this is hong kong + blog vacation

51uoOzIptJL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This is Hong Kong by M. Sasek (1965; reissued 2007).

I remember when a college roommate of mine brought home a copy of this book  she’d found at a thrift store. Since I grew up in Asia, my teenage years in Hong Kong, it was like holding a piece of the place I missed so much back then. Of course, I still have it on my shelf.


p.s. As you know, there’s a whole series of these city books.







(click image(s) to enlarge) 

This is Hong Kong truly takes you on a tour of the island. It’s got facts and even figures about how much you’ll pay for a ferry ride or to rent a flat (in 1960s prices!). Sasek captures the contrasts of a place that is old and new, city and harbor, modern and traditional. Not to mention, British and Chinese at that time.




Still, Sasek’s 60s portrait of Hong Kong wasn’t my Hong Kong of  the 90s. And the 2007 version of the book, I imagine, details a place that’s already changed very much because it’s that kind of city. The change overnight kind. And I can’t wait to see what’s the same and what’s different since I called it home.




Because I’m going back! For the first time since I was 17!  I’m bringing my husband so he can see where I grew up and I’m also bringing a notebook because I’ve got a YA novel set there and I want to record and remember the way it smells and sounds and feels to make sure I add all that stuff in.





So This Picture Book Life will be dormant for a couple of weeks while I’m traveling to Hong Kong and Tokyo. Which is why I thought I’d leave you with this special, vintage kids’  guidebook for now.


Please tune in again starting April 21st for new posts! And I’ll see you then!


And if you want to follow my travels, I’ll be instagramming them!




15 Responses to this is hong kong + blog vacation

  1. Danzel says:

    Oh, awesome! The girls and I read this book, and I pointed out the things I knew were dated. Then we went hunting online to see if favorite spots in the book were still there. I love these books, but they are definitely time capsules. Can’t wait to see your posts on Instagram!

  2. Have a wonderful, wonderful vacation and trip down memory lane!

  3. What a time capsule to treasure! Have fun! Things will have changed quite a bit!

  4. Have a wonderful time! Sad that I have no access to Instagram 🙁 Make a blog post for us when you return? Pretty please?

  5. Dana Carey says:

    Bon voyage!

  6. It’s fascinating to learn that you grew up in Asia. Have a terrific trip! I love this series, too.

  7. How exciting, have a wonderful time!

  8. Adore Sasek. Won’t giveaway any of his books I get to review. Bet you can guess which one I’m partial to. How lucky you were to grow up abroad, and how exciting that you can revisit Hong Kong and experience it with adult eyes. Wouldn’t it be great if we could bottle up all the sights and smells of a beloved city so that when we’re feeling nostalgic or in need of a bit of inspiration, we can just dip in. I’ve even been transported back to a foreign city simply by the scent of a bar of soap. Hope you soak up every last detail and enjoy every minute.

  9. Bonnie Eng says:

    Another book to add to Maddy’s collection!! Looks like such a good time, I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

  10. Pingback: 10 picture books set in paris + PICTURE BOOK GIVEAWAY - This Picture Book Life

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