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What they dont tell you about

living in

Hong Kong and other essentials for incoming students

Welcome To Hong Kong Moving to a new place can be invigorat-

ing, exciting, and crazy all at the same time. And to make things worse-you’ve just moved to one of the busiest cities in the world. We created this booklet to welcome you to Hong Kong and also share a bit of the knowledge we have gathered about living in this incredible city! We pray this book can be of good use to you in your first weeks in Hong Kong-and if there is something we haven’t covered, don’t be afraid to ask!

What is ICF? We want to share God’s love and word with the international students at the University of Hong Kong. We welcome students of every faith, race, and nationality.

Weekly Wednesdays meetings during the semester: 6pm on Wednesday nights at Watermark Community Center: 46 High St. (5 min walk from HKU East gate.) email: web:

Essentials Always have your HKID card with you (check your visa requirements).

Get a student Octopus card for 50% off on the MTR (subway).

Works like a debit card for transportation and every day expenses.

Put value in the card by adding cash at 7-11, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and many more!

Transportation Tips: For those not used to public transportation: although the actual trip may only take about 10 minutes, the wait time could take from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the time of day. Never forget your belongings – even if you call lost and found, it is extremely unlikely that your items will returned, especially if they can be sold (cell phones, etc.)

Tram One of the cheapest and slowest means of transportation (Island only).

Bus City buses are a lot slower than minibuses, but easier to navigate HK for new destinations!


Minibuses are quick and easy once you get a handle on them! They can stop anywhere along their routes even if it isn’t a designated bus stop. Green tops: owned by the government. Pay with your Octopus card or exact change. Press the button above your seat or yell “yau lok m goi!” right before you want to get off ofthe bus. Red tops: owned privately. These buses are very fast. Taking this bus is easy from 2nd and 3rd village (but not HKU). However, keep in mind that using minibusses can still get you stuck in traffic during peak hours.

MTR (train/subway) The MTR is Hong Kong’s most reliable, convenient mode of transportation! It comes often (1-3 minutes). You should get an Octopus card in order to use it.

Taxi Easiest and most expensive mode of transportation! But for short trips of groups of 4 to 5 people, taxis can be cheapter than bus.

3rd village (Patrick Manson, Student Flats, RC Lee, Lee Hysan, Wei Lun): 3rd village - HKU East Gate 8 22 22S Sassoon Road x Pokfulam Road x x *Tell minibus 28 you are going to Central or a stop before (HKU) for a lower fare. T 3rd village - HKU West Gate

8 22 22S Pokfulam Road x x x These are in addition to the minibuses to HKU East Gate. Mostly all big buses go t 2nd village (Morrison, Suen Chi Sun, Lee Shau Kee) and Pokfield Residences: 2nd village - HKU East Gate 8 22 22S Pokfulam Road x x x *Tell minibus 28 you are going to Central or a stop before (HKU) for a lower fare.

Bus Routes Minibus 23

28* x


Big Bus 40




23 x

40 x

40M x

23 x

Big Bus 40 x

40M x


x There will also be a scheduled shuttle bus.

Big Bus 23 28* x x to and from West Gate. Minibus 23 x

28* x

31 x

31 x

Useful routes Residential Halls (to HKU) - There will be a shuttle bus to HKU Central (to HKU and Halls): -Go to Exchange Square I (Hong Kong Station) for big buses and Exchange Square II for minibuses/taxis. Buses run until 12:00am. - Take bus 40M in front of Cotton On/7-Eleven on D’Aguilar Street.

What is Hall Life? HKU currently has 13 halls, each with their own traditions and cultures. A large part of HKU culture, halls are more like fraternities or sororities than residences. You’ll be expected to join some events and groups in order to be readmitted next year, but contributing to the hall is a great way to meet people. Some of the main hall events are formal high-table dinners, inter-hall competitions, and orientation camps. If hall life is not for you, new residential colleges are located farther down the island on Lung Wah St. other options are student flats in 3rd Village, Pokfeild Residences, or rented apartments.

Athletics at HKU Athletics are not strongly emphasized, but those with an interest will find a team for almost any sport. Some teams represent HKU as a whole. Each hall has its own football, softball and basketball team. Most of the sport enthusiasm is centered around inter hall competitions, all vying for year-end champion.

HKU also has two gyms. Closer to campus is the Flora Ho Sports Centre in 2nd Village, which has an outdoor pool, gym and basketball court. The newer Stanley Ho Sports Centre is a five minute bus ride away from 3rd Village. Students are admitted free, but make sure you have a photo to get a gym card! Processing the card takes up to two weeks.

Demographics HKU Students:

The HKU undergraduate student body is mainly compromised of: •Local students from local schools •Local students from international schools, many of whose mother tongue is English •Mainland students from China •Full-time international students •Exchange students

Societies at HKU Most societies belong under the umbrella of the HKUSU (Hong Kong University Student Union) and are generally conducted in Cantonese. When you join one of these groups, you join their executive committees, which means you will organise events and oversee regular members. Newcomers can become acquainted with societies by attending their ‘Tea Gatherings’ in the first months of the school year. Regular members are required to pay a membership fee. If you don’t speak Cantonese, check out some of the societies that do not belong to the HKUSU.

Good to know on Campus: •Make sure someone gives you a tour, either your seniors or us! You WILL be lost if you don’t. •First two weeks : Add/drop period. •Revision and reading week: no classes! People use these weeks to study (or travel). •Classes can vary depending on the teacher, so ask your seniors which teachers are good. •Teachers seldom remind you about due dates, so remember to keep a planner!

•Textbooks are full price at the University Bookstore and the library’s books are in high demand/quickly checked out. Ask your seniors and connect with people who can help you find your course textbooks. •Administration in HKU: especially for international/exchange students, be sure to clarify any questions you have with multiple people (CEDARS, your faculty office, other students, etc.). It’s normal if you don’t get straight answers and need to go to many different offices for clarification.

More Tips

Useful Websites •Shopping, traveling, eating •Eating

Common banks •HSBC (customers can use Hang Seng Bank ATMs and vice versa)

•Hang Seng Bank •Bank of China •Bank of East Asia •Citibank

Printing •All students get 100 free credits for printing that may be used in computer centers in Run Run Shaw and the Old Wing of the Main Library •Students may buy printing credits in computer centers using their Octopus card. •Main library – you may only pay with Octopus, not printing credits

Weather •‘Hong Kong Observatory’ is mostly used ( •Weather often varies from forecasts •Winter is generally December until February. (Between 15 and 20C.) •Summer weather is hot, humid, and unstable. Thunderstorms and sudden showers are common. Temperatures usually exceed 30C. Typhoons are frequent and can cause cancellation of class.

Night Life Night life generally takes place off campus.

Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) and Soho: Area of D’Aguilar Street and Hollywood Road in Central. Keep your belongings, especially smart phones close by. •Ladies Night (Thursdays): •Pub Crawl: Meet people, especially HKU students Go around Soho and LKF bars with a big group

Popular Bars and Clubs: •Fly: dubstep •Likuid: mainstream music (very popular) •Insenses: indie music, backyard garden for chilling and socializing •Makumba: African live music and dancing (more pricey) •Hyde, Dragon I, and Azure: high profile, high entry fees •Oysters: great hangout place for socializing •Al’s Diner: great jello shots •Sahara: popular Egyptian hookah bar owned by 2 brothers •7-eleven in LKF: where all HKU students gather for cheaper drinks!

Cafes and Hang outs •Starbucks and Pacific Coffee Company are found on and off campus •Holly Brown in Soho •Rooftop at IFC (take escalators near SimplyLife)


San Hing Restaurant -“3 am Dim Sum” (新興食家) Traditional Hong Kong dishes. Most popular among HKU students Show the taxi driver: 10 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town (西環厚和街10號地下) HKD50/person Cherry Café (車厘餐廳) Hong Kong-style Western cuisine Walkable from HKU: 74 High Street, Western District (西環高街74號地下) HKD60/person

More Food Yi Ka (宜加) Traditional Hong Kong dessert and fast food Walkable from HKU: 51 Belcher’s Street, Western District (西環卑路乍街51號) HKD30/person Angelo’s Pizza HKU Mixer: Italian pizza, snacks, and soft drink buffet for students on Thursdays from 3:30 to 6:30 pm Walkable from HKU: 1 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, Western District (西環堅尼地城卑路乍街1號地下F舖) 50 HKD lunch and HKU Mixer, 120HKD dinner

Supermarkets •Wellcome (in the Westwood Mall under 1st village) and Park n Shop •International for specific ingredients – Citysuper (in IFC), International, TASTE



What They Don't Tell You About Living In Hong Kong  

A guide to living in Hong Kong and getting around at HKU.

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