Ice Wonderland: A white Christmas in Hong Kong, guaranteed

FOR a city that almost doesn’t experience snow (yes it does), fake snow is often a popular attraction in Hong Kong. I remember a few years ago I experienced a bit of Harbin and its intricately crafted ice carvings without leaving Hong Kong.

This year, it will be at East Tsim Sha Tsui’s Centenary Garden which will be coated with a combination of snow and ice that will enable visitors to put on their skates and glide around a rink under falling snow. The project of the Hong kong Tourism Board, named Ice Wonderland, hopes to attract even more visitors to enjoy the snow show, its Christmas lights and eventually to nearby shopping areas and restaurants. Not that the area is sparsely populated with locals and visitors, but maybe, Hong Kong has its own definition of crowded.

Pic: AP.

The skating rink, located just next to Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel, can accommodate 75 visitors an hour. Skate rental is available for HK$15 in the afternoon and HK$30 after 6pm.

As expected, other landmarks will be adorned with various Christmas-themed decorations. Harbour City, one of the most active shopping malls when it comes to Christmas decors has already launched its Toy Story-inspired decors. The selection of the theme is timed with Hong Kong Disneyland’s new Toy Story Land which was opened November 18. Across the Victoria Harbour, I observed workers at Chater Garden are busy setting up decorations intended for this year’s Winterfest celebration which will be highlighted with an 18-meter Christmas tree sponsored by Tiffany & Co.

Such activities are also aimed at reaching the city’s target of 40 million visitors for the year. So far, arrivals have already exceeded 34 million in the past 10 months, 16 per cent more than the same period last year.

This article by Elmer Cagape first appeared on