Chung Ying Street, Zhong Ying Jie in Mandarin, is a sightseeing and shopping street located within the Sha Tau Kok border town in Hong Kong and Shatoujiao town in Shenzhen. The street is one of the “Top Eight Attractions in Shenzhen” due to its special situation.
Chung Ying Street Name
Chung in Cantonese means China and Ying means “the United Kingdom or England“. This name is a symbol of the history of the Convention of Peking. There was a treaty between the Imperial Qing Dynasty Chinese government, which had lost the battle, and the British forces. China was surrendered, and the war was over, so China had to lease New Territories to Britain under force in 1860. Then again in 1899, the Second Convention of Peking happened, and an extension to the lease was signed by Prince Gong of the Aisin Gioro Clan of the Qing Dynasty.
Sha Tau Kok, home to Chung Ying Street
Chung Ying Street is situated in a small border town named Sha Tau Kok (Sha Tou Jiao in Mandarin). This small town is in the Yantian district, in the eastern section of Shenzhen. Sha Tau Kok split into two parts, one under the rule of the Chinese and the other governed by the British in Hong Kong. Chung Ying Street is the exact place where these two jurisdictions met each other.
History of Chung Ying Street
In 1899, Chung Ying Street was just a river, and it was the place where the British used it as the mark of the border. Thought it was a river, but its depth at the section of Sha Tau Kok was too shallow, which dried before World War II.
After the river dried, residents on both sides opened different kinds of shops. The goods imported from Hong Kong were sold at this market, and because of their lower prices, the street became a famous shopping center among Chinese living in mainland China. It was at this point that the town of Sha Tau Kok experienced its flourishing era.
This 250-meter-long street was split and ruled by two different administrations, and it earned the famous characteristic as One street, Two Systems. Chung Ying Street was the only area in Hong Kong accessible by the Chinese, and this led to Chinese tourists flooding the city in the early 1980s. Most of these people came here to buy goods like electronic appliances, bolts of fabric, and even soaps.
In the 1980s and 1990s, this area was the host to around 100,000 tourists daily. This massive number of visitors was followed by the establishment of jewelry stores and gold shops in Sha Tau Kok. People bought all kinds of foreign goods here, including watches, clothes, and other daily necessities. The street had tremendous economic success and one of its main reasons was that traveling from China to Hong Kong was strictly limited by the government.
Though everything was fine in the market, in 1978, it started changing. As a result of China’s Reform and Opening Policy, the popularity of the street declined because the Chinese could directly go to Hong Kong for their shopping. Although today the area has lost some of its popularity, it still is a famous shopping market.
Attractions of Chung Ying Street
Chung Ying Street has high popularity in its surrounding area, and tourists would love the precious cultural relics of this place. Today, there are some must-sees in the street including
- Chung Ying Street Historical Museum
- Boundary Monuments
- Ancient Well
- Banyan Tree
- Warning Bell
Chung Ying Street Historical Museum
This Historical Museum is situated on the eastern side of the street. Inside this museum, there are thousands of exhibits, primarily folk heritage, and historical relics of modern times. There are also plenty of rare old photos focusing on the Chung Ying Street history, which can be attractive to the visitors. It’s known as a great resource to gain a better understanding of this place. There are four exhibition halls in this museum.
- The first hall is about the history of Chung Ying Street and some of its folk customs.
- The second hall is focused on the 3.18 Boundary and the China-Britain Boundary of 1898.
- The third hall is about the heroic deeds that occurred between 1937 and 1945.
- The fourth hall focuses on the accomplishments and the bright future it has brought since the reform and opening policies of China.
There is an observation deck on the top of the museum building. It is an excellent place to observe the Hong Kong’s New Territories natural scenery.
Chung Ying Street has eight boundary monuments. Number 3 to 7 of these monuments were demolished during the war, and in 1948 they were re-erected. Number 1 and 2 of these monuments were preserved since 1905 when they were erected. Monument Number 8 has sunk in the riverbed. These Boundary Monuments are from the era when Chung Ying Street witnessed its flourishing period.
Ancient Wall has a three-century long history, which is situated at Chung Ying Street back-street. This place is the source of drinking water for the area. There is an old Chinese saying which states that people must not forget where their drinking water comes after they have already drunk it. Besides, the wall is one of the sources for the friendship of both sides of the street local people.
Right beside the Boundary Monument Number 4, there is the one hundred years old Banyan Tree. This tree has its roots in Shenzhen, but the branches are in Hong Kong. This situation has made the tree as a source of inspiration for many writers and artists. In one school of thought, this tree shows that mainland China has always been the most important supporter of Hong Kong.
Warning Bell is located in the square of the Chung Ying Street Historical Museum. There are eight Chinese characters engraved on the body of the bell, which can be interpreted as, keep the history in mind and alarm the bell. This bell records a century-long history of Chung Ying Street’s alterations.
How to get to Chung Ying Street?
You should take bus lines 68, B924, or B961 to Chung Ying Street (Zhongyingjie)
Although the street has lost most of its shopping attractions, you still can find digital products, cosmetics, daily necessities, and food at cheaper prices. However, other items are not worth the price. Also, remember that it’s not easy to enter this street from Hong Kong, so try to enter from Shenzhen. Besides, don’t forget to bring your passport as it will be necessary for you. We will be grateful if you share your experiences and comments about Chung Ying Street. Also, don’t forget that our professional guides are always prepared to reply to your questions as soon as possible