Kong Boys


Worth reading 😎

Kong Boys by Gerald Yeung is an exhilarating travel memoir as the author and his childhood friends embark to travel across Europe.

Kong Boys by Gerald Yeung is an exhilarating ride across Europe as the author and his childhood friends take a thrilling trip to watch 2016 UEFA European Championship in 2016. But don't worry, it is not just about soccer/football! Based on the author's real experiences, Kong Boys is akin to a travel memoir, one which celebrates friendship, success and even approaching adulthood.

One of the best things about the memoir's narrative is that it weaves in and out of the past and the present. Yeung himself is the narrator and he reminisces about incidents from their equally epic trip to South America and Africa 10 years ago in 2006, when they were twenty and more carefree, travelling on their parents' money. In the 10 years that passed, life happened and things may not have gone according to their plan but their plan to travel together 10 years later as they embark on a new decade of their life: the dreaded 30s.

Through the narrative and through the interspersing of the past and the present travelogues, Yeung also comments on his own growth and the growth of his friends, the trajectories of his and their lives. He also reflects on their own privilege and what it means to be from Hong Kong.

The childhood gang this time around in 2016 travels to Amsterdam, Lille, Paris, Pamplona and many more such European places. The reader gets a glimpse about the culture of these places and more importantly about the food of the place itself. One of the highlights of the memoir for me was the description of the Sam Fermin bull fighting festival that takes place in Pamplona. The description remarkably evokes both awe, rush of excitement as well as horror and Yeung does well to lay bare the atrocities of the festival as well.

What was a downer is of course the sense of male privilege that the gang carries and though it is something that comes up as introspection, it is definitely a form of travel or a kind of jet setting lifestyle not accessible to all. Many people who are 30 or older can never even dream of travel in their own country, even less to the thrilling places mentioned in this novel.

Nonetheless, it being the time of the pandemic, the travelogue still is an exuberating read, one where the reader can vicariously travel if not in real life. A quick and breezy read!

Reviewed by

I am in an eternal relationship with reading and stories. Apart from reading, I enjoy gardening, talking walks and wandering about to explore curious nooks and corners of the place I am living in. I also enjoy cooking while I sway to my favourite tunes!

Dope - Amsterdam

About the author

Gerald Yeung grew up in Hong Kong. He loves soccer and travel. His travel stories have been featured in magazines, the Hong Kong government youth blog, and a Travelers’ Tales humor collection. These days, he can be found in Northern California. view profile

Published on August 31, 2020

Published by

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Travel

Reviewed by