Hong Kong: More than a city of Skyscrapers

Hong Kong from the 118th floor
Hong Kong from the 118th floor

The above picture is what many will think of Hong Kong as; a vibrant economic hub teaming with skyscrapers. And it is, but as I found out, it has so much more to offer.

When I first arrived in Hong Kong, a few exchange students and I thought it would be a great idea to get our bearings of the place. To do this we headed straight for the Ozone Bar atop the International Commerce Centre building on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. At 118 floors up this sky bar is the highest in the world offering the amazing views of the densely populated urban metropolis below.

Sai Kung Rock Pool
Sai Kung Rock Pool

However as I alluded to before, Hong Kong is more than just a city of tall buildings packed closely together, but it also offers amazing natural landscapes. In fact for a city as small as Hong Kong, you may be astounded to hear that 40% of the area is actually country parks and nature reserves. Above is a photo of one country park I visited which not only had an amazing beach, but also an amazing rock pool complete with an 8 metre cliff jump. Although admittedly as this is Hong Kong, it wasn’t exactly a quite area, not that it detracted from the experience.

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Hong Kong Baptist University

This is the university that I am currently completing my exchange experience at; the Hong Kong Baptist University. It feels fairly similar to UTS, however unfortunately they do take attendance quite seriously. This can be quite a pain when there is so much I want to explore here inย Hong Kong and the many exotic destinations that are easily accessible.

My cosy home for the next four months
My cosy home for the next four months
One of two 20 story accommodation towers
One of two 20 story accommodation towers

The accommodation provided by the university is actually a great deal. It is very reasonably priced considering how expensive property is in Hong Kong. The room that I was provided is small and shared with me by a local student. Our room also shares a bathroom with another room on the other side. I found that I got used to the small living space quite quickly as although the amenities are quite basic, they are all very functional. Students in Hong Kong, including exchange students, are a very social bunch so I really don’t spend too much time kicking around the accommodation these days. One thing I would recommend to prepare for if you are thinking of Hong Kong; is to be flexible with your sleep schedule. University students here like to stay up real late, around 2 – 3 am every night.

Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour

Both doing an exchange, and seeing Hong Kong has been a great experience so far. I can’t wait to see and do even more.

Patrick Walsh
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