The small rural village of Sha Tau Kok is located on the northern shoreline of Starling Inlet, 10 km north-east of Fanling. The town centre is by the sea and the northern part of the town encompasses the hill known as Yuen Tuen Shan (元墩山).
Sha Tau Kok on the Hong Kong side of the border is a rural town, part of North District and lies within the Frontier Closed Area. It has a post office, a bank, a few shops and a small population. Most of its residents are from Hakka farming or Hoklo (Hokkien) fishing backgrounds. Both farming and fishing have declined in the past few decades, with the better educated younger people moving to live and work in urban areas. Older villagers, however, remain, most living in the government housing complex in Sha Tau Kok or in other nearby villages. Many working families return to visit on weekends or during festivals or holidays.
The border between mainland China and Hong Kong runs along Chung Ying Street. There is a perception of it being a notorious point of goods trafficking. When the checkpoint opened a flow of Chinese nationals enter Chung Ying Street with visiting permits. Some may make several trips a day acquiring goods and abusing the custom tariff limits on goods. These traffickers then unload their burden to collect their pay inside mainland Shatoujiao. Although there are a lot of goods leaving Hong Kong from Sha Tau Kok via Chung Ying Street there is also an inflow of foodstuffs and other commodities that come through from China into Hong Kong throughout the day, and only limited by the closure of the Chinese custom post.
The control point of the access to Shenzhen is located northwest of the hill in Shan Tsui (山咀).