Nikki Springer is a student at Iowa State University and is an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently interning abroad with ISA Internships in Shanghai, China.
Here’s the deal about traveling in a different country: every time you go somewhere new, you end up not only learning more about the country you’re traveling in, but also learning more about yourself.
This past weekend, a few friends and I decided to travel to Hong Kong. We all did minimal research on different things that we could do in Hong Kong, and we only packed one backpack each. You could probably say that we weren’t as prepared as we should’ve been. But that’s the fun of it in my opinion–to go somewhere completely new and have no real expectations.
One friend and I ended up going to one of the most popular beaches in Hong Kong named “Repulse Bay.” Repulse Bay is about 30 minutes away from the mainland, and it is easily accessible via public transportation. At the bay, both locals and tourists alike enjoy the cool refreshing waters and relaxed atmosphere of the surrounding neighborhood. One might expect such an area to be very crowded, especially during the summer months, bug because of the spaciousness of the the bay it, was not crowded at all. We spent the whole day in and out of the cool, refreshing water.
Upon returning to our hotel, we decided to find a popular street market in Hong Kong called “Temple Street Night Market.” While we were there, we decided to try some of the local Hong Kong waffles, better known as egg waffles because of their curious shape. At the market, there were local foods of all variety such as waffles, fried tofu, spicy lobster, and Hong Kong BBQ. Besides the delectable food, there were also a massive amount of small shops all containing similar trinkets, such as pirated DVDs, knock-off bags, and overpriced souvenirs. Although this may not sound like the best place to be, the atmosphere was incredible. Walking down the street you can see people haggling for deals, eating the variety of foods, or just walking around and taking in all of the sights, sounds and smells.
The following morning we decided to explore more around the area of our hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. We found Kowloon Park. It is a fairly large park full of locals doing their morning Tai Chi. At the park there is also a community pool, a sculpture garden, and an aviary. We spent a few hours just walking around and seeing the culture of a more relaxed Hong Kong in contrast to the night market we had been to the night before. The weekend was an overall success and I hope to return to Hong Kong in the near future.
The world awaits…discover it.