Sha Tin (Shatin) in Hong Kong

Why is Sha Tin in Hong Kong So Special?

Sha Tin is the most populous district in Hong Kong. Sha Tin carried out large-scale reclamation in 1970s. The original Sha Tin department is now only left with an artificial flood discharge channel, and the main part of Sha Tin New Town is developing on reclamation. There is also a Sha Tin Racecourse enjoying equal popularity of Happy Valley Racecourse.

Where is Sha Tin?

Sha Tin, also spelt Shatin, is a city along Shing Mun River in Sha Tin District of East New Territories, Hong Kong. Administratively, it is part of the Sha Tin District. It is one of Hong Kong’s most prominent examples of new town developments in the 1970s.

How to Get There?

Tourists can get to Sha Tin by taking the MTRsEast Rail Line (blue) from Tsim Sha Tsui East.. The whole journey lasts 19 minutes and the one-way fare is HK$8. The train runs from 6 a.m. to midnight. If you want to go to the racecourse, you need to go to Fotan or Sha Tin Racecourse Stop, which is open on race day.

History of Sha Tin

Before British rule in Hong Kong, the area of Sha Tin and its vicinity was referred to as Lek Yuen (lit. “source of trickling” or “source of clear water”). Colonial officials allegedly mistook the name of the Sha Tin Wai village as the name of the area and it has been used ever since. Nowadays, the original name is used to refer to Lek Yuen Estate.

Main Attractions in Sha Tin

Sha Tin Racecourse

Sha Tin Racecourse is one of the two racecourses for horse racing in Hong Kong. It is located in Sha Tin in the New Territories. It is managed by Hong Kong Jockey Club. Shatian Racecourse is a world-class racecourse, and also the top racecourse in Asia. At present, many international competitions are held every year, and top people from all over the world are attracted to compete with each other here.

The Four Scenes of Sha Tin

  • Sam Lam Temple is located in Shanghe village, Sha Tin area. It was built in 1923 by Liang Zi Chong. It has more than 80 years history, and the founder of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Master Yuexi, was also stationed in Sam Lam Temple. Sam Lam Temple used to be a tourist attraction in Sha Tin District. It was once known as “the four scenes of Sha Tin” with Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Che Kung Temple and Tsang Tai Uk.
  • Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is famous overseas for its worship of more than 13,000 statues of Buddhas. The Master Yuexi’s lacquer statue in this temple is the only one. 
  • Che Kung Temple is dedicated to Che Kung, the military commander of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). He suppressed the riots and plagues and made him known to every family. According to folklore, Che Kung escorted the last emperor of song to escape from China, now called the New Territories. His achievements eventually made him respected as God.
  • Tsang Tai Uk is a famous surrounding village. It was built by the Zeng family in nineteenth Century. It is the largest Hakka surrounding village existing. Entering into it, we can see the typical halls and ancestral temples, vividly showing the life of Hakka people at that time.
  • The Hong Kong Heritage Museum has been designed to provide comprehensive exhibitions on history, art and culture. The Museum has a number of interactive exhibitions and programmes. It also houses a cafe and museum shop.

Useful Travel Tips

1.Tickets: Most of the Attractions are free, except several of them. HK$10 for Sha Tin Racecourse, HK$6 for Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, HK$10 for Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

2.Opening Hours: 

  • Sha Tin Racecourse: 
    Wednesday and Sunday in September to early July of the following year
  • Sam Lam Temple:
    8 a.m. – 6 p.m. 
  • Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery: 
    9:00-17:00 (except for the Black Rainstorm and the Balloon No. 8 suspended by the Observatory)
  • Che Kung Temple:
    7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Tsang Tai Uk:
    All day
  • Hong Kong Heritage Museum :
    Monday, Wednesday to Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 
    Saturday, Sunday and public holidays :  10 a.m. – 7 p.m
    Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve : 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Chinese New Year.
    P.S. The box office will be closed 30 minutes before museum closes.