After spending a few weeks at home catching up with family and friends it was soon time for me to travel back to Hong Kong to start my second semester. Unlike starting a new term at Manchester where nothing much changes apart from maybe subject choices and timetables, starting the second semester at PolyU almost feels like starting again.
Of course Hong Kong is not new to me anymore and I knew what to expect when I arrived at the airport and how to get to class. The main difference this semester is that most exchange students were only here for semester one, so this term there is a whole lot of new people to meet.
After only two weeks in to teaching we had a week break from uni for the Chinese New Year. At this time, my friend from Manchester came to visit me. Unfortunately, the weather was unusually very cloudy the whole week but I enjoyed showing her all my favourite spots in Hong Kong nonetheless. In the Chinese New Year break and especially on the first weekend, most shops (especially smaller ones) will close so I would recommend booking places to eat if you have visitors or want to eat out.
This month I also had my parents to visit. I feel that having friends or family to visit and show around really makes you appreciate Hong Kong all over again. When you study here it can be easy to fall into the routine of going to uni, eating at the same restaurants and going to the same bars and clubs every week; I must try not to do this!
Suggestions of where to take visitors:
• Victoria Peak – take the tram, bus or walk up to the peak for the famous views of Hong Kong
• Lamma Island – lots of independent shops and cafes, relax at the beach (take ferry from Central)
• Lantau Island – visit the Big Buddha then take the bus to Tai O, a local fishing village
• Dragons Back – a relatively easy hike with great views, at the end of the trail take the bus to Shek O beach
• Din Tai Fung – an excellent (and affordable!) dim sum restaurant
• Wooloomooloo rooftop bar – above the Wooloomooloo Steakhouse in Wanchai is a rooftop bar with incredible views of the city and not extortionately priced cocktails
• Stanley market – take the bus from Central to Stanley, stop by Repulse Bay beach on the way home
Since the new year celebrations have ended, teaching has commenced as normal. This semester I have tried to take less practical heavy modules and more essay and exam modules so I have more time to enjoy and explore Hong Kong before I leave in May.