Mandy Lai

Insane(ly awesome and devoted) Instagram KOLs of CUHK (They’re Gonna Deny This)

The first thing you’re checking before entering the campus might be the pages on Instagram related to CUHK. “How do I register for courses?” “Where can I eat?” “How can I travel to CUHK?” “How are the people like?”, or more importantly, “Where is the loo?” I can’t answer these questions for you, but they can, and they’re doing it in the most hilarious, most dedicated, and most heart-warming way.

“How Do You Go to CUHK?” I @go_to_cuhk_by_bus

Clicking on this vibrant and colourful page, you will find that it is more than just looks. You can travel to most places in Hong Kong from CUHK by bus by following their neatly organised posts, bet KMB (a local bus company) couldn’t do better themselves!

@go_to_cuhk_by_bus was created after short consideration in 2020 September for two reasons. Firstly, the admin set out to provide information on bus routes so students would have more transport options other than taking the MTR. To dig deeper into this matter, it is a part of the ongoing social movement in Hong Kong, where the protesting camp wishes to boycott MTR for their dissatisfactory reaction towards protesters. That aside, the second reason is to sharpen his design skills. Fun fact: this account name is inspired by a sense of Hong Kong humour – “I go to school by bus” – typical HK English 101.

Not only are his posts detailed and informative, but he also adds descriptions of different destinations. “I want people to learn more than just the routes. It’s important for us to know the history and background of different districts and communities as well.” He pointed out that understanding and appreciating Hong Kong communities is a part of the movement.

What’s more, having both Chinese and English on this page is such a blessing! It is not just  limited to Chinese-speaking audiences or CUHK students, but also for everyone who wants to travel by bus. He has also helped  many international and mainland students through direct messages.

You  can also notice the infusion of memes into his recent posts. These self-made memes helped him attract new followers who would eventually check out his bus content. He also occasionally reposts Hong Kong news, and the reaction and encouragement he gets from the audience have truly touched him.

Though he runs this page on his own,  he finds it rather enjoyable. People have asked him how the posts are designed, and impressively, he  uses Microsoft PowerPoint! One of the difficulties of working solo is accuracy, but thanks to his followers’ suggestions, he can catch and fix any errors immediately. Having graduated in the last academic year, he misses the libraries in CUHK because he doesn’t have access to them anymore, but he will continue to update this page.

“Travelling by bus in Hong Kong is not that difficult!”, he said it was the first step to success and strongly encourages people to go to CUHK by bus.

The Funniest Food Guide – @cuhk.foodies

Like other pages, this foodie didn’t intend to make this page a huge platform. In her first year, she only wanted to record her daily expenditures on meals and BOOM! – here goes @cuhk.foodies. Her page has an iconic CUHK-yellowish layout and when you scroll down, it’s all filled with photos of food. (Mouth-watering, I know, don’t read this at midnight.) You might have seen her hilarious and relatable content shared on your classmates’ Instagram stories too. When everything shifted online around 2020 February, she started making memes and funny content whenever she was inspired as there was no need to go back to campus.

She recalls one of her most memorable moments is when her classmate messaged the “foodie” account without knowing her true identity. She is also very touched by the canteen staff, “I was eating in Vegether once and I told my friend I was hungry, the ‘auntie’ overheard our conversation and she poured so much food on my plate! It was truly heartwarming.”

Her favourite meal is “seung song faan” (雙餸飯 soeng1 sung3 faan6), which can be translated as “rice with two dishes.” There are simply too many cuisines to choose from, picking this saves her a lot of thinking in the canteens.

As much as this page was created for fun, she also had her struggles. With the increase in followers, she felt obligated to shoulder social responsibility and contribute to our students bearing the name of CUHK. As this page is on track right now, she posted a super detailed interview with the founder of Be The Light, a new canteen on campus. Her content, besides being amusing, also gets shared around a lot by our students who totally “feel that too”.

She told us at the end, “Time flies and four years have passed in a blink of an eye, so enjoy your university life as much as you can!” I guess that includes a lot of eating.

Picture 1: Her most unforgettable Afternoon Tea from UC Canteen: corn being “corn”ered.

Picture 2: Her favourite meal in CUHK: “Seung song faan” from UC Canteen with meat pie, which she wants to recommend to everyone

Never Explored Our Campus Before? @cuhkminecraft Got It Covered


The realm of CUHK in Minecraft, which was created in November 2019, was initially a blog. Around that period, our university was suspended due to the Siege of CUHK while the admin was still having his very first semester. Without much opportunity to get to know the university, he started building a replica of the campus on Minecraft and recording the process with his page.

Having created this account, he feels like sharing an obligation to help CUHK students to travel on campus as they’re unable to come back. He held the very first Virtual Open Day upon his audiences’ request. Then came Photo Day, which offered graduates the experience that was stripped away by the pandemic. Soon after, there were more Open Days and even CU Hunt, where students could experience orientation camp. All these events were well-received and he received a flooding amount of applications. He also has a tradition of creating memes at the beginning of each semester and collaborated with @cuhk.infopage on Instagram.

He recently found out that his little project is popular among international students, and there might be translations coming out soon in the future! He recalled someone messaging him about purchasing Minecraft just to participate in his Open Day, which was really touching, and he was glad that students, who had no idea if he would be on campus again, could visit places such as the Pavilion of Harmony virtually.

The most challenging part of recreating the campus is the accuracy, as well as the subtle details only CUHKers would know. He held the Photo Day as a freshman with zero knowledge and experience on it, so a lot of research was required from students of different departments. One of his aims was to create a community-based CUHK, which is why he is devoted to working on small details: the massive amount of fish outside of Ying Lin Tang (a male hostel of Chung Chi College), the cats lingering around Madam SH Ho Hall (another Chung Chi College’s hostel), the Lennon Wall in Cultural Ground (in the main campus) and the 7 elevators in YIA (Yasumoto International Academic Park) that never (and everyone knows, they truly never) function at the same time. He pointed out CUHK students have a strong sense of belonging, which gives him a slight pressure upon people’s expectations. Impressive ain’t it? He probably puts more effort into his research than you do writing your essays! Despite all these challenges, he admits the progress is very satisfying.

His favourite corner of the miniature CUHK is Wu Yee Sun College as it shares a personal connection with him. But the Statue of Democracy gives him a sense of identity. In such a turbulent time, this iconic statue represents values and collectivity–sentiments that many CUHK students share– that might be taken away by god-knows-when.  

Graduating in the next academic year, he has already found his successor, and the functionality of this project would gradually shift from complementary to supplementary. During summer, they started holding events that give students the opportunity to make changes that are supposedly impossible in real life on the virtual campus. They’re planning on updating more YouTube videos as well, so stay tuned!

At last, he really wants to tell our freshman to “ENJOY the honeymoon of Year 1!”, I do get where that exclamation comes from, so please have fun in your first year!

@cuhk_toilet, The Username Speaks for Itself 

DISCLAIMER: This might be the most mind-boggling page you can find related to CUHK.

You might wonder why someone loves toilets so much that they have to set up a page dedicated to them, but nah, the whole idea was actually inspired by a course the admin took. @cuhk_toilet was created in 2020 February, when he was bored by other students’ projects for the course COMM2850, in which they run social media pages. According to him, most of them lacked creativity, so he wanted to set up something seemingly silly, innovative, interesting – even the icon was randomly generated.

Even though his page blew up unexpectedly, it strikes a balance between its relationship with CUHK and a personal intention. He wants it to be something simple but unique, instead of something “kitsch” (things that are considered to be poor taste but appreciated ironically). He also focuses on its function of commonality and discusses how issues are related to society. “Going to the loo is undesirable, but it can be an in-depth matter.”

In this account, sometimes he rates different toilets in CUHK (and the most common unsatisfactory experience is seeing bugs in them). And of course, he is joining the bandwagon of memes. Inspired much by @cuhk.foodies, he posts funny content about grade release and course registration too, which helps grow his following. It is also fun to interact with students – he asked if students successfully applied for hostel residence this semester (and everyone cried about their unsuccessful application together).

“There are two kinds of people: those who never go to toilets when they’re outside, and those who do.” (@cuhk_toilet, 2021) Totally irrelevant, but if you’re scrolling on Instagram while you’re taking a loo, you know what to do.

Picture 1: His new icon

Picture 2: The overwhelming amount of signs in one of the toilets in NA

A Picture (with Caption) is Worth a Thousand Words, See It for Yourself @cuhk.memes

This account was set up in November 2018 because the founder saw someone asking “Why isn’t there a CUHK meme page?” on Facebook’s CU Secret page. She likes reading and making memes in her free time, so why not? You can find four little emojis on her bio representing our university, try to guess what they mean!

As she’s graduating soon, she has recruited several new admins who also love memes. The reason why they’re joining the team is that they read, make and share memes as a leisure activity, and some submitted memes to this page before as well. Memes are basically a part of their lives! As this page is becoming collective, so it’s also less “chur” (stressful) and they can share the workload.

As the followers were mostly made up of international students at first, the founder uses both Chinese and English for her content and she also helped to translate some news and information before the emergence of @cuhk_infopage’s English account. The new admins are also influenced by Western and Taiwan meme pages, so they’re creating a Hong Kong-style infusion of both languages. According to the admins, sometimes it’s easier to use Chinese, and sometimes English, which hugely depends on the cultural elements.

They put much effort into interacting with their followers. When it’s grade release season, they’d ask people their GPAs to collect data (as requested by students) and let people vent anonymously. Students can submit their own memes to this page as well, which is a normal mechanism in meme culture (and it might help when they’re running out of stock). In the future, they’re hoping to collaborate with pages and do more crossovers. I’m sure we’d want to see these crazily intriguing pages brought together!

Still, it’s not always chill and funny, the founder had much pressure during the 2019 movement as she felt the need to create content that connects with people but she was overseas. Finding new admins was not a piece of cake either, and she did worry about having no successors, and how this account would function with different admin’s styles.

In spite of these challenges, she’s absolutely glad that CUHK students find her memes resonating, she never expected so much attention and appreciation, it was especially touching when international students thanked her for the translations. All she wants for this page is to contribute to our community and to bring a positive vibe. Moreover, it’s awesome that the new admins are willing to be a part of the team.

After all, university life is sometimes really stressful. Some might read their memes only for a laugh, but they’re bringing CUHKers more joy than they can imagine.

Some of their favourite memes x2

Memes for freshmen x4

The CUHK Know-It-All: @cuhk_infopage & @cuhk_infopage_int

And the Longest History Award goes to @cuhk_infopage. Founded in 2012, many admins have taken on this page throughout the past few years and there are currently 7 admins (also known as 小編 “siu2pin1”). It’s a page created by Christian CUHK students, you might not notice this, but this page and info pages of other local universities, which are also run by Christian admins, are interrelated.

Many assumed this account to be an official CUHK page, and their admins must have repeated a million times to everyone it’s actually NOT. This page was set up for one reason (as they quoted their founders): students never check mass mail. Therefore, they are gathering information for us.

Some of the admins are recruited and some self-volunteered, they have meetings regularly and built up a very tight bond with each other, which ensured the smooth running of this page.

Okay, try to guess the most frequently asked question in their direct message box.

And…the top 1 question is…

 “I lost my wallet, has anyone seen it?”

They joked that they’re a lost-and-found centre masked as an info page, and their job includes a lot of communication between students who lost something and students who found them. Most of the time it is successful! (But please take care of your own belongings and don’t rely on them.) The 2nd most frequently asked question is “Is this building/facility/canteen open or not?” They’d love to help, but they admit that in fact, they have to look it up themselves too.

After you’ve been studying for a while in CUHK, you’d find out that their timetable (for course registration, pass/fail and all other important dates) is truly heaven-sent. Besides important information, they also create memes (by now you’d realise all of these pages are run by hidden meme geniuses)

Furthermore, they have hosted many virtual events. Recently, a friends-making event was organised for CUHK students who couldn’t get to know anyone because of the pandemic. There were over 100 applicants and they were separated into small groups according to their interests, such as hiking and philosophy, some of them even hung out in real life.

They also have a workshop teaching freshers to register courses, and they claim it’s way better than the official one, which can be proved by students’ overwhelming applications. They even limited the quota because there were really too many students who were desperate to study (or just to enrol in a course). 

Their most unforgettable memory is video-making. Two of their videos went viral in our university, one of them being an admin getting all Fs on a grade release day. “It was just an improvisation, we came up with that idea and put it out within a day.” Another one is the hilarious CU Fitness Exercise (健身操 gin6 san1 cou1) video, which was also a random idea put into action too.

Even though this sounds fun, they did have some difficult moments. During the 2019 movement and since the strike of the pandemic in 2020, information from our university has changed all the time. There were so many uncertainties between face-to-face and online classes, the pass/fail grading options, it was a challenge for them to follow up with these overwhelming and rapid changes. Under all the unexpected circumstances, it was quite stressful. Their pressure also comes from students’ reliance–they have shouldered an important role in providing accurate and immediate information. Meanwhile, the English page @cuhk_infopage_int emerged during the pandemic because they wish to catch international students up with the latest information too.

It is indeed a tough job, but it’s very rewarding and enjoyable. Their division of work helps to ease their workload so it’s less “chur” (stressful). Their diverse personalities enable them to fit in different positions and collaborate with each other well. One of them told us, “you can’t be a free-rider in this team, because they keep pushing you and setting deadlines.” At first, they did have disagreements but as they learn and work together, it’s like a puzzle being put together. They gained a lot by learning how to run a page and adjusting to each others’ personalities and paces.

As senior students, they want to thank everyone’s support on their videos, and they hope freshmen can take their time to find their own direction. “Enjoy your four years here, CUHK offers you much freedom before entering society. Don’t rush to study and try to find more interests!”

They have a lot more intriguing events coming soon, keep up with their new moves!

Stories in CUHK – Capturing People’s Voices @cuhk.records

Inspired by Humans of New York, this page was found in 2016 December by five students who were fond of storytelling. Currently, their project has been expanded and they’ve recruited new editors for the team.

“We want to let people be seen and shine, so we become the bridges for readers to feel them from their story.” One of the co-founders C told us about what this page is really for. It was interesting to find out that they never accept any submission, instead, they find their own interviewees and engage in deep conversations with them. You might ask, how do they find their interviewees? By talking to people around them on campus! Then they write and put out articles in a first-person perspective.

C has an unforgettable memory of conducting her very first interview as a freshman. It was a girl from her tutorial session who appeared cheerful and stylish and was later discovered to be suffering from depression. “Everyone seems to have no worries and they’re just chilling with their brand new university life, but mental health issues are just around us.” She continued, “readers might learn a lot from these interviews, but I think we, the editors, gained the most from them.”

She then shared a heart-warming moment with her team. As a fresh graduate at the moment, she’s often frustrated and anxious because of work. During one of their meetings, she received a card from their team and was extremely touched. Never had she expected to walk this far with this project, but all the editors made their best effort and she truly appreciates their work.

Another co-founder N told us a story about a girl who’s convicted and will be serving jail time. “She’s a very optimistic and well-planned person, she never expected that she’ll be serving for several years.” It makes the co-founder wonder about the complex relationship between the interviewer and interviewee: Are they friends? Or are they just set up for an interview?

“CUHK Records belongs to everyone, and I always tell them we’re making the impossible possible.” One of the impossible-made-possibles is their project on publishing books. “Someone threw out this idea, so the whole team helps to achieve it. They’ve put out two books so far: Beneath the Skies (《天空下——中大人反送中運動訪談集》), which concentrates on stories in the 2019 Movement, and Wander Down Memory Lane(《山城裏——帶着故事散步》), illustrating stories in CUHK. Unlike official committees, they have to create everything from scratch. The printing cost of Beneath the Skies was raised by crowdfunding, and 90% of the profit they made has been donated to 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund. Their new book Wander Down Memory Lane is printed with the rest of their profit and the editors’ money from their own pockets. It came as a surprise that they had to print a 2nd edition for the first book and even to put out a second book. They did have political consideration and consulted law students. Still, their unstoppable passion leads to these successful publications.

One of their challenges is the blurry division of labour, their editors have no specific role and therefore they need to multitask, someone might be in charge of doing interviews and shooting videos simultaneously. They also have zero journalism background and it’s especially difficult for newly recruited editors who lack university experience under current circumstances. Nevertheless, they meet up regularly and have a very tight bond, not having specific roles also enables feasibility.

Students from other universities, including the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, and others were inspired by their platform and looking to carry out similar projects. Some Hong Kong students at Cambridge also asked them how to run such a platform, and they’re beyond glad that it’s turning into a kind of movement.

“CUHK is my home. CUHK people are gentle, simple and so ‘real,’ we share the semblance of nature and humanity, sometimes we’re a bit foolish too – but on the positive side.” N let us know that she loves sitting by the window on the 3rd floor of the University Library just to enjoy the serenity with the view of CUHK while studying.

Being asked to give our students a few words, the admins encouraged us; “Don’t hesitate to ask others ‘how are you?’ You never know what people are going through. This city is depressing. We’ve been through a lot of difficulties in these two years, which is why we need to bond with people more and strengthen each others’ sense of belonging.”“And the most important thing to have is hope.”

Editor’s Note

This article was 100% set out to be entertaining because these pages themselves compile a great part of CUHK students’ entertainment in our hectic and stressful university life. Having conducted all these interviews and digging deep into different admins’ goals, challenges, and even their personal life, I’m tremendously moved by the immense effort they’re putting in. Their work doesn’t guarantee a good GPA, it doesn’t pay, it doesn’t come with a huge social circle, and it’s not an obligation. So what’s it? The CUHK spirit? They’re just students who want to contribute to the rest of us and bring us together. This invaluable spirit, as I quote one of them, is one that “you can’t find anywhere else.”

(This is not an ad, but you can also be a part of the CUHK spirit by following them!)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.