Notice to Members of the Public

Licences / Permits

The New Frontier Closed Area Boundary

The coverage of the Frontier Closed Area (FCA) is specified in the Schedule to the Frontier Closed Area Order (Cap. 245 sub. Leg.A) made under section 36 of the Public Order Ordinance.

The Government announced in January 2008 the plan to substantially reduce the land coverage of the Frontier Closed Area (FCA) from about 2,800 hectares to about 400 hectares. The reduced FCA would cover only the Police’s boundary patrol road and the land to its north, the boundary-crossing facilities, Sha Tau Kok Town, the Starling Inlet, and parts of Mai Po. The exercise seeks to reduce the FCA to the minimum necessary for the protection of public order and boundary security, obviating the need for local residents and visitors alike to obtain Closed Area Permits to access the area.

The FCA reduction is implemented in three stages. The first and second stages of the FCA reduction, covering the entirety of the boundary except the part between River Indus (Ng Tung River) and Lin Ma Hang, were implemented on 15 February 2012 and 10 June 2013 respectively.

Following the completion of construction works of boundary patrol road between River Indus (Ng Tung River) and Lin Ma Hang, the third stage of FCA reduction takes effect on 4 January 2016, in which more than 900 hectares of land are excised from the existing FCA. This also brings the whole FCA reduction exercise to completion.

The Police call on the public to be mindful of the new boundary of the FCA after its official opening in order to avoid inadvertent entry into the Closed Area. Any person who enters or leaves the FCA without a valid Closed Area Permit shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $5,000 and to imprisonment for 2 years, pursuant to section 38 of the Public Order Ordinance (Cap. 245, Laws of Hong Kong).

People should pay attention to the following hiking routes:

  1. The section of Lin Ma Hang Road between Wang Lek and Sha Tau Kok is a Frontier Closed Area. Except with a valid Closed Area Permit, hikers entering Lin Ma Hang Village are not allowed to leave via the said section of Lin Ma Hang Road. (Hikers are advised to end the journey at the Kwong Shan Police Lookout and follow the same route back to Robin’s nest);
  2. From Robin’s Nest and Hung Fa Chai to Tam Shui Hang Tsuen or Shan Tsui Tsuen (Upon arriving at the intersection 50Q KK126963 / 50Q KK127964, hikers should head eastward for Tam Shui Hang Tsuen or Shan Tsui Tsuen. It is not recommended to take the northern trail towards Pak Kung Au because there is no known path to proceed to Tam Shui Hang Tsuen or Shan Tsui Tsuen); and
  3. From Ma Tseuk Ling or Man Uk Pin via Robin’s Nest and Hung Fa Chai to Lin Ma Hang Village, Tam Shui Hang Tsuen or Shan Tsui Tsuen (Please refer to the recommendations set out in (i) and (ii)).

Given that some of the newly opened areas are adjacent to some popular hiking trails, FCA warning signs were set up near these trails to remind hikers of inadvertent entry. For the new boundary of the FCA, please refer to ANNEX.

Source: Frontier Closed Area (Amendment) Order 2015, L.N. 217 of 2015

Following the 1st phase of opening the Sha Tau Kok Frontier Closed Area (“FCA”) in the northern New Territories in June 2022, the government will further open up Sha Tau Kok FCA in January 2024 to allow the public to gain a deeper understanding of the local history, culture, natural scenery, and tourist attractions in Sha Tau Kok. The Sha Tau Kok FCA (except Chung Ying Street) will be opened for travelers holding valid Closed Area Permits on a quota basis, including tour groups and individual tourists.

Interested members of public can visit the following website to understand the procedures for applying for Tourism Closed Area Permits, and to submit an application.

For information about local tours to the Sha Tau Kok Frontier Closed Area, public can pay attention to the announcement made by the Hong Kong Tourism Industry Council or directly contact licensed travel agencies to sign up for the tours.