I’m going to give a very brief run down, in bullet points of what we have done as a group (including the flat next door) over the last week. Some events I have described in more detail below.
2. Lung Kwai Fong
3. Tasting a variety of microwavable dim sum
4. Trying to find a supermarket near the uni and exploring a lot of the local area in the process.
5. The organised activities and tours run by HKU
6. More beach time
7. Seeing the symphony of lights and red bull photography awards
And obviously, shopping for supplies, trying out local places to eat (including the uni hospital canteen for a very cheap, nice and filling meal) and getting to know one another in between. This is just the beginning, our list of things to see and do is growing and growing!
Going to the beach was what really made me think ‘I cannot believe I am living here for a whole year, this is amazing!’ It was just the icing on the cake to find out that for 6 HKD (about 60p) I could take a 20min bus journey, from right outside my accommodation, to a beautiful sandy beach where the water is the perfect temperature.
The nightlife in Hong Kong (what I have experienced of it so far) is in so many ways superior to that of the UK. We went to Lung Kwai Fong which consists of a couple of roads full of just bars and restaurants. Some of the bars have clubs at the back so unlike in England you can just pop in and out of clubs and hop between them (no queuing and no entrance fee). You can even pop to 7/11 (the mini-market) for really cheap drinks and as it stays pretty warm at night milling about on the street, having a drink, is very enjoyable. I’m yet to truly discover how the locals tend to spend a night out, there seems to be little or no drinking associated with the university or students union (in stark contrast to British uni’s) and Lung Kwai Fong is jammed full of expats and western exchange students. To summarize, it may not give you a taste of the local culture but I’d definitely recommend it as a night out if you are in Hong Kong – it’s really fun, really cheap and even splitting a taxi home will probably only cost you about a pound each (10 HKD). Just don’t go to crazy with the multi-buy shots deals. While I was writing this I’ve just been informed that I’ve missed ladies night where all the drinks are free for girls all night long! I’m here for a year though so that’s plenty more Wednesdays and Thursdays of free drinks to look forwards to. I know that I’ve talked about money a lot but I’m still getting over how cheap some things can be in Hong Kong (also just discovered that starbucks is half price for students)!
We went to watch the Symphony of Lights from outside the cultural centre in Kowloon. If you don’t know what this is, basically every night for about 4mins the buildings on the waterfront of Hong Kong island light up to music. It was just pure luck however that the night we chose to go was when the the Red Bull photographic awards was being held there as an open air ceremony which we were able to just sit on some steps and watch. The photos were technically amazing but also because they nearly all were shots of extreme sports it was so cool to watch.