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  • Out of stock

    with illustrations by Daniel Ng
    and forewords by Joshua Wong and Chip Tsao

    The Umbrella Movement put Hong Kong on the world map and elevated this docile, money-minded Asian island to a model for pro-democracy campaigns across the globe. Umbrellas in Bloom is the first book available in English to chronicle this history-making event, written by a bestselling author and columnist based on his firsthand account at the main protest sites.

    Jason Y. Ng takes a no-holds-barred, fly-on-the-wall approach to covering politics. His latest offering steps through the 79-day struggle, from the firing of the first shot of tear gas by riot police to the evacuation of the last protester from the downtown encampments. It is all you need to know about the occupy movement: who took part in it, why it happened, how it transpired, and what it did and did not achieve.

    Together with HONG KONG State of Mind (2010) and No City for Slow Men (2013), Umbrellas in Bloom forms a Hong Kong trilogy that traces the city’s sociopolitical development since its return to Chinese rule.

    Look inside this book

    Click on the following links to view sample pages from Umbrellas in Bloom. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Introduction

    The Breaking of Promises

    Hong Kong 2.0

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    “I can’t visualise us getting out of this, but I want to TRY to believe in a future,” wrote 23-year-old Barbara Anslow (then Redwood) in her diary on 8th December 1941, a few hours after Japan first attacked Hong Kong.

    Barbara's 1941-1945 diaries (with post-war explanations where necessary) are an invaluable source of information on the civilian experience in British Hong Kong during the second world war. The diaries record her thoughts and experiences through the fighting, the surrender, three-and-a-half years of internment, then liberation and adjustment to normal life.

    The diaries have been quoted by leading historians on the subject. Now they are available in print for the first time, making them available to a wider audience.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Tin Hats and Rice. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Foreword and introduction

  • (Go to Chinese edition)

    The handover in 1997 saw Hong Kong’s smooth transition from colonial to Communist rule under the auspices of the ‘one country, two systems’ framework. But twenty years on, the real impact of the sovereignty change is just starting to register: the city’s near-total economic integration with the mainland, a massive influx of Chinese visitors, simmering cross-border tensions and a rapid erosion of freedoms. Believing that we are stronger and louder together, PEN Hong Kong invited some of Hong Kong’s most prominent literary and creative minds to reflect on the city’s post-colonial development, in a definitive compendium of essays, poems, fiction and artwork that marks this historical milestone.

     

    Michael Braga · Mary-Jean Chan · Jennifer S. Cheng · Kris Cheng · Chow Hon Fai · Larry Feign · Harry Harrison · Gérard Henry · Louise Ho · Oscar Ho Hing Kay · Tammy Ho Lai-Ming · Sarah Howe · Law Lok Man, Louise · Arthur Leung · Leung Ping-Kwan · Louisa Lim · Shirley Geok-lin Lim · Lui Wing Kai, Eric · William Nee · Jason Y. Ng · Margaret Ng · Timothy O’Leary · Michael O’Sullivan · Ilaria Maria Sala · Mishi Saran · Shahilla Shariff · Shen Jian · So Mei Chi · Tang Siu Wa · Eddie Tay · Chip Tsao · Stephen Vines · Marco Wan · Wawa · Kate Whitehead · Joshua Wong · Nicholas Wong · Xu Xi · Marco Yan · Chris Yeung · Douglas Young

    With forewords by Timothy Garton Ash and Kevin Lau Chun-to.

    "The success of Hong Kong’s pluralist citizenship will come out on top whatever the challenges. Reading many of the contributions [in Hong Kong 20/20] confirms me in that view." — Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong
     

     

  • with photography by Gary Jones

    Sunset Survivors tells the stories of Hong Kong’s traditional tradesmen and women through stunning imagery and candid interviews. Covering a myriad of curious professions that are quickly falling into obscurity, from fortune telling to face threading and letter writing to bird cage making, readers soon find themselves immersed in the streets of old Hong Kong.

    Filled with interviews, photographs and little-known facts about the city’s twilight industries, Sunset Survivors is a tribute to those who keep the flame burning in a city besieged by foreign imports and stiff competition. This book is a celebration of Hong Kong’s cultural identity. It preserves the memory of these hardy men and women, and educates visitors and locals on the foundations on which the city was built.

    An up-close and personal look at the industries and workers that gave rise to the Hong Kong of today, Sunset Survivors is more than just a travel or coffee-table book; it is a tribute to the city’s character, a celebration of its roots and a guide to its evolution.

    In a city undergoing a dramatic cultural shift, balancing social and political upheaval, the need to document Hong Kong’s traditional livelihoods has seldom been greater. Capturing the true personality of this metropolis, Sunset Survivors is a vital piece of history.


  • Jersey-born William Mesny ran off to sea as a boy and jumped ship at Shanghai in 1860 when he was just 18. Amid the chaos of foreign intrigue and civil war in 19th-century China, he became a smuggler, a prisoner of the Taiping rebels, a gun-runner and finally enlisted in the Chinese military.

    After five years of fierce campaigning against the Miao in remote Guizhou province, Mesny rose to the rank of general and used this privileged position to travel around China – to the borders with Burma, Tibet and Vietnam – writing opinionated newspaper articles, collecting plants and advising government officials on the development of railways, telegraphs and other modern reforms.

    Mesny eventually settled in Shanghai with a 16-year-old concubine and published Mesny's Chinese Miscellany, a weekly magazine about his experiences. But his story was not to end well. After his implication in an illicit arms deal, his fortunes never recovered, and when he died in 1919 he was working as a desk clerk.

    David Leffman has spent over 15 years footstepping Mesny’s travels across China, interviewing locals and piecing together his life story from contemporary journals, private letters and newspaper articles.

    Look inside this book

    Click on the following links to view sample pages from The Mercenary Mandarin. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.   Foreword

  • by Jack Leblanc Jack Leblanc arrived in China in 1989 intending to teach Physics for just two years. He was to spend the next two decades on a very different learning curve as he became involved in a series of business ventures in almost every part of the Middle Kingdom. From farmyard to factory, boardroom to banquet, Leblanc witnessed (and occasionally assisted) the transformation of China from a socialist economy into the world’s greatest experiment in capitalism. Over time it dawned upon him that the key to success is to manage the differences in Chinese and Western business behaviour. To do well in China you must carefully adapt your strategies – or face ruin faster than you can learn how to use chopsticks. Look inside this book Click on the following links to view sample pages from Business Republic of China. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.  Barbarian roots  The wheels of commerce PLUS download Jack Leblanc's free China business crib sheet, a brief lexicon of selected China business terms for the unversed barbarian. 
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    Hong Kong, 1954. The British colony was not yet ready to hear about a Eurasian policeman having an affair with the police commissioner’s daughter. Twenty-two-year-old Simon Lee tasted swift punishment. He was banished to the outer fringes of the territory, to the far tip of a wild and distant island a stone’s throw from mainland Chinese waters — to Tai O, the ancient and murky trading post where fishermen, salt-farmers and refugees were thrown together with spies, pirates and triads. Pink dolphins swam the waters, eagles fished the sea, and some still believed that a tiger prowled the hills at night.

    It was a place haunted by history, where corpses had floated in the bay just a decade earlier when Japanese troops occupied the police station, and everybody had a secret about what they did during the war.

    Life was unpredictable for the band of beer-swilling misfits that staffed Tai O Police Station. Some said they needed reining in. But when a stranger was murdered on a beach, accused of being a Communist spy, Lee found himself on an unexpected collision course with his own masters in Central. Who had the dead man been working for? What did the secret agents know? Why was Central so eager to brush the execution aside? And who or what really was the ‘tiger’?


  • Japan marched into Hong Kong at the outbreak of the Pacific War on December 8, 1941. On the same day, Graham Heywood was captured by the invading Japanese near the border while carrying out duties for the Royal Observatory. He was held at various places in the New Territories before being transported to the military Prisoner-of-War camp in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. The Japanese refused to allow Heywood and his colleague Leonard Starbuck to join the civilians at the Stanley internment camp.

    Heywood’s illustrated diary records his three-and-a-half years of internment, telling a story of hardship, adversity, and survival of malnutrition and disease; as well as repeated hopes of liberation and disappointment. As he awaits the end of the war, his reflections upon freedom and imprisonment bring realisations about life and how to live it.

    Accounts of life in the internment camp differed widely. One friend, an enthusiastic biologist, was full of his doings; he had grown champion vegetables, had seen all sort of rare birds (including vultures, after the corpses) and had run a successful yeast brewery. Altogether, he said, it had been a great experience ... a bit too long, perhaps, but not bad fun at all. Another ended up her account by saying ‘Oh, Mr. Heywood, it was hell on earth’. It all depended on their point of view.”

    Heywood’s highly positive attitude to life is food for thought for all of us today, in the midst of increasing consumerism but decreasing spiritual satisfaction. We have enjoyed freedom and an abundance of material wealth in the 70 years since the end of the Pacific War, but we may not always recognise our true good fortune.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to view sample pages from It Won't Be Long Now. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.   Foreword   Chapter 1 - Capture

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    Part of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series

    Hong Kong, 1918. A tranquil place compared to war-torn Europe. But on the morning of the 22nd January, a running battle through the streets of Wanchai ended in “The Siege of Gresson Street”. Five policemen lay dead, so shocking Hong Kong that over half the population turned out to watch their funeral procession.

    One of the dead, Inspector Mortimor O’Sullivan, came from Newmarket: a small town nestled deep in rural Ireland. He, along with a dozen and more relatives, had sailed out to Hong Kong to join the Police Force.

    Using family records and memories alongside extensive research in Hong Kong, Ireland and London, Patricia O’Sullivan tells the story of these policemen and the criminals they dealt with. This book also gives a rare glimpse into the day-to-day life of working-class Europeans at the time, as it follows the Newmarket men, their wives and families, from their first arrival in 1864 through to 1941 and beyond.

    “This groundbreaking book is a story of life, death, and crime in colonial Hong Kong. It is also an account of an important part of Hong Kong’s population that has eluded most historians: the European working class. With an arsenal of previously untapped materials in Ireland, Britain and Hong Kong, Patricia O’Sullivan tells the remarkable tales of the families who built their own ‘little Ireland’ in Hong Kong.” – John M. Carroll, Dept. of History, University of Hong Kong

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Policing Hong Kong – An Irish History. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Introduction

  • with illustrations by Lee Po Ng

    Author and blogger Jason Y. Ng has a knack for making the familiar both fascinating and funny. Three years after his bestselling début HONG KONG State of Mind, the razor-sharp observer returns with a sequel that is bigger and every bit as poignant.

    No City for Slow Men is a collection of 36 essays that examine some of the pressing social, cultural and existential issues facing Hong Kong. It takes us from the gravity-defying property market to the plunging depths of old age poverty, from the storied streets of Sheung Wan to the beckoning island of Cheung Chau, from the culture-shocked Western expat to the misunderstood Mainland Chinese and the disenfranchised foreign domestic worker. The result is a treatise on Hong Kong life that is thought-provoking, touching and immensely entertaining.

    Look inside this book
    Click on these links to read pages from No City for Slow Men. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Introduction   Horo-Logic   The Storm Cometh

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    Have you ever wondered about that wacky-looking fruit staring back at you in the local wet market? Or did you want to know how to cook a particular Chinese vegetable, but don’t have the language skills?

    The Chinese Wet Market Handbook gives you the answers! This pocket-sized guidebook, designed to be taken out shopping with you, identifies fresh produce commonly found at Hong Kong’s food markets.

    Each item is identified by a photo, its English name, its romanised Cantonese name with tones, and its name in full-form Chinese characters. The guide explains traditional signage in Chinese characters, including weights and measures, and indicates whether a food is locally produced. Finally, it describes ten lively Hong Kong wet markets especially worth visiting and provides directions on how to find them.

    Whether you’re a Hong Kong resident who wants to shop at food markets but lacks the linguistic and culinary know-how, or a tourist who wants to explore the local culinary sights, this handy guide will help you navigate your way around one of the liveliest and most colourful parts of Hong Kong’s food scene.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the below links to view sample pages from The Chinese Wet Market Handbook. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    pages 2-11 (fruit)   pages 23-29 (vegetables)   pages 71-75 (dried foods)


  • In 1976, Peter Mann left a gloomy England for the last corner of the British empire: Hong Kong.

    As a police inspector, he commanded a sub-unit and led a district vice squad in Kowloon, before joining the colonial government’s Administrative Service and working in the fields of transport, housing, security, environment and tourism. He also served as District Officer, Wan Chai. From raids on gambling dens to organising Governors' visits, his work involved him in all levels of Hong Kong society.

    Mann’s memoir is an anecdotal, historical and racy account of Hong Kong’s last decades as a British colony and the colourful story of a young Englishman in the twilight of empire.

    Hong Kong is one of the most intriguing places in the world and its modern history is endlessly fascinating. This book is a highly readable addition to the canon of memoirs which illuminate the period.” – Rachel Cartland, author of Paper Tigress

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Sheriff of Wan Chai. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.  Arrival in Hong Kong

  • The stories of expatriates in Hong Kong – the most dynamic, dramatic and diverse city in the Asia-Pacific region – come to life in this book.

    Why did they come? Why do they stay? How did Hong Kong change them and their view of the world? What did they gain and what did they lose?

    Human beings are on the move, driven by economic globalisation, political persecution, love or simple curiosity; and this global flow defines the age in which we live. From these expat stories, larger themes loom: identities transformed; racism, naked and clothed; blended relationships; and the tensions and tolerance engendered through peoples, languages and cultures in contact.

    Look inside this book Click on the following link to read pages from Other Voices, Other Eyes. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. To begin at the beginning
  • with John Peters and Lizzie Sharp-Eliazar

    Did you leave your fishing rods at home before relocating to Hong Kong, unaware that such a densely populated place could support recreational fishing?

    Mike Sharp and John Peters walk you through the local angling spots and describe key tactics normally known only by Hong Kong anglers. Carp fishing, pier fishing, and trolling for game fish are just some of the topics covered in a warm, descriptive text beautifully illustrated by Lizzie Sharp-Eliazar.

    Whether you live in a skyscraper or a village, this book will encourage you to get out onto the territory's beautiful waters or rocky shore and cast a line―in the hope that the next one will be the one that didn't get away.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the images on the left to view sample pages from Fishing in Hong Kong.

  • Edited by Jason Y. Ng and Susan Blumberg-Kason

    Published in association with Akashic Books

    Akashic continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighbourhood or location within the city of the book.

    Hong Kong Noir features brand-new stories by Jason Y. Ng, Xu Xi, Marshall Moore, Brittani Sonnenberg, Tiffany Hawk, James Tam, Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang, Christina Liang, Feng Chi-shun, Charles Philipp Martin, Shannon Young, Shen Jian, Carmen Suen and Ysabelle Cheung.

    What will Hong Kong look like in five years, ten years, or thirty years when the “one country, two systems” promise expires? It’s impossible to foresee. Hong Kong’s future may be beyond our control, but some things aren’t. We can continue to write about our beloved city and work our hardest to preserve it in words.

    When we asked our contributors to write their noir stories, we didn’t give them specific content guidelines other than to make sure their stories end on a dark note. What we received was a brilliant collection of ghost stories, murder mysteries, domestic dramas, cops-and-robbers tales, and historical thrillers that capture Hong Kong in all its dark glory. The result is every bit as eclectic, quirky, and delightful as the city they write about.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to read pages from Hong Kong Noir. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Contents and Introduction

  •  

    Syd Goldsmith’s first taste of China’s Cultural Revolution is blood on his tongue. It’s 1967. Hong Kong is simmering, plagued by communist-led riots and strikes, crippled transport, punishing water-rationing, takeover threats from Beijing and roadside bombs. And Syd — the only Caucasian Foreign Service Officer at the American Consulate General who speaks Cantonese — is made responsible for reporting and analysis of the Hong Kong government’s ability to survive.

    The CIA station chief and the head of Macau’s gold syndicate play major roles in Syd’s story, along with Newsweeks Sydney Liu and Maynard Parker, and a steady stream of inquiring foreign correspondents and China-watchers. Richard Nixon makes a cameo appearance — to talk football with Syd since the consul general won’t see him — in this riveting memoir of a year when Hong Kong’s “borrowed time” seemed about to expire.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Hong Kong on the Brink. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Chapters 1 to 3


  • For an arresting mosaic of the great and complex metropolis known as Hong Kong – and an insight into what the people of the city live by and die for – a reader need look no further than the Collected Hong Kong Stories of David T. K. Wong.

    Wong, a native son of this once British Crown Colony and now Special Administrative Region of China, has drawn upon his own experiences as a journalist, educator, government official and businessman to assemble a range of memorable characters for his tales. They range from barmen to labourers, from jockeys to expatriate bureaucrats, from scholars to tycoons, and each is infused with insights into the collective soul of the edgy, anomalous and perplexing place he finds himself.

    These 18 stories are carefully crafted in the grand tradition of O. Henry, Maugham and Saki. Each has been individually published in a magazine or broadcast over radio in Britain, the United States, Hong Kong or elsewhere. They can be dipped into and savoured separately or feasted upon all in one go. Either way, the result can only be satisfying.

    “David T. K. Wong is an exceptionally fluent writer whose compelling stories cover a wide range of themes. His talent sparkles, inveigles and mesmerizes.” – Sylvia Tankel, Editor of Short Stories International

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to read pages from Collected Hong Kong Stories. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.  One  Two

  • with illustrations by Lee Po Ng

    Hong Kong is a mixed bag of a city. It is where Mercedes outnumber taxi cabs, partygoers count down to Christmas every December 24, and larger-than-life billboards of fortune tellers and cram school tutors compete with breathtaking skylines.

    HONG KONG State of Mind is a collection of essays by a popular blogger who zeroes in on the city’s idiosyncrasies with deadpan precision. At once an outsider looking in and an insider looking out, Ng has created something for everyone: a travel journal for the passing visitor, a user’s manual for the wide-eyed expat, and an open diary for the native Hong Konger looking for moments of reflection.

    Look inside this book
    Click on this link to view sample pages from HONG KONG State of Mind. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Kowloon Complex

  •  

    There’s no place quite like it. From Guangzhou to Hong Kong, the booming megalopolis of the Pearl River Delta has endless stories to tell. South China Morning Blues is filled with these tales of the postmodern East: depraved, rapidly changing, and never boring.

    Just what kinds of people find themselves in 21st-century China? There’s Marco, a crooked businessman with a penchant for call girls; Danny, a culture-shocked young traveler; Sheila, a local club girl caught up in family politics; Amber, a drug-fueled aspiring model; Terry, an alcoholic journalist; and Ting Ting, a lovable artist with a chip on her shoulder. Their lives intertwine in unexpected ways as they delve deeper into their surroundings and in the process learn more about themselves.

    China may be leading the world into the future, but its inhabitants will have to make sense of the present if that future is ever going to arrive.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to view sample pages from South China Morning Blues. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Prologue: Shenzhen  Monkey

  • with photographs by Michael Perini

    Hong Kong is famous for its bustling streets. In this book we hear from two dozen real people who provide its outdoor colour. We meet a flower seller, a street musician and a tram driver; a bouncer, a shoeshiner and a gas canister delivery man; a site foreman and a lifeguard; one man who climbs bamboo scaffolding for a living, and a woman who ferries visitors around the harbour on a sampan.

    These are the working people who are always seen but rarely heard, and in this book they tell their life stories in their own words. Sharp black-and-white portraits immerse the reader in the dynamic streetscape of Hong Kong.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the links below to read pages from Street Life Hong Kong. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Contents   Tony Tam Kwok-Chiu, Assistant foreman   Chu Yin-Ping, Sampan tour guide

  • with a foreword by Irene Eber

    A compilation of 26 biographical accounts from the entire spectrum of Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jewish society offers fresh insights into a remarkable community that lived through the crossroads of China’s 20th-century history.

    Using previously unseen diaries and archival material, Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews documents the rise and fall of larger-than-life personalities who witnessed the Sino-Japanese War, the Occupation of Shanghai and the Communist Party’s rise to power. Photographs illustrate the life and times of these individuals and the magnificent, cosmopolitan city they called home.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to view sample pages from Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Foreword  Sample photo pages

  • (Go to English edition)

    梁紹鴻,Duncan Leung,詠春善戰者。由兒時好友、已故電影巨星李小龍介紹去學詠春功夫。1955年,年僅十三歲的他以「三跪九叩」之禮,拜詠春第六長門代葉問為師,成為葉問的「第一私家門徒」。

    1955至1959這四年間,葉問親自上門,悉心教導梁紹鴻,傾囊相授,跟他練習,還傳授「實踐」詠春的秘訣。梁紹鴻天天練武、練功六小時;要學以致用,他就上街打架、上武館「講手」,實踐所學。他對中國武術各門各派的打鬥經驗可謂獨一無二。

    1964年,一次行俠仗義令梁紹鴻有緣遇上一位老人。那老人教他「空手入白刃」、「貼身搏擊」、「無聲殺敵」等技巧。

    1974至1976年,梁紹鴻在美國紐約設館授徒。中、外習武者上館挑戰可謂無日無之,他未嘗敗北,因此應付外國武藝的經驗也相當豐富,可謂世上絕無僅有。

    1976至2002年間,梁紹鴻在美國弗吉利亞灘 (Virginia Beach)定居,受聘於美國海軍海豹隊(U.S. Navy Seals)、美國聯邦調查局( FBI )及美國特警部隊 (SWAT)。

    2002年8月,梁紹鴻接受可能是他有生以來最大的挑戰:要在兩年內,培養六名中國少年成為世界級職業「散打」拳手。於是,他到了中國去完成這能人所不能的使命。

     

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    A former senior Chinese Administrative Officer has at long last lifted another little corner of the veil of half-truths and anodyne official releases which hitherto shrouded many of the decisions and evasions under the long Hong Kong governorship of Sir Murray MacLehose.

    David T. K. Wong — who started working life as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant at the age of 13 before becoming a journalist, teacher, colonial bureaucrat, international businessman, and then a writer of short stories and novels — is clearly a man of many parts. He has now turned his narrative skills to producing a pungent, sardonic, cerebral and revelatory insider memoir of his experiences in the upper reaches of the colonial administration during the 1970s.

    In doing so, he draws attention to the political, cultural and economic cross-currents that have always swirled through the uniquely paradoxical city. As a Chinese, he constantly found himself struggling with a three-horned dilemma: how to serve the people of Hong Kong, who paid his salary; the wider Chinese nation, from which he was culturally and emotionally inseparable; and the demands of the British crown, to which he had publicly sworn his allegiance.

    Hong Kong Confidential is a valuable contribution to the historical mosaic of a dynamic Chinese community living through turbulent times.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Hong Kong Confidential. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Chapter 1: Interregnum

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    In this joyful travel sketchbook, Hong Kong is captured through the hearts of a writer and an artist.

    From the winding, incense-filled streets of Sheung Wan to the pandemonium of a wet market in North Point to the sleepy island backwater of Tai O, Lena Sin and Nicholas Tay take you on a wonder-filled journey that shines a light on the softer, more romantic side of this chaotic city.

    Filled with tales of growing up in Hong Kong, Lena weaves personal anecdotes and conversations with locals with richly-illustrated watercolours and photographs by herself and artist husband Nicholas. The result is an intimate portrait of a city that is at once vibrant and energetic as well as charming and nostalgic.

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    As a youth in Saigon's Chinatown of the 1960s and '70s, Paul Au was greatly affected by American "hippie" culture and Rock and Roll. He was smuggled into Hong Kong in 1974 to escape the South Vietnamese military draft.

    At first living in rooftop squats, he started to trade used vinyl records on the streets of Sham Shui Po, and finally established an underground reputation for his eclectic blend and unending supply of recorded music.

    This full-colour book uses sample records and sleeve art to depict the evolution of popular music in Hong Kong since the 1970s, and describes the down-to-earth part of Kowloon, with its walk-up buildings and street markets, that Paul Au has become synonymous with.

    "Paul's Records solidifies Andrew Guthrie's status as the most perceptive, and astute, observer of the lingering appeal of recording and cassette culture in post-colonial Hong Kong." – Giorgio Biancorosso, Department of Music, The University of Hong Kong

    "Paul's Records is a gift to Hong Kong and to anyone who wants to know more about the unique worlds that thrive in its crowded spaces." – Greg Girard, author of City of Darkness: Life In Kowloon Walled City

  •  

    Rachel Cartland came to Hong Kong in 1972 as one of just two female expatriates in the Hong Kong Government’s elite administrative grade.

    Before she retired in 2006, her life was shaped by the momentous events that rocked Hong Kong during those action-packed years: corruption and the police mutiny, the growth of the new towns, the currency crisis of 1983, Tiananmen Square, the change of sovereignty and the devastation of SARS. The backdrop to her story ranges from Kowloon’s infamous Walled City to Government House to the rural New Territories.

    Paper Tigress is full of humour and incident and, at the same time, an accessible account of modern Hong Kong and the forces that shaped it.

    "Rachel’s remarkable recollection of an exciting era in Hong Kong not only brings back 40 years of shared memories, but is a fair and often amusing story of how colleagues in the Administrative Service worked together to build up this modern city – and, in the process, injected core values that hopefully will stand Hong Kong in good stead for years to come.” – Shelley Lee Lai-kuen, GBS, OBE, JP, former Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs

    Look inside this book
    Click on the link below to read pages from Paper Tigress. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Early Days in Hong Kong

  • by Feng Chi-shun "Diamond Hill was one of the poorest and most backward of villages in Hong Kong at a time when Hong Kong itself was poor and backward. We moved there in 1956 when I was almost 10. I left when I was 19. Those were the formative years of my life. It’s a time that I remember well and cherish. This memoir of a native son of a Kowloon-side squatter village – the first book ever on Diamond Hill, in either Chinese or English – presents the early days of a life shaped by a now-extinct community. Penned by a high-achieving Hong Kong professional, Feng Chi-shun’s sharp recollections of his humble upbringing contain warmth, humour, and an abundance of insights into a low-income Hong Kong neighbourhood that no longer exists – but remains close to the hearts of many who lived there. Diamond Hill will invite comparisons with Martin Booth's Gweilo. If you enjoyed the latter, you will likely find the former similarly absorbing, because the young Feng was, for many a “gweilo”, the inaccessible yet intriguing face of an altogether edgier Hong Kong. Look inside this book Click on the following link to view sample pages from Diamond Hill. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Thugs and gangsters
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    Part of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Studies Series

    The Peak is Hong Kong’s top residential district, where property prices are as high as the altitude. How did it become an exclusive enclave in the bustling business centre of 19th-century Asia?

    The British wanted relief from summer heat and the Peak was the obvious place to escape it. When the Governor adopted Mountain Lodge as a summer getaway, development accelerated and the opening of the Peak Tram in 1888 made access easier. Gradually a community developed and a church, a club and a school were established.

    This book describes how the now-popular tourist area developed over time and adapted as needs changed.

  •  
    Squatting amid the luxury hotels and malls of modern Kowloon, Chungking Mansions resembles the dirty vent of a giant subterranean machine. This Hong Kong landmark is a hotbed of criminality and home to pimps, hookers, thieves and drug pushers. The five 17-storey towers also offer the city’s last low-rent refuge for asylum seekers and immigrants coming to start a new life.

    Nepalese guesthouse owners rent out rooms to Bangladeshi workers, and Pakistanis sell mobile phones to Nigerian traders who hire Indian cargo companies to ship them home. Food stalls fill the air with the savoury aromas of international cuisine, and more than 200 guesthouses, as well as two floors of shops selling black-market, counterfeit and bargain goods, establish this unique place as a global hub of trade and multiculturalism.

    In 2009, shortly after a Canadian tourist disappeared from Chungking Mansions without a trace, photographer Nana Chen began wandering the corridors. Using her camera as a guide, she discovered the Chungking Mansions not visible to the naked eye: the beating pulse that gives this notorious destination its hypnotic appeal. With compassion and courage, Chen sought to craft a portrait of Hong Kong’s last ghetto and its inhabitants before its vibrant character is erased forever by the inevitable march of progress.

    I grew up in the vicinity of Chungking Mansions. Nana Chen's intimate, visceral pictures of the Mansions are so unsentimentally authentic and beautiful that I am speechless and deeply moved.” – Chan Koonchung, author of The Fat Years

  • by Feng Chi-shun

    The Cantonese call anyone lecherous, and anything salacious, harm sup — literally salty and wet. And the code word for all things harm sup is "kitchen tiles." Anyone who has stepped into a Chinese kitchen knows it is like a war zone, with broth and condiments spilt all over the place; hence the tiles are deemed salty and wet.

    Kitchen Tiles looks at the lascivious aspects of Hong Kong society. These 50 stories of gamblers, drinkers, masseuses and millionaires are based on the real-life experiences of Feng Chi-shun, author of Diamond Hill. Names and circumstances may have been changed, but the sentiment and spirit remain authentically Hong Kong.

    Look inside this book Click on the link to read pages from Kitchen Tiles. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Contents
  •  

    Hong Kong’s Southside – the glimmering stretch of coastline from Aberdeen, through Repulse Bay, Stanley and Tai Tam, to Shek O – is a weekend paradise of restaurants, markets and beaches, the destination of choice for sailors, swimmers, hikers and shoppers. These attractions are all captured by Lorette Roberts in this book but, in her familiar style, she has discovered much more.

    There are vignettes of the old villages, complete with traditional watchtowers, temples and scarecrows; sketches from visits to Ocean Park, two museums and a pristine marine reserve; a sampan trip around Aberdeen Harbour, and a secret tunnel to underground wine cellars. There are rugged shores and stunning mountain views; the elegant architecture of The Repulse Bay and Victorian waterworks at Tai Tam; and riotous dragonboat races at Stanley beach!

    Whether you are a resident or a first-time tourist, this book will introduce you to new and delightful aspects of the Southside.

    Previously published as 'Sketches of Stanley'

  •  

    Siu mai, har gow, jar leung, sin jok guen. These are all types of dim sum. But do you know what they look like, and what’s in them? Can you pronounce their names in Cantonese, or recognize them on a menu? Can you confidently order dim sum for you and your friends — especially if any of them have dietary restrictions?

    Australian-Chinese writer Liza Chu has a part-time career as a Hong Kong dim sum guide. She has distilled her knowledge of Cantonese cuisine and Chinese dining etiquette into this practical guidebook to delicious dim sum. Each photographed dish is identified with Chinese characters and a pronunciation guide. Icons alert those with allergies or special diets, and there’s a special listing of dim sum dishes most popular with children. Master chefs explain their cooking methods, and even the art of tea drinking is covered in detail.

    Take this book to your nearest dim sum restaurant and let Liza show you how to yum cha like a local!

  •  

    18 true stories of those who went...

    For the privileged a cosmopolitan pleasure ground; for the desperate a port of last resort.

    A pot of gold at the end of an Oriental rainbow; a thick slice of hell denounced from the pulpit.

    The start of a journey for many; the end of the road for some.

    A place to find fame, or to seek anonymity; rogues, chancers, showgirls, criminals…

    For so many people from so many lands, there was one phrase that sent a tingle of hope or a shiver of anticipation down every spine:

    “DESTINATION SHANGHAI”

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to read pages from Destination Shanghai. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Contents and Introduction 

    Shanghai’s Most Charming Gangster: Elly ‘The Swiss’ Widler (1940)

  •  

    For more than a century, trams have plied their trade along the northern coast of Hong Kong Island. During that time, they have witnessed the transformation of the local economy from a colonial backwater to the massive financial centre that is the modern city. The post-war years, from the 1960s onward, have seen the radical redevelopment of much of the area along streets such as Hennessy Road and Des Voeux Road, while the reclamation of land along the seafront has seen the tramway, which once skirted the shore, pushed further and further inland.

    Today, Hong Kong trams still provide a vital public service, carrying vast numbers of passengers daily to and from their work or shops, and Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world where it is still possible to ride on the top deck of a double-deck tram. This album explores the history of the tramways of Hong Kong Island through the 20th century. Drawing upon a fascinating selection of photographs, most of which have never been published before, it traces the evolution of the streetscape over that period – giving readers a vivid reminder of a city that has been radically altered over the past half-century.


  • Victoria Park, the largest expanse of open space in Hong Kong, is the crossroads and away home for thousands of Muslim women who come from Indonesia to find their fortunes, or at least support their families, in the teeming Chinese city. Most come initially as maids, but some lose their employers and descend into the netherworld of overstayers, illegal street hawkers and disco “PR” girls. Whoever they are, they all know Dina: a woman who sells phonecards, changes money, dispenses advice and listens to their tales of exile.

    Leila and Ahmed spend the day searching for a place to make love on their one day off, but all the cheap hotels are filled with other lovers celebrating the “End of Ramadan.” Ani finds an unusual way to put a curse on a rival for her affections in “Golden Needles”, while Retno decides that if she becomes a Mormon maybe she can find a regular place to sleep at night. “Wiji” somehow manages to juggle her two Western boyfriends until she manipulates them both into helping her buy a rice field back home, then finds that they insist on accompanying her to her home village as her great benefactors. “Wati and Murtini” grew up in the same small village in Java and worked together in Hong Kong until, on one hot day in Victoria Park, friendship ended in betrayal.

    From the comic to the bizarre to the heart-breaking, these cross-cultural tales of exiles in another country build on a sensual evocation of place and character.

  •  

    Reminiscences and recipes of favourite international and regional dishes from households, fancy restaurants and back lanes which you can enjoy today in Hong Kong, that classy old gal who will forever reign as the Queen of Cuisine for all who knew her when she was the jewel of the British Empire.

    Bestselling author Fred Schneiter shares a nostalgic romp back into that earlier era which has faded into treasured memories and photos. But we didn’t lose it all. The tantalizing cuisines and tempting cookpot scents of that earlier time remain. Many of them await you here.

    If you’ve ever daydreamed about what it might be like to drop back into an earlier, less hurried time in an exotic corner of the world, this is how we found the food, the friends and the fun in old Hong Kong.

  •  

    Robert Wang fled the Chinese civil war at the age of five and came to Hong Kong with nothing. The colony was a harsh place in the 1950s and 1960s. But he was determined to rise to the top – and through hard work and resolve, he got there. The law firm he founded grew into the city’s fifth largest.

    With the clock ticking towards the handover of Hong Kong to China, and no one knowing what the end of British rule would bring, Robert hatched an audacious scheme to safeguard the fortunes of Hong Kong’s richest tycoons. He would convince Singapore to take them in.

    At last, he was walking with kings: dealing one-on-one with the most powerful businessmen and politicians of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. It was an exhilarating experience – but climbing so high has its dangers. After unwittingly offending the wrong power brokers, he was cast aside and left to defend himself against the damnation of corporate rumours.

    Robert’s rags-to-riches story offers a rare look inside the unimaginably wealthy world of Hong Kong’s property tycoons; but also, as he tells the tale of four generations of his family, we learn that it is the traditional values of tolerance, filial piety and loyalty which endure.

    "A riveting read." – Sir Run Run Shaw, Founder, Shaw Prize

    Look inside this book
    Click on these links to view sample pages from Walking the Tycoons' Rope. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. 

    One  Two  Three  Four

  •  

    Hong Kong has a bewildering range of sex businesses offering services to suit all imaginable tastes: from the glitzy nightclubs of Tsim Sha Tsui East, through the saunas, karaoke lounges and one-woman brothels of Mong Kok, to the streets and short-time hotels of Sham Shui Po.

    Chinese-language sex magazines print reviews of individual prostitutes, and promote an ever-widening array of bizarre sexual practices. Even mainstream newspapers engage pimps as columnists. Business appears to be booming – but there are hungry newcomers to this underground economy. How do local prostitutes deal with the ruthless competition posed by an endless supply of girls from mainland China?

    To find out, Yeeshan Yang spent a year gaining the trust of the city's sex workers, interviewing 50 hookers, hostesses, toy boys, transsexual prostitutes, mama-sans and brothel owners. The result is an eye-opening book which shows the human side of sex for sale. Whispers and Moans contains tales of easy money, financial ruin and hopeless love affairs – and rare first-hand insights into Hong Kong's huge but hidden sex industry.

    Film adaptations: Director Herman Yau has brought this book to the big screen in two movies: Whispers and Moans, which had its premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, and True Women For Sale, for which Prudence Liew won Best Actress at the Golden Horse Film Awards.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the link below to view sample pages from Whispers and Moans. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. 

    A rose by any other name

  •  

    We hear news reports of the rise of China and its sleepless economy, often with sinister undertones supposed to alarm us. The reality can look very different.

    German photographer Bernd Hagemann has long been fascinated by China and its people. He carries his camera at all times, because on every street corner you can find people napping in the strangest positions and situations, even snoring in deep slumber.

    “When China wakes, she will shake the world,” warned Napoleon. This may be true. But let’s not forget that hardworking people need their sleep too.

  • and Francis Ng

    "Tears? What are they?" asked Pelma, a little nun who lived on an island at the heart of a salt lake. Everybody laughed at this naïve girl who had carelessly damaged the convent’s precious thangka painting.

    Pelma was sent to shore to find a high lama to repair the thangka. New friends and mischievous spirits joined the young girl on her journey. She learned about deception, greed and cruelty, as well as human warmth and kindness. She came to taste all kinds of tears.

    But nothing could prepare Pelma for the hardest decision of all: destroying the thangka that she had taken such trouble to repair…

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to view sample pages from Pelma's Tears. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. 

    Authors' notes  Prologue 

  •  

    Chris Thrall left the Royal Marines to find his fortune in Hong Kong, but instead found himself homeless and hooked on crystal methamphetamine.

    Soon he began working for the 14K, Hong Kong’s largest crime family, as a doorman in one of their nightclubs in the Wan Chai red-light district.

    Dealing with psychosis, conspiracy and the ‘foreign triad’ – a secretive expat clique which, unbeknown to the world, works hand-in-hand with the Chinese mafia – he had to survive in the world’s most unforgiving city, addicted to the world’s most dangerous drug.

    Look inside this book
    Click on this link to view sample pages from Eating Smoke. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Excerpt 1

  • (Go to Chinese edition)

    Duncan Leung was introduced to Wing Chun Kung Fu by his childhood friend, famed screen star Bruce Lee. At the age of 13, after the ritual of ‘three kneels, nine kowtows’ in the traditional Sifu worship ceremony, he became the formal disciple of sixth-generation Wing Chun master Yip Man. Between 1955 and 1959 he studied with his Sifu at home, where Yip taught him how to apply Wing Chun to actual fighting. Leung trained six hours a day, seven days a week for four years, and used this knowledge fighting in the streets and martial arts studios of Hong Kong.

    In 1964 Leung befriended an old man who taught him rare secrets of close fighting, including the art of disarming a knife-wielding opponent, and silencing an opponent barehanded. When he opened his Wing Chun studio in New York City in 1974, he was challenged by martial art practitioners of every school but remained undefeated. Since moving to Virginia Beach in 1976, he has taught US Navy SEALs, members of the FBI, and various SWAT teams.

    In 2002 he accepted perhaps the greatest challenge of his life: to train six Chinese teenagers to become world-class professional fighters within two years. To this end, he returned to China to accomplish what many considered an impossible mission.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to view sample pages from Wing Chun Warrior. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. 

    A Mysterious Old Man  Bruce Lee and I Beaten

  •  

    From the yaks which graze at altitudes so high that vegetables cannot grow, and the paradise of Shangri-La; through the flower markets of Kunming, the dramatic tea terraces of Pu-er, and forest floors covered with wild mushrooms; to the tropical south where market stalls brim with brilliant red chillies and shimmering purple eggplants.

    Yunnan, an exotic land of former kingdoms which borders Tibet, Sichuan, Burma, Vietnam and Laos, is the most bio-diverse province in China. It is quite possibly the most beautiful part of the country, and also the most culturally rich. Each ethnic minority has its own distinct cooking ingredients, aromas and flavours – all brought together for the first time in this unique cookbook.

  • by Feng Chi-shun Hong Kong pathologist Feng Chi-shun was once part-owner of a dive bar in Kowloon City: a rough part of town which was home to the Sun Yee On triad gang. During that time, he heard a lot of stories. How about the street sleeper who was a secret millionaire, or the man who chose to end it all in Chungking Mansions? Do you want to know the details of Kowloon's gruesome Hello Kitty murder, or what the taxi driver from hell did to his passengers? How about Elvis of the Orient, the ancient movie star who fooled hundreds of people for his final performance, or the student who stumbled into the 1967 riots and entered the world of girlie bars? And what was the truth about the girl with the eagle tattoo? The 15 stories in Hong Kong Noir offer a glimpse of what happens in the shadows. Look inside this book Click on these links to read pages from Hong Kong Noir. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Foreword   Inside Hello Kitty's Head   The Taxi Driver from Hell    
  • with pictures by Ira Chaplain

    What do "Deep water pier", "Nine dragons city" and "Mandarin's lake" have in common with "Wong Tai Sin", the name of a Taoist deity? They're all districts in Kowloon.

    This book is an exploration of what is often seen as Hong Kong's shadow-side, from the viewpoints of community, consumerism, art, food, fashion and sex – 15 years after the handover. Scores of colour photographs bring the peninsula to the reader in a salute to street culture and the ordinary and extraordinary people of Kowloon.

    Look inside this book
    Click on these links to view sample text pages from Kowloon: Unknown Territory. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Introduction   Yau Tsim Mong: Multicultural kaleidoscope   Kowloon City: Little Bangkok

  •  

    From Clearwater Bay to Tai Long Wan, the Sai Kung Peninsula is Hong Kong’s back garden – a place where people go to swim, hike, eat seafood alfresco, and escape the city. But besides the popular beaches and waterfront restaurants, there is an abundance of hidden attractions, and artist Lorette E. Roberts has discovered them for this book.

    In these pages you’ll find rolling green hills, weekend junk trips, gambling grannies and pooches on parade; walled village houses and old film studios; Sung-dynasty temples and rice farmers’ implements; fish markets, folk museums and wakeboarding clubs; a Chinese herbalist’s shop and the tools of ancient trades; sampan ladies, fleets of ferries, and ships of all shapes!

    Third in a series of bestselling books, Sketches of Sai Kung paints this beautiful area of Hong Kong in a new light.


  • Michael Kohn, former editor of the Mongol Messenger newspaper, is one steppe ahead of the journalistic posse in this epic Western set in the Far East.

    Kohn’s memoir of his time in Mongolia is an irresistible account of a nation where falcon poachers, cattle rustlers, exiled Buddhist leaders, death-defying child jockeys and political assassins vie for page one. A turf war between lamas, shamans, Mormon elders and ministers provides the spiritual backdrop in this nation which had only just been liberated from Soviet rule. From the reincarnated Bogd Khaan and his press spokesman to vodka-fuelled racing entrepreneurs and political leaders unclear on the concept of freedom of the press, Kohn explores one of Asia’s most fascinating, mysterious and misunderstood lands.

    “Genghis Khan may have stormed across the steppes seven centuries ago but Michael Kohn has probably covered nearly as many miles around one of the world’s most remote and untamed nations.” — Tony Wheeler, founder, Lonely Planet

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following link to read pages from Dateline Mongolia. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Chapter 1 - The Frozen Capital

  •  

    Hong Kong Unveiled is an "access all areas" pass into Chinese culture and customs. Though written with a Hong Kong slant, it applies to any Chinese community worldwide.

    Invited to a Chinese wedding or business function and don’t know the correct form? This book will lead you through the minefield where an innocent mistake could see you lose your friend or your business connection. Want to change a run of bad luck? Or are your jokes falling flat with your Chinese friends? Find out how and why in this far-ranging book – which also explains how many seemingly strange customs came about.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the links to read pages from Hong Kong Unveiled. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Introduction   Mistranslations   At the restaurant

  •  

    In 2010, bookish 22-year-old Shannon follows her Eurasian boyfriend to Hong Kong, eager to forge a new love story in his hometown. But when work sends him to London a month later, Shannon embarks on a wide-eyed newcomer's journey through Hong Kong – alone.

    She teaches in a local school as the only foreigner, explores Asia with other young expats and discovers family history in Hong Kong, all while trying to hold on to her thwarted romance. The city enchants her, forcing her to question her plans. Soon, she must make a choice between her new life and the love that first brought her to Asia.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the following links to view sample pages from Year of Fire Dragons. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    One  Two

  • by Jonathan Chamberlain, with a foreword by John Blofeld

    Chinese gods: Who are they? Where did they come from? What do they do?

    Chinese folk religion is the underlying belief system of more than a billion Chinese people. Go into any Chinese home, office or restaurant and you will see altars, statues or paper ‘good luck’ images. And wherever there is a Chinese community there are temples and Earth God shrines. But what is the religion that makes sense of all these expressions of belief? How do these beliefs connect to Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism?

    Chinese Gods helps us understand the building blocks of this religion for which even the Chinese have no name – because the beliefs are so intertwined with language and culture they have no independent existence – and provides an in-depth analysis of 19 of the major gods of the Chinese pantheon.

    Look inside this book Click on the links to view sample pages from Chinese Gods. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. 

    Contents & Preface  Kuan Ti