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Clear Water Bay

This is perhaps the most attractive area in the New Territories. Located on the eastern edge of Hong Kong, Clear Water Bay coils around the side of the Kowloon mountain range, and then down the peninsular past smart villas and compact villages to the aptly named bay itself. During summer, the bay is swamped with revelers on company junks and the beach is packed with avid swimmers and sunbathers.

Shaw Brothers Movie Studio

Before reaching Clear Water Bay, a road leads past this movie studio, which is a foundation of the local film industry. The stars of the films shown here are all Chinese celebrities who enjoy a following that can rival that of any Hollywood elite.

Down the road is the exclusive Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club, a distinct landmark with its odd pyramid-shaped clubhouse. Visitors can play the course, but green fees are very high.

Tin Hau Temple

A section in the shoreline forms Joss House Bay, which comes alive once a year during the birthday of the sea goddess, Tin Hau. Myriad of fishing boats and sampans head over to pay their respects to the Queen of Heaven and Goddess of the Sea. The temple was constructed by two brothers who were allegedly saved by Tin Hau when their junk was destroyed by a typhoon in the 11th Century. While lost at sea, both brothers held on to the statue of Tin Hau, prayed for her help, and finally reached the nearby Tung Lung Island alive. Years later, after the brothers became rich, they built the temple on the island and devoted it to the deity who had rescued them.

Sai Kung

Sai Kung town is a charming seaside town with fine harbor-front seafood restaurants, Western cafes, and pubs. Hiram's Highway branches off Clear Water Bay Road, leading down to the town of Sai Kung. City folks often come here to get away from the bustling atmosphere and to enjoy the natural beauty and trails of the area. Golfers and windsurfers also flock here to indulge in the facilities available.

The most fascinating part of the town is found behind the Tin Hau temple off Yi Chun Street. A labyrinth of narrow alleys lead past traditional herbalists and noodle shops that are scattered with ordinary family homes, which house several generations under one roof. Saunter around for a glimpse of village life.

Kau Sai Chau Golf Course

Catch a ferry from the harbor to the Kau Sai Chau Golf Course, which is popular among golf enthusiasts. As it is a public course, green fees are not as pricey as those in private clubs. The course is relatively splendid. Its design include excellent facilities and landscaping, and has turned the place into one of the most popular and beneficial recreation spots in the whole of the territory.

Sai Kung Country Park

The MacLehose Trail is the starting point of Sai Kung Country Park's trail. Stretching 100 km, the trail goes past open country, from one side of the New Territories to the other, across hills as far as Tuen Mun. The trail is well-marked and there are camping grounds along the way. Some parts are slightly steeper, but it should not be a problem for those used to hiking.

At the end of the Country Park is Hoi Ha, a small stretch of sand on the edge of a marine reserve. The nicest beach of Sai Kung is Tai Long Wan, which is accessible through an hour's walk on the trek, either around the High Island Reservoir or by cutting across the hills along the MacLehose Trail from the road at Pak Tam Au. Surfing is excellent over on this beach. There are also a few stalls selling cold beer and hot noodles. However, avoid swimming too far out because of the strong undercurrents.

Wong Shek

After Pak Tam Au, the road swoops down through woods and little villages to Wong Shek pier. Wong Shek is noted for its terrific windsurfing, with a Jockey Club water sports center that supply dinghies and windsurfing boards at reasonable rates. On most Saturdays and Sundays, the harbor is dotted with small sails. Picnics and barbecues are popular here, as there are many superb sites with ample barbecue pits to meet the demands of visitors.

The place is quieter on weekdays, which is advantageous for those who prefer more privacy. If one is adventurous enough, bargain with one of the local boat owners on the pier and make a trip around the point to Chek Keng, which is a more secluded area of Hong Kong that even the residents know little about. The place is relatively traditional and maintains a lifestyle similar to that of centuries ago.

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