Hong Kong is a world renowned tourist destination in Asia because of its mix of amusement, cultural and nature attractions. It is also a popular business hub and leading shopping destination in the region, where one can truly mix business with pleasure. While sites such as Victoria Peak, Tsim sha Tsui Waterfront and Ladies' Market, are just some of the most visited destinations in Hong Kong, the Asia's World City has other locations that are just being discovered for their beautiful attractions. One such area is the New Territories, a vast area in Hong Kong which offers natural scenic spots, old-style villages, and rich cultural traditions.
As the name implies, the New Territories was a relatively new part of Hong Kong. It only came about when Britain leased the area north of the Kowloon Peninsula from Imperial China to enlarge its territory. The New Territories covers the Kowloon Peninsula in the south, all the way to Sham Chun River in the north. It is made up of three geographical sections, namely: The Western New Territories, The Central & Northern New Territories, and the Eastern New Territories, including Sai Kung Peninsula.
The Western New Territories used to be a small fishermen village that was transformed to become one of the most modern towns in Hong Kong and the world. It can be accessed via Tsuen Wan. Some of the popular tourist attractions in the area include:
Sam Tung Uk - an old walled village that was restored and became a museum.
Chuk Lam Shim Yuen or the Bamboo Forest Monastery - a monastery sitting on the hill above Tsuen Wan town known for its "Precious Buddha" statues.
Yuen Yuen Institute - the only temple in Hong Kong that is dedicated to the three main Chinese faiths: Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
Tai Mo Shan or the "Big foggy mountain" - the highest mountain in Hong Kong, rising to almost 1,000 m above sea level. It is part of a country park, offering nature trails and observation points.
Kat Hing Wai - a 17th century walled village that still retains its old times spirit.
Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve - a wetland around nature park famnous for bird watching.Inner Deep Bay - another ornithologist's paradise near the Mainland border. It is one of the most popular stopovers for migratory birds, on their way from North Asia to Australia.
Hong Kong Wetland Park - a nature reserve located on the edge of the Mai Po Marshes. It has a very impressive visitor's centre, where you can learn about marshlands and swamps.
Ping Shan Heritage Trail - an easy-to-walk trail that passes through a cluster of walled villages, old temples and other heritage buildings.
Miu Fat Monastery - a beautiful Buddhist temple featuring lavish ornaments. It also offers a centre for the studies of Buddhism.
Ching Chung Koon - one of the most beautiful Taoist temples in Hong Kong, and can be found in the village of Ching Chung
Tuen Mun Town - a town at the westernmost end of the territories.
Sha Tin is the unofficial capital of the new territories. It sits on the Central and Northern New Territories and offers a variety of tourist attractions including the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, which is the largest museum in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Heritage Museum is a great venue to learn an appreciate the rich history and culture of the region. Other attractions in the Central and Northern New Territories are:
The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - a popular monastery in Sha Tin known for its humongous collection of Bhudda statues and the numerous steps one has to tackle to see all of them.
Tsang Tai Uk - one of the few remaining traditional Hakka walled villages that still exist. It can be found on the outskirts of Sha Tin.
The Art Museum at the Chinese University of Hong Kong - located north of Sha Tin town, this museum features a massive Chinese art collection which includes paintings, calligraphy, epigraphy & rubbings, ceramics, bronze ware, jade ware, lacquer ware, ivories, etc.
The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees - are two legendary banyan trees known for making wishes come true.
Plover Cove Country Park - one of Hong Kong's finest nature reserves. It covers an area of almost 5,000 hectares northeast of Tai Po Market town, around the shores of the large freshwater reservoir after which it is named.
The seaside village of Tai Mei Tuk - take a boat ride to the amazing Bride's pool waterfall, located inside the Plover Cove Country Park.
Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail - another "heritage trail" featuring heritage buildings, old temples, ancestral halls, traditional villages.
Sai Kung Peninsula is the most popular tourist attraction in Eastern New Territories. It is a nature-lover's paradise because of its vast nature reserves, beautiful beaches, scenic bays and the fishermen town of Sai Kung, where one can enjoy alfresco dining by the waterfront. Also in the Eastern New Territories are the following attractions:
The islands of Port Shelter Bay - a beautiful waterfront area that can be accessed with a Kaito (taxi boat) from Sai Kung Town.
Sai Kung East Country Park and Sai Kung West Country Park - cover most of the peninsula, with a total area of about 7,500 hectares, and boast some fantastic walking trails.
Tai Long Wan or Big Wave Bay - is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong but is not very accessible to the public.
Wong Shek - features a Water Sports Centre.
Hoi Ha Village - located on the shores of Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park.
Attractions in Hong Kong New Territories