The New Territories - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to The New Territories

The New Territories

Once merely sleepy countryside, Hong Kong's New Territories are now absorbing the region's growing population with a growing populace of over 3 million. Although still ignored by many tourists, the scenic countryside around Hong Kong has a diverse landscape that varies from mountains and meadows to towns and cities.

Visitors to the New Territories get to experience rural life in Hong Kong, with a number of villages and public housing estates to see, including Wan Tau Tong and Cheung Wah Estates and Kat Hing Wai village. A visit to the Sam Tung Uk Museum in Tsuen Wan is recommended before going to any of the walled villages.

One of the most popular settlements to visit is Sai Kung, which contains a range of amenities and is a good gateway to the wilder areas. Sha Tin is also worth visiting for the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 10,000 Buddhas Monastery and popular Sha Tin Racecourse; and Tai Po offers the Man Mo Temple and Waterfront Park.

Eating out in the New Territories means more authentic Cantonese cuisine, well-suited to adventurous palates. The Tai Po Hui Market has a number of small stalls, while Hang Heung is a well-known Chinese bakery in Yuen Long. For more familiar or westernised food, Sai Kung has a number of visitor-friendly restaurants and pubs. Shopping is less of a focus in the New Territories, but Tai Po and Sha Tin have enough shopping malls to satisfy bargain hunters.

Information & Facts

The official languages in Hong Kong are English and Cantonese. The other main language is Mandarin.

The unit of currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD); HK$1 is divided into 100 cents. Major banks are open from 9am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 12:30pm on Saturday. Banks and moneychangers charge commission as do hotels that provide exchange services. All major credit cards are accepted and ATMs are widely distributed. Some HSBC 'Electronic Money' machines provide 24-hour cash withdrawal facilities for Visa and MasterCard holders.

Local time is GMT +8.

One of the most dramatic sacred sites in Hong Kong, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is perched at the top of a hill in the town of Sha Tin, and visitors must climb 400 stairs to reach the temple and the famous nine-storey pagoda. The monastery actually contains nearly 13,000 buddha statues in the walls alone, however there are no resident monks and it is managed by laypersons.

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