A Lobbyist Comes to Call

The curious and the sentimental rushed to Hong Kong in the spring of 1997 for a last look at the fabled free port before the British lowered the Union Jack and turned over control to China. But why did hardboiled, former anti-communist action-movie producer Jack Abramoff come? Abramoff, then just beginning his ascent as a…

How many countries recognize Taiwan these days?

It’s fortunate for the Taiwanese that, unlike the South Africans during the apartheid era, they can holiday or invest in countries that don’t recognize their own. Otherwise, their next holiday choice would be confined to somewhere like Burkina Faso or El Salvador—and anyone who had booked a vacation trip to Chad would have to cancel…

The High Cost of Elitism

Not so, it seems, the political leadership in Hong Kong, which is provided partly by a second or third generation of the ultra-wealthy and partly by a bureaucratic elite. The latter makes a virtue out of spending as little as possible on the community while awarding itself the highest civil-service salaries in the world. Take…

Hong Kong’s Free Range Cows

Since then, I grew immensely fond of those cows, largely because they are a living, breeding remnant of Hong Kong’s past. During the two and a half years I lived in the village before moving away recently, the free range cows of Sha Kwok Mei grew in number from seven to 10, and, this year,…

Macau As It Was

Macau has become a maelstrom of newness—More Giant casinos! More Hookers! A Sky Needle!—and at the ferry terminal, you’ll fight to get through the scrums of punters headed for the gambling palaces sprouting from the mud. But if your ambition is lunch and some serenity, as it was before the Steve Wynns of this world…

How many Khmer Rouge leaders will be prosecuted in Cambodia?

The answer is that no one knows: the special tribunal that convened in Phnom Penh in early July hasn’t said how many trials they plan. But with recent the death of former Khmer Rouge leader Ta Mok, affectionately known to his countrymen as "The Butcher," one more major Khmer Rouge leader has escaped justice. Ta…

Take it to the Bridge

It's loud. Very loud and the woman next to me is Nepalese, born in Hong Kong. She works as a stripper in Central and is hanging with a lank-haired Russian, also a stripper, and also maybe a hooker, and a Chinese guy who sits in the lone back booth surrounded by women. He is buying…

Yin Ping Vietnamese

Hong Kong Causeway Bay 24 Cannon St., Causeway Bay Tel: 2832 9038   (Around the corner from the Excelsior Hotel and the World Trade Center) Yin Ping was opened by a Vietnamese refugee family in the late 1970s. It was a culinary novelty back then: lovers of Thai food (for example) were forced to journey…

Salaryman’s Heaven in Hong Kong

Ichiban 21 Lan Fong Rd. (Behind the Lee Gardens) Causeway Bay Hong Kong    Ichiban is Hong Kong's most authentic izakaya, or traditional Japanese drinking spot. If you read Japanese, you won't need a menu: all the dishes are posted on the restaurant walls.  The food is anything but refined, but you can get just…

Shanghai 369 Restaurant

Hong Kong Wanchai Shanghai 369 Restaurant 30-34 O'Brien St., Wanchai h5.hidden {position: absolute;left: -1669px;} 70-485Unified Communications certification (Beneath the overpass to Revenue Tower; next to Deli France and across from California Fitness) This is a durable, down-market place that serves solid, Shanghai-style dishes. It has the classic, encyclopedic Hong Kong restaurant menu - printed in…