The Tourist’s Guide to Hong Kong, with short trips to the Mainland of China.
R.C. Hurley (Hong Kong, 1897)
By 1897 Hong Kong had been a European Colony for 55 years. This book was written to provide “as much information as possible necessary to the well being and enjoyment of the tourist.” The author calls Hong Kong a “wonderful specimen of Anglo Saxon pluck and energy” having, as he says, “germinated [a colony] on the soiless [sic] surface of a barren rock.” The book offers maps, photographs, a Historical sketch (1625-1896), twelve recommended itineraries on the island, eight short itineraries for the mainland, as well as information and advertisements for everything from how to locate a surgeon-dentist, to tram and steamship schedules and fares, to where to purchase stamps, nautical books, and curios. The author includes a helpful basic vocabulary with all the usual phrases, plus such oddities as “What is that to you?” and “He did it on purpose.” In addition to the island’s great natural beauty, the author hails it as a place where “representatives of many races” enjoy “that perfect freedom, that true liberty, which for centuries has been the birthright of those, regardless of colour or creed, who elect to reside under the protection of the Union Jack.” For comparison, a modern travel guide to Hong Kong may be found at Wikitravel.
History of Asia