Stuart Heaver
Stuart Heaver
Originally from Kent, England, former Naval officer and entrepreneur, Stuart Heaver is a full-time freelance writer and features journalist living and working in Hong Kong. He loves his job, the sea and his family but not necessarily in that order.

Away from the tourist magnets on Sri Lanka’s coast, the economic crisis is prompting eco-retreats to pioneer sustainable tourism while providing laid-back refuge in the country’s interior.

In the 1980s and ’90s, police engaged in sometimes fatal pursuit of powerful speedboats heading to mainland China carrying everything from handbags and VCRs to sports cars.

Ma Wan might have become the main British Empire trading settlement in southern China, not Hong Kong Island, but for a British army officer’s hasty survey in poor weather.

From elevating the neglected Tanka community to bringing their dragon boat races to the masses, Charles Thirlwell’s legacy still resonates in Hong Kong


After years of neglect, the sinking of the MV Baragoola, one of Sydney’s most famous ferries, highlights the disdain people have for the city’s maritime heritage, one expert says.

The owner of Dream Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Star Cruises and three shipyards that built cruise liners, Genting was well positioned to profit from China’s cruise holiday boom. Then came Covid-19.

The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, founded 150 years ago, faces questions about the welfare of the animals – apes, monkeys, birds and reptiles – in its cramped enclosures.

Scottish engineer David Marr Henderson built the lighthouses that made 19th century China a trading nation – 34 in all. Fascinated by Chinese culture, he almost certainly had a secret Chinese family. And he owned brothels.

The first Chinese to arrive in Britain in the late 18th century set themselves up in Limehouse, East London, where they built a thriving community, despite the lurid image painted of them by the gutter press.

The remains of 499 Chinese gold miners aboard a ship bound for Hong Kong sank to the bottom of the Tasman Sea 118 years ago. The discovery of the ship, and now of bones in the wreck, has stoked a row about whether to bring them up for burial.

New plans to transform China’s island province of Hainan into a business and tourism powerhouse have raised questions about how it can protect its rich natural environment and unique wildlife, but not everyone is worried.

Sailors are feeling the strain of having been on board ships for up to a year without a break. Regular crew changes have been halted because of health restrictions and the difficulty of flying in replacements, and shore leave cancelled.

Unable to obtain a commission in the US Navy, naval officer Philo Norton McGiffin left America in 1885 for China, where he helped modernise the Imperial Chinese Navy and was severely wounded during a fight against the Japanese.

Voluntary or compulsory community service for Hong Kong’s youth – such as helping with poverty alleviation – could help enhance social cohesion among city’s individualistic ‘me’ generation in absence of military service, an academic says.

More than 400 historical items at the Hong Kong Marine Police Headquarters tell colourful tales of 178 years of marine law enforcement in the city. Very few people have seen the secret haul, but that might be about to change.

When Ann Pearce’s 15-year-old son Jamie took his own life three years ago, she did not even know he was unhappy. She is fighting to raise awareness of youth mental health issues in Hong Kong, while still dealing with the devastating loss.

More than 300 items from the late Hong Kong businessman’s collection have been missing since World War II. Japanese invaders are thought to have taken some, but others may still be buried in the grounds of Government House.

Often overlooked as a cheap and cheerful border town for Singaporeans seeking low-cost shopping malls, spas and theme parks, Malaysia’s Johor Bahru is using its rich Chinese history to make it a cool place to visit.

Eighty historic maps and naval charts on show at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum reveal how China saw itself in the world over the centuries and give clues on why the modern Chinese state goes about its business as it does.

Fans of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Leslie Cheung films are drawn to Hong Kong to visit the locations of their favourite scenes – a phenomenon called movie and TV tourism that is growing in Asia, and especially Hong Kong and South Korea.


Canadian Bob Tatz, now 88, who’s written a book about his childhood as a POW, says: ‘It was great in Stanley. No one told me to wash, no one told me to brush my teeth and no one told me to brush my hair. For me, it was heaven.’

Eighteen months after its closure, Thailand’s Maya Bay, featured in Leonardo Di Caprio film The Beach, has staged a miraculous recovery in marine life. Does it offer a model for Asia’s other fragile ecosystems straining against overtourism?

David Kwok saved a traditional shrimp trawler from the scrapyard and spent a ‘crippling’ HK$3 million restoring it to be one of only three sailing junks in Hong Kong, hoping to maintain the dying legacy of traditional Chinese fishing junks.

Fifty years ago this month Reuters reporter Anthony Grey was freed from 27 months of house arrest in Beijing, having been detained in reprisal for Hong Kong’s jailing of a Chinese counterpart during the 1967 riots in the city.

A titan of Asian shipping who died last month, Tsao’s early life was shaped by war and civil unrest in 1940s China – so the city’s recent disorder would likely not have daunted a ‘brilliant man’ who was also ‘something of a loner’.

A disaster that shook the former colony nearly 130 years ago has been resurrected by researchers from City University’s Lighthouse Heritage Research Connections project

The Damned guitarist talks about shooting a cameraman in the crazy early years of British punk, the band’s third visit to Hong Kong, his love of food and why he doesn’t act like a rock star.

Women are discouraged from careers in merchant shipping, although the small number of women sailors in Hong Kong is growing. We talk to some of the women who are breaking the industry’s glass ceiling.

Port on old maritime Silk Road was famed for its exports of Chinese tea, silk and ceramics – and reminders of that time still exist. China’s third city, less than an hour from Hong Kong by high-speed train, is more convenient than ever to visit.