'Honeymoon' for Guangzhou couples

FIFTEEN Guangzhou couples won admiration from other visitors at Ocean Park yesterday as they re-enacted their weddings.

The couples, most of them newly-weds, were chosen from more than 200 pairs who registered with a programme that aims to foster better understanding of Hongkong among young people in Guangzhou.

One of the programme's organisers, Ms Li Liping of the Guangzhou Women's Federation, said couples from diverse backgrounds had been chosen so the message could reach a wider spectrum of people.

This week's tour group includes a doctor, entrepreneurs and workers.

The eight-day visit, which began on Tuesday, would be videotaped and broadcast in China later, she said.

For Mr Li Shijie, 29, and his wife, Ms Li Feng, 25, who got married in June last year, the visit to Hongkong was a late honeymoon.

''After getting married, we planned to come here for our honeymoon because we had heard a lot about Hongkong,'' said Mr Li, a civil servant.

They then heard about the programme and quickly signed on.

''To our surprise, we were chosen and now we are here,'' said Ms Li, also a civil servant.

Apart from the wedding finery, which was provided by the organisers, each person had to pay $3,900 for the trip - the usual rate for a mainland group tour to Hongkong.

In addition to the Peak and Ocean Park, the tour includes Repulse Bay and Tiger Balm Garden.

Ms Li of the Guangzhou Women's Federation said since the response to the programme had been extremely good, similar events to places such as Thailand might be arranged in the future.