Header image courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto (via iStock)
Literally translated as “bound by heaven and water,” Tin Shui Wai is as picturesque a place as the images its name conjures up. Before the 1990s, this far-flung neighbourhood in the northwestern corner of New Territories was little more than a rural patchwork of paddy fields and marshes, inhabited mostly by local fishermen. However, over the recent decades, Tin Shui Wai has undergone waves of gentrification, carving its own corner in the Yuen Long District as a modern yet laid-back new town awash with a vibrant community atmosphere, nature’s splendour, and a myriad of small, locally-owned eateries. Here’s your friendly guide to all the best things to do, see, and eat in this charming neighbourhood.
If there’s one place to bask in Tin Shui Wai’s tranquil surrounds and scenic beauty, it’s the Hong Kong Wetland Park. Since its opening in 2006, this world-class nature reserve has attracted families, tourists, and wildlife-seekers in droves for a fun and educational day trip or an idyllic escape from the concrete city life. Spend an afternoon here among Hong Kong’s prized flora and fauna—including verdant mangroves, black-faced spoonbill, and even a saltwater crocodile—as you meander through 61 hectares of lush wetland. To further enrich your experience and learn more about the sights of the area, don’t forget to check out the park’s many themed exhibitions and galleries!
Hong Kong Wetland Park, Wetland Park Road, Tin Shui Wai | (+852) 3152 2666
Note: Due to COVID-19, Hong Kong Wetland Park is temporarily closed. Please check their opening times.
From barbecue sites and carnival games to pedal boats and creature comforts, this recreational paradise has all the right ingredients for the perfect family outing. Located just southeast of Sha Kong Wai village, Luk Tin Yuen is a barbecue site at its heart, but there is so much more packed in the nearly 200,000 square feet of land. Little ones will have a blast feeding goats and unleashing their energy with action-packed games while adults can kick back and enjoy a laidback barbecue beside the pond. Plus, entry and parking are completely free, so what's stopping you from paying a visit?
Luk Tin Yuen (綠田園), Sha Kong Wai, Tin Shui Wai (enter via Tin Wah Road) | (+852) 2472 6848
Journey through the past and revisit Hong Kong’s early settlement history on the Ping Shan Heritage Trail. Stretching for 1.6 kilometres on the southern fringes of Tin Shui Wai, this walk is ideal for those looking for an easy, yet culturally-immersive experience. Along the route, you will see over a dozen temples, ancestral halls, shrines, and other historical structures built by the Tang clan, who first settled the area in the twelfth century and are known as one of the Five Great Clans of the New Territories. Noteworthy sites to look out for are the Tang and Yu Kiu ancestral halls, the old walled village of Sheung Cheung Wai, and the three-storied Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda—the only surviving ancient pagoda in Hong Kong. Click here to read more about this historic heritage trail.
Surrounded by a thicket of residential high-rises in the eastern part of Tin Shui Wai New Town, Dragon Park is truly an oasis of calm in the urban sprawl. Covering just under two hectares of land, size may not be this park’s main attraction, but its serene atmosphere and classical Chinese architectural façade have made it a beloved spot for frazzled city dwellers and enthusiastic Instagrammers alike. The stunning Jiangnan style pavilions, stone-slab pathways, and foliage-flanked lotus pond entreat visitors to cast aside all their worries and imagine themselves transported to an imperial garden in ancient China.
Dragon Park, 2 Tin Lung Road, Tin Shui Wai | (+852) 2478 4342
Want to get a (literal) taste of Tin Shui Wai’s rural fishing past? Head out to Lau Fau Shan Seafood Fishing Village! Situated on the shore of Deep Bay, Lau Fau Shan once thrived on its lucrative oyster farming business, and while the industry has a dwindled to a mere fraction of its hay day, Lau Fau Shan Seafood Fishing Village has stood the test of time, continuing to lure visitors with its famous seafood delicacies. Swing by the oyster market to stock up on local dried seafood and catch local oyster farmers shucking away at the shelled creatures. Once you’re done exploring the village and filling your belly with scrumptious seafood delights, amble over to the seaside and wrap up your day by watching the golden sunset over the serene waters of Deep Bay.
Lau Fau Shan Seafood Fishing Village, 233 Deep Bay Road, Lau Fau Shan
T Town is your one-stop shopping and dining destination in Tin Shui Wai. Within the modern, sky-lit space is an eclectic mix of branded stores covering all different retail sectors, ranging from fashion and sportswear to electronics and cosmetics, so you are sure to find something that tickles your fancy. If that’s not enough, an additional point of interest here is the newly refurbished wet market on the ground floor of T Town North, known as T Market. This sophisticated fresh market offers not only a comfortable and spacious shopping environment to its customers, but also a real visual treat with its sophisticated wooden furnishing and gorgeous Japanese-style paper lanterns.
T Town, 30 & 33 Tin Wah Road, Tin Shui Wai | (+852) 3977 4903
Petrolhead or not, you are bound to love this race car-themed café simply because its décor is utterly charming and whimsical. Dolled up with checkered floor tiles, hanging traffic lights, and red leather car seats (seatbelt lock included!), Motors Café looks as if a race car track and a retro 1950s American diner melded together in the most aesthetic way possible. Enjoy the funky-fun atmosphere as you tuck into their signature Racer Pizza ($128), which is topped with mushrooms, ham, and a godly heaping of ooey gooey cheese, or their uber-rich and creamy risotto with crab meat and asparagus ($98).
Motors Café, G/F, 105 Hang Mei Tsuen, Ping Shan, Yuen Long | (+852) 2662 2162
What this takeaway burger shop lacks in space, it makes up for in price and big, juicy burgers. Not for the faint of heart, Rural Burgerism is famed for their handcrafted, made-to-order beef patties that are even thicker than the bun they’re served on. Opt for the beef burger with egg ($34) and savour the magical contrast of textures between the crispy bun, succulent patty, and gooey egg yolk that comes oozing out when you bite into the meaty goodness. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try one their equally decadent burgers made with chicken ($35), portobello mushroom ($40), and soft-shell crab ($58)!
Rural Burgerism, Shop A88, G/F, Kingswood Richly Plaza, 1 Tin Wu Road, Tin Shui Wai | (+852) 5400 2269
Is there anything better than a steaming bowl of noodles to bring comfort and warmth on a chilly day? Lai Kong Yunnan Rice Noodles has been a long-standing stalwart in Tin Shui Wai for its affordable yet extremely moreish Yunnan-style noodles, amassing hordes of hungry diners whenever lunchtime rolls around. There are four different soup bases and nearly two dozen quality toppings to pick from, but we keep going back for the chicken wings and pork belly paired with their flavour-packed spicy and sour broth. If you’re itching for more fiery fare, a plate of their signature mala chicken ($36) should fix you up nicely!
Lai Gong Yunnan Rice Noodles (麗江雲南米線), Shop C45A, 1/F, Phase 1, Kingswood Richly Plaza, 1 Tin Wu Road, Tin Shui Wai | (+852) 2447 0999
Step into this spacious, industrial-style café for a casual Western dining experience. The menu features a mouthwatering selection of light bites, pasta and pizzas, as well as steaks and chops available in the evening, but in-the-know foodies will tell you that their lunch sets—which include a salad or soup and a beverage—are what to come for. We are huge fans of the carbonara ($54) and the mushroom linguine with pesto sauce ($54), both of which are served perfectly al dente and drenched in a fragrant and dreamy sauce. An extra side of chunky fries with assorted dipping sauces ($38) is highly recommended.
Bello Dining, Shop 2011–2013, 2/F, One Sky Mall, 8 Tin Sau Road, Tin Shui Wai | (+852) 2899 2887
If your sweet tooth is crying out for a bit of attention, then perhaps a stop at Idou Dessert is in order! Located just a stone’s throw away from the MTR station, this fusion dessert shop is best known for their menu of inventive offerings like durian lava cake ($58) and bubble milk tea waffles ($55), but they’ve also got the humbler Chinese classics like tofu pudding ($30) and mango pomelo sago ($33) down to a pat, ensuring that every palate will be pleased.
Idou Dessert, Shop 1, G/F, 249 Sheung Cheung Wai, Ping Shan, Tin Shui Wai | (+852) 2488 6002