Kids playing with guns: Open day at PLA Hong Kong garrison
When the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Hong Kong opens up its barracks to the public each year, military buffs of all ages and sizes go nuts.
Held around the May 1 Labor Day holiday, the PLA open house event is particularly popular with parents who hope to inspire their children to be more martial in their self-discipline.
There's just nothing more character-building than an afternoon with mom, dad and a range of semi-automatic firearms supervised by men in uniform.
This year's open house event was held April 28-29 and celebrated the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty. The 28,000 free-of-charge tickets to the event were all handed out within two hours on April 22.
Hong Kongers queued up overnight at the army's barracks to get their hands on the tickets for visiting Stonecutters Island, Shek Kong and San Wai barracks.
Also in town are two PLA naval vessels -- Haikou and Yuncheng -- returning from an escort mission in the Gulf of Aden. The ships are now docked at the Stonecutters base and are open to visitors with tickets until May 2.
Little is revealed about the PLA barracks by officials. The numbers of troops stationed there and the day to day operations are shrouded in mystery. There is minimal to no PLA interaction with the city apart from open days.
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Getting there: Get your tickets next year at the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong headquarters at Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building in Admiralty, or any of the five other Hong Kong barracks. Tickets given out free-of-charge on a first-come-first-served basis. Look out for notices in local media detailing when tickets are available.