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Don’t Rule Out Hong Kong for Your Study Abroad Destination

Part One: Intro and A New World

By: Akshith Sunkireddy

· Study Abroad,Destinations,Hong Kong

There’s nothing like having a friend who just came home from Study Abroad and will NOT stop talking about it. They probably mention how it changed their life and how American drinking laws are the worst part about having to come back. They’ve probably shown you enough pictures that you are now just as familiar with the country they visited as they are.

The funny thing is, chances are they went to Paris, Spain, or the UK. This is not surprising as five of the six most popular study abroad destinations are in Western Europe. Study abroad is indeed life changing. Your friend’s excitement is not uncommon or ungrounded, and you might be interested in what the hype is for yourself.

If you are considering study abroad but are worried that you will find yourself telling too many stories about the same places as everyone before you, let me give you something to think about.

Hong Kong is an incredibly underrated study abroad destination. From the skyscrapers to the temples, the beaches to the mountains, and your hostel to nightlife hot spots, Hong Kong should not be ruled out as your next Study Abroad Destination.

Part One: A New World

Hong Kong's culture has a strong Cantonese foundation. This SAR (Special Administrative Region), at the southern tip of China, and is relatively independent of the main land. If you are looking for an immersive cultural experience, HongKong’s temples should be in your consideration.

In Hong Kong, you can visit the famous Big Buddha. After taking a cable car ride to a small island, you reach the beautiful Po Lin Monastery and get to see one of the marvels of Hong Kong Traditional Culture (even though the temple was completed in 1993). This, however, is not even the tip of the iceberg. The 10,000 Buddha temple will blow your mind and body as you hike past 10,000 unique Buddha statues.

Caption: As you get higher, the Buddhas get weirder

Caption: As you get higher, the Buddhas get weirder.

Past the temples there are many other places where you can see the traditional Cantonese way of life: you may enjoy the beautiful little fishing village of Tai O, or the busy Stanley Market.

Though it is easy to get lost in the scenery, you won’t want to forget about the food. Hong Kong is one of the only places in the world where you can eat Michelin Star food for less than 10 USD. To do this, look no further than the iconic Tim Ho Wan dim sum restaurant. You should also feel free to experiment with the street food at Lady’s Market in Mong Kok or indulge in expensive steak in Central. If you have a sweet tooth, Cantonese milk tea or honeycomb ice cream might be something to look for.

Caption: The food on the right half of this picture is not for the faint of heart, or stomach

In addition to the culture, the landscape too feels foreign and beautiful. Hong Kong was built on top of a mountainous island and bay in Southern China, creating one of the most scenic destinations for an outdoor adventurer.

Hike the beautiful Dragon’s Back or visit the sandy beaches at Sai Kung. If you seek more adventure and want to explore remote islands off the coast, hire a junk boat for the day and enjoy the best boat party of your life!

Note: A little more about the junk boat, on these trips you can climb waterfalls and explore some of the most pristine, untouched tropical beaches you’ve ever seen. All with a beer in your hand.

Caption: Seriously you guys, this was the best day of my life

To study abroad in a place like Hong Kong, you must be adventurous. Someone who will make the most of their trip by sampling stinky tofu, hiking the tropics, or jumping out of a junk boat during the third boat party your friends organized (because it’s actually that fun).

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