Sha Tin is fast becoming a recreational, shopping, gourmet and cultural center of Hong Kong. From agricultural farmland, it has now developed into a self sufficient community offering the best in what life has to offer.
Aside from horse racing (Sha Tin Racecourse is the second largest in Hong Kong), Sha Tin offers other recreational venues and tourist destinations. For instance, the New Town Plaza is a great place for shopping. With an area of 200,000 sq meters (239,198 sq yards), it is one of the largest shopping centers in Hong Kong. Because of its strategic location (it is close to KCR Station), customers flock into the shopping center especially at weekends.
Sha Tin New Town Plaza is divided into three phases: Phase One, is composed of eight floors, where famous shops like Marks & Spencer' and Mega Lifestyle Specialty Store are found. Phase Three accommodates numerous toy shops and children's clothes shops as well as cosmetics and hip young clothing stores. The Grand Central Plaza is where home interior design companies and local furnishing shops are located. This is where the largest IKEA flagship store in Hong Kong is based, making it an ideal place for home decoration and furnishing.
Another place of interest at the New Town Plaza is Snoopy's World. Located on the third floor podium, the 40,000 sq meters (47,840 sq yards) store and mini theme park, features the first ever Snoopy outdoor playground in Asia and only the second in the world. There are over 60 cartoon figures of Peanuts of different sizes, among which is the world's largest outdoor Snoopy figure. Visitors can get in close contact and take photos with the characters.
After a day of shopping, indulge in Sha Tin's numerous restaurants offering a variety of specialty dishes. Try the Sha Tin Roasted Pigeon, which is a very popular dish among tourists and locals.
To get a bit of culture when you visit Sha Tin, check out the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and get a glimpse of the unique local culture of Hong Kong. The museum features a combination of traditional Chinese courtyard and modern architecture design. It consists of twelve exhibition galleries covering a variety of themes ranging from history to art to culture.
Other cultural facilities include Sha Tin Town Hall and Sha Tin Public Library. The two buildings are the center of cultural activities in the eastern area of New Territories. Various cultural activities such as ballet performances, concerts, painting and sculpture exhibitions are often held here.
Near the Sha Tin Town Hall is an 8.05 hectare public park called Sha Tin Park. It features different kinds of gardens, a plaza, amphitheater, children playground, refreshment kiosks and a birds conservation area.