Sophia goes across the world for six months on her secondment.

  • 12hrs flight time from the UK 12hrs flight time from the UK
  • Average temperature 16C-29C Average temperature 16C-29C
  • Population 7,306,000 Population 7,306,000
  • 40% of land is country parks and nature reserves 40% of land is country parks and nature reserves
  • 263 islands make up Hong Kong 263 islands make up Hong Kong
  • More skyscrapers than any other city in the world More skyscrapers than any other city in the world

Life in Hong Kong

Not long after I came to Hong Kong, I signed up to a dragon boat race. If you want to picture a dragon boat, it’s basically like an extended canoe – some of them beautifully elaborate.

I’d never seen anything like it before. More to the point, I’d never done anything like it before. But I suddenly found myself rowing on a boat off the main beach of Stanley, in front of thousands of people.  The race itself is only about 200m or so, so it’s over pretty quickly, but it definitely stands out in what I’ve done here so far.

From dragon boats to Dragon’s Back: I think some of the best hiking in the world is here, and Dragon’s Back is one of the amazing trails nearby. It’s a high ridge on Hong Kong Island with coastal views on either side, and you can see so much more of the island from that elevated perspective. It’s quite an easy hike so I’ve done it a few times - on my own, with friends, with other trainees.

There’s a group of about fifty trainees out in Hong Kong at the moment, from loads of different London firms. Before you go, you get added to an enormous WhatsApp group, and we all meet over here. I’ve made quite a close group of friends over here now, and it’s good to keep those links when you come back to London.

 

There’s so much about Hong Kong that surprised me. The city itself is quite small, very high-rise, but it’s within an archipelago of islands, a lot of which is forest and mountains.

Office life 

The office itself is in Jardine House, which at one point was the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong. With its circular windows, it’s a really interesting building, overlooking the harbour. It’s often misty here in spring and early summer, but on a clear day, you can see all the way across the bay, as far as Kowloon on the mainland.

There’s so much about Hong Kong that surprised me. The city itself is quite small, very high-rise, but it’s within an archipelago of islands, a lot of which is forest and mountains. I didn’t realise that really when I first applied for my secondment. I honestly thought it was going to be a sort of enormous London.

The cuisine here is fairly international. I think it probably depends on what area you go to. There’s Hong Kong fusion food, which is delicious, and there’s a good mix of dishes from so many places. Probably my favourite is dim sum style cuisine, I think.

 

You’re actually well placed to travel here, and I do a lot of that at weekends with the other trainees.

Travel around Asia

There are brilliant rooftop bars here too, pretty much all over the centre of Hong Kong. Wherever you are, they’ll give you a really good view of the city. If I have a friend over, that’s usually where I’ll take them.

You’re actually well placed to travel here, and I do a lot of that at weekends with the other trainees. It’s relatively cheap to fly to other places and it doesn’t take too long. Taiwan is about an hour by plane, and it’s about three or four hours to both the Philippines and Japan. I’ve been there, and I’ve also been to Bali to catch up with a friend from law school. 

I’m in the corporate team here, and I’d like to qualify into corporate in London then come back out to Asia in some capacity. That’s why I applied to Norton Rose Fulbright, for that international aspect. I really like being in Hong Kong but I’ll take what I can get. I just want to be in this part of the world.

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