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Discovery Bay’s original community magazine

MARCH 2019

Make your kid’s party better than the rest Pros and cons of boarding school life Heavenly hikes from DB to Mui Wo Insider guide to Los Angeles

Pick up


At the Harvey Law Group Kart Race on March 16




Applications open for 2019/20 Pre-Primary to Grade 9 For more info: SCHOOL CAMPUS

25 Man Fuk Road, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon, Hong Kong +852 3467 4500


Suites 4005-4007, Level 40, Two Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong +852 2500 8688

Connect with us:

*Stamford American School is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme and pursuing authorization as an IB World School.


CELEBRATING 30 YEARS IN DB We are proud to celebrate 30 years in DB! After 3 decades, we know that our specialty is matching the right properties to DB residents. To see our property portfolio, visit our website or call the team on:

2987 2088

Scan to view more exciting properties EAA LIC C-033418

Charles 61407971 S-278320

Katie 91507319 E-290103

Meeta 90477252 S-030829

Sue 97002399 S-574333

Baby Basics T: +852 2311 1048 E:

Stock up on child health and hygiene products, toys and more... Enquire about our delivery options

All the brands you love - Childs Farm - Mamas & Papas - Water Wipes - Ella’s Kitchen

BREAST FEEDING AND BABY CHANGING FB: @babybasicsHK Insta: @BabyBasicsHongKong Unit 1-3, 7th Floor, Lansing House, 41-47 Queen’s Road, Central (Just down Li Yuen Street East)

CONTENTS March 2019

Join your community online

PROFILE - 32 Meet DB jeweller Rahila Refaaq

IN FOCUS - 36 Hiking from DB to Mui Wo

EDUCATION - 46 What gives with a boarding school education?

TOP TIPS - 55 Make your kid’s party better than the rest


ESCAPES - 58 Your guide to Tinseltown


If you have a story idea, email To publicise a local event, email For general enquiries, email To advertise, email For graphic design, email Call 2987 0577/ 2787 0886 Fax 2987 0533



SUCCESS STORY Jean-Francois Harvey




WISH LIST March must-haves




INSIDER What you need to know




RECIPES A taste of Sarawak




DB FACES In and around the plaza




OUT THERE Peter Sherwood talks back




Get set for the Harvey Law Group Kart Race on March 16 Discovery Bay’s original community magazine

We also publish…

To read the cover story, turn to page 22

MARCH 2019

FREE February / March 2019

2018 / 2019

Make your kid’s party better than the rest

WIN! A Childs Farm toiletries set + Water Wipes from Baby Basics

Pros and cons of boarding school life

Publishers in Lantau since 2002

Heavenly hikes from DB to Mui Wo Insider guide to Los Angeles


Pick up





Photo by James Branch




Publishers in Lantau since 2002


PUBLISHER Corinne Jedwood MANAGING EDITOR Rachel Ainsley SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andrew Spires ASSISTANT GRAPHIC DESIGNER Duey Tam SALES ACCOUNT MANAGER Monika Carruthers OFFICE MANAGER Maxine Parry PHOTOGRAPHER Baljit Gidwani CONTRIBUTORS Imogen Clyde Elizabeth Kerr Ray Robertson George Pitsakis Peter Sherwood Lydia Tsang INTERNS Alexander Grasic Lea Mahoudeau-Campoyer PRINTING Champion Design & Production Company Ltd. Flat D, 18/F, Sing Teck Factory Building, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong.

DISCLAIMER The views expressed in AroundDB 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.



On February 6, DBers welcomed in the Lunar New Year by watching the lion dancers outside Discovery Bay Recreation Club (DBRC) and Club Siena.


s t n e v e y t i n u rece nt c om m






Photos by David Feehan and courtesy of Island Dance

Island Dance wowed at the AIA Great European Carnival on January 26 and at the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade on February 5.










March 2019


VALENTINE’S FUN Lovers enjoyed the romantic lights and decorations in DB North Plaza on February 14, before heading to Tai Pak Wan to see the candles arranged in heart-shaped displays. and courtesy of HKR

VALENTINE’S DAY RACE Kicking off at Pui O Beach on February 9, teams of two competed in The Trail Hub Valentine’s Day Race, running either the 9-kilometre Easy Love trail or the 14-kilometre Tough Love.


March 2019 March 2019



DMR DANCERS AT THE CARNIVAL DMR School of Ballet dancers shone at the AIA Great European Carnival on January 26.


March 2019






Let US help YOU!

HK Visas

HK Company Incorporation

Accounting & Taxation | +852-3464-5200

New Year NEW DREAMS Drawing Competition

Discovery Bay International School

Angela Hu (Y5)

Mila Kratt (Y2)

Discovery College

Neve Resco (Y6)

Discovery Mind Primary School

Carrie Wu (Y4)

Sadie Marr (Y4)

Honourable Mentions: Mina Irwin (Y2), Merel Rookmaaker (Y5) Erin Smith (Y4)

Marcus Wai (Y5)

Miles Richardson (Y6)

Sebastian Raeburn (Y3)

Samaira Sehgal (Y6)

Sophie Zhou (Y6)

Stephanie Ng (Y2)

Honourable Mentions: Yannie Ho (Y6), Yoonha Lee (Y6)

The organiser has the discretion to use the designs for promotion purposes and reserves the right of the final decision in the event of any disputes. Terms and conditions apply.

Honourable Mentions: Lucas Cavalcante Matos (Y4), Brooke Freeman (Y3)


Hong Kong International Learning Academy

Benjamin Tear (8)

Adeline Colruyt (8)

S.K.H. Wei Lun Primary School Olivia Meikle-Day (6)

Faith Quay (13)

Donald Ong (Y6)

Ivy Tam (Y6)

Wong Chuk Ki (Y5)

Zack Huang (Y6)

-12: March 5 n the oting o Online v cebook page DB Fa Around

sted esults po R : 5 1 h B Marc round D on the A and website k page Faceboo

April 1: Prize winners’ pictures published in the April edition of Around DB magazine

Tasked with creating the perfect pigthemed picture, DB primary school students have created fantastic art pieces for the New Year New Dreams Drawing Competition. Thanks to a huge amount of interest and support from DB schools, we now have 20 shortlisted entries (pictured). To vote for your favourite of these entries from March 5-12, head to the Around DB Facebook page or

Honourable Mentions: Ali Cheung (Y5), Gyubi Cheung (Y4)

Winner: HK$2,500 voucher 1st Runner Up: HK$1,500 voucher 2nd Runner Up: HK$800 voucher Merit: 3 x HK$400 vouchers March 2019



Now officially open!



Write a 600- to 700-word

The winning article is published in the July issue of Around DB and the August issue of Life on Lantau. HK$2,300-worth of book vouchers is presented to the finalists and runners-up by Bookazine, the competition sponsor, at an award ceremony at DBIS.

ghost story.

The three finalists are chosen during an online vote, June 7 to 14.

Open to all secondary school students living and/ or studying in Lantau. Check the YWC guidelines on the Around DB and Life on Lantau Facebook pages or at Submit your article by May 3 to

The deadline is May 3

Last year’s finalists: Kayla Adara Lee (YHKCC) Serena Wong (DC) Eleanor Lambert (DBIS)


March 2019 18 publishing and design studio





hen you head to the Discovery Bay International School (DBIS) International Food Fair on March 9 be prepared for a new, exciting and slightly controversial emphasis on sustainability.

Photo by Baljit Gidwani -

“We’ve been working hard to green things up as much as we can,” opens chairman of the DBIS Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), Liz Hemmings. “And we’re following the students’ lead. The kids are taught to be eco in school through initiatives like Green Week and the Lantau Island Paddle, and there are lots of concern groups at DBIS, like the Green Council and the Eco Committee. If we teach them these things, we have to support them. They’re really pushing hard.” In aiming for sustainability and zero waste, the PTSA is promoting the concept of re-use over recycling. “We’re encouraging everyone to bring their own cups, eating utensils and takeout containers or rent them from the school’s eco team,” Liz says. “There’ll be a washing station and this way people can come away with dinner too.” Mindful that some waste will be created at a food fair with over 40 stalls (both studentrun and commercial), the PTSA is asking for help from external organisations, like Plastic Free Seas, to manage the recycling bins. They hope to turn this into an educational exercise by also bringing along a landfill bin, which they’ll try to keep as empty as possible.

“We’re aiming to be better not perfect,” Liz says. “We’re encouraging the commercial stalls not to bring recyclables but we’re being realistic. L’Ami Café will only give out plastic lids with coffee if asked to do so. We are strongly encouraging all vendors to reconsider their reliance on plastics and we are definitely seeing an increased level of awareness in the businesses that we work with.” Another eco initiative, new this year, concerns the prizes, a large proportion of which will be secondhand. “The DBIS Eco Committee put a call out for new/ as new items,” Liz explains, “and we’ll top these up with newly bought prizes that are useful and sustainable.” This year, too, sees an eco-shift in the activities on offer. “We’re trying to do more physical activities, like quoit toss, duck racing and basketball hoops, so as to move

away from things that create waste,” says Liz. Admitting that some of the PTSA’s decisions – giving away secondhand prizes and simply asking people to bring their own food containers – have raised a few eyebrows, Liz says most people are hugely supportive of the changes. “There’s always a balance to be struck and we think we’ve got it right,” she adds. “What we absolutely don’t want is for it to be a no fun day.” No fun? With students flocking to the Dunk the Teacher stall (last chance to pour ice-cold water over Principal Tough), parents congregating at the Canada stall to down Bloody Caesars and Grounded playing as the afternoon heats up, the fun in fact seems guaranteed. If the PTSA has anything to worry about, it’s how they’re going to get everyone to leave come 4pm.

The Discovery Bay International School International Food Fair runs from 12pm to 4pm on March 9 at the school’s main campus. To find out more, visit March 2019







DB Plaza This March, Bookazine has curated a great selection of art books to get you in the mood for art week. Visit w w w. b o o k a z i n e . c o m . h k . International art shows to view this month include Art Central (March 27 to 31, Central Waterfront Promenade), Art Basel (March 29 to 31, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre) and Asia Contemporary Art Show (March 30 to April 1, The Conrad, Hong Kong).

Throughout March


March 2-3

Discovery Bay Recreation Club Head down to the 26th edition of the Tennis Nations Cup for what is sure to be an action-packed day. DB’s top tennis players are set to showcase their skills, as they battle it out on court in whacky national costumes. As well as the exciting and fiercely fought matches, you can expect food stalls and plenty of entertainment for the kids. To know more, visit

THE TASTE OF SPRING Auberge Discovery Bay Throughout March

Treats on offer at Café bord de Mer & Lounge this month include a Thai Buffet, with a selection of traditional appetisers, mains and desserts, and a Spring Afternoon Tea Set, inspired by fragrant spring flowers and fruits. To make a booking, call 2295 8299.




Happy International Women’s Day to all the fantastic women in DB! This year’s campaign theme, #BalanceforBetter – strike the pose, is focused on creating a more gender-balanced world. To find out more, and for inspiration on how best to celebrate women’s achievements on March 8, head to

March 2019

One of the largest community events in DB, all are welcome at Discovery Bay International School’s annual International Food Fair. Enjoy a range of culinary delights from all corners of the globe, plus live music and a host of commercial and charity stalls from 12pm to 4pm. Bring your own cup, eating utensils and take-out containers, or rent them from the school’s eco team. To find out more, turn to page 19 or visit



The winners of the Love Your Body Love your Cozzie competition have been chosen, with fittings for six pairs of mums and daughters in Ozzie Cozzie’s Central store from March 12 to 16 and a photo shoot in DB on March 30. Models get to keep the renowned-brand swimsuit they wear for the shoot. Around DB will post individual photos of the models online on May 1, with residents challenged to match the daughters with the models. To know more, check the Around DB and Life on Lantau Facebook pages or visit

Online vote March 5–12 Tasked with creating the perfect pigthemed picture, DB primary school students have created fantastic art pieces for the New Year New Dreams Drawing Competition. Thanks to a huge amount of interest and support from DB schools, we now have 20 shortlisted entries, which you can see on page 16. To vote for your favourite of these entries, head to the Around DB Facebook page or

ADOPT A PET through Hong Ko ng Paws Foundation (PAWS) in DB Plaza on March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 2pm to 6pm. Call Kat Cheung on 9485 5188.



THE PLAN from Haven Court on March 2 T MARKET across from 2pm to 4.45pm. Call 2238 3617.

Throughout Lantau


Submission date: May 3 All secondary school students living and/ or studying in Lantau are eligible to enter our Young Writers Competition (YWC). For 2019, students are asked to submit a 600- to 700-word ghost story by May 3 to From the articles submitted, our three mentors each select a winning story and work on improving it with the author. The three finished articles are posted on the Around DB and Life on Lantau Facebook pages for an online vote. The winning story is published in both magazines, and the finalists and runners-up are presented with HK$2,300-worth of vouchers from Bookazine, the competition sponsor, at an award ceremony at Discovery Bay International School. Young writers can check the YWC guidelines on the Around DB and Life on Lantau Facebook pages or at

GA FOR at Yoga Bay, DB North Plaza on HELPERS classes March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 from 7am to 8am. Call 670 4 9851/ 9150 7019 or visit HAVE YOUR PRELOVED IT EMS COLLECTED at your home on Ma rch 5, 7, 12 14,

19, 21, 26 and 28 from 2pm to 4pm. WhatsApp Nikki Boot at 9677 6676.


6pm. Visit www.handmadehong

m to


TLY USED GO Market in DB Plaza on March 17ODS at the DB Flea from 12pm to 5pm. And drop your clean expanded polystyrene at the Plastic Free Seas booth to be sen t for recycling. JOIN A

BEACH CLEAN-UP DB Green and Plastic Free Sea on March 24 with s from 2pm to 4pm at Nim Shue Wan. Visit plasticfreese HELP

YOUR HELPER! Enrich HK works hops equip helpers with the tools to save, budget and plan for a future with greater financi al security. Visit March 2019


DB EVENTS 311 REVIVAL SCREENING DB North Community Hall In 2017, director Horatio Tsoi led a film crew across coastal Fukushima, recording the stories of residents affected by the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The result was 311 Revival. Catch a free screening of the documentary at 6.30pm, in Cantonese with English and Japanese subtitles. Albert Lai, director of the Conservancy Association, is rounding off the evening with a talk. Grab your seat on the night, on a first-comefirst-served basis. March 10

HARVEY LAW GROUP KART RACE Discovery Bay Road March 16

Photo by James Branch

The first Harvey Law Group Kart Race in October 2015 attracted over 20 racers, the latest race in March 2018 saw over 80 children, aged 7 to 13, vying for trophies. The races are split into age groups, and kids have the option to design and build their own karts. To know more visit, or turn to page 30.


Photo courtesy of Sanjay Guha

Holi, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love, is a Hindu spring festival that originated on the Indian subcontinent. For many on Lantau, it’s a time to celebrate with friends and family and get into water fights – with brightly coloured water.

Auberge Discovery Bay The Bounty Entertainment & Sports Bar Pool Tournament is being held across two Sundays, from 12pm to 5pm. The winner receives HK$2,000-worth of food and beverage vouchers, the runner-up HK$800. The HK$200 entry fee includes two complimentary drinks. To find out more, call 2295 8299. March 24 & 31


PHANTOM POWER LIVE Hemingway’s DB March 30


Attention Canadians (and everyone who loved Gord Downie)! Get ready to rock as 12year DB resident John Luciw brings Phantom Power, The Tragically Hip tribute band, to Hemingway’s. Phantom Power performs live from 9pm to 12am. To find out more, call 2987 8855.

March 2019

A new adventure awaits at EpicLand! Hong Kong’s largest family entertainment centre is reopening soon, and we are promised a host of exciting new facilities and experiences. To win one of 20 spots at the grand opening party (for yourself and three guests), go to Select EpicLand giveaway, and fill in your details by March 10 for a chance to win. To find out more, download the Epicland. app. It’s full of information and surprises.







EASTER EGG HUNT Tai Pak Wan April 19-20


Photo by Alan Li

DB resident Nikki Han completed the whopping 298-kilometre Hong Kong Four Trails Ultra Challenge (HK4TUC) in 58 hours and 20 minutes on February 8, becoming the first ever female ‘finisher.’ To be deemed a finisher of the HK4TUC, which links all four of Hong Kong’s major trails, you have to complete the course in under 60 hours; if you reach the end in under 75 hours, you are merely a ‘survivor.’ For more on Nikki, check the profile column in next month’s issue.

Jade Dharmana has launched The Sleeep Lab in Discovery Bay. As a certified child sleep consultant, she provides individual consultations, group sessions, and guided sleep coaching packages from the comfort of your own home. If you are facing any sleep challenges with your child (newborn to five years), you can visit or call Jade on 9853 4883. Follow Jade on Instagram @thesleeeplab for the latest blog posts, tips and promotions.

Photo courtesy of HKR

At the two-day Easter Egg Hunt on the Beach, for kids aged three to 10, kids redeem prizes for eggs, with 30,000 prizes to be won. To register your child’s place, head to To find out more, turn to page 26.

Lantau Races March / April TRANSLANTAU


When March 1-3

When March 16

Where Starts at Mui Wo River Silver Garden

Where Starts at Nam Shan

Why Run 100, 50 or 25 kilometres across the Lantau Trail

Why Race up and over Sunset and Lantau peaks twice





When March 24

When April 13

Where Starts at DB Plaza

Where Starts at the China Bear, Mui Wo

Why Hike from DB to Silvermine Waterfall via Tiger’s Head

Why Compete for your home country by running 30 kilometres with a team of three




March 2019


School of Ballet Est 1984

Looking for a training that leads to professional prowess? For all your dancing needs come to DMR

Shop 112 DB Plaza, Discovery Bay HK

2987 4338 -



he Easter holiday runs from Good Friday to Easter Monday (April 19 to 22 this year), giving us a four-day weekend to hang out with family and friends. Thanks to the host of family-friendly activities on offer, there’s no better place to do this than in Discovery Bay. Now in its 13th year, the Egg Hunt on Tai Pak Beach is a first go-to for families across Hong Kong and, of course, in DB. From April 19 to 20, kids, aged 3 to 10 years, are given the chance to search for colourful Easter eggs hidden in the sand. It’s a delight to watch as the smallest egg hunters totter across the beach filling their tiny baskets, while the older ones race around competing to collect bagfuls of eggs.

Photos courtesy of HKR

Across both days, children are divided into different age groups and allocated different ‘hunting times.’ Kids aged 3 to 4 years are up at 12pm and 4.30pm; kids aged 5 to 6 years at 1.30pm; and kids aged 7 to 10 years at 3pm. Children need to register at the Admission Zone in DB Plaza 45 minutes before their sessions begin.


In order to make the Egg Hunt an eco-friendly event, all the eggs are made from natural materials and biodegradable. Importantly too, the kids give the eggs back at the end of each hunt, so that they can be stored for reuse in the future.

That’s not to say anyone goes away empty-handed! There are over 30,000 fabulous prizes on offer, with every egg collected entitling a child to redeem a prize. As an added bonus, egg hunters who find one of the eight ‘Grand Eggs,’ hidden alongside the smaller ones, get a special prize (with these prizes worth up to HK$9,000 in total). All participants receive a Welcome Goodies Bag at the start of their hunt and a Certificate of Excellence at the end.

carnival-type game booths.

And the Egg Hunt isn’t all that’s on offer for families in DB over Easter… there’s the Fun Fair at DB Plaza and Tai Pak Beach. The open-air fair runs from April 19 to 20 – 10.30am to 6.30pm – to coincide with the Egg Hunt and provide plenty of additional amusement and excitement for the kids. As in previous years, there’ll be six interactive inflatables, plus any number of

“These days, the kids are really getting into the Fun Fair too,” Maureen adds. “The inflatables are huge – much better than the average bouncy castle, and the game booths are very varied and run by friendly, capable staff. There’s a Fussball kind of game that my son always gets excited about playing and my daughter loves to get a temporary tattoo – usually of an Easter Bunny.”

March 2019

“We always look forward to the Easter holidays in DB,” says Maureen Cox, a DB mother of two. “My kids are five and six now and they still enjoy the Egg Hunt as much as they did when they were younger, possibly more. It’s a fun social activity they can do with their friends and, of course, everyone gets a prize. They would hunt for eggs for hours if they could!

Did ? u o y know

How to become an Easter Egg Hunter • Register online through Cityline, • Early-bird registration for DBers, February 27 to March 5, HK$160 each (plus a HK$10 Cityline handling fee) • Regular registration, 10am, March 7 onwards, HK$200 each (plus a HK$10 Cityline handling fee)

ightly coloured Searching for br Easter the best-loved eggs is one of know u yo do ere, but traditions out th ? es at where it origin Christ’s celebration of a is er st Ea y, – the egg Toda the end of Lent as l el w as n tio tion of Christ. resurrec ent the resurrec es pr re to e m rebirth since has co mbol of life and sy a en be s ha ely a pagan But it er eggs are larg st Ea ; es tim n different. paga e egg hunt is no th d an n, tio di tra te back to preat egg hunts da th d ve lie be y believed in an It’s widel hen the Dutch w nd la ol H n tia aws. Because Chris lled Oschter H ca re the ha ng yi la eggny laid eggs in the Easter Bun to s r st so ne ur ild ec bu pr this ed to were encourag n ft re le ild it ch gs s, eg as gr for the and to search e for it to lay in – ally became th tu en ev Haws geg s hi r behind. Oschter n fo who isn’t know Easter Bunny, tradition of e th t bu s, ie laying capabilit ets) and (and now bask creating nests ha s eggs s searching for hi stuck around. March 2019



HERE’S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN PRIZES! Around DB prizes are incredibly easy to get your hands on, and you have until the 10th of the month to apply. Scan the QR code, or go to, select the giveaway you want, and enter your details into the online form.

Win tickets to War Horse

Win tickets to Rumours

Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Players Photo by Brinkhoff Mögenburg

Lunchbox Theatrical Production is offering three readers a pair of tickets (worth HK$795 each) to see War Horse at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wanchai on May 11 at 7.45pm. An unforgettable theatrical event and the winner of more than 25 international awards, War Horse, from The National Theatre of Great Britain, is being performed in Hong Kong for the first time ever. Based on Michael Morpurgo’s beloved novel, War Horse opens on May 10. For tickets, starting at HK$395, visit

Curtain Call Productions and Hong Kong Players are offering two readers a pair of tickets each (worth HK$250 each) to see Neil Simon’s Rumours at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Wanchai on March 21 at 8pm. Rumours is a madcap, hilarious farce which sees guests gathering for a 10th anniversary dinner. Through the course of a hilarity-filled evening, guests are met with cover-ups, deceptions, mistaken identities and a lot of huge laughs. Directed by Jodi Gilchrist, Rumours runs from March 20 to 23. For tickets, starting at HK$200, visit

Congratulations to last month’s winners Sophie Whalley for an 18KT white gold diamond pendant from

Zaha et Cetera; Yasmin Hingun and Tracy Nilsson for two weeks of yoga classes at Yoga Bay; and Christal Maasdorp for two tickets to see Peter Pan & Wendy.

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Entrepreneur of the Month Jean-Francois Harvey

Photo by Baljit Gidwani -



y business is mostly about global mobility, so Immigration and Citizenship by Investment. We also assist in relocating businesses and assets. In Discovery Bay, it’s a little different, we do mostly commercial and private client work including International Contract work and Wills. With lawyers from different jurisdictions, we are uniquely placed to help the multicultural community. My business is a success because we continue to adapt to a changing market. We have a ‘can do’ attitude as opposed to a ‘cannot’ attitude. When I opened the DB meeting facilities seven years ago, it was my ‘refuge,’ somewhere I could concentrate on special mandates away from the headquarters in Wanchai. It also allowed the firm to be more approachable to the local community which in turn made the business a success. The thing that interests me most about my business is the people we meet. Because of what we do, we meet successful businesspeople on a daily basis from every possible sphere. What’s special about our work in DB is that all profit generated goes back to the community – hence all the sponsorship and the Harvey Law Group Kart Race [being held on March 16 this year]. To succeed in business, you need to be very patient and you must never hesitate to question yourself. My advice for someone looking to start up a business is to keep it as simple as possible and to adjust to the reality of the business/ market on a regular basis. To start up my business I may have made too many sacrifices on the personal side but at least I learnt from that and I’m doing my very best not to repeat the same mistakes. The challenges I face are constant and on all fronts; the biggest is related to the fact that we are constantly dealing with government entities in over 25 countries – this calls for a lot of patience to put it mildly. My greatest achievement is growing HLG from a small Canadian law firm in 1992 to the international group it is today with 19 offices around the world. Despite this, I’ve found a way to balance business and family life. That is by far my best achievement. My plan for the future is to follow in my father’s footsteps. He retired as a judge at 79 years old, so I think that is the right age for retirement. When hiring staff, I ask why they chose HLG and what they know about us. If their answer is limited to what they can read on our website, the interview usually ends shortly after. The entrepreneurs I most admire have the courage to start a business. It’s not so much about whether they succeed or not, but the fact that they at least try. My favourite social media platform is none of them, nada. While I admit that social media is great for business (most of the time), I still think it is the worst invention ever when it comes to personal usage. My personal motto is to always manage based on the worst-case scenario. Let’s call it a variance of the old saying, ‘If you want peace, prepare for war.’


Harvey Law Group,

March 2019


A cut above

Photo by Baljit Gidwani -

DB gemologist and custom jeweller Rahila Refaaq is putting an ethical shine on precious stones. Elizabeth Kerr hears all about it


March 2019


itting at ifc’s Le Salon de thé de Joël Robuchon, Rahila Refaaq is on her way to the workshop where the bespoke jewellery she creates is completed – but there’s very little in the way of bling on the forty-something gemologist herself. You’d think she’d look as sparkly as a Desperate Housewife, but her skin reacts poorly to metals and leather. Her ears aren’t pierced and she only occasionally wears a pendant. She does sport a pale green beryl, her favourite stone, and she will cop to owning an impressive collection of gems, even if she doesn’t wear them every day. It’s just as well the Sri Lanka native doesn’t always get blingy herself. Rahila’s relatively soft spoken, but

he retired. And as a Sri Lankan, it’s no surprise gems run in the family – gems are big business there too. Rahila relocated to Hong Kong permanently in 2002 after commuting around Asia – the Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka – for years. Her first arrival in Hong Kong, aged two, was with her family, who moved here for her dad’s diamond manufacturing business. Along the way she studied at the Gemological Institute of America campus in Thailand and Hong Kong, but nonetheless started her working life in banking – which was what she was doing when she met her IT professional husband, also Sri Lankan, in 1992 when he was on a stopover. “There weren’t that many Sri

Rahila buys diamonds from Kimberley Process – a multilateral trade organisation that works to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds when her interest is piqued – which is often – her voice gets louder. Bolder. She likes to talk about her two daughters (Zaha a Fashion Marketing graduate, Maarya in neurology) and my positive travel tales about her home country also please her no end. A family business There’s very little the 18-year veteran of the gem industry can’t explain or supply to the customers that come to her through her sixyear-old studio Zaha et Cetera. Precious stones are big business in Hong Kong, and there are scores of jewellers making customised pieces, but for Rahila it’s a family business. Her father worked in gems and passed on his crew and ethic (you work for your customers, not vice versa) when

Lankan families in Hong Kong back then. There are more now, more professionals, but back then my father’s place was, like, an open house,” Rahila recalls with a chuckle. “Everyone passing through was told, ‘Go to Mr Zeyard’s house.’ They had no idea who he was but they were encouraged to pass through. My husband came to the house.” An extended layover and a year of dating later, Rahila got married in front of 1,000 guests (anything less might as well be eloping) in Sri Lanka. The couple finally settled in DB in 2002. Eventually Rahila circled back to gemology, and landed a job at the International Gemological Institute’s lab in Hong Kong, testing stones for major auction

houses and private jewellers. She gave up the white coat for Zaha et Cetera in 2012. “Friends wanted to do something with me but I couldn’t because of my position at the lab,” she recalls. “I’d also reached a certain level at the lab, and the next step would have been taking over from the CEO. It was that or something new.” Best practice strategies Zaha et Cetera is a small operation – a factory in Central and an office in Discovery Bay – that’s gotten where it is through word of mouth, and by providing alternatives that suit the client’s budget. Rahila also caters to all gem needs, like investors who don’t want to keep cash. Rahila admits that diamonds are still the stone star, regardless of how not rare they are, but she says this may be changing. “Last year I had a client who wanted a blue sapphire engagement ring. He didn’t want any diamonds. It was different, and a lot of it had to do with his beliefs.” As the world shakes off the last vestiges of the ‘Greed is good’ ethos, blood diamonds are going out of style. Rahila buys diamonds from Kimberley Process – a multilateral trade organisation, established in 2003, that works to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds. She sources other stones from Sri Lanka because of her heritage and also because the country has strict child-labour laws. Additionally, Rahila happily recycles old stones and metals for redesign. “We can’t use the same gold because the recycling process is another story, but it’s the right thing to do – and older stones are often worth much, much more than new ones,” she says. Not surprisingly Hong Kong is a singular market, distinct from March 2019



Rahila’s biggest in the UK, the US, Europe and Sri Lanka. Clients seeking custom work usually have ideas in mind, but Rahila manages to sneak a bit of herself into the final look. “Sri Lankans love colour and every shade of coloured gem can be found there. I do pull from Sri Lankan design. It’s vibrant,” she admits. Commitment to local craftsmen

“We’re very fortunate to have that legacy of diamond and gem knowledge. There are very few places that have these experienced people still working,” she says of one of the city’s historic trades that hasn’t been outsourced to China. “It’s a little more expensive but I can check the quality, I can monitor everything easily, and I trust my factory not to swap out stones.”

Another of Rahila’s distinguishing factors is her commitment to local craftsmen. Her team of bench jewellers have decades of experience in cutting, polishing and setting stones, and they’re right here in the SAR.

Her next project is reinvesting in Sri Lanka’s gem resources by offering free workshops and education in the local villages around Ratnapura which she regularly visits. “Right now, my father’s generation takes a stone

and, with no gemology experience, thinks ‘Sure. It’s real,’” she says. “But you can’t do that anymore. You have to do the testing. There are so many synthetics out there. This generation is different. But traders there still don’t quite get the concept, and I can’t afford 10% of my stones to be fake.” At some point down the road Rahila would like to try her hand at standard retailing, with a line of fixed designs available at a traditional shop – rents permitting. She can wait, though. “I do exhibit at some of the fairs… So far it’s good, touch wood,” she finishes. “I’m happy with the pace as it stands. I’m doing my thing.”

Find more local heroes @

Resizing Rings (14KT & up) Recycling Old Jewelry Replacement of Missing Diamonds Re-design Jewelry Jewelry Engraving Services Testing on Gemstones Diamond, Gemstones & Jewelry Consultations Handling Diamonds with GIA/IGI certificates from 0.08 ct size & up

By Appointment Only in Discovery Bay Rahila Refaaq WhatsApp: +852 9656 0414 Email:

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an d

Not all DB trails lead to Mui Wo but two of the most interesting do. George Pitsakis takes us walkabout

On the Lo Fu Tau Country Trail


o say that the hikes I’m about to introduce you to never get old is understatement. I first hiked to Mui Wo via the Trappist Monastery in 2000 with my family when I was four years old, and I still love it. As for the hike to Mui Wo via Tiger’s Head, I did it almost every weekend in my late teens; I must have done it 70 times or more. Again, I still love the challenge – and the views. I hope you get as much out of these hikes as I do.

Photos by Alexander Grasic

Via The Trappist Monastery


No sweat. 7.5 kilometres Starting at Nim Shue Wan, you follow the path that hugs the coast for the whole of the first section of this hike. As you walk through the village up a steep hill, you’re immediately surrounded

by banana trees and garden plots – it’s funny how quickly you ‘leave’ DB and get out into the countryside. Dogs hang around the village but keep walking and they won’t harm you, they’re used to hikers passing through. After a stretch, you find yourself walking on bolted-down wooden planks – this section of the paved path was destroyed by Typhoon Mangkhut back in September last year. Skirt a rocky little bay (where my brother and I used to catch crabs) and head up a quick flight of stairs. Continue walking and you come across one of my favourite things about this hike – a 1950s jeep now totally overgrown and laced with tree roots. I’ve no idea why it’s there or how it got there. It looks like it’s been there forever. After a sharp descent, you enter a clearing and see a wide road

March 2019

leading up to the Roman Catholic Our Lady of Joy Abbey, better known as the Trappist Monastery. This section of the hike is steep so take your time. You pass 14 Stations of the Cross on the way to the monastery, a series of 14 markers portraying events in the Passion of Christ, from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment. At the monastery, there’s a beautiful Shrine to Mary, a wellkept garden and a pretty stream that runs beneath a humpback bridge, all of which justify the monastery’s original name – Trappist Haven. Cross the bridge, climb some stairs and you reach the medieval-style stone chapel. It’s a plain place of worship nestled in the hills, quiet and remote. If you’re lucky enough to arrive during a Divine Office, you can listen to the handful of monks in residence chanting.

1950s jeep on the trail to the Trappist Monastery

Planks in place since Typhoon Mangkhut

Back on the trail, you’re looking at a fairly long climb up to a pagoda at around 300 metres above sea level. It’s all uphill for a while, so mind your pace. While there is a trail that skirts the pagoda, it’s worth taking the stairs up to it (on your left) for the great views. On your way down, you see the Discovery Bay Golf Club on your left, Peng Chau ahead, and Hong Kong Island and a sliver of Hei Ling Chau to your right. The pagoda used to be painted white with traditional green-glaze tiles, now it’s freshly done up in black and grey – it’s interesting. You’re now on the homestretch – a casual 1,000-stair descent to Mui Wo. It’s best to take the

Shrine to Mary at the Trappist Monastery

steps sideways-on at the end because they’re pretty narrow. Here you look down on Mui Wo in the shadow of 869-metre Tai Tung Shan (Sunset Peak) and, as often as not, you find yourself surrounded by butterflies. At the bottom of the stairs, follow the path to the right until you wind down to Silvermine Bay. Here you can hang out at Silvermine Beach Resort, China Bear, or the Mui Wo Cooked Food Market before ferry-, bus- or taxi-ing it back to DB.

Via Tiger’s Head Challenging. 11.7 kilometres This hike really kicks into gear

At the summit of 465-metre Lo Fu Tau

at the Discovery Bay Lookout (already 200 metres above sea level). From the lookout, you can see the skyscrapers of Central just a few kilometres across Victoria Harbour. Peng Chau and Hei Ling Chau sit in the foreground, with Lamma and Cheung Chau forming the backdrop. Take the paved road out from behind the lookout, and you see Lo Fu Tau (Tiger’s Head) towering above you. Follow the path as it turns left, and you come across a switch back on your right. This dirt path inclines steeply all the way up to Tiger’s Head, 465 metres above sea level. Be warned, there’s no shade the whole way up – if you’re hiking March 2019


IN FOCUS fours. Bear in mind that you’re on the final stretch. Tell yourself that once you’re at the summit, it will be beautiful. It is. From here you turn right to continue on the trail but, before you do, take a left – a short climb takes you right up to the proverbial tiger’s head, a giant stone on the top of the hill shaped like the head of a tiger. The views are incredible here; you can see the whole of DB and appreciate just how far you’ve climbed.

Tigers Head rock atop Lo Fu Tau

The shape of the tiger is best seen as you continue on a brief incline and look back towards Discovery Bay. Two protrusions on either side of the main rock buttress resemble ears, and you can imagine you’re looking down the nape of a tiger, as he surveys the scene below. Here, you’re rewarded with a 360° panorama. To appreciate it all, clamber on top of the trigonometrical point. These fixed surveying stations are found on many hills in Hong Kong, ask a friend to help you get up this one! From here you see the airport, along with the beginnings of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, as well as Castle Peak in the New Territories.

Golden Silk Orb Weaver Spiders

in summer, make it early in the morning, and carry plenty of water even in winter. The trail is eroded in places too, so watch out for loose rocks and dirt. Take your time and enjoy the incredible views. The path snaking up Tiger’s Head looks a lot shorter than it actually is, but it flattens out for 10 metres every now and then, providing you with a good place to take a break. Just before you reach the summit, there’s a harsh 40º incline – you might need to do this bit on all

Back on the trail as it heads to the left, you are now officially on the Lo Fu Tau Country Trail. You get your first glimpse of what can only be described as a landscape that is totally alien to Hong Kong. This stretch of the walk is sublime, a relatively gentle descent through a craggy, treeless ‘moonscape,’ surrounded by hills. The valley opens up behind in splendid and cavernous style; skirt around a hill and you see Sunset Peak towering

up a few kilometres away. As you meander down you encounter several interesting rock formations that seem too well-balanced to have been haphazardly thrown together by nature. After you take some stairs leading down, you find yourself back below the tree line. The path continues on its downward journey, clipping the edge of Discovery Bay Golf Club, and you can spot golfers on the putting green. It’s a nice easy descent to a wooden pagoda, which marks one end of the Lo Fu Tau Country Trail. Here you turn left to join the Olympic Trail. The winding path of stairs, slopes and straights makes up for the fact that you’re back on concrete. From the clearings, you start to glimpse the Mui Wo villages and Silvermine Bay. A couple of the stairs at this point are pretty steep. Round a bend and you come across a pretty little pool of water overhung by trees. In the summer, these trees are full of massive Golden Silk Orb Weaver Spiders. The spiders are not in your way but don’t get too close – they do bite. Cross a recently built bridge and follow the path left past an old house; then turn right to Silvermine Cave, which is actually the mouth of an old British-built silver mine. Just below it is Silvermine Waterfall – to see it at full pelt, time your hike for just after it’s rained. There are benches by the waterfall where you can grab a snack and hang out. Back on the path, you end up in the back end of Mui Wo. Follow the main road and head away from the hills toward Silvermine Bay.

Sign up for the Green Sense Charity Hike on March 24 and you have the chance to walk from DB to Silvermine Waterfall with other hikers. All donations will be used for environmental education, promotion and investigation. To register before March 15, visit

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March 2019


Building a Strong Foundation at Stamford American School Hong Kong

A Photos courtesy of Stamford American School Hong Kong

s adults we are aware of the impact our emotional wellbeing has on our work, so we can’t be surprised that the same is true for our children whose primary job is to be a student. The Second Step® programme at Stamford American School Hong Kong supports students holistically by developing essential socioemotional skills that they will need to navigate through life.


Stamford’s Second Step® programme gives students the tools to excel in and out of the classroom, achieving their academic and personal goals. The programme promotes skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and conflict management all of which are needed to develop a strong emotional foundation. Mia Nortje, counsellor at Stamford says, “The Second Step® programme has been shown to increase pro-social behaviour, as it helps to give students strategies to make good

choices by fostering empathy and awareness of others.” The programme also offers children practical strategies to cope with situations such as bullying; this means not only supporting their peers by being responsible bystanders but also learning how to refuse bullying. From Pre-Primary (age 5) to Grade 8, students have a dedicated lesson each week where they go through various scenarios related to a topic which addresses a central theme. Practical exercises allow students to problem solve through the situations with the support of teachers and peers. In the elementary years (Preprimary to Grade 5), the main focus is on building a strong foundation in four main areas: skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and problem-solving. At each grade level, the students explore these central topics through content which is age appropriate.

March 2019

For example, as part of the fourth theme problem-solving, Preprimary and Grade 1 students learn about fair play; Grade 2 students learn about playing fairly in the playground; Grade 3 students discuss peer exclusion and the Grade 4s and 5s learn how to cope with peer pressure, which can be quite overwhelming at a young age. “As children enter middle school, the programme shifts away from the foundational skills to focus on the skills needed to navigate successfully into adulthood, thus preparing students for more complex challenges. The themes that middle school students explore are mindsets and goals, values and friendships, and thoughts, emotions and decisions,” says Ashley Perkins, school counsellor. For example, as part of the theme mindsets and goals, Grade 6 students learn about setting goals, Grade 7 students learn content such as embracing challenges, and Grade 8 learners look at overcoming failure.

Even as adults many still struggle with some of these skills, so ensuring strong support at this stepping stone is critical. In middle school children are developing their identities and also navigating towards adulthood, supporting them through this pivotal phase is vital to ensure emotional wellbeing and success in high school and beyond. “Once children are in high school, the programme becomes very personalised, as they move into an advisory programme and discuss preparation for beyond college,” says Ashley. “Each student has an advisor, but the students themselves must also take on more responsibility for their wellbeing. “At Stamford, supporting students at every step, in and out of the classroom, is a top priority; academics are important, but a strong socio-emotional foundation is also needed to ensure a successful and happy future.”

ABOUT STAMFORD Stamford American School Hong Kong is a world-class international school offering a rigorous standards-based education for children aged five to 18 years old. The goal is to instil an enthusiasm for lifelong learning and a sense of global awareness in every student, along with the necessary skills to prepare them for the challenges and changes which lie ahead after they graduate. Stamford offers an interdisciplinary curriculum and seeks to offer students a choice of graduating with either the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme or American High School Diploma, or both. While high standards are set for academic achievement and performance, Stamford’s educational programme has been created with an emphasis on the development of the whole child. The school offers specialised programmes across all subjects, including a problem-based Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMinn) programme, a differentiated Fountas and Pinnell Levelled Reading programme, structured Physical Education based on the Society of Health and Physical Educators standards, and a challenging Visual and Performing Arts programme based on the Massachusetts Arts Curriculum.

CONTACT • Stamford American School Hong Kong, • School Campus, 25 Man Fuk Road, Ho Man Tin, 3467 4500 • Admissions Office, Suites 4005-4007, Level 40 Two Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central, 2500 8688 March 2019



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March 2019

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March 2019

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The pros and cons of

boarding school life By Ray Robertson


isgusting food, harsh punishment and bullying after lights out. Only sadists send their children to boarding school, right? Or maybe that’s not the case. Are the parents of boarders, many of whom have been through the boarding system themselves, looking to gift their children more of a Malory Towers experience? An experience that’s all about five-star campus life, freedom and camaraderie. Do they believe boarding is the best way to prepare a child for life? Certainly, what the boarding school system can offer looks good on paper. It provides children with a structured approach to both academic studies and extracurricular activities, with 24/7 access to sports and recreation facilities. There’s also social interaction with friends and peers of all ages, the opportunity to learn personal and social responsibility, zero travel time to school… safety and supervision. But what’s the reality? What are the pros and cons?

Photo courtesy of

Free from parents


What do children treasure the most about boarding school life? Their freedom! They’re on their own (or at least with their own kind), doing their own thing, without parents constantly on their backs telling them what to do. They decide whether they want to eat in the dining hall or order out, they schedule consultations with teachers, they plan out their revision time – they are in control. There’s no doubt that boarders are carefully supervised but at the same

Boarders, particularly those without siblings, benefit from the constant companionship

time, they are encouraged to be independent and self-supporting. They are treated like young adults, and most respond well, learning to cope on their own and to enjoy doing so. Living within a community, they find they have to learn to get along with other students and take responsibility for their own actions. Discipline and acting out are seldom an issue for boarders, because they are steered through adolescence by professionals… not parents. Another advantage of growing up outside the nest? Boarders learn to be self-disciplined in all areas,

March 2019

from personal hygiene to academic organisation. This prepares them for life in the adult world. On the other hand, the blessing of being free of parents can also be a kind of curse. It’s unusual for boarders not to suffer from homesickness at least initially, and separation anxiety can resurface at stressful times. Being trusted to make their own decisions is one thing, but boarders may miss having mum and dad around to hold their hands at crucial stages in their school career, for instance when they are choosing which

subjects to study at 16 or making college applications. In fact, one of the biggest criticisms that can be made of the boarding school system is that the influence family has on a young person’s life is compromised. Arguably, the best education happens when a student is benefiting from both a close-knit, supportive home environment and also an excellent school environment – and this is where boarders miss out. They have teachers and ‘house parents’ to look to – to help them succeed and to help them thrive – but they lack the constant hands-on support and influence of their own families. Living with friends Why do kids beg to be sent to boarding school? Well, that’s a nobrainer. They’ve read Harry Potter, they’ve seen the campus and they want to live the dream! Many boarding schools used to be like barracks – complete with lumpy mattresses, cold showers and early-morning-runs – but nowadays, they’re much more five-star hotel meets Center Parcs. Ensconced in the lap of luxury, boarders get all the fun of living with their friends, sharing a dorm, or a room as they get older. Every night feels like a slumber party, plus they get a built-in social life. Boarders, particularly those without siblings, benefit from the constant companionship; they never have to look far if they need a friend to hang out with or vent to about their stress. With dozens of mates on tap from the moment they wake up till the second they fall asleep, the bonds of friendship that boarders develop are incredibly strong and often these relationships endure long into adult life. Boarders come to

rely on their friends as they would their family, and they feel secure within such a tight-knit community. But there’s an obvious disadvantage to all this – boarders have a hard time getting any privacy and, during term time, they seldom get a break from their friends. Living at such close quarters may be tremendous fun when everyone is getting along, but when they’re not, disputes, even serious issues like bullying can arise. Boarders often find they are at each other’s throats simply because of how much time they spend together. Equally, many boarders find themselves friendless when they come home for the holidays. They may not know the children in their neighbourhood and they likely won’t have formed any strong ties with them. Boarders mature more quickly than their day-schooled peers, which also sets them apart and can increase their feelings of isolation when they’re away from school. Always on the go Excelling academically! Scoring a try for your house! Being made Head Girl! Children love boarding school because they are never bored. As well as their classes, they have access to academic societies and topnotch sports, music and arts facilities. Everything on campus is geared to their betterment and/ or enjoyment, and their needs are prioritised, which is not something all children, particularly those whose parents are busy with their own careers, get to experience at home.


Boarding schools tend to have not just great teachers but specialist facilities, meaning they are able to cater to children with abilities that are either above or below average. At St David’s College in North Wales, for instance, one-onone and small group support is provided, plus Speech, Language and Occupational Therapy. With small classes averaging 12 to 15 students, study hall hours, and access to teachers that live on campus, most boarders feel the benefit and find they can excel inside the classroom and out. Parents who are drawn to the boarding school system value the sheer volume of academics, athletics and extracurricular activities on offer, but the downside can be overworked, overstretched kids. For some children, having such a packed timetable can be too much; the pressure to excel in all aspects of school life can be overwhelming. Consider a typical 16-year-old boarder’s schedule: 6.30am to 8am: Breakfast and assembly. 8.00am to 12pm: Class. 12pm to 1pm: Lunch. 1pm to 3pm: Class. 3.45pm to 5.30pm: Sports and extracurricular activities. 5.30pm to 7.15 pm: Dinner. 7.30pm to 9.30pm: Study hall. 10pm to 10.30pm: Dorms and lights out. That’s a lot to cram into a single day, and for some children constantly rushing from activity to activity can be too stressful, too regimented. Boarding school can feel like boot camp – or the best thing since sliced bread. Would your child benefit from the experience? Would it set him up for life?

St David’s College,

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ways you’ll benefit if your child weekly boards

By Ray Robertson


ou want to give your child the advantages of a boarding school experience but you don’t like the idea of only seeing him in the school holidays. The solution? Weekly boarding. Here are six ways you’ll benefit.


You’ll limit the angst. A week passes quickly, so you’ll find you won’t miss your child too much (and vice versa). With a busy timetable, staff on hand to help with homework and the freedom to enjoy time with their friends, your child won’t have time to feel homesick.


Photo courtesy of

You’ll still have a role. Weekly boarding ensures that you’ll still play a major part in your child’s upbringing. Your child will come home every weekend, so he’ll benefit from your input as well as from the guidance he gets at school.



You’ll be able to focus on work. Weekly boarding puts an end to the daily grind. You won’t have to combine your busy work schedule with getting your child to and from school and to extracurricular activities across town. You can make your professional life your priority during

More quality time together

the week (and say goodbye to nightly battles over homework too).


You’ll know your child is in good hands. Rather than worrying what he’s up to as you rush home from work, you’ll know your child is safe and secure on school premises. You’ll know that he is being cared for by dedicated teachers who are mentors, not by helpers or babysitters.


You’ll spend quality time together. You can say goodbye to the guilt of not having enough time for your

child during the week, and really enjoy your time together at the weekends. Weekly boarding takes the pressure off, just be sure to keep your weekends free for your child.


You’ll be prepared for the next stage. It’s seldom easy to say goodbye to your child when he heads off to university or to pursue his own career, and having him weekly board gives you a taste of what’s to come. Weekly boarding prepares your child for university life, since it creates a halfway house between home life and the adult world.

Harrow International School Hong Kong is currently the only school in Hong Kong offering weekly boarding. To find out more, visit

Find more on education @ March 2019

Website : Email : Tel / WhatsApp : 63601715

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Having Fun

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The freedom to flourish through whole-person education

St David’s College Est. 1965

Why the St David’s College ‘Three Peak’ education model is so effective


Photos courtesy of St David’s College

tudents don’t just receive an academic education at St David’s College in North Wales,” the school’s headmaster Andrew Russell opens. “Established in 1965, St David’s College pioneered a ‘three-dimension’ vision for education, creating a living and learning environment where our young boarders can reach their academic potential, develop tailored physical fitness and conditioning, and explore a personal spiritual and moral framework.”


St David’s is set close to the mountains of Snowdonia, and three of its School Houses are named after the range’s three highest peaks, Snowdon, Cader Idris and Tryfan. The ‘Three Peak’ model is uniquely placed to prepare young people for their adult lives and to make a significant contribution to society. St David’s boasts highly experienced qualified teachers

with specialists in a variety of subjects. At its outstanding Cadogan Learning Centre, oneon-one and small group support is provided, plus Speech, Language and Occupational Therapy. “The school’s students gain the skills and strategies needed to access mainstream qualifications to go onto further their education at university level,” says Andrew. “The ability of St David’s to integrate innovative and personally tailored learning with exceptional outdoor education with a spiritual and moral focus, makes the school a leader in its sphere.” What’s more, the awardwinning range of extra-curricular activities offered allows each pupil to grow in self-confidence, ensuring endless possibilities for all. Each year sees overseas expeditions developing personal resilience and life skills in students, while Link International Innovation – the school’s charity – provides them

March 2019

with the opportunity to reach out to others. While St David’s is set in a serene and secluded location, the school is under three hours by train from London. It’s well located to access Manchester International Airport, with direct flights from Hong Kong. St David’s is popular among Hong Kong residents, drawing particularly rave reviews from one Discovery Bay family: “We relocated to Hong Kong 13 years ago, when our son was two. Orin spent his early years struggling through the educational system with dyslexia. We tried various schools but constantly failed to get the proper support and educational tools required to fit his learning needs. We finally discovered St David’s in 2016.” Orin, now 15, has embraced being a boarder. As his mum says, “St David’s is so much more than a school, it’s a life’s education.” St David’s is so proud of so many such success stories.

Giulietta’s story Attending an elite boarding school in the South of France may sound idyllic for some, but for Giulietta it was a miserable experience. The Croatian 18-year-old said she lost all her confidence because despite being convinced she was dyslexic, three different French experts who tested her for dyslexia told her parents it was a linguistic problem. “I was made to feel stupid, and I felt humiliated in the classroom as I found it so hard to keep up with the other students,” says Giulietta, who is fluent in Croatian, French and English. “The education system in France is very rigid and if you fall behind, there isn’t much help.” In desperation to help her increasingly unhappy daughter, Giulietta’s mother Googled schools in the UK that could offer support in dyslexia, and St David’s College was the first one on the list. An interview was arranged and Giulietta said she fell in love with the school as soon as she saw the list of activities on offer (especially the 4X4 driving) and that pupils weren’t expected to get up at 6am and study until 8pm, as in her former school. After being tested by a British dyslexic expert, it was discovered that Giulietta was indeed dyslexic. “In France they don’t really offer anything like BTECs, it’s all about

sitting a big exam at the end, which is no good for someone like me who prefers continual assessment,” she says. “When I first saw the school’s website I was interested to read Rachna’s story, and I thought I wanted to study business too, it was good to see a girl doing so well as I always thought business was a man’s world.” Since joining St David’s College last September, Giulietta has thrown herself into school life, including bagging herself the lead role as Cinderella in her house play. She lives in Augusta House


with the other female boarders and describes it as “one happy family;” she especially enjoys the soup and roll night on Sundays, brownie nights and movie nights. “I love the British way of education, because in France as soon as you reach the sixth form you can’t study music, or drama or art unless you go to schools that specialise in these subjects – here you have a choice. “The teachers at St David’s give up so much of their free time to help me, they are here to make sure I will succeed, and I believe that I will, I now have belief in myself.”

St David’s College,

Registration is open for September 2020 and beyond. Limited places are available for September 2019. March 2019


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What you need to know Darren Counsell


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tarting a new family, or having an addition to one can be a big step. This is especially true if you’re looking to give birth in Hong Kong, one of the most expensive locations in the world for maternity care. In most cases, securing maternity insurance to offset the high cost of care is essential for those planning to frequent private clinics and hospitals. Hong Kong has a total of 11 registered private hospitals, with some of the most popular choices for expectant parents being Hong Kong Adventist Hospital and Matilda International Hospital. The extra perks offered in private hospitals are no doubt attractive, but they do come with a steep price tag. Consider that the cost for a ‘normal’ delivery at The Matilda is around HK$49,900, and for a c-section HK$60,500. As you’d expect, public hospitals are much more affordable – around HK$350 for a normal delivery. Despite this, many expectant parents prefer to go private because of the higher quality of service, additional privacy, shorter waiting times and longer visiting hours.

Photo courtesy of

Coverage options to consider Step one: Plan ahead. Most maternity benefits come with a waiting period of 10 to 12 months, meaning you need to wait until you have passed the duration of time as specified in your plan before you’re entitled to claim any maternity related costs. It’s also important to note that in Hong Kong there are no stand-

alone maternity insurance plans. Rather, cover will always need to be included as an add-on to either inpatient (also known as hospitalisation) or inpatient + outpatient plans. Like all insurance products, maternity can come with a range of benefit options and coverage limits that can be tailored to your needs. Make sure you do your research on all the prenatal, delivery and postnatal expenses associated with giving birth, and what sorts of insurance you might need to help you cover it. Seek advice from an expert insurance provider (like me). Maternity plans are designed to bring you and your baby to delivery in a healthy state, and

they may have some low-level coverage for unexpected events. If your pregnancy is high-risk, or you want to be prepared for all circumstances, choose an appropriate plan. Unexpected complications during pregnancy, c-sections and treatment for congenital disorders are the type of things that push up the overall cost. And outcomes like these are stressful enough, without the added worry of whether you have the cover to deal with them financially. Lastly, it’s always advisable to select a plan that provides great post-birth coverage for your newborn. If your policy offers good ‘child wellness’ cover, you can start claiming costs incurred for the baby’s routine health checks and vaccinations from day one.


Pacific Prime Hong Kong, 9830 0284,

If you have any questions, feel free to email March 2019





By Imogen Clyde


lanning kids’ parties gets easier as they get older: Once they hit their tweens, you don’t have to invite their whole class along, and you can pretty much get away with a movie (plus hot dogs and popcorn) for a couple of besties. But for younger kids, parties need to be more elaborate – and there’s more competition involved – so it’s worth thinking seriously about what you want to achieve and all the exciting alternatives on offer. As any parent will tell you, the basic elements that need to come together are the supplies, the venue and the refreshments (including the all-important birthday cake). Get these worked out well in advance and you should be able to cheat your way to a fun, relatively hassle-free birthday bash. The first thing you, or rather the birthday boy or girl needs to decide on is the theme. Go with unicorns, pirates, princesses, or minions… whatever’s on their radar at the time. The theme is a big deal because it will dictate the look of the party, of everything from the invitations to the cake.

Illustrations by Andrew Spires

Essential supplies For the sake of your time and sanity – not to mention the environment – avoid paper invitations. Choosing an electronic invitation service, such as Paperless Post, keeps the process straightforward and makes your guest list easy to manage digitally. Get the invitations sent out at least a month in advance to avoid disappointment.



the girls. But one-bag-fits-all is the best (easiest) way to go. Young partygoers will thank you for fun treats like bubble wands, whoopee cushions and, of course, slime. The venue Never host a children’s party at home; it’s simply too big of an ask. Your living room will get wrecked, and you’ll find yourself running around organising games, breaking up fights and laying out food, while the other mummies relax in the corner drinking your Prosecco.

If you follow this writer’s advice you won’t be needing much in the way of party decorations but you will need basic supplies – balloons and those all-important take-home party bags. For these, look no further than the dedicated Partytime shop-in-shop at Bookazine in DB Plaza. You’ll find a quality range in cool colours and of-the-minute themes. And about the party bags. What do you put inside them? You can relate the contents to the party theme (as long as it’s unisex – boys won’t thank you for a princess brooch) or you can make up two sets of bags, one for the boys and one for

The best bet, unless yours is a winter or typhoon-season baby, is to take the party outdoors. This way, the kids will be able to let off steam without destroying your home and you’ll find you have a lot less to do – lay on sunscreen and bug spray and you’re good to go. If you don’t have a garden, check in with your village management office to see if your local playground is available for hire, or simply hit up Tai Pak Wan. Water parties always hit the spot and they’re incredibly easy to organise. Ask invitees to bring spare clothes and a towel, fill a few large storage bins with water and then allocate your guests into teams. Timed wet-sponge relay races, water balloon fights and squirt battles are all sure-fire crowd-pleasers that can easily be refereed by a parent. If you can afford to add on a bouncy castle, do it! Kids never get tired of inflatables and they’ll play on them for hours. Talk to South Lantau resident Ben White of Jumping Castles. His castles all feature a March 2019


TOP TIPS jump area and a slide of some sort and they come in small, medium and large sizes – the small ones suited for children as young as two and the largest good for kids up to 12. All you need for Ben to set up an inflatable is a reasonably level area – indoors or out. For added fun, he can also supply a helium-balloon kit that includes a disposable, recyclable helium tank and 30 balloons. The main event Kid’s parties today aren’t the jellyand-ice-cream sit-down affairs many of us remember, so don’t feel you need to provide a full-on spread. If you’re heading to the beach, or any venue where food is not provided, a good option is to present the food in individual party boxes. Keep things simple and cute, you only need a few items in each box – a cheese straw, a homemade sandwich, some crisps/ grapes, a small yoghurt and plastic spoon, a fairy cake, a pretty napkin and a paper hat. Taking it easy with the snacks frees you up to go big on the main event – the birthday cake, everyone’s favourite part of a party. Whether you’re looking for a 2D Bob the Builder or a 3D mermaid on a rock, bakeries like Complete Deelite and Sweet Secrets in Central can whip up the requisite confection to match any party theme. Of course, inch-thick icing can transform even the sweetest young partygoers into sugar-crazed fiends, so consider a ‘naked’ cake – where the sides remain un-iced. It’s worth noting too that Sweet Secrets offers a full range of vegan cakes that are gluten-, nut- and refined sugar-free. These ‘free-from’ cakes are healthy and wholesome, and look every bit as good as the regular ones.

at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel – girls get to dress up in Disney Princess costumes and have their photos taken.

Taking it to the next level There’s no doubt that children expect a lot from their parties and parents are always under pressure to provide the best bash ever. But don’t worry. If all your child’s friends have already had an outdoor party (with an inflatable), there are plenty of other options to consider. How about an ice-skating party? At The Rink at Elements in Tsim Sha Tsui, there’s fun to be had for kids of all ages, and cute penguins guide the less steady partygoers across the ice. If a pony party fits the bill, Tuen Mun Public Riding School in the New Territories offers supervised rides for children. You can also bring along your own birthday cake and drinks. Or check out the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Even closer to home, EpicLand in DB North Plaza is a great one-stop party option catering for groups of 10 to 50 plus. A typical party package at the 14,000-squarefoot indoor entertainment centre includes party invites and banners, two hours use of a private function room and all-day access to the play zones. There is also facepainting and tattoos for each child, plus a photo. For something entirely different, DB resident Agnes Chin, who runs Complete Deelite in Central with her daughter Jacinta, offers baking parties. A typical party will see children aged four and up decorate pre-baked cookies or cupcakes and then make and decorate lollipop-style cake pops. So there you have it; throwing a successful kid’s party isn’t child’s play but it’s… doable. Just be sure to plan ahead and pull out all the stops – you don’t want to be known as the parent who threw the boring birthday bash.

CONTACT • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, • Bookazine, • Complete Deelite, • EpicLand, • Jumping Castles, • Paperless Post, • Sweet Secrets, • The Rink at Elements, • Tuen Mun Public Riding School,

Find more top tips @


March 2019

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Flight Centre Hong Kong’s resident LA expert Lydia Tsang gives us the inside scoop on all the neighbourhood must-dos

Sunset Boulevard


owhere does glitz and glamour quite like Los Angeles – and with the likes of Hollywood, Disneyland and Santa Monica Pier on your doorstep, this vibrant city packs in more than its fair share of iconic sights.

Photos courtesy of

From where to eat, what to see, where to shop and just about everything else in-between, this is your crib sheet to getting the best out of the City of Angels.


First piece of advice? Rent a car. LA is a sprawling destination, with many districts a few hours’ drive from each another; public transport is underdeveloped, has a bit of a sketchy reputation, and will result in too much time wasted hanging around when you could be having much more fun exploring. Pick a base from one of the destinations below, then plot out some road trips to wherever else is on your hit list.



• It’s touristy but has to be done – grab some photos at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Sunset Boulevard.

• Drive along Mulholland Drive in Beverly Hills to see where the rich and famous have their homes, while also nabbing great views of the city below.

• Explore the mysteries of the cosmos at Griffith Observatory, then lace up your walking shoes to tackle a hiking trail or two at Griffith Park and enjoy prime views of the classic Hollywood sign.

• Head to Universal Studios for the day – must-dos are the Studio Tour and Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Buy a Universal Express Pass so you can skip the queues for rides.

• Head to The Grove, a great outdoor mall and farmer’s market for fresh, local produce, that has the added bonus of some serious celebrity-spotting opportunities. • Feast on a delicious pastrami sandwich at Canter’s Deli, then knock back some strong drinks at the best kind of dive bar, The Dime.

March 2019

• Make your way to NoHo Arts District, a happening enclave where live theatre – not film – is the real star. You’ll find more than 20 professional theatres putting on memorable performances in LA’s very own version of ‘off-Broadway,’ with original works the norm. • Sip on Zombie and Mai Tai cocktails at LA’s oldest tiki bar, Tonga Hut – and save a few quarters for its excellent, eclectic jukebox.

Hollywood Sign

Orpheum Theatre

• Hollywood Walk of Fame

Shop ‘til you drop on Third Street Promenade, then fuel up on fajitas at Barney’s Beanery.


Santa Monica Pier

• Indulge your carnivorous side at Lala’s Grill – the Argentinian steaks are out-of-this-world.

DOWNTOWN LA • Wander around the charming historic buildings at Olvera Street, a colourful Mexican marketplace known as the ‘birthplace of Los Angeles.’ • Get a feel for old LA in the Historic Core neighbourhood, home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Bradbury Building, Grand Central Market, Orpheum Theatre, Eastern Columbia Building and Los Angeles Theatre. • Get your cultural fix at the Museum of Contemporary Art, then catch a Los Angeles Lakers or LA Clippers basketball game at Staples Center. • Go to Tinfoil Liquor & Grocery

and ask the guy at the counter, “Do you sell birthday candles?” You’ll be whisked to the back of the shop where there’s a secret little speakeasy; night owls will be pleased to hear it stays open until 3am.

SANTA MONICA • Stroll along the iconic Santa Monica Pier and take a ride on the solar-powered Ferris wheel which by night is lit up by 160,000 dazzling LED lights. • Drive to Topanga State Park for some fantastic hiking. The trail up to Eagle Rock is amazing – quiet with beautiful scenery. • People-watch at Venice Beach, then take a road trip to the more serene Huntington Beach, stopping by delicious seafood joints on the Pacific Coast Highway along the way.

• Silver Lake is hipster central, so drink your fill at all the great coffee shops. • Go jogging around the tranquil green space between Ivanhoe Reservoir and Silver Lake, or spend a relaxing day paddleboating round Echo Park Lake. • Quirky independent boutiques rule the roost here, so take a leisurely browse around Sunset Junction and explore the likes of Dream Collective, Mohawk General Store and The Odells. • See how many meals you can fit in – try everyone’s favourite neighbourhood Italian, Alimento; funky Northern Thai joint Night + Market Song; casual Taiwanese eatery Pine & Crane; Sqirl for the best brunch in town; and chilledout mainstay L&E Oyster Bar.

GLENDALE • Admire the vintage electric signs at the unique Museum of Neon Art, then sign up for the Neon Cruise – an open-top bus tour around the area’s most famous neon signs. March 2019



• Go roller-skating at the retro Moonlight Rollerway (as seen in 2015 bio-pic Straight Outta Compton). • Shop The Americana at Brand outdoor mall, and enjoy the dancing fountain, light shows and complimentary San Francisco-style trolley rides.

ORANGE COUNTY & LONG BEACH • Disneyland, obviously! Working out an action plan for this theme park practically requires a guide of its own. Stay a maximum of two days to avoid total overload. • Check out Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park for more thrilling rides and much shorter lines.

Venice Beach

• Watch a baseball game at Angel Stadium – and remember, half the fun is eating everything in sight, and sinking a few craft beers while you’re at it.

• Live life like you’re in a rap video at Long Beach, then hit up Cheesecake Factory for massive portions and people-watching opportunities galore.

Flight Centre Hong Kong specialises in tailor-made travel experiences; the widest choice of airfares, accommodation and tours, plus 24-hour emergency assistance. To book your getaway, call 2830 2776 or visit For a local consultation, contact DB-based Flight Centre representative Jennifer Durbridge on

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A Veterinary clinic for your exotic pets ISLAND EXOTICS

Open 9am -7pm, 7 days a week

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What you need to know Dr Andrew Vermeulen


of Island Exotics Clinic on homing exotic pets

ogs and cats, our traditional pets, have become what they are after thousands of years of natural selection. They have learnt to trust man, and have earned a place within the family as a companion and aide. Being predators means they have less fear, and this along with the gradual process of domestication is not something that has been afforded to other pets. As a result, we need to approach homing ‘exotic’ pets, like chinchillas, reptiles, birds and even rabbits or hamsters, very differently.

behavioural needs? This will be his world, and just like you, he needs space to express himself and make decisions of where to be. Are you prepared to buy and maintain the lighting and heating that may be necessary? Secondly, who in your family will be interacting with the pet? Unlike

Photo courtesy of

Exotic pets often have an instinctive fear of humans, and although this can be reduced with time and care, it will never go away all together. Some animals will be more relaxed than others, especially if hand raised. Making your choice based on an animal’s behaviour in a stressful environment, like a busy pet shop, can be challenging – it’s not easy to tell how an animal will react to you at home. When you’re deciding which pet to choose, it’s important to take your time, research the species you’re interested in and seek advice from small-scale breeders or animal welfare/ adoption specialists. Organisations like the SPCA Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Rabbit Society are a great place to start. There are plenty of factors to consider. Firstly, can you provide an enclosure that is big enough to house an exotic pet and fulfil his

a dog or a cat, most exotic pets do not like to be petted, held or played with – this is partly because of their inability to get away if they feel scared. So, if you’re buying an exotic for your child, it’s important he understands that they are more to be watched and admired than handled. Thirdly, have you considered how long exotics live for? Some such as hamsters only live two years, but others like guinea pigs can live for 10 years, rabbits 12, chinchillas 15, some reptiles 20 and birds from 15 to 80 years. Are you happy to care for exotic pets in later life should they outlive your children’s interest? Lastly, are you aware that medical costs for exotic pets can be much higher than they are for dogs and cats? Treating exotics is a specialised field, not often taught at university, so it takes many years of further study and training for veterinarians to work on them. If at this point you are still considering homing an exotic pet and you are looking for guidance, I would recommend a rabbit. They are clean (can often be toilet trained), quiet, can live in your main living space much like a cat and are often affectionate.


Island Exotics Clinic, 2/F Hing Tai Building, 139-140 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2858 9388,

If you have any questions, feel free to email March 2019


it’s Spring time!

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k a w a r Sa


A Taste of

If you would like to see your favourite recipes featured in this section, email

These fresh and flavoursome Sarawakan staples are easy to throw together and appeal to pretty much every palate. Spice them up with as many chillies as you dare!

Acar Timun Recipe from the Sarawak Eurasian Association Legacy Cookbook

8 servings • 125g fresh chilli paste • 100g turmeric paste • 50g candlenut paste • 700ml white vinegar • 800g white sugar • 5kg cucumbers, deseeded and thinly sliced • 1 large carrot, julienned • 8-10 fresh red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced • 10cm ginger, peeled and julienned • ½kg dried shrimps, deshelled and coarsely chopped • 100g dried garlic, sliced

Photo by Dona Drury-Wee

• 200g white sesame seeds, dry roasted Gently fry the chilli, turmeric and candlenut pastes for about 10 minutes to form a dark brown, oily mixture. Add the vinegar and sugar and bring to the boil stirring constantly. Leave to cool completely (6-7 hours). Cover the cucumber with salt and leave to sit for an hour before squeezing out the excess juice. Dry the cucumber, carrot, chillies and ginger in the hot sun for about 3 hours, turning the ingredients every hour. Fry the shrimps, then set aside to cool. When the vinegar and chilli mixture is completely cool, and the other ingredients are dehydrated, mix everything together, adding the dried garlic, sesame seeds and three quarters of the shrimps. Put the acar in glass containers and garnish with the remaining shrimps.  March 2019



Sarawakan Kolo Mee Recipe from the Sarawak Eurasian Association Legacy Cookbook

Serves 4 • 150g minced pork or chicken • 3tsp fish sauce • 1tbsp light soya sauce • 1 bulb garlic, finely chopped • 4 bundles fresh noodles • 1 bunch mustard greens, coarsely chopped • 20 char siu slices • 10 sprigs spring onions, finely chopped

Photo by Dona Drury-Wee

• 3 shallots, fried and finely chopped


Marinate the minced meat in the fish sauce and soya sauce, then set aside for 1-2 hours. Fry the garlic until golden brown. Remove the oil and the garlic from the wok, and set aside, leaving 3 tablespoons of oil in the wok. Reheat the oil and stir-fry the marinated minced meat until cooked. If you like a little gravy, add a dash of water to the meat, then remove from the wok and set aside. Blanch the noodles and vegetables in boiling water for 2 minutes, then dip into cool water a couple of times before returning to the hot water. Strain the noodles and vegetables and place in a serving bowl. Stir a tablespoon of fried garlic and garlic oil through the noodles and season to taste. Top with the minced meat, char siu, spring onions and shallots. March 2019

Fish Umai Recipe by Phyllis Hardie Nellian. First published in KINO Kuching In ‘N Out magazine #13, and the 2019 Sarawak Tourism Board Cookbook-Calendar

Serves 4 • 1kg fresh firm white fish • 3tbsp vinegar • 10 limes (juice only) • 1 bud ginger flower, sliced (optional) • 3 medium-sized onions, sliced • Handful coriander leaves, chopped • Chillies, sliced

Slice the fish fillet very finely and mix with the vinegar and lime juice. (Note that you can replace the vinegar with the juice of 2 lemons.) Add the ginger flower and onion. Stir in the coriander leaves, and add sliced chillies to taste. Mix well, season to taste and refrigerate for at least 1015 minutes to cure the fish.

Photo by Jong Saw Kang

#MoreSarawak March 2019





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20/F Fink - The Art of Living Unique decorative items for the home 20/F Oriental Home Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan antiques and bespoke furniture in different styles 26/F Ad Lib Oriental antiques, vintage Western lights and decorative arts 26/F Carpet Buyer Hand-made Persian rugs (antique), tribal carpets and contemporary rugs

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Your chance to view unique artisan jewellery at its best, High Five sees awardwinning designers from Poland and Hong Kong come together to celebrate the use of Natural Baltic Amber. Each piece of jewellery has been created Photo courtesy of Alicia Kelly by hand using traditional goldsmith techniques – an absolute must for any investor who wants to obtain something different for their collection. Prices are available upon request. To view the exhibition, head to the public corridor spaces outside the Loupe. For more on PMQ, visit March 1-21

10 FUN THINGS TO DO IN HK THIS MONTH! Like the Around DB Facebook page for event reminders TAI KOK TSUI TEMPLE FAIR Fuk Tsun Street, Mongkok

March 3


The Hong Kong Young March 4-15 Readers Festival brings together a diverse and dynamic group of local and international writers, illustrators, comic creators and poets, who are intent on telling inspirational stories to kids and young adults. Attending authors, who also head out to local schools, include Lamar Giles, Kate Beasley and Candy Gourlay. For more information, visit

Fuk Tsun Street is rammed during this colourful celebration dedicated to Hung Shing, the God of the Sea. The real fun starts at 11.30 am with a Grand Parade of dancing dragons, acrobats, kung-fu artists and community troupes, then at 3.30pm, there’s a performance by 18 lion dancers. Stick around until 8.45pm, to see a 500-foot luminous dragon light up the night. To find out more, visit

HONG KONG E-PRIX Hong Kong Harbourfront, Central March 10


Hong Kong Velodrome Park, Tseung Kwan O March 8-10


With PRURide Six Day Hong Kong, the international cycling series Six Day is extending its footprint into Asia. Watch Hong Kong’s top track cyclists, led by Olympic and world championship medallist Sarah Lee Wai Sze and Asian Games Champions Leung Chunwing and Cheung King-lok, testing themselves against the world’s elite. For tickets, starting at HK$240, visit

March 2019

The world’s first all-electric motor racing series is in town for the fifth of 13 legs spanning 12 cities. Head to the eVillage (HK$50 per ticket) for live action big screens, international music acts, games, simulators, a kids’ area, food stalls and merchandise. Grandstand seats for the best views of the 2-kilometre, 10-turn circuit start at HK1,440. To find out more, visit


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Victoria Park, Causeway Bay International organisations put together elaborate displays of flowers and landscaped areas at the annual Hong Kong Flower Show. Expect floral demonstrations, greening activities, guided tours and competitions from 9am to 9pm. This year’s featured flower is the Chinese Hibiscus. You pay as you enter, with prices starting at HK$14.

March 15-24

HONG KONG FILM FESTIVAL Across Hong Kong March 18-April 4


Hong Kong Arts Centre, Wanchai Presented by Hong Kong Players in association with Curtain Call Productions, Neil Simon’s Rumours is a madcap farce set in an English country house, where guests are gathering for a 10th anniversary dinner. Through the course of a hilarityfilled evening, guests are met with cover-ups, deceptions and mistaken identities. For tickets, starting at HK$200, visit To win a pair of tickets, turn to page 28. March 20-23

A launching pad for overseas movies into the Chinese and Asian markets, the Hong Kong International Film Festival attracts industry players, cynophiles and fans from all over the world. Award-winning Asian highlights this year include The Crossing directed by Bai Xue (China) and Manta Ray by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng (Thailand). For tickets, starting at HK$55, head to

ASIA CONTEMPORARY ART SHOW Conrad Hong Kong, Admiralty March 30-April 1


Central Waterfront Event Space, Central At Hong Kong’s largest gastronomic festival, you can enjoy chef cooking demos, family entertainment, live music, pop-up bars and wine tastings, plus a gourmet market for take-home treats. The real draw though is the opportunity to try dishes (starting at HK$50) prepared by some of Hong Kong’s finest chefs. For tickets, starting at HK$120, visit March 21–24

The Asia Contemporary Art Show is Asia’s largest in terms of the number of artworks (over 2,500) on sale. Presented across 85 art living spaces, the show includes original paintings, limited editions, sculpture and photography from some of the world’s most interesting and promising artists. For tickets, starting at HK$250, visit March 2019




Who do you know? Find more familiar DB faces @

Photos by Baljit Gidwani


Win prizes from Uncle Russ Coffee and The Pier Bar!

he best snap wins! Your mission this month is to share a photo taken in DB or Lantau on our @around_db Instagram page and hashtag it #arounddb. You have until the 10th of this month to enter – so get tagging. This is your chance to win a complimentary coffee from Uncle Russ, or a beer from The Pier Bar every day for a week. We will contact the winner via Instagram. Good luck!

Congratulations to Benson Poon, last month's winner of the Oscar Nominations 2019 Quiz


Alcoholics Anonymous

If you want to drink, that’s your business. If you want to stop, we can help.

Alcoholics No dues or fees. Anonymous

24hr hotline:9073 6922

Church Office: 2987 7061

View local business directories @ EMPLOYMENT






Michael, a HK resident, is available to deliver documents & small parcels around HK. Available full- or part-time. Call 9145 6731 to leave a message


Professional beauty services provided in DB by a qualified, internationally certified beauty therapist with over 20 years' experience. Treatments include facials, CACI (non-surgical facelifts), glycolic (peals & pigmentation treatments), energy healing & more. Contact Gillian on 6022 4190

• Local packing, moving, storage & handyman service • All kinds of transport services • Inbound shipment clearance • Having stuff delivered from China? They are not delivering to DB Or Lantau? Have it sent to the Akash office in Kwai Chung & delivered to your home. Contact 2421 8088,,

VR, HYPNOSIS: INDIVIDUAL &/ OR COUPLES THERAPY Virtual reality programmes for PTSD, addictions, phobias (fear of flying/ public speaking/ bridges/ enclosed spaces/ storms). * Couples’ conflicts * Overeating * Career/relationship stress * Anger management * Nail biting * Exam jitters Divorce/ post-divorce/ career coaching. Quit smoking quickly. Dr Melanie Bryan, Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist, Hypnotherapist. Contact 2575 7707,


English-speaking and easily accessible from Sunny Bay MTR station.

9685 8366 www.g reenwi ch- v i nyas

Well known in the Hong Kong MMA community, Marc Guyon guides you through your journey to become a martial artist. As a former white-collarturned-professional fighter, Marc’s understanding of looking for peak performance in all your occupations & activities is like nothing in Hong Kong. Contact 9303 2996,,


Tina at Tina’s AAA Practice in DB provides • One-on-one online Quantum Life Coaching to help you achieve your goals • Quantum Facial Reflexology for a better looking face & whole-body relaxation & wellness Contact Tina at

• Native speaker


• Local & international moves • Long/ short-term storage • Handyman services • World-class service – competitive rates Operating on DB & Lantau. Contact 2814 1658,,


Jules Hannaford

'Jules' raw and honest personal account of her struggles is a beautiful example of how owning our own stories gives each of us the power to write a brave new ending.' – Rebecca Hopkins Live Brave Workshops

Purchase your copy online on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Available in Hong Kong bookstores Bookazine, Swindon Books and Kelly & Walsh

FULL TIME AND PART-TIME NATIVE ENGLISH TEACHERS Are you passionate about teaching English at all levels? We are looking for energetic and committed teachers to work for our chain English Wise Learning Centres. Those with a degree/ TESOL preferred. Experience in arts a plus. Please email resume to

Contact Erik at 9666 9511,

Support classes in mathematics & sciences now available for:

• Painting Online dating could make you fear for your life!

• Experienced teacher & DELE examiner • IB, IGCSE, A-levels & HKDSE • Business Spanish & courses for adults • Flexible schedule & locations • Special offers for students who live in DB & Tung Chung




Slow and gentle yoga, taught by a qualified yoga instructor.



Yoga Therapy Class for Senior Citizens

Tuesday mornings 11:30am at DB North Plaza.


• Decorating • Renovation

Home tuition available as well as online classes.

• Cladding • Tiling Contact Steve Donovan at 6149 0894 (call or WhatsApp),

Back by popular demand

• Year 7 to Year 13 • IGCSE • IB (SL or HL) • A level (Standard & Further Modules) • SATs/ PSATs/ LSATs • UKCEE

Call/ WhatsApp Karim Arditi on 91354724. Contact,,

Gillian ~ The Skin Therapy Centre

Holistic Beauty & Wellness in Discovery Bay UK trained and International Spa Trainer/ Therapist

• FACIALS - Guinot { France } and Dr Organics. • CACI - Non Surgical Face lift- Firming,lifting&Collagen boosting. • AROMATHERAPY - To Soothe,Relax and Revive the 5 Senses. • GLYCOLIC - Peels and pigmentation treatments. • ENERGY HEALING - Both PRANIC HEALING and REIKI [to restore the balance & De- stress]. • NLP - Neuro Linguistic programming and Coaching available.

Please contact: 6022 4190

Greenland Pest Control Ark Eden’s Easter camps bring out the adventurous, curious and compassionate side of children and provide outdoor fun for children, aged 5-11years. Camps are held deep in the forests of Lantau, with different activities each day. Activities include tree-house building, campfire cooking, carpentry, Visit, scavenger hunts, overnight email, or call 2988 5355 camp and Nature play.

THE WATCH BUTLER Jan Hofstede m«tc.K £.r«taft4t

I :S,

• Antique watch and clock restoration • Auction & Appreciation service • 2nd hand watch broker

Tel: 9464 7107

Tailored Pest Control Solutions for Rodent, Cockroaches, Fleas, Mosquitoes, Termites, Ants, Ticks etc… For info please call Thomas 9871 0771 or Baguio 6776 8400 Email:


Best duty-free Car Rental in Europe!

- for short & long durations

If you’re reading this, so is everyone else. To advertise in print or online, email

Find short-term rentals @ DB PROPERTY FOR RENT


Spacious 600 square-foot apartments – quiet with sea views over park, near Club Siena & DB Tunnel. Fully furnished with washer/ drier, bed linen, kitchenware, 55” TVs, Wi-Fi, NOW TV and sound bar. Contact the owner on 9317 0624,


Smart apartment on a high floor with sea view. Close to pier & DB Plaza. Available fully furnished. Call Tiareti on 9732 8985

If you are looking to rent or sell a property and would like to see it listed on this page or at, email


FTC Apparel

2428 2566 FOOD, RES TAUR A N T S & BA RS

A Tavola Bar & Grill Airport Izakaya Andante Café Aficionado China Coast Bar & Grill Curry Lounge Dosirak House Essence Restaurant - Novotel Citygate Federal Palace Restaurant Kimos Mansarover Indian Cuisine McDonald’s Delivery Melody Thai Mint and Basil Moccato Coffee Shop My Thai Olea Restaurant - Novotel Citygate PizzaExpress Pizza Hut Delivery Regala Café & Dessert Bar Resto Restaurant Rouge - Regal Airport Hotel Skycity Bistro Tung Chung Pizza

2321 5500 2286 6668 3602 8828 2286 6238 2286 6898 2960 1977 3520 0848 3602 8808 2626 0181 2886 3646 2109 1927 2338 2338 2988 8129 2563 3388 3602 8838 2907 6918 3602 8818 2297 3588 2330 0000 2286 6618 2886 3156 2286 6868 3969 2500 2466 1010




Bahce - Turkish Restaurant Café Bar Bathers Caffe Paradiso (Tom’s Café) Cafe Isara China Bear Deer Horn Restaurant & Bar Kebab Korner La Pizzeria Lantana Italian Bistro Le Jardin de Sophie Long Island Mucho Gusto Robert’s Market Stoep @ High Tide Restaurant The China Beach Club The Gallery The Kitchen The Water Buffalo Treasure Island Restaurant FI T NESS, SP OR T S & W EL L BEING

Pause by the Banyan South Lantau Paddle Club Thai Palin Massage Thai Sa Baai Treasure Island Group

9708 0187 9688 9112 9062 0148 5228 6552 2546 3543


Bayside Dental Bon’s Mobile Pet Grooming Essential Health Family Clinic Human Health Medical Centre North Lantau Physiotherapy Tung Chung Animal Clinic Tung Chung Vet Centre Tung Chung Maternal & Child Health Centre Quality Health Dental Quality Health Medical Raffles Medical Rainbow Voice and Soundhealing


2185 6550 9099 9959 2109 9396 2109 2288 2194 0020 2988 1534 2328 7282 3575 8370 2403 6613 2403 6623 2261 2626 5178 5658


Akash Removals Mega Power Engineering/Locksmiths Shun Yu Engineering

2421 8088 2109 2330 2988 1488


Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel Novotel Citygate Hong Kong Regal Airport Hotel

3969 1888 3602 8888 2286 8888

L E A RNING CEN T RES Clement Art School Discovery Mind International Play Centre Greenfield International Kindergarten Kidznjoy Sakura Kids Salala Kids House Soundwaves English Education Centre Sun Island Education Foundation Sunshine House International Preschool Tung Chung Catholic School (Yat Tung) YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College

9021 1502 2987 8070 2162 5538 6273 7347 6674 6194 2611 9193 2164 7210 2420 1068 2109 3873 2121 0884 2988 8123


Asia Pacific Soccer Schools Caribbean Coast Club House Coastal Skyline Club House Dance for Joy Edge ’n Pointe Dance Centre Jumping Castles Perun Fitness Seaview Crescent Club House Smash Cricket Tung Chung Crescent Club House

2385 9677 2109 9277 2179 6678 9264 8597 6688 2167 9662 1747 6443 6597 3473 8700 5400 4109 2403 6770

Findley Leung Group Koon Wah Hardware Lee Wo Construction Engineering Man Shun Construction & Engineering New Look Design

2984 8334 2984 8487 2984 1802 2984 9833 9783 5840


Mui Wo Inn Silvermine Beach Resort Tai O Heritage Hotel

2984 7225 6810 0111 2985 8383 L E A RNING CEN T RES

Kind Hing Trinity International Kindergarten & Nursery Lantau International Kindergarten Lantau International School Lao Shi Lantau Mandarin lessons Little Lantau Montessori Kindergarten Mui Wo Owls School & Kindergarten Mui Wo Language Cafe

2109 9886 2984 0302 2980 3676 5197 4647 3689 6709 2984 0006 5511 6107


Findley Leung Real Estate Home Solutions Real Estate Proper Trip Real Estate

2984 8334 3483 5003 2984 1666 RE TA IL

Friendly Bike Shop Greenstyle Organic & Healthcare INSIDE Island Wines Lantau Base Camp Lantau Grocer Quay House Red Hall Chinese Antiques Tony’s Salon Value Vigilantes VIBE Book & Music Shop ZenvarA

2984 2278 9802 0553 2890 8606 9521 8481 2983 8428 2702 0050 2882 8710 2988 1368 2984 0990 6132 9120 2984 9371 9586 3459


Jumping Castles SPCA Miriam Safadi Photography Parteezi Phoenix Wills

9662 1747 2984 0060 5145 0227 6112 9842 6108 8471 T R A NSP OR TAT ION


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

2984 0222 2504 4788 2984 0498 2470 1966 2984 9720 3484 3095 6429 3507 2984 8933 5465 5511 2997 9070 2320 2001 6422 5009 9193 2937 2980 2699 2983 8931 2980 2582 5991 6292 2109 3331 5236 7013

2988 8282 2988 1898 3661 1999

Lee Hing Loong Hon Kee Transportation Company Lantau Tours New Lantao Bus Company

2984 2268 2984 8494 2984 8255 2984 9848

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

2987 2259 2987 2987 2987 2987 2666 2834 2987 2987 2259 2987

0855 3422 8136 4210 7061 5633 6183 7276 7575 9003 3422 9909

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES Action X, North Plaza Nomadic

3102 2977 2987 8460

DAILY NECESSITIES 7-Eleven Convenience Store Fusion by PARKnSHOP Just Green Watson’s Pharmacy Wellcome, North Plaza Star Mart, North Plaza



2987 2987 2448 2987 2947 2366

4401 7486 1180 4089 9092 6534

Peony Chinese Restaurant PizzaExpress Solera Starbucks DB North Plaza Subway The Pier Bar Three Sheet Marquee Bar TigerLily Uncle Russ, North Plaza Zak’s

2500 1950 2465 2426 2555 0772 2246 8372 2914 0005 2520 2166 2987 0966 2997 8688 2840 1188 2987 6232

HOME d-clutter DRS Company Good Luck Engineering Hoi Yu Transportation Hung Kee Co Japan Home Centre May’s furniture & curtain design Rapee-living Rich Point Hardware Materials Tai Fat Hardware Store Wing On Department Store Yours Electrical Centre

6323 9156 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987

1417 0360 1313 4488 5087 1041 0222 7082 0789 0789 9268 4428



Future Stars Dance Academy

Parsons White Wealth Management Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management. An expert financial service of distinct quality, integrity & excellence at DB North Plaza. Contact 2433 6981, 5664 7614,

The Stephen Putnam Practice Private Client Wealth Management. Contact 2914 0388,

Dance classes based on the ISTD requirements conducted in a fun, disciplined & safe environment. Contact 2987 6867, melissa@futurestars, Futurestars Dance Academy Hong Kong Facebook page, Instagram: FuturestarsHk

Island Dance ISTD Freestyle, ISTD Hip Hop, RAD Ballet, tap & Bollywood classes at DBRC, Club Siena & DB Plaza. Five professional instructors, teaching six days a week. Contact 2987 1571, 9159 0663,,

Woodentots is a Montessori playgroup providing a caring and nurturing environment in the Plaza. Run by a qualified Montessori teacher for children aged 18 months - 6 years old. 6108 9131

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 Academy, North Plaza Discovery Montessori School, North Plaza DMR School of Ballet Dr. Bear Education Centre Early Adventures Playgroup Epic Adventurers Eye Level Education Learning Centre Funfit HK International Learning Academy, North Plaza Kumon, North Plaza La Petite Enfance Kindergarten L’Ecole Pierre et Marie Curie Education centre Les Petits Pois Links Parenting, North Plaza Little Explorers English For Kids Mandarin for Munchkins, North Plaza Mathemagic – home tutoring Mathnasium SKH Wei Lun Primary School Treasure House Zhi Zhi Chinese

6114 2914 2987 3969 2987 2987 2914 2812 2987 2987 6762 2987 2441 9366 6302 2416 2459 8191 8191 8191 6114 9327 2480 9135 2628 2987 2987 9648

2436 2142 7331 1000 8088 8088 2202 9206 1201 4338 6264 9644 0098 0000 6327 3198 8808 0813 0813 0813 2436 0507 3909 4724 3362 8608 4217 2966

MULTIMEDIA Bookazine Fotomax (F.E.) Ltd

2987 1373 2914 2378


PapyrusEDU Bank of China HSBC

2160 8585 2233 3000

FOOD & BEVERAGE, HOTELS 22º North Auberge Discovery Bay (Hotel), North Plaza Café Bord de Mer & Lounge, North Plaza Caffe Pascucci Cali-Mex, North Plaza Coyote Mexican Cantina Ebeneezer’s Epic Foods, North Plaza Figos Seaside Café First Korean Restaurant Gilmore’s by the Golden Pig Hemingway’s il Bel Paese Island Café Koh Tomyums La Creation & Châteraisé McSorley’s Ale House Mirch Masala, North Plaza Moofish, North Plaza Pacific Coffee Paisano’s, North Plaza


2987 2298 2295 8288 2295 8299 2591 1426 2904 7698 2987 2848 2987 0036 2172 6111 2987 2915 2987 9123 2662 9168 2987 8855 2987 0202 2987 9311 2987 0767 2987 1829 2987 8280 2987 1337 2987 6318 2987 1662 2673 4445

March 2019

A family friendly center. Children’s programmes: 3D Modeling & Printing, LEGO Education Afterschool, Junior Food Art.Lifestyle morning programmes: Decoupage, Porcelart, Food Artist. Contact 6360 1715,,

The Beat Dance & Fitness Studio BODYPUMP, BODYBALANCE, GRIT, BODYSTEP & Zumba (fitness, toning & kids). Piloxing, yoga & Pilates, plus Latin, Irish, belly & wedding dance. Classes for adults & children, & personal training. Contact 5194 9630, hk,

Harvey Law Group International law firm offering a wide range of commercial & personal legal services. Meeting facilities available in DB. Contact 2416 8618,, DB Party Time Gillian florist, North Plaza P-Solution Pen’n Paper The Optical House Well Supreme Laundry Services

Tree of Joy A fun, engaging & supportive environment in which children play & learn. Programmes include drop-off nursery class, parent-toddler class, afternoon camp & a cooking class Contact 9787 2755,,

9502 2529 2987 2987 2987 2987

2381 8256 1777 8898 1368 5151

6201 2987 2987 5721

7749 8873 0428 6181

PETS Kristy’s Paradise - Cat Sitter in Discovery Bay Mypetshop, North Plaza Pets Gallery Ready, Pet, Go!

PROPERTY LISTINGS & BOATS EPS Property Consultants Headland Homes Kingsland DB Land Master Property OKAY.COM

2987 2987 2987 2987 2102

2023 2088 2987 6238 0829


UTILITIES, SERVICES & EMERGENCY HOTLINES 24-hour Customer Service Hotline China Light & Power Emergency China Light & Power Information Line Discovery Bay Commercial Services Discovery Bay Fire & Ambulance Discovery Bay Lost & Found Discovery Bay Management Discovery Bay Office Centre Discovery Bay Post Office Gas Leakage Emergency Hotline Lantau North Report Room North Lantau Hospital San Hing Gas Co Typhoon Signal Enquiries Water Fault Reports Water Supplies Department

HK Dragons Football Club Football for girls & boys aged 2.5 years to 14 years. Contact 2987 4274,

Tekkerz Football programmes for boys and girls for age groups U5 up to U14. Contact 9770 4548,,

Action X, North Plaza Club Siena DBees Ice Hockey DB Pirates Rugby, Netball, Hockey & Dragonboat Discovery Bay Marina Club Discovery Bay Golf Club Discovery Bay Recreation Club Embody EpicLand FIT 852 Greenwich Yoga School Kapuhala Train-in-Space MAS FIT MGK Fight Club Nutrition and Fitness with Emilie YogaBay YogaUp

2911 2987 6473 9255 2987 2987 2987 6624 2441 9680 9685 6101 9387 9303 6385 6704 8197

4833 7382 4277 6133 9591 7273 7381 8712 0098 7665 8366 8434 0735 2996 5425 9851 5591

TOYS & KIDS’ PARTIES Bo Bo House Toysland

2345 8333 2678 4242 7502 2345 3601 3388 6046 4511 1694 7000 6738 1473 0788 5000



Bay Spa

ay Spa


Massage, facials & nail services in DB Plaza. Contact 9837 0969 (Tel/ WhatsApp)

DB Pure Spa Beauty begins within. Open 9am to 9pm at DB Plaza, for ladies only. Body massages available for HK$198 and up. Contact 9794 0918, DB Pure Spa Facebook page

Elly House of Beauty 2987 4230 2987 7859

TRANSPORT SERVICES DB Golf Cart Services DB Transportation Services Limousine Rental Passenger Telephone Hotline Wiselink Golf Cart Services

3651 2728 2678 2987 2987 3651 2238 2238 2987 2435 3661 3467 2987 2835 2811 2824

2914 2987 5303 2987 2987

2727 7351 3489 0208 9368

Highly skilled skincare specialist committed to providing the most effective skincare services to the DB community. Also postnatal abdominal binding & jamu massage. Contact 6131 9039, Elly House of Beauty Facebook Page,

Ingredients of Wellness Mindfulness training for children, teens and their parents and teachers. Offering Mindfulness Matters!, Mindfulness in Education (for adults), AMT Mindfulness Teacher Training. Contact: 9048 5425,,

To add your own directory listing box, call the Bay Media office on 2987 0577, or email Afflatus Hair Workshop, North Plaza Elly House of Beauty Freedas Maximum Care Nest Care, North Plaza Salon De Coiffure

2987 6131 2987 2987 2499 2987

0283 9039 4555 2060 8826 4112 March 2019





hat could be more satisfying than smugly telling people something they don’t know? Nothing, in my book, rivals it. Anything historically obscure to appear well-read and superior works brilliantly for me. What I find irksome are the blank expressions that follow my pronouncements, the faces clearly denoting the weirdness of their interlocutor.

Illustration courtesy of

My tennis club in Hong Kong recently celebrated its 135th anniversary – 1883. I feel I’ve been a member for at least that long. What no one seemed aware of, until I gleefully told them, was a little-known historical fact about the timing (and I don’t mean the ho-hum appointment of one Sir George Bowen as governor in the same year – although without him we wouldn’t have a Bowen Road). I mean the Big K.


Now, tell me if this is not a magnificent coincidence: Krakatoa. What the …!? I hear you say. That’s right. The massive eruption of the Krakatoa volcano started August 27, 1883, within days of the club’s official opening. It killed nearly 40,000 people (the volcano, not the club being inaugurated).

Members sipping tea around the manicured lawns of their new MidLevels retreat would have heard an almighty bang. Imagine that! All the way from Indonesia. The sound circled the earth four times. I think that’s pretty amazing, but if the lounging ladies thought so then none of them bothered to take note of the event. Krakatoa emitted a plume of smoke that reached 17 miles into the atmosphere. Stuff spewed out of the volcano at over 1,600 miles per hour, or nearly half a mile per second. That’s more than twice the speed of sound. Not many people know that. As its name implies, the Ladies Recreation Club is a retreat in the hills where the wives of British government staff could meet and relax after an excruciating morning telling their maids what to do and scheduling ‘coolies’ – the unfortunate ironical name for labourers who shouldered weighty wooden chairs up Victoria

Peak in the heat of summer – to pick them up. I suppose my point is – imagining for a minute that I have one – that of these two historical events, one seems a trifle more important than the other. Being a know-it-all, I naturally advised the Ladies Recreation Club manager to segue the mighty concurrence into the anniversary party. A Krakatoa Kocktail to add a little fun and frivolity, or a Volcanic Vermouth with lava lime to spice things up. But, no. I´d have thought the Hong Kong Observatory – the work of said same Governor Bowen – would know a thing or two about the big bang, but not a peep. Maybe because it was also inaugurated in 1883 and was not yet set up to record spectacular events in a different (and unashamedly Dutch) colonial domain. Or maybe its staff were busy romanticising about the languid, tea-sipping ladies in the swanky club across the harbour.

Peter Sherwood has lived in DB for 20 years. The former head of an international public relations firm, Peter is the author of 15 books and has written around 400 satirical columns for the South China Morning Post.

Find more from Peter @ March 2019 Find more from Peter @

Lantau International School

Open Day 15th June 2 019 12:00 - 14:0 0 at Tong Fuk

Reception and Primary 1 - 6 places still available

Enquiries: 2980 3676 / 2984 0302 Website: E-Mail: FB: lantauinternationalschool March 2019



March 2019

Profile for Around DB Magazine

Around DB March Issue 2019  

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

Around DB March Issue 2019  

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

Profile for arounddb