Intrepid (sort of) quintet launch book about trip to faraway lands

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 March, 2009, 12:00am

Five go to South America. No, not a tale of crime and espionage by Enid Blyton, but the story of five young male Hongkongers who embarked on a four-week trip to Argentina, Peru and Venezuela, before going on a safari in Kenya.

One of them, Gerald Yeung, 22, wrote a daily journal of 500 words. He felt he owed it to his mother, since she was financing the trip. Sometimes it was arduous to write over 30 days, but when he returned, Yeung, who works in engineering but would like to write more, decided to send a proposal to Proverse Hong Kong, which helped him to produce a book of the quintet's travels.

Wannabe Backpackers: The Latin American & Kenyan Journey of Five Spoiled Teenagers was one of three books launched on Wednesday evening by Proverse at the Helena May on the edge of the Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival. And they are spoiled. The parents pay for the trip, they stay at cushy hotels and one of their siblings keeps up '24-hour technological support'. It's a Hong Kong story of roughing it the nice way. But they readily admit that. The story is about the interaction among the five during their 30 days on the road together.

The five are former pupils of St Paul's Co-educational College and have known one another for 12 years. Four of them shared microphones on Wednesday to tell tales of their escapades.

'Some things we found out about one another, we really didn't want to know,' said Brian Wong, 22, who now works at the Bank of East Asia. The others were Pierre Ying Shu-lam, 23, Justin Wang Chin-wo, 22, and Louis Lai.

Gillian Bickley, co-founder of the publishing house, also announced a new cash prize for budding authors, to inspire poets and writers of fiction and non-fiction. For more details: