A remarkable part about Hong Kong is the combination of city and nature in such close proximity to each other. Not only are these contrasting environments present, but Hong Kong contains the extremes of both: it is one of the most densely populated areas in the world and has some of the tallest skyscrapers; at the same time, the beauty of the more untouched spots is incredible. There are numerous hikes and outdoor activities here.
So far, my favorite outdoor adventure has been kayaking in Sai Kung. Just a short bus ride away from campus and for $50 HKD (about $7 USD), you can rent a kayak for an entire day and explore the islands off the coast.
Nature is great, but so are the people who are there to appreciate it with you. Last weekend, my friend Lia visited me in Hong Kong! She’s one of my closest friends at WashU, and she stopped by for a few days en route to her study abroad program in mainland China.
Besides kayaking, another outdoor favorite in Hong Kong has been hiking to Big Wave Bay Beach, which I did with Lia and three other friends. We were in a rush to reach the beach before sunset, but we made it there before dark and braved the cold water for a swim. The place is a hotspot for surfers because of the size of the waves, and there were several people still out there when we arrived. An item on my Hong Kong bucket list is to return to Big Wave Bay to surf!
Speaking of my Hong Kong bucket list, I’ve been able to cross off several items because I’ve been in Hong Kong for the past two weeks instead of travelling. There are still many things left to do and places to go, but thankfully, I’ll be here for three more months. However, I know that these coming weeks will fly by, and the fact that my semester abroad is already ¼ of the way through is crazy.
It doesn’t quite feel like I’ve settled into a routine here, and I’m not sure if it will ever feel that way. Spontaneity and variability are usually factors that I seek out when life becomes too regimented back at WashU, but this semester, it feels like change is the norm, and stability needs to be sought out from time to time. Nevertheless, these spontaneous decisions have created memorable experiences, such as attending a secret Black Eyed Peas show despite having class at 9am the next day–I still made it to class!