Journals from Hong Kong Baptist University
2011-10-25 The Pursuit of Silence & Tranquility in Hong Kong
8m Cliff in Sai Wan, Hong Kong
After an entire sweltering and humid month, the temperature in Hong Kong finally cools down. Yet it is amazing we have experienced various kinds of weather in a month: scorching summer, eight-level typhoon, a week-long raining season and a taste of early autumn (luckily, we are still wearing summer clothing at the end of October). Similar to the weather this month, our energy and excitement level slightly goes down and many of the exchange students here start getting sick and/or homesick. However, I suppose the nicest part about Hong Kong is that the city is quite international-oriented, which offers both eastern and western experiences. For example, it is easy to find a good restaurant for your home food and it is convenient to get groceries and snacks from our home countries. Not surprisingly, Hong Kong attracts a large number of tourists each year and it has one of the highest population densities and perhaps skyscrapers in the world. Without a doubt, many parents have taken the advantage of having their children studying here, so they decide to come and visit, such as my family. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” After a month of thorough exploration, I become more and more familiar and close to the city and culture. When my family was here, it was thrilling to show them around as a little tour guide in a foreign city. From doing online research, designing itinerary, making reservations to plan budgets, I learn how to go out my comfort zone from familiar environment and friends, how to trust strangers, and how to improve the way of living as a whole.
Additionally, many of us have started to miss the peace and quiet of our home countries lately. Hong Kong is always crowded and busy and there is always a long waiting line wherever I go. Thus, we try to enjoy every single moment where we can find a sense of home. Seeing that, we begin our second wave of Hong Kong adventures –mountains and islands. I went hiking with a group of friends last weekend. We climbed up the cliff at Shueng Luk stream after an hour’s hike. Some of my friends even started cliff diving from the eight-meter cliff (it is in fact a little dangerous). Later on, we went to an amazing campsite to spend one more night with nature before going back to the hectic-paced city. In the evening, we met some local campers and they taught us how to cook delicious fish on the fire. Next weekend, we are going to join the school for another hike to Lion Rock Mountain for the celebration of the university’s 55th anniversary. Besides the cliff, I have also been to Lamma Island, Lantau Island and Cheungchau Island. They are all small and peaceful fishing villages only an hour away from the city. It is intoxicating to go to these places and watch fishermen catch and sell fresh seafood on the boat during the weekends. It reminds me (or even people who have always spent time working) that human beings are part of instead of simply coming out from nature. Life in Hong Kong is full of adventures and excitements!