A Travellerspoint blog

Weeks 45,46,47+48 - Last Day of Work

Entry covering 7th June - 30th June. Last few weeks at work, and entering my last week here in HK.

rain 33 °C

Huge thanks to Dr and Mrs Holliday for awarding me the Nick Holliday Travel Scholarship, in memory of their son Nick who was a geography teacher at KES. He was an avid traveller, explorer and climber, and died tragically in a climbing accident doing what he loved. The Scholarship helps fund the travels of KES students who aspire to travel, which I am sure Nick would be very proud of.

Posted on 1st July 2021

At the time of writing I’ve just finished my last day of work. Saying goodbye to the kids in my house - especially the boarders, who I’ve pretty much lived with for the past year - was difficult and a bit sad. Finished the year with M+S brownies, cookies and Jaffa cakes, and lots of FIFA. The job was amazing; I got paid to pretty much be an older brother and just look after the kids in house, playing games and organising competitions for them. There was also the sports side of the job, where we’d help out with all the games lessons, but the house side was definitely the highlight.

Week 45 (7th - 13th June)

Quiet week. Went into town on the Saturday, where I took these photos. I’ve been here for a year, and I still can’t get over how beautiful HK is.
Hong Kong

Hiked Castle Peak on the Sunday, tallest mountain in Tuen Mun. Near the bottom of the mountain is a monastery that is the official birthplace of Buddhism in HK, and is also where a Bruce Lee film was filmed. The complex was huge and very peaceful, and from a viewpoint you could see Shenzhen in the distance.
Tsing Shan Monastery

Castle Peak was insane. At the peak you can look over onto the other side of the mountain that you can’t see from anywhere else. The terrain is different to anything else in HK; the mountains are sandy, so are a weird mix of green and yellow. Beyond that is open ocean that, on a clear day, you’d be able to see Macau from. There was then a bridge that connects Hong Kong to a port in mainland China, which was really cool; the bridge looked really modern and futuristic. It felt like actual wilderness at the top, with overgrown grass and wind so strong that I had to sit down at points to avoid being pushed over. I think I went up during a storm, as there was dark grey clouds passing over the peak. Luckily it only rained for a bit.
Castle Peak

The problem with climbing mountains in HK is the humidity. You sweat loads because of the temperature, and then you don’t dry off because of how humid it is. Once your clothes are wet they stay wet, so I did the whole hike with a completely drenched t-shirt.

Week 46 (14th - 20th June

Bank holiday Monday so went for brunch at Poem, a Balinese restaurant. It was amazing and like nothing I’ve ever had before; everything tasted very tropical, wrapped in coconut leaves and tasting slightly of coconut or exotic fruits. Similar to Thai food but tastes tropical instead of spicy.

Not much other than that. Went back to the K11 mall, the really fancy one, for Five Guys. Went through a train station on the way that looks like something out of a sci-fi film, all shiny chrome and shaped like a spaceship.
Station and K11

Week 47 (21st - 27th June

Tropical storm passed over, which caused a cumulonimbus cloud to form (I only know because I googled what cloud it was after seeing it). Never seen one before; it formed a ball with a glowing centre, and the ball kept expanding from the centre by sort of circling outwards. It was actually quite scary, and a heavy thunderstorm followed.

In the week, one of my football classes got called off because there was a snake under a barrier on the court. I didn’t realise they took snakes so seriously here; four staff members came to stand around it while they waited for the police.

Played my last match for DBFC on the Sunday. Don’t really enjoy playing in HK to be honest; the pitches are tiny so you get no time on the ball, whilst the heat and humidity means you struggle to breathe after a while. Can’t believe I’m saying this but I miss cold and wet November mornings.

Sunday was amazing. Brunch at Honjo, a Japanese restaurant with all-you-can-eat sushi. One of the best meals I’ve ever had; I’ve said this before but I’m really going to miss how much good food there is in HK. Until you live in HK, you won’t realise what I’m talking about. The number of amazing restaurants is incredible.

Week 48 (28th - 30th June; Mon to Wed as we broke up on a Wednesday)
School was called off on Monday due to a ‘black weather warning’ i.e. rain so intense everything floods. All public transport stops running and people are advised to stay indoors altogether. It’s unlike any rain in the UK; the air becomes thick and the raindrops are huge, whilst there is lightning every 2-3 minutes.

Tuesday and Wednesday were mostly goodbyes and thank yous. Both to the pupils and other teachers, who I’ve worked with/taught for the past year and probably won’t see most of ever again. Loved my time here; it’s a nice environment to work in. Nice facilities, kids don’t really misbehave, good weather so everyone’s in a good mood most of the time. Very different atmosphere to any school in the UK; there aren’t really that many problems, and the kids motivate themselves. I’d consider working here when I’m older. Wednesday was the last day of work for our gap tutor team: end of an era.
Gappie team 2020-21


I fly next Friday, 9th July. Have to do 10 days quarantine at home and have 2 tests. I will be back in time for the Euros final, so if England do make it (which we won’t; we’ll probably lose to Ukraine) then I’ll be back home for that. The time difference here means that only the Croatia game was at a normal time, at 9pm. Germany was at midnight, whilst Ukraine will be 3am. Germany game was easily worth it though.

I have 9 days left here, which I’m going to call my last ‘week’. One more blog entry to come. I wrote this mostly for my family, so they could read about what I’m doing. However, I also plan to read back through this in however many years time, to relive this year. Despite not being able to travel to Thailand and Japan, which are next door, I’ve absolutely loved it. I’ve learnt so much and experienced a completely different culture, which I’m now familiar with.

I’d say Hong Kong is a must-visit place, mainly because of how close everything is together. Unlike America, where some of the states are a couple of hours apart by plane, you can go between the two furthest points in HK in under 3 hours by public transport, probably 90 mins by car. It means that were you to do a week here, you could do absolutely everything and not have to pick and choose, as you would with Australia or America.

One more entry to come. 9 more days here, purely to relax and enjoy HK. See you on the other side.

Posted by David Zhao 00:35 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged rain

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Lovely blog David! Really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. You’ve done a good job promoting HK as a brilliant tourist destination🙂
Really jealous of you visited so many nice restaurants. You’ll have to adapt when you are back to England. I can see your chopsticks skills improved a lot!
Do they really have to wait for the police to deal with a tiny snake? Can’t the 4 staff do anything? That will put lots off people off joining the police🙂

by Michelle

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