March 3, 2016
Developed many centuries ago Tai Chi is enduringly popular across China. And Hong Kong is no exception, with locals performing the graceful choreographed moves in outdoor spaces and urban retreats across the city. Believed to balance the body’s yin and yang, benefiting both body and mind, many of the city’s denizens practice this ancient martial art for their health as well as for relaxation.
Within the city’s lush parks and gardens, visitors can experience this important element of local life by passing the coordinated Tai Chi troupes or taking part in a cultural class for beginners; whether it’s in a public park under the shade of a tree, or by the waterside, it’s undoubtedly the outdoor spaces that offer the most atmospheric experience. Here we look at how to breathe deeply and practice Tai Chi in Hong Kong.
Victoria Park – named after the British monarch Queen Victoria – is centrally located in Causeway Bay. In this bustling locale of Hong Kong Island, the park is a tranquil retreat from its surroundings, with 190,000 square metres of green space and sports facilities to enjoy, which goes a long way to explaining why so many Tai Chi sessions are held within its parameters. Tai Chi groups practice early each morning, and passers by are often welcome to join in.
Another of Hong Kong Island’s major parks is the 80,000-square-metre Hong Kong Park, which lies within the high-rise central business district. This green oasis benefits from flowing waterfalls and streams, ponds, an aviary and a series of tranquil gardens; the Tai Chi Garden is among these, with courtyards for this specific purpose, making it the setting for regular morning Tai Chi classes.
To see the skilful Tai Chi performances – and perhaps even join in – in addition to Kung Fu and lion dances, head to Kowloon Park within Tsim Sha Tsui, where Kung Fu corner is hosted each Sunday afternoon. Then explore further by taking a walk through the park’s various sections and discover its Chinese Garden and lotus pond.
For a more structured class, sign up for a workshop or series of classes with Hong Kong Tai Chi School. Within Kwai Tsing Theatre, these classes aim to give visitors to the city an insight into this ancient Chinese art. More classes can be arranged through Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
Whether taking part in one of the cultural classes or remaining a bystander in the verdant outdoor spaces, there are plenty of places to experience Tai Chi in Hong Kong. From the vast expanses of Victoria Park and Hong Kong Park, seek out the smaller green spaces like Blake Garden, and the scenic promenade of Victoria Harbour; in each of these settings, the Tai Chi practitioners reflect how this martial art is incorporated into so many people’s everyday lives.
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Have you experienced Tai Chi in Hong Kong? Where did you do it? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Lauren Hill