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Sha Tin

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Covering an area of about 6,940 hectares, Shatin is set in the New Territories about 30 minutes' walk north of Central Hong Kong. Having been a small rural township, Shatin went through the fast development in the 1970s, when it was chosen by the government as the site to found one of the city's new towns. Currently it is just like a large-scale bedroom, with rows of public housing units identically laid out. Most people travel to Hong Kong city to work. 

Shatin was initially named as Lek Yuan, literally 'Source of Trickling' or 'Source of Clear Water'. During the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), it was already the habitation for a lot of people. Among over 50 villages during the prime time in Shatin, Shatin Village was the most well known. In 1898, an English official toured around Lek Yuan on day, when he asked a local villager about the name of the village, the response was Shatin. From that time onwards, Shatin referred to Lek Yuan. 

Shatin is now an area famous for the horseracing, emporium, delicate dishes and local culture. Second only to the Happy Valley racecourse in Hong Kong, Shatin Racecourse is still an amazing piece of construction and well worth a visit when the horses are in town at the weekends. It is one of the best in the world, boasting the world's richest day of turf racing, the world's first retractable roof over a parade ring, and the world's longest Diamond Vision Television screen of 70.4 meters (77 yards) in length and 8 meters (26 feet) in height. 85,000 spectators can be accommodated altogether to enjoy the thrilling horse racing at a time. When it comes to the racing season from Sep to early Jul, the spectacular events are held in the racecourse every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Many horse racing fans are attracted here to feel the excitement of the match. In the middle of the racecourse is the Penfold Park. It is open to public except for Monday and racing days. Those who show no interests in horseracing prefer to come here for fun at the weekend. 

In addition to the recreational racecourse, Hong Kong Heritage Museum offers the best access to the local culture. It is a museum for heritage of history, art and culture in Shatin, Hong Kong, by the Shing Mun River, which follows the traditional architectural style of Chinese courtyard together with the modern structural techniques. Six exhibition galleries are for the permanent display of the collections, and the other six are for the temporary display. In the 12 exhibition halls, visitors can discover how religion, the worship of different gods, fung shui and the transport and catering cultures of Shatin all emerged and evolved. 

In the center of Shatin is the New Town Plaza shopping mall. Covering an area of 200,000 square meters (49.4 acres), it is the largest shopping mall in this district, composed of Phase 1, the Grand Central Plaza and Phase 3. People of different ages and tastes can find out their favorites here. On the 3rd level of Phase 1, there is an outdoor playground called the 'Snoopy's World'. Over 60 cartoon figures are housed here. Children can have close touch with those figures. If you feel hungry during shopping, the restaurants in the plaza can serve you tasty food.

 Entrance Fee for Hong Kong Heritage Museum: HKD 10 (free on Wednesdays)

 Opening Hours:
Hong Kong Heritage Museum: 
10:00 - 18:00 (Monday to Saturday)
10:00 - 19:00 (Sunday; closed on Tuesdays)
Shatin New Town Plaza: 10:00 - 22:00

 Hong Kong Heritage Museum:
A. Take Bus No. 72A, 80M, 86, 89, 282, A41, E42, N42, N271 or R42 and get off at Heritage Museum stop; 
B. Take Subway Ma On Shan Line and get off at Che Kung Temple station. 
 Sha Tin Racecourse: 
Take Subway East Rail Line and get off at the Racecourse station.
 Sha Tin New Town Plaza: 
A. Take Subway East Rail Line and get off at the Sha Tin station; 
B. Take Bus No. 47X, 48X, 49X, 72, 80K, 80M, 81, 81K, 83K, 83S, 85, 86, 88K, 89, 269D, 282, 283, 284, 299, E42, A41, N42 N170, N 270 or N271 and get off at New Town Plaza stop;
C. Take Bus No. 85K, 86K, 86S, 89X, 170, 263R or 263 and get off at Shatin Subway station;
D. Take Bus No. 72, 80K, 80M, 81, 85, 86, 88K, 89, 282, N271, E42 or A41 and get off at Shatin Centre Street. 

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