Tea With An Explorer: How Man Wong
To escape Hong Kong’s fast-paced life, there’s nothing like taking a small boat off the island to have tea with an explorer.
How Man Wong, a National Geographic explorer and first person to trace the source of the Yangtze river in the Himalayas, lives in a remote house that you reach from Hong Kong by small boat with an outboard motor.
Accessed by a crumbling pier, the house is surrounded by vegetable gardens and exotic birds, all just a few feet above waves from the South China Seas. Inside, almost every flat surface – floor and windowsills included – are stacked with books about China.
Until recently, How Man also had nineteen Burmese cats in residence – a vanishing breed he has been trying to save.
A photo-journalist and writer, How Man founded China Exploration & Research Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to exploration, research, conservation and education in remote China. The organization’s projects include protecting Manchurian hunting tribes, Kazak culture and a museum of traditional culture in Yunnan.
In addition to being a passionate about ethnic minorities in China, he has also been passionate about rivers – leading expeditions up the Yangtze, Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers.
After showing a room filled with expedition equipment, you would think an explorer would offer tea in a tin mug. Instead, How Man brought out a beautiful tea set kept in a fabric-covered wicker basket.
He then showed an older tea pot, once broken and now held together by metal staples. “Imperfections tell a story.”
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