Back to China

Academic year 2014-15

In the coming academic year I’m going to be studying in Mainland China, doing a one year Chinese language programme. I’d initially considered National Taiwan University, but the decision was made for me when I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship to cover living expenses and a one year course in a PRC university. So now its just a case of sorting out which university to go to - Peking, Zhejiang, or Tsinghua. I travelled a fair amount in Asia whilst in Hong Kong, and hope to do the same this year - will use this blog to post photos. 

In the year since last posting on here, I went to Spain (and a one-day trip to Morocco), South Korea, and India. Most of the time has been spent in England finishing my degree. In Korea I stayed in Seoul with a school friend who had just finished his national service. The country was a sharp contrast to North Korea and the food was particularly memorable. Later in the summer I was part of the Study India programme. We spent a week seeing Mumbai/Bombay before internships elsewhere - I was at Tata in Lucknow, and finally a week in Delhi, where we visited universities and famous sights. It was an intense trip and a great insight into this vast country.

A few photos of Kennedy Town, my home on the northwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. The western terminus of the tramway is here, and a lot of land is currently being developed for the new MTR stations at Sai Ying Pun, Kennedy Town, and HKU. At present it’s still a fairly traditional district and it isn’t very commercialised. I wonder if in a decade it will become more like Causeway Bay! 

Apart from a brief stop in Hong Kong between Vietnam and Thailand, I hadn’t really spent any time here post-exams. Arriving back late at HK airport (always a pleasure) meant that it was a taxi back to HK Island. The notoriously quick taxi drivers really come into their own on the open road - we went steady at 90mph!

Waking up feeling very lethargic after travelling and a late night, I went off for a run in the scorching heat - no need to go to Thailand to rid ourselves of that unhealthy-looking pallor of finals month! I ran west, around Mt Davis, past the Medical Campus, to University Hall (picture courtesy of HKU), and near Aberdeen (香港仔). Then I carried on behind University Hall past Pokfulam Reservoir which was a world away from the buzz of the city. There were dozens of big fish and turtles swimming, and the path went past several waterfalls feeding the reservoir. After a very hot hike up to Victoria Peak, relatively quiet on a weekday afternoon, I took the southern route around the Peak on Harlech Road and then back down through Pinewood Battery on the steep route to Kennedy Town. Spectacular views - it was a shame I didn’t have a camera.

After Vietnam it was back to Hong Kong for two days and then I flew to Thailand with HKU friends! It was a great trip, and we left a violent storm to return to a sunny HK at 34degC, having had good weather all week. Thai food is spicy!