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  • 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


  • In the depths of the 2003 SARS crisis, Mike Rowse (盧維思), a career Hong Kong civil servant, was handed the poisoned chalice of HarbourFest – intended to be (and which in many ways was) a psychological and commercial shot in the arm. Politics, as it often does, took precedence over sense, and Rowse was scapegoated for the perceived failings of this attempt to pull off a world-class entertainment festival in only three months.

    Rowse endured disciplinary hearings and ended up taking the Hong Kong Government to court. He won.

    This true story of HarbourFest is not just an insider’s account of the workings of the Hong Kong Government; it is also a thoughtful treatise on the drawbacks of the Ministerial Accountability System, a system which failed HarbourFest and Rowse, there being No Minister who ever took responsibility.

  • 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
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    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

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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

  • 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 

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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

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    “Kung Fu?” The Big Boss Loves Adventure

    Even four decades after the passing of Asian martial-arts superstar Bruce Lee (1940-73), his achievements still attract adoration from millions of movie fans. The biggest fan of all may be Jon Benn, who befriended the high-kicking hero while playing “the Big Boss”, a villain in Lee’s acclaimed 1972 movie The Way of the Dragon.

    In Remembering Bruce Lee, a tell-tale autobiography, Jon reminisces fondly about his experiences with Lee and a lifetime of other adventures. From facing Lee’s fists of fury to riding in a cowboy posse, from almost starting the Third World War to a nude scene with sex symbol Bo Derek, much has happened to Jon for the sake of appearing in movies.

    But that’s not all. From exploring ancient Mexican temples and falling into a volcano to eavesdropping on communists in Cold War Europe, from doing business with former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos to girls-in-hot-pants waving Passports to Pleasure, one heck of a lot has happened to Jon away from the cameras too.

    Look inside this book
    Click on the link to read pages from Remembering Bruce Lee. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. 

    Contents & Introduction

     

  • by Paul Ulrich Can the Chinese foil a US oil grab in the Middle East? This topical spy thriller captures the turmoil of the 'war on terror' and weaves agents of the Chinese Government into the plot, pulling the reader into a world of subterfuge and shifting alliances which may well mirror tomorrow's headlines. The story: A young China expert at the US embassy in Riyadh learns a shocking secret: the US will use a hostage crisis as a pretext to invade the Saudi kingdom and seize control of its oilfields. Meanwhile, the daughter of a radical cleric is desperate to escape an arranged marriage. As she attempts to flee the country, her half-brother becomes embroiled in an Al-Qaeda plot to drive out the American infidels -- a plan the newly assertive Chinese are determined to stop. As the US and China compete for mastery of the Gulf, an American diplomat risks betraying his country and a Saudi woman risks her life -- but what price betrayal in a land ruled and divided by harsh Islamic law? Look inside this book Click on the following link to view sample pages from Saudi Match Point. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Prologue
  • 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


  • 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

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    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.

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    In this full-colour book illustrating life in the colourful area south of Hollywood Road, Hong Kong, Lorette Roberts paints the town red – and orange, and yellow, and green, and blue… 

    There is a centre foldout of the rainbow-hued Staunton Street restaurants; elsewhere you will find the crimsons and pinks of tiny boutiques and musicians playing live in a purple bar. And those Soho-ites – from uniform in their working clothes to bright and exotic in their street party costumes – they are all there. You might even see yourself! 

    Yet there is more: the reds and golds of the temple and lantern shops, the muted ochres and turquoises of the old shophouses, the green trees and busy street market in vivid colour and, last but not least, the silver of the Mid-Levels Escalator which leads us to this vibrant district.

    A fold-out map at the back of the book will guide you through the less familiar streets. And don't forget to check out the connections between each page and find the ubiquitous snails. 

    Part of a series of best-selling books by this well-known artist, Sketches of Soho is the perfect gift item for residents and visitors alike.

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    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'

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    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.

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    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

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    The book you are holding contains secrets and stories about Hong Kong that have never before been published. Prepare to have your preconceived notions of this bustling Asian financial hub butchered as you journey through crevices, enter hidden portals, clamber over barbed-wire fences, evade security guards and infiltrate derelict structures to travel back in time. Your hosts are an anonymous grassroots squad of explorers who will show you a side of Hong Kong only a specialist minority know about.

    Although the city has some of the most expensive property on the planet, an unknown world awaits beyond the shimmering skyscrapers and under the glitzy malls. This is the hidden kingdom of non-spaces: environments and structures that lie fallow, usually abandoned and left to rot, or suspended in limbo awaiting evictions and demolition. The HK Urbex crew – a covert collective of urban explorers whose exploits merge archaeology, ethnography, historiography and anthropology – unearth dead zones on the periphery of the city. They invite you to explore haunted schools, rummage through old crime scenes, reconnoitre condemned buildings and uncover the scraps of modernisation which won’t be recorded in history books.

    So come inside, confront the aesthetic of loss, discover the value of dead architecture and see Hong Kong as you’ve never seen it before.



  • Fighting to survive on a police patrol launch during a typhoon, and investigating a murder by a Vietnamese gangster in a refugee camp. Battling riots during the Cultural Revolution, countering drug smuggling and pimping by the triads, and dealing with bank robbers in a hostage situation. These are just some of the stories told in this riveting compilation of personal experiences of former Royal Hong Kong Police officers.

    In 1997, Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty after 156 years of British rule. This collection of no-holds-barred accounts by some 50 individual police officers, put together by three former colleagues, illustrates the last decades of the colony’s colourful history. This is what life was really like on the front line.

    LOOK INSIDE THIS BOOK
    Click the following link to read excerpts from the book.

    Contents, preface and three stories

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    Based on true stories and new research, Paul French weaves together the stories of those Jewish refugees who moved on from wartime Shanghai to seek a possible route to freedom via the Portuguese colony of Macao – “the Casablanca of the Orient”.

    The delicately balanced neutral enclave became their wartime home, amid Nazi and Japanese spies, escaped Allied prisoners from Hong Kong, and displaced Chinese.

    Strangers on the Praia relates the story of one young woman’s struggle for freedom that would ultimately prove an act of brave resistance.

     

  • Out of stock

    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 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.


  • 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.

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    Western men are beguiled in their thousands by the enchanting women of Thailand. But many make poor choices when it comes to marrying women whose needs, habits and expectations are very different from their own, and a clash of cultures can ruin a romance.

    Who better to advise than a Thai woman herself? No topic is taboo as Pop Soisangwan offers insider knowledge on how to secure a successful match. Illustrated with humorous cartoons.

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

    What do Thais think of you?

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    When men come back from wars, they bring their wars back with them

    When Joe dies, his brother Jack thinks it’s an accident... until the parcel arrives with Joe’s diaries and notebooks, and the map of the cabin high up in the Appalachians where Joe’s war buddy, Wash, is hiding out with a girl he’s kidnapped – just the latest in a long line of girls. Joe has one last favour to ask of his brother. He wants Jack to rescue the girl and – if he has to – kill Wash too.

    So starts a complex and intense tale that involves a journey back to Vietnam and into the dark past: a past where Clausewitz, the philosopher of war, meets de Sade, the philosopher of man’s own individual evil.

    But there are too the incendiary eyes of innocent judgment. And there is love – and love is complicated.

    Look inside this book
    Click on this link to view sample pages from The Alphabet of Vietnam. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Chapter 1

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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)