on October 2, 2012
Hong Kong isn't a city full of green spaces, in fact Victoria Park is one of the only parks in the city. It's named after the British Queen Victoria and there is a great big statue in the middle of the park to commemorate her reign. I found this quite funny as I was almost as far away from the U.K. as I could be and was still seeing statues of our queens. We visited here on a Sunday lunchtime for a picnic and were shocked to see hundreds and hundreds of Indonesian maids on ther day off. Apparantely I shouldn't have been shocked because this is a very common occurence, Sunday is their only day off and this park is where they congregate. As an amazing sight as this was, it did kind of spoil our picnic, so we just ended up having a wander round until we found a quietish corner to eat. Not that this was a chore in anyway, having spent a week in Hong Kong it was quite nice to see an extensive area of green for a change. We found out that the park was originally a typhoon shelter for boats from the harbour, until it was reclaimed in the 1950s for use as a park. It's the largest park in Hong Kong and you can while away a few hours here wandering around the flower beds, watching youngsters playing football (or soccer) on the dedicated pitches or even some older folks playing bowls.What struck me on our visit was how English the park felt, although I have never seen a large park like this at home. Everything from the water fountain to the bandstand made this feel like a strange juxtaposition between an English country park and a huge piece of city infrastructure. We eventually found a quiet spot and sat in the shade eating food and generally relaxing. So although we were shocked to see so many people in the park when we arrived, we still managed to have a great time. I really thing that this park is a special place for Hong Kong, where outside green space is so rare and if you're visiting for any length of time I would make the effort to soak up the greenery here!
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