Ten Things to do in Hong Kong, #8

Get In or On the Water

It’s easy, in the urban crush, to forget that Hong Kong was, at one time, almost completely made up of small fishing communities. The sea is very much a part of Hong Kong’s history and its present.

Two months ago I posted an item on Hong Kong’s beaches and how much cleaner they were than 20 years ago. I’ve also talked about riding the ferries to see how much of Hong Kong’s commercial life depends on the sea. I’ve mentioned how interesting it is to ride the water taxis in Aberdeen harbor to get a sense of how the thousands of boat people live.

Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Water Sports Site
Hong Kong Water Sports Center

In addition to all these watery goodies there are many additional ways to get involved in the “sea side” of Hong Kong’s culture. There are nine accredited Scuba Diving schools that I know of. Check the yellow pages for listings or check out the “3 Routes Hong Kong Scuba Diving Directory” on the internet.

There are many, many public swimming pools in Hong Kong that are open to all. They may appear to be crowded especially on hot weekend days but, hey, that’s all part of the Hong Kong experience. They are listed in the phone book or you can access the total list on the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Beaches and Pools web page.

Hong Kong’s sole Olympic Gold Medal winner, San San, did it windsurfing. As a result, windsurfing has become very popular and there are many venues and centers where you can either take instruction or rent equipment. You can find basic information at the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Water Sports Site or at the Hong Kong Windsurfing Association website.

A newer and more expensive water sport is Wakeboarding which seems to have replaced Water Skiing in popularity. Of course, if you prefer water skiing, there are places to rent boats and equipment. There are a number of wakeboarding centers listed in the Yellow Pages and the Hong Kong Water Skiing Association website has much information.

As you can imagine, sailing is very popular in Hong Kong, though mostly with expats. You can rent a small sailboat or charter a large one. As you can imagine, many of the sailing clubs are private and/or invitation only but the Aberdeen Boat Club offers instruction and rentals. There are also a number of centers where you can learn to sail and/or rent small boats. They are listed in the Consumer Yellow Pages.

If you are interested in power boating, you can charter motorized junks or motorized yachts. You can also go kayaking, canoeing, paddle boating on the Wong Nai Ching Reservoir, deep sea fishing from the Sai Kung main pier and dolphin watching near the Lantau North Country Park or from a boat at the Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park off the western side of Hong Kong Island. Check at one of the Hong Kong Tourist Board offices for more information, recommendations and directions.

As I keep saying, Hong Kong is more than its shops, malls and restaurants.