Photography

On July 13, I will begin the first part of my travels to Hong Kong where I will serve as a camp counselor in a english immersion school through the program, Camp Adventure!

Starting August 16th, I will leave Hong Kong behind and travel with a friend through Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I’m a travel enthusiast with the desire to see and experience everything.

Stay posted for my posts throughout my travels. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, let me know!

** 7/28/08

Hi friends. I apologize for being so late in writing on my blog, but I have been so busy and have had hardly any time to write!!

Let me summarize where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing the last two weeks in Hong Kong. My counselors and I are staying at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Kowloon Island. We are in a neighboring island of Hong Kong, but are surrounded by buildings and skyscrapers.

Aside from the people, food, and writing, I still felt like I may have been visiting the big apple. On our first few days, I’ve tried a few and have seen so many different types of food…things ranging from chicken feet, fish heads, jelly fish, liver and so on and so forth. It’s interesting how our american culture reacts to these items when in fact, here they are considered a delicacy. A picture to the right is of us in our first dim sum experience.

It’s funny because in previous countries, I have tried to at least appear like a local by learning the language, but here, I stand out regardless of anything I attempt to do! Here are some things that Americans do that are different from this culture… we all ask for water and to be more precise, we ask for cold water. Every meal is automatically served with green tea (which I prefer), but when asked for water, the server brings back luke-warm water. Regardless of how we are dressed or hydrated, we still manage to sweat more than any other local. It’s amazing to me how classy and well-mannered everyone is, regardless of the heat and 90% humidity.

We spent our first weekend in Macau, a former Portugese colony that is now the new hot-spot for gambling. Among certain casinos, I saw the MGM and the Wynn. It was funny to see how much it resembled Las Vegas. I did gamble on a black jack table, but walked away immediately after winning. I’m a smart and safe gambler 🙂 It’s interesting to see a Latin architectural influence on a country that is now owned by Chinese locals.

I’ve also visited Stanley market among the other hundreds of markets I’ve been to. I’ve visited the beach and have tried several restaurants and night life districts. This past weekend, my roommate and I went on this tour that took us into the Northern Territorries, which borders Mainland China. We were wanting to cross the border, but it cost $170 for a weekend visa. expensive, huh? It’s interesting to learn more about Hong Kong’s history and cultural influence. It was captivated by the British in the late 1800’s and was a british colony for over a 100 years. A majority of the road names and buildings are named after the royal family. When they gave the area back to China, it still maintained different governmental regulations than that of mainland. Therefore, the locals here say they have never felt nor considered themselves authentic chinese natives. Being from Hong Kong isolates you because you were not raised under sole chinese ruling. What’s interesting is that all of the locals who speak English have british accents and speak “traditional english” saying words such as queue and rubbish. It took me a second to even remember what they were referring to 🙂

I am in my second week at my camp and love the children. They are so well-mannered and respectful. They are all eager to learn and although their are some mischiefs, everyone seems so happy.

to have us. They bring us gifts and always always say thank you.

That’s all for now…but I’ll keep you posted and add more pictures!!

*VISITING THE ISLANDS*

This past weekend was one of my favorite weekends in Hong Kong. On Saturday, we woke up early and trekked out to Lantau Island to see the largest Buddha statue constructed in the world. We went out to the station and took the Cable Car to Nging Pong (highly recommended!) The Cable car is about a 25 minute ride and goes over the ocean and through the mountains and lush greenery. I couldn’t stop taking pictures. Once you exit, you walk through a small village (make sure to stop at the tea house) as you begin your ascend to the large Buddha. It is absolutely beautiful and surrounded by smaller statues. Once we finished with the statue, we walked around and came across the “wisdom path” that consisted of large statues with chinese calligraphy that represented purity and fate. We then found a beautiful hiking trail that took about 4 1/2 hours round trip. If you ever go, make sure to bring plenty of water and mosquito repellent. We had a great view of the town, buddha and beaches. I couldn’t be happier.

The next day we went out to the Central Ferry Pier and went out to Llama Island. For someone wanting a more rustic, bohemian experience, I highly recommend this area.

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