One of the reasons I was drawn to study abroad was for the new opportunities. I was really comfortable in my surroundings. My home university is a 30-minute drive from where I grew up. I knew Boston from when I was little. I felt as though I missed the excitement that many people felt starting college. The environment in Hong Kong, however, welcomes change. I have the capacity to try new things, many of which I have never considered. Every weekend, I feel almost obliged to go out and explore, instead of sit at home.

On my latest adventure, I went to Big Wave Bay via the Dragon’s Back Trail. Dragon’s Back follows the mountain ridge giving a beautiful view of both sides of Hong Kong Island. It is probably one of the iconic views seen in most travel guides. The hike itself took 2.5-3 hours. We started in the morning from To Tei Wan and made it to Big Wave Bay for lunch. The beach attracts many foreigners and more relevantly, surfers.

We were able to rent boards from a local shop (there are many) for $40HKD or ~$5USD. We had no idea what we were doing, but we just went out into the water, observing the others. Soon, some local guys noticed how terrible we were at surfing and helped guide us along. Many of the tips I don’t think I could have figured out on my own (here mostly so I remember):

  • When heading out towards the water, cut the waves with your body perpendicular to the wave front for less resistance. Hold the back of the board with one hand tilting the tip upwards. The other hand guides the board into the wave.
  • When you climb on the surf board, balance your body with your legs slightly apart.
  • When you see a big wave coming, paddle with your arms quickly towards the shore to catch the wave. If you want to catch the shallow waves, just hold tight to the board and use your feet to push off towards the shore when the wave is heading your way.
  • Careful of the fins on the board, they hurt!

These guys were super helpful and so nice. They pushed us along for over an hour, after which even I was exhausted. Surfing is really tiring! But I am so proud that I can now catch the waves myself :)

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