In Hong Kong, Cleaner Water, Dirtier Air

Ronnie Wong’s swimming career began with a dive into Victoria Harbour. In 1968, the 16-year-old competitive swimmer joined hundreds of other men and women in a 1.5-kilometre race from the Star Ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui to Queen’s Pier in Central. “The moment I jumped in the water, I didn’t care about anything, just […]

Clean(ish) Water at Last

For years, the seven beaches along Hong Kong’s Rambler Channel presented swimmers with a conundrum: awesome views, filthy water. Pollution at the beaches was so bad in the 1990s that the government withdrew lifeguards and put up banners warning people not to enter the water. Now, more than a decade after the beaches were closed, […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Environment, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Clean(ish) Water at Last , , ,

A Chilly Fall Day? Perfect for a Swim

The first time I visited Beijing, almost two years ago, I had no idea about the existence of Sichahai, the three interconnected lakes just northwest of the city’s imperial heart. Built more than 800 years ago during the Jin Dynasty, the lakes later became the northern end of the Grand Canal, a 1,700-kilometre waterway that […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Environment, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on A Chilly Fall Day? Perfect for a Swim , , , , ,

Too Dirty to Swim

Lido Beach Tsuen Wan, west of Kowloon, is known more as an industrial and commercial hub than as a seaside getaway. But until the early 1990s, the district’s seven sandy beaches, which stretch out along the Rambler Channel, were among the most popular in Hong Kong. As pollution from raw sewage worsened in the 1990s […]