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  1. #1
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    OT...... Hong Kong?

    Hey all,

    I'm currently at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and am considering studying at the University of Hong Kong fall of 09. I would be taking business/economics classes there, and the University appears to be a very good school.

    Anyway, I don't speak a lick of Cantonese. All classes are taught in English, so I don't have to worry about that, but I'm worried about being able to get around in the city, ect. I've been to many countries where I don't speak the language, and spent a few weeks in Japan last summer with my brother who took a few of Japanese in high school. I felt like we could get around well enough to get by.

    Can anyone provide any insight on this? Will I be completely in over my head? I read somewhere that road signs/government signs are in English as well, is this true? I'm not the kind of person to walk into a shop and expect the clerk to know English. I'll probably take an introductory language class at the University as well, so hopefully that will help a bit.

    Thanks!
    Matt

  2. #2
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    howdy Matt. sure you dont have any problem here, i cant say all people here know english but until 2000, 75% of people need to use english for public examination. so you know what ages group people know english well, for those who seems dont know english may have very strong foundation in english but poor in speaking.

    some shops and area even use english only, they dont even know cantonese!!

    btw you can most likely get the very good deal of bikes parts if you know how to find, you can have the 08xtr cranks set for us350....
    Daccordi - Attila
    Cinelli - Freedom Rider
    Paduano - Caligola

  3. #3
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    You will have a great time

    Hey Matt,

    I was at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) last July doing a joint program in law with Duke University there. I lived right on campus in Robert Black College. I also know a few professors in the Economics department and went out with them. My thesis adviser in undergrad at UC Santa Cruz has been a frequent lecturer and has very strong bond with HKU; so I got a taste chatting econ and drinking wine with the professors. I think you will have a great time (just don't set your expectation too high).

    All the street signs are in bilinguals (English/Cantonese). You will figure out the subway system very quickly; though, it will take a while to get use to the bus system. I bought the lonely planet book and it was a good guide to help using the bus system. Buy an Octopus car immediately after you get off the plan. It will be your best friend and is extremely convenient to use (for public transportation and in most convenient stores). I thought that the Octopus Card is one of the best outcomes of HongKongnese's intelligence.

    For adventures: buy the series of countryside maps. If I remember correctly there are 7 maps for the entire Hong Kong. Those maps are about $8, waterproof and extremely efficient. I used them for all my countryside explorations and they never failed me. For hiking, mountain biking and camping, check out this resourceful website: http://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/count...s_mou_mou.html. It even has free but detailed maps there.

    Don't worry about not knowing local language. I don't know any Cantonese myself and I had no problem getting around. It's very hard to find such comfort with language disability in Asia, but Hong Kong is unique that way.

    The people are very nice and helpful; though, somewhat reserved. HongKongnese has the highest IQ rate in the world so the academic environment will be challenging but intellectually satisfying. Also, the Econ department is recognized all over the world and most professors there are educated at prominent institutions in the West. They will keep you on your toe.

    Food is cheap and superb! I love to hang out at small local food shops in strange corners and had many pleasant surprises. You’re more like getting really delicious local food at the small food shops than at really big restaurant. Don't know if you drink coffee; if you do, Starbucks coffee is best in Hong Kong. Even the Starbucks coffee in South Korea was not comparable. It must has something to do with local milk/cream, but don't leave HK without trying Starbucks coffee there.

    Again, I'm convinced you will have a great time. Feel free to PM me if you need additional info.
    Last edited by theseawind; 11-16-2008 at 03:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    hi, matt. i'm from hong kong. HK riders are so nice and most of us can speak english.

  5. #5
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    I do go to HK very often for business and it's not a problem at all. Almost everyone can speak English. It was a British Crown Colony after all!

    To sidetrack, may I ask the HKers on this thread if there're any nice trails for riding? I may just wanna pack my MTB with me on my next business trip!

  6. #6
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    For DH, check out Dai-Mo-Shan. (aka foggy mountain) or Tin Pin Shan.

    Check this thread. My friend Ben Lun runs it.

    www.mtbunited.com

    They ride regularly.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loll
    For DH, check out Dai-Mo-Shan. (aka foggy mountain) or Tin Pin Shan.

    Check this thread. My friend Ben Lun runs it.

    www.mtbunited.com

    They ride regularly.
    tks looks fun, too bad I'm more of an xc guy. I will email Ben for recommendations on xc trails.

  8. #8
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    interesting...
    I was born in HK. My last visit was 10 years ago. I came to the states when I was 5. I still have a boat load of family there and in the UK. My g-ma goes back every year. I speak fluent canto with the American accent of course but can't really write/read all that much.

    It seems like the HK'ers love to mtb on the road but looks like they have epic long day trips going through towns. That's pretty cool. It's cool to see how the mtb culture in HK looks no different then inthe states. We all dress the same, rock the same gear and good taste in bikes. NICE! Looks like a lot of doubletrack and not something always well maintained. If any of you HK'ers are coming to the NY/NJ area and you want a guide to NJ best mtb singletrack. Shout me a holler!

    I do have questions though... are these trails approved or are they rogue? Also, you HK'ers shuttle up to the mountains? Is there a bike park in HK? Is it hard for you guys to get around to the trail heads (assuming you don't have a car which most HK'ers don't)? Oh, and has anyone started the 29er kool-aid yet there? The XC rides would be nice on a 9er.

    Now you got me thinking if I should go to HKU for master in business....
    Last edited by THATmanMANNY; 04-01-2009 at 12:36 PM.

  9. #9
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    Smile

    Hi I live in HKG and have been here for many years now. Originally from Australia. I ride All Mtn with some DH sometimes. The terrain here can be quite brutal, but still there are some great rides around.
    Some of the issues here are:
    - steepness of mountains (more challenging for learners)
    - erosion from the heavy rains
    - not all trails are legal, dealing with Government to get more trails open....
    - quality service from bike shops
    - some trains don't allow bikes
    - air quality sometimes not great (pollution)
    - roads generally not very bike friendly

    Some of the benefits are:
    - steepness of mountains (more fun)
    - closeness of mountains
    - rideable all your round
    - tax free for imports (bikes/accessories included)
    - varied terrain
    - does have summer and winter...( winter gets down to 5-10 C sometimes, summer 34 C )

    Overall riding in HKG can be quite awesome, in that doing some amazing riding, just 30 mins from the city. It can be hot in summer, but we just go early in the day or at night. We can ride all year round... although the wet season May to Aug can at time be really wet... mean 300-400mm a day occasionally. When we do DH we hire a Van with driver and usually fit 4 bikes. It works out awesome and can do lots of runs at Tai Mo Shan.

    for more info see
    www.hkmba.org

    Cheers
    Rogue
    2007 Blur 4x
    2009 Driver 8

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by THATmanMANNY
    interesting...
    I was born in HK. My last visit was 10 years ago. I came to the states when I was 5. I still have a boat load of family there and in the UK. My g-ma goes back every year. I speak fluent canto with the American accent of course but can't really write/read all that much.

    It seems like the HK'ers love to mtb on the road but looks like they have epic long day trips going through towns. That's pretty cool. It's cool to see how the mtb culture in HK looks no different then inthe states. We all dress the same, rock the same gear and good taste in bikes. NICE! Looks like a lot of doubletrack and not something always well maintained. If any of you HK'ers are coming to the NY/NJ area and you want a guide to NJ best mtb singletrack. Shout me a holler!

    I do have questions though... are these trails approved or are they rogue? Also, you HK'ers shuttle up to the mountains? Is there a bike park in HK? Is it hard for you guys to get around to the trail heads (assuming you don't have a car which most HK'ers don't)? Oh, and has anyone started the 29er kool-aid yet there? The XC rides would be nice on a 9er.

    Now you got me thinking if I should go to HKU for master in business....
    At the top of Tai Mo Shan is a DH trail that they sometimes use for DH races. Most places in HK are steep, so it is not ridable to the top. But it seems that Tai Mo Shan has a road to the top so it is better than hike-a-bike.

    Funny when I was a kid back in the 80s, I used to live near Tai - Mo -Shan. Too bad mtb was only being invented in the states around that time. There's a guy out here in N.California that rides with the HK group.

  11. #11
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    Hi to everyone in hong kong who rides. I'm merely a jok-sing who wants to rip up some fun trails in hong kong while i'm visiting some family. I train and race for cross country and down hill events in the northern california area and would love to meet up for some rides when I get over there. Please shoot me a private message if you might be able to point me in the right direction to some cool tour guide services, or just trails that I might be into. I'm always down to meet up with some cool riders in hong kong who know how to ride and know how to have a good time. Cheers!

  12. #12
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    what about Santa Cruz frame prices in Hong Kong?

  13. #13
    ang
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    Sunday Morning Ride in HK Island's Dragon's Back Trail

    Greetings from Hong Kong!

    Though HK is a concrete jungle, there are nice MTB trails just 30 minutes from downtown.

    If you happen to visit HK, pls drop a note at the Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association forum. There are many group rides in different part of Hong Kong.

    For instance, there is a Dragon's Back trail (XC) in Hong Kong Island and we do rides every sunday morning. Pls feel free to join

    Click for Dragron's Back
    http://www.hkmba.org/index.php?optio...d=58&Itemid=66

    Pls apply for a FREE MTB permit before your visit to HK.
    http://www.hkmba.org/index.php?optio...d=49&Itemid=56

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