Event Detail


Travel through China in the 1980s: How it started over a beer in Glasgow

Bruce Connolly
Wednesday, 24 May 2023
Complimentary Drinks from 6:45 pm; Talk at 7:30 pm
Hill Dickinson, 33B United Centre, 95 Queensway, Admiralty
RGS-HK is delighted to welcome to Bruce Connolly in person from Beijing, after his many popular online talks, to talk to our members in Hong Kong.

This talk is a personal and amusing account by Bruce Connolly of his overland travel to China, a journey that changed his life forever. This talk will take you through the series of coincidences that led him to explore China in the 1980s, a country that was never in his viewfinder. Bruce describes his experiences of a China that was vastly different from what it is today, with cities appearing to be in a 'time warp' and a countryside that seemed to be from another world.

Bruce recounts his journey that started over a beer on a wet Glasgow day in February 1987 and became the 'Ultimate Dream'- a railway journey from Scotland to Hong Kong. Bruce describes this fascinating journey and the amazing sights and sounds of China in the 1980s. This ultimately led to his fascination with China, now lasting 36 years.

Even since, Bruce has documented the country's ongoing transformation through the lens. With a deep knowledge and understanding of China, Bruce has written extensively on Beijing and China, made over 4,000 daily radio features on Beijing, produced TV videos, and curated photographic exhibitions.

Bruce Connolly is from the United Kingdom and studied Geography at the University of Glasgow. He taught geography for many years. Bruce was also an avid traveller and adventurer, embarking on major transcontinental railway journeys and mountain explorations in the UK, Europe, North Africa and more. His stories he recounted regularly on BBC Radio Scotland and via lecture circuits for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.  

In 1987, he travelled overland by rail from Britain to Hong Kong. China gripped his fascination, a country he knew so little known about. An ambition evolved to travel its length and breadth, by train, boat, bus and on foot, with his camera, to photo-document the country before its inevitable transformation. Today he lives in Beijing, where for 12 years he has had a daily radio feature, ‘Bruce in Beijing’ and has written countless articles and videos exploring Beijing and many parts of China. His photography, recounting a personal view of the country and its people over 36 years, has been published widely both on-line, in print and exhibitions. He appeared on ‘Scots in China’, which was shown on BBC television and worldwide.  

Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$200 for RGS Members and HK$250 for guests and others.

The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to
Hill Dickinson as the Venue Sponsor of this talk.

The opinions expressed in this talk are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong.

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