Rico: Exploring South-East Asia

After studying here at CUHK, Shenzhen for around a month now, I have settled in very well. I have gotten to know people all around the world. I was able to meet people from Germany, Netherlands, Canada, and of course, China. This was the first time in my life where I could not use English to communicate with every person I met. Through my conversation with the local people, I was able to realise how bad my Mandarin was. Sometimes I was unable to convey the things I wanted to, so I had to resort to charade and have them guess what I was trying to convey. Another problem that stemmed from my poor Mandarin was that a lot of Chinese people would come up to me and speak to me thinking that I am fluent in Mandarin, when in fact, my Mandarin is no better than a child in kindergarten.

Last week we had our National week holiday, which was essentially a midterm break. I, along with a group of boys, decided to use this opportunity to explore south-east Asia. We thought to ourselves which countries we would never go to after returning to our home country. After numerous research and debates, we decided to spend 11 days in Myanmar and Cambodia. Initially, I was scared to go to these two countries after hearing the crime rates and how they are still “Major developing countries”. It turned out my worries were for nothing. The Pagodas were amazing.

In Cambodia, we went to see Angkor Wat, one of the world wonders, it was stunning, to think that it something like it existed in this world. After my experience in these two developing countries, I finally understood how privileged I am and how hard my parents worked to allow me to be this privileged. I don’t think I will ever forget what I have experienced in that past week.


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