Sai Kung District
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Sai Kung District (Chinese: 西貢區; Cantonese Yale: Sāigung Kēui) is the fifth largest district in Hong Kong in terms of area. It comprises the southern half of Sai Kung Peninsula and Clear Water Bay Peninsula in the New Territories plus a strip to the east of Kowloon. It is made up of the Sai Kung Town, Sai Kung rural areas, Tseung Kwan O New Town and over 70 islands of different sizes. The administrative centre is Sai Kung Town but the district's population is concentrated in Tseung Kwan O. The district has the second youngest residents. Known as the "back garden of Hong Kong", Sai Kung has been able to retain its natural scenery, and where the Hong Kong Global Geopark is located. Behind the modern buildings, a lot of traditional customs and cultures are still retained in the rural villages.
|Sai Kung District|
Day view of Tseung Kwan O in the Sai Kung District
Location of Sai Kung within Hong Kong
|• District Council Chairman||吳仕福 Ng Sze-fuk, BBS, JP (DAB)|
|• Total||136.39 km2 (52.66 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,000/km2 (7,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (Hong Kong Time)|
|Website||Sai Kung District Council|
|Sai Kung District|
Population and settlementEdit
Sai Kung District covers approximately 136 square kilometres (53 sq mi) and as of 2006, it had a population of 406,442 in 2006, most of it in Tseung Kwan O.
Sai Kung TownEdit
Sai Kung Town is a former fishing village. The designation of the country park areas during the 1970s was a huge boost to the local tourist industry. Sai Kung town underwent significant expansion during the 1970s when the High Island Reservoir and associated water scheme required some villagers and fishermen to be rehoused in Sai Kung. This provided a core of government-funded new development, both housing and commercial, in the town centre. This was followed by the Tui Min Hoi (literal translation 'over the harbour') development under the government's market town programme.
Tseung Kwan OEdit
Junk Bay was once a natural bay area in Sai Kung, quite near the famous seafood village of Lei Yue Mun. There once was an iron and steel factory, and the area around Hang Hau Village was famous for the shipyards. In 1997, the Hong Kong Government started a major development project in this area, developing it into the seventh Hong Kong new town. Reclamation has since covered the whole bay area and it is now able to accommodate around 380,000 inhabitants, accounting for 95% of the district's total population. This new town was renamed Tseung Kwan O, its present name.
In contrast to the densely populated areas of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, Sai Kung District's heartland is a coastal area characterised by its scenery, small villages and seascapes. The area is known for its pristine beaches and quiet living. In as much as it remains only partly urbanised, Sai Kung is known as the "last back garden" of Hong Kong.
UNESCO Global Geopark & Country ParksEdit
Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region, Hong Kong UNESCO Global GeoparkEdit
Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region lies in Sharp Island, High Island, the Ninepin Group and the Ung Kong Group (Wang Chau, Basalt Island and Bluff Island), where volcanic rocks, intrusive rocks and world-unique acidic hexagonal volcanic columnar rock joints created by Hong Kong's last large-scale volcanic activity some 16.5 million to 14 million years ago crop out. With a host of volcanic rock coastal landforms, they form a comprehensive showcase of diverse and complex volcanic activities that explain Sai Kung's geological past.
Sai Kung East Country ParkEdit
Sai Kung East Country Park occupies a vast area of east Sai Kung Peninsula. With the High Island Reservoir, High Island, Tai Long Wan, Pak Tam Au, Chek Keng, Sheung Yiu, Wong Shek Pier and the surrounding countryside, the 4,494 hectare protected area consists of the largest number of bays and coves among all country parks in Hong Kong. Part of the Geopark is also located there.
Sai Kung West Country ParkEdit
Sai Kung East Country Park, including the Sai Kung West Country Park (Wan Tsai Extension), occupies a vast area of west Sai Kung Peninsula. Old preserved villages, such as Pak Sha O, Yung Shue O and Lai Chi Chong are the places of interest.
Clearwater Bay Country ParkEdit
Clearwater Bay Country Park occupies the rugged terrain around High Junk Peak in the eastern and the western part of the Clearwater Bay Peninsula. High Junk Peak, one of the four treacherous peaks in Hong Kong, is the no. 1 attraction of the park.
Sai Kung has some of the most beautiful and cleanest beaches in Hong Kong. Here is a list of the beaches in Sai Kung:
Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay), approximately 1.5 hours walk from the nearest road, is one of the few places in Hong Kong where surfing is possible, particularly in the winter months.
On summer nights, a lot of people hire small boats known as kaitos or sampan, some to catch cuttle-fish which is a popular pastime for local residents, others for leisurely trips through the island-dotted inland sea of Port Shelter. Popular islands to visit include:
- Kau Sai Chau
- Kiu Tsui Chau (Sharp Island)
- Leung Shuen Wan Chau (High Island)
- Pak Sha Chau (White Sand Island)
- Yeung Chau (Sheep Island)
- Yim Tin Tsai (Little Salt Field)
Local and tourist attractionsEdit
There are numerous cultural sites, heritage sites and country parks in the Sai Kung peninsula, such as:
- Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark
- Sheung Yiu Folk Museum (上窰民俗文物館), located in a former Hakka village
- Memorial Monuments for Sai Kung Martyrs During World War II (烈士墓園)
- Sai Kung Outdoor Recreation Centre (西貢戶外康樂中心)
- Lions Nature Education Centre (獅子會自然教育中心)
- Sai Kung East and West Country Parks (西貢郊野公園)
- Clear Water Bay Country Park (清水灣郊野公園)
- Che Kung Temple at Ho Chung (蠔涌車公廟)
- Tin Hau Temple at Fat Tong Mun (大廟, or 天后廟)
- Jin Island (or Tiu Chung Chau, 吊鐘洲)
- Leung Shuen Wan Tin Hau Temple (糧船灣天后廟)
- High Island Reservoir (萬宜水庫)
- Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course (賽馬會滘西洲公眾高爾夫球場)
- Yim Tin Tsai Village and St. Joseph's Chapel (鹽田仔村及古老教堂)
The town centre of Sai Kung has a high concentration of seafood restaurants which attract a lot of tourists.
In addition there are golf courses and nature trails. The golf driving range center in Ho Chung is popular with local residents and tourists alike. Visitors can also enjoy barbecues at Ho Chung.
In recent years, the government has invested heavily in Sai Kung, with improvements being made to the town seafront, such as the Waterfront Park. An attractive mix of small boutique-style shops has sprung up as well, due to a sizeable expat population and increasing numbers of local visitors, selling everything from secondhand books to cat-themed accessories, and alternative lifestyle stores that offer items like surfboards, candles, incense, seashells, etc.
The MTR system's Tseung Kwan O Line currently has five stations in Tseung Kwan O New Town. The new town is also served by a comprehensive bus network that connects it to Kowloon via several main roads including Tseung Kwan O Tunnel and Po Lam Road.
Some of the most beautiful and thus isolated parts of Sai Kung Peninsula can only be reached on foot or by boat. Where a destination is accessible by public transport, it is usually served via a complicated network of bus routes. Information on certain bus routes may be found here.
Lists of bus transport to and from Sai Kung Town:
- Bus route 92 from Diamond Hill Station
- Bus route 99 from Heng On Estate (via Wu Kai Sha Station
- Bus route 299X from Sha Tin Town Centre (near Sha Tin Station)
- Bus route 792M from Tseung Kwan O Station (via Tiu Keng Leng Station)
- Minibus route 1 from Telford Gardens (near Kowloon Bay Station)
- Minibus route 1A from Choi Hung Station
- Minibus route 101M from Hang Hau Station
Scheduled ferry services also operate between coastal points on the peninsula and in and around the islands: .
Sai Kung District is served by Sai Kung Magazine, a free-distribution English language monthly magazine and the community website Saikung.com. The magazine covers areas of Sai Kung Town, Clearwater bay, Pak Sha Wan, Ma On Shan and parts of Tseung Kwan O
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