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Uniquely HK

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QUITTING THE ARMCHAIR getting active in Hong Kong

You may not notice at first glance the myriad of leisure and hobby activities that are available in the city. Beyond the more popular ones, you’ll surprised how many things Hong Kong people can do for fun and recreation. CityLife brings you an eclectic list of pastime activities for you to explore and enjoy!

The mild and pleasant fall weather in Hong Kong is perfect to partake in a myriad of recreational and leisure activities.  And guess what? There are a lot more to do in the city than you might imagine, both within and outside the urban setting. And if you are in a mood to try something new or adventurous, most of these activities are a lot easier to get started than you think. 
Better yet, most of the activities are supported and organised by associations or societies which offer information, lessons, and opportunities to get like-minded enthusiasts to get together; these entities best exemplify the Hong Kong civil society. 
So, whether it’s racing your model car or drones, engaging various aquatic leisure activities, indulging in relaxing exercises or hobby, or getting an adrenaline rush with bikes, skates, running through the streets of Hong Kong or even gliding effortless in the sky, the city offers all of that and more. So, come and explore with us as CityLife bring you some of the city’s most eclectic pastime activities. 
 
Racing Thrills
1.Radio controlled model car racing: Yes, it’s not quite like racing a roaring turbo-charged Formula-1 car, still, radio-controlled model car racing offers its own thrills and enjoys a dedicated, niche following in Hong Kong, complete with an international standard racing circuit available for practice and race against your friends. Jordan Valley Park, which is nestled on the foothills of Kowloon Peak just above, is home to a 190-metre track that meets international standards, plus a shorter 40-metre track. We can vouch that these little cars motor along at a pretty fast clip. Jordan Valley Park, 71 New Clear Water Bay Road
 
2.Drone Racing: Flying a drone is rapidly catching on as a hobby, here and elsewhere. You must have seen loads of traveling and hiking videos featuring views taken by drones. Another popular activity is drone racing, or FPV (First Person View) Drone Racing, whereby drone built specifically for speed and agility pit against others through an challenging obstacle course (either indoors or outdoors). Drone Racing is gearing up to be a major sport in the near future with scores of professional leagues established worldwide. There are a couple of incipient organisations created in Hong Kong for like-minded drone racing enthusiasts, including the Hong Kong Drone Sports Association, which hosted the city’s first Hong Kong Open Drone Racing Championship in 2019. Expect the pace of drone racing to pick up as the Covid-19 pandemic wanes. 
 
Relaxing – mind and body
1.Lawn Bowls: The ultimate slow-motion leisure pastime- it may not get your heart pumping, but this quaint pastime from the colonial days still requires plenty of skills, concentration, and finesse. Between private clubs and public facilities, there are surprisingly many bowling greens available, including theose in Victoria Park and Siu Lek Yuen Public Playground and even one at the Tai Po Waterfront Park featuring a natural grass surface.  The sport is well-established with grass-root leagues and tournaments taking place across the city. Check the website of the Hong  Kong Lawn Bowls Association to see how you can join in the fun.
 
2.Bird watching: There is more than meets the eyes in birdwatching. In fact, one could argue that the pleasure of bird watching is in the discovery- concentrated visual search for birds partially hidden. You may be surprised to know that despite its tiny size, Hong Kong is a haven for bird-watching – an amazing 500 species are recorded in the territories, about one-third of the species in Mainland China, many of which are migratory birds flying through Hong Kong in spring and autumn. Best places for bird watching include the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, Po Toi Island, Aberdeen Reservoir and Hong Kong Park, among many others. Bird watching is simple to do, if you want to join a group, the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society organises a bird-watching activity every month -www.hkbws.org.hk
 
Aquatic fun and thrills
1.Sailing: The sight of a flotilla of sail boats filling up Victoria Harbour on a sunny weekend can be a mesmerising sight. With over 700 kilometres of diverse topographical coastline, 260 islands, and varying winds, Hong Kong offers a superb all-year round sailing environment. There are several sailing or yacht clubs, including the venerable Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club which offer sailing lessons to the public. Whether it’s sailing a laser-class boat by yourself or crewing for a larger boat, sailing offers loads of fun, and challenge and a relaxing respite from the crowds.  Check out the websites of the Hong Kong Sailing Federation and Hong Kong Schools Sailing Association for more information on how you or your kids can get started in sailing. 
 
2.Rowing: Rowing is another popular sport that may have escaped much notice by the public. In its broadest term, rowing includes kayaking, canoe rowing, and even dragon boat racing, which in Hong Kong is popular with locals and expats. Do you know there are all year round dragon boat races organised in the city? Whether it’s paddling in solitude or rowing as a tandem or a team, rowing offers full-throated physical exertion, and the racing is unadulterated adrenaline thrill. It’s also an easy sport to pick up. The Hong Kong China Rowing Association is the governing body and many boat or yacht clubs plus private rowing schools offer rowing lessons as well. 
 
 
3.Scuba Diving: Think scuba diving, and you are likely to conjure up images of pristine islands off South China Seas or the South Pacific. But you can scuba dive in Hong Kong too, especially in the eastern part of the city where the water is cleaner and where you can find coral habitats.  Hoi Ha Marine Park is best known as a haven for scuba diving, but other places such as Mirs Bay, Tung Ping Chau and Bluff Island, among others. There are several schools that offer scuba lessons including Splash Hong Kong, Diving Express and Scuba Monster. So, why not learn to dive in Hong Kong and then you can really enjoy your diving experience when you next travel to those exotic islands?
 
Skates and Bikes
1.Roller Skating and blading: Whether it is roller-skating or roller blading, it’s a good exercise that offers the thrill of speed and the skill of balancing. Aside from skating on the streets, the city does offer many public and private indoor and outdoor skating venues. They include the Bun, a 20,000 sq. ft. skating facility in North Point and numerous facilities provided by the government. 
 
2.Skateboarding: Arguably a hipper version of roller skating, skating board also attracts a nice size following. There are over a dozen skateboarding parks, including the Morrison Hill Skatepark in Wan Chai, one of the city’s earliest, and some top-of-the line venues in Tsuen Kwun O and Diamond Hill. Start learning your turns and twirls now!
 
 
3.Ice Skating: Hong Kong may not offer the natural environ for ice-skating, but that doesn’t stop its residents from enjoying the fun and thrills of ice-skating. Almost all ice-skating rinks are in shopping malls where beginners and advanced skaters jostled for icy space under the causal eyes of spectators, but that should not detract you from learning this cool sport. Megabox in Kowloon Bay features an official size ice-skating ring suitable even for hockey matches. Other skating rinks include those at Festival Walk, Tai Koo Shing, Elements, and New Town Plaza, et al. Rentals and tutoring information are available on site. 
 
 
 
 
 
4.BMX: An acronym for bicycle motocross, BMX racing on tracks or free-style racing is a widely popular sport in many parts of the world, and it is catching on in Hong Kong as well. BMX bikes are sold in numerous shops. The HKJC International BMX Park in Kwai Chung is an internationally standard track built to host BMX competition for the 2009 Asian Games. The venue is open to the public. 
 
5.Unicycling: Simple, unassuming, but loads of fun- that is how we would describe unicycling, an emergent sport with an incipient following. The Hong Kong Unicycle Sports Club organises a  get together Friday evenings to play unicycle hockey at the YMCA King’s Parks Centenary Centre which must be a real hoot. We have been reliably told that learning to ride unicycle is easier than it looks, so why not give it a try? 
 
Adventurous and adrenaline pumping
1.Rock Climbing -outdoor: With so many sea cliffs abound, rock climbing is also another activity gaining popularity, especially as indoor climbing has become a staple feature of many gyms. Some of the better-known climbing sites include Tung Lung Chau, Beacon Hill in Kowloon near the Lion Rock Country Park, Cape Collison, and Eagle Crag in Pui O, among others. Several private companies or organisations offers climbing lessons for beginners. 
 
2.Parkour: Thrilling parkour videos are one of the more popular YouTube categories. The best way to describe parkour, a French word that means navigating or running through an obstacle course like environment, usually urban built, in any physical maneuverers possible, including running, jumping, tumbling, etc, is that it is the ultimate free-style street sports. This thrilling activity is rapidly going mainstream, and as a densely populated city, Hong Kong offers the ideal environment for parkour, if allowed. There is a Hong Kong Parkour Association which offers training lessons for the intrepid and those wanting to experience the thrills of jumping through the city’s streets and buildings.
 
3.Paragliding: Well, if any of the above activities is still not enough to get you excited enough, you can always try paragliding, which guarantees a adrenaline rush when you take off flying. Although any of the many mountains can potentially make for paragliding sites, the government has designated eight approved sites. They include Long Ke Wan, Sai Wan, Pak and Pak Tam Au all in Sai Kung, Ma On Shan which is one of the best sites, Dragon Back above Shek O, and others. There are also several paragliding schools that offer tandem gliding for beginners. 
 
 

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