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Uniquely HK

Feature Story

Tsuen Wan – a town on the move

Tsuen Wan, the gateway to northwest New Territories and a vibrant satellite town undergoing dynamic transformation, offers plenty to do for the intrepid visitor.
 
 
To the uninitiated, Tsuen Wan, a large residential satellite town west of Kowloon, may appear to be just an indistinct part of Hong Kong's urban sprawl. Look closer though, you'll find a vibrant town on the move, with spanking new developments sprouting up along its scenic harbourfront, dramatically transforming its landscape. Yet, Tsuen Wan manages to retain its heritage and old neighbourhood charm, continues to serve as the link to the western part of New territories, and offers plentiful hiking trails to the mountains and reservoirs beyond .
 
 
Tsuen Wan's history is ancient; it is thought that village settlers came as early as two thousand years ago. A smattering of villages occupied the Shing Mung River Valley; some fishermen lived along the coastline of Rambler Channel, a nicely sheltered natural harbour between Tsing Yi and Tsuen Wan. Modest-scale factories began to move in early 1900s, followed by bigger textile and metalwork industries post WWII as Hong Kong itself became a light manufacturing export hub.
 
 
To address burgeoning population growth, the Hong Kong Government decided to develop satellite new towns in the 1950s and Tsuen Wan New Town, which covers Tsuen Wan, nearby Kwai Chung plus Tsing Yi, and was the first new town to be developed, with scores of housing estates built. Over the last two decades, Tsuen Wan's landscape was further transformed by several large-scale new developments on the waterfront as well as redevelopments of old factory estates.
 
 
Yet, amidst the urban sprawl, remnants of the old villages dot the foothills above Tsuen Wan. As Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong's tallest peak looms in the distance, also serves as a hub for outdoor activities with hiking trails abound to Shing Mung Reservoir, Tai Mo Shan and even
 
 
Tsuen Wan is also known as a foodie’s paradise, known for its delicious local eats, now augmented with a diverse mix of trendy international restaurants.
So why not spend a relaxing day in Tsuen Wan as CityLife gives you a rundown of all this vibrant town has to offer? We promise it will be a day well-spent.
 
 
Heritage and Cultural Landmarks
 
Sam Tung Uk Museum: A former Hakka walled village founded by the Chan clan in the 18th century Sam Tung Uk was converted into a museum, where many of the village buildings and artifacts are well-preserved, offering a glimpse of the way of life. Please check for opening information due to Covid-19 restrictions. MTR Tsuen Wan Station Exit B3
 
 
Yuen Yuen Institute: Occupying a sprawling site in the hills above Tsuen Wan near Lo Wai Tsuen, Yuen Yuen Institute is dedicated to studying and spreading Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Visitors can stop by a plethora of temples, pavilions, and prayers halls. Be sure to stop by its main building, the Temple of Heaven, where worshippers pay tribute to each of the 60 Taoist saints on display inside the main hall. Sam Dip Tam, Lo Wai Road, Tsuen Wan
 
Western Monastery: Built in the 1970s and then expanded in the 1990s, Western Monastery, which is located also in Lo Wai Tsuen, is one of the largest and most ornate temples in Hong Kong, which includes nine Chinese palace-style temples plus an open area displaying the various Buddhist deities, offering plenty of photo-ops – be respectful though. Sam Dip Tam, Lo Wai Road, Tsuen Wan
 
 
Urban Hangouts
 
 
The Mills: Originally a cotton mill factory owned by Nam Fung Group, the Mills was redeveloped in 2018 into a cultural and heritage hub comprising art workshops, experiential retail and the Centre for Heritage Arts and Textile. The architecture, which involves combining three cotton mills into a single complex is stunning and Instagram spots abound. It is definitely a cool place to spend an enlightening afternoon. 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan
 
 
 
D-Park: For a fun day out for the whole family, D-Park, a large shopping mall located in Discovery Park, a large residential estate in Tsuen Wan, is your pick. A mix of park and mall, D-Park is touted as parent-friendly, featuring a large indoor children's playground, baby changing facilities, and even an kid-friendly cinema. 398 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan.
 
 
Tsuen Wan Town Footbridge Network: Rivalling the elevated walkway system in Central as Hong Kong's most extensive, the Tsuen Wan network, which originates from Tsuen Wan MTR Station, allows pedestrians to walk to the town's major commercial and residential complexes, including the new developments in Tsuen Wan West, It makes for a pleasant and stress free walk checking out the city's major landmarks.
 
 
Citywalk: One of Tsuen Wan’s largest shopping centres, this mall is touted as Hong Kong first green mall, featuring Citywalk Plaza, a vertical garden, and a recycled chiller system. Adjacent to Tsuen Wan West MTR Station but accessible by the footbridge network.

 
Nina Tower: Originally slated to be built as the world's tallest building, Nina Tower, which looms over Tsuen Wan's skyline, is named after real estate magnate Nina Wang. Because of the height restriction as the site is near the flight path to the airport at Chek Lap Kok, Nina Tower had to be redesigned as twin towers – 80-storey and 42 storey buildings. It is still the tallest building in the New Territories and the city's sixth tallest. The 800-room Nina Hotel occupies the top floors and visitors can explore the surrounding views at its 41-floor sky lobby.
 
 
OP Mall: This trendy mall overlooks the Tsuen Wan waterfront and houses the uber popular Japanese supermarket chain Don Don Donki as its anchor tenant. OP Mall offers numerous alfresco dining options from which guests can enjoy gorgeous view of the harbour.
 
 
Tsuen Wan Waterfront (Tsuen Wan Park, Tsuen Wan Riviera Garden Park and Promenade Extension) The waterfront of Tsuen Wan along the Rambler Channel facing Tsing Yi Island has transformed into one of Hong Kong's most scenic landmarks, thanks to several large-scale new developments over the last decade. The parks are now connected via the promenade and feature gardens, playgrounds, walking paths, cycling track, a sport centre and sitting out areas – it is a most relaxing way to enjoy the waterfront. Oh, if you like taking your dogs with you on a stroll, the Tsuen Wan Pet Garden which is part of the park complex is just the place to be.
 
Gateway to the great outdoors
 
 
 Yuen Tsuen Ancient Trail: This 15-kilometre trail connects Tsuen Wan and Yuen Long and the many villages in between and was the major means of transport before Castle Peak Road was built. Part of the trail serves as nature trail. You may want to take the trail from Tsuen Wan to Sham Tseng to enjoy a moderate and vigorous hike or hike all the way to Yuen Long. Start the trail at Allway Gardens along Tsuen King Circuit.
 
 
 
Shing Mun Reservoir Loop hike: How about enjoy the natural beauty of a reservoir and, yes, monkeys, just minutes away from Tsuen Wan? The Shing Mun Reservoir, which sits just above Tsuen Wan is easily accessible from the heart of the town. The loop is an easy walk around the reservoir where along the way you encounter scenic views, varied foliage, and monkeys. You may want to divert to other trails nearby for a sterner test. Take minibus 82, Tsuen Wan MTR Station Exit A.
 
 
Sham Tseng Roast Goose: Just a few minutes away by bus from Tsuen Wan along Castle Peak Road is Sham Tseng, now a pleasant town with a mix of large residential estates and villages. Bicycling along the waterfront from Tsuen Wan to Sham Tseng is a pleasant way to get there. Sham Tseng is known for its famous roast good restaurants which include Chan Kee, Leung Kee, Yu Kee, among others. It's well worth the visit just for the goose.
 
 
Yummy eats and drinks: Tsuen Wan is known for its down home local eats and, increasingly, trendy restaurants serving a variety of regional cuisines and drinks. A sampling would include Yunnan Guizhou & Sichuan Noodle known for its inexpensive, spicy, zesty noodles; Choi Lung Restaurant, a old-style Cantonese dim sum restaurants that serves up piping hot fresh classic dim sum items; Dumpling House, where a variety of northern style boiled or fried dumplings are served. If you are a beer connoisseur, then Tap: The Ale Project at the Mills is a must visit as the restaurants serves a large collection of craft beers from both locally and abroad plus a more than serviceable American bistro menu. For desserts, Crown Mango Express, which serves a variety of mango-based puddings and desserts , is highly popular. Finally, for Cat lovers, the spacious Cat Tearoom is where you want to play with your cat while eating (you, not the cat).
 
 
 

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