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Books on Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is 236 different islands where history, Chinese heritage, ancient festivals and rural tranquillity rub shoulders with countless shops, restaurants, markets, concert halls, pleasure parks and museums.

Hong Kong is stylish hotels, designer clothes and sometimes high prices. But it is tops for service and always value for money.

Hong Kong has always been a highly-charged assault on the senses - even more so as visitors flock to see the colony now it is under Chinese rule. But even with Hong Kong's return to China, it is unlikely that the basic tourist attractions of shopping sightseeing - and good food - will ever change.


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Searching for information on Hong Kong was something of a surprise. There are lots of commercial pages, travel agents, companies and government statistics but very little in the way of real independent information presented in an interesting way. However, we found a few and the first is this site from marimari.com.
The information is presented in a clear, easy to navigate, style and is resonably comprehensive although a bit dry for my taste. The categories covered are:
  • Popular Places
  • Best of Hong Kong
  • Entertainment
  • Shopping
  • Special Interests
  • Transport
  • Food in Hong Kong
  • Restaurants
  • Travel Tips
  • General Info

I like the opening paragraph:
Hong Kong was incipiently considered a worthless plot of land with no resources and little flat-lying areas. Most of the flat areas we see today are reclaimed land. The British Empire saw no merit in the island

To begin your exploration of this worthless plot of land (!), visit:
http://www.marimari.com/content/hong_kong/popular_places/hongkong_islands/main.html
 
Lonely Planet guides can always be relied upon to provide useful information, and the Hong Kong guide is no exception. They sum up the city as "a city geared not only to making money but feeling good about it. At night, it's like looking down into a volcano."

The short history section is sobering reading in today's political climate - the west's tactics to protect its economic interests are not always in keeping with the standards we profess to hold dear.

With the amount of information that Lonely Planet have to offer, you may decide it's better to buy the book, but if you simply want to browse and get an idea of what Hong Kong is about, you can do so on:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/china/hong-kong
 
Said to have a hundred years history, every year in May all people on the island of Cheun Chao must keep to a vegetarian diet for three days; on the last day a procession is held. Prior to 1978, at midnight the young men of the island climbed to the top of bamboo towers and threw buns all over the crowd. However, after the collapse of one of the towers in 1978 this custom was stopped. Nevertheless, the event is great fun and this site presents an outstanding collection of photos and videos to bring the excitement and noise of the procession to your screen. Turn up the volume and take a look at:
http://www.cheungchau.org/
 
Hidden carefully within the extremely dry Hong Kong SAR Government Information Centre is the Photo Gallery District Tour. Nothing to enthuse ecstatically about, but it does contain a series of photo strips based on various districts and themes which give a good flavour of the area. As with many of these government sponsored sites around the world, they assume we all have the latest high speed connection and powerful PCs, so it may be a bit slow to load. Take a look for yourself on:
http://www.tourism.gov.hk/english/photo/photo_district.html
 
Of the many books on Hong Kong, we would recommend thoroughly these two which are available from Amazon Books:
A list of other books is available here
 
Links to other information on The Web


East Asia in Focus
Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional This document was last updated 29 January 2010
2010 Graham G Hawker