Tai O Heritage Hotel

Old colonial police station in Tai O, Hong Kong.  Refurbished into a Hotel in 2012.

Old colonial police station in Tai O, Hong Kong. Refurbished into a Hotel in 2012.

tai O map

Like nowhere else, Tai O is a fascinating village on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Once a fishing village belonging to the Tanka people, the village is almost entirely on stilts. Traditionally the Tanka people built their villages on the water as either boats tied together or as stilt houses. Continue reading

Up, down, all around the town



There are more than 800 steps up this hill. It is on the MacLehose Trail in Hong Kong. The whole trail is over 1000 km long. You might not expect this of Hong Kong but, there are thousands of kilometers of trails throughout the SAR. Continue reading

The Colour of Everyday Life

20130406-071320.jpgI’ve posted about the wet markets in Hong Kong before. These urban spaces can be colourful and lively, such as the market in Shatin pictured above, or they can be dead spaces lacking colour. Certainly from the outside, the facades that house the FEHD and ex-FEHD markets do not reveal the potential for the liveliness contained within. Continue reading

What is Cosmopolitanism?

I presented sections of this work at the University of Sheffield/National University of Singapore workshop: Decentring Knowledge (10-11 September 2012).  Other material is drawn from a lecture on Cosmopolitanism that I gave at Hong Kong University in 2012 to my students taking Geog3414: Cultures, Social Justice and Urban Space.  

What is Cosmopolitanism?

Although not a new term, the idea of cosmopolitanism has experienced a recent revival and has gained currency in theoretical debate.   Much of this revival comes from a concern with the persistence of conflicts based on preserving or expanding territorial Continue reading

Fresh Food Markets and Public Health

I was recently doing some research for a project on HK wet markets. For those not from Asia, these are like farmers markets, except the food is purchased mostly from the wholesale market rather than trucked into the market by the farmers themselves. In Hong Kong, this is largely because most of what was once farm land is now new towns and high rise housing.  Food in the markets is fresh. Sellers buy the food each morning from one of the wholesale markets such as the one at Ya Ma Tae. The sellers can either be hawkers, selling on the street, or market sellers, who are located in a purpose built space, which have been run, until recently by the HK Food and Environmental Hygiene department. Despite their importance in the nutritional landscape of Hong Kong, they are not so prominently placed in the economic landscape.  Continue reading

Things to think about when getting dressed in the morning.

I’ve been thinking a lot about style lately.  This has been primarily in terms of clothing, but also in terms of lots of other things.  This thinking has arisen mostly because I am of an age when what worked before does not now necessarily work so well (and the fact that my secret desire has always been to be a designer of some sort).  Choosing what to wear is an everyday activity that can take a little or a lot of time; create a little or a lot of anxiety.   The effort around determining one’s personal style is played out certainly in front of the mirror in the morning, but also in the stores.  It is probably why people both love and hate to shop. Indeed, Louis Waxman, in a recent Thought Catalog offered the following quote from Ira Glass that captures this anxiety perfectly: Continue reading