Adventures in East Asia

Dragon Boat Racing at Shatin, New Territories

The 28th May, a Thursday, was a public holiday in Hong Kong. I thought this was a little strange, since people would still need to go back to work for one day on Friday. No long weekend for Hong Kongers!


Anyway, it was this day that Dragon Boat Racing events were being held all over Hong Kong it seems. There were different tournaments, one near our village in Tai Po, which we were originally going to check out. There seems to be a major racing event at Stanley, South of Hong Kong Island, though Mr. Chan offered to take us to his local one in Shatin.

UK vs Hong Kong Dragon Boat Racing

In the UK, there's just the one Dragon Boat Racing event on during any particular date that I know of, one of which is held near London City airport. Here, the lack of entertainment stalls was more than made up for with the amount of people lining either side of the river. The sense is that Dragon Boat Racing is taken more "seriously" or is just plain popular, evident by the number of simultaneous events.

Watching Shatin Dragon Boat Racing

We wandered around crossing the bridge to get to the South bank and then along the river to find a spot to watch and catch a glimpse of the action. A number of teams in each heat started from a distance and raced towards the crowds and the finish line close to the bridge.


Even from a distance, it was clear that some paddlers were hardcore. I was impressed with the consistent speed of paddling, even after the length the boats had already traveled.


We didn't stay too long since despite the furious paddling efforts of each racing team, it became monotonous for us without knowing any of the participants and without having any team to cheer for.

Other Sights

Quite entertainly however was this cleaner crew and boat who were cruising around and close to the crowds on the banks basking in the glory of receiving the attention of so many eyes.


My DSLR and compact 18-70mm lens also failed to zoom close enough to any of the Dragon Boats and I felt wholly inadequate in the face of professionals who sported extra large gear such as this fella.


Check out more Shatin Dragon Boat Racing photos

This entry posted in : Culture. Hong Kong. New Territories. Sport.

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