Tuen Ng, or Dragon Boat Day, splashes into town this month. Here’s where to catch all the action.
To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, this year’s CCB (Asia) Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races event will be bigger (and louder) than ever.
Enjoy three days of racing on Victoria Harbour, plus the San Miguel Beerfest – a coldie and some live music goes down oh so well as your cheer on the boats. There will also be a fleet of food trucks pulling up, serving a smorgasbord of international and popular local dishes. There’s lots for the kids too with interactive activities and roving performers.
Racing, noon-5.30pm (day one), 8.30am-5.30pm (days two and three).
Beerfest, 11am-10.30pm (days one and two), 11am-9.30pm (day three).
Kids & family zone, 11am-5.30pm.
June 2-4, Central Harbourfront, free entrance.
The Sun Life Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships is the busiest event on Tuen Ng public holiday, pulling in crowds of around 30,000. Watch teams battle it out along the 270m course, competing in Men’s, Mixed and Ladies divisions, plus the Sun Life University Cup. With crowds this size, tips such as “arrive early” are probably superfluous, but it’s heaps of fun as everyone converges onto Stanley Main Beach. It’s fast and frantic with plenty of watering holes along the main street – don’t forget hats and sunscreen.
8am-5pm, May 30, Stanley Main Beach, Stanley.
If you can’t bear the crowds, Stanley will also be hosting the Stanley Dragon Boat Warm Up Races a couple of weeks before the big event. The course is shorter but the event is still lots of fun and not quite as frantic as on Tuen Ng.
8am-5pm, May 6, Stanley Main Beach, Stanley.
Not officially part of the Tuen Ng public holiday celebrations, the Lamma 500 International Dragon Boat Festival is now in its 11th year and a firm fixture on the dragon boat season racing calendar. This is one of Hong Kong’s toughest events, with racing taking place over a monster 500m on a deep, fast-water course. Watch all the action from the beach, with plenty of beer and food tents to keep the family fed and watered. The seafood restaurants are a short stroll away. While there are no official entertainments away from the racing, the beach and ocean provide a fun playground for littlies and a beautiful backdrop to the event. Racing is followed by an evening beach barbecue.
9am-6pm, May 7, Tai Wan To Beach, Lamma, www.lamma500.com.
A favourite family day out for Tuen Ng, the Lantau venue will this year be hosting its dragon boat day festivities on Sunday May 28, two days before the public holiday. A great day out for all the family, there will be a carnival, open-air market, family entertainments and roving performers.
Racing, 8am-3.30pm, Tai Pak Beach, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island.
Carnival, 10.30am-6.30pm, Discovery Bay Plaza, Lantau Island. May 28, www.ddeck.com.hk.
Lots of fun racing in this New Territories fishing town, as local teams battle it out on the Inner Port Shelter.
8am-2pm, May 30, Sai Kung Town Waterfront, www.skdragonboat.org.
More racing on the island of Cheung Chau.
10am-4pm, May 30, Cheung Chau Typhoon Shelter, Cheung Chau, 2981 4009.
Watch local fisherman hit Aberdeen Harbour for the annual Aberdeen Dragon Boat Races.
8am-6pm, May 30, Aberdeen Promenade/Aberdeen West Typhoon Shelter, Aberdeen.
The prettiest event of the day goes to the Tai O Water Parade, where temple deities are carried in colourfully decorated sampans around the traditional stilt houses pulled by dragon boats. The water parade is followed by racing.
8am-2pm, Tai O Water Front, Tai O, Lantau Island.
The Sha Tin Dragon Boat Races take place on the Shing Mun river, starting from near Banyan Bridge and finishing close to Sha Yin Bridge.
8am-1pm, Shing Mun River, Sha Tin, New Territories, 2691 5657.