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The beauty of Sai Kung

Nestled in the north-east of the New Territories, Sai Kung was formerly a fishing village and was first settled by a community in the Song Dynasty. Sai Kung is often referred to as the “back garden of Hong Kong”, as it is surrounded by lush greenery which reaches far beyond Sai Kung town. One look at Sai Kung and visitors will notice the stark contrast to Hong Kong’s CBD. The neighbourhood still retains its idyllic charm with traditional customs and cultures; possessing a small community vibe and is where east meets west. Traditional Chinese practices are often seen on the streets and are deeply entrenched into Sai Kung’s culture and this is met with the surge of western restaurants and cafes around town, serving a wider expat community. With three new properties set to open in the neighbourhood, Sai Kung will be a changing neighbourhood in a changing world.

 
Sai Kung

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Sai Kung Square

Encompassing the area of Wan King Path and Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung Square is like a community within a community, it has a friendly atmosphere where children play and ride their bicycles in the nearby playground. Famous for its alfresco dining options, Sai Kung Square boasts over 10 restaurants and cafes.

Sai Kung Square

Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a hearty meal, majority of the restaurants serve western cuisine but you can also find authentic northern Chinese cuisine at Chinese Kitchen and delicate Japanese cuisine at Takka Fusion. Sai Kung residents will be familiar with Classified, a popular spot to get your caffeine fix and Jaspas, a well-established and one of Sai Kung oldest restaurants in the Square, owned by dining group giant, Castelo Concepts. The Square also welcomed Cali-mex and The Conservatory, a new restaurant by the Enoteca Group and is run by local residents, Kim and Rob Cooper, last year.

Sai Kung Waterfront Promenade

Sai Kung Waterfront Promenade

Colourful, vibrant yet serene. The waterfront promenade stretches along Wai Man Road, where a line of boats are moored and fishermen dock their sampans. On land, regular visitors will be familiar with common phrases such as 'leung lui'; used by sampan ladies to reel you in to hire their boats out to Sai Kung's many beautiful outlying islands such as Sharp Island and Po Pin Chau.

If you're in Sai Kung in the afternoon, you'll most likely witness the hustle and bustle of the waterfront promenade - the floating water markets, where a group of residents gather along the promenade to buy fresh seafood from local anglers. From fish to lobsters, you'll find a myriad of seafood available, even the most exotic kinds, dunked in colourful plastic buckets on the fisherman’s boats. Transactions are done by shouting and pointing at what you want, with the produce and money transferred in a bucket.

Sai Kung Waterfront


Floating markets

Seafood Street - Hoi Pong Street

Situated on the far end of Sai Kung Waterfront is the famous line of seafood restaurants. By lunch time, each restaurant is packed to the brim - you won't miss the spilling tanks full of live fish, crabs, lobsters and more as restaurant wait staff are shouting for different orders. There are countless seafood restaurants along Hoi Pong Street but there are two restaurants that shine brighter than the others, having received esteemed Michelin stars. Sing Kee received its Michelin star in 2015 and Loaf On won the area's first ever Michelin star in 2010 but the other contenders don’t disappoint either. It may seem a little chaotic but the ordering process is easy - you choose your seafood and how you want it cooked right by the tanks. Don't miss out on the classic favourites like chilli crab or the deep-fried squid. If you're a little more daring, go for something exotic.


Seafood Street - Hoi Pong Street

Tin Hau Temple

Built in 1916, Tin Hau Temple celebrated its 100th birthday in November last year – complete with a six-day event to celebrate. One of 70 temples across Hong Kong, the Tin Hau Temple is located just outside of Sai Kung Old Town. Tin Hau Temple currently houses two dieties, Tin Hau and Kwan Tai, in the same location, whereas previously there were two separate temples in Sai Kung. The temple has become an important landmark for both Sai Kung residents and tourists since its arrival into the area, with more and more expat families regularly seen visiting the temple. Tin Hau Temple has been well-maintained over the years with the help of the Sai Kung District Community Centre (SKDCC), one of the serving parties of the temple.


Tin Hau Temple

Sai Kung Old Town

A walk through Old Town’s back streets will uncover some of Sai Kung’s oldest shops. It is home to traditional Chinese vendors selling flowers, food and drinks and small eateries selling Chinese medicine soups. The Old Town is also home to the late and much-loved Tin Man, who had been crafting pieces of tin into pans, boxes and buckets for over 81 years.


Sai Kung Old Town

Recent years has seen a handful of western-style cafes popping up on these streets. When you enter from the “Seafood Street” arch, you’ll pass Loaf On and other small restaurants selling pizzas, kebabs and more but a highlight is Little Cove Espresso. Run by long-time Sai Kung residents, the Australian-inspired cafe rests in the heart of the Old Town, with charming and simple decor and its long open windows allows natural lighting into the café. It is complete with outdoor seating, attracting dog owners and families.

Sai Kung Old Town

>> Issue 268: Sai Wan Ho - a dining and cultural hub

>> Issue 270: Discovering gems in Sheung Wan