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About Sha Tau Kok

Located in Hong Kong’s North District and right next to Shenzhen’s Yantian District, Sha Tau Kok was designated as part of the Frontier Closed Area in 1951. As it begins to open gradually, Sha Tau Kok has become a great choice for weekend getaways. Discover the top attractions, delicacies and cultural experiences that you shouldn’t miss when visiting this border town.

Top 10 Attractions in Sha Tau Kok

Cape of Sha Tau Kok

At the easternmost corner of Sha Tau Kok stands an old signpost that says ‘Cape of Sha Tau Kok’, along with its coordinates. In front of it, you will find a stone plaque bearing two poetic lines: ‘the sun rises from the beach (Sha Tau), / the moon hangs above the cape (Kok).’ Legend has it that these verses were written by a Qing dynasty minister, who was captivated by the picturesque scenery during his inspection visit to the coast of Guangdong. Since then, the area has been known as ‘Sha Tau Kok’. Enjoy the panoramic view of the natural coastline of Starling Inlet, where you can simply relax and listen to the soothing sea waves. Time appears to halt, just as it did for the poet, when he was moved by the magnificent scenery.

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Sha Tau Kok Pier

Did you know the longest pier in Hong Kong lies in the tiny village of Sha Tau Kok? Built in the 1960s and redeveloped in 2004, the Sha Tau Kok Pier measures 280 metres in length and is only 20 to 30 minutes away from Kat O and Ap Chau by ferry. Due to the shallow waters along the Sha Tau Kok waterfront, the pier extends into the deeper part of the sea to allow vessels to berth more easily, so the boarding point is actually positioned halfway out in the sea.

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Sun and Moon Pavilion

‘The sun rises from the beach (Sha Tau), / the moon hangs above the cape (Kok).’ These verses beautifully capture the day and night of Sha Tau Kok. The Sun and Moon Pavilion, nestled at the corner of the bay, is the perfect place to take in the breathtaking scenery. Here, you can enjoy the first ray of dawn in the morning and relish the arcadia of woods and waters of the bay, or bask in the golden sunset. As night falls, the moon illuminates the waters in a tranquil ambience.

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Fish Lantern Square

Despite its modest size, Sha Tau Kok has a rich cultural legacy. The Sha Tau Kok fish lantern dance, originating from the Wu family of the Hakka clan in Shalanxia Village during the early Qing dynasty, has a history of more than 300 years and was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2008. Mimicking the movements of fish, the dance demonstrates the Hakka people’s custom of worshipping Tin Hau. Accompanied by gong and drum music, dancers perform holding candle-lit fish lanterns to bring the underwater world to life. At the Fish Lantern Square by the waterfront, visitors can get a glimpse of the dance through colourful installations, alongside the LCSD's mascots Enggie Pup and Arttie Kitty.

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Old Sha Tau Kok Fire Station

Located at the intersection of Shun Lung Street and Shun Ping Street, the Old Sha Tau Kok Fire Station opened in 1962 and ceased operation on 18 February 2004 when a new fire station on Shun Hing Street was commissioned. Still preserving its original appearance, the historic fire station is today a prominent landmark of Sha Tau Kok. Notably, its distinctive red gates are much shorter in height than standard gates. A 1:1 replica of a century-old fire-fighting hand cart is exhibited at the entrance from time to time. Visitors can take a closer look at this historical artefact — the only one of its kind exhibited outdoors in Hong Kong.

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Chung Ying Street Garden

The geographical location of Chung Ying Street is of particular significance as it straddles the boundary. During the early days of Mainland China’s reform and opening-up, demand for supplies in the Mainland was huge. Many Hong Kong merchants set up stores at Chung Ying Street to sell local goods to Mainland customers. For many years, due to security reasons, only holders of Closed Area Permits who have residential, living or working needs to enter Chung Ying Street are allowed access. To others in Hong Kong, Chung Ying Street remains a place of history and mystery. Located in front of the Chung Ying Street Checkpoint, the Chung Ying Street Garden offers a full view of the mysterious street from the viewing deck. Visitors can also find a life-size locomotive model against the walls of a retro railway station model, and make wishes by hanging wishing plaques on the viewing deck’s railings.

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Dried Seafood Street

Sha Tau Kok Market and Cooked Food Centre mainly serve local residents. The latter serves up authentic Hakka cuisine, while a dried seafood street offers dried seafood like fish maws and salted fish. Many of these products are homemade, and some stores even allow for pre-ordering. If you’re looking for some Sha Tau Kok souvenirs, don’t miss this special street!

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Shun Ping Street Murals

Shun Ping Street is located near the old fire station. Its name suggests good luck and wellbeing. Along the street, there are two murals depicting the deity-thanking ceremony, a traditional cultural event in Sha Tau Kok. To date, Sha Tau Kok residents still celebrate the Tin Hau Festival annually, and a large-scale ceremony takes place every 10 years. In the murals, you can see one of the most distinctive celebrations — the dragon boat dance performed by Hoklo women.

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Salmon House

First constructed in 1988, Sha Tau Kok Chuen was built to provide housing for the indigenous residents of Yim Liu Ha and Tsoi Yuen Kok affected by squatter clearances. Occupying an area of over 35,000 square metre, it comprises 52 blocks with 802 flats. The estate blocks were originally painted in muted tones, but later Ying Hoi House adopted an unconventional design and was painted in a vibrant array of colours to infuse style and energy into Sha Tau Kok. Since 2020, older blocks in the estate have undergone renovation with their facades refurbished with purple, orange, pink and apple green paint. Some of the blocks are painted in pastel orange with white horizontal stripes resembling salmon fillets, earning them the nickname ‘Salmon House’.

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Starling Inlet — the Mirror in the Sea

In the 1960s, the Sha Tau Kok typhoon shelter was where Hoklo and other boat dwellers docked their fishing boats. However, when Typhoon Wanda hit Hong Kong in 1962, most of the fishing boats were destroyed. The fishermen therefore moved inshore and built stilt houses, which gradually formed a large squatter area. In 1985, the government launched the redevelopment of Sha Tau Kok with rural public housing. Three years later, the squatter occupants were relocated to the new housing estate and the stilt houses became history. Throughout the years, Starling Inlet has acted like a large natural mirror, reflecting both the former stilt houses and the small fishing boats of today, offering a glimpse into the evolving scenery through the decades.

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Nearby Attraction: Luo’s House

Built in 1930, Luo’s House served as a base for the Anti-Japanese guerrillas that entered Hong Kong during the resistance against Japanese aggression. In addition to its strategic location, the Luo family also made significant contributions during this period. Eleven members of the family participated in the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dongjiang Column, an anti-Japanese aggression guerrilla force. The house has now been transformed into the Hong Kong Sha Tau Kok Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall, featuring exhibitions on the history of the Hong Kong Independent Battalion of the Dongjiang Column and contributions of the Luo family.

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Nearby Attraction: Kang Yung Study Hall

The Kang Yung Study Hall in Sheung Wo Hang Village was built by the Li clan in the early years of the Qing dynasty and was originally established as a private school for students in the area. It was later converted into a primary school, and was closed when the last group of students graduated in the summer of 1986. Kang Yung Study Hall was declared a monument in 1991.

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Top 10 Sha Tau Kok Delicacies

Deep-fried Shredded Radish Cake

The deep-fried shredded radish cake is a Hakka snack made from ingredients such as shredded radish, dried shrimp and spices. It’s deep-fried to achieve a golden brown hue. This century-old Hong Kong street snack resembles the modern puff pastry with shredded radish. Traditional deep-fried shredded radish cake is rarely found in urban areas of the city, but Sha Tau Kok has preserved this delicacy, a a must-try for those who appreciate nostalgic flavours.

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Hakka-style Pork Bowl

In the old days, married Hakka women would prepare pork bowls near the end of the year as Chinese New Year gifts for their parents and neighbours. This traditional delicacy has long been a hidden culinary gem in Sha Tau Kok. The ingredients are simple, but the pork, steamed for hours, is so tender that it melts in your mouth. The pork absorbs the rich flavours of the fermented black beans and ginger slices placed on top, creating a delightful dish that will make you devour bowl after bowl!

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Fried Oyster Cake with Noodles

Cantonese cuisine offers a plethora of noodle topping options, but have you ever tried oyster cake with noodles? Large, succulent oysters delicately wrapped in thick egg batter, seasoned with salt and pepper, and pan-fried to perfection — these oyster cakes burst with umami goodness and are served hot with noodles. The generous portion of oysters is sure to delight foodies, too!

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Cuttlefish Omelette Roll-ups

Unlike the usual patty-shaped cuttlefish cakes, the cuttlefish cakes in Sha Tau Kok are rolled omelettes with cuttlefish paste. The exquisite taste of eggs and the delicate flavour of cuttlefish are just the perfect match. Smooth and chewy, every bite of the cuttlefish roll-ups shows the chef’s passion for food.

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Marinated Chicken with Rice

This dish is prepared using carefully selected free-range chicken with thin skin. Cooked with Hakka-style salted vegetables, the chicken absorbs the delicate flavours, resulting in a rich, savoury taste. Each piece of chicken features a smooth, glossy skin with tender meat — truly mouthwatering!

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Sha Tau Kok Sweetheart Cake

The Sha Tau Kok sweetheart cake has an ideal size that’s neither too big nor too small, and boasts a perfectly layered, flaky and light crust that crumbles instantly with each bite. Stuffed with a secret, slightly sweet filling, the cake has a mellow taste and a soft, chewy texture.

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Homemade Health Tonics

Preserved lemon with honey is a traditional local remedy for sore throat, but such health tonics are usually sold as pre-packaged bottled beverages these days. In Sha Tau Kok, you can find stores offering homemade versions of these traditional drinks, such as preserved lemon with honey, plum honey drink and home-brewed chrysanthemum tea. They can even be customised to suit your taste!

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Pineapple Bun with Corned Beef and Fried Eggs, Served with Bottled Milk Tea

The crunchy, sugary crust and the soft, fragrant bread of a pineapple bun make an impeccable match. When stuffed with savoury corned beef and fried eggs, the interplay of salty and sweet flavours creates an even more satisfying culinary experience that’s superb in both taste and texture. Paired with a custom-made bottle of rich and smooth milk tea, this delectable afternoon tea combo is sure to leave you contented throughout the day.

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Cheese Burger with Handmade Beef Patty

There are gourmet burgers even in Sha Tau Kok! Picture this: a handmade burger, stacked high with a patty oozing with juice and generous toppings. Each bite is a divine blend of juicy patty and well-toasted bun, half-melted cheese and crisp lettuce. Remember to enjoy it within five minutes when it’s still hot!

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Sha Tau Kok Shaved Ice Drinks

What’s more refreshing than a shaved ice beverage while strolling along the streets of Sha Tau Kok on a scorching summer day? The shaved ice drink in Sha Tau Kok comes in many different flavours, with the probiotic yogurt drink and fruit-based varieties reigning as the most popular choices. Each cup is made-to-order with guaranteed freshness.

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