New Territories Attractions
The most impressive sight in the New Territories is the Temple of 10,000 Buddhas. Other attractions include the Art Gallery of the Chinese University, the racecourse of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and, in the south, the remarkable Amah Rock (see Sha Tin). The New Territories also boast a large number of country parks and nature reserves, a welcome change from the urban bustle and noise of Kowloon and Victoria, although unfortunately new industrial zones and housing estates continue to invade the unspoiled countryside. There is a popular walking area round the Tai Lam Chung reservoir in the southwest.
The predominantly hilly New Territories, covering an area of 924sq.km/357sq.miles, form by far the largest part of Hong Kong. In the north they stretch from Kowloon to the Chinese border, and also extend far to the east and west. In addition the numerous outlying islands - apart from the main island of Hong Kong and Stonecutters Island - come under the administrative jurisdiction of the New Territories. Actually the 99-year lease between China and Britain which expired in 1997 embraced only the New Territories, but since without them Hong Kong could not survive (because much of its food and drinking water comes from there) the British government decided in 1984 to hand back the colony in toto.
About 10km/6 mi north of Victoria Harbour is the new satellite town of Sha Tin, which already has a population of over 600,000.
To the west are the Castle Peak area, whose beaches attract many visitors, the Buddhist monastery of Po Toi and the Taoist Ching Chun Temple. The landscape is studded with villas surrounded by lawns as well as with large housing complexes. Of the many industrial establishments here particular mention should be made of the Lok On Pai desalination plant.
In the northwest it is worth making an excursion to the picturesque little town of Yuen Long.
While special permission is needed to enter the border zone with China, it is possible to see quite a way into that country from a number of viewing points, such as Lok Ma Chau in the west.