By Ben O’Toole
Chinese New Year is over but fortunately there are only a few more weeks until Spring Break, which is called Reading Week here. I just finished booking all of my flights to the Philippines and Singapore. Traveling here is so cheap. The average plane ticket was about 60 USD and then hostels cost close to nothing. My plans for the Philippines are to fly into Manila then take a bus to the north to see the Banaue Rice Terraces. These 2000 year old terraces were carved into the mountains using only primitive tools. After hiking through the terraces, often referred to as “the eighth wonder of the world,” we will head to the southern islands to relax on different beaches, and hopefully catch a chartered fishing trip to see some exotic fish before heading to Singapore. I’m so excited to see Singapore, but after checking the weather is seems a little intimidating. Being only 85 miles north of the equator, Singapore has a current temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit with 60% humidity. Hopefully living in humid Maryland will have prepared me for this trip.
Even though I am excited for my spring break traveling, the city of Hong Kong never fails to amaze me. There is really just so much to do for any kind of person. Of course the night life remains incredible, and there are always new places to check out. Still however, this not why Hong Kong is so great. At any time or place on Hong Kong Island, you are no more than 35 minutes from a hiking trail, a biking trail, a beach, an amazing dim sum restaurant, the center of the city, or anything you could possibly want to do. Furthermore, the ferry network to neighboring islands is very simple to use, and making a day trip to go there is so easy to do.
Last week, I took a bus to the New Territories of Hong Kong in the north and I visited the town of Sai Kung. Once it warms up, Sai Kung offers an incredible beach with hiking trails and surfing lessons. The town is also home to some amazing seafood restaurants and markets, where the live animals are displayed with great fashion to either take home or have prepared for you. I was blown away by the variation and quantity of seafood that I saw there. Hopefully I’ll eat there soon, maybe I will write about it in my next post.