Samantha Trippy, HKUST Exchange, Fall 2014
East Meets West
As Hong Kong was a British colony from the 1800s until just before the turn of the 20th century, it truly is a place where East meets West. The exciting and unique fusion of Chinese and British culture is ever present. You can ride the MTR and be at Tsim Tsa Shui, one stop, and Jordan, next. Or, fortunately for us, it means you can navigate throughout Hong Kong easily because all of the signs are in both English and characters, and you can always find someone on the street who speaks English and is willing to help you out.
Certain aspects of Hong Kong or even places seem so familiar I feel as if I never left the US. Then, before I can properly process the familiarity and similarity, I’ll be thrown into a situation in which I realize I’m unmistakably very far from home. It makes for a really nice combination of taking comfort in what you already know with the ability to have as many new experiences as you’d like.
Urban Cityscape Meets Picturesque Nature
Hong Kong is, quite literally, the tallest city in the world. It is filled with skyscrapers on a scale I could not even fathom before coming here. Depending on what height you deem a skyscraper, it can be said that HK has twice as many skyscrapers as New York City, the next “tallest” place in the world. However, Hong Kong is also bursting with beautiful, seemingly untouched natural land. For as tall as Hong Kong continues to construct its buildings, mother nature assures us her dominance with the presence of mountains which always seem to be looming behind the skyline. Some of the easiest views of the HK skyline are easily attainable through a hike so densely forested, you’ll forget there are seven million people living just around the bend. Whether you are looking for urban exploration or beautiful mountain hikes, Hong Kong’s duality will exceed your expectations.