When it was built in 1905 as a residence for government officers, this whitewashed mansion was a typical example of Hong Kong colonial architecture. The pitched tile roof is a nod to Chinese building styles, while large verandahs allowed its inhabitants to stay cool in the summer. There’s also a watchtower that overlooks Tolo Harbour. Today, the villa is protected as a historic monument and it is home to the WWF’s Island House and its gardens.Conservation Studies Centre, with exhibitions, workshops and an English-style garden — home to 140 species of plants. Bookings are required for public tours (Cantonese only) of
When it opened in 1980, this was one of the first indoor public markets in Tai Po. By the time it had reached its 30th birthday, however, it was half-dead, with vacant stalls and maintenance problems. That led to an ambitious renovation that gave the market a complete makeover, doing away with crowded, narrow aisles and adopting a more inviting, aesthetically pleasing design. Today, there’s a broad mix of tenants, from greengrocers to fishmongers and delicatessens, and there’s even a rooftop farm that produces fresh vegetables. Stay for lunch at one of the 10 cooked food stalls.
When the British leased the New Territories from the Mainland in 1898, they chose a small hill in Tai Po to raise the Union Jack for the first time. Shortly thereafter, a regional police headquarters was built on the same site. Today, the historic complex is a declared monument and the, where you can enjoy vegetarian food made from locally grown vegetables, take part in a nature-related workshop and explore the site's history through exhibitions and guided tours. Jail cells, living quarters, an armoury and a parade ground have all been preserved. The restoration effort won a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award in 2016.
Dim sum doesn’t need to be an hours-long affair in a huge banquet hall. Many people in Hong Kong enjoy a few steam baskets of dishes every morning in little neighbourhood places likewhich is located in the cooked food centre of the Tai Po Hui Market. They are famous for their steamed black bean spare rib rice, but the quail egg siu mai, char siu bau and custard buns are just as delicious.
This pint-sized museum is based at the former Tai Po Market Railway Station, though given the exhibits are life-size trains, most of the museum is outdoors. Alongside the historical interest of seeing a traditional steam locomotive, an old 1950’s Australia-made diesel electric engine and retro passenger coaches, visitors can learn about the development of the railways and MTR in Hong Kong, plus there’s an interactive educational corner. The market building is of interest alone for its early 20th century traditional Chinese pitched-roof architecture.
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