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November 2013




FESTIVAL EXPRESS Get ready to party with the YRock stars at Picnic in the Park! Find your pull-out PiP programme inside!

Join your community online @

Publishers in DB since 2002





Gross: 2099’ Saleable: 2094’ 4 3


4 3



2 1


Fantastic garden house with large entertainment area and sea views.





Spacious joined unit, practical layout and nice condition.


Nicely renovated with stunning sea views. A good investment opportunity.


2 1




Renovated with spacious layout, balcony with sea views and quiet surrounding.

Very nice renovation in tranquil area, balcony with great views. Concierge service.



Gross: 1310’ Saleable: 995’ 3 2

Renovation throughout, spacious layout with concierge services.


Gross: 1134’ Saleable: 980’ 3

Beautifully combined unit, open plan layout. Ready to move into.


Gross: 1298’ Saleable: 1108’ 3

Gross: 1373’ Saleable: 1132’ 4


Gross: 945’ Saleable: 724’

Great space and very practical layout, stunning sea views, bright and airy.


Gross: 1904’ Saleable: 1889’ 3



Gross: 2087’ Saleable: 1817’ 6

Gross: 958’ Saleable: 751’

Nicely renovated, equipped with open kitchen, garden and panoramic sea views.


Impressive large detached house, luxury living, terrace and with stunning sea views.


Gross: 1290’ Saleable: 1108’ 3


Gross: 3100’ Saleable: 2403’

Fabulously renovated house, large garden with amazing sea views. With golf cart.




Gross: 909’ Saleable: 729’ 2 1

Beautifully renovated, spacious layout and in a tranquil location.

Ov HK$17er 0 In CAS,000 & PRIZ H ES mSIG Lantau 50 - HK50 Series EVENT: Date: Dec 7, 2013 (Saturday) Start Time: 7:00 am: 50 km 8:00 am: 14 km & 27 km

Start Location: Distance:

Auberge Hotel, North Plaza, Discovery Bay 14km, 27km, 50km

We’re Coming to Discovery Bay! IMI is a trusted and respected natural and integrated medicine clinic. For more than 20 years, we have supported thousands of people back to optimal health and wellbeing at our clinic in Central, Hong Kong. We offer Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Natural Family Medicine, Osteopathy & Cranial-Sacral, Chiropractic, Psychotherapy & Counselling as well as Holistic Therapies. Our qualified and caring practitioners specialise in: • Digestion and Nutrition

• Allergies and Immunity

• Natural Medicine for Children

• Clinical Detox & Weight Loss

• Natural Pre & Postnatal Care

• Therapeutic Bodywork

• Stress & Insomnia

• Sports Therapy

We will soon open a new clinic in the North Plaza, Discovery Bay. Find out more at:



Phone: (852) 2523 7121

Santa shops at

Matilda Rose Christmas Collection


$250 Le Grand Garage

Princess Tea Set

Blossom Cottage

Buccaneers Pirate Fort





GoPlay Games

Town & Country Train Set

Oven & Hob Set

LeapPad Explorer 2





Designer Books

Raleigh Bikes 3yrs - 10yrs

Mini Micro Scooter

Spa Science & Magic Science






$1,499 $225

various colours

$199 each $1,290

Pedder Building Store 5/F Pedder Building,12 Pedder Street, Central T: 2522 7112 Horizon Plaza Store 21/F Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau T: 2552 5000


30 34 38 51 55 60 66 70

PROFILE Meet Claire and Elliot Stewart of Cobra Sports IN FOCUS Is DB’s gay community out and proud? FAMILY MATTERS Teens and parental control TALKING POINTS Behind the scenes at Picnic in the Park MONEY MATTERS Time to invest in the underdog ESCAPES Catching on to Cuba ACTION In training for the Wellcome Junior Challenge (run by Team FEAR) LIFESTYLE How to make an investment property pay




8 21 24 44 77 80 82 86 89 92

IN & AROUND DB Catch up with the latest community news COMPETITIONS Post your answers at to win great prizes ACROSS LANTAU What’s happening island wide MOMENTS YRock teens talk performing live HK HAPPENINGS Hot stuff from across the harbour DB FACES Candid community snaps CLASSIFIEDS Great deals, employment, local businesses and more PROPERTY Choice local and overseas homes to buy or rent LOCAL NUMBERS Your ultimate guide in DB and Lantau OUT THERE Ruminations on DB and beyond

So many exciting local events listed in this issue (page 8), from the Wellcome Junior Challenge (run by Team FEAR) to the DB 10km Run for Charity and the DMK Charity Walk for Operation Santa Claus. And of course November really kicks off on the second of the month at 10.30am with Picnic in the Park (PiP). Incredible to think that DB’s homegrown live music and dance festival, now in its eighth year, is Hong Kong’s largest, with 60+ acts. You can read all about it on page 51 – and there’s a pull-out PiP programme on page 45, to help you make the most of your day. The articles in this November issue are as varied as the events being put on by the community. We talk to some of the junior Team FEAR triathletes and their coaches, and get backstage with the YRock teens, who will be performing at PiP. We hear from the gay community about how they find living in DB, and we take a look at

the contentious issue of teens and parental control – are DB parents too permissive? This month too, we’ve talked to a bunch of DB realtors about the best way to make an investment property pay. And columnist Peter Sherwood keeps it real with a tongue-in-cheek report on the Lantau incinerator proposal. One of the standout stories for me this month outlines an action-packed tour of Cuba, taking in Havana, Viňales and Trinidad. (The team has asked me to organise an Around DB trip to Playa Ancon – we’ll have to see about that!) I look forward to meeting up with you at, on Facebook and at PiP!

November 2013




Teen idols at YRock finale Photos by

FESTIVAL EXPRESS Get ready to party with the YRock stars at Picnic in the Park! Find your pull-out PiP programme inside!

Join your community online @

Publishers in DB since 2002

On the cover: DB's YRock finalists Photo by

Publisher Corinne Jedwood Editor Rachel Ainsley

On October 19 in DB Plaza, the 13 teen finalists of this year’s YRock International Music Challenge competed for Personality, Originality and Performance (POP) awards, as well as highly coveted spots at DB’s Picnic in the Park (PiP), November 2. Congratulations to the three YRock POP award winners: Performance – Tony Eum, Originality – Ketchup and Mustard, Personality – Yasmin and Justin. For the full list of YRock teens performing at PiP this year, turn to page 44.

Editorial coordinator Hannah Ball Advertising Lissa Morris Art director Terry Chow Digital media coordinator Vicki Yu Photography Tracey van Geest Baljit Gidwani Illustration Richard Leschinsky Accounts Lise Dooling Contributors this month Grace Dale Martin W. Hennecke Elizabeth Kerr Peter Sherwood Mary Singer Marie Teather Cecilia Yee General enquiries Published by Bay Media Limited 7E, Glamour Court, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2987 0577 Fax: (852) 2987 0533

Disclaimer The views expressed in Around DB are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor or contributors. The publisher and editor cannot be held responsible for differences of opinion or statements published in good faith. The publisher, contributors, their employees and partners are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors or omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication and expressly disclaim all and any liability for any such action of any person. The mention of specific companies or products in articles or advertisements does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by this magazine or its publisher in preference to others of a similar nature which are not mentioned or advertised. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without permission.

DBRC Charity Tennis Tournament Photos courtesy of DBRC

On September 28, Discovery Bay Recreation Club (DBRC) raised a whopping HK$153,512, (a new record high) for The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association during its annual Charity Tennis Tournament. With 24 teams competing, congratulations go to the winning team, Grumble Rumble, and the runners-up, Neon. This year the Best Costume Award went to The (babylicious) Newbies. To make a donation to The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association, visit

RETRACTION Last month’s action column focused on Action Asia’s MSIG Lantau 50 – HK50 Series. DB resident Reto Raimann was pictured running the Lantau50 in 2012 – a race organised by Lantau residents Clement and Sabrina Dumont, which has since been relaunched as the Translantau. To see more photos of these events, visit the photo gallery at


Bollywood brought to DB Photos by Claire Fraser

Discovery College’s (DC’s) An Evening in Bollywood, organised by the DC Parent Teacher Association on October 5, sold out weeks in advance. Nearly 180 attendees enjoyed a delicious curry supper, plus entertainment by Island Dance that encapsulated all the fun, colour and spectacle of Bollywood. The dance troupe also provided hands-on help for those wanting to channel their inner Bollywood star. DC would like to thank all the parents and teachers involved in organising the event, especially Thi Black, Tessa Weinrath, and compères Sandeep and Cherie Jain.

DB in the pink Photos by Nancy Paddison

Movement Improvement’s DB Pink Walk was a blast on October 6, as was the fitness studio’s Pink Quiz, held at McSorley’s on October 17. The combined events saw HK$57,000 raised for the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation. If you were unable to take part, and want to make a donation, visit

To see more photos of these events, visit the photo gallery at

November 2013







November 1, 5.30-11pm

Halloween Party and Trick or Treat Run

Palm Beach, Cheung Sha

November 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29

NEST Baby Clinic

360˚ Sports Bar and Restaurant, Tung Chung

November 2, 10.30am-9.30pm

Picnic in the Park

Siena Park

November 3, 10, 17 and 24

Mini Farmers’ Market

Mui Wo Old Village

November 4-8

Box of Hope Collection Week

Discovery Bay Schools

November 6, 4pm

Cathedral Brass with Rachel McLoughlin

Discovery College Theatre

November 9, 8-10am

DB 10km Run for Charity

Start: DB Ferry Pier

November 9, 12-5pm

DC Family Fun Day

Discovery College

November 9, 9am

Salomon LT 70 Trail Race

Start: Mui Wo

November 9

Plant Market

Across from Haven Court

November 9, 10, 16, 17 and 30

DBRC Tennis Club Championship

Discovery Bay Recreation Club

November 10, 11am-6pm

Spanish Carnival in Discovery Bay

DB Plaza

November 10, 9am

Specialized AA XC Mountain Bike Fest

Start: Chi Ma Wan

November 10, 7am

Ageas-Sportsworld Triathlon Challenge

Start: Siena Park

November 11 and 26

Prestige Gift Fair

Conrad Hong Kong Hotel, Admiralty

November 16, 9am

DMK Charity Walk Operation Santa Claus

Start: Discovery Mind Kindergarten, Coastline

November 16, 9am-12pm

DB Green Beach Clean-up

Nim Shue Wan

November 18 and 25

Sophrology Workshops

Shakti Healing Circle, Central

November 21-23, 9-5pm

Plastic Free Seas Youth Conference

Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, Shatin

November 21

Healthy Living Talk: Superfoods

Open Space, DB North Plaza

November 23

Love Without Boundaries Charity Ball

Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel

November 23, 12-4pm

DBIS International Food Fair

Discovery Bay International School

November 23-24, 12.30-4pm

Longest Lunch on the Beach

Tai Pak Wan

November 24, 12-7pm

Handmade Hong Kong Bazaar

DB Plaza

November 24, 7.30am-1pm

Team FEAR Junior Challenge

Start: undisclosed DB location

November 30, 9am-4pm

Get Hooked Fishing Camp

Start: Discovery Bay International School

If you organise an event, club or charity that you would like to see featured in this section, please contact For more information on the listed events visit

Get hooked on fishing

For the second year running, kids age seven to 13, are invited to sign up for the Get Hooked Fishing Camp. The course, costing HK$750 per person, gives an introduction to catch-and-release fishing, focusing on the basics – techniques, safety and specie identification. After meeting at Discovery Bay International School on November 30, children spend the day fishing at Pak Nai saltwater fishing pond in the New Territories. For more information, visit


Photo by

November 2013

Give a

box of hope Last year, the five-yearold non-profit Box of Hope collected an amazing 17,727 gift boxes for underprivileged children across Asia. The target for 2013 is 20,000 boxes! To take part, simply find an old shoe box, fill it with new useful/ educational gifts, and drop it off at a collection point at one of the DB schools. All DB schools are taking part, and collection week for most is November 4 to 8. This year, the organisers are giving away a prize for the most creative box. For your chance to win, email a photo of your box to The deadline is November 4, so hurry! For more information, visit Photo courtesy of Dirk Haddow

NOVEMBER 2013 Shop the Conrad Sign up for DMK Charity Sophrology Christmas fairs



Head to the Conrad Hong Kong Hotel, Admiralty, this month and next, for a series of Prestige Gift Fairs that boast a fabulous collection of unique designer products. On November 11 and 26 and December 2 and 10, thousands of quality items – jewellery, fashion, beauty products and travel goods – are on offer, and all in good time for Xmas. Many Lantau favourites are vending – look out for resort clothing and jewellery from ZenvarA, high fashion from HK Fashion Market, beautiful art from La.Chi.Che and Sally Grace Bunker, handcrafted Turkish ceramics from Ashwan, ShoeSee Foldable Shoes, Spanish sandals from Avarcas Asia and unique Japanese designs from Tepp&Saito. Admission is free. For a full list of vendors, go to

Are you anxious, tired, stressed or worried? Why not see what Sophrology meditation can do for you? Classes are now available in DB from three qualified Sophrologists: Aude Mahoudeau, Sophie Grangier and Sara Oviedo Coudert. These DB residents all trained under Swiss Sophrologist Dorna Revie, who is running a Discover Sophrology Talk on November 18, and a Sophrology for the Family Workshop on November 25, both at the Shakti Healing Circle in Central. To find out more email info@shaktihealingcircle. com; for more information about DB classes, email

November 16 sees Discovery Mind Kindergarten’s (DMK’s) eighth Charity Walk for Operation Santa Claus. Last year 600 children and parents raised HK$150,000 for the annual campaign, which raises funds and awareness for Hong Kong charities over the festive season. Over the past seven years, DMK has raised HK$850,000 for Operation Santa Claus, and it hopes to reach HK$1 million this year. Around DB is a proud sponsor of this event – will you help raise funds this year by walking the 4 kilometres from DMK in Coastline to Siena Park? For more information, call 2987 8088.

Since 2002, Chef pour Toi has been catering for a wide variety of customers, be it either business or pleasure. Corporate or private cocktail reception, dinner party at home for friends, lavish buffet or barbeque, Chef pour Toi guarantees an exquisite dining experience. Our dedicated chefs use only the freshest ingredients to turn food into art. We provide you the knowledge to turn your event into a success, allowing you to focus on your guests while we do what we know best.

Contact us to get a quote for your tailor-made party.

Chef Pour Toi Ltd. 2987 5797



DC Chamber Ageas-Sportsworld Spanish Carnival Music Series

Triathlon Challenge

On November 6, as part of the Discovery College (DC) Chamber Music Series, Cathedral Brass with Rachel McLoughlin, is guaranteed to blow away the winter blues. Also mark in your diaries a performance by the Lantau Trio, Yuko Saito on violin, Adrianna Khoo on cello and Sui Ming Chu on piano, on December 8. Tickets are on sale online at, at the school, and on the door. All concerts are in the DC Theatre and start at 4pm. For more information contact Tom Hope at

The fun Ageas-Sportsworld Triathlon Challenge, for kids age five to 12, heads out at 7am from Siena Park on November 10. The challenge sees kids from across Lantau swim, bike and run in and around DB. Event organisers, multi-sports group the Lantau Buffalos are putting on this hugely popular child triathlon for the fourth time this year. Visit for more information.

in Discovery Bay

Savour Espaňa on November 10 in DB Plaza at the very first (all-day) Spanish Carnival in Discovery Bay. Organised by D’Deck and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, you can expect Flamenco dancing, Spanish cooking demonstrations, tonnes of tapas and a lucky draw. For more information, visit

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NOVEMBER 2013 Team FEAR Longest Lunch Calling all IN & AROUND DB


Launched over 12 years ago by DB resident Steve Corbin, Wellcome Junior Challenge (run by Team FEAR), for kids age eight to 18, is being held on November 24. Competitors can expect trail running, mountain biking, swimming and rock climbing, plus a whole host of other fun challenges in and around DB. Funds raised go to Hong Kong charity Youth Outreach, which helps young people less fortunate than those taking part in the race. Visit to read more about the challenge, or turn to page 66.

DB 10km Run for Charity

On November 9, the annual Discovery Bay 10km Run for Charity, now in its eighth year, starts and finishes at the main DB ferry pier. Last year, 388 runners helped raise HK$156,800 for S.O.S. Lanka Action, a grassroots DB charity focused on improving living conditions for impoverished Sri Lankan villagers. This year, money raised will go to Benji’s Centre, a Hong Kong charity which helps children from low-income families who are in need of professional speech therapy. For more information, visit


November 2013

on the Beach

Join a D’Deck gourmet event, Longest Lunch on the Beach, on November 23 and 24 at Tai Pak Wan. Enjoy a three-course Mediterranean meal, live entertainment, a lucky draw and free-flowing wine and champagne. Tickets cost HK$1,988, with funds raised going to Heifer International Hong Kong, a global charity working to end hunger and poverty. For more information and to make a booking, visit


Don't pack away the sunscreen just yet: head to Picnic in the Park in Siena Park on November 2. With 10 hours of live performances, and 60+ top acts headlining, it’s your chance to rock out. As with all the best family-orientated all-day festivals, you can expect food, booze and stalls aplenty. Find your pull-out PiP progamme on page 45, and read all about it on page 51. Email to book a stall.

Festive fun at

the school fairs

It’s Discovery College’s (DC’s) annual Family Fun Day on November 9, and Discovery Bay International School’s (DBIS’s) International Food Fair on November 23. Both offer up arts-and-crafts activities, live performances by student bands, top-notch dance performances and international food stalls, plus a chance to stock up on Xmas gifts. To get involved, email DC’s Emma Cameron at, and DBIS’s Alison Wyatt at For more festive fun (including carol singing, a lucky draw, charity stalls and a bottle tombola), block out your diary for the Island School Christmas Fair on December 7. To find out more, email Island School’s Angela Socha at

NOVEMBER 2013 Plastic Free Seas DBRC DB kids put on Tennis Club Youth Conference Championship Cinderella IN & AROUND DB

DB Green beach clean-up leader, Tracey Read is the founder of Plastic Free Seas, a non-profit which aims to promote awareness of plastic marine pollution through corporate events, action campaigns and school programmes. November 21 to 23 sees the first Plastic Free Seas Youth Conference for secondary school students being held at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park in Shatin. The aim is for students to develop and implement big waste-reduction projects for their schools and communities, and understand how local initiatives can make a difference to local and global issues. Some 25 schools (100 students) are taking part, including Discovery College and Discovery Bay International School. Learn all about it at

Tennis fans won’t want to miss Discovery Bay Recreation Club’s (DBRC’s) annual Tennis Club Championship this month. The singles matches are played over the weekends of November 9 and 16 (enter before November 2); the Junior Club Championship over the weekend of November 16 (enter before November 9); and the doubles matches over the weekend of November 30 (enter before November 23). For more information, call the DBRC at 2987 7381.

Everyone’s favourite pantomime, Cinderella is being performed at the Discovery College Theatre, December 5 to 7. It’s an all-DB cast (made up of school music teachers and pupils), and you can expect star turns by Island Dance and the boys from the Discovery Bay Pirates Rugby Football Club. Purchase tickets at the merchandise booth at Picnic in the Park on November 2, or find out more by emailing Sally Leonard at



For your chance to win these great prizes, click on the competitions link at You have until November 10 to submit your answers, and don’t forget to give us your name and telephone number

COMPETITIONS Gifts from Babies“R”Us

Babies“R”Us opened at iSquare in Tsim Sha Tsui over the summer, and it's your go-to for every baby essential! To help you shop, the store is cleverly divided into eight different ‘time zones’: Sleep Time, Bath Time, Feeding Time, On The Go, Play Time, Let’s Get Dressed, Reading Time and Gifting Me Time. For more information, visit, or the Babies“R”Us Facebook page.

Babies“R”Us is offering three readers a selection of high-quality toys (worth HK$1,950 collectively). For your chance to win, simply go to and tell us how many different time zones the store features.

Burn calories at Curves Burn up to 500 calories in 30 minutes at Curves, located on the first floor of Club Siena. As one of 10,000 centres worldwide, Curves is especially designed for women who want a fitness routine that differs from typical gyms. Classes, running six days a week, include high intensity training, an aerobic circuit, instructor-led circuit, Zumba circuit and Saturday group circuit. A month’s membership entitles you to attend as many classes as you want, and receive one-on-one training with a certified instructor. For more information, visit Curves is offering three readers a month’s membership (worth HK$648 each). For your chance to win, simply go to and tell us how many calories you can burn in 30 minutes at Curves.

Win seats to see Sleeping Beauty Don’t miss Hong Kong Players’ fun-fuelled take on Sleeping Beauty at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts’ Shouson Theatre, Wanchai from November 29 to December 8. The hilarious Christmas pantomime follows the beautiful Princess Buttercup as she faces the wrath of Malignia, the evil fairy. Will Prince Lightning prove smart enough to wake his slumbering Princess? Will the Good Fairy win her wings? And most importantly, will Dame Snorella Slumber make it to happy hour on time? For tickets, visit

Hong Kong Players is offering three readers a pair of tickets in the stalls (worth HK$330 each) to see Sleeping Beauty. For your chance to win, simply go to and tell us the name of this production’s pantomime dame.

November 2013



For your chance to win these great prizes, click on the competitions link at You have until November 10 to submit your answers, and don’t forget to give us your name and telephone number

OCHO dress, anyone? OCHO boutique, in SoHo, has been offering Hong Kong ladies a unique and personalised shopping experience since 2009. Find beautiful casualwear, workwear and party gear, not to mention stunning jewellery to make your outfit complete. If it’s a particular look you’re after, Brazilian owners Fernanda Veiga Marocco and Leila Quites can help you find the perfect outfit for every occasion. All products are imported from the US, and range from size 0 to 16. Call the shop on 2801 5988. OCHO is offering three readers a Purple Rain dress (worth HK$599 each). For your chance to win, simply go to and tell us where the store is located.

The Woman in Black ticket giveaway Coming to The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts’ Lyric Theatre, Wanchai, December 3 to 8, The Woman in Black is the longest running non-musical play in the history of London’s West End. Adapted by Stephen Mallatratt from Susan Hill’s best-selling novel, the play, performed by just two actors, follows a young solicitor, Arthur Kipps as he attends the funeral of an old lady and is tormented by a young woman dressed in black. For tickets, go to ABA Productions and PW Productions (UK) are offering three readers a pair of A-reserve tickets (worth HK$695 each) to see The Woman in Black. For your chance to win, simply go to and tell us how many actors star in this production.

Your chance to see The Maids Get your tickets now for the American Community Theatre’s production of The Maids, showing November 6 to 9 at The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts’ Macaulay Studio, Wanchai. Jean Genet’s play, first performed in Paris in 1947, tells the story of siblings Solange and Claire – two maids who plot the murder of their ‘madame’. According to Jean Paul Sartre, Genet intended that the three protagonists be performed by male actors – in this production Solange is played by La Chiquitta, one of the most prominent drag artists in Hong Kong. For tickets, visit RyeT Entertainment, Clark Consulting and American Community Theatre are offering two readers a pair of tickets (worth HK$250 each) to see The Maids. For your chance to win, simply go to and tell us what Sartre said about the play.

Congratulations to last month’s winners

Anthea Fu and Sophie Barnes for the Picture Finders artwork; Debbie Chin and Roy Bouch for the Virtual Cycle classes at Spin Works; Marianne Kolding, Ka Chi Au and Ching Mong Yee for the Regal Airport Hotel dinner vouchers; Doreen Jowharsha, Nancy Xu and Ivy Cheong for tickets to see How to Catch a Star; Mike Mexted and Paul Hammers for the Wellcome Junior Challenge (run by Team FEAR) places; and Marat Yu, Connie Griffiths and Shermila Buxani for tickets to see A Clockwork Orange. Please contact our office on 2987 0577 to collect your prize.


November 2013



New Velocity at SkyCity

Enrol for TransLantau

Photo courtesy of Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel

Photo courtesy of

Check out The New Velocity Bar and Grill Sports Bar, the relaunch of Velocity Bar and Grill, at Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel. With a motor sports theme, displaying super bikes and performance cars, as well as a fresh new menu showcasing American Tex-Mex cuisine, it’s a class act. Don’t forget, Tung Chung and DB residents get 25% off all meals, and members of the aviation community enjoy a 50% reduction every Wednesday. For more information, visit the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel Facebook page. Registration is now open for the hugely popular TransLantau trail running event scheduled for March next year. The question is, are you ready for the challenge? Tackle the Ultra 100km or 50km runs, solo or as a team – though be warned, the 100-kilometre course takes in a 5,800-metre elevation, and the 50-kilometre a 2,700-metre elevation. For something a little more leisurely, try the Explorer 15km which includes an easier 300-metre climb towards Chi Ma Wan Country Park. The TransLantau races start and end on Silvermine Beach in Mui Wo, and are put on by hardcore Lantau trail runners Clement and Sabrina Dumont. To enrol or find out more, visit



Mountain bike across country Photo courtesy of Action Asia Events

Cross-country mountain-bike racers are revved up for the Specialized Action Asia XC Mountain Bike Festival on November 9 at Tai Lam Chung, Yuen Long (15-kilometre and 30-kilometre races), and November 10 at Chi Ma Wan, Lantau (12-kilometre and 24-kilometre races). Every year numerous Lantau residents make it to the podium in their respective classes, and a special shout out goes to veteran DB racers Neville Bayley, Aldo Hockman Lewis and Robert Ellis-Geiger. For more information, visit

Racing in Lantau Photos courtesy of Action Asia Events

In Action Asia’s SUUNTO Lantau 2 Peaks on October 6, participants ran either 15 kilometres or 21 kilometres, starting out at Tung Chung. Congratulations to South Lantau resident Clemont Dumont who won the men’s 21-kilometre race, and DB resident Emma Bruce, who came second in the women’s 21-kilometre race. Winner of last year’s men’s 21-kilometre race, South Lantau based Jeremy Ritcey, came in fifth this year. Jeremy is now organising the Salomon LT 70, through his trail running events company Lantau Base Camp. This race, scheduled for November 9, covers the whole 70-kilometre Lantau Trail. For more information, visit



Mui Wo farmers market

Lantau school fairs

Photo courtesy of Donald Latter

Photo courtesy of Jim Lambert

Go on a virtual escape to the country and buy your local organic produce, seeds and cosmetics from the Mui Wo Mini Farmers’ Market held on Sunday mornings at 13 Rural Committee Road, Mui Wo Old Village. You can also take the opportunity to pick up a useful new book, Growing Food in the City, written by local authors David Sanders and Bing Law. For more information, contact Donald Latter at or call 5167 2174.

You can enjoy both the YMCA of Hong Kong Christian C olle ge ( YHKCC) Inte r nationa l Fun Fa ir in Tung Chung, and the Lantau International School (LIS) annual school fair in Tong Fuk on December 7. There’ll be stalls to shop, prizes to win, game booths for the kids, and a chance to meet the teachers. For more information about the YHKCC event, or to book a stall, contact Marvis Wong at For more on the LIS extravaganza, visit or email Jim Lambert at

OFFICE 3483 5003

Sharon Riley

9664 4749


Kendri So

9211 4223



Now you can shop online at Bizzie Lizzie Visit

22.8K 1/F & 2/F TONG FUK VILLAGE HOUSE 1400’ + 700’ Roof Lovely updated Duplex - great location. 2 large bed, 2 Bath. 2 living areas. Fully equipped kitchen. Sea views from rooftop and balcony.

33K/9M MUI WO VILLAGE HOUSE 2100’ + 700’ Roof

Lovely quiet location - unique design! 4 Bed plus Maids room, 3.5 Bath inc 2 ensuites. Large open plan kitchen/ living area. Outside area and rooftop with mountain views.

14.8M SAN SHEK WAN VILLAGE HOUSE 2100’ + 700’ Roof

High standard of renovation. 4 Bed, 2.5 Bath, 1 ensuite. Modern kitchen & living areas on high floors to maximise stunning sea views. Rooftop with enclosed dining area.

11.5M CHEUNG SHA VILLA - GOLDEN COAST 1120’ Saleable Area

Sea views villa in desirable area. 3 Bed, 2.5 Bath inc ensuite and walk in wardrobe. Open plan kitchen/living area and extra spare room. Car space & swimming pool in complex.

13.8K Email: Tel: 2984 2227 Tuesday to Saturday 10.30 to 6.30, Sunday 10.30 - 6.00, Monday closed.

1/F MUI WO VILLAGE HOUSE 700’ + Balcony

Making you feel at home is our business

Lovely quiet area near beach. 2 Bed, 1 Bath. Newly renovated open plan kitchen/living area leading onto balcony with stunning green views. 10 Mins to central Mui Wo.

Call us any time at 3483 5003 or Email PROPERTY@HOMESOLUTIONS.HK


Hand-made kid’s clothes, baby accessories, personalized bathroom towel sets, kids swim wear and more… OPENING HOURS: Wednesday – Monday 11am – 6pm Closed on Tuesdays


Tel: 9762 1957

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All 3 shops are located under the Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminus (below the cable car), 3 min walk from the DB bus stop (DB01R) Ground Floor, Shop 2, District Open Space Area 2, Tat Tung Road Garden, Tung Chung


perfect match Lead photo by Vincent Ypersiel; additional photo courtesy of Claire Stewart

Hannah Ball talks judo, boxing and true love with DB resident Claire Stewart, whose life seems to centre around all three

Claire and Elliot Stewart ready to fight it out at DB Boxing


November 2013



oing on appearances, ‘The Cobra’ would be the last nickname I would expect for five-year DB resident Claire Stewart. But as it turns out the pretty, 25-year-old mother-of-two, who works full-time for manufacturing company Global Strategic Alliance, bears this title thanks to the power of her punch. Alongside husband Elliot, Claire’s a big name on the local White Collar Boxing Circuit, and a regular club fighter at DB Boxing. Incidentally the couple set up Cobra Boxing in August – a training club for young fighters age eight to 16 that meets in Discovery College. And with Claire, it’s not all about the punch, there’s also a kick. An Amateur Judo Association (AJA) British National Judo Junior Champion age 13, she was coaching judo by the time she was 16. And in 2009, a year after moving to DB, she set up the DB Cobras Judo Club (out of Club Siena) for kids age five and up. Again it’s a family affair since Elliot, who has been

coaching the Hong Kong Judo Squad since 2011, helps coach the young DB Cobras. Incidentally, Elliot’s boxing career also began as a youth – he took home the gold medal at the 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games in Ireland. Hong Kong Judo Association Junior and Senior Number One (81-kilogramme category) since moving here in 2008, he still has hopes for the Olympics. Of their Cobra Sports coaching, Claire says, “We love to see kids pursuing positive aggression and having fun at the same time. Although judo and boxing are entirely different martial arts, there are crossovers between them.”

The judo gurus So what exactly does a DB Cobras judo class involve? “It’s quite simple really. We teach the way we were taught,” Claire says. “We always begin with stretching; we then do some tumbling exercises like rolling and practicing cartwheels – essential for a fight. After that, we normally lead the kids in a game, each teaching them a different technique relating to judo. Quite often Elliot and I will join in. Truth is, we’re massively competitive!” No kidding! Claire first got into judo in 1992, age five, and she was taught by Elliot's dad, Dennis Stewart, a 1988 Seoul Olympics bronze medallist. Dennis and Claire’s father, Nigel Phillips, trained together when they were young and her older brother also fought in the same Birmingham club, Halesowen Judo Club. “My Dad took me along to a karate club once, but it just wasn’t me,” Claire says. “I grew up around brothers and male cousins so I was never going to be into something girly like ballet either! Judo was always my real passion.” Claire was competing all over the UK and Europe by the time she was eight. “Our whole group would often go to the same events, so I spent my weekends with my friends doing what I loved,” she explains. At 13, Claire gained a place in the British Judo Cadet Squad. “It was then that the training stepped up a notch,” she says. “I would train and go running several times a week to keep my fitness up. People tend not to realise just how strong you have to be to be good at judo. For a junior (age five to 15), a fight will last around two minutes, but for a senior (age 16 plus), it can last between five to 10 minutes, which is a long time to be fighting!” Age 14, Claire faced a major setback: a severe knee injury involving surgery, coupled with the arthritis that she had suffered from since the age of 13, meant that she was advised to give up competitive judo. At such a pivotal stage in her career, with crossover to the British Judo Junior Squad not far away and with hopes of competing in the Olympics, this was devastating news. Age 16, having given up competing, she struggled to come to terms with a future without judo. Realising this was inconceivable she signed up to become  a judo instructor.

November 2013


PROFILE The lovebirds What has been the best thing to come out of judo? I ask Claire. “My husband!” she replies with a grin. “Elliot and I have been best friends (on and off the judo mat) since we were five. We were roughly the same height and weight as kids, so we often fought together. However, at the age of around 10, genders are separated, so instead of fighting, we became training partners. We went to competitions together and both got into the British Judo Cadet Squad at the same time – quite remarkable since only the top four in the National Judo Championships are chosen. “Lots of our judo friends would tease us saying, ‘You two will get married when you’re older’, and we would both say, ‘No way, he/ she is just my friend!’” Turns out their friends were right, since at 18 Claire and Elliot started dating, and in 2010 they were married on a beach in Phuket, Thailand. “I had always told Claire that judo is not just about the sport but also about the ‘family’ you gain, and that judo will always be a big part of your life,” Claire’s dad said at her wedding. As it happened, it became a pretty huge part.

Elliot began boxing initially to help Claire train for a local White Collar Boxing event in March. Enjoying it so much, he is now a regular on the local circuit, and is in training for a White Collar Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event taking place at the Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon on November 28. “MMA is a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling arts, meaning Elliot can combine his judo and boxing skills,” explains Claire. As for future plans, the Stewarts have just decided to move back to the UK to teach in schools and clubs throughout the West Midlands – the relocation will also allow Elliot to train towards his own Olympic judo goals. “We are so sad to leave DB and our Cobra family but feel we should take a chance on this opportunity while it’s here,” says Claire. “Hopefully you will not have seen the last of Cobra Sports, as we are looking at options to keep the clubs up and running and we will be back in DB from time to time to check up on you all!”

To find out more about the DB Cobras Judo Club and Cobra Boxing, visit

The boxing fanatics At DB Boxing, Claire and Elliot (or ‘The Cobras’ as they are known in the Hong Kong boxing community) have of course discovered another shared passion. “I’d always followed boxing on the television, and thought it looked like fun, then in 2010, my friend took me to a White Collar Boxing event in Hong Kong and I decided to give it a go,” Claire says of getting into the sport. Her boxing career began in 2010 as a way to stay fit, just four months after her second pregnancy.

Find more local heroes


November 2013

The Stewarts with their two girls, Shyla and Olive


being gay

on the bay Discovery Bay is multicultural, easy going and a great place to encourage diversity. But how accepting of the gay community are we? Marie Teather investigates

Illustration by Rift Leschinsky



ere in Discovery Bay don’t we just love our reputation of being one of the most accepting and open-minded neighbourhoods in Hong Kong? It’s in DB where nationalities from the world over live side by side; we join together for team sports, we buy and sell our goods to each other in the markets, and we send our kids to learn about multiculturalism and equality at our local international schools. Yes, indeed, we do love our openminded exchanges. But what of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community? You see there is more to DB than the middleclass, outdoor-loving, straight-family stereotype. In a country where same-sex marriage is still not recognised and most gay employees working in local companies feel they have to keep their sexuality a secret, would it not be natural for openly gay singletons, couples and families to

November 2013

gravitate towards a community that teaches equality and acceptance? The answer it seems is not quite that simple.

The LGBT community in DB Let’s get the stereotypes out of the way first. DB is not awash with extravagantly camp cabin crew as was ‘joked’ when this article got underway. In fact most respondents interviewed were not aware there were other gay members in the community, and when explaining why they chose to live in DB it was the larger apartments and green spaces that drew them rather than any hopes of joining a gay clique. “At first I assumed DB to have a bigger gay community since it has a big expat community but it's much more about straight families. Or perhaps there are many more of


us, just hidden,” said one DB resident who has chosen to remain anonymous.

don't see many public displays of gay affection, but I don't feel threatened either.”

So, just how hidden does a gay member of the Discovery Bay community feel he or she should be? “Every member of the LGBT community that I've met here is open about his/ her sexuality, including a couple of friends who are closeted in their countries of origin,” said one respondent. Intriguing then, that all contributors to this article chose to remain anonymous – despite being open about their sexuality and their relationships.

Another interviewee added: “DB seems relatively accepting. You occasionally hear the, ‘I have no problem with gays if they don't throw it in your face’, comments. But like many places in the world, it seems most people couldn't care less. That said, once night comes and the heavy drinking starts, one has to be more careful in certain parts of DB Plaza.”

Having spoken with an equal number of male and female LGBT residents, it seems that Discovery Bay is a relatively accepting place. “Yes, I do believe the DB community is tolerant of gays. I don't feel that I'm in danger when dining with my date or holding hands,” said one DB resident. “You

The consensus suggests that Discovery Bay, being an expat community, is more tolerant than other areas of Hong Kong and yet when asked if they’d hold hands with their partner or spouse in public the feedback from interviewees was divided. One respondent said he has no problem holding hands with his husband, another said he would feel 

November 2013



uncomfortable and another said she didn’t want to make those around her feel uncomfortable.

The bigger picture Discovery Bay clearly does not have a thriving gay scene, yet neither does Hong Kong as a whole. With only one gay nightclub and a smattering of bars in SoHo, gay nightlife is limited compared to Bangkok, Bali and Singapore. Step outside of SoHo, Lan Kwai Fong or any other area that expats or tourists frequent and most gay couples are aware of the extended ‘glances’, stares or even snickers from local or more elderly Hong Kongers should they be open about their sexuality. “It's not that I feel unsafe in other parts of Hong Kong, you just get more stares from the local Chinese,” said one respondent. “It doesn't mean they will cause you harm, it's just unusual for them to see.” Hong Kong does not recognise same-sex marriages, which for expat couples married back home, can create a host of difficulties not faced by heterosexual couples. The most obvious is that a husband or wife will not be granted a spousal visa. A couple could have been married for 20 years in an accepting country and yet here in Hong Kong one partner may only receive a tourist visa, requiring him or her to leave every six months. Naturally this will have an impact on healthcare and restrict his/ her permit to work. Interestingly, gay marriage may be recognised by certain parts of the government and not others. “The Inland Revenue Department has no problem with us filing a married person's tax return,” said one respondent. Another added that: “As a ‘world city’, Hong Kong is very slow in moving forward with equal rights, marriage and protection for LGBTs. I've heard many variations and stories about Hong Kong companies and the way they treat gay employees and their partners in terms of recognising their

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overseas marriage license, tax benefits and insurance. If Hong Kong wants to continue to attract overseas workers, the government needs to step up and make these basic changes, as soon as possible.” A change in attitude may well be underway. In May of this year the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal set a landmark judgment in Hong Kong, allowing a post-operative male-tofemale transsexual marry the man she loves. Promisingly, local mainstream media coverage of the case was fair and has since prompted media outlets such as the South China Morning Post and Time Out Hong Kong to cover more stories from the LGBT community, including some positive coverage of Hong Kong’s rainbow families (LGBT parents and their children).

The last word This month, we’re in the middle of the third annual Gay Pride festival, a cultural event aiming to raise Hong Kong’s profile as an LGBT-friendly city. While none of the over 35 events of the season, which include movie screenings, picnics, literary readings, golf and a Mr Gay Hong Kong Pageant, are being held in Discovery Bay, the penchant of most DBers to get together and have fun would undoubtedly make us a great host community for future events. And what of our own LGBT community, would members recommend Hong Kong or Discovery Bay as a good destination to move to for other openly gay singletons, couples or families? “Yes, I'd say that as long as you don't define your life by your sexuality alone, Hong Kong is a great place for gay people,” said one respondent. “Overall, there are no major problems,” concludes another interviewee. “I am far more worried about what I am breathing into my lungs each day here, than I am about anything to do with being gay.” Give your dog plenty of love but let her know who is boss

Photos by Around DB


Nina Rossiter (16) with her sister Sie (17) and Talla Buffery (17) hanging out near the DB ferry pier

roots and wings

One minute our kids are sitting on our laps reading stories and the next they are terrifying us with demands to go party in Lan Kwai Fong. How permissive should we be? Hannah Ball tackles the touchy subject of teenagers and parental control 38

November 2013



t’s no secret that by the time they hit 15 or so, most teens feel ready to explore the adult world. It’s also no secret that as sheltered a community as Discovery Bay may be, the bright lights of Lan Kwai Fong and Wanchai are only a ferry ride away. How should parents react when the safe confines of DB are no longer doing it for their teens? In broaching this subject, the first person I talked to was 17-year-old, Discovery College student Talla Buffery, the winner of Around DB’s 2012 Young Writers’ Competition. In her winning article A Teen Perspective, she wrote, “There is nothing of teenage interest to do in DB. Hang out in McDonalds or sit at the plaza tables with a bottle of Sprite? That doesn’t necessarily spell out ‘fun’ to a bunch of 14- to 18-year-olds.” Good point! So when teenagers are acting out, can DB parents blame DB?

There’s nothing to do in DB “Most of my friends will often go to other people’s houses as entertainment, but there’s a point when visiting friends’ houses becomes boring,” Talla elaborates when we meet. “That’s when you long to experience Hong Kong Island. It’s not uncommon for teens to get fake IDs so they can party in Central.” And what else do DB teens get up to? Having put some feelers out, I discover that many teens (13 and up) hang out in DB Plaza and drink alcohol on ‘Plaza Friday’, that there’s a certain amount of drug taking on the DB beaches (and in The Dome above DB Plaza), and that love is made (as it always was) at home when parents are out. The general lament about living in DB is that there’s very little to do for fun; there’s no skate park or sizeable sports field – no place to hang out. The nearest cinema is in Tung Chung, the closest ice rink is in Tsim Sha Tsui. James Buckner, the pastor of Discovery Bay International Community Church, himself father to three adult children, sympathises. “It’s certainly true that the reason so many teens gather in DB Plaza on a Friday night to drink is because DB has no fun alternatives to offer them. Just last Friday, a friend and I counted 130 teenagers in the plaza!” James currently heads up the church’s Friday night youth club, Rock Da Boat (RDB), for children age 11 to 21. School discos, a church-run youth group, and sport, music and drama clubs aplenty – it can’t be said that DB has nothing to offer teens. But assuming yours wants to explore the wilder side of life, how amenable should you be?

Why are you so controlling? “As parents in DB, we are far too laid back and we often have no idea what our teens actually get up to on a Friday night,” Claire Smith, mother to two children age 14 and 16,

says. “The whole issue of drugs amongst teens also tends to get ignored, when it clearly does exist here. Every parent is insistent that their kids aren’t involved.” While parents should be on the lookout for dangerous behaviours, Hadas Hecht, child counsellor at DB Child and Family Development Practice and mother of three young children, warns against having an overly controlling attitude. “From my experience teens want to be trusted, they want to feel like grownups and be able to make decisions, as well as be respected by their parents,” she says. Talla’s mother, Catherine agrees. “In my view, if you control your children too much and prevent them from doing certain things, it’ll only result in them wanting to do them even more,” she says. “I think the most important thing is to have a little faith in your children. Trust that they know what they’re doing because you’ve taught them well. Give your children some guidelines, but allow them to make their own decisions.” This works for Talla, who adds, “Giving teens exposure and letting them know what’s out there isn’t a bad thing. That way we can learn how to remove ourselves from certain situations, and we’ll be better able to handle ourselves when we finally leave home.”

You don’t care about me Talking to three DB based ‘teen’ experts, it seems that Catherine and Talla are on the right track. The trick for parents (and it’s a difficult one to master) is to be neither over controlling, overprotective nor overly permissive. “Teenagers who have very controlling parents are often the ones who will rebel more. If not now then later when they leave home and the threat of reprimands for rebelling is not so close,” notes child psychologist at Island Health Family Practice John Shanahan. “It may also mean they don’t know how to handle the freedom that university gives.” Hadas also advocates giving teenagers their wings, rather than being overprotective. “Attempting to rescue your teens from dealing with any harsh reality leaves them poorly prepared to deal with adult life,” she says. “Overprotected children lack experience and may panic in stressful situations.” That said, no one is suggesting parents take a handsoff approach and let their teens take the reins. DB family mediator and mother of three grown-up children, Kerri Gunthorpe warns against becoming ‘friends’ with your teen too soon. “Make sure you maintain parental control and don’t cross any boundaries,” she says. “Sharing your worldly wisdom and being the first to take your child out drinking is fine, but only if they are mature enough. If not, they may begin to take liberties.” 

November 2013



“Permissive parents may not face as much rebellion as authoritarian or overprotective parents do, but overly permissive parents deprive their children of wise guidance in developing effective problem-solving skills,” Hadas adds. “Teens of permissive parents can come to feel neglected and believe that their parents have little interest in what they do. This, in turn, can lead to resentment. It's important to remember that you, as a parent, control the home. You set the rules and the consequences for breaking those rules.”

So what if I’m grounded? And so to the subject of discipline. First off, Hadas warns against taking things too far. “Research shows that teens who feel threatened by their parents may behave well when the threatening parent is nearby, but act out when the threatening parent is gone,” she says. “These teens have difficulty behaving properly without external control and they are less likely to develop internalised values that equip them to make wise decisions.”

Equally important is that any punishment dished out is relevant to the child. “Think about what may have the most impact,” says Alex Rand (not his real name), DB father of four. “For example, simply shouting at your teenagers will have no impact, but taking away their Facebook access may.” Alex has also found that sharing his past experiences with his teens helps them appreciate that he understands their situation, especially when they’ve made a mistake. “Make sure, however, that you only do this after an event has happened, and not before, or it may entice them to act in the same way as you did,” he advises. Of course, when disciplining your teen, it’s essential to discuss the situation. “Explaining why you’re banning or limiting something is so important,” Alex says. “Unless your teens understand why they are being punished, they will not learn respect.”

Let’s talk “I think the level of discipline depends entirely on the maturity and personality of the child,” says Kerri. “Kids need to earn their parents trust – only then, can we give them free rein. The trouble with raising teens in Hong Kong is that the boundaries will always be blurred because there are so many different nationalities, each with their own expectations and ideas. What’s important is to maintain your boundaries as a parent.”

Talla and Nina horsing around in DB

Talking to teenagers about contentious issues, without things escalating into a shouting match, is not always easy. But Hadas points out that “as a parent, you have to remember that any dialogue (hostile as it can be) is still communication 

What DB teens have to say “Even if I had the chance to do something I’m not supposed to, I wouldn't because I'm scared of the consequences. Overall I think I have quite a good relationship with my parents because I have sort of earned it.” Evelina Alex, 18. “My mum often asks me what time I want to come home after a night out, and we negotiate as adults,” Talla Buffery, 17. “My parents and I have a very strong relationship. I always tell them exactly where I’m going and who I’m going to be with. They are always OK with the times I come home, as long as they are generally predetermined and I text them when I return home.” Barak Michaelis, 17. “There are times I want to stay out well past midnight, and though I don’t have a set curfew, my parents want me home earlier. They also don’t like it if I’m going to somebody’s house they don’t know or hanging out with unfamiliar friends. They know my close friends well, and I really feel like this makes them worry a little less, than if I were with a group of people they’ve never met.” Sie Rossiter, 17.

Find more child-centric stories


November 2013

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More than just Dance! photo by Tracey van Geest

Shop 112 DB Plaza, Discovery Bay, 29874338


and can bring results. Remind your teens that you are on their side and that you care about them. Don’t attack back (be strong even if you are hurt), stay calm and express your feelings and worries, listen to criticism and take responsibility for your own mistakes. “Sometimes a teen feels he or she must ‘defend’ a position, and very quickly the conversation turns into a mini-debate,” Hadas adds. “If you find yourself debating, try suggesting that you both approach matters from a different angle.” Kerri also emphasises the importance of constructive discussion. “I found it worked best when I gave my children the power to own the situation, when I let them explain rather than simply lecturing them about something they’d done,” she says. “Putting aside the clinical nature of this phrase, imagine your family as a business. In every business, you need constant feedback – what are the issues and how are we dealing with them?” John backs this up, saying, “try to be a consultant offering good advice rather than a controlling manager. Research has shown that simply knowing and monitoring what your teenagers are doing, and checking in with them and being

there for them, is much more important and effective than exerting control.” For Pastor James, it comes down to “shepherding” a teen’s heart. “Model the attitude you wish your teens to have and they will soon learn how to make choices in life,” he says. “Instead of controlling them, try identifying with them more. Find something you can do together. For me football was the common denominator with my two sons, and with my daughter, I would make sure we had a weekly father-daughter date – whether that was going out for lunch, to the theatre or to see a ballet. This meant I was involved in their lives.”

Find it • DB Child and Family Development Practice, • Island Health Family Practice, • Kerri Gunthorpe, family mediator, • Rock Da Boat (RDB), Discovery Bay International Community Church,

Join KIPMOVIN To Get started Go further Go faster All ages and abilities welcome!

teen idols

Performances by the teen YRock finalists are always a highlight at Picnic in the Park. Grace Dale gens up on the Hong Kong wide musical youth project and talks to some of this year’s key players


he unique community project that is YRock brings together Hong Kong students from all backgrounds and musical influences, creating a pop culture environment for self-expression and development in music, performance and multimedia. Throughout the year, YRock organisers host workshops and gigs to assist artists age 13 to 19 with original song-writing and band performance. By far the biggest venture undertaken is the International Music Challenge, which has been held annually from September to October since 2005. It is here that young people get the chance to compete for YRock Performance, Originality and Personality (POP) awards, and most importantly, stage time at DB’s Picnic in the Park (PiP). “For me, one of the greatest things is seeing how much the young people develop and especially how much they gain in confidence – especially those who make it on stage at PiP,” says YRock co-founder Belinda Howard. “The POP awards also celebrate what people want to express – not everyone is a natural performer. Chiefly, YRock assists young people in developing life skills, self-esteem and confidence.”

Photo by

POP stars 2013 The 2013 YRock finale, held in DB Plaza on October 19, saw 13 teen acts compete, four from DB. If you missed the show, you can catch the three POP award winners – Tony Eum (Performance), Ketchup and Mustard (Originality) and Yasmin and Justin (Personality), alongside the YRock organisers’ chosen picks, Elouise McCracken, Hydroscope and Forest People, on the main Siena Stage at PiP on November 2. The other finalists – The Oxidisers, Bottle Caps, Emergency Exit and Biggi and Co (all from DB), and Meilina Tsui, NickysRapAttic, Sophie Matthews, Ingrid Lim, Katie and Gracie and One Day More – are performing on the Bayside

Stage. Bayside spots have also been given to YRock organiser favourite Lauren Miller, 13, and YRock Summer Song Contest winner, Phoebe Whalley, 14, both from DB. For DB finalists Daisy Biggins, age 17, and sister Poppy, age 13, (of Biggi and Co), the best thing about the YRock process has definitely been getting up on stage. “Being part of the YRock song-writing workshop prior to the International Music Challenge, really gave us the confidence to perform some original songs,” says Daisy, who has been writing lyrics since she was 13, and now collaborates with her melody-making little sister. “As far as I know, there’s no other organisation in Hong Kong that lets music-loving teens get out and perform in public, so I'm really glad YRock is around,” adds Yasmin Subba Hingun, 17, winner of this year’s POP Personality award. Yasmin credits at least some of her success to some constructive criticism given to her by YRock co-founder Ricky 'Spinn'. “If I hadn't listened to it, I wouldn't have won,” she says simply. “The most important part of your musical development comes after you perform," Yasmin adds. "Whether someone gives you feedback or you’re watching yourself on video, taking time to reflect on your performance is a great way to improve quickly.” Certainly Yasmin has all the poise and daring of a truly seasoned performer. “The music challenge attracts a lot of bands, who are really cool and serious, and there I was tossing jokes and one-liners at the audience,” she says. “It’s a risk to try something a bit different, but I guess if you never try you'll never know. I’m really pumped for PiP and I can’t wait to meet the audience!” For more on YRock, go to


November 2013

YRock finalists rock the stage




party on

Photos by Tracey van Geest

Let’s sing and dance and picnic in the park! The excitement is building for November 2, when Discovery Bay appears in its very best light – alive with music and dance. Around DB reports


ow in its eighth year, Hong Kong’s largest live music and dance festival, DB’s very own Picnic in the Park (PiP) is a muchanticipated community get-together, known for hosting some really class acts. This year head down to Siena Park to watch 20 live bands, including big DB draws Soul Traders, Helium3, The Blades, The Vibes, @ONE, Cougar Bait, Benzine and Horus - plus DBIS Rocks and the DC Bands. PiP 2013 sees 60+ live acts, with performances by wellknown community troupes, such as Island Dance, DMR School of Ballet, Highland Dance, O'Connor-Barton Dancers and Capoeira HK, and for the first time, dancers from Hong Kong Disneyland. There’ll also be opera singing, appearances by the top teen YRock performers and an ‘open-mic’ air-guitar competition.

So how are the featured acts, who perform to crowds of over 10,000 people, chosen? “Normally we are invited to a concert to see them play, dance or sing,” explains Duncan Nott, PiP communications manager. “Sally Leonard, who 

November 2013


TALKING POINTS is in charge of choosing the acts, has to ensure that they are of a high standard and suitable for all family members. There must be an eclectic mixture of music genres. And all acts must have some relation to the DB community.”

Making it happen PiP core team members, Jim Alba-Duignan, chair; Dave Mushinskie, project manager; Duncan Nott, communications manager; Sally Leonard, act selection; Mark Rawson, sponsorship; Jerri Wiseman, logistics; and Mark Basford, audio/ visual staging, share the colossal task of putting PiP together. “Our first meeting was in December 2012 to discuss last year’s event,” Duncan explains. “After that, we met six months ago to start planning for this year’s festival.” For Duncan alone, organising PiP has involved over 40 hours of meetings – note that all the volunteers give their time for free, and most have full-time jobs. With over 60 acts set to perform on two custom-built stages, coordinating this annual festival obviously takes more than seven volunteers. A wider team meets every week for three months prior to the event to organise key details, such as the stage construction, power supply, car parking and event security. On top of that, over 100 volunteers make sure everything runs smoothly on the day. “Unlike other major concerts, with PiP there are no sound checks – we simply don’t have time! It’s for this reason that we have to have everything set up perfectly beforehand,” says Duncan. A festival this size costs about HK$600,000 to put on and it clearly doesn’t finance itself. Duncan is quick to acknowledge the generous support of this year’s 20+ local sponsors, and title sponsor Platinum Financial Services. He also emphasises the continued goodwill of Hong Kong Resort International and Discovery Bay City Management. “Without them, PiP would simply not be possible,” he says. Organised by volunteers, with all acts performing free of charge, PiP is dedicated to raising funds for two Hong Kong based children’s charities: Hong Chi Association and Hong Kong Student Aid Society. HK$170,000 was raised in 2012. This year, the organisers hope to raise HK$500,000, that's just HK$50 for every attendee. In previous years PiP volunteers had a hard time fighting their way through the crowds with collection buckets, so for 2013 designated donation points are being set up throughout Siena Park. “By far the best thing about being involved in PiP is putting on a great show and knowing that the money raised makes a real difference to the lives of kids less fortunate than our own,” concludes Duncan. “Many of the children supported by Hong Chi Association and Hong Kong Student Aid Society have no families. As we celebrate our own in this family-orientated festival it seems only right that we support the great work these charities do.”

Find more DB events


November 2013



the sho

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For more information about PiP, or to make a donation, visit


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past performance is


It may be time to start bargain hunting (


Are you looking for a good-value investment with attractive future prospects? Don’t be afraid to shop around and pick up a real bargain. Martin W. Hennecke reports

n the search for yield and perceived security, do you typically pile into bond/ fixed interest funds regardless of price/ value and future interest-rate outlook? Assuming that is, that the fund factsheet looks attractive, showing a rising historical price. Misguided as you may be, you are not alone.

expensive simply because of positive past performance. Apart from bond funds, there has also been significant demand lately for high-yield US blue-chip stocks, as well as, more locally, for the trendiest ASEAN equity stocks.

One of the most common mistakes made by investors is the tendency to chase after investments that have been on the up in the recent past, where valuations may have become

Rising price creates a false impression – confidence of a continuation of the same in the future, at least in the eye of an inexperienced investor. By the same token, assets

Don’t dismiss a bargain

November 2013



where the past-performance chart does not look good, which is often the case in markets that have witnessed underperformance/ a price drop, are typically shunned. (This basically is how bubbles are created in some areas and how great bargains are overlooked in others.) One can always find excuses to justify refusing even to consider investing in a depressed market. Mostly the excuse is a price drop in the past (supposedly and usually wrongly implying the same in the future), or an unsubstantiated bias (frequently caused by negative news stories). Often though, these unpopular areas present the best bargain investment opportunities precisely because the majority of participants do not like them and have either given up and left the market, or declined to invest in the first place. Mostly these potential value assets are not a popular story pushed by banks (because something that does not show a healthy past-performance chart is not an easy sell), nor are they covered much in the media, at least not positively. Interestingly, typical investor behaviour of wanting to buy what has performed well in the past, regardless of current (escalated) price and future fundamental outlook, is exactly the opposite of behaviours typically exhibited by retail shoppers. Any discount-obsessed reader who regularly negotiates his/ her way through a SOGO department store during the sales will be able to attest to this.

Bank on the potential The issue of downside risk versus upside potential is also one that is often poorly understood by investors. It is commonly assumed that assets showing a solid and relatively low-volatility return in the past of say 8 to 15% per annum, and which have highcredit ratings, are of a low-risk nature, and most likely to produce similar returns in the future. Yet this was the case with securitised sub-prime mortgages in the US before they crashed. One could only have anticipated this by analysing the market fundamentals as opposed to past-

Find more monetary advice


November 2013

performance percentage figures, and by relying on neither the major rating agencies, nor the market consensus. Similarly, over the past 10 years, many bond funds would have matched an 8 to 15% return target perfectly. But with the interest-rate cycle now very possibly having bottomed out, and inflation likely on the rise, the future risk-return trade-off in this asset class needs to be very carefully evaluated. (Both US treasuries and US high-yield bonds are still trading at historically low-yield levels even after the price correction in June. This means that rising interest rates going forward could well translate into the previous years’ capital gains going into reverse.)

Consider Russian and Chinese equities Assets that have dropped or exhibited high volatility in the past, but are now trading at compelling valuations, may not be quite as high risk as is commonly thought – as long as they are being held as part of a diversified portfolio. One such depressed and overlooked, but possibly soonto-reverse asset class appears to be Russian equities, given the market’s present historically low valuations (representing an approximate 50% discount to the emerging market average and an almost 70% discount to the major developed markets). Furthermore, sound macro-economic fundamentals and upcoming pension reforms may soon result in substantial equity market inflows. Unknown to most, Russia holds the world’s third largest foreign exchange reserves, totalling US$538 billion, and has one of the lowest debt to GDP (gross domestic product) ratios in the world at 8%, which compares favourably with the Eurozone’s average of 92%, the US’ 101% and Japan’s 230%. Unemployment in Russia stands at 5.4%, also lower than the developed market average. Investors seeking a stable/ solid yield and a safe haven for their hard-earned cash would not 

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typically think of Russia as the first place to go, but why not actually consider the facts rather than follow the common misperceptions? Russia is currently one of the highest yielding (dividend-yield average of 4.8%) and best-value markets (price-earnings ratio average of 5.6) on the planet – and it has no debt problem. Chinese equities generally aren’t expensive at present either, as we can see from the chart overleaf, compared with both the West and the more fashionable and hence relatively more pricey emerging markets, like the Philippines. So if you are currently invested mostly in sovereign or highyield bonds/ funds or in US/ Western yield stocks, assess how high those yields really are against the risks/ prospects of the asset class going forward. Consider shifting/ diversifying at least some of your holdings to the currently more overlooked and unloved markets. They may not be popular or look the best on past-performance charts, but they appear to offer substantially better value right now and hence attractive prospects in the future.

Consider bargain-basement Chinese equities (

Martin W. Hennecke is chief economist of The Henley Group, an independent financial advisory firm specialised in providing individually tailored portfolio management and comprehensive financial planning strategies. Email him at

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This question is a common response from expats in Hong Kong who do not prioritize their protection portfolio. Whilst we all work hard to transform our dreams into a reality, we all need to safeguard ourselves against unexpected occurrences like injuries and illnesses that can disrupt our plans. Why recommend health protection?

• In HK the Top three killers are cancer, heart diseases and pneumonia which accounted for 60% of total deaths • Globally each year nearly 20 million people survive heart attacks and strokes; many requiring continuing and costly medical care Source: Hong Kong Annual Digest of Statistics (2009) & World Health Organisation (2008)

• The costs of private medical fees are second only to those in the USA and will account for some of the highest expenses an expat will have to pay • The cost of medical treatment to continue to rise at an alarming rate. Illustrated by a recent survey by reinsurance company Swiss Re in which they estimated that the city's health care costs will almost double by 2020

Private Maternity Expenses?

• This can vary dramatically between different Private hospitals where the average basic package for a routine delivery is HK$57,320 • If elective caesarian is chosen the basic package averages at HK$71,500 Bear in mind also that these costs are only the tip of the iceberg as they do not include Obstetrician, Paediatrician, Anaesthesiologist and other doctors' fees that will be needed during childbirth for both mother and child.

The price will normally skyrocket to between HK$100,000 and HK$200,000, even if there are no complications with the pregnancy and birth! "Illness is just a stone throw away from bankruptcy"!

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Photos courtesy of Flight Centre Hong Kong

Music, Mojitos, time-warped towns and gleaming Caribbean beaches. Cecilia Yee waxes lyrical about her solo trip from Havana to Trinidad


November 2013



eality hit hard when I arrived in Havana. English-speaking locals were hard to find. The dual currency system confused me: tourists are expected to pay more (using Cuban Convertible Peso) than the locals (using National Cuban Peso). People came up to talk, and I didn’t have a clue whether they were touts trying to rip me off or if they were genuinely interested in meeting a foreigner, perhaps for the first time. I remember asking myself, ‘What were you thinking coming here by yourself?’. But my initial trepidation slowly turned into a hunger for adventure and a heart-felt love for the country. For two full weeks, I travelled all over Cuba. I met amazing people, saw incredible sights, experienced a colourful culture and basically disconnected from the rest of the world.

What’s happening in Havana Picture the capital, Havana, the quintessential Cuba. Remember that the country has been largely cut off from the outside world since the communist revolutionaries took power in 1959. In any given alley, there are old ladies peoplewatching from crumbing Spanish-colonial balconies, kids playing soccer, dogs barking, women salsa dancing, men shuffling dominoes and bands playing. It’s busy and it’s loud; it’s a sensory overload.

In Habana Vieja (Old Havana), a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as ‘Cuba in a time warp’, I spent hours walking around, dodging the 1950s vintage cars, admiring the glorious mix of Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, and listening to the ever-present hum of Latino music. Habana Vieja is exotic and mysterious, and to me hugely romantic. The best way to get your bearings is to familiarise yourself with the main plazas. In Plaza de la Catedral, you’ll find one of the city’s most iconic structures, Catedral de San Cristóbal. Dominated by two unequal towers and framed by a theatrical Baroque facade, this incredible cathedral was described by Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier [1904 to 1980] as ‘music set in stone’. Just around the corner in Plaza de Armas, the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales is another majestic Baroque building. Home to the City Museum since 1968, artifacts on show vividly document Havana's rollercoaster history. Plaza de San Francisco, meanwhile, is home to the 16th-century Basilica and Monastery of Saint Francis of Assisi – now a museum and concert hall. Inside, there is a glass statue of Jesus given to former Cuban president Fidel Castro by Mother Teresa. All in all, it took me three blissful days to get to know Habana Vieja. Covering just 4 square kilometres, it’s not huge but there are so many enticing little pockets of culture to check out. Aside from the awesome sites, the thrill is simply to 

Take a walk on the wild side at an elephant sanctuary

Havana residents gather on the Malecón at sunset

November 2013



n Trinidad Caribbea l, u rf u lo Co

Sun-drenched Playa Ancon

Viňales – F idel Castro ’s favourite

part of Cu ba

bana Vieja Time-warped Ha

wander the cobbled streets where vendors sell pre-1960 books, musicians serenade you, kids play and Latino music blares. Seen thus, at face value, it’s impossible to truly appreciate the poverty that is endured by many modernday Cubans.

also want to drop by La Bodeguita del Medio, a small and noisy joint serving Ernest Hemingway approved Mojitos. But to mingle with the locals, try one of the many bars lining the Malecón, a broad esplanade, which stretches 8 kilometres along the coast from the mouth of Havana Harbour.

Centro Habana, home to the Capitolio Nacional (government headquarters), is another district worth exploring, and a real find for me was Barrio Chino, the local Chinatown. Visit Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes for contemporary art, and Museo Nacional de la Revolución for exhibits devoted to the Cuban Revolution [1953 to 1959] that saw the advent of communist rule. Opposite the museum, you can board Granma, the yacht that was used to transport 82 revolutionaries (including the Castro brothers and Che Guevara) from Mexico to Cuba in November 1956.

Visiting Vinales and Trinidad

Of course no trip to Havana is complete without a nostalgiafuelled drink at Hotel Nacional de Cuba, which opened in 1930 when the country was a prime travel destination, long before the 1960 US embargo. Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner and Marlon Brando were among its early clientele. You’ll

Find more exciting holiday destinations


A pict ure-pe rfect C uban lady

November 2013

Heading out from Havana, on the four-hour bus ride to the Valley of Viňales, you take in some of Cuba’s most spectacular vistas, from breath-taking limestone karsts and lush forests, to rich tobacco fields. Viňales town, said to be Fidel Castro’s favourite place in Cuba, is tiny and quaint. Instead of finding a hotel, stay in a casa particular (private homestay) – boarding with a local family makes the experience so much more authentic. Meals are prepared at an additional cost, and activities can be arranged. During my stay I hiked the valley, toured a tobacco field, and went horseback riding and caving. I also stopped by the Castro-commissioned Mural de la Prehistoria, a valley cliff garishly painted with snails, dinosaurs and a family 


of cave people – perhaps the weirdest tourist attraction in Cuba. A two-hour drive on from Viňales, lies my new can’t-getenough-of destination – Trinidad. This perfectly preserved Spanish-colonial town (another UNESCO World Heritage Site) offers up old-world Cuba in a nutshell, with a little contemporary decadence thrown in. My first day, I spent in town checking out the cathedrals and museums. Day two, I explored Valle de Los Ingenios, a living monument to Cuban sugar production, and hiked 180 metres up Cerro de la Vigia simply to marvel at the view. For the rest of the week, I took it easy. I dove into the Caribbean and lay on the white sand at Playa Ancon; I salsa danced and partied in a cave at Disco Ayala. The ‘activity’ I recommend to all visitors to Cuba, whether you are hunkering down in Havana, getting out and about in Viňales or living it up in Trinidad, is an afternoon Mojito break. I spent many happy hours simply sitting and sipping, watching the world go by and listening to Buena Vista Social Club. When it came to it, I had to tear myself away. Two weeks in Cuba is definitely not enough.

Travel tips • Fly to Havana via Canada, Mexico, or Europe • To travel from one city to the next, take Viazul or Transtur buses – or hire a taxi • Learn some basic Spanish to help you get around • Board in private homestays for a more authentic Cuban experience • Note that tourists are only allowed to use the Cuban Convertible Peso • Stock up on Havana Club, Habanos Montecristo cigars and Serrano coffee

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Kids from left to right: Ethan Davies, Charlie Higgins, Fin Bruce, Billy Higgins, Dan Bruce, Ella Stranger, Ellie Albutt. Adults from left to right: Jamie Stranger, Emma Bruce, Niall Greenan, Courtney Davies, Keith Moran

the kids are


Photos by Amy Freed

Ahead of the DB institution that is the Wellcome Junior Challenge (run by Team FEAR), it’s time to find out what exactly makes the race what it is. Elizabeth Kerr reports



t’s a warm and sunny Saturday morning in September when a respectable horde of trainers and trainees for the 2013 Wellcome Junior Challenge (run by Team FEAR) descends on the already bustling Pacific Coffee near the DB ferry pier. Local children train very seriously for the annual event, and the adrenaline is already running high. That’s as it should be, considering most of these kids can run up the side of the imposing hill facing the harbour in 16 minutes. Go take a look at that hill. In fact, just imagine yourself running up the Central-Mid-Levels escalator – for fun.

November 2013

Now in its 13th year, the race is an institution. Founded by long-term DB resident Steve Corbin, Team FEAR has expanded from its inaugural 30 participants to an expected 700 this year. Kids from eight to 18 will hit the course on November 24 and run, climb, cycle, swim and (perhaps) abseil in and around the hills of Discovery Bay. The race is so legendary, in fact, Team FEAR doesn’t advertise for sign up. It’s first-come, first-served, and this year all 700 slots filled in just 36 minutes. Not bad for a community event that raises a good bit of money for charity (Youth Outreach) while it’s at it.


fine for Ella, thanks very much. “It depends on how serious you are about the race,” she adds. “Some people are crazy enough about it to start seven months before.” Finishing is indeed a significant accomplishment. Dan Bruce, 11, is prepping for his third race and he credits his parents as inspiration. He considers himself, “pretty good” at rock scrambling, though cycling is his strong point. Asked about how he fared in races past, he throws in a sheepish, “The first time I won it, but the second time I had a bad asthma attack and had to drop out”. Seeing as that he’s saying this to someone who can barely raise a coffee cup without getting winded, his vague embarrassment is misplaced. Pressed on how he likes his chances this year, however, a confident, “top three”, comes with a toothy grin. To the contrary, his little brother Fin, eight, is gung-ho to start. Fin’s first race was at the tender age of seven, and though it didn’t end in a crushing victory, simply finishing was a source of pride for him and his mother, Emma Bruce. “He was seven, literally, the day before the race,” Emma says. “It’s one of my proudest moments.” Emma is a former Ironman competitor, so it’s easy to see where Dan and Fin get their inspiration.

Team FEAR is a good time but it is by no means a walk in the park. Rain or shine, the race ranges between 12 and 16 kilometres and can be taxing under the best of circumstances. “It’s a long race. For the more inexperienced kids it can take up to four hours,” notes Niall Greenan, chief marshal and Team FEAR organising committee member. “The only time we called it off, there was a hill fire… and it was still burning the day of the race.”

Veteran racers Many of those involved in the months of training leading up to the event do it regardless of whether or not they’re in it. Ellie Albutt is 11 and a two-time veteran who’s not racing this year – she’ll be in Thailand on race day. “The training’s quite fun,” she says, and of the race itself, “It’s really just fun to finish because you know you’ve done it.” Ellie’s friend Ella Stranger, 11, is racing this year and she agrees. “I quite enjoy the training. It’s not like push-ups and bootcamp and that sort of thing. These are smaller, not as competitive races,” she explains. “But in the end it’s quite rewarding because we get to go to the rock pools for a swim, up in the mountain.” Three months of training is just

Find more local clubs and activities

Fin’s teammates this year include Billy Higgins, age eight, and Ethan Davies, nine, and both already sound ready for ESPN interviews. Asked who the best trainer is, Billy defers from answering with a knowing smile. Ethan – the veteran among them – has several other races lined up before Team FEAR, including a 2-kilometre run and 250-metre swim at Hong Kong Disneyland. Billy’s brother Charlie, 10, is participating for the second time this year after placing a stellar 10th in his first race. He’ll cop to a post-race feeling no one’s mentioned yet. “[I was] tired,” he says. “And happy that I finished. Every year I plan to do better.”

Parent volunteers None of this could happen without the 250-odd parents and friends willing to lend a hand. Emma Bruce is a volunteer marshal, as are Niall Greenan, trainer/ coach Keith Moran and section leader Courtney Davies. And despite the requisite handful of overzealous ‘hockey parents’, the spirit of the race is competitive without being crazy. “There’s a good balance,” comments Courtney. “The kids are competitive enough themselves.” So if bragging rights aren’t the end game, what’s in it for parent volunteers like Keith, who now boasts about 20  Reto Raimann is taking on the 50-kilometre MSIG

Lantau 50 course for the third time

November 2013



kids in his training group? A good chinwag aside, “It’s great to see the kid who couldn’t cycle at the beginning of the training, biking up the hill at the end of the year. It’s amazing,” he says. It may not be easy, but it’s rewarding. “No one signs up to this unless they really want to be there,” Keith adds. Meaning organisation and getting everyone to training on time are only minor challenges. The other challenge comes from kids being kids. “One of the hardest things is for the children to learn to stick together as a team,” says Emma. (They must start and finish the race with their team). “Kids at that age are very much individuals. Some are really good on their bikes, some are confident with the rock scrambling… The marshals make them wait for their teammates. That’s what has to be drilled in. It’s really hard because when they’re doing well and they’re on a roll they just want to go.” Ultimately the Team FEAR Junior Challenge is a fun time that encourages fitness and raises funds for a good cause – as it was designed to be. The sense of accomplishment is gravy. “One of the most memorable experiences from


November 2013

Keith Moran briefs the teams on this week’s challenging new training route

when I was a section leader last year, happened when some of the younger kids were lagging towards the end… I carried about 10 little girls down a rope on my back,” recalls Courtney. “They were absolutely exhausted but they went on to finish the race and it was a delight to see.”



interests Are you considering renovating an apartment to rent it out or sell it on? Mary Singer finds out how it’s done from three DB property agents and a DB based property developer

A Photos courtesy of Emsworth Suites

mazing views and large outdoor entertaining areas are among the most important criteria for selecting investment units. So says Alison Whalley, a DB resident of 16 years and CEO of property developer Emsworth Suites. “When we satisfy these criteria (at a reasonable price), the final result is an apartment that is unique and desirable to tenants and agents alike,” she says.


Ten of Alison’s 15 rental properties are located in Wanchai and Sheung Wan, five in Discovery Bay. And DB agents, Edina Wong, senior director at Savills, Brian King of Headland Homes, and Roenel Turner of Lifestyle Homes, confirm that a great location is always a key deciding factor for wannabe landlords. “This is particularly important in DB due to the ferry/ bus requirements,” says Brian. “For instance, a chef working in town may want to use the bus, so Chianti is a good bet, whereas the Beach Village may suit a family more.” It’s clear you need to know your tenant/ potential buyer base – and your budget.

November 2013

“Most important is working out how much you have to spend on a property, and making sure you get a good deal,” Roenel says. “You’ll want to get a good yield on your investment.” So is it wiser to invest in a two-bed property or go bigger? “Over the past few years, there have been some very good buying opportunities in DB,” Alison says. “Our DB properties vary in size – some being three bedrooms and others being one bedroom – however all of them have private outdoor terraces.” “The lump sum for purchase and rental is of course more affordable for the two beds, however competition is higher,” says Edina. “Supply for four beds is not that abundant, and that lack of supply in the long run will help in the appreciation in value.” “The market changes a lot,” Brian adds. “Obviously a multi-bedroom house is more expensive, so this type


Open-plan living appeals to would-be tenants and buyers – folding doors provide the option of dividing the space

of rental only appeals to those who have larger budgets and tenants like these may not be around all the time. If you have HK$30 million to spend you could get a house on Headland Drive, which might rent for HK$120,000 per month. Or you could buy two properties at HK$15 million, which could each bring in up to HK$70,000 per month. Always remember though that with two properties you are looking at double the renovation costs.”

Renovating to add value After seven years as a property developer, Alison has a number of useful design ideas to share. “I used to furnish my apartments to rent them out but a lot of my tenants have their own furniture, so I have stopped doing this to some extent,” she says. “I have found that it does not tend to affect the rental price whether an apartment is furnished or unfurnished.” The consensus from the DB agents is that unfurnished

apartments are easier to rent out than furnished ones. That said, they need to be well renovated. “One should provide the basics, for instance home appliances, simple lighting and sheer curtains,” Edina says. “It is also advisable to repaint and have the premises in move-in condition for the agent to show. This I find is very important if one is looking for a better rent and a quick lease.” To this end, Alison’s first priority when renovating is to create a clean, simple backdrop. “I often use sliding partitions to create movable walls,” she says, “so our tenants can decide how open or closed they want the apartment to be.” She tends to have existing window panes enlarged, and pays particular attention to the kitchen and bathroom fittings. Subject to building management approval, Alison also advocates renovating lobbies and painting elevator doors. As for the rest, Alison installs a little built-in furniture (cabinets and barbecues), simple yet atmospheric ceiling lamps, and 

November 2013



tropical plants. Windows are dressed with space-efficient roller blinds that don’t break easily. Blackout blinds feature in the bedrooms.


Working with a contractor If, like Alison, you want to redesign the apartment yourself (or have a big input) your choice of contractor is vital, and communication important. “I show my design to our contractor in order to get an idea as to whether it is feasible given the nature of the flat – plumbing restrictions, structural walls and so on,” she says. “Renovating is usually stressful, but this stress can be lessened with a reliable, timely and reasonably priced contractor.” Edina stresses the importance of choosing an “experienced and resourceful” contactor, and says that the best referrals are often word of mouth. “It is always good to allow the contractor to offer you suggestions to see if he has a practical approach,” she adds. For Brian the key is really to define the job that needs doing – “don’t be vague,” he says. “And bear in mind that if you are doing a kitchen renovation you are better off using a specialist kitchen contractor rather than a general contractor.”


Obviously, it is important to get a quote upfront in writing for the renovation, with a timeframe for completion. “If possible, ask for an all-in quote that includes the cost of tiles, sanitaryware, flooring, lights and switches, electrical appliances and the like,” Roenel advises. “This will minimise the variations that will be included in the final bill.” It almost goes without saying that you pay your contractor in instalments as the work progresses, with the final payment being after completion, and once all defects have been resolved.

Finding the right tenant

Alison has learned that, even when hiring trusted contractors, renovating is still very much a hands-on task for the property owner. “You need to keep on top of what’s going on by

To get your property rented out – and keep it rented – you need to have a good working relationship with as many agents as possible. Alison has built up a large network of 

Find more lifestyle tips

An outdoor entertaining area ups the allure of any apartment

visiting the site regularly and unannounced,” she says. “This shows your contractor that you are taking an interest and want to be involved in decisions on the ground.”

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agent contacts over the years. She sends bulk emails to all these contacts with a full specification and high-resolution images when she has a property available for rent. And how do agents suggest you make renting out your property easy for them? “Landlords should sign the Estate Agency Agreement (EAA) leasing forms at the start, and also supply the tenancy format beforehand,” says Edina. “Offering access for photo taking is preferable to supplying photos, and easy access for viewing is essential.” “Marketing is important,” Brian adds. “Most importantly, keep in touch with your agents and update them so that they can promote your property online and elsewhere. If the property is rented, inform them, and also provide reminders when the property is becoming vacant again.” Here Roenel affirms, “It’s best to stay in contact with agents through email.” Setting up your own website is also a good bet, making it easier for agents to market your property. “The Emsworth Suites website has helped to build our credibility and reputation with agents, as well as with past, existing and prospective tenants,” Alison confirms. “Work closely with the website designer as you will have a clear idea about the brand image you want to convey. Our website has

already paid for itself; two apartments were leased through direct enquiries.” Alison puts as much consideration into choosing her tenants as she does everything else. “Usually agents provide me with a rundown of where the person works, how long they have been in Hong Kong and so on, which helps me decide whether I want to rent to them or not,” she says. While she has experienced vexatious tenants, Alison takes it in her stride. “It is always a bit of a lottery,” she says. “But most of my tenants have been great (paying rent on time and looking after my apartments), as I think my renovations appeal to house-proud individuals.”

Find it • Emsworth Suites, • Headland Homes, • Lifestyle Homes, • Savills,

FINANCIAL PLANNING ASK THE EXPERT Who am I? KayeKaye Khemlani (PIBA No. 0032-009006), a native English-speaking insurance advisor, with a strong presence in Discovery Bay and Hong Kong.

My thoughts I understand we all go through different stages of life and so do our insurance needs. Besides the mandatory insurances required by the HK Government (including domestic-helper insurance, house insurance, automobile coverage and life insurance), there are many optional insurances worth considering. This summer, quality Disability Income Insurance should be at the top of your list!

Disability Income Insurance Recently my competitors have been pushing Disability Income Insurance (DI) and now I guess it’s my turn. DI is a form of insurance that insures the beneficiary’s earned income against the risk that a disability renders him unable to complete the core functions of his work. It encompasses paid sick leave, short-term disability benefits, and long-term disability benefits. Traditional disability carriers have limitations on the monthly benefits for highincome earners. Note that premiums and available benefits for individual coverage vary considerably between companies and occupations. The salary of various occupations also determines the cost of coverage because disability insurance is based on a percentage of regular earnings. The percentage of replaced income is also a consideration. The primary benefit of DI is the knowledge that should something go radically wrong, and you find yourself unable to work, you won’t be strapped for cash, at a time when you are already stressed out.

My offer: These are oversimplified concepts and different people have different budgets. I can do a comparison shop for you free of charge, to ensure that you have made the right choice and check that you have the right product at the right price.

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10/21/2013 3:11:06 PM

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WWF-Hong Kong

Walk for Nature this month

WWF-Hong Kong is celebrating 30 years of local conservation work. To mark the occasion, it’s holding a Walk for Nature fundraiser in Mai Po Nature Reserve, November 9 and 10. Participants gather sponsorship and walk a set route around the wetlands. Sign up and you’ll discover how the reserve’s freshwater and wetland ecosystems are protected, making it a ‘paradise for birds’. For more information, visit

If you enjoy Picnic in the Park, you’ll love Clockenflap

Franz Ferdinand – a festival highlight

Don’t miss the 2013 Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival being held on the promenade at the West Kowloon Cultural District over the weekend of November 29. Expect seven stages packed with headline acts, such as Franz Ferdinand, Two Door Cinema Club and Chic (aka Chic feat. Nile Rodgers), plus Cantopop diva Gloria Tang (better known as G.E.M.). Festivalgoers can also make the most of a film tent, a silent disco, a kids’ area, art village and cabaret. For more information, visit or for tickets, visit

Reel news

Polish movie Aftermath is screening at HKJFF

Join the Jewish community at this year’s Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival (HKJFF), showcasing 21 films which each explore the complex, diverse and emotive subject of family. Running from November 16 to 24 at AMC Pacific Place Cinemas, Admiralty, the event is now in its 14th year. Aside from the sensational movies being screened, a number of special addons are available. Cinemagoers can expect a free glass of He’brew beer on November 17, lox and bagels on November 21 and Happy Cow ice cream on November 24. For further information, visit, to purchase tickets go to 

November 2013




What's new around Hong Kong

Café Deco in Kowloon Cafe Deco Pizzeria’s Duck Pizza

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Canine care workshops

for helpers

Forest Mushroom Risotto

Cafe Deco Group’s latest addition to Hong Kong’s vibrant restaurant scene, Café Deco Pizzeria is now open in Elements shopping mall, Tsim Sha Tsui. An ambient gathering place for friends and families alike, it showcases the freshest ingredients incorporated into an elaborate menu with a key focus on innovative and international pizza offerings. The stylish eatery also serves a fantastic range of fresh salads, appetisers, shareable mains, pastas and puddings. Sweet-toothed readers should note that the nine-inch Hazelnut, Strawberry and Banana Pizza tastes even better than it sounds. For reservations, call 2196 8099 or email

Get a load of

Matchbox Twenty Help your helper care for your dog

See the American rock sensations live

Touring Asia for the first time since 1995, the multi-platinum selling US rock band, Matchbox Twenty takes to the stage on November 4 at Star Hall, Kowloonbay International Trade and Exhibition Centre. Achieving international fame with the debut album, Yourself or Someone Like You in 1996, the band has since sold more than 30 million records worldwide, earned five Grammy nominations, four American Music Award nods and the 2004 People’s Choice Award for Favourite Musical Group. For tickets to hear radio-friendly grunge at its best, visit

Find local event updates


November 2013

Get your helper fully equipped to care for your dog through the SPCA (HK) Helpers Canine Care Programme, running November 6 and 27. During each two-hour workshop, held in the SPCA’s Wanchai centre, participants are introduced to basic canine care and learn essential homeveterinary skills, such as tooth brushing and ear clipping. Expect video demonstrations, the chance to practise on live dogs, and education on diet and exercise, plus fun quizzes. Each course costs HK$380 for SPCA members and HK$480 for non-members and all proceeds are used for animal welfare. For more information and to register, visit

Alcoholics Anonymous If you want to drink, that’s your business. If you want to stop, we can help. No dues or fees. 24 hour hotline: 9073 6922




Who do you know? Find more familiar faces @


Photos by

If you’d like us to consider your photos for DB Faces, email them to (subject line: db faces). Around DB accepts no liability relating to the photos sent.

Great prizes from The Pier Bar!




Congratulation to last month’s winner Julie Guiral! Please contact our office on 2987 0577 to collect your prize.


our challenge, this month, is to identify which of the three photos above is the exact copy of a photograph featured elsewhere in this issue of Around DB. You need to list the page number the photo appears on, as well as which of the three pictures is the exact copy. Contact us online via the competitions link at before November 10. This is your chance to win a complimentary beer at The Pier Bar at Pier 3 every day for a week. Don’t forget to include your name and telephone number with your answer. Good luck!

Nativity in the Plaza “Peace On Earth Goodwill To All”

For more information, please contact 2987-4210 or 2987-7610

Sunday, December 15, 2013 DB Plaza 4:00pm - 6:00pm Brought to you by:

Trinity Chapel Catholic Church

Discovery Bay Church St. John’s Cathedral

Church of the Incarnation

Discovery Bay International Community Church

** This Christmas we would like to encourage all friends and residents of DB to show the true Christmas Spirit and support Bethune House. Please bring donations of rice and other non-perishable food items **

View DB property listings @

WORSHIP SERVICE Discovery College Sundays @ 10 am


Pastor James Buckner Tel: 2987 7061

Call 9366 0000 or email for FREE assessment

View DB property listings @ employment MATURE HELPER LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT Josie is looking for an employer, & is able to start work November 1. With 16-years experience with one employer, she is reliable, trustworthy & a good cook. Please call 9245 0019 DOMESTIC HELPER AVAILABLE I have worked in DB for 12 years, 6 years for the same employer. I’m a good cook & love kids & animals. My employer is leaving in February when I’ll be available for work. Call me on 9550 5974 or my employer on 9383 0265


HeAltH & WellBeInG

ItemS WAnteD/oFFeReD

DB ReAltoR SeeKS ADmIn CleRK

HypnoSIS &/ oR SHoRt-teRm tHeRApy


With good spoken & written English & Cantonese (an extra language is an advantage). Mature, outgoing, proactive, hardworking & detailoriented. Attractive remuneration package. Email your resume to

DB-BASeD ReAltoR SeeKS eAA-lICenSeD AGentS Must have a good command of spoken & written English & Cantonese, an extra language is an advantage. Strong communication & interpersonal skills, mature outgoing personality, proactive, hardworking & detail oriented. Attractive remuneration package for the right candidates. Email your full CV to

FInAnCe & InSURAnCe AUStRAlIAn tAX RetURnS Need to lodge your Australian tax return? If you are an expat or collect rental from Australian property, you must lodge an annual return. Let us do it for you here in HK. Contact Dwight Stuchbery, Australasian Taxation Services on 3571 8700,, or visit

Quit smoking quickly. Divorce/ Post-Divorce Coaching. Resolve: • Fear of Flying/ Public Speaking • Overeating • Couples’ Conflicts • Career & Command-Training Stress • Anger Management • Phobias • Nail biting • Insomnia • Exam Strategies Call Dr Melanie Bryan, Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist & Hypnotherapist on 2575 7707, or visit

Home & RepAIRS eXpeRt moVeR

• Packing & moving • Cargo collection • Disposal service • Handyman services • Packing material supplies • Storage, with humidity control Professional quality service at a low rate. Contact 2566 4799,, or visit


Humidity controlled, small/ large storage space, short or long term. Competitive rates. Call 2566 4799 or visit

Due to a DB house renovation, we are selling beautiful rosewood, teak, Indian, Burmese items & more. Plus a fridge-freezer & outdoor furniture in very good condition. Call 9040 3899 details



Established playgroup for children from 2 to 4 years. A wonderful environment where children learn through play with our qualified & experienced teachers. Please contact 2987 0272,, or visit

eARly ADVentUReS plAyGRoUp

A dedicated playgroup with the emphasis on learning through play. Activities to stimulate all areas of development. Come & look at our facilities. Classes for kids from 20 months to 4 years. Morning & afternoon sessions. Call 9511 2107, or visit

November 2013


View DB property listings @

NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO?  Counselling for individuals, couples, families & adolescents  Sliding fee scale; affordable options for all clients  English, Putonghua, Cantonese, Hindi, Marathi and Marwadi speaking counselors Call 2523 8979 Now for Appointment Serving the community over 35 years A Member Agency of the Community Chest

HANDMADE COOKIES FOR ALL OCCASION Make your next celebration a hit with a selection of beautifully crafted cookies handmade right here in DB. We can customize your order to suit any theme, from baby showers to bachelorette parties and everything in between. We also offer kids cookie decorating sessions, where the kids get to decorate their own cookies, a perfect activity at any children’s birthday party...

6547 2627

design + living

interior architecture design & build

space planning project managment

Tel. 31112062

Greenland Pest Control Tailored Pest Control Solutions for Rodent, Cockroaches, Fleas, Mosquitoes, Termites, Ants, Ticks etc… For info please call Thomas 9871 0771 or May 9774 3554 Email:


November 2013

View DB property listings @ KIDS





Have an idea for a children’s business? We have a clubroom available for rent, afternoon time slots. Please call Koren on 9176 2990 Leisure travel specialists since 1978. Licence No. 350343 Contact 2526 3391,



Native speaker. DELE examiner. Experienced teacher. IB, IGCSE, A-Levels & HKDSE. Business Spanish, & courses for adults. Flexible schedule & locations. (Special offers to students who live in DB & Tung Chung). Contact Erik R on 9666 9511,




Micro Bubble Bath using Nano technology for pets is now available at PetcoDB. This penetrating clean powers deep into the pores, restoring fur condition, regaining moisture & providing relaxation. No shampoo is used. Recommended for pets with skin allergies, dermatitis & body odour. Call 2914 0382

Available in DB from professional musician with 25 years teaching experience & graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK. For enquiries, email Janet Williams at




Now available in DB at affordable rates. For inquiries contact 9143 0799,


Free over the phone repair, or home/ office visit for a nominal fee! 15 years experience & a passion for resolving computer problems. Call 9649 9910

Personal Professional Tutoring Service. • Curriculum: HSK, IB, GCSE, SAT • ESF & all international schools, Year 1 to 13 • For students & adults (homework/ exams/ business) • Mother-tongue Chinese tutors from the PRC (Levels: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced) • Mathematics tutors (UK B SC) • Native English tutors. (MA in Education, specialising in Early Childhood Stage) Contact 9107 5655,, or visit

• For children & adults; small groups or individuals • Any level / place / purpose Call DB Mandarin Room on 6071 9643, or visit

A positive, inclusive learning environment. Call 6710 0391

- Japan qualified – skilled piano technician in DB We can offer professional advice and services on all piano matters;

Fren ench English Mandarin From K1 to P6 in 2014

One of the keys to piano maintenance is - How to keep your piano in good condition with a subtropical climate E-mail: Tel : 9687 0726

SINCE 1997

OUR SERVICES DOG & CAT GROOMING ( BY APPOINTMENT ) PET FOOD & ACCESSORIES SUPPLIES CAT SITTING SERVICE FREE DAILY DELIVERY Ground floor 11B, Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay (next to Island Vet) Tel: 2987 0428 / Fax : 2914 1313 / E-mail : Open from 9:00 am till 7:30 pm (Mon - Sun)

November 2013


Check out short-term rentals @ PROPERTY DB

STUNNING FURNISHED FLAT SHORT OR LONG-LEASE Designer 2-bed apartment, 1-minute from DB Plaza. Renovated to the highest standard. Weekly cleaning available. Contact Maeve on 6408 4227,

MODERN EXECUTIVE 1-BEDROOM FLAT FOR RENT Spacious open layout. Quiet, high floor. Fully equipped kitchen. Shower. Washer/ dryer. English movies & news, & wi-fi. Just unpack! Competitively priced. Call 6680 2007, email

MODERN FLAT FOR SHORT- OR MEDIUM-TERM RENTAL Fully furnished, 1 bed plus study with extra beds & fully equipped kitchen. Sleeps 4. Broadband, wi-fi, DVD, LCD TV & split A/C. Linens & towels. Serviced twice a week. Contact 6475 2035, sharmilaproperty@gmail. com or visit


FLAT FOR RENT Bright, fully furnished flat, sleeps 4. Fully equipped kitchen, plus wi-fi & broadband. Towels & linens provided. Minimum stay 1 month. Email

DELUXE SERVICED APARMENTS For lease. Fully furnished 1-2-bed apartments with beautiful decor, wi-fi & broadband. Well-equipped kitchen, luxurious bedding, weekly cleaning service. Contact Cherry on 2987 2626,

STUDIO FOR SHORT-TERM LET Comfortable, nicely decorated studio, close to DB Plaza & pier, with fully equipped kitchen. 37” TV, DVD, wi-fi, linens & towels provided. Contact 9190 7348,

GREENBURG COURT RENTAL GREENDALE COURT RENTAL Brand-new, fully furnished, 533’ 1-bed apartment. Deluxe renovation, on a high floor, with mountain view. Call 9108 5525

LUXURY MODERN FLATS TO LET Short- or medium-term rental at Siena 2. 600’ 1-bed flats with sea views, near DB North Plaza, Club Siena & tunnel. Serviced & fully furnished with washer/ dryer, bed linen & kitchenware. Plus wi-fi, broadband, blue-ray & home theatre. Contact 9317 0624,

517’ 1-bedroom flat with balcony. Deluxe renovation. Modern & fully furnished with internet, 32” LCD TV & DVD. Contact Sandy on 9654 8862,

2-BED APARTMENT FOR RENT At Greenmont Court, nice & fully furnished. Contact 9108 5525


FULLY FURNISHED 1-BED RENTAL Smart apartment on a high floor with sea view. Close to pier & DB Plaza. Available fully furnished. Call Tiareti on 9732 8985


AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY Everything you need to know about buying a property in Australia. Information on property markets, taxation, finance, migration & legal. Free online at



Newly renovated, 2-bed flat with balcony. Luxuriously furnished, with TV, cable & broadband. Panoramic harbour views & short walk to pier. Contact Brian on 9098 6951,

Small gated community near Nai Harn beach with pool & gym. Fully fitted 3-bed villa with aircon, TVs & wi-fi. Lots of restaurants nearby. Competitive rates. Contact 9752 9775,

November 2013

Looking for investment opportunity? 4/F., Lee Fund Centre, No. 31 Wong Chuk Hang Road, HK E-mail: C-049044

South lsland Industrial & Office Sales / Lease Kwai Bo Ind. Building 1,820’ 11.3M

• Walking Distance To Future MTR • With Balcony Sungib Ind. Centre 6,009’ 27.8M


Grand Marine Centre 3,815’ 23.8M / 58K

• Remodeled into Open Plan Space • Stunning Waterfront Views

Sun Ying Ind Centre 2,234’~7,056’ 9.6M & up

• Very Quiet Location • Views Partially Mountain/Open

Derrick Ind. Bldg. 2,221’ 13M / 22K

t ole


• Ceiling Approx. 12ft High • Windows on 2 Sides of Space

Tin Fung Ind. Mansion 1,182’~17,587’ @4,800 & up



Harbour Ind. Ctr. (Corner Side) 1,280’~2,966’ 7.6M & up

One Island South 1,004’~29,848’ 10M/25K & up





• Rare Whole Floor • Extraordinary Investment Opportunity in Wong Chuk Hang Global Trade Square 997’~9,820’ @8,000 up

• Grade A Office Space • 13.5ft High Ceiling with Raised Floor System Shui Ki Ind. Building 3,927’ 25M / 55K

• Mutli-Purpose Usage • Ready for Immediate Use Workshops on Ground 1,600’~4,000’ @12,000 & Up

• High Ceiling • Rare in Market

• Flexible Warehouse Space • Very Busy & Convenient Location in Wong Chuk Hang Southmark 871’~3,523’ 6.5M & Up / 13K

• Swimming Pool Facility • Greenery View Office Yan’s Tower 690’~6,300’ 4.2M & Up

• Flexible Warehouse Space • Very Busy & Convenient Location in Wong Chuk Hang Kin Teck Ind. Building 3,750’~5,710’ @6,500

• Full Multi-functional Terrace • Fully Equipped Modern Kitchen with The Appliances


• Located Inside a Residential Shopping Arcade • Public Transport at The Door Step

Heung Wah Ind. Building 7,226’ 40M & Up

Fullagar Ind. Building 721’~12,262’ 4.2M & Up

• High Ceiling & Rare Whole Floor • New Development Projects around the Site

Sing Teck Ind. Bldg. 1,877’~3,396’ 8.2M & Up / 18K

Hing Wai Ctr. 1,008’~28,000’ @4,500 & Up

• Unobstructed Seaview • Ample Loading Bay

9326 3293 / 6401 8889 / 9701 6622 Jeff

Aberdeen Ind. Building 3,150’ 15.8M & Up

• Central Air-Condition • Marble Lobby Design

• Minutes Walk to Public Transports • Price Reduced

Jacqueline (S-398189)

Dave (S-447427)

• Opposite to MTR Station • Frontage to Enjoy Inspiring of Ocean Park

• Internal Toilet • Town Centre at The Door Step Land Acquisition Projects Site Lot Area 6,000’~9,000’

• Revitalizing Industrial Building • Considering Re-zoning the Wong Chuk Hang Area

3527 0911 24 hours hotline


BUSINESS OF THE MONTH Buying and selling property in Lantau can be a daunting process, but Home Solutions is here to help. Owners Andrew and Kelly Merrick discuss the business of making people feel at home When did you start Home Solutions and what makes it unique? Home Solutions was founded in 2007 by Jennifer Bauch from the Netherlands. We worked with Jennifer for nearly a year prior to officially taking over in May 2011. We take pride in guiding our clients through the buying, selling or leasing process by providing superior service, detailed property/ village information and the resources to help make the moving process problem free. We try to make sure that each individual and family quickly becomes part of the Lantau community. We are not in the business of highpressure sales. We aim to assist people in finding a real home and happiness in two great communities: South Lantau and Tung Chung.

What inspires you in business? Home Solutions was created to help people have an easy, well-informed move to Lantau. Moving can be stressful, especially moving from overseas for the first time. We really enjoy being the ‘welcome wagon’, and we have many clients who have completed multiple transactions with our agency. We have helped many people through the process of buying a first home, and later selling that home to purchase their dream home. Some like to lease prior to buying, some simply want to find that great space for a weekend retreat. Home Solutions is able to help with all of this.

What do you do to attract new customers? Most of our new clients come through word of mouth in the way of referrals from people who were satisfied with our service. This is our biggest source of pride as a company. Additionally, we keep our advertising current, so people can be up-to-date with what is available on the market. That said, we usually have a few properties on hand that clients do not wish to publicly advertise, so clients need to tell us exactly what they are looking for in a new home. We also do our best to find the right home for clients even if it is not listed with us.

What are your future plans for Home Solutions? We are currently training up more agents to work in the Tung Chung area. Our goal is to continue to provide superior service to clients as they move to and between Tung Chung and South Lantau.

For more information, visit or email Kelly at


MUI WO FERRY SCHEDULES Mon-Fri (except Public Holidays)

Sat, Sun and Public Holidays

From DB 7.15am 3.05pm

From DB

From Mui Wo

7.15am * 8.45am # 10.45am 11.45am # 1.15pm 3.05pm # 4.15pm 6.15pm 8.05pm

7.45am * 9.15am # 11.15am 12.15pm # 1.45pm 3.35pm # 4.45pm 6.45pm 8.30pm

From Mui Wo 7.45am 3.35pm

* Operates on Saturday (except Public Holidays) only # Operates on Sunday and Public Holidays only

Genuine antiques, small pieces of delightful furniture from the late Ching Dynasty. 4 minutes' walk from the ferry in Mui Wo in the direction of the Silvermine Beach Hotel.

Free Delivery to DB Tel: 2987 0099 Fax: 2980 4833

Your ultimate guide in Tung Chung and South Lantau





AQ Prettiness Jumping Castles Patchwork Jack Shoesee Foldable


9527 6202 9662 1747 9762 1957 9765 2798 FOOD, RESTAURANTS & BARS

360° Sports Bar & Restaurant Airport Izakaya Andante Asian Taste Chef Express Deli Viet Bistro Delifrance Café Aficionado China Coast Bar & Grill Dragon Inn Erawan Essence Federal Palace Restaurant McDonald’s Delivery Moccato Olea Pizza Hut Regala Café & Dessert Bar Rouge Skycity Bistro Spaghetti House Starz Wine Bar Zentro Garden

2109 4360 2286 6668 3602 8828 2109 4360 6504 4208 2109 0036 2109 4187 2286 6238 2286 6898 2286 6878 3760 6633 3602 8808 2626 0181 2338 2338 3602 8838 3602 8818 3180 0000 2286 6618 2286 6868 2969 2500 2109 1297 2109 0612 2802 8000


Asian Hairdressers Essential Health Family Clinic Human Health Medical Centre Island Veterinary Services Ltd Pets Central Tung Chung Maternal & Child Health Centre Quality Health Dental Quality Health Medical Raffles Medical

3147 4088 2109 9396 2109 2288 2988 1534 2328 7282 2109 6800 2403 6613 2403 6623 2261 2626

Bahce - Turkish Restaurant Café Bar Bombay Café Casa Brasil Caffe Paradiso (Tom’s Café) China Bear Como Lake Deer Horn Restaurant & Bar High Tide Restaurant La Pizzeria Lantana Italian Bistro Rome Restaurant Sun Fat Restaurant Tak Chai Kee Seafood The China Beach Club The Gallery The Kitchen The Stoep HEALTH & WELLBEING

Dalcroze Impact Fitness Jill Marshall Pilates South Lantau Paddle Club Tony’s Salon

2421 8088 9625 1392 2988 1488 HOTELS

Novotel Citygate Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott

3602 8888 2890 6060 3969 1888 LEARNING CENTRES

Clement Art School Discovery Mind International Play Centre Greenfield International Kindergarten Kidznjoy Kindermusik Little Academy Salala Kids House Soundwaves English Education Centre Sun Island Education Foundation Sunshine House International Preschool Tung Chung Catholic School (Yat Tung) Tung Yan Day Nursery YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College

5360 0991 2987-8070 2162 5538 6273 7347 6976 8867 3520 3500 2611 9193 6204 7387 2420 1068 2109 3873 2109 4000 3194 5120 2988 8123


Caribbean Coast Club House Coastal Skyline Club House Impact Fitness Seaview Crescent Club House Smash Cricket Socatots Stepz Studio Tung Chung Crescent Club House

2109 9277 2179 6678 6902 2250 3473 8700 5400 4109 2385 9677 3152 7535 2403 6770


Tung Chung Ambulance Depot Tung Chung Fire Station Tung Chung Police Station

2988 8282 2988 1898 3661 1694

6627 4806 6385 0304 9708 0187 6770 1462 2984 0990 HOME & REPAIRS

Findley Leung Group Koon Wah Hardware Lee Wo Construction Engineering Man Shun Construction & Engineering Mantech Electrical Strong Engineering Wah Sing AV Company

2984 8334 2984 8487 2984 1802 2984 9833 2819 6823 9373 0792 2984 0587 HOTELS

Mui Wo Inn Silvermine Beach Resort Tai O Heritage Hotel


Akash Removals Mega Power Engineering/Locksmiths Shun Yu Engineering

2984 0222 2984 1847 2984 7471 2984 0498 2984 9720 2984 0009 3484 3095 2980 3002 2984 8933 6331 8974 2984 7982 2984 0418 2984 1265 2983 8931 2980 2582 9160 5986 2980 2699

2984 7225 6810 0111 2985 8383 LEARNING CENTRES

Buddhist Fat Ho College Lantau International Kindergarten Lantau International School Little Lantau Montessori Kindergarten Mui Wo Owls School & Kindergarten

2985 5150 2984 0069 2984 0302 3689 6709 2984 0006


Easy Reach Real Estate Home Solutions Proper Trip Real Estate

2984 0618 3483 5003 2984 1666 RETAIL

Bikes Mui Wo BMX Shop Bizzie Lizzie (childrens clothes and toys) Friendly Bike Shop Red Hall Chinese Antiques Renge House (clothes & accessories) The Red Lantern ZenvarA

2134 1234 2984 2227 2984 2278 2988 1368 2406 8122 2987 0099 9586 3459


Hop Sing Automobile Jumping Castles SPCA Suzanne Goodwin Photography Thai Palin Massage Twig (Design Studio) Zoe Lyle Photography

2984 1410 9662 1747 2984 0060 9025 3949 9062 0148 6351 8923 9834 5498 TRANSPORTATION

Lee Hing Loong Hon Kee Transportation Company Lantau Tours New Lantau Bus Company Sun Rising Moving Company

2984 2268 2984 8494 2984 8255 2984 9848 9036 3132

Your ultimate guide in DB



COMMUNITY & HEALTH Bayside Dental Practice, North Plaza BMSE, North Plaza Catholic Church (Trinity Chapel) DB Alliance Church Community Centre DB International Community Church Discovery Bay Medical Centre Discovery Speech Therapy, North Plaza Health & Care Dental Clinic Herbal Healthcare Island Health Island Veterinary Services The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council, North Plaza

2987 0855 2259 3422 2988 1515 2987 8136 2987 7061 2987 5633 8120 7835 2666 6183 2834 7276 2987 7575 2987 9003 2259 3422

Dumper Trucks & Daisies A Montessori-based playgroup programme that focuses on the growth and development of the whole child. From 16 months to 4.5 years old Tel: 9667 6921

First Friends & Second Friends DB’s largest & longest running playgroup Iin Porter 9151 5545


HK School of Highland Dance

Lullaby Layette

Highland Dance classes now available at MI Studio.Teacher qualified by the SDTA. All ages welcome Tel: 9123 0863 Email:

Online Boutique for Newborns & Infants Tel: 5600-7605,

Sunwood by Design International Bodyfit Swimwear Exercise and Yoga Wear Tel: 6626 5470

In Style Little Whale, North Plaza Nomadic Start-rite shoes

2987 8226 3480 1348 2987 8460 2987 2098

FINANCIAL SERVICES HSBC Travelex Money Exchange, North Plaza Luen Fat Securities Co. Ltd

2233 3000 2682 1210 2987 1851

Freestyle, Jazz, Ballet & Tap Tel: 2987 1571

French kindergarten open for registrations for school year 2014-2015 from K1 to P6. LG-05, DB North Plaza Tel: 6710 0391 Email:

Bayview House of Children DB International School (Kindergarten) DB International School (Pri / Sec) Discovery College Discovery Mind International Play Centre Discovery Mind Kindergarten Discovery Mind Primary School, North Plaza Discovery Montessori School, North Plaza DMR School of Ballet Early Adventures Learning Centre HK International Learning Academy, North Plaza L’Ecole Française de Discovery, North Plaza SKH Wei Lun Primary School Sunshine House Int’l Pre-School Sunshine House Kindergarten, North Plaza Treasure House

6114 2436 2914 2142 2987 7331 3969 1000 2987 8028 2987 8088 2914 2202 2987 1201 2987 4338 9511 2107 2416 3088 8191 0813 2987 8608 2987 0813 2987 8143 2987 4217


Apple Travel The Best Travel Agency in DB Tel: 2987 2626 Email:

At Home in DB Information & Services for Residents of DB. Expat Relocation, Newcomer Orientation, Tours, Courses, Networking Tel: 9769 4701 Email:

Harvey Law Group International Canadian Law Firm in DB North Plaza offering you customised legal services on the many aspects of your personal and professional life Tel: 2416 8618

Little Explorers

HOME Good Luck Engineering Hoi Yu Transportation Home Services Engineering Hung Kee Co Interior 18 Japan Home Centre Marc James Design, North Plaza Next Furniture Rapee-living Rich Point Hardware Materials Tai Fat Hardware Store Wing On Department Store Yours Electrical Centre

Island Dance


2987 1313 2987 4488 2987 0061 2987 5087 2987 7803 2987 1041 2765 5700 2987 0222 2987 7082 2987 0789 2987 0789 2987 9268 2987 4428

A fun place for little ones to play and have loads of fun, fun, fun! Tel: 9327 0507 Email:

Midget Gems Kid’s Club Established playgroup for children 2-4 years Tel: 2987 0272 info@

PetcoDB Grooming & Pet Services Wth Trust, Love & Safe Care For the ones you love Tel: 2914 0382 Email: Amity Shoe Care My Pet Shop, North Plaza Pets Gallery The Optical House Well Supreme Laundry Services

2987 4538 2987 8873 2987 0428 2987 1368 2987 5151



Playtime Kids DB Musical Drama – Acting – Musical Theatre

Playgroup run by Montessori-trained teacher. From 18 months to 4 years. Tel: 2623 4099; 9054 0565,

Tues & Wed classes at Discovery College 4 to 12 yrs - 2 fully costumed performances a year Tel: 8122 9475 Email:

Brightsparks Playgroup Fun, safe and interactive environment for your children. Tel: 9632 4287

Let us take the stress out of homework Homework Club and Private Tutoring, conveniently located. Tel: 9522 3297

Lifestyle Boats & Homes Tel: 2914 0888 Centaline Property Agency Ltd EPS Property Consultants Ltd Headland Homes Hong Kong Boats & Homes Kingsland DB Land Master Property Savills Hong Kong Ltd

2987 8484 2987 2023 2987 2088 6055 0146 2987 2987 2987 6238 2987 1919



British Studio of Art Hong Kong

New art studio in DB for 2 year-olds to adults Tel: 9132 5249


November 2013

Woodentots is a Montessori playgroup providing a caring and nurturing environment in the Plaza. Run by a qualified Montessori teacher for children aged 2 1/2 - 5 years. Tel: 6108 9131

View our business directory @

% Arabica Coffee Roaster & Farm DB North Plaza Tel: 2885 1323 Email:



2987 2298

Auberge Discovery Bay (Hotel), North Plaza

2295 8288


2987 8203

Café Duvet

2987 0966

Caramba Mexican Cantina

2987 2848


2987 0036

First Korean Restaurant

2987 9123

Fresh Fruit Juice Paradise

2987 4768

Hemingway’s by the Bay

2987 8855

il Bel Paese

2987 0202

Island Café

2987 9311

Jaspa’s, North Plaza

2997 8688

Kiraku Tei

2987 2886

Koh Tomyums

2987 0767

La Création Bakery

2987 1829

Life Cafe

2591 1422

McSorley’s Ale House

2987 8280

Mirch Masala, North Plaza

2987 1337

Pacific Coffee

2987 1662

Paisano’s, North Plaza

2673 4445

Peony Chinese Restaurant

2500 1950


2555 0772


2987 2915


2914 0005

Super Super

2914 1308

Uncle Russ, DB Plaza

2682 0068

Uncle Russ, North Plaza

2682 8108


2987 6232


Sportsmanship Gymnastics Programs, Health Consultancy, Weight Management & Nutritional Supplements Tel: 2870 3524

Sports World All your sporting needs right here in DB Tel: 2914 1323 Email:

The HIT Room Bodypump, Grit Strength, Boxing, Core, TRX, High Intensity Training. Located at North Plaza Tel: 6621 7410

Tinytots A professional sports play program specially designed for children 16 months - 5 years of age. Tel: 34887724 Club Siena Discovery Bay Marina Club Discovery Bay Golf Club Discovery Bay Recreation Club

2987 7382 2987 9591 2987 7273 2987 7381


CAISSA Chess Club HK DB Party Lovers For all your party needs in DB Tel: 9132 5249 Email:

Curves Women’s Fitness Centre Club Siena Tel: 2987 0772

Little Milly Trinkets & treasures for girls and boys Tel: 6596 1817

Embody Bo Bo House Toysland

2987 4230 2987 7859


Movement Improvement Pilates, Yoga, Spinning, TRX, Zumba, Personal Training The complete solution on your doorstep at DB North Plaza Tel: 2987 5852


Body Talk Holistic therapy for illness, stress, sports injury & learning disorders Tel: 6683 5755

Child & Family Development Practice Developing potential, exploring possibilities

Gillian - The Skin Therapy Centre Fully qualified International Beauty Spa /wellness trainer with over 16 yrs experience in the Spa industry offering full range of beauty services here on DB Tel: 9604 6920, 2987 0764 (Gillian)

Provides door-to-door treatment service. Conveniently located in the Plaza. Reflexology, massage, pedicure/manicure. Tel: 2987 0614

Nailed It Professional artificial nail services in DB Tel: 2987 2266

Nutrition consultations in DB

MOW | Grooming & Skin Care

Limousine Rental

Limo service in HK & China • pick up from / to DB Tunnel • direct transfer to SZ / GZ Airport Tel: 5303 3489 / 9654 0899 ACCESSDB Rehabus DB Golf Cart Services DB Transit Services DB Transportation Services Hire Car Bookings Passenger Telephone Hotline Wiselink Golf Cart Services

6283 9270 2914 2727 2914 0186 2987 7351 2987 6348 2987 0208 2987 9368


Spin Works The Ultimate Workout Certified and friendly staff, located in North Plaza Tel: 5145 2776

2238 3601 2525 6798 2238 3388 2987 4052 2987 6046 2435 4511 2988 2369 2987 6738 2835 1473 2811 0788 2824 5000

Improve your diet and achieve your health goals Tel: 9827 8413 Email:

HK Dragons Football Club Football for 2.5- to 14- year old girls and boys Tel: 2987 4274

Discovery Bay Management Discovery Bay Medical Services Discovery Bay Office Centre Discovery Bay Police Discovery Bay Post Office Gas Leakage Emergency Hotline Lantau North Report Room San Hing Gas Co Typhoon Signal Enquiries Water Fault Reports Water Supplies Department

M Spa

The Club gets together at the DB North Plaza Community Center Tel: 9681 2896 Email:

Classical Pilates, Yoga and more! Tel: 6624 7812


24-hour Customer Service Hotline China Light & Power Emergency China Light & Power Information Line Discovery Bay Commercial Services Discovery Bay Fire & Ambulance

3651 2345 2728 8333 2678 2678 2987 4242 2987 7502

A unique retail & treatment space at DBN, that caters to your grooming, skin care & therapeutic requirements Tel: 2499 8826 / 6773 3103 Afflatus Hair Workshop, North Plaza Maximum Care Salon De Coiffure Sense of Touch Spa Siena

2987 0283 2987 2060 2987 4112 2987 9198 2987 7382

Around DB's December 2013 issue coming out

December 1 November 2013



what a dump! Peter Sherwood reflects on the proposal to place a 3,000-tonne-a-day waste incinerator just off Pui O Beach – and provides some considered responses from the powers that be


ui O, our once peaceful and tranquil nature reserve, is about to get a massive rubbish incinerator dumped right on its shores, mostly because nobody in their right mind would want it there. Those in charge may well be in their right mind, but that mind has the imagination, sensitivity and foresight of a box of hammers. I spoke to a member of the Lantau Board of Well-Being. Councillor, how can a monstrous tower spewing toxic gases – and with endless stinking rubbish barges queuing up near Pui O Beach – be a great idea? “You greenie people don’t see the big picture. Lantau needs development and we should be grateful to the government for choosing to place the super-incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau Island.” Isn’t Lantau mostly a designated country park? “What use is a country park?! It’s just a lot of trees and shrubs, and trails that hardly anyone uses. Lantau must develop and create attractions for more tourists. And get rid of those unsightly beasts.” You mean water buffalo? “Cows, whatever… Having beasts roaming around is bad for our image and reminds our sophisticated mainland visitors of their humble origins.” What about the existing development: our mammoth airport, Tung Chung and the Big Buddha with thousands of visitors a day? “That’s nothing. With the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, millions more mainlanders will come here. These tourists don’t need trees and stupid bushes; they need more fast-food outlets, shopping malls and theme parks.”

The Magnificent Burning Tower of South Lantau Then I spoke to one of the government’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) spokesmen. Protesters say the 3,000-tonne-a-day waste incinerator is an unnecessary blight on a wonderful protected landscape. “Well, they would say that wouldn’t they? If they knew the facts they would plead with government to build it bigger and faster.” They say that if the EPD was doing its job, Hong Kong would have a state-of-the-art recycling system and initiatives to

Find more from Peter


November 2013

promote conservation and stop waste. “Then what? No HK$18-billion project creating jobs and development. Who would want that?” But I thought the EPD is… “What? You thought we’re a bunch of romantic nature-loving wimps? Listen pal, we have 600 staff monitoring this stuff around the clock. Before we can protect the environment we need decades more research to understand what the environment actually is.” But the site is the most expensive possibility – a man-made island accessible by barges. It’s the biggest eyesore and the most polluting option for all island residents. And by the time it is built it will be outdated, if it’s not already. “That is easy to say. Protesters forget that we monitor everything and collect vast amounts of data to help government make the right decision.” In Copenhagen the high-tech incinerator produces electricity to run 70,000 households; food waste is separated and made into high-quality fertiliser and sold at a profit. Only 3% of refuse goes into landfills. The incinerator is not built on an island with those massive costs; it is non-polluting, light years ahead of the technology you propose, and so benign they stuck it in the middle of the city. “Yes, we heard about that. They built a ski slope on the roof. Terrible show-offs, the Scandinavians. Of course Europeans like to recycle. They have a lot of unemployment, so recycling keeps people occupied. Like during the war. The Danes even sell their drinks in bottles on which there is a refundable deposit! They’re very old fashioned.” Hong Kong occupies a small land mass with a compact population, so serious recycling systems like in Europe should be simple to set up. “We do our bit. Don’t forget we recommended a 50-cent charge on supermarket plastic bags. Plastic waste is now less than one million tonnes a year!” Wow. Now that’s progress. Peter Sherwood has lived in DB for 15 years. The former head of an international public relations firm, Peter is the author of 15 books and he has written around 400 satirical columns for the South China Morning Post.

November 2013 issue  

Around DB is the original and leading community magazine dedicated to the residents of Discovery Bay and Lantau communities.