Escaping the City that Never Sleeps

In China by Eller Student

Hong Kong is a vibrant, vertical city that always has a multitude of people doing different things no matter what time of the day or night it is. When I say vertical, I mean everything in Hong Kong is located above the streets. There is only 426 square miles that need to accommodate 7 million people, so the skyscrapers that make up the beautiful neon skyline here facilitate everything from living space, restaurants, and services all under one roof. I have come to love living and navigating this bustling city for the past month, but this past weekend was a wonderful experience to escape the excitement on the main islands of Hong Kong.

On Saturday, we traveled to Lantau Island to see an old fishing village where I tasted the freshest and cheapest crab I’ve had in Hong Kong or anywhere else for that matter. A whole steamed crab was only $15 US dollars, when in the states or on the main island I would be paying hundreds of dollars for a delicacy like that. Luckily, I have learned some simple Cantonese that has enabled me to order and ask for the check at a restaurant. After, we visited the Po Lin Monastery and saw the Tian Tan Buddha or “Big Buddha”, which is 112ft tall and weighs 280 tons. It was a magical sight to see. One, for its tremendous size and secondly, because of the serenity that surrounds the religious site. On Sunday, I completed my first hike on one of Hong Kong’s many hiking trails, and it was an unforgettable experience. The trail was called “Dragons Back” and it was complete with 360 degree views of the ocean, surrounding islands, and small towns. It lies in the middle of the Shek O nature reserve, which creates a whole different Hong Kong environment separate from the concrete and crowded streets. Overall, the weekend was an awesome change of pace and it made me hungry for more exploring!