What to Do in the New Territories: Sha Tin and Tai Wai
Once a vast expanse of farmland by the Shing Mun River, Sha Tin underwent major development in the 1970s into a New Town. But the district still has its fair share of historical landmarks and activities. Bordering Sha Tin is Tai Wai, which boasts one of the largest walled villages in Hong Kong. It still retains its neighborhood feel, with equal measures of mom-and-pop stores and small trendy eats.
Meet the Village People
The historic Tai Wai Village is a stone’s throw away from the MTR station. It’s the biggest and the most historic village in the Sha Tin district. Check out the traditional entrance, a hundred-year-old ancestral home and temple in the village center.
Heed Some Heritage
Sitting right by the Shing Mun River, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum is worth your time—it features 12 exhibition halls showcasing Hong Kong’s culture through displays of art, music, dance, history, literature and theater.
1 Man Lam Rd., Sha Tin, 2180-8188.
Parks and Rec
Head to Ma Liu Shui pier—15 minutes from University station Exit B—and take a boat tour around the geopark. The trip explores the unique rocks and scenery of the New Territories.
Wheeling in the Deep
Worshippers fl ock to Che Kung Temple during Chinese New Year to spin the “wheel of fortune” inside the structure, which is believed to bring good luck—but you can also visit during less busy times.
Che Kung Miu Rd., Tai Wai, 2697-2660.
Rice and Roll
Expect to line up for the renowned cheung fun rice noodle rolls at Kwan Kee (坤記腸粉). They’re cheap, freshly made and incredibly smooth. Slurp it up with all the sauces and extra sesame seeds.
Chik Fu St. (Near Chik Fu Lane), Tai Wai.
Photo: Emily Chu
The Hyatt Regency Sha Tin is home to the Melo Spa, which boasts top-of-the-range treatments. There are various packages available, including the 2.5-hour “Vitality” program ($2,150) that comes with a signature massage, facial and bath. This summer, the spa is also offering the Herbal Wellness Experience package ($1,188, through Aug 31), which includes a 25-minute scrub with ingredients like rosemary, black pepper and ginger; plus a 55-minute facial using aloe vera—perfect if you’ve been in the sun for too long.
5/F, 18 Chak Cheung St., Sha Tin, 3723-7684, www.hongkong.shatin.hyatt.com.
Tak What You Can Get
Tai Wai’s Chik Tak Lane and its surrounding streets are home to low-key restaurants, cafes and bars—but one of the most famous establishments is Fung Lum, an old-school Cantonese eatery that has been around for some 50 years. Signature dishes include roast pigeon, shrimp toast, and salt and pepper prawns. After dinner, head to local watering hole Speak-easy and kick back with a few beers.
Fung Lum: 45-47 Tsuen Nam Rd., Tai Wai, 2692-1175. Speak-easy: Shop B, 11-13 Chik Tak Lane, Tai Wai, 2609-1996.