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Sha Tin

Sha Tin is the name of a town, the area around Shing Mun River, and the administrative district which covers said area as well as Ma On Shan, Fo Tan, Tai Wai, and more (take that, New York!). Many years ago, the area was predominantly agricultural farmland, and was once known as “Lek Yuen”, meaning “source of clear water”. In 1911, the first flight of a powered aircraft (called the “Spirit of Sha Tin” took place in this very district, and a replica of the plane can be seen hanging near the Departures area of the Hong Kong International Airport to this day. In the 1970s, development began on Sha Tin New Town, which transformed the former farmland into a bustling residential area, with housing estates, extensive transport links, shopping centres, town plazas, hotels, parks, and a magistracy. It’s now become the most populated of Hong Kong’s 18 districts, which is no small claim in the Fragrant Harbour. Despite its massive population, the district’s got loads of green expanses, thanks to its abundance of protected country parks. As the home to the bigger of Hong Kong’s two racecourses, Sha Tin also played host to a little competition you might know as the Olympics a few years back. Yeah. Those Olympics. Outside of the Sha Tin town centre, you can find historical walled villages in Tai Wai, a “monkey hill” where wild macaques play, a thriving arts community in Fo Tan, a jaw-dropping Buddhist temple with 10,000 golden Buddha statues, and the ever-popular Che Kung Temple, where worshippers queue around the block on Chinese New Year to spin a fan-bladed wheel of fortune.

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