Sai Kung District

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Sai Kung
District
Official logo of Sai Kung
Official emblem
Location of Sai Kung within Hong Kong
Location of Sai Kung within Hong Kong
Coordinates: 22°22′53″N 114°16′14″E / 22.38143°N 114.27052°E / 22.38143; 114.27052Coordinates: 22°22′53″N 114°16′14″E / 22.38143°N 114.27052°E / 22.38143; 114.27052
Country China
Special administrative region Hong Kong
Constituencies 24
Government
 • District Council Chairman 吳仕福 Ng Sze-fuk, BBS, JP (DAB)
Area
 • Total 136.39 km2 (52.66 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Total 406,442
 • Density 3,000/km2 (7,700/sq mi)
Time zone Hong Kong Time (UTC+8)
Website Sai Kung District Council
Sai Kung District
Traditional Chinese 西貢區
Simplified Chinese 西贡区

Sai Kung District is the second 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. The administrative centre is Sai Kung Town but the district's population is concentrated in Tseung Kwan O New Town. The district has the second youngest residents. It consists of rural areas, new town and over 70 islands of various sizes. The unique characteristic of the district is that the traditional customs of rural villages.[1]

Geographical characteristics and population[edit]

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.

In contrast to the densely populated areas of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, Sai Kung District's heartland is a coastal area characterised by beautiful scenery, charming small villages and stunning seascapes. The area is known for its pristine beaches and quiet living. Inasmuch as it remains only partly urbanised, many people describe Sai Kung as the "last back garden" of Hong Kong.

Sai Kung Town[edit]

Sai Kung Tin Hau Temple, Sai Kung

As a former fishing village, Sai Kung Town is a mecca for seafood lovers, locals and tourists alike. 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 (literally 'over the harbour') development under the government's market town programme. Visitors can stroll around the regional market centre of Sai Kung Town or explore the back lanes, visit the Tin Hau Temple, feast on seafood or enjoy diverse delicacies at both Eastern and Western-style pubs and restaurants. There is also a famous dessert restaurant called Honeymoon Dessert that brings in many visitors from all over Hong Kong and even from abroad.

Country Park[edit]

Sai Kung Country Park is an area of restricted development featuring numerous small villages and beautiful beaches. 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. The dozen or so buildings still standing in the Tai Long Valley are home to a small number of indigenous residents.

Beaches[edit]

Sai Kung has some of the most beautiful and cleanest beaches in Hong Kong. Here is a list of the beaches in Sai Kung:

Tseung Kwan O[edit]

Tseung Kwan O New Town

In addition to Sai Kung, Tseung Kwan O or Junk Bay, a booming new town, is also part of Sai Kung District. Tseung Kwan O connects Sai Kung Peninsula with the Kowloon urban area.

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.

Tseung Kwan O now includes several high-rise residential estates and an industrial estate. The MTR metro system was extended to Tseung Kwan O, facilitating access to Sai Kung District.

Islands[edit]

A kai-to carrying passengers to the outlying islands off the Sai Kung Peninsula

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:

The large island of Kau Sai Chau is the location for a public golf course developed and run by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Local and tourist attractions[edit]

Sai Kung Public Pier

There are numerous cultural sites, heritage sites and country parks in the Sai Kung peninsula, such as:

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.

Transport[edit]

Sai Kung Waterfront Promenade, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

The MTR system's Tseung Kwan O Line currently has four 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.

Hang Hau Road and Ying Yip Road link Tseung Kwan O with Sai Kung Town and Clear Water Bay. The nearest MTR station to Sai Kung Town is Hang Hau.

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.

The details of bus and minibus routes going to Sai Kung Town are as follows.

Scheduled ferry services also operate between coastal points on the peninsula and in and around the islands: [1].

Miscellaneous[edit]

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one of the eight publicly funded tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, is located in Clear Water Bay, Sai Kung.

Coincidentally, the Chinese characters "西貢" for Sai Kung are also the Vietnamese chu nom characters for the name Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City), a major city in Vietnam. In fact, "Sai Kung" and "Saigon" are not only written but also pronounced the same way in Chinese.

Kitchee SC play in Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground.

Media[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]