It’s been almost a week since I have moved into the HKBU dorms and for the past three days the university has planned a wonderful orientation for the exchange students. Aside from the information sessions HKBU planned for us, they also arranged a one day Hong Kong tour and brought us to the more “tourist” areas such as:
Wong Tai Sin Daoist Temple (this is quite close to the university):
There were a lot of people at the temple because it is coming to the end of the Lunar calendar and many are coming to say thank you to the Gods for answering their prayers.
HKBU also planned a lunch for us at the Aberdeen Jumbo Floating Restaurant:
The only way to get to the restaurant is to take a quick boat ride across the water!
The last two stops were the Stanley Market and The Peak:
The Stanley Market is one of the open markets in Hong Kong and many tourist like to come and buy things (the other open market is Ladies Market which I will cover another day!) The keyword here is tourist because as I was walking around the market with my roommate, we thought the prices were ridiculously priced and were definitely for tourists. You can bargain here, but it is harder to bargain compared to the Ladies market. Other than that, it was quite an experience and the only thing I found similar back in Philadelphia are Flea Markets!
Because the Stanely Market is near the sea, it had a beautiful view of the waters! My roommates were surprised to see how clear the water was also.
The Peak is located about 400m above sea level and is best known for the view it gives of Hong Kong and of the Victoria Harbor. Sadly, the weather in Hong Kong today was less than spectacular so the view wasn’t that great. But coming to the Peak made me realize the insane amounts of high rise buildings Hong Kong has built and the lack of land it has.
Since coming to Hong Kong I have felt a wave of emotions such as:
- The overwhelming amount of crowds in the streets and public transports
- The massive amount of high rise buildings that are not commercial buildings
- And lastly, becoming the majority
I am a 2nd generation Chinese American (meaning my parents are immigrants to the United States) and coming to Hong Kong has made me realize that I am no longer a minority. It is quite a change after growing up in a city where Asians are the minority. It actually feels weird seeing others who look and speak a dialect you do (I speak and understand Cantonese on a proficient level) on an everyday basis. I consider Cantonese my second language while English my first so I process Cantonese at a slower rate. When locals speak really fast, it takes me a longer to time to process and respond back to them. This really motivates me more to improve my Cantonese by the time I get back to Philly!