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Chung Stephanie Ching Kei, Faculty of Arts

Programme: Chongqing and Bayu Summer Camp

Partner Institution: Southwest University

Period: June 16 -23, 2019

I embarked this China Vision exchange trip with a number of questions in mind. What is Bayu culture? How is Chongqing different from other Mainland cities? Is Chongqing cuisine all about spiciness? How spectacular does the Karst look in reality?

As an exchange trip, we spent the first 4 days near the campus of Southwest University. Before the trip, I knew nothing about Southwest University. I was totally impressed by the size of its campus. Covering around 3000 hectares, the school is so big that the campus and its surroundings have formed a self-sustainable community themselves. It was a university, but you could also find secondary school, primary school, kindergarten, food stalls and museums there. Another thing that impressed me was how the campus was immersed in the nature. When you walk along the outer walls of the campus, you cannot see the architectures of the university at all. All you can see is slopes covered with vegetation. Although most of the buildings of HKU are built on the slope as well, the campus is not surrounded by the hills like that of Southwest University.

We have learnt about the culture of Bayu and Chongqing through various activities. Firstly, the host university held three talks. The professors introduced the significance of salt and rice to Bayu culture, the geographical features of Chongqing and the historical development of Chongqing. Visiting the School of History and Culture museum, Lu Zuofu Memorial Hall,Diaoyu Fortress and the Three Gorges Museum allowed us to understand the different historical phases of Chongqing, from the ancient times, to 20th century wartime, to the social development in recent decades. Moreover, the meals enabled us to understand the culture of the local's daily life. My impression of Chongqing cuisine can be summed up by two words, "oily" and "spicy", both are not characteristics that I fancy. Yet, it was interesting to see how they cook ingredients different from us.

Visiting the Wulong Karst was the most impressive part of the programme. Featured in the karst landform, the Three Natural Bridges were truly spectacular. We kept exclaiming for the scenery as I walked through the karst area.

This exchange has allowed us to learn about the culture of Bayu and Chongqing from different perspectives.


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