Sai Kung Town
西貢市中心, 西貢市, 西貢墟
Aerial view of Sai Kung Town (2017)
Etymology: Sai Kung
Sai Kung town centre
Map of Xin'an County of 1866 (enlarged), showing the Port Shelter and the area Sai Kung
Sai Kung Town
Sai Kung Town
Sai Kung Town in Hong Kong
Coordinates: 22°22′53″N 114°16′24″E / 22.38140°N 114.27333°E / 22.38140; 114.27333Coordinates: 22°22′53″N 114°16′24″E / 22.38140°N 114.27333°E / 22.38140; 114.27333
SARHong Kong
RegionNew Territories
DistrictSai Kung
Foundedbefore 1900s
 • Total11,927
 Census boundary based on Sai Kung Central constituency,[1] not based on OZP
Time zoneUTC+8 (Hong Kong Time)
Scenes from Sai Kung Town
Scenes from Sai Kung Town

Sai Kung Town (Chinese: 西貢市) or simply Sai Kung (Chinese: 西貢) is a town on Sai Kung Peninsula, facing Sai Kung Hoi (Inner Port Shelter), part of Sai Kung District in the New Territories, Hong Kong. Sai Kung is the central hub of nearby surrounding villages, and hence the name may also refer to the areas in its immediate surroundings.


Sai Kung Town, or just Sai Kung, was established as a market town for the surrounding villages as 西貢墟, around 100 years ago.[2] Nowadays, in legal documents, the town is more often referred to as 西貢市. Despite in modern transliteration, usually meaning city, in Classical Chinese, and both mean market. The word was also used by the colonial British government to transliterate the word Town, as in, for example, Tai Po Town.

The name Sai Kung (Chinese: 西貢) first appeared in Western publications dating back to the early 1900s, but the settlement was at that time only described as "the village of Sai Kung".[3] Sai Kung also probably first appeared on the map of the Xin'an County,[4] made by Simeone Volonteri in 1866. The origins of the name Sai Kung are unknown.[4] Moreover, there are criticisms of the accuracy of Volonteri's map in general,[5] particularly as regards specific place names, such as Green Hill, which historically known as Tuen Mun Hill.[6]


According to Professor David Faure [zh], no market was recorded where modern day Sai Kung District is today in the Qing dynasty's Xin'an Xianzhi (Chinese: 新安縣志; lit. 'Gazetteer of the Xin'an County'), either in the Kangxi edition (1688) nor in the Jiaqing edition (1819).[7] Instead, Faure stated that, due to inaccessibility of land-based transport, Leung Shuen Wan was probably developed into a moorage inlet in the 18th century.[7] Shops were opened on Leung Shuen Wan Island (known in English as the High Island, though this is not within the modern boundary of Sai Kung Town), as well as a Tin Hau Temple, for the boat people that lived on their boats.[7] Objects in the Temple dated back to year 1741 of the western calendar.[7]

Faure also stated that market(s) on Sai Kung Peninsula was/were founded before the signing of the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory in 1898, which ceded the whole Peninsula to the Hong Kong colony as the New Territories and New Kowloon. In the early 1900s, Sai Kung market had expanded to 50 shops, plus 4 boat-building sheds. At the same time, a smaller market of 18 shops existed in Hang Hau.[7] (Hang Hau became part of the built-up area of Tseung Kwan O New Town, and not part of Sai Kung Town.)

There were no proper educational centres in Sai Kung Peninsula at that time, as traditional study halls were located in the smaller villages. However, the Catholic Church of Hong Kong had established a primary school there at the end of the 19th century, which taught a Western curriculum in the market town.[7] The colonial British government also established a police station and a dispensary near the market.[7]

During World War I, ships were required to be inspected by the Royal Navy when entering or leaving Victoria Harbour. The Port Shelter and Sai Kung market town were located outside the harbour, and thus benefited from the policy by becoming places for resupply.[7] A temple inside the Sai Kung market town also became the local civic centre for the settlement of disputes.[7] The shop owners, who were not from the surrounding villages, even acted as representatives for Sai Kung in Heung Yee Kuk in the 1920s. Heung Yee Kuk represented the interests of the rural villages of the New Territories and was recognized by the colonial government as a consulting institution. However, in the 1930s, the local merchants formed their own chamber of commence and gradually took over political influence in the market town.[7] Nowadays, however, the Heung Yee Kuk seat for the Sai Kung Central constituency is elected by the local residents of the town through universal suffrage. The rural villages surrounding the town still elect their own representatives to Heung Yee Kuk.

According to another author, Sai Kung market town expanded economically in the 1950s. At the time, the world was enforcing an embargo policy on the newly established People's Republic of China, and the market town became a place for smuggling goods to the Republic.[8]

Sai Kung town underwent significant expansion during the 1970s when the High Island Reservoir and its associated water management schemes required some villagers and fishermen to be rehoused in Sai Kung. This provided a core of government-funded new development, both housing and commercial, in the town centre. This was followed by the Tui Min Hoi (literally 'over the harbour') development under the government's market town programme.[citation needed]

Before the relocation of the airport of Hong Kong from Kai Tak to Chek Lap Kok, the town was a popular residential area for airport staff from all over the world.[citation needed]

The town is next to Sai Kung Hoi, which was a fishing harbour. The harbour is now a typhoon shelter, where motorized junks used in the local tourist trade are moored. They are boats that can be hired for fishing and swimming trips.


The statutory boundary of the town was regulated by urban zoning plan Sai Kung Town Outline Zoning Plan (OZP), which was prepared in the 2000s,[9] and approved circa 2006.[10] However, in election, the town is served by the constituency Sai Kung Central, which roughly cover the same area as the OZP.

The statutory boundaries of the town are Hiram's Highway, Po Tung Road and Tai Mong Tsai Road in the north and west. In the south the town is bordered to the conservation area Tsiu Hang Special Area, as well as Pak Sha Wan Peninsula. In the east the coastline served as the boundary.[11]


Climate data for Sai Kung (1994–2017)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 17.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.5
Average low °C (°F) 13.4
Average rainfall mm (inches) 43.4
Average rainy days (≥ 0.5 mm) 5.0 7.0 10.7 11.1 15.4 17.7 15.6 15.4 11.6 5.9 4.7 4.7 124.8
Average relative humidity (%) 74 80 82 85 84 83 82 82 78 73 73 69 78
Source: Hong Kong Observatory[12][13][14]

The coordinate of the weather station is 22°22′32″N 114°16′28″E / 22.37556°N 114.27444°E / 22.37556; 114.27444.

Public housing

Hoi Cheung Lau, Tui Min Hoi Chuen
Hoi Cheung Lau, Tui Min Hoi Chuen

Tui Min Hoi Chuen (Chinese: 對面海邨) is a public housing estate in Tui Min Hoi, developed by Hong Kong Housing Society. It is the first rural public housing estate developed by Hong Kong Housing Society. It consists of 4 blocks of 5-storey buildings completed in 1984, 1985 and 1986 respectively.[15][16]

Lakeside Garden
Lakeside Garden

Lakeside Garden (Chinese: 翠塘花園) is primarily a subsidised private housing estate[17] and Flat-for-Sale Scheme estate on the reclaimed land.[18] It is the third rural housing scheme developed by Hong Kong Housing Society. It consists of ten private residential blocks and one rental residential block, completed in 1997.[15] The rental block provides affordable rental housing similar to those of Hong Kong Housing Authority.[15][19]


Sai Kung Town is primarily served by double-decker buses, public light buses and green taxis. There is no MTR link to Sai Kung Town. Ferry services are available to the neighbouring islands and isolated coastal villages in the Sai Kung Hoi, as well as to the public golf course on one of the nearby islands.


Sai Kung is served by Sai Kung & Clearwater Bay Magazine, a free-distribution English language monthly magazine and the community website


The Hong Kong Academy is located in Sai Kung.

Sai Kung Sung Tsun Catholic School (Primary Section & Secondary Section) is also located in Sai Kung.


  1. ^ "District Profiles at the website of 2011 Population Census".
  2. ^ 西貢墟 [Sai Kung Town]. (in Chinese). Sai Kung District Council. c. 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  3. ^ Asiatic Pilot Vol.3: Coast of China, Yalu River to Hongkong with Formosa 1909. U.S. Hydrographic Office. 1910. p. 549.
  4. ^ a b 糧船灣養魚業協會. 西貢海域的漁業文化特色. (in Chinese). Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  5. ^ Ng, Ronald C. Y. (June 1969). "The San On Map of MGR. Volonteri". The Geographical Journal. 135 (2): 231–235. doi:10.2307/1796827. JSTOR 1796827.
  6. ^ 劉智鵬 [Lau Chi-pang] (July 2012). 屯門與青山. In Lau Chi-pang; 劉蜀永 [Liu Shuyong] (eds.). 屯門. 香港地區史研究 (in Chinese). Hong Kong: Joint Publishing (Sino United Publishing). ISBN 978-962-04-3147-0.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Faure, David (1986). "Local Alliances". The structure of Chinese Rural Society: Lineage and Village in the Eastern New Territories, Hong Kong. East Asian Historical Monographs. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press. pp. 121–127. ISBN 0-19-583970-6.
  8. ^ 爾東; 何泳儀; 何展鵬 (June 2017). 西貢區 [Sai Kung District]. 樂遊新界東街市 (in Chinese). Hong Kong: Ming Pao Publications. p. 29. ISBN 978-988-8444-43-4.
  9. ^ Chan, Albert; Suen, Michael (13 November 2002). "LCQ15: Outline Zoning Plans". Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau; Legislative Council. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Approved Sai Kung Town Outline Zoning Plan referred back for amendment" (Press release). Hong Kong Government. 23 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Draft Sai Kung Town Outline Zoning Plan approved" (Press release). Hong Kong Government. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Monthly Means of Meteorological Elements for Sai Kung, 1994-2017". Hong Kong Observatory. 21 February 2018. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Monthly Means of Meteorological Statistics for Sai Kung, 1994-2017". Hong Kong Observatory. 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Extract of Annual Data - Sai Kung". Hong Kong Observatory. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2017.[dead link]
  15. ^ a b c "香港房屋協會".
  16. ^ Tui Min Hoi Chuen Archived 2007-10-14 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Monthly Rent of Housing Society's Rental Estates Archived 2009-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Photo Content Cover (Internet English)". July 21, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21.
  19. ^ "香港地方 | 建設及建築物 | 房協屋村(二)".

Media related to Sai Kung Town at Wikimedia Commons