Go Dragon, Go Paddle!


Not everyone could join a traditional event like many of those fire dragon dance, bun festival I’ve visited before. But participating or to witness an event can be just as fun when we are just this close. I’ll get to that. It’s my first time going to the Stanley Dragon Boat Race. The bus ride to Stanley (the south side of Hong Kong Island) was already a beautiful journey already. You get to see the spectacular bay area from all elevations. The route to Stanley passes by two important natural beaches of Hong Kong, the Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay. It reminded again I was always on the other side of the island the whole time. The bus ride took about 30 mins + depended upon the traffic. On that special day, too many double deckers went in and out of the narrow mountain pass, causing the traffic to stop many times just to yield the opposite traffic to come through. I tell you, on a summer day like this hot isn’t a bad idea at all.

My McDonald’s meal kept in a sack since eating and drinking is not allowed on public transport. I was mumbling the whole way, but I was glad I did not finish. I rarely have car sick, that day I had a little. It took me 10-15 minutes to settle. The burger in my hand was unfortunately wasted, two tiny bites and it’s in the trash. It’s steamy, hot and salty everywhere. I did not want to think about anything but fluid. The sun was burning up high. My best shelter was to stand by people’s shadow. Luckily, there were plenty. If it’s the most crowded day on a beach, it has to be this day. The beach was swamped with athletes and spectators. It was more like a beach party more than a sport events to be honest. Visitors could hard see the race or tell who’s leading or behind due to the direction of the race track (toward the beach). Good news was we all could go as near as touching the boat or even sit on it. It’s what’s unique about this event.

I arrived there with my sister. The moment we stepped on the beach, we did not see each other. If there weren’t any sun tan, we don’t call it Stanley. And that was precisely the time to go for a Snapple Peach Tea and head home.
Athletes Chilling
Athletes Gathering
Atheletes Prepping
Mario Bros Cheering
On your mark
Samba party
Signing a contract
Stanley, go paddle!

Dragon Boats in the Harbor


Angry Bird is in the house


(It was a month ago)

Once a year in the Chinese world, we have something called the Dragon Boat Festival. It’s also the festive holiday where we all eat the sticky rice dumplings. While I’m more into the stick rice more than the dragon boat races around Hong Kong, it’s still no doubt a free entertainment unless there’re other better things to do. What’s unique about dragon boats is not only the head of the boat – a dragon. The rowing rhythm is often controlled by the on-board drum leader. It’s usually the drumming, whistling and chanting that I believe brings fun to this sport.

The audience

Seeing it live versus on TV gave me another perspective on how the event proceeds. I get to see the athletes here and there at the stand, in the water, and right by you. Is it really that exciting? On TV, yes! In person, probably not! In fact, I think it’s more fun to watch school kids on a track day than the dragon boat race.

The joy

As for now, I’ll be missing my sticky rice dumplings…the same time next year, see you again.