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When Hong Kong resembled ‘Italian seaport’ and tourists were ‘globe-trotters’ — South China Morning Post

Read more at the South China Morning Post

— by Adam Nebbs: Egerton Knox Laird sailed into Hong Kong just before midnight on June 12, 1873. “When we arrived opposite Victoria Peak the numerous lights of the shipping, and those of the town, which extend far up the side of the mountains, shone out brightly,” he declared, “and added to the fairy-like character of the scene.” Hong Kong in broad daylight was apparently no less beguiling, and worthy of once commonly made Mediterranean comparisons, with many buildings that “undoubtedly remind one of those of Genoa, or one of the Italian seaports”.

Aged 25, Laird was the youngest son of the English shipbuilder John Laird, and was travelling as a tourist – or “globe-trotter” as he titled himself in The Rambles of a Globe Trotter in Australasia, Japan, China, Java, India and Cashmere. Accord­ing to author Amy Miller in her new book, The Globetrotter: Victorian Excursions in India, China and Japan, Laird was the first to use the term…

Image courtesy of the British Library

May 10, 2019 — 13:15

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