Among the second batch of satellite towns to be built in the New Territories on land reclaimed from the sea, Sha Tin is comprised of mainly residential areas lining the banks of the Shing Mun River Channel.
A network of cycle tracks throughout Sha Tin measuring 50km is the longest cycle track network in Hong Kong. The area was heralded by the Hong Kong government as a model new town, and visiting foreign dignitaries were often invited to tour the area and its modern housing estates upon completion. In addition to its residential areas, Sha Tin has four industrial areas for light industries: Tai Wai, Fo Tan, Siu Lek Yuen and Shek Mun.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong is located in Sha Tin. Visitors typically arrive via the MTR East Rail Line, disembarking at the University Station, and a minibus service operates on campus. Also in the district is Hong Kong's Sha Tin equestrian racecourse with a capacity of up to 85,000. The racecourse hosted the equestrian events during the 2008 Summer Olympics.