Children scale new heights on Cheung Chau bun tower

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 May, 2013, 5:24am

Dozens of children yesterday scaled the metal tower to be used for this week's bun-scrambling contest in Cheung Chau.

"It's very exciting," exclaimed one participant, five-year-old Chan Ho-tsun, after his climb. "I was scared … so I stopped midway and came down. But I want to join the contest in future."

The little boy will have to wait several more years as contestants in the annual race celebrating Cheung Chau's popular Bun Festival have to be above 18 years old.

The finals of the competition will be held outside Pak Tai Temple on Saturday night.

Some of the children who attempted scaling the tower, which is about 18 metres high, cried. Most gave up about halfway to the top.

But not four-year-old Wong Yuen-yan.

The plucky little girl found her way to the very top of the tower despite slipping a few times. She won loud cheers from the onlookers below.

"She's the new spider girl," one impressed onlooker said.

But the girl was too shy to share her experience with the media, only nodding when asked whether she had fun during the climb.

Besides the chance to scale the bun tower, yesterday's carnival featured a bouncy castle, game booths and a balloon-twisting booth for children.

There was also a relay for adults to climb the tower, in which eight teams from the education, government and business sectors participated.

The team from the University of Hong Kong's climbing club won the race, with its four members finishing in two minutes and 14 seconds.

"This is the first year that we're climbing the bun tower," said team member Emmanuel Kwok Yat-sing. "It may seem like the hands would be most important [in the climb], but strength and balance actually come from the legs."

The Bun Festival is expected to attract about 30,000 visitors to Cheung Chau island this year.