Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ping Pong in Hong Kong

I've never played ping pong in Hong Kong before: basically because I don't know anyone there. Instead, I've always gone into Shenzhen next door to play and get coaching as documented elsewhere in this blog.

(I know there are private clubs and municipal gyms for those who can book tables in advance, but I'm not plugged into the Hong Kong table table community.)

Well, all that changed this winter. Through networking, I managed to visit facilities at two universities in Hong Kong. In future, I'll definitely be playing at these locations whenever I get the chance.

City University

As the name suggests, this is in the "city" so to speak. Easily reached by MTR train (East Rail line) or subway (Kwun Tong line, 觀塘綫), Kowloon Tong (九龍塘) station, I played here twice.

My contact and generous host was Prof. Leon Zhao, head of MIS at CityU (pictured here on the left). Incidentally, I have met Leon previously in a professional capacity as we served together on a Ph.D exam committee, though I never knew he was a ping pong player. It's a small, small world, isn't it?

You need a guest pass and someone affiliated with CityU (in my case, Leon) to get into their sports centre. Cost is HK$20. There is a dedicated room for ping pong and nice new-looking tables.

They have a club and CityU team. Plus a semi-professional coach, Eddie Wei, standing to the right of me below:

(From left to right: Ye Liu (Ph.D student), Yikshing Yeung (CityU TT team member), me, Eddie Wei (coach), Haibin Yang (Professor), Wansan Lee (high school student who trains there, seems like 2500 level player) and Enyu Zhuang (Ph.D student).)

I had a lot of fun playing there playing with as many people as possible. Very cool bunch of guys.

Chinese University of Hong Kong

I also had the opportunity to play at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. With a large uncrowded campus up on a hill, this is not in the city by any means. It has a MTR train (not subway) station, simply called University (大學), on the East Rail Line.

So it's not surprising they have a larger gym with very high ceilings and good lighting. 6 tables.

Very spacious by Hong Kong standards, it's a nice facility with room to back up and lob a bit.

I played a bunch of professors but this guy pictured below is the staff champion. He's a PE instructor at the university. I tried hard but he beat me 3-0 convincingly.

You need to be affiliated with the university to play here. My contact and host here was Jimmy Lee, professor of computer science.

Like me, he is a computer science professor. We both play ping pong and train to run marathons. I even own the same exact ping pong shirt he is wearing. Obviously, a great guy with the right set of hobbies! :)


  1. I found your blog doing random table tennis searches. How did you fair against those guys? I'm from the Boise area, I play when I get a chance, probably a 1400 player. I wish I could train more.


    p.s. Carrie is my wife.

  2. Hi Weston. I do okay. They range from 1400 to about 2200 in level.

  3. Hi, Found your posts; Very good. I am also a professor (CS), like playing Pingpong.



  4. hi there..i'm beik from korea if u know about that, i want to know something about tt club in hong kong. i will be in hongkong tomorrow for vacation. so i want to play tt in hk.. is there any private club which i can play? if u know where it is just plz let me know that. my hotel is near wanchai... thanks..