Destination: Hong Kong

Uncensored ‘Lust, Caution’ Spurs Moviegoer Tourism in Hong Kong

The latest Ang Lee movie has been censored in mainland China, so throngs of the country’s citizens are traveling to Hong Kong specifically to see the uncut version. “Travelers have made their way to Hong Kong to see movies before, of course, but always in much smaller numbers,” reports the New York Times. “Critics and commentators here attribute the interest in Mr. Lee’s movie to a variety of factors, from word of mouth about risqué sexual content stripped from the censored version, to a sensitive political subtext rarely seen in mainland cinema, to the fame of the Academy Award-winning director.”

Read More »


Photo: Hong Kong Skyline, With Plane

The (very cool) photo below was shot in Hong Kong recently during the filming of the next Batman film, “The Dark Knight.” That’s a C-130 cargo plane. As an interesting aside, all hasn’t gone smoothly with the filming. Reports the Guardian: “The trouble began when director Christopher Nolan requested that Hong Kong’s inhabitants leave their lights burning during the film’s night-time shoots in order to present the city in its full, illuminated glory. Letters were reportedly sent to 60 companies along the city’s waterfront area, while building managers were told to ask all residents to comply with the request.” Nolan was met with a collective shrug. According to reports, 80 percent of those asked ignored the request.

Read More »


Hope and Squalor at Chungking Mansion

Chungking Mansion Hong Kong Photos via Wikipedia.

Karl Taro Greenfeld explores Hong Kong's notorious black-market bazaar and budget accommodations, and one possible over-populated, multi-ethnic future for us all

Read More »


Hong Kong Marks 10th Anniversary of Return to China

Photo of Hong Kong’s 10th anniversary parade by das farbamt via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

The streets of Hong Kong filled with revelers and protesters yesterday, the 10th anniversary of the date Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule. It was either a great occasion for students to meet and “have a fun day,” according to China’s People’s Daily Online, or, according to Western media reports, a day for pro-democracy advocates to once-again rally for more freedoms. World Hum contributor Daisann McLane put the situation into context in a recent story for Slate.

Read More »


Globespotters: IHT’s Correspondents Blog Paris, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Beyond

When foreign correspondents aren’t chasing down insurgents or dissidents, they’re wandering the back streets of their adopted cities, ferreting out the best croissant in Paris or bike path in Rome. A new travel blog from the International Herald Tribune—dubbed Globespotters—taps into this collective wisdom via posts from reporters in six world cities. In IHT’s words, it’s “an online resource where IHT reporters and editors (and readers too) share up-to-the-minute tips and recommendations about the cities where we live and visit.” So far, it’s a lively mix of local color and tips on things to do. My favorite: Joyce Lau’s take on the expat bacchanal that passes as Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong.

Photo by Harris Graber via Flickr, (Creative Commons).


The World Hum Travel Zeitgeist: The Road to Adventure

This week travelers were drawn to roads in California, Vietnam and danger zones throughout the world. Italy, France, Hong Kong and a discount startup airline were also top of mind. Here’s the Zeitgeist.

Most E-Mailed Travel Story
USA Today (current)
Puglia: Italy’s Heel Has It All, Except Tourists

Most E-mailed Travel Story
New York Times (current)
Practical Traveler: As Hotel Prices Rise, a Villa May Be a Bargain

Most Popular Travel Story
Netscape (this week)
Top 5 Most Dangerous Roads of the World
* The photos will make your stomach churn.

Most Viewed Travel Story
Los Angeles Times (current)
U.S. Highway 395: California’s ‘Mother Road’
* Here’s the accompanying photo gallery.

Most Read Weblog Post
World Hum (this week)
‘American Shaolin’: Interview with Matthew Polly

Top Travel and Adventure Audiobook
iTunes (current)
Fodor’s French for Travelers

Best Selling Travel Book
Amazon.com (current)
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

Read More »


How to Dig Dim Sum in Hong Kong

dim sum Photo by Valerie Ng

No visit is complete without indulging in the breakfast and lunch specialty. Valerie Ng explains the difference between cha siu bao and daan taat -- and where to dip your Chinese donut.

Read More »


The World Hum Travel Zeitgeist: The Explorers

Travelers appear top of mind this week, not destinations. The journeys of Daisann McLane, Bill Bryson, Paulina Porizkova, Martin Sargent, celebrity watchers and Dora the Explorer lead off the Zeitgeist.

Most Read Weblog Post
World Hum (this week)
Daisann McLane: ‘Learning Cantonese’ in Hong Kong

Most Popular Travel Podcast
iTunes (current)
Travel Song Medley by Dora the Explorer

Most Read Story
World Hum (this week)
Paulina Porizkova: A Model Traveler

Most Read Travel Story
USA Today (current)
Oscars Tourism: Celebrity Sightings and a Hotel Within Gawking Distance of the Red Carpet

Best Selling Travel Book
Amazon.com (current)
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
* We like this book.

Most Popular Travel Story
Netscape (current)
Area-Daily.com Launches

Most Popular Page Tagged Travel
Del.icio.us (recent)
Farecast

Top Travel and Adventure Audiobook
iTunes (current)
A Walk in the Woods

Most Dugg Travel Podcast
Digg (current)
Martin Sargent: Web Drifter

Read More »


Daisann McLane: ‘Learning Cantonese’ in Hong Kong

Back in 2003, we noted a terrific story by Daisann McLane about studying Cantonese in New York City’s Chinatown. Many Chinese immigrants thought she was crazy to take up Cantonese. After all, Mandarin is the official language in China and is more commonly spoken. But as McLane wrote, “[W]hen I spread my Chinese homework out on restaurant and coffee shop tables, unexpected things happen. It is as if a door swings open and Chinatown invites me into the house to meet the family.” Since then, McLane, a columnist at National Geographic Traveler and the author of Cheap Hotels, has not only continued her studies, but she picked up and moved to Hong Kong. To document her experience there, she launched a blog earlier this month called Learning Cantonese. I recently traded e-mails with her about it. 

Read More »


Travel Writers Pick Their Favorite Airports

USA Today’s Jayne Clark asks a handful of travel writers about their favorite airports in today’s edition. Among them: The Naked Tourist author Lawrence Osborne, who notes about his favorite, Wamena, Irian Jaya, on the island of New Guinea, “It’s the anti-airport. It has almost no staff. There is no glass in the windows, just naked men in pig fat jumping up and down.” Hmmm. Could be worth a trip just to see that.

Read More »


Moscow vs. Lonely Planet

Politics, business and travel often intertwine. Take, for example, Lonely Planet. Recently, the guidebook giant has lobbied the United States Congress to support a National Passport Month. In 2002, Hong Kong took issue with Lonely Planet’s guidebook coverage. In 2004, Burma Campaign UK called for a boycott of the guidebook giant simply for publishing a book about the country. Now it’s Moscow’s turn to take some shots at LP. From a story by Tom Parfitt in the Guardian: “Moscow officials have launched an attack on Lonely Planet, saying the backpackers’ guide portrays the Russian capital as a gangster-infested Gotham and presents an image of the city that is at least 15 years out of date.”

Read More »


Boeing 777-200LR Lands in London, Sets Nonstop Flight Record

The plane, which departed from Hong Kong yesterday with four pilots aboard, landed at Heathrow airport in London today after 22 hours and 43 minutes in the air—and two sunrises. MSNBC, the Telegraph and many others have details. 


Record-Breaking 23-Hour Nonstop Flight Takes Off

Captain Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann took off from Hong Kong Wednesday morning in a Boeing 777-200LR and set out for London—heading eastbound, the long way around. Four Boeing test pilots are scheduled to share flying duties during the 12,500-nautical-mile flight, which Seattle Times reporter Dominic Gates writes will be a distance record for a commercial jet.

Read More »


World Tourism Organization: 100 Million Chinese Travelers by 2020

How significant is the number? Consider this: Chinese citizens were only freed by their government to travel for leisure in 1997, and last year only 29 million mainland Chinese citizens traveled abroad. Tom Miller of the China Economic Quarterly writes that the upcoming Chinese tourism boom is a mixed blessing for Europe’s tourism economy.

Read More »


Cleo Paskal, What’s the Biggest Reward of Life as a Travel Writer?

Responds the Canadian writer in an interview with Rolf Potts: “Miss America Pageant Answer: I get to publicize small, owner-operated businesses that are interesting and doing a good job…Also, I get to broaden the world view of my readers, making them think beyond the horrors that are reported in the foreign section of the paper. The world really is an amazing, wonderful place. Answer To Guy Who Dumped Me: I am writing this from a Cathay Pacific business class seat on my way to Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Taiwan, I’m hoping to meet the Papal Nuncio. What are youdoing this weekend?” That’s hilarious.