A Day in Cheung Chau and How It Relates to My Travel

Setting off originally for a project, my friend Harrison and I went to Cheung Chau to conduct a ten question survey.

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Going to Cheung Chau

…oh, I wish it was that easy. So what happened in my day that made me write a non-aviation/hotel related post (which I understand some of you want to see more of)?

Getting There

So I headed to the pier at 1:40PM today just to realize that the fast ferry was full. Sh*t, I thought, but really the best option was to take the slow ferry which would take me in the island half an hour late.

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New World First Ferry A3873 Ordinary Ferry Cheung Chau Ferry Pier

Very annoyed, I boarded, where the ferry was really full. (Harrison missed the ferry.) I sat down at a window seat, and proceeded to enjoy the view for the first twenty minutes of the ride.

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Hong Kong to Cheung Chau View

Realising that the origin pier was still visible after twenty minutes, I stood up and walked around. I stopped. I changed into interview uniform.

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Cotai Water Jet flying by making me jealous 😕

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ICC and IFC from twenty minutes on the ordinary ferry

By that time, I would’ve arrived had I got to the pier three minutes earlier. But I had no choice. I had some cup noodles.

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Cup Noodles Hong Kong to Cheung Chau Ordinary Ferry

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More guns flying by making me jealous

I sat down at the back and proceeded to enjoy the view towards the rear. I was feeling really bored, and to be honest, I started to unwind. It was kind of relaxing, even though I was losing precious interview time.

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Fishing boat, Hong Kong to Cheung Chau

The scenery got better on the way. It was like taking a flight during a sunset, but the views were probably even better (which doesn’t stop me from wishing I was on a flight, though at least I have less than a week to wait).

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More boats, Hong Kong to Cheung Chau

Pulling in thirty minutes behind schedule, we stopped for a while, where the views of the houses were rather sublime.

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Cheung Chau Island pull-in

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Cheung Chau Island pull-in

BOTTOM LINE

While I’ll still avoid the ordinary ferry in most situations, I wouldn’t mind the ordinary ferry as much as I would’ve – at half the price, it was also a cheaper way to get there, more of a leisure boat.

Being there

Getting to Cheung Chau, it was hard to get people to listen to my survey.

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Cheung Chau, Hong Kong

Harrison arrived thirty minutes late, and after three out of ten people we asked decided to take the four minutes to talk to us, we roamed deeper into the island.

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Cheung Chau, Hong Kong

We met of a few of the older people and subsequently with the survey decided to chat. Our survey was about mainlanders in Hong Kong, and (while one displayed really negative attitudes towards them and reportedly could take a couple of random mainlanders and throw suitcases at them) they were all really cheerful and friendly.

What did they say?

“They’re highly welcomed into our society. The more people the better.”

“Cheung Chau is about prosperity. It’s about happiness. The more people we meet, the happier we’ll be. Long live Cheung Chau!”

In a modern society, to see that kind of positive attitude, despite that all coming from the Cheung Chau residents, was just…smashing. It was so nice to see that graciousness coming from modern Hong Kong. It was incredibly inspiring.

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Harrison interviewing old residents of Cheung Chau – probably the most gracious of them all

Harrison and I had a bit of time to spare, where he called up his girlfriend. I took a few pictures around the shoreline – the weather was stunning.

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Sunset in Cheung Chau

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Sunset in Cheung Chau

We got home on one of the quick ferries, where I headed home for some data analysis, and started thinking.

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New World First Ferry Fast Ferry

What can we take away from this?

When travelling, it’s easy to just feel the general gist of the place, then leave thinking “oh, I know this place very well”. It’s hard to actually meet people and realize our similarities and differences.

In Cheung Chau today, I learned a lot about “relaxed life”. Everyone was gracious and welcoming to all sorts of tourists – especially the Cheung Chau residents. While it’s a 20 minute (or 55 minute, depending which ferry you take) boat ride away from Hong Kong, simply talking to a few people can take you such a long way.

This is NOT a sign that you should go up to a random person and start a conversation, but rather taking opportunities to meet new people. When checking in, you can talk to the agent about your next destination.

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Cathay Pacific Premium Economy Check-in Counter

At the hotel, you can talk to the front office a bit about the tourists (of course, this depends if the front office are outgoing or introverted).

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L’Empire Paris Front Office

Finally, it doesn’t hurt talking to the cabin crew about how your stay was, even if the cabin crew are based from an all new country altogether.

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Korean Air Boeing 747-400 Business Class – where I talked to the cabin crew about Korean tourists and locals and airline passengers

It’s a pleasure to meet new people – also, we learn all these different cultures that can bring us to learn more about travel. Travel isn’t about seeing new places, but about immersing in a new lifestyle. In a week I’ll be going to Myanmar, and I’m going to be teaching kids English. I hope it’s a good opportunity to talk to them about…life. How life is. Because that’s what travel’s about.

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