area for more tourist shops and restaurants.

Hong Kong Disneyland was officially opened to the public by then-chief executive Donald Tsang in 2005. The Sai Kung area could have a tourist development project like Sea World on the Gold Coast in Australia, which is a major draw for international tourists. Hong Kong’s answer to Sea World could also be used for research by marine biologists from local universities.

I encourage the secretary for development to make progress with Beijing’s latest plans for integration with Shenzhen, Hong Kong’s sister city, and to develop Sai Kung as a weekend tourist destination for local families, hikers, swimmers and couples. The people of Kong Kong need a balance between work and leisure, with good and easily accessible places for family fun.

Ross Smith, PhD candidate, University of Hong Kong

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