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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Leanne Hagger: Trip to Hong Kong

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    30 Sep

    After two weeks of teaching English in Guangzhou I arrived in Hong Kong. That evening I took the tram up to Victoria Peak which offered a spectacular night time view across the city’s glowing sky line. On my first full day I travelled to Lantau Island for a guided tour of the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. I spent the next day with an architecture friend from Pembroke who happens to live in Hong Kong. She took me to her favourite beach. We then went to Kowloon and explored the famous street markets and ate lots of food! She was a brilliant tour guide and greatly increased the efficiency of my trip - this was vital in ensuring that I could see everything in the short time I had there! Her local knowledge meant that I discovered some excellent street food and even the world’s cheapest Michelin start restaurant! The next day I found my way to the airport and flew home.

    Arranging travel from Guangzhou to Hong Kong proved harder than anticipated. All of the websites were in Chinese and so I sought help from a translator at the Summer Camp I had been teaching at in Guangzhou to help me book a coach to Hong Kong as all of the trains had unexpectedly sold out. Therefore, I would advise others to ensure that they book travel arrangements far in advance, and leave lots of time at each station to understand the signs. However, upon arrival in Hong Kong, the MTR was much easier to navigate after a couple of mistakes.

    I particularly enjoyed the variety of architectural styles present on the island city. Having never travelled to Asia before, this was the first time I had ever been into a Buddhist monastery and found it to be absolutely beautiful. This more traditional style contrasted brilliantly with the skyscrapers which make up Hong Kong’s iconic skyline. It was particularly interesting to see buildings such as the International Commerce Centre and the HSBC headquarters in the flesh ,as these have featured heavily in my structures lectures. Furthermore, it was great to see bamboo being used as scaffolding in construction projects as I had researched this for my EPQ in sixth form.

    My short time in Hong Kong was a brilliant end to my time in China. Hong Kong and Guangzhou were very different and so it was fascinating to experience the architecture, food and culture in both mainland China and Hong Kong during my time there.