Seven long reads to see you through Typhoon Hato, from family sagas to sea cucumbers

Forced to stay at home and unable to work? It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up on some reading – so we picked seven of our recent favourites for you to sink your teeth into while the wind howls outside

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 August, 2017, 9:32am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 August, 2017, 9:57am

There’s no time like the enforced rest a typhoon brings Hongkongers to get stuck into some of those long reads you meant to dive into but just didn’t have the time for. So we scoured our archives for a few you may have missed.

1. Hong Kong’s Waglan Lighthouse: the light’s on, but nobody’s home

It’s probably a good thing this lighthouse is no longer manned, given the waves Typhoon Hato is likely to whip up today. The lighthouse and the buildings surrounding it comprise Hong Kong’s most remote monument.

2. How a Chinese-Jamaican’s family history quest led her to Hong Kong

A British-born, American-raised, twentysomething of Chinese and Afro-Jamaican ancestry travels to China to better understand her compli­cated family history.

3. Hong Kong’s Dried Seafood Street demystified: the smells, what sells, and the ways it keeps you well in Chinese tradition

Des Voeux Road West has been home to seafood vendors since the 19th century and is the place to go for dried abalone, sea cucumber and fish maw, as well as cordyceps fungus and other dried mushrooms

4. The story of Hong Kong’s newest old junk, built by hand the traditional way in China

The scarlet-sailed Aqua Luna has gained a sister vessel, built at one of the last shipyards still with the skills to assemble a wooden junk by hand – skills Hong Kong itself has lost

5. Shanghai Metro: keeping world’s longest mass-transit rail system on track

We talk to some of the 28,000 staff who keep the trains running on time on the city’s ever-expanding network, and find out why it wants to be like the MTR in some respects, but not in others.

6. Homegrown Hong Kong: the wholesome story of Vitasoy

Started in 1940 as a way to fight malnutrition among Hong Kong’s growing immigrant population, Vitasoy has gone from strength to strength, and remains a quintessential part of the city’s identity.

7. The Hong Kong half-brother I never knew, and the life I owe him

“You were two sons rolled into one,” his mother told Ian Gill the first time they visited his half-brother’s grave in Stanley Military Cemetery. But for little Brian’s death in 1944, the author might never have been conceived.