The Myrobalan tree – traditional Chinese throat candy and summer pillows

Myrobalan Image Notice Pillow

HF: While walking up Hatton Road above the University of Hong Kong, on The Peak on Monday 22nd January 2018, I came across the signs below about the Myrobalan tree, also known as Emblic and Yau Kam Chi or Phyllanthus emblica (Euphorbiaceae). This can be added to our small but growing list of HK trees that were traditionally used to […]

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The Reevesia Thyrsoidea tree- used to make rope and other products in Hong Kong

Tree Reevesia Thyrsoidea Detail Image

HF: While walking along the section of the Wong Nai Chung Tree Walk (part of the Wong Nai Chung Gap Trail) where it passes above the Hong Kong Cricket Club, on Saturday 6th January 2018, I came across the following Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department sign in front of a rather anonymous tree, a Reevesia (Reevesia thyrsoidea). Somewhat of a […]

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Ronghua – the ancient, dying craft of making velvet flowers, dating back to the Tang dynasty

Velvet Flowers Ronghua Detail SCMP 23.12.17 Courtesy Handout

“Born and raised in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, at the heart of eastern China’s silk-producing Yangtze River Delta region, Zhao began his more than 40-year career as a ronghua creator as a 19 year old at a state-owned factory. The art of making ronghua – literally “velvet flower” – dates back to the Tang dynasty (618-907) and refers to the creation of not […]

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Ancient Stone Trails, Stone bridges and Waymarkers in HK

Thomas Ngan: Before Shek Pik Reservoir and the South Lantau Road were built, villagers travelled either by boat, or by ancient footpaths between major villages on Lantau. You might have heard a few months ago that some villagers of a few villages in the Tung Chung area blocked the footpath going through their villages. It was around the same month of […]

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The Needle, the Bible and “Our People”: Chiuchow Christians and the Swatow Lace Industry in Hong Kong

Swatow Lace Industry Detail Image 5 York Lo

York Lo: The Needle, the Bible and “Our People”: Chiuchow Christians and the Swatow Lace Industry in Hong Kong    Swatow lace merchants on the board of HK Chiuchow Christian Association in 1936 – back row: Yadsun Cheng (Chin Chian & Sons; first from left), Ng Chung-wing (吳寵榮,Kowloon Lace; third from right); Henry Lin (HK & Shanghai Lace; second from […]

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Rope-making and Dyeing/Calendering on Ap Lei Chau Island. 1971 RASHKB article

James Chan:  I found this Royal Asiatic Society (HK Branch) ‘Notes and Queries’ article while looking through old volumes of the HKBRAS’ Journals. I thought it would be a useful addition to what we have on rope-making in Hong Kong. I regret that I was unable to find the illustrations that accompanied the article. If you can please contact the […]

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Chan Chi Kee Cutlery, in business since the 1920s, Shanghai Street

Chan Chi Cutlery Image Courtesy SCMP

Chan Chi Kee Cutlery has been business since the 1920s, currently at 316-318 Shanghai Street, specializing in hand-pounded woks and its famous cutlery. ‘Alongside Wo Shing Goldsmith are a few other long-term shopkeepers, who have seen the rise and fall of Hong Kong’s manufacturing industry – selling kitchen tools, especially stainless steel products. Chan Chi Kee Cutlery, for example, has […]

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The Hong Kong Rattan Industry and some of its key historical players

Rattan Industry Image 20 York Lo

York Lo: The Hong Kong Rattan Industry and some of its key historical players Rattan is one of the oldest industries in Hong Kong and astute merchants and skilled craftsmen in southern China had long profited from importing rattan cane from Southeast Asia (the majority from Indonesia with the remainder from Malaysia, Burma and the Philippines), weaving them into beautiful […]

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Leung Kit Lam’s steelware store, Shanghai Street

Leung Kit Lam Detail Photo Of Shanghai Street SCMP

‘Leung Kit-lam’s eponymous steelware store is…probably the last of its kind in Hong Kong. For decades, he has operated the business alone. Tucked away in an alley, with a barely visible storefront, Leung works seven days a week making strainers, rat traps and crab pots. “Some neighbouring hotels have bought a few of my rat traps,” he says. The years […]

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