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Special Interests

Spectator Sports & Horse Racing

Hong Kong plays host to some of the most exciting international sports events every year. Among them is the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival International Races held each June or July as based on a traditional Chinese festival. The annual Rugby Sevens is the biggest sporting spectacle of the year, and the Hong Kong Open Golf Championship draws top players in November.

The most prevalent spectacle sport among the locals of Hong Kong is horse racing, which is held from September to June on Wednesday nights and weekends. Today, this sport has become a faddish form of gambling with thousands of people placing bets before the races each week. The minimum is HK$10, and winnings often reach the millions. Visitors can join in on the action with the HKTA's memorable Come Horse Racing Tour that will allow them to enjoy the experience from the luxurious members-only enclosure. Visitors may also choose to go to the races themselves. Admission to the public stands is only HK$10. One can call the Hong Kong Jockey Club hotline (1817) for more details.

Tai Chi

To experience another totally different exercise, try tai chi or 'shadow boxing', which is a traditional Chinese exercise based on the principles of martial arts as well as a common form of exercise among the Asians. In Hong Kong, it is normally the older generation who assembles at parks to practice this extremely graceful martial art.

Tai chi and 'qigong' are based on the belief that the human body is endowed with the life energy, 'qi'. If this life energy can be controlled, a person can influence the course of certain ailments that afflict the body.

Tai chi combines thought and action and is developed from an ancient Chinese martial arts. Its moves are based on animal fighting patterns with no abrupt transitions. The essence of tai chi is a combination of control and balance. On the other hand, certain forms of qigong involve hardly any movement. Hence breathing and 'sinking into oneself' are of prime importance. The 'wild goose qigong', however, entails a great deal of movement and is aesthetically appealing.

There are three weekly free classes in English on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at Tsim Tsa Tsui Park from 7:15 a.m. Classes are on first-come-first-served basis and can accommodate a maximum of 30 participants.

Other Activities

Apart from the above mentioned sports, there are others such as basketball, badminton, table tennis, and volleyball that can be played at Provisional Urban Council sports complexes, which provide excellent and inexpensive facilities. For inquiries, call the Provisional Urban Council at 2598 4480 or 2927 8080. The Hong Kong Squash Centre (2521 5072) and Victoria Park (2570 6186) are open to visitors who want to have a game of squash.

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