February 4, 2024
Explore the Charm of Sai Kung Town-A Comprehensive Guide

Explore the Charm of Sai Kung Town-A Comprehensive Guide

Nestled on the Sai Kung Peninsula, Sai Kung Town, or simply Sai Kung, is a picturesque haven in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Established around a century ago as a market town for the surrounding villages, Sai Kung has evolved into a central hub with a unique blend of traditional charm and modern leisure offerings.

History and Origins

The origins of the name Sai Kung are shrouded in mystery, with the first Western publications mentioning it in the early 1900s. The town’s development as a market town is traced back to the 18th century, with Leung Shuen Wan evolving into a moorage inlet due to the inaccessibility of land-based transport. The market thrived, and by the early 1900s, Sai Kung boasted 50 shops and four boat-building sheds. The Sai Kung market played a crucial role during World War I, serving as a resupply point for ships outside Victoria Harbour.

Leisure Activities and Attractions

Sai Kung Town has earned the moniker ‘the Leisure Garden of Hong Kong,’ inviting visitors to step away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The town’s east-facing bay, Mediterranean ambiance, and proximity to the Sai Kung peninsula make it a hotspot for fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and cycling. The beautiful coast features numerous beaches, little harbors, and opportunities for island exploration.

High Island Geo-area

A highlight of Sai Kung’s natural beauty is the High Island Geo-area, located about 20 kilometers west of the town. Situated in the Sai Kung East Country Park, this area showcases remarkable volcanic rock formations, including tall hexagonal columns formed by slowly cooled molten lava.

Historical Evolution

According to Professor David Faure, Sai Kung’s market town expanded economically in the 1950s, becoming a hub for smuggling goods during the embargo on the People’s Republic of China. Significant expansion occurred in the 1970s due to the High Island Reservoir project, resulting in government-funded developments in housing and commerce.

Boundaries and Infrastructure

Sai Kung Town’s statutory boundaries are defined by Hiram’s Highway, Po Tung Road, and Tai Mong Tsai Road. The town is primarily served by double-decker buses, public light buses, and green taxis. With ferry services connecting to neighboring islands and coastal villages in Sai Kung Hoi.

Public Housing and Development

Noteworthy public housing estates in Sai Kung include Tui Min Hoi Chuen, developed by the Hong Kong Housing Society. Lakeside Garden, a subsidized private housing estate, contributes to the town’s residential landscape.

Education and Media

Sai Kung hosts various schools, including The Hong Kong Academy and Sai Kung Sung Tsun Catholic School. The town is served by Sai Kung & Clearwater Bay Magazine, an English-language monthly publication, and the community website Saikung.com.

Culinary Delights

Sai Kung’s waterfront is adorned with seafood restaurants, offering freshly caught delights. While exploring the town, visitors are advised to venture beyond the touristy waterfront restaurants. Explore local gems like Loaf On and Sing Kee for an authentic taste of Sai Kung’s seafood cuisine. Vegan options like 2084 provide a diverse culinary experience.

Shopping and Exploration

Sai Kung’s alleys, nestled between Yi Chun Street and See Cheung Street, host boutiques, handicraft shops, and quaint cafes. Visitors can immerse themselves in workshops like candle-making or cane-weaving, adding a unique touch to their Sai Kung experience.

Accommodation Options

For those seeking a staycation, the WM Hotel, located on the Sai Kung promenade, offers spacious and comfortable rooms with mountain or sea views. The hotel features a rooftop swimming pool and a picturesque chapel, creating a serene escape within Sai Kung.

Natural Attractions and Day Trips

Sai Kung’s expansive countryside beckons exploration through hikes like the Dragon’s Back, Lion Rock, and the MacLehose Trail. The town serves as a gateway to natural wonders like the High Island Reservoir’s East Dam, Sharp Island, Yim Tin Tsai, and the pristine Grass Island.

Beaches and Water Activities

Sai Kung is synonymous with beautiful beaches, including the famous Tai Long Wan. Other beaches like Sharp Island’s Half Moon Bay and Trio Beach near Hebe Haven offer serene alternatives. Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park provides opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking, and enjoying the coastal beauty.

Hiking Trails

The extensive country park surrounding Sai Kung offers a plethora of hiking trails. Including Buffalo Hill, West Buffalo Hill, Sharp Island, and the iconic MacLehose Trail. These trails showcase the diverse landscapes, from forested hills to natural rock formations.

Junk Boat Adventures

For a perfect day in the sun, exploring Sai Kung’s waters via a junk boat is high. Visitors can hire public or private junk boats to discover secluded beaches, offshore islands, and the beauty of Port Shelter.

Conclusion

Sai Kung Town, with its rich history, natural wonders, culinary delights, and diverse activities, stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of tradition and modern leisure. Whether seeking a tranquil escape, a culinary adventure, or an active exploration. Sai Kung welcomes visitors with open arms, offering a unique blend of past and present in the heart of Hong Kong.

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