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International Exchange

We’re not in Kowloon anymore..

19 September 2015

So it has been over 3 weeks since I landed in Hong Kong and I’m not even sure where I should begin? My arrival to Hong Kong was pretty surreal as the airport is located on Hong Kong Island and City University Hong Kong is located in Kowloon. The whole bus journey from the island I starred googly eyed at the sun reflecting off of the clear blue water surrounding the island. But to my surprise as we approached Kowloon there was a dynamic change from tall trees and the ocean breeze, to tall skyscrapers and groups of people rushing around to the Metro station.

I settled in quickly after arriving at student accommodation in CityU. Luckily I was in one of the newer halls which provided ceiling fans- I would have melted away otherwise! Fast forward to 3 weeks later I feel like I have seen and experienced so much. Just to name a few things I have done already, I went to Victoria Harbour to see Hong Kong’s famous skyline, I visited the Big Buddha on Lantau Island and I also went to the famous ‘Ladys market’ in MongKok. Hong Kong as a city has so much to offer! The different aspects to this city are absolutely insane and tranquil at the same time.


But let me tell you… My first two weeks here I couldn’t tell the difference between the different places in Hong Kong. The only reason I figured out Hong Kong Island was a separate place to Kowloon was because of an outrageous taxi fare. Let me explain, one evening me and a group of exchange students found ourselves in Wan Chai near Lang Kwai Fong on Hong Kong Island. After a relaxed evening of sitting in a tall glass building drinking mocktails and sharing stories, we thought it was time to make our way back home. As the Metro station closed at 1:00am we thought it was a good idea to get a taxi. Once in the taxi we asked the driver to take us back to student accommodation at CityU, and when the driver named a shocking price my first thought was “this is the price for foreigners!!” but, soon after we exchanged some negotiating words in broken English/Cantonese I expressed to the driver “We are really close though! We are in Kowloon!” The taxi driver just chuckled and said “We’re not in Kowloon anymore dear”. And from then onwards I realised the difference between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

Aside from all the sight-seeing and fun I have been having, there is something else I have been doing… What’s it called again? That place where you, you know? Study? Yeah! University. That’s what it’s called haha! I have been attending classes at CityU and I must say these 3 hour seminars I have are pretty intense. I never would that thought I could concentrate for that long! Also I didn’t anticipate how hard it actually was to be an international student. This is because it is so hard to sit in your dorm room and study when you know you could be outside hiking a mountain or taking a train to Shenzhen in China. But I must remember I am here to study!!


… But mostly have fun haha. Talking about fun, I’m taking a spontaneous trip to Taiwan next weekend to celebrate the mid-autumn festival. Bring on the moon cakes and sky lanterns!


See you guys when I’m back,