National Geographic : 1962 Jan
ease its almost total dependence on pigs im ported from Red China. Unlike sea-girt Hong Kong island, the New Territories boasts another distinction -a 20 mile land frontier with Red China. Before Communism came, you could buy a ticket in the railroad station in Kowloon and ride clear to London. Nowadays the Kowloon station hums with more activity than ever before a dozen trains a day and nearly six million passengers a year-but now you need Com munist clearance to enter Red China at Lo Wu, 221/2 miles away (pages 10 and 11). I went there one bright January morning with an inspector from the near-by police Horses pound toward the finish line at Hong Kong's Happy Valley Race Course. After a series of accidents in 1959, Buddhist monks parad ed around the course burn ing incense to propitiate the "restless ghosts" deemed re sponsible. post. Two-thirds of the way across the bridge that links Hong Kong and Communist China, an iron barricade blocked our way. The inspector gestured toward a group of about 35 people who waited patiently on the Communist side. They were mostly women and children, plus a few old men. "When the British leased the New Territo ries," he explained, "they put very few restric tions on travel between neighboring Kwang tung Province and the colony. This still holds, as far as population pressures allow." Every day a line forms on the bridge to Lo Wu- wives going to join husbands, chil dren, old men whose sons will support them Chinese beauties spend an 26 afternoon at the races.