Published on October 8, 2015
1) National parks
Some 40% of Hong Kong territory consists of national parks. If that's not a huge perk, really what is? An easy escape from the city's concrete jungle, visiting the nearby parks is a must for an intern in Hong Kong. During the summer months, locals like to cool off at the Tai Mo Shan Country Park which registers some of the coldest temperatures in the territory. Tai Mon Shan also has Hong Kong's highest waterfall, unsurprisingly named "Long Falls". Wildlife fans will especially enjoy Kam Shan Country Park where interns can interact with macaques and other primates. The Intern Group internship program also provides a trip to mountainous Lantau Island, home to Lantau South Country Park. Lantau Island is home to the famous Tian Tan Buddha, an 85-foot bronze Buddha statue.
2) The gateway to China
Consider this: the rapidly expanding Chinese economy overtook the United States economy in 2014 (IMF). The Chinese GDP at purchasing power parity was US$17.6 trillion at the end of 2014 while the U.S. GDP finished at US$17.4 trillion. Anyone hoping to work in international business or finance needs to understand China's role in the global economy. Where better to do so than at an internship in Hong Kong?
3) Good eats
What makes Chinese dining just so delicious is that it's actually composed of 8 different types of cuisine; Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejiang. Rice and noodle dishes are staples in Chinese gastronomy, along with scallions, ginger root, sesame oil and garlic. From noodles and congee to saqima, an intern in Hong Kong will enjoy the plethora of delicious local foods during their stay. Popular snacks include pineapple buns, egg tarts and preserved prunes. Hotpot dishes are common meals in Hong Kong, where the soup-based food is cooked on a stove built into the restaurant table. Stir-fry is also a common plate in Hong Kong, both at restaurants and in homes. Sweet and sour pork and stir-fried beef with vegetables are among two of the recommend dishes for interns.
4) Towers in the sky
With over 1,000 skyscrapers, the Hong Kong skyline is one to remember. The best view of the city's steel giants is, by far, from the Victoria Harbor. Among these beacons of capitalism, is the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank headquarters. Designed by architects Foster + Partners, the three tower structure is meant to embody Hong Kong’s identity and culture while also reflecting the concept of Fung Shui. The building allows for natural sunlight and was constructed with the banker’s experience in mind. Another architectural wonder, Hong Kong’s fifth-highest skyscraper, The Center, is most famous for its prominence in the nightly light show that glitters beside the Victora Harbor. Called the “Symphony of lights”, over 40 skyscrapers participate in the nightly lights and musical presentation. Guinness World Records has named the spectacle “World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show”.
Despite the fact that Hong Kong's official language is Cantonese, due to its close proximity to China, an intern in Hong Kong will be exposed to the world's most spoken language, Mandarin. With over 955 million speakers worldwide, any intern looking to expand their professional network will benefit from learning Mandarin. The language will come in particularly handy for those interested in international trade, business, finance and economics. The Intern Group's programs in Hong Kong offer language classes in both Cantonese and Mandarin.
6) It's a global financial center
Behind New York City and London, Hong Kong is the third most important city in the world for Finance. It also happens to be a global trading hub, great for interns interested in trade, business, finance and economics. The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom has even listed Hong Kong as the world's freest market economy, as the area is known for low taxes and free trade.
7) The temples
Though Hong Kong is a city that never sleeps, it does meditate. Interns abroad have the chance to learn about Buddhist practices and visit temples, as many locals practice Buddhism. An intern in Hong Kong will find the peace and stillness of the Po Lin Monastery a stark contrast to the city’s frenetic bustle. A tribute to the Gods of Literature and War, the Man Mo Temple is another beautiful place to meditate and is located in downtown Hong Kong, near the financial district.
Photo 2. by The Intern Group