I have been to this country many times and I love going back there. In fact, in all of my travels, I hold a special place in my heart for this small country. Whenever I go to Hong Kong, the place that I usually stay is in Shatin.
For just a bit of background, Hong Kong is divided into three main areas. There is Hong Kong Island, which is what most people identify with. That is the location with the beautiful skyline. Then there is Kowloon which is across the harbour from the Hong Kong Island. Kowloon is home to Tsim Sha Tsui and the famous Nathan Road which is a shoppers delight, where there are a lot of famous stores. And then there is the New Territories and outlying islands. The New Territories is next to Kowloon and then goes far back to the edge of China. The outlying islands are the small fishing villages that have a slower pace of life like a sleepy village.
In my previous visits to this country, I usually stay in Shatin. However, previously I have also stayed at Kowloon and also a place called Hung Hom. But for a cheaper option, you can stay at Shatin which is in the New Territories. In Shatin I have stayed in two hotels there. I used to stay a lot at the Regal Riverside Hotel. On my last trip to, we decided to try something new and stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott. And we were happily surprised. This hotel is only a couple of years old. So the rooms were tidy and modern and very comfortable.
Shatin is a nice area. There is a river running through the small city and this provides a great view from the window of the hotel. Another great feature is the mountains that can be seen in the backdrop. There is also a very large shopping centre close by to the hotel. This shopping centre called Newtown Plaza has a mix of low end, middle range as well as a few high end stores. There is also a great mix of restaurants and cafes to suit your tastebuds.
Most hotels in Shatin have a free shuttle bus that go from the hotel to the shopping centre. And right next to the shopping centre is the Shatin Train station. You take this train to get to Kowloon and to HK Island or you can go the other way and take the train towards the edge of the New Territories and China.
In the mornings, there is a nice way to enjoy the view by taking a stroll or a run along the river.
Also, along the river there is an iconic Chinese Restaurant that was famous a couple of decades ago. We went there for yum cha as it was only a short walk to the restaurant. And this is the restaurant that we could see out of our hotel window. At night, the lights all across the building are lit up to look like an olden day Chinese building. Inside, the décor is rather dated but the yum cha had different dishes that we had not been accustomed to before. Overall, the yum cha is definitely worth trying.
Below is a photo of the view from the hotel room. You can see the river running through and in the centre is the beautifully lit Chinese building where the yum cha is located.
Another nice tourist attraction in Shatin is the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery . It is nice to spend a few hours there and admire the many thousands of Buddhas.
If you intend to spend a lot of time in Kowloon and on HK Island and don’t want to spend much travel time commuting around, then Shatin might be a little out of the way for you. But if you don’t mind the slight inconvenience, then staying in Shatin is definitely an option. Shatin is only a few stops away from Kowloon and then you can change to the underground train line to get to Hong Kong Island. I have noticed that now, there are so many more people travelling on the MTR (train line). This is a little bit of a nuisance because it is always crowded and almost always, you will not get a seat on the train. No matter what time of the day it is, the trains always seem to be crowded. This was not the case in my previous travels to this country. But this will be something that will be a fixture in Hong Kong. And that is the sea of people wherever you go.