Over the weekend, my friend and I wanted to stand up paddle boarding for the first time in Hong Kong. I was skeptical about doing it because we did not know how to swim, but we did not want that to hold us back. After doing extensive research on different beaches that have to stand up paddle boarding and comparing the price, we decided to go to Stanley Main Beach, which is on the other side of Hong Kong Island. It is possible to take the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) and a minibus to the beach but taking a taxi would be much faster. What was difficult about using a taxi was communicating with the taxi driver because there is the possibility that the driver does not understand English. Luckily, we had our local friend with us, so he could tell the taxi driver where we wanted to go.
After arriving on the beach, we had asked to rent the paddle board for two hours, and they provided us with life jackets. We told the water activity center workers that it was our first-time paddling boarding, and we could not swim. They were kind enough to give us a demonstration of what to do and what not to do. The most challenging part about doing this activity is balancing the board. We needed to make sure we got on our knees first before completely standing up, and we needed to be very centered on the board. After we stood up completely, we had the paddles to steer the way. We were getting the hang of it with paddling on each side at a time. There were many people in the water doing different activities such as wind sailing and kayaking.
Eventually, my friend and I went very far where there were fewer people, and it was very peaceful being in the middle of the water with a beautiful view of beach homes and mountains. There were times where a big wave would come, and we would slip off, but there was a strap attached to our legs, so the board would always be near us. My favorite activity in Hong Kong would have to be stand-up paddle boarding because I would have never gotten the opportunity to do this in Philadelphia. It is fun to seek out new experiences in new countries that you cannot have back home!
A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:
The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.