Uniquely Hong Kong

Hong Kong has its own unique way of seeing the world, and getting things done -- let's call it 'Cantoculture'. The Batgung confront it here.

A Performance Enjoyed By All

If you’re new to Hong Kong, you may have noticed that just about every Hong Kong kid seems to take music/art lessons. But most don’t take them at school, or at individual instructors’ homes or studios. Instead, their parents sign them up at for-profit organizations that serve as venues/clearinghouses for piano, singing, drawing and drama teachers to practice their necromancy – uh, I mean to apply their talents in passing along our civilization’s cultural heritage to today’s youth.  Read more »

A love letter to Hong Kong air travel

I will warn you: this whole article is a cliché: US air travel bad; Asian air travel good. Those of you who have traveled in both hemispheres will know all about this, and no doubt have your own stories, but I can’t resist telling mine.  Read more »

Chinese Soup

Soup doesn't get much attention in the UK. You might reheat a canned soup when you're too full for a proper meal, or mix powdered soup with boiling water when you're camping. But that's about it.

Things are different here – soup is a big deal. MrsB summed it up: “Don't drink soup? Then you'll get sick!” Read more »

Chinese New Year features

Since Chinese New Year is nearly upon us, here are some quick links to  few CNY-related Batgung articles. You can learn how to handle giving out red pockets, here and here; and see what kinds of activities and special events are on tap here. MrB ruminates upon a particular CNY favorite here.

Happy CNY!

Hong Kong Smells

I can't see that as the HK Tourist Board's 2008 slogan, but it's still true - a visit to Hong Kong will give your nose a good workout. Read more »

Batgung banners collage

Batgung banners collage

Chinese New Year activities in Hong Kong

Another Chinese New Year has come around in Hong Kong, and it’s left me yet again with some mixed feelings. In that spirit, I’ve assembled a ‘thumbs-up/thumbs-down’ list of Hong Kong Chinese New Year stuff.

The flower markets. Perhaps the single most famous attraction in HK at CNY are its massive ‘Lunar New Year Fairs’, which everyone calls ‘flower markets’. Read more »

Wedding banquets in Hong Kong

I attended a colleague’s wedding banquet recently. In the run-up to this event, I was reminded of how many little questions can pop up for expats who may be going to their first banquet in Hong Kong. It’s actually fairly easy to answer such questions because Hong Kong wedding banquets are pretty much all the same. So I hope these general tips make your banqueting more enjoyable and gaffe-free. Read more »

Chinese medicine

Have you ever tried Chinese medicine? If you subscribe to the “the worse it tastes, the more good it does you” view of medicine, you’d expect miracles from some of the foul-smelling soups that get served up by Chinese doctors. Still, given that Hong Kong has the second longest life-expectancy in the world, it must be doing something right!

Even if you never visit a Chinese doctor, your stay in Hong Kong will still feel the influence of the Chinese medicine system. Your first encounter is likely to be when you notice the distinctive appearance of a medicine shop, or the smell from a herbal tea stall.  Read more »

The mixmyth revisited: mixed race children in Hong Kong

As we’ve recently had a couple of interesting comments on my initial mixmyth article, I thought I’d post a follow-up.

Daughter Tall, my own nicely mixed daughter, is now four years old. Within just the past few weeks, we’ve had to confront the issue of her mixed race, as her biracial status has just dawned on her.  Read more »

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