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Moving to Hong Kong

These books, films and links have been recommended by GSGI readers and editors, with and without comment. Unless mentioned, most of the books and movies are available at booksellers or on line. If you have a recommendation we should add to this list, we'd love to hear it (contact us).

As with all GSGI links, we only add the ones we like, have used, or think could be useful. In some cases, the links take you to a website for which we provided some of the content about education (so naturally we think it's excellent!).


Gweilo: Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood by Martin Booth - Written by a man who lived here as a child in the 50s; gets the spirit of HK across wonderfully.

Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and John Halliday- Considered by many to be the definitive work on Mao. To quote The New York Times: “A magisterial work. . . . This magnificent biography methodically demolishes every pillar of Mao’s claim to sympathy or legitimacy. . . . A triumph.”

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee- English expats living in Hong Kong just before and during WWII Japanese occupation. Love story, war, intrigue...what more could you want?

Old Filth by Jane Gardam- First book in a delicious trilogy, following lawyer Sir Edward Feathers' brilliant career from his youth in Southeast Asia (where he earned the nickname Old Filth (FILTH being an acronym for Failed In London Try Hong Kong) through his final working days as a respected English judge, to his retirement in deepest Dorset.

The Man Wth the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam- The second in the Trilogy, this one zips back to his wife Betty's days in Japanese internment, various love affairs, startling plot twists and zooms forward to Dorset and slyly revealed answers to secrets (or some of them).

Last Friends by Jane Gardam- The third and concluding volume of this marvelous trilogy of love and the British Empire.


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - One of the best known films to come out of China in recent years, this martial arts doozy was successful the world over and won countless awards. It provides a good introduction to China's dynastic history and is also a great flick for those interested in China’s martial arts historical sights.

The Last Emperor - This 1987 whopper of a biographical film tells us the story of the life of Puyi, the last emperor of China. It was the first western-produced film film that was given permission by China to film in Beijing’s Forbidden City.

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