Dragon Boat Races - locations over the years | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Dragon Boat Races - locations over the years

I've been looking through the old newspapers until 1940 for mentions of Dragon Boat, to see where the races used to be held .

During the 19th Century, mentions in the papers refer to the races held in Canton rather than any in Hong Kong. In Canton each year, several rowers would drown, and there were often brawls between teams that would end in several more deaths.

From the 1900s, the races at Aberdeen start to get covered by Hong Kong's papers.

From 1919 - 1924, the Ming Yuen Gardens sponsor races. In most years the races are held off North Point in front of their site. The exception is 1921, when the races are moved to the Yaumati Typhoon Shelter.

1925: they're back to Aberdeen.

1926: Aberdeen and Shaukiwan.

1927: Aberdeen

1928: Praya East in Wanchai, and Ming Yuen Gardens at North Point

1929: Aberdeen, and Ming Yuen Gardens at North Point

1930: Cheung Chau

1931: North Point (planned, but cancelled when a boat sank on the way to the race) and Aberdeen

1932: Aberdeen. Report mentions an unusual addition, one boat with a team of "landlubbers" rather than the usual fishermen.

1933: North Point, arranged by the Chinese Civil Servants Swimming Pavilion.

1934: "off the Chung Shing Benevolent Society's bathing beach, Kennedy Town, and at the Chinese Civil Servants' Club's bathing beach.", Aberdeen, and "Shum Chun (British New Territory)".

1935: Aberdeen, Cheung Chau, North Point, Shum Chun

1937: Aberdeen, "Hongkong Chinese Civil Servants' Club at North Point, and the Chung Sing Club's swimming shed at Kennedy Town", New Territories

1938: Kennedy Town (Chung Sing Benevolent Society's Bathing Club), North Point (Hongkong Chinese Civil Servants Bathing Club)

1940: West Point (Chung Sing Benevolent Society's Bathing Pavilion)


There's a good write-up on page 2 of the Hong Kong Daily Press, 1904-06-20. This extract lists the groups that took part:

Competitors represented various clans or villages, the list being as follows:—Kowtsai, one boat; Shaukiwan, one boat; Lungshunwan, one boat; Aberdeen, three boats; Potaio, one boat; and Lukchow, one boat.

Does anyone recognise where "Kowtsai" refers to? I think I've identified the others, but corrections welcomed:

  • Kowtsai: ???
  • Shaukiwan: Shau Kei Wan
  • Lungshunwan: Lung Shuen Wan, the Chinese name for High Island
  • Aberdeen: Aberdeen
  • Potaio: Po Toi O, village at end of Clear Water Bay peninsula
  • Lukchow: Luk Chau, village on Lamma, named after small island nearby

Maybe Kowloon Tsai, a former village between Kowloon City and Kowloon Tong



Thanks for the reply. Kowtsai certainly works as a contraction of Kowloon Tsai, but as the author wrote out Shaukiwan and Lungshunwan in full, and Kowloon Tsai isn't near the sea, i think it probably refers to somewhere else. I still don't know where though!

May refer to Kau Sai Chau, Sai Kung. When referring to the island, "Kau Sai" is normally spoken.

Thanks Moddsey. That sounds likely, as it's in the same neighbourhood as Lung Shuen Wan.