Wondering where to live in Hong Kong? It’s always good to talk to the neighbours! In our regular Street Talk feature, we get the inside scoop from residents of different areas in Hong Kong. Here, we chat to Rehana about living in Tuen Mun.
What’s your name? Rehana Sheikh.
Where you from? Pakistan, but I’m now a permanent resident in Hong Kong.
What do you do here: I’m a relocation and school consultant, and a freelance writer.
What suburb do you live in? Tuen Mun, close to the Gold Coast area.
How long have you been there? Over 30 years and counting.
Why Tuen Mun? It’s open, scenic, quiet, local and unique in a number of ways.
What transport is available where you live? Buses, green/red taxis, green minibuses, the West Rail MTR line, and a convenient but limited circular light rail service that takes you to West Rail station.
When you walk out of your house, what’s the first thing you see? The least challenging 10th stage of the Maclehose Trail. It winds around a catchment and leads into Tuen Mun Town Centre and the British school, Harrow International. I also see the “ring road” or expressway with containers, vans, buses and cars whizzing by to all parts of the New Territories.
What’s the closest store to your front door? We have a Fusion supermarket nearby in a housing complex. A 10-minute walk along a palm-tree-lined dual-carriage road and I find myself in the Gold Coast Piazza. Here, there’s a marina mooring fancy yachts – some people live on them – plus restaurants, bars, supermarkets, medical clinics, convenience stores, hairdressers and ATMs. Golden Beach is right there too.
The unofficial uniform of your suburb is: Really casual, like in a resort – except for early in the morning when people heading to work are dressed in noticeably smart casualwear.
If a celebrity moved in, it would likely be: An extremely rich celebrity because smart and well-constructed houses are abundant in this area and old houses showing “old money” have been around here for quite a while. The fancy cars driving around are fun to watch. One minute it’s a deep blue Tesla, then a yellow Lamborghini, a silver Aston Martin, a red Ferrari, and assorted models of Porches, Mercedes and BMWs
When you’re in need of a dose of culture you: I hop on a bus or, weather permitting, walk to the Tuen Mun town centre. Once there, I visit the two open markets for a leisurely wander and to check out the fresh produce. The best is seeing and smelling the freshly made black sesame seed paste. A stop at the dim sum stall for some delicious steaming fun guo, char siu bao, lo bak go and jian dui is a must.
A mandatory stop for taking out of town guests is: Golden Beach and a restaurant in the Gold Coast Hotel, or a hike on the Maclehose Trail and beyond. Also, the T Park, an environmental education centre, where there is a water-bird sanctuary, along with a garden, theatre, spa pools and a café. It’s a great place and takes up to three hours to see it all. (Make an appointment to get a free guided tour.)
A common myth about your area is: It’s difficult to get to and way too remote. In fact, the network of buses and West Rail are available at all times; I can go anywhere in Hong Kong in less than an hour if there’s no harbour crossing. Also, not many people know about the riding school, the golf course, Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre and the T Park, all of which are located in Tuen Mun. It’s also close to Shenzhen Bay – about 20 to 30 minutes by bus. I’m told there is a ferry to Macau from here, too, and an underground tunnel is being built to the airport.
If you wake up at night it’s usually because of: It’s quiet and calm here as my building is set away from the main road, so there’s no traffic. An occasional car or taxi passes by but nothing to annoyingly disturb me at any time.
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood feature is: The hiking trails that lead around many reservoirs, all the way to Yuen Long and to distant parts of Tuen Mun. You won’t find better local food than: Freshly caught fish bought from the street fish market then taken to Hoi Tin Garden restaurant located right there, to be cooked as you like. This is a favourite evening out for many local families.
The strangest thing you’ll ever see in your neighbourhood is: The assorted wildlife. I once saw a large monkey crossing the road, but before it crossed, it actually looked both ways, just like we do! There’s a display of archaeological finds in showcases on the main road… shouldn’t they be in a museum?
The best bargains in the neighbourhood are: Children’s shoes. They’re cute, cheap and durable.
The guiltiest local pleasure is: Just relaxing, vegetating and disconnecting from the rest of Hong Kong.
One thing you’d never change is: The quiet and calm in this area and the strong local flavour, which prompted me to renew my Cantonese language lessons
The city gives you HK$5 million to soup up your area; you: Build a big library and reading room. Lots of books and a great view – calming and idyllic!
Do you love your neighbourhood?
Share it with others – just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Street Talk” in the subject line. Include your name and street, and we’ll be in touch.
See more in our Living in Hong Kong section
This article first appeared in the October/November 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.