New Territories, Hong Kong
This colourful, vibrant complex of temples was built in the 1950's and is located in Shatin, north of Kowloon.
There are actually around 12,800 buddhas inside the main temple. You can also see several other temples, 2 pavillions, a nine story pagoda, not forgetting around 500 gilded life size statues along the 400 steps walkway up to the monastery, each one unique in appearance. Don't miss the steps to the side of the main temple where you can reach other temples and some more statues, very interesting and beautiful!
For more information regarding the inside of the main temple please refer to my other tip and for more photos on this interesting place, please look at my travelogue.
These two famous banyan trees are a favourite with local villagers who come to burn joss sticks and incense papers hoping their wishes will come true. During Chinese New Year, many Hong Kong people make a pilgrimage to this spot to make their Chinese New Year wishes.
The ultra-sophisticated Gold Coast Resort looks much like a Mediterranean resort transplanted to the shores of Hong Kong. It has a world-class hotel, a convention centre, a shopping mall and a marina club, as well as its man-made Golden Beach and palm-shaded Promenade dotted with kiosks.
Golden Beach is the largest public beach in Tuen Mun and the first artificial beach in Hong Kong. At 545 metres long, it covers a total area of 7.85 hectares.
Adding to the French Riviera atmosphere is an art area called Gold Coast Montmartre, where, every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, street art, handicrafts and other forms of culture find expression.
The Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden showcases Hong Kong's wealth of natural flora and fauna. The orchards and vegetable fields here are almost 100% organic. Conservation activities concentrate on protecting native orchids and rehabilitating birds of prey.
Admission fee is HK 10 dollars. Open 9.30am until 5pm
If you want to experience old village life - be brave and get out of the main hustle and bustle of Kowloon and venture out into the New Territories eg, Yuen Long or Sha Tin. You can wander into villages which still exist (for now!) and see ancestral halls etc.
We saw this on Globetrekker and decide it was a must. You Buy colored streamers from a little stand by the tree and wright your wishes on them. You attach the streamers to an orange and throw them as high as possible into the tree. If your Orange catches onto the branches, your wish will come true. Apparently the higher you can get it lodged the better your chances. It was certainly aimed at the tourist crowd, but we did see some locals taking part as well. It was well worth the adventure and offering the Oranges to the tree in exchange for your wish seemed like a fair trade to me
Hong Kong's rustic back yard, this 300-plus square mile area contains mountains where wild monkeys live. Lantau (the territory's largest island) offers one of the world's largest Buddha statues, parks and campsites. On Cheung Chau, there is a quaint harbour and fishing village. Lamma boasts scenic walking trails and superb seafood restaurants.
well for people who want to see as much of hong kong as possible i found two great places well worth a look. both are easily accesible by train. the first is the wong tai sin temple situated in wong tai sin. it is probably hong kongs most important place of worship. the other is the ten thousand buddha pagoda situated in sha tin. it actually contains over twelve thousand buddha images but is a great place for hiking and culture. for kung fu fans...i recommend a pilgrimedge to kowloon tong to 41 cumberland road, the former residence of kung fu legend bruce lee. fans will be dissapointed though to see the shabby left overs of a once beautiful mansion. the japanese garden in the front has been replaced with concrete. a word of warning, anyone looking to go inside should well be aware that the building now is a bordello complete with guards.
This second large water storage was built by government. The cost of phase one (1883-1888) alone amounted to $1.25 million, about twice the total cost of Pok Fu Lam Reservoir. It's located in the upper valley, more than one mile from the coast. Featuring a huge dam that intercepts water to create a massive enclosure for rainwater, it was a massive engineering feat. Fresh water from the reservoir was fed to the Bowen Road pipeline via a tunnel (3 miles in total length). After treatment at the water works, it was supplied to residents of HK Island. The great Tai Tam dam is a granite and concrete structure measures 90 feet tall, 400 feet wide and 60 feet thick. The most challenging aspect of the project is the pipeline tunnel that runs through Wong Nai Chung Gap. This 6 x 7 feet tunnel is more than 7,300 feet long and runs through hard granite. Without advanced engineering machines, work was completed by manpower and using basic tools. The working conditions were taxing, as workers were drilling through hills in hostile rock and rough forest. Many workers contracted diseases and died as a result. Apart from overcoming adverse site conditions, the reservoir engineers had another great achievement. The Tai Tam Reservoir pioneered a water pumping technique, which effectively broke the traditional down-flowing water supply method then in use. It was indeed a major step forward for the waterworks development of HK. The completion of the Tai Tam Reservoir works brought an adequate water supply. The government satisfied with the result, started piping water to the public in 1890. The Tai Tam Waterworks had several extension projects, which increased the total storage capacity to nearly 400,000,000 gallons from 250,000,000 gallons. In 1918, Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir, with even greater capacity, was completed. While supplying water to residents in Victoria, Tai Tam Reservoir also looked after the needs of North Point and Shau Kei Wan.
Towards the north of Hong Kong's territory, there are a few wetland areas where birds from all over Asia comes here to rest. Although constantly being threatened by development both in Hong Kong and its neighbouring Shenzhen, China, wetland areas in Hong Kong are strictly preserved under the Ramsar Convention. Some of these famous areas include Mai Po and Tsim Bei Tsui
Visit one of the many Country Parks
Country Parks closest to Urban centres are full of recreational features, such as signposted jogging and hiking trails, barbecue and picnic sites, pavilions and 'Family Walks' and 'Nature Trails'. Markers refer to specific items of natural interest, whilst visitors' Centres have been built at the entrance to several popular parks containing information counters and exhibits of the area's flora and fauna, geology and human history
Tai Long Wan which means Big Wave Bay is located in the most eastern part of Sai Kung Peninsula directly facing the Pacific. It is one of the most remote parts of Hong Kong. The mountain ranges, the long beaches and the sounds and sights of big waves are stunning! Very few people, usually the experienced hikers visit these beaches as there are no roads leading there and the mountains are steep.
The Bridepond or 'Sun Leung Tam' is famous because the local folklore tells a sad story of a bride who was washed away by a flood there while she was on her way to her husband's home. It is located in a valley in the Pat Sin Range country park. Quite a number of HK people like hiking and it is not uncommon for the HK families to take a long walk along some more gentle hiking trails in the many country parks we have here. It may be difficult for those who are not living here to plan such hiking trips, but if you are going to skip it, it's going to be a shame.
When there are mountains, there are waterfalls. Small winding streams and waterfalls are hiding everywhere in rural Hong Kong. You will be thrilled by their tranquillity if you have a chance to visit them. There are plenty of them in the northeastern part of the New Territories where the Pat Sin Range is. ('Pat Sin' are actually the eight fairies which comes from the ancient Chinese folklore. They are good fairies who look after the peasants. If you count carefully enough, you will see there are roughly eight hill tops on the range.)If you need more info on how to get there, visit the following website and select country park profile.
Sai Kung peninsula, on the contrary, is a place occupied by mountains and surrounded by deep bays.
The winding coastline and the many uninhabited islands scattered right off Sai Kung on the eastern side of Hong Kong is the result of wind and sea erosion brought about by the Pacific. If you have time you should definitely go there. Regular 'Sampan' (Chinese boat/ferry) routes to surrounding islands off Sai Kung Peninsula are available at the Sai Kung Pier in Sai Kung Market Town. If you want to go further out to the more outlying islands where all the wonderful sea caves and sea cliffs are, you must rent a speed boat and a 'Tang Ga' (a local man who has the licence to sail out with you. You can look for them easily as they like to wear Chinese bamboo hats!). One speed boat, excluding the Tang Ga, can accomodate three people and it usually costs you some HKD600-700 for the whole day. It worths it as the sum is shared by three actually. One more thing, the waves can be huge once you are out the inner bay of Sai Kung.