Must see attractions in New Territories

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sai Kung Peninsula

    High Island Reservoir East Dam

    Handsome architecture, the South China Sea, and 140-million-year-old volcanic rocks make this one of Hong Kong's most breathtaking places. High Island Reservoir East Dam is the most easily accessible part of Hong Kong Global Geopark and the only place where you can touch the hexagonal rock columns. The scenery is surreal and made even more so by the presence of thousands of dolosse (huge reinforced concrete blocks shaped like jacks) placed along the coast to break sea waves.

  • Sights in Yuen Long

    Mai Po Nature Reserve

    The 270-hectare nature reserve includes the Mai Po Visitor Centre at the northeastern end, where you must register; the Mai Po Education Centre to the south, with displays on the history and ecology of the wetland and Deep Bay; floating boardwalks and trails through the mangroves and mudflats; and a dozen hides. Disconcertingly, the cityscape of Shēnzhèn looms to the north.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sha Tau Kok

    Lai Chi Wo

    Part of Hong Kong Global Geopark, 400-year-old Lai Chi Wo is Hong Kong's best-preserved Hakka walled village and has an intact woodland. With 200 houses, ancestral halls, temples, and a breezy square fringed by old banyans, it is a sight to behold. There are 90-minute guided tours every Sunday and public holiday (usually at 11am and 1.30pm), as well as bespoke tours available on weekdays; all must be booked two weeks in advance by email.

  • Sights in Plover Cove

    Tsz Shan Monastery

    Spanning 46,000 sq metres, Tsz Shan is state-of-the-art antiquity that cost HK$1.5 billion and took 12 years to build. At a glance, it's a graceful Tang dynasty complex. But inside the shell of precious zitan wood is a steel structure that does away with the need for the pillars and interlocking eave brackets found in ancient architecture. This gives the monastery a more modern look. Tsz Shan does not entertain walk-ins. Book online up to a month ahead. Tsz Shan also runs meditation retreats, as well as tea and zen calligraphy workshops. See the website for details.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Yuen Long

    Hong Kong Wetland Park

    This 60-hectare ecological park is a window on the wetland ecosystems of the northwest New Territories. The natural trails, bird hides and viewing platforms make it a handy and excellent spot for birdwatching. The futuristic grass-covered headquarters houses interesting galleries, a film theatre, a cafe and a viewing gallery. If you have binoculars, bring them; otherwise be prepared to wait to use the fixed points in the viewing galleries and hides.

  • Sights in Sai Kung Peninsula

    Sai Kung Town

    Sai Kung Town is a wonderful base for exploring the rugged and massive countryside that defines the Sai Kung Peninsula. This eclectic waterfront town has a cluster of seafood restaurants and is also a stopping point and transport hub to and from the surrounding countryside. Ferries depart regularly for offshore islands with secluded beaches and villages. From terminals by the waterfront, buses, minibuses and taxis take you to various locations in the country park, including points on the MacLehose Trail.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Yuen Long

    Ping Shan Heritage Trail

    Hong Kong's first-ever heritage trail features historic buildings belonging to the Tangs, the first and the most powerful of the 'Five Clans'. Highlights of the 1km trail include Hong Kong's oldest pagoda, Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda, the magnificent Tang Clan Ancestral Hall, a temple, a study hall, a well and Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery inside an old police station built by the British as much to monitor the coastline as to keep an eye on the clan.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sha Tin

    Hong Kong Heritage Museum

    Southwest of Sha Tin town centre, this spacious, high-quality museum inside an ugly building gives a peek into local history and culture. Highlights include a children's area with interactive play zones, the Cantonese Opera Heritage Hall, where you can watch old operas with English subtitles, and an elegant gallery of Chinese art. There's also a Jin Yong exhibit, with some 300 items illustrating the life and works of martial arts novelist Dr Louis Cha, aka Jin Yong.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sai Kung Peninsula

    Hong Kong Global Geopark

    Part of the Unesco Geopark network, this spectacular geopark consists of two regions of formations: volcanic rock from 140 million years ago that often appears as stacks of visually stunning hexagonal columns; and sedimentary rock from 400 million years ago comprising uniquely shaped sandstone and siltstone. The best way to experience all or part of the eight site groups dispersed over 50 sq km is by joining a guided tour. Contact the Volcano Discovery Centre. Sea Kayak Hong Kong runs kayaking tours of the Geopark.

  • Sights in Yuen Long

    Tang Clan Ancestral Hall

    The sense of dignified grandiosity is unmistakable at Hong Kong's most magnificent ancestral hall (c 1273). The spaces and ornaments are larger than life, but keep to an understated palette. The basin feasts (parties where guests eat from basins piled with layers of food) thrown in the courtyards here by the Tangs are famous, as are the fashion shows by one of their best-known members – William Tang, a fashion designer who created uniforms for Dragon Air, the MTR and Hong Kong International Airport.

  • Sights in Sha Tin

    10,000 Buddhas Monastery

    Built in the 1950s, this quirky temple actually contains more than 10,000 Buddhas. Some 12,800 miniature statues line the walls of the main temple and dozens of life-sized golden statues of Buddha’s followers flank the steep steps leading to the complex. There are several halls and pavilions, as well as a nine-storey pagoda. It's kitsch but so unlike any other temple in Hong Kong that it's worth the uphill hike to visit.

  • Sights in Tai Po

    Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden

    Set in a valley, the 148-hectare Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden is primarily a conservation and teaching centre, but it has a few animals, and the woods and the gardens are especially lovely, with lots of indigenous flora and fauna. You can buy organic produce here as well. Bus 64K goes to the farm.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Clearwater Bay Peninsula

    Joss House Bay Tin Hau Temple

    This far-flung structure along Tai Au Mun Rd is the largest, oldest and one of the territory's most important Tin Hau temples, hence the title 'Big Temple' ('Tai Miu'). It has lovely protruding eaves, a display of miniature boats, and a courtyard where fishermen are often seen drying silver bait. 'Big Temple' was built in 1266 by Fújiànese salt traders. Behind it is a large rock with an inscription made in 1274 (Song dynasty) documenting a visit by a salt administrator and his friend, and the history of two temples. It's the oldest dated inscription found in Hong Kong.

  • Sights in Sha Tin

    Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre

    A representative of the 'Chinese Revival' architectural style, Tao Fung Shan is a Protestant retreat centre, seminary and hostel. In 1929 a Norwegian Lutheran missionary passionate about Buddhism bought land in Sha Tin and commissioned a Danish architect to design a place where Christians and Buddhists could interact – Tao Fong Shan's symbol is a cross interwoven with a lotus. The resulting buildings have black-thatched roofs, light-blue ridges and red pillars – temple-like, sort of, but with clean silhouettes and a restrained Northern European palette.

  • Sights in Tuen Mun

    Tsing Shan Monastery

    Hong Kong's oldest temple sits at the foot of Castle Peak. It was founded as early as the 400s by Reverend Pui To (literally, ‘travelling in a cup’), an Indian monk who crossed the seas in a wooden cup, although the complex you see today was rebuilt in the 20th century. Check out shrines and temples for various deities and Bodhisattvas in the sprawling complex, including one to Pui To in a grotto. Some of these have slid into dilapidation; nonetheless, they’re imbued with a spooky charm.

  • Sights in Tsuen Wan

    Yuen Yuen Institute

    Stuffed with vivid statuary of Taoist and Buddhist deities plus Confucian saints, the Yuen Yuen Institute, in the hills northeast of Tsuen Wan, gives a fascinating look into Hong Kong's tripartite religious system. The main building is a replica of the Temple of Heaven in Běijīng. On the upper ground floor are three Taoist immortals seated in a quiet hall; walk down to the lower level to watch as crowds of faithful pray and burn offerings to the 60 incarnations of Taoist saints lining the walls.

  • Sights in Tsuen Wan

    Chuk Lam Sim Monastery

    A monastery in a bucolic setting outside the tourist circuit, the large Bamboo Forest Monastery was first built in 1932 by an elderly monk who carved it out of a hillside with six disciples. The lovely Buddhist frescoes, miniature landscapes and fish ponds were added later. The second hall holds three of the largest golden Buddhas in Hong Kong. Locals come to worship the four-faced Brahma (Phra Phrom) statue from Thailand, going round in circles in prayer – clockwise or anticlockwise depending on the request.

  • Sights in Sha Tau Kok

    Kang Yung Study Hall

    This graceful study hall in the Hakka village of Sheung Wo Hang (上禾坑村) was a private school in the 18th century and once had students from as far away as Sha Tin. The building's hibiscus-framed doorway leads to two grey-bricked halls with cocklofts. Every Mid-Autumn Festival (15th day of the eighth lunar month), the Li brothers of the village, one of whom is a sculptor, make enormous sky lanterns from about 7pm and send them off from an open lawn.

  • Sights in Fanling & Sheung Shui

    Tai Fu Tai Mansion

    Located between Yuen Long and Sheung Shui, this splendid Mandarin-style building complex dating from 1865 is eclectically fused with western design. Members of the Man clan, another powerful family in the New Territories, lived here for well over a century until they moved out in 1980. The courtyard is encircled by stone walls with a guarded checkpoint. Inside, auspicious Chinese symbols are found in the woodcarvings along with art nouveau glass panels, and there is a European fountain.

  • Sights in Fanling & Sheung Shui

    Fung Ying Sin Temple

    This brightly coloured Taoist temple perched on a hillside opposite Fanling MTR station is one of Hong Kong's most important Taoist temples. It was founded in 1926 and has been meticulously renovated over the years. There are wonderful exterior murals of Taoist immortals, an orchard terrace, a wall inscribed with Laotzu's Tao Te Ching (Classic of the Tao and of Virtue), and a vegetarian restaurant (ground and 1st floors, Building A7; 11am to 5pm). There's a columbarium (a storage place for cinerary urns) behind the temple.