• Roving Through Southern China: An American’s Explorations of Hong Kong, Macao and Canton in the early 1920s

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    By Harry Franck, introduced and annotated by Paul French
     
    No. 4 in the China Revisited series
     
    In the 1920s the American travel writer Harry A Franck was known to readers as the “Prince of Vagabonds”. His wanderings were family affairs and he arrived in southern China in 1923 with his wife, their two young children and his mother. Franck always claimed that his travel plans were random, subject to chance encounters and whatever caught his eye.
     
    He arrives in a Hong Kong which is building modern department stores and large houses while labourers sleep on straw mats beside the harbour. In Macao he visits temples, ancient forts and, of course, casinos. And then to Canton (Guangzhou), a city in flux where new buildings are transforming the waterfront, the ancient city walls are being demolished, and the traditional rookeries of small lanes are being replaced by wide asphalt roads as the city rapidly modernises. Franck also provides us with a highly detailed description of Shamian Island a year after the tumultuous strikes and boycotts that meant naval gunboats and barbed wire still protected the small foreign enclave.
  • Time Tourists: Extinct mammals go on holiday

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    Everyone loves dinosaurs, but so many other groups of wonderfully weird (and often giant) animals used to roam the Earth too – they just never had as good a publicist. The planet has seen tons of bizarre-looking mammals, which were closer to us both in biology and in time.

    What if they took a holiday from being extinct?

    Take a trip around the globe with these outlandish “time tourists” as they visit the modern-day places each species once called home. Colour your way through space and time and help make their travels brilliant!

  • China Revisited: a series bundle

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    China Revisited is a series of extracted reprints of mid-nineteenth to early-twentieth century Western impressions of Hong Kong, Macao and China. The series comprises excerpts from travelogues or memoirs written by missionaries, diplomats, military personnel, journalists, tourists and temporary sojourners.

    They came to China from Europe or the United States, some to work or to serve the interests of their country, others out of curiosity. Each excerpt is fully annotated to best provide relevant explications of Hong Kong, Macao and China at the time, to illuminate encounters with historically interesting characters or notable events.

    Save 20% by buying this bundle which includes the following items in the series. Please click on their titles below to read full details.

    1 x Where Strange Gods Call: Harry Hervey's 1920s Hong Kong, Macao and Canton Sojourns

    1 x Wanderings in China: Hong Kong and Canton, Christmas and New Year, 1878/1879

    1 x LING-NAM: Hong Kong, Canton and Hainan Island in the 1880s

    1 x Roving Through Southern China: An American’s Explorations of Hong Kong, Macao and Canton in the early 1920s

  • LING-NAM: Hong Kong, Canton and Hainan Island in the 1880s

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    By Benjamin Couch 'BC' Henry, introduced and annotated by Paul French
     
    No. 3 in the China Revisited series
     
    Benjamin Couch “BC” Henry was a missionary in Hong Kong and southern China in the second half of the 19th century. He arrived in 1873 and remained until 1894. Yet he was much more too – a keen observer, a skilled naturalist and an intrepid explorer. His fascination with the flora and fauna of Hong Kong and southern China are obvious throughout the pages of LING-NAM.
     
    The bulk of his career in China was spent in what was then commonly known as “Ling-nam”, the Pearl River Delta and environs of Guangzhou. These excerpts of Henry’s travelogue LING-NAM, published in 1886, contain one of the most detailed walking tours of Guangzhou that has survived. Similarly so his travels through the silk, tea and market garden regions adjoining the metropolis. Abd finally, we have Henry’s ground-breaking account of his expeditions around Hainan Island in 1882, then the most extensive undertaken to date by a foreigner. He was also a keen anthropologist interested in the island’s various ethnic groups, such as the Lois, as well as the various languages and dialects of Hainan. Henry’s portrait of southern China was built up over 20 years work and exploration in the region and provides one of the most in-depth looks at southern Chinese life from the growth of Hong Kong, to the bustling streets of Guangzhou, to Hainan’s “Island of Palms”.

    “Drifting slowly by a large collection of flower-boats, gay with lamps and mirrors, and richly furnished with black-wood sofas and embroidered curtains… Dire confusion is often created among the slipper-boats, whose anchorage adjoins, by the surging of the steamer against their outer lines, causing them to jump, and sputter, and dart about like a swarm of ants, shell-like craft, whilst they vociferously hurl maledictions at the great steamer.”

     

  • Wanderings in China: Hong Kong and Canton, Christmas and New Year, 1878/1879

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    By Constance Gordon-Cumming, introduced and annotated by Paul French
     
    No. 2 in the China Revisited series
     
    Inveterate Victorian traveller and prolific artist Constance Gordon-Cumming, born in Glasgow in 1837, roamed far and wide from the Scottish Highlands to the American West; the islands of Hawaii to southern China. Even among her many adventures, her 1878/1879 trip to Hong Kong was momentous. Gordon-Cumming arrived just before Christmas 1878 to inadvertently witness the terrible “Great Fire” of Hong Kong that swept devastatingly through the Central and Mid-Levels districts.
     
    She then moved on to explorations of the streets, temples and Chinese New Year festivities in Canton (Guangzhou). Her detailed descriptions of the teeming streets of the city’s commercial districts and New Year temple fairs contrast with her temporary residence in the relative calm of the foreign enclave on Shamian Island. Venturing out of the city on expeditions, Gordon-Cumming gives us perhaps one of the most complete descriptions of the now long-gone market gardens of Fa-tee with the famed nurseries that cultivated a bewildering variety of flowers and ornamental trees.

    Finally Gordon-Cumming returns to Hong Kong to observe the annual "Derby Day" races at Happy Valley in February 1879, a major event on Hong Kong’s Victorian-era social calendar. Gordon-Cumming is at one and the same time that rare travel writer who, while plunging into the throngs and crowds, manages to observe the minutiae of life around her.

    “The flames rapidly gained the mastery, suddenly bursting from fresh houses here and there, where least suspected, and spreading from street to street. That night we stood watching this appallingly magnificent scene – the flames rising and falling, leaping and dancing, now bursting from some fresh house, shooting up in tongues of fire, now rolling in dense volumes of black smoke.”

     

  • Where Strange Gods Call: Harry Hervey’s 1920s Hong Kong, Macao and Canton Sojourns

    HK$90.00
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    By Harry Hervey, introduced and annotated by Paul French
     
    No. 1 in the China Revisited series
     
    As a young man in the southern United States in the early years of the twentieth century Harry Hervey dreamt of travelling to Asia. He also dreamt of writing novels, movie scripts and travel books. He would do all these things. Eventually, in 1923, Hervey managed to find a way to get to the Far East working on a cruise liner. He was to spend time sojourning in Hong Kong, Macao and Guangzhou. His impressions of his travels through southern China, contained in his 1924 travelogue Where Strange Gods Call, is both lyrical and detailed, as well as atmospheric and informative. Walking from Central to Kennedy Town; the basement “dives” of Belcher’s Street to the private dining rooms of Queen’s Road; Macao’s Praia Grande to its infamous fan-tan houses, Hervey is a fascinating flâneur and guide. So too in Guangzhou, a city in upheaval, where Hervey encounters those fleeing warlord violence in the north and is granted an audience with Dr Sun Yat-sen.
     
    Hervey’s impressions of China would stay with him for the rest of his life, not least in his treatment for the 1932 movie Shanghai Express. Sadly, in the intervening century since the first publication of Where Strange Gods Call in 1924, Hervey’s name and work have been largely forgotten. Yet his early travel writing was to influence his later bestselling novels, popular short stories and Hollywood screenplays which, in turn, influenced American perceptions of Hong Kong, Macao and China.

    This publication of Hervey’s impressions of southern China also includes the sketches of his good friend the Savannah artist Christopher Murphy Jr., which were included in the first edition of Where Strange Gods Call and bring Hervey’s descriptions further to life.

    “Approaching Canton we were gliding past ugly, ramshackle dwellings and go-downs; grass-thatched house-boats, sampans, junks, and lighters, and millions of roofs that were flung in uneven terraces against the sky.”

     

  • Dateline Mongolia: An American journalist in nomad’s land

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    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

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    Chapter 1 - The Frozen Capital

  • How to Hong Kong: An illustrated travel journal

    HK$198.00
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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.

  • The Mercenary Mandarin: How a British adventurer became a general in Qing-dynasty China

    HK$138.00
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    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

  • Hong Kong for Kids: A Parent’s Guide

    HK$158.00
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    Hong Kong’s bestselling parents’ guide is back, completely revised for 2015 and more comprehensive than ever before, with 70+ outing ideas! Filled with exciting child-friendly activities to do, see and experience, Hong Kong for Kids gives parents and educators all the important information they need to have a successful and stress-free outing with kids.

    Whether you’re a tourist visiting the city for the first time, a seasoned expat, a life-long resident or a teacher planning a school field trip, this book is indispensable.

    Look inside this book
    Click below to view sample pages from Hong Kong for Kids. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.
    Contents
    Sham Shui Po themed street shopping
    Hong Kong Heritage Museum
    Victoria Peak Garden
    Sample maps

  • The Yunnan Cookbook: Recipes from China’s land of ethnic diversity

    HK$208.00
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    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.

  • The Taste of Old Hong Kong: Recipes and memories from 30 years on the China coast

    HK$158.00
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    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.

  • Tibet, the Last Cry

    HK$158.00
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    Eric Meyer and Laurent Zylberman were the only freelance journalists allowed into Tibet after the 2008 riots which left parts of Lhasa in ruins. They saw the friction between two cultures: police and soldiers patrol the towns, while crowds of Han immigrants pour into the region like new frontier settlers seeking their fortunes. Tibet is going through drastic economic change, shaking up ancient ways of life and altering the fragile ecological balance of the once-nomadic high plateau.

    China is massively investing to turn Tibet into a modern country. Downtown shops crammed with made-in-China fashion are run by battalions of saleswomen in uniform, and nightclubs draw crowds of Tibetan teenagers in search of Western music.

    A series of black-and-white photographs intertwine – often in a single shot – the clashes between two very different communities who have never fully understood each other. Narrated day by day, both text and images immerse the reader in an eye-opening journey across the roof of the world.

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    On Board the High Speed Train #T-27   Photo section 3

  • Kowloon: Unknown Territory

    HK$180.00
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    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.

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

  • Don’t Joke on the Stairs: How I learnt to navigate China by breaking most of the rules

    HK$128.00
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    China – what’s not to love?

    Join longtime Hong Kong resident and Cantonese fundamentalist Cecilie Gamst Berg as she ploughs through the non-stop surreal-fest that is today’s China, stopping occasionally to ruminate about the travails of trying to make Cantonese a world language, and how the Chinese have invented a new English: Manglish.

    In this book you’ll find answers to everything you wanted to know about China, such as:

    • What does “the slippery are very crafty” really mean?
    • What’s the etiquette for hitch-hiking in really small cars?
    • What’s the best way to gatecrash a Ketamine party?
    • Indeed, what is modern party etiquette in China? And:
    • How do you win a fist-fight with a hotel security guard?

    Travelling by horse, train and sleeper bus from the deserts of Xinjiang, across the mountains of Tibet and Sichuan to the water buffalo fields of Hong Kong, Cecilie shows you how China is not only the most happening place on Earth, but also the most fun.

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    Smile Comes Before a Fall

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    Dragon Bones: Two Years Beneath the Skin of a Himalayan Kingdom

    HK$128.00
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    Wedged deep in the Himalaya between India and China, the secretive kingdom of Bhutan guards its independence while around it, Sikkim and Tibet have been swallowed by the giants and Nepal is rife with unrest. Bhutan markets itself as the last Shangri-La, but a closer look reveals the turbulence that accompanies its efforts to join the Western world.

    Murray Gunn and his French wife came to love and better understand Bhutan while living there for two years — but risked their marriage in the process. A travel memoir of discovery and change.

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    11-19

  • Explore Macau: A walking guide and history

    HK$98.00
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    Walking is the best way to get to know any city, and Macau — the former Portuguese colony returned to China in 1999 — is made for walking. Only seven miles square, one can easily walk from the Border Gate to the A-Ma Temple at the tip of Macau in a day.

    This guidebook describes eight routes around the urban peninsula and its outlying islands, sufficient to explore and understand this fascinating old city and its unique blend of European and Asian architecture, cuisine and cultures.

    “An invaluable pocket guide that is perfect for the first-time visitor as well as old hands.” — South China Morning Post

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    Walk no. 3 - From Lilau Square to Barra Point

  • Waiting for the Dalai Lama: Stories from all sides of the Tibetan debate

    HK$118.00
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    Why does the issue of Tibet rouse such passions on both sides? And is there any way to find common ground?

    Chinese-speaking journalist Annelie Rozeboom worked as a foreign correspondent in China for ten years. During that time she was able to interview numerous Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet, as well as Chinese residents, Western observers and the Dalai Lama himself. As these people explain their life stories, it becomes clear to the reader why they think the way they do. The book also shows how history washed over this remote kingdom and how the Tibetans and the Chinese came to take such opposing positions.

    Waiting for the Dalai Lama is a uniquely valuable book which approaches the emotive issue of Tibet from all angles.

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    Chapter 1

  • The Great Walk of China: Travels on foot from Shanghai to Tibet

    HK$128.00
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    What kind of people would you meet if you decided to walk across the world's most populous country?

    The Great Walk of China is a journey into China's heartland, away from its surging coastal cities, where the ripples of prosperity are only just beginning to be felt and many find themselves left behind.

    Through his conversations with the people he meets along the way, the Chinese-speaking Earnshaw paints a portrait of a nation struggling to come to terms with its newfound identity and its place in the world. Our wandering guide never backs away from sensitive and sometimes uncomfortable topics, and captures the essential kindness and generosity of the Chinese people with brilliant clarity.

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    Click on the following link to view sample pages from The Great Walk of China. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.

    Prologue

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    CHINA: Portrait of a People

    HK$208.00
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    with foreword by Anchee Min and epilogue by Mian Mian

    The Beijing Olympics focused the world's eyes on China. But despite increased tourism and rampant foreign investment, the cultural distance between China and the West remains as vast as the oceans that separate them. The Middle Kingdom is still relatively unknown by Westerners.

    China is in fact made up of 33 distinct regions populated by 56 ethnic groups – and American photojournalist Tom Carter has visited them all. This little book is a visual tribute to the People's Republic of China, with an ardent emphasis on the People.

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    Click on the links below to see sample pages from CHINA: Portrait of a People. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts.

    Gansu  Hainan