A city of opportunities

This post might be a bit disorganized, because I’m just all over the place every day. 😀 Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I haven’t had time to post anything lately (or a reason why I’m not doing so well at school). Every day is different and full of new things to see and learn. I would call this a city of opportunities.

Hiking has been something I want to do whenever the weather is clear and whenever there’s some free time. It’s like every mountain I see makes me wanna just pack some food with me and go to the top. They say Hong Kong is small. And it kind of is, partly thanks to its efficient public transport. But that’s only if you want to see the main sights. This is the part of my exchange when I’m starting to dig a little deeper.

Hiking in Kowloon Peak. The views to the city don’t get much better than this!

New Territories is what the “countryside” part of HK is called. I have been there a couple of times and this last time I joined an organized tour to its abandoned “ghost” villages. After that trip I realized how much the outside part of the city area of Hong Kong has to offer. It doesn’t help when I find some interesting websites about less known sights and areas here. It makes me restless. I want to see it all!

Sha Tin is a nice city along a river. It’s located on the other side of mountains that separate Kowloon and New Territories.
Abandoned buildings in the northern part of New Territories. People left villages behind hoping for better jobs in the city.

About my school

I think I should also tell at least something about my school. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has about 30 000 students and the campus is huge! In my first school days I was a bit overwhelmed but at least the campus map is clear. Each parts of the buildings are lettered and classrooms have numbers, which I find very logical.

Each tree, bush or even bench has been named after donators or remarkable people that have been part of the process making PolyU what it is today.

There are many places for eating. To mention a few, PolyU has its own Subway, Starbucks, American diner, Indian restaurant and I think even a small pasta place. Usually I go to one of the big school canteens, since eating in those is the cheapest option: the price is about the same as in JAMK! There are usually weekly events on campus. Last friday was OT day. Occupational therapy students introduced our work through funny games with music in the background played by a student band. I wish I would have had more time there. I quickly rushed to my Chinese class. Sometimes the pace of studying here feels crazy!

Li Ka Shin tower in PolyU campus.

I like PolyU’s multi-storey Pao Yue-Kong library with several room types. Sometimes after school I spend some time in quiet study zone to practise Chinese characters. It’s so hard to learn them!

PolyU has some free workshops for students. I was really interested in Kung Fu so I joined a class that’s held every Tuesday! Teaching is in Cantonese but that isn’t a problem. It’s all about the moves so I just try to copy what everyone else is doing. And the teacher is very good! He also takes some time to tell us all individually what to do if something’s wrong and that’s when he advises me in English.

Hung Hom Halls

Okay, what is the place I’ve been living in for the last two months? The Hung Hom Halls of Residence, shortly Hung Hom Halls.

This 22-storey building is very close to my campus, only a 10 or 15-minute walk away. It’s located in between Whampoa and Hung Hom MTR stations so it’s very easy to go anywhere. Also, there is a concentration of restaurants just next to it in Whampoa so there is no need to whine if you’re hungry in your room. If you feel lazy, you can also go to the first floor. Hung Hom Halls has it’s own canteen there.

The second floor has a lot of free space. I often see people studying there, or dancing in front of those big mirrors or playing table tennis. There’s a quiet study room, laundry room, meditation room, dancing room, piano room, snooker room and a gym. The gym is free! Some of those rooms need a reservation.

The halls has its own dance team that practices weekly in the dancing room. I was keen on taking a look what they do. I’m very grateful that some students there have taught me basics of hip hop, break dance and popping!

As I’ve mentioned before, I live on the third floor, which is why I never take the lift. It’s so fast to take the stairs. Each pair of floors has a name. For example I am in Minyin Hall, which consists of the 3rd and the 4th floor. Each “hall” has some activities regularly. I should actually check if there is something coming up soon. I haven’t been participating in those activities yet.

The view from my room’s window. Nothing special.
This is my room. Sorry about the mess! 😀
This is what the building looks like from the outside.


That was a very compact description of what’s been happening lately. There are also bad days when I feel like I’m so lost and when I’m struggling with all the requirements at school. But you have to allow yourself to have all these feelings, right? The next day there can be an unexpected adventure to a place where you forget about time and space.


  1. Hi, Joona,
    You act like a local HongKongers…where will you see & visit during Easter Holidays???
    Have you try “Mei Ho House” ( where you can see those simulation models showing the living environment in 50′ ~ 60′ ) & the very famous “Monkeys’ Hill – Shek Lei Pui Reservoir…( Country Park where hundreds of Monkeys live there ). Don’t miss if you have time…..Enjoy!!

    • Hello, Rarry! Sorry for the late reply. I was hiking in Sai Kung during Easter holidays. Sai Kung cliff pools & Sharp Peak, I had a fun time!

      Thanks for the recommendations! I still have so much to see but those places are totally worth checking. Greetings to your family!