WP_20131017_019I get up early to head eastwards on Hong Kong Island. My first stop is the racing ground called Happy Valley. There is a part of town called Happy Valley back home in Llandudno but somehow it doesn’t quite compare with the huge stadium set among the skyscrapers here. There had been a race meeting last night that I had wanted to go to but I had been feeling too tired and still a bit unwell to trek across town to attend.

It is the only place where gambling is legal in the city and is massively popular with the locals as a consequence. To give you an idea of how huge a sum of money gets bet each week it would probably dwarf the totals of both Britain’s Grand National and Australia’s Melbourne Cup combined.

WP_20131018_007I don’t stick around long because I am keen to get to Victoria Park because I have heard it is where the locals go to practice their martial arts in one of the few green open spaces available here on the island.

I visited china a decade ago and have always regretted not going down to Tienanmen Square to see something similar on a grand scale whilst there. 

WP_20131018_013There are hundreds of people practicing various forms with enchanting grace in just about every free space in the park including in and around the swings and slides.

As well as the familiar Tai Chi Chuan, there were variations with fans and sticks. However my favourite group was this group of grandmothers practising with swords. Anywhere else I have visited it would have seemed ridiculous but here it seemed quite appropriate.

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