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A trip to Cheung Chau island- A remix of nature and human

 [SCIE web news, Jan 25th, 2018] The clear blue sky, merging with the horizontal sea line, seems to be the limit of the world. Smashing against the bottom of the angular rocks, the wave sent white foam shooting into the air.  Such a marvelous view makes all of us—56 geography students from SCIE— to become venerate to our mother nature. Standing in front of the picturesque landscape in Cheung Chau island, what only we can feel is the harmony and beatitude. The bustle street and dazzling light during night contrast the magnanimous sea view so much that we can hardly believe that it is the same world. While so unimaginable as it might be, there are numberless distinguished and typical geographical landforms here, waited to be discovered and revealed by our geography knowledge.

Twelfth of January, 2018, 56 curious geography students and four responsible teachers set off from SICE, starting the amazing 3-day journey of Cheung Chau geography investigation trip. Thick booklets were distributed to everyone in which included environmental research, land use, questionnaire and beach profile record sheet. It was already dawn when we arrived at Cheung Chau Island finally. Faced by the small old dream-like fishing village, the ongoing sound of waves splashing on the beach gradually caressed our lassitude. Meanwhile, the alluring smell of multifarious snacks rose up from every corner of the island, to which everybody was attracted.


The hotel has been accommodating 6-year level of SCIEers. and SCIE has left good impression to this hotel every year. Later, after we all settled down, fatigue subdued our great expectation of tomorrow. So, we gave up staying up finally. Looking from the winding sea shore, you might see the lights in the rooms went off one by one.



Next day was a big day. Sophie and Ian woke us from sweet dream in the morning at 8:30. Most of the research had to be done in the first day, which required a lot of hard work! Firstly, we were divided into 4 groups, and each group would do the different tasks at the same time. Our first task was to record the land use of each house. In the busy street most of the house were used as restaurants or shops, while the second and third floor were usually residential. As you went inwards, the housing tended to be more residential. The reason why the ground floor of buildings near the harbors were converted into commercial was that the tourism was the main industry on the island. However, this kind of need didn’t exist in the inner part of age island, where most local people kept their traditional housing. Generally, the buildings were relatively old-aged, and lack of appealing appearance, but this didn’t matter villager’s enjoyable life here. When we saw kindergarten and primary schools at the end of the streets, many pupils showed their curiosity directly (Probably because they had never seen anybody measuring the width of each shop by foot!), smiling kindly at us. We also met the elderly who walked on the island freely, showing their welcome by nodding at us. Surprising as it might be, there were 3 hospitals on Cheung Chau island and even 1 helicopter in use. We speculated that it might result from the large proportion of old people. 

We started our second task after the short break, which was doing questionnaire on local people and visitors. We had to overcome some difficulties, such as language barrier (None of us spoke Cantonese!). It took us an hour and hard effort to finish them. Luckily, the third task was much easier, the environment quality here was fairly good. Old as those houses might look like, but they were all absolutely clean and tidy. Slope and slippery-resistant design were common on the island, which provided the villagers with an enjoyable life of good quality.


Last but not least, we started to investigate beach profile. Humorously, Mr.Fish explained instructions to us in detailed. Using sharpened poles, we were able to measure the gradient of beach, and then we recorded the angles of waves by using gigantic protractors. The sea water was incredibly cold, while still many girls overcame the difficulties of working on beach with bare feet and having their clothes soaked. We spent a lot of energy during the day, but we were satisfied overall.


On the second day, we went for an expedition to view some natural features. Stack, Pot holes, tors, and heavily weathering rocks…. Walking along the islands and mountains, Ian and Stuart analyzed the materials of dams and the interesting patterns of growing vegetation. The pictures and process that used to appear on books were now tangible for us! That was not only educative but also unforgettable!


At the end of the trip, the time left for us to buy souvenirs and food was limited, yet we scattered over the islands as quickly as possible to buy those nice snacks again. What an invaluable experience, and what a memorable trip!


(Report/Elizabeth; Photos/Rindy)

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