Hong Kong 2019

Year 12 and 13 students have recently returned from a very successful trip to Hong Kong. Twelve 6th form students visited HK over February half term and described the trip as amazing and a really enriching experience. Many of the students had never visited Asia before and found the trip to be a real eye-opener.

With a limited time frame we packed as much as possible into the 6 days we were in the country to ensure students gained the most from their experience. Students visited the bustling city centre and explored the small networks of lanes containing cafes and hidden temples before sampling local food. We also visited isolated fishing villages that are built on stilts overlooking the sea and trekked up to visit the big Buddha statue despite a tropical rainstorm. While experiencing an amber rainstorm warning, the students approached the situation with good humour and didn’t let the fact that they were all soaked through affect their enthusiasm. The trip was planned to show students the contrasts in such a small area. We would take the tram and metro during rush hour, unable to move as attendants helped push us onto the train and then spend the next day on an isolated beach with only water buffalo for company.

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The students were a real credit to the college and really made the most of the experience, trying all the food available, trying their best to learn useful Cantonese phrases and bargaining in the markets. They were more than willing to wake up at 6:30 am to watch elderly people practise Tai Chi in the park and then hike over the mountains for two hours. Alice and Ollie claimed the highlight of the trip was hiking to an isolated beach and taking a speedboat back through the fog to a nearby town. Bart enjoyed exploring the hills of Hong Kong on the world’s longest escalator system, as well as wandering through local markets. He commented that he could happily live in such an exciting city. A highlight for Arlo was going to the top of the IFC building, where Batman: The Dark Knight was filmed, and getting a view over the city. Awards go out to Bart, for ordering jellyfish served with pig’s knuckle for dinner, and chicken’s feet for lunch. Brad Follen for his enthusiasm in learning Cantonese phrases to communicate with the locals and Polly for eating non-stop the entire trip. Olivia described the trip as “amazing” and that taking the Peak Tram up to the summit and seeing the amazing views of Hong Kong was a highlight. Bodmin College is looking at running a similar trip to New York City next February half term.

A Student Perspective

In February half term a group of 6th form students visited Hong Kong. Over the course of the week we visited many sights such as the IFC building and the big Buddha on Lantau Island. We also experienced everyday life by shopping in local markets and riding the MTR metro. We tried traditional cuisine, such as calamari and chicken’s feet (which were disgusting). As well as experiencing city life, we also explored rural areas such as Tai O fishing village, where houses were built on stilts. We also visited a beach at Big Wave Bay where they had just been hit by a massive typhoon and the community had not fully recovered. One local café owner showed us footage of the aftermath of the destruction, which was devastating. In the evenings we did activities such as watching the famous light show and going to the races at Happy Valley. We also embraced local culture by visiting temples and taking part in morning tai chi. Overall Hong Kong was a great experience and we would definitely recommend the trip to other students!

Megan and Kate.