At the end of May, the full-time MBA class took a week-long trip to Xiamen and Hong Kong to learn more about doing business across the globe, specifically the dynamic business environment in China. We found the trip both academically enlightening and culturally fascinating. To that end, here are a few takeaways from whirlwind, three-day trip to Hong Kong:
Travel like the locals
With 7 million people packed into the roughly 275 square kilometers, Hong Kong is crowded. One can expect the roads to be congested most hours of the day, save late nights and early mornings. Follow the lead of the locals and make use of the efficient, extensive, and economical public transit system. While the MTR trains are the most widely used form of transit, visitors shouldn’t overlook the double decker trams, ferries across Victoria Harbour, and of course the tram up Victoria Peak.
Buy an Octopus card
Hong Kong pioneered the use of the reloadable transit card back in 1997, and it is still in use today. While these cards are common enough in transit systems across the world (such as Dublin’s Leap card and London’s Oyster card), the Octopus card is accepted as a valid form of payment at a variety of stores across the city, such as Starbucks and 7-11. So even if you don’t plan on using the transit system much during your stay, running through the preloaded credit on the card should be no problem.
Take in some culinary treats
With over 50 Michelin-starred restaurants, Hong Kong has amazing food for almost any budget or culinary preference. Some members of the MBA class were able to grab dim sum at Tim Ho Wan, one of the least expensive Michelin-starred restaurants in the world with meals available at less than €10 per person. Our only regret is that we didn’t have time for a return trip!
Enjoy a night on the town
During our short stay, most of our free time was at night and the MBA class took full advantage of that! From strolling through the night market, to taking in some jazz at a speakeasy, to dancing in the nightclubs of Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong seems to have something for everyone. Word of warning: with the average pint at roughly €10, a long night can quickly turn into an expensive endeavor.
Don’t forget to look up!
As we go about our daily lives, it’s easy to get lost in what is right in front of us (or more likely, what is on our phones). Perhaps the most impressive feature of Hong Kong is the sheer scale of the city. Whether walking through the gritty lanes of Mong Kok or the well-kept streets of Central, the most interesting views are probably above street level.
Plan a return trip
Despite the compact and dense nature of the city, Hong Kong is deceptively large. The MBA class only had limited time over three days to explore the city. Upon arrival back in Dublin, I know more than a few of my colleagues were asking “when can I go back?”
Ryan Nuanes ~ Full-Time MBA