Living in Tai Tam
One of the most beautiful national parks in Hong Kong would have to be Tai Tam Country Park. This park covers a large area of the Island filled with incredible reservoirs, birds and natural wildlife and historical elements that date back to the mid 1800’s. The mountains are covered with significant hiking trails that reach from the mountain tops to the sea. From Jardine's Lookout in the north, the Park sprawls across rolling slopes of The Twins to end at the southern border on Stanley Gap Road. The western border lies in Wong Nai Chung Gap, while Tai Tam Road marks its eastern boundary.
To respond to such beauty and in keeping with the natural elements that exist would have been a major challenge for developers not to take anything away from this serene and breathtaking location yet create a liveable space that took advantage of such views and nestled quietly into the environment. Mostly a hilly location, with steep grades and cliffs, care was taken not to overdevelop the area, and keep building heights to a minimum.
Generally this has become a family oriented district, attracting similar residents to that of the neighbouring Stanley. The main difference being that Tai Tam is quiet with no major commercial elements outside of the Redhill Plaza shopping centre (which has a large American style supermarket and a handful of retail shops), and yet is only a stroll or quick bus ride away from Stanley.
The Residences at Tai Tam
Since this recent development, Tai Tam now offers a wide range of residential accommodation ranging from high rise multi-tower developments with comprehensive facilities, through to smaller low-rise apartments and townhouse developments. Along Tai Tam Road, one will find both low and high rise properties, some of which are situated right on the waterfront and enjoy uninterrupted ocean views. Three of the major developments here are The Manhattan, Pacific View and Redhill Peninsula for example.
The Manhattan - The Manhattan consists of five towers with 312 units of varying size, from two to four bedrooms, with both simplex and duplex units. It is situated about 10 minutes walk from the beaches and amenities of Stanley. Retained for letting only by the developer, it is highly popular with expat families as it offers good accommodation and facilities at a reasonable rental, and maintains a friendly atmosphere. Many of the apartments have been completely updated, and tenants are offered the choice of the newer finish, or the original finish at a lower rental. All the apartments have small balconies that give panoramic views out over Tai Tam Bay. There is a Residents' Club comparable to a Country Club with a large swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis courts, squash courts, lots of play space and a children's playground. The complex offers ample car parking for both residents and visitors.
Pacific View - This luxury development was completed in 1990 and comprises 5 towers with a total of 374 apartments ranging in size from 2 to 4 bedrooms. All the apartments have large floor to ceiling windows and lovely sea views. There is a clubhouse with excellent resort style facilities including indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a good shuttle bus service to Stanley, Central and the MTR in Chai Wan.
Redhill Peninsula - This large complex curves around the bottom of Redhill, and comprises almost 200 spacious townhouses and low-rise duplexes and ten high-rise apartment blocks. As these properties are situated right on the coast they have spectacular views over Tai Tam Bay and out to sea. The apartment blocks offer two and three bedroom units (apart from the penthouse duplexes), The low-rise duplexes and houses have three or four bedrooms, many with an additional family area, and most have a small garden or private roof area. The recreational facilities are some of the best on Hong Kong Island with four tennis courts and a spectacular resort pool as well as gym, squash courts and other function rooms.
What can I find at Tai Tam?
While most of the residential areas overlook the sea from high cliffs, Tai Tam has its own small beach at Turtle Cove. The long stairs to get down are well worth the effort, to get to this sheltered and secluded little beach. Other beaches close by are St Stephens at Stanley, and Stanley Main Beach.
The American Country Club is in the immediate vicinity, offering private members some of the most luxurious resort facilities including a number of varied restaurants and bars, perched on the cliffs with simply knock-out views. This club is ideal for the family with so many organised activities. You don’t need to be American to join this club, and they offer different levels of membership which also includes use of the facilities at their Central located main Club.
Stanley is the closest neighbouring suburb and here you will find everything you need. Supermarkets, restaurants, shops, bars, medical facilities, post office, banks and ATM’s, dentists, pet supplies, sports grounds and more. Stanley Plaza has numerous cafes and outdoor dining options as does Main Street.
The famous Stanley markets is a fun afternoon to go exploring for bargains on electronics, home wares, clothing and nik knacks. Being a pleasant stroll down hill from Tai Tam, Stanley is the popular place for families to head to, and you will always find a taxi to bring you back up the hill come home time.
Schools - At the entrance of the peninsula are the highly regarded middle and senior school sections of Hong Kong International School, which runs the American style curriculum. The junior section is located in Repulse Bay which is also close by. Also in the Redhill Plaza are 3 preschools, Sunshine House, Tutor Time, and Woodland Tai Tam Montessori Pre-School. The Woodlands also runs primary 1 classes.
Transportation - The area is well served by shuttle buses to and from most of the apartment complex’s, regular city buses and taxis. The closest MTR ends at Ap Lei Chau or Chai Wan on the south side of the island. However it is only a short drive through the Tai Tam Gap to the MTR. Most residents who live in this area own a car for convenience and with plenty of parking spaces in the complex’s and the surrounding shopping centres, it makes things much easier when getting about with children. It takes around 30 to 45 minutes to drive in to Central.