By Zach Goh, Matthew Yeung and Kelly Tse
Often described as being more local than the locals, Zach Goh has been an ardent explorer of the various nooks and crannies in the new campus, and made many discoveries. He brings some of the other postgraduates on his discovery tours, sometimes even against their will, just to find a shortcut out of the maze of the campus, or a secret passageway that goes all the way to Victoria Peak. Matthew Yeung and Kelly Tse are two of the postgraduates who join him on his ‘adventures’ to explore and discover some of these new features of the Centennial Campus of the University of Hong Kong, and this is what the three of them have to say about it:
In this amusing article, we will share some of our discoveries and also some of the not-so-secret things that you might be interested to know about the new campus..
In short, this is a pictorial article about the new buildings we all love to hate: the Centennial Campus.
Although the new campus loses some of its old school charm, we will try to make it every bit as accommodating as the previous campus has been. We believe, after all, that the School is made up of the wonderful people that inhabit it, and not the buildings themselves. So come on down for a visit, and experience what studying, working, living (and undoubtedly that entails sleeping) in the School of English is like today!
This is a little garden and sitting out area up on the roof top of the Run Run Shaw Tower, home to the Arts Faculty. When you feel like having a break from your studies, take the elevators in the building and get to the eleventh floor. You will be pleased to take in the amazing view which is augmented by these spiral-looking thingamabobs. While some speculate that they might be wind turbines, others just see them as some sort of postmodern art, or even…lightning conductors.
On clear and sunny days, the roof also offers breathtaking vistas of Victoria Harbour, and you can see some of the popular landmarks of Hong Kong, such as the IFC and ICC, from this angle. This is a view that we can never get tired of – it definitely uplifts the spirit! Sometimes, just looking at the various ships, ferries, and other boats moving in and out of the harbour while the wind is blowing at you can be extremely soothing. One friendly reminder though: Please don’t come under the false impression that you could see laser shows or fireworks above the Victoria Harbour from here – because such an attempt was made by some folks and their only comment was as simple as “this is simply sad”.
To be sure, the Peak is also visible from the rooftop garden. At night, the lights of Lugard Road can be seen very brightly from here. What can you ask for more? Our secret garden has the best views of the city, the mountains, and the sea.
Somewhat redolent of the seats by the fountain in the beloved Main Building, there is a garden on the third floor between the Jockey club Tower and the Run Run Shaw Tower that offers serenity and solitude to those who crave for them. Yet, privacy might be an issue here since the place can be easily spotted from all the glass windows of the two buildings. If you would like to dance, make sure you do it with grace. But if you need to scratch yourself, think twice anyway.
This is the sign leading to the vegetarian restaurant, Bijas. It is pricey, but good, healthy food. Perhaps it is the ”green” concept of the dining place that is most attractive about this restaurant – chairs are unwanted furniture collected from secondary schools and the self-service semi-buffet style allows one to tailor-make just the right portion of food for oneself. Good news for gorgers – rice and soup are unlimited.
Looking for something easy and less flavoured? This noodle restaurant, Super Super, might cater to your appetite. Wanton noodles, salted egg congee and numerous kinds of dim sum all offer you a taste of local delicacies.
Communing with Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Roy Harris or even Noam Chomsky may be interesting enough to keep you awake in class. But let’s face it, weariness somehow still finds its way to you. Need instant pick-me-ups? Go get them from Starbucks! While the old Starbucks remains faithful to the Main Library, there is a new Starbucks on the Ground floor of the Centennial Campus, which is right next to the Student Union canteen. Whenever you find yourself dozing off to the books of the great writers, critics or even your professors‘ lectures, you may want to hit the place.
However, if you crave something a little more French in taste, there is also a Delifrance on campus, which serves the usual fare from that delectable little cafe, including treats such as almond croissants and macaroons. On another note, there is a little staircase near the outdoor sitting area of Delifrance that leads all the way to Pik Shan Path, a trail that connects Kotewall Road to Pokfulam Reservoir, a little known gem that offers great views of the Centennial Campus from the hills.
Thanks to the identical square design of the Main Building, arts people have been well trained in locating the classrooms in the maze. Just when we are confident that nothing in Hong Kong can ever confuse our direction, here comes the Centennial Campus which tramples our pride. Barricades set up the place like a labyrinth. So don’t be taken aback when you walk into a dead end with the warning, “Do not enter”, for that is commonplace. But the above sign simply shows up as our guidepost – just follow it and you will find Narnia. If you pay close attention to the new campus, similar signs have also been kindly hung around for your convenience. Though some may look less credible given their hand-written nature, they are generally trustworthy.
Now, after this brief pictorial tour, don’t you think our new campus inspires admiration?