A new take on ‘Reading’ Week

By Olivia Hunnybun (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong).

It seems that all exchange students interpret reading week as a chance for travel and I have been no different. I have had the best time exploring a bit of Malaysia and Indonesia; I have found out a bit more about a few places I knew nothing about and built on friendships in the process. Here are some of the things we got up to…

Ate amazing food in Kuala Lumpur!

Malaysian food

I think we are all on a post-trip detox after eating so many delicious curries and street food. The fish was especially impressive and so cheap!

Visited the International Mosque
We did a lot of sightseeing including the International Mosque which was huge! Very impressive but much less showy to what I had expected.

snorkling

Snorkling off the Gili Islands, Bali
I was so surprised at the fish we were able to see without going too deep, no idea what they were called but very colourful  I even saw my first turtle which was a metre long! Most of our group went scuba diving as well and they said it was awesome. I decided to save that for another time and hired bikes to cycle around the island with.

horse riding at sunset

Horse ride along the beach at sunset
I managed to drag the guys along horse-riding which turned out to be hilarious (although some of them disagree!). The guides were beyond relaxed as we didn’t get helmets and weren’t told anything about the horses but it was definitely fun that way!

Volcano climb

Climb a Volcano in Ubud, Bali
We woke up at 2am to go on an organized climb up Mount Batur, stopping first for breakfast at a local coffee plantation. We were able to try a range of coffees including Kopi Luwak which is made from beans eaten and excreted by a small mammal called the Paradoxurus; an interesting flavor! I wasn’t exactly wearing the right shoes for the hike but it the amazing view of the sunrise made it all worthwhile. At the top we saw a man propose to his girlfriend which was lovely, could have been an awkward descent if she had said no.
Overall we had an unforgettable reading week and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to go to such beautiful places. Now I can’t wait to plan the next trip!

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