Welcome to Batgung

Our articles about Hong Kong are grouped as follows – just click on the section that interests you, or scroll down to see the most recent articles. If you can't find what you're looking for, please leave a question in the discussion forum.

Visit Hong Kong
Move to Hong Kong
Hong Kong daily life
Old Hong Kong

Mr Tall's quest for manly bread

The other day I found myself staring forlornly into the rapidly enmist-ifying depths of my freezer. I was looking for a pack of bread to set out to thaw for my lunch the next day. And all I could see through the swirling fog was a clinical white plain of barren nothingness . . . there was none.

I recovered from my horror with a little trip down to Park N Shop to buy some of its floppy, over-risen, vaguely sweet bread. Read more »

Black-Belt Batgung

If you're already writing in to the site (thank you!) I hope these 'how-to' notes will give you some new ideas of what is possible here.

And if you're currently a reader, but thinking about writing in, I hope you'll see it isn't difficult. Read more »

Gung Hei Fat Choi!

Maybe it's too much to wish for 'prosperous' this year, so we'll settle for wishing you a happy and healthy year of the Ox.

Stuff White Expats Like

MrB and I both are fans of a recent Internet phenomenon, Stuff White People Like. I strongly encourage you to go and experience the site for yourself, if you’ve not done so already, as I think it’s one of the best satirical efforts I’ve seen in many a year. Read more »

A better way to locate photos

We've made some changes so that it's easier to give photos a location. That in turn will make it easier to search for photos that you are interested in.

What it is

If you look at a photo (the software we use to run this site calls them 'images'), you'll now see a new section 'Places shown in this photo:'. And, ta-da, it is followed by a list of the places you can see in the photo.

Similarly, if you look at a place, you'll see a new section 'Photos that show this place', which ... well, you know already. Read more »

Confessions of a Story Uncle

Occasionally I get to be the 'story uncle' at MissB's kindergarten, reading in English to the local children. As I walk along to the classroom, my mind runs ahead, painting a pretty picture of the scene that awaits - a crowd of young students, waiting eagerly to drink from the fountain of knowledge...

The teachers do their best to maintain the illusion but alas, when you're five, you tend to tell it how it is. Read more »

Surviving the Financial Tsunami

Mrs Tall and I are hopelessly old-fashioned. When we bought our current flat, times in Hong Kong were bad: we signed our purchase agreement just a couple of weeks after 9/11. Property agents were desperate for business, as were the developers themselves. We could therefore get not only an ordinary mortgage covering 70% of our flat’s price, but also (since our building was new) a loan from the developer covering an additional 25% (at a higher interest rate, of course). We had to come up with just a 5% down payment.  Read more »

A tribute to the northeast monsoon

This past weekend we saw one of the sharpest and most welcome weather changes I can remember here in Hong Kong. This year’s unusually hot and humid autumn finally gave way to the gloriously Mediterranean-style sun and dry air we expected to arrive several weeks earlier.

What was the problem? Why did it stay so uncomfortably steamy so long this year? We can blame it all on the failure of the northeast monsoon to arrive on time.  Read more »

Fast food in Hong Kong

We’ve all seen those lists: ‘You know you’re a redneck when . . .’ or ‘You know you’ve been abducted, probed and brainwashed by aliens when . . .’, and so on.

Well, I’ve got an entry in the ‘You know you’ve been an expat in Hong Kong for long time when . . .’ list. That is: ‘I know I’ve been in Hong Kong for a long time when I get excited by the prospect of going to Fairwood Fast Food for a weekend breakfast.’

No, really!  Read more »

School open days: what to look for

Most primary schools will have at least one open-day, for parents to visit and take a look around. Here are some suggestions on how to get the most out of the visit. Read more »

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