As a group of avid readers in the LRP team we are very happy to have recently expanded our book offering online and in the showroom. We knew you would be interested in finding out more about some of the wonderful authors and illustrators who have created the ones we've selected. All books have a Hong Kong theme whether it be written or illustrated by someone who lives here or is about the city, the stories and the history of the place so many of us call home.
This time we meet David Sutton, author and photographer behind Exploring Hong Kong's New Territories.
I was born and grew up in central England. A town steeped in history, though not particularly famous for it, at least not until they found a missing king in an old car park. Some of the history must have rubbed off although it was never apparent at school. Instead, I inherited my father’s love of trains and photography and an intense curiosity about the world around me. After three years of studying design for print, I moved to London to earn my chops in the publishing industry.
I worked for a small West London newspaper, a string of medical publications, and numerous trade magazines. I arrived in Hong Kong in 1986, planning only to stay long enough to save some money and move on. I’m still saving. In the meantime, I have raised a family and worked on business magazines for Far East Trade Press and the Economist Group as well as Hong Kong Tatler, Action Asia and the South China Morning Post. I have also written numerous features for magazines and newspapers.
Exploring Hong Kong's New Territories (book cover)
The outer walls of Lai Chi Wo village
It had been my plan, after I retired, to supplement my pension by writing travel features but the pandemic put an end to that idea. Instead, I ploughed all my energy into fully exploring the New Territories.
I already knew there was much to see there, I had a couple of articles partly written and I knew about Ping Shan and Lung Yuek Tau as they both feature heritage trails gazetted by the Antiquities and Monuments Office. But my explorations revealed so much more that I soon realised that the photos and notes I was compiling were not, as I had at first thought, going to be for a series of features but rather chapters for a book.
In a city slowly emerging from the pandemic and with few international visitors, finding an established publisher willing to take the project on turned out to be an insurmountable challenge. Since I already had a lifetime of experience in the publishing industry I decided to go it alone, writing, shooting, designing and producing the whole job myself.
For me it is more than just a guide, it is a rediscovery of some of the places, people and events that shaped a region, and a celebration of the countryside that surrounded them. It is a book for both visitors and residents who love Hong Kong and would like to get to know it better.
Ceremonial dragon boats at Tai O
Favourite thing to do or see in Hong Kong
During my research Exploring Hong Kong’s New Territories, I visited so many fascinating and delightful places that trying to single one out is impossible. Some that stick in my memory though are; the Tsing Shan Monastery in Tuen Mun, the place where Buddhism arrived in Hong Kong and where the opening sequences of Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon were filmed; the hike to Lai Chi Wo which passes through forest, wetland, and abandoned villages; and the colour and pageantry of the dragon boat races in Tai O, Lantau.
An altar dedicated to Kwun Yum, the goddess of mercy, at Tsing Shan Monastery, Tuen Mun