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Travelers' Tales Hong Kong Paperback – January 13, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Both works offer tremendous amounts of information on Hong Kong and lesser information on Portuguese Macao and the Guangdong province of China, of increasing interest as the Chinese takeover of 1997 approaches. The Kranniches concentrate on Hong Kong as a perfect "shop till you drop" destination. Their guide explains how travelers can make the most of their expeditions, whether of the do-it-yourself variety or via inexpensive tours. The authors discuss pretrip planning, arrival formalities, accommodations, restaurants, sightseeing information, the art of bargaining, wares, shipping, and myriad other details. Lengthy appendixes cover tailoring tips and recommended shops by type of product handled and location. The new Travelers' Tales volume joins a series that already has covered Thailand (1993) and France (1995), with "tales" meant for those interested in discovering the character of a place, not the details necessary for enjoying it. The Hong Kong volume includes 52 tales, mostly written in the 1990s by writers ranging from Pico Iyer and Paul Theroux to an ex-British magistrate, a Chinese American visiting Canton, and an Indian tourist who could not wait to escape the place. This is a book best sampled in small doses, as the breadth of coverage is broad indeed, from cuisine to superstition, from racism to horse races, and everything in between. Both works are highly recommended for public libraries and travel collections.?William R. Smith, Johns Hopkins Univ. Lib., Baltimore
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

Hong Kong is the crossroads of many worlds, many pasts, and many futures, and in it we might read our own fortunes as individuals and nations. Hong Kong is not only the most unique of world marketplaces, it is a city-state (or "colony," since it is still that too) on the apex of history, as the twilight of the British Empire unfolds into the uncertain future of Chinese communism, but the very certain future of control by the mighty commercial engine that is China. Hong Kong is also a world library of cultures and peoples and wisdom from both Asia and the West, a petrie dish of enterprise and modes of humanity. It is London, New York, Beijing, and Tokyo, all rolled into one. And, especially in view of the historic transition from British to Chinese rule, it is the world's window onto tomorrow. Come lean on the sill, take a deep breath, and wonder. Stories include: A Perfect Pig, Loving the Alien, A Leg up on Fate, The Food Doctor, City of the Main Chance, Bright Yellow and I, and A Case of Immaculate Conception. Just a few of the notable authors you'll find in this book: Paul Theroux, Jan Morris, Bruce Chatwin, Simon Winchester, Suzy Gershman, David Yeadon, and Julia Wilkinson.

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Product Details

  • Series: Travelers' Tales Guides
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Travelers' Tales (January 13, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885211031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885211033
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,967,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By ReMark 4N on December 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book two weeks before our first (but hopefully not last) trip to Hong Kong. Other travel books gave me information on where to stay, where to eat, where to buy. But this book told me stories that made me eager to experience the SAR.
We first arrived in Hong Kong early one morning, tired, but determined to do something on our first day. We set out for the Star Ferry, something you must take whenever you have the chance. Taking the MTR subway to Central, we came above ground to find ourselves in the midst of what initially appeared to be some sort of social unrest. There was an official ceremony going on in the park, blocked off by police. There were thousands of women massed right outside. Both sides seemed ill at ease with the other.
Jet-lagged, we were rather apprehensive as we tried to find our way out to the ferry. Until I realized that it was Sunday, and that the voices sang a different song than the Cantonese we had heard so far. We were in the midst of Fillipina housemaids who gather on their one day off to visit with their countrywomen. I explained to my wife what was happening, including a description of what life was like for these women and how they came to be there. Elaine wanted to know how I knew this.
"I read about it in the Traveler's Tales book".
This book told stories of Hong Kong that steered us to places we might not have learned from the traditional guides and gave us a flavor for places that we knew not to go to.
I've read the Japanese guide. I don't know if it will prove to be as good as the Hong Kong book in the field, but it has proven to me that this is an entertaining series to the armchair tourist as well as intrepid travelers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ngreenup@sbch.org on August 14, 1997
Format: Paperback
I first was attracted to this book by its cover--a
charming photo of the happy faces of a group of
Chinese men watching an opera and, once I had read
my first story, "A Perfect Pig", describing
Mr. Chung Wa Pui's long search for the perfect little white jade pig, I knew this was no ordinary
book. These, indeed, are "traveler's tales"--personal accounts selected from the writings of diverse individuls who have visited or lived in Hong Kong--choice selections offering a
pleasing mix of fact and folklore.
Did you know, for example, that the Portuguese influence in the East was such that Portuguese foods,
architectural designs, and even Portuguese words were borrowed by the Chinese and others? The Chinese word "joss", the incense burned in Buddhist temples, was adopted from the Portuguese
"dios"...We discover that, just a ferry boat ride
away from the teeming throngs of Hong Kong, Lantau, the largest of the 235 outlying islands--larger even than Hong Kong--provides miles of wooded areas and secluded beaches, linked
by hiking trails...We learn, also, of intriguing dining opportunities in Hong Kong, like the Yat Chau Health Restaurant, serving such delicacies as
Double-Boiled Wild Duck with Deer's Penis or Spring Chicken with Sea Dragon & Sea Horse, dishes
guaranteed to help restore one's physiological balance...Fascinating glimpses of a captivating part of the world. Truly a remarkable book. Nadine Greenup.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Helena on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
It was the last minute business trip offered to me earlier this year. It would have been my first trip to Asia. I was excited, scared and anxious at the same time. A business woman all alone in Hong Kong for a month? I had to learn about the place. So I came across this book in my local library and it was a gem! Book contains first hand experience stories written by western travelers visiting Hong Kong. Some were there for the first time, some had ancestors there, some were expatriots. But each and every story had unique voice and each and every one was wonderful account of the experiences one can expect to have while visiting this place of magic. I enjoyed the book because it had really funny stories, that would make you giggle. So one had to be careful not to read them in public because the occasional laugh would cause heads turn. However, I understood the culture, customs and people so well, that I got attached to Hong Kong more than I ever thought it possible. It was hearthbreking coming home. I know I will have to go there again. Soon. Business or otherwise. And then - I will carry with me my own copy of the Travelers Tales. It is one of the kind traveler's book. One that deserves to be displayed in personal library!
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By R. Mahnke on January 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have very much enjoyed some of the other Travelers Tales anthologies (San Francisco, Hawaii, Paris) and would not hesitate to recommend them. The Hong Kong anthology, while fine, was not quite as strong. Too many of the pieces, I thought, were about first-time visitors' initial reactions. As a first-time visitor, I was more interested in writing by people who knew Hong Kong well. Nevertheless, this is worth reading before a trip to Hong Kong.
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