Page 1

Discovery Bay’s original community magazine


How best to INVEST your MPF contribution

Eco designer Kevin Chu talks green rooms and UPCYCLING

Easy Valentine’s supper Young Writers Competition Advice from the mentors!

to get you in the mood




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碧濤 3 2

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Great apartment with a very practical and spacious layout. Ideal for family.


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Lovely jointed lowrise, modern open kitchen, spacious living, balcony with stunning sea views. Ideal for family.

Gross: 1327’ Saleable: 1183’


Beautifully renovated duplex with stunning sea views. Walking distance to DB plaza and pier.



Gross: 1703’ Saleable: 1626’


Chic interior, large open kitchen. High quality finishes. A great family garden lowrise.







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Successfully jointed unit, spacious living and close to schools. Ideal for family.

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Nicely renovated lowrise apartment with balcony and modern kitchen. Must see!

3 2



Nicely renovated apartment, spacious living with stunning sea views. Must see!



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February 2018


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Bright and airy lowrise apartment with huge garden and panoramic sea views. Great for entertaining.

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CONTENTS February 2018



Eco designer Kevin Chu with his muse Maria

Making the most of your MPF contribution





Advice from the YWC mentors

DB dogs at CNY and beyond

36 ESCAPES Top 10 things to do in Rome

40 For the latest Around DB updates, find us on:


GIVEAWAYS Win big prizes


WELLNESS Start CNY right


RECIPES Valentine’s supper


DB FACES Community snaps


OUT THERE Island life











ON THE COVER Raising your vibration in the Year of the Dog

To read the cover story, turn to page 43

Discovery Bay’s original community magazine



How best to INVEST your MPF contribution Publishers in Lantau since 2002

Eco designer Kevin Chu talks green rooms and UPCYCLING

Easy Valentine’s supper Young Writers Competition Advice from the mentors!

to get you in the mood




Photo courtesy of

We also publish… Feb/ March 2018


tickets to the Longines Masters, a case of Chardonnay and a Primavera dish

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

Join your community online






Publishers in Lantau since 2002

PUBLISHER Corinne Jedwood MANAGING EDITOR Rachel Ainsley SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS & ONLINE EDITOR Claire Severn DIGITAL & SALES ASSISTANT Patricia Jover DIGITAL & EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Katrina Mercado SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andrew Spires ASSISTANT GRAPHIC DESIGNER Duey Tam ADVERTISING & SALES MANAGER Connie Cottam SALES ACCOUNT MANAGER Monika Carruthers OFFICE MANAGER Maxine Parry PHOTOGRAPHER Baljit Gidwani CONTRIBUTORS Sam Agars Kate Farr Trisha Hughes Elizabeth Kerr Peter Sherwood Dorothy Veitch 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.



Health was on the agenda in January, with the Andiappan yoga community offering free yoga classes for domestic helpers every Sunday morning throughout the month at Discovery Bay International School.






Discovery Mind Play Centre/ Kindergarten and Primary School welcomed prospective parents and students at its annual Open Day on January 13. Visitors met the staff and explored the facilities, and also got involved in some fun activities.


Photos courtesy of DMPS

From January 22 to 26, the students at Discovery Mind Primary School (DMPS) rose to The Great Kindness Challenge, a world-wide event that empowers children to create a culture of kindness. Through lots of different activities, the DMPS students showed that kindness matters, and that it can be shown in lots of ways. February 2018



Valentine’s and Chinese New Year celebrations in Discovery Bay


ebruary is set to be a busy and exciting month in Discovery Bay, with back-to-back celebrations for Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year (CNY).

Photos courtesy of Hong Kong Resort

The stunning decorations at D’Deck include an exquisite pavilion, resplendent with beautiful peach blossoms and adorned with sparkling lights. And at DB North Plaza, an incredible 4-metre-high Lovebirds’ Paradise installation features an open birdcage amid spacious gardens. This striking attraction boasts a lovebirds’ swing, on which couples can sit back and savour special moments together in a truly picturesque setting.


To redeem your love lock (while stocks last), simply ‘like’ the Visit Discovery Bay Facebook page, ‘like’ the Valentine’s Day post, tag three friends in the post, and present your phone at the redemption desk near the DB North Plaza clock tower between 2.30pm and 11pm.

But the romance doesn’t end there! Take a stroll along DB North’s Love Lock Promenade, between February 10 and 14, and you can collect a complimentary love lock (padlock) to attach to one of the hearts adorning the popular lovers’ walkway. There’s no better way to seal your love forever! February 2018

Love Lock Promenade is also the place to enjoy a romantic horsedrawn coach ride with your Valentine. Rides are available from February 10 to 14, from 9am to 11am and 3pm to 6pm, and last approximately 10 minutes. For more details, and to book, head to the Activity Centre at Auberge Discovery Bay Hong Kong.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day in DB without the annual candlelight event on Tai Pak Wan. From 6pm till 11pm, the beach is lit up by thousands of candles arranged in giant heart-shaped displays. And, after visiting the beach, what could be better than a romantic meal for two at D’Deck, overlooking the bay? Romantic dining indulgences are also on offer at Auberge Discovery Bay Hong Kong, with Café bord de Mer & Lounge offering special Taste of Romance menus, including Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea. Available from February 9 to 14, this exquisite tea set, which includes two sparkling cocktails, is priced at just HK$368 (plus service) for two. Then, on February 14 itself, diners can enjoy the restaurant’s fivecourse Valentine’s Day Set Dinner, with seafood delights, prime rib-eye steak and truly decadent desserts. Costing just HK$1,368 (plus service) for two, the set includes two sparkling cocktails, and diners can relax while being serenaded by live saxophone music. Pre- and post-dinner Valentine’s Day-inspired cocktails are on offer at The Bounty Entertainment & Sports Bar, and, for those who really want to treat themselves, decadent Valentine’s Day room packages are available at the hotel. No sooner is Valentine’s Day over, than it’s time to celebrate again, with the CNY festivities kicking off on February 15, and the extended public holiday falling from February 16 to 19. Again, Café bord de Mer & Lounge is the place to be, as the popular restaurant is pulling out all the stops to ensure everyone can celebrate CNY in traditional style. From February 16 to 19, families can gather to enjoy the Lunch Buffet (HK$368 for adults

and HK$238 for children), while the Dinner Buffet (HK$428 for adults and HK$238 for children) is available from February 15 to 19. If you prefer to spend the CNY holidays at home, you can still make the most of Café bord de Mer & Lounge’s festive cuisine, since its classic CNY takeaway menu features an array of tempting dishes, such as roast suckling pig, sautéed tiger prawns, deep-fried crispy chicken and stir-fried turnip

cake with XO sauce. Free delivery is available within DB for orders over HK$1,388. Wishing you all a magical Valentine’s Day and an auspicious start to CNY. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Valentine’s Day room packages at Auberge Discovery Bay Hong Kong Romantic Getaway Package (February 9 to 11) • One-night stay in a mountain-view room • Breakfast buffet for two • Valentine’s Day Dinner Buffet for two with two sparkling cocktails • Prices start at HK$2,048 Love is in DBay Package (February 14) • One-night stay in a mountain-view room • Breakfast buffet for two • Five-course Valentine’s Day Dinner for two with two sparkling cocktails • Prices start at HK$2,788 Ocean-front room upgrades are available for an additional HK$400. Terms and conditions apply. All prices are subject to 10% service charge.

Useful contacts

• Auberge Discovery Bay Hong Kong, • Café bord de Mer & Lounge, 2295 8288, February 2018





Throughout February

TO ADOPT A PET through Protection of Animals Lantau South (PALS), call Jacqui Green at 9197 4371, for Hong Kong Paws Foundation (PAWS), call Kat Cheung at 9485 5188. February 1


Head to the Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI) for a free Sophrology discovery session with Celine Pellarin. Learn how to relax the mind and body, release tension and overcome difficulties with a very practical set of tools including relaxation, breathing, visualisation and simple movements. To make a booking, call 2537 1087.

Throughout February

DB ENTREPRENEURS NETWORKING BREAKFAST at Zak’s, DB, kicks off at 8am. For information and registration, head to the DB Entrepreneurs Networking Breakfast Facebook page or visit


DBIS Primary School courtyard February 2

February 2

LANTAU ISLAND PADDLE Start/ finish: Tai Pak Wan

DBIS teachers Jonny Haines and Tim Tait are paddle boarding 75 kilometres around Lantau, across five consecutive days, to raise money for local community group, Plastic Free Seas. To show your support and make a donation, visit the-lantau-island-paddle. You can join the wrap-up party on February 10 at 7pm, at Hemingway’s. February 3

STOCK UP AT THE PLANT MARKET across from Haven Court,

2pm to 4.45pm. For more information, call 2238 3617.


February 2018

Catch Discovery Bay International School (DBIS) guitarists, drummers and singers as they perform Song 2 by Blur at Hong Kong’s first ever RockMob. The performance takes place at 12.30pm and will be filmed, with footage uploaded to YouTube. For more information, visit


Diploma Centre, Discovery College Join mountaineer and author Simon McCartney as he shares accounts of his daring ascents and his motivation to write awardwinning book The Bond. Now a successful entrepreneur, Simon’s vision for illuminating Victoria Harbour’s skyscrapers has changed the city’s skyline. The presentation starts at 6.30pm. To RSVP, email

February 8


February 10

February 9


organised by Plastic Free Seas and DB Green, at Nim Shue Wan, from 9 to 11am. Visit

Discovery Bay International School Catch the Discovery Bay International School lion dance as you purchase festive flowers for the CNY celebrations at the annual flower market, from 8am to 9am. You can also buy Chinese calligraphy created by the Mandarin department.

February 10

February 11


at the Auberge Discovery Bay Hong Kong. To get involved, email



MovieMovie Cinema, Cityplaza, Tai Koo

in DB Plaza from 11am to 6pm.

February 11

February 14

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! If you want to cook a special supper for your beloved, find some sexy recipes on page 50.

February 16

The Helper is screening as part of MovieMovie’s Life Is Art film festival. Founded by DBer Jane Englemann, The Unsung Heroes, a choir composed of DB helpers, is featured in the documentary, and the ladies are set to perform at 3pm, prior to the screening at 3.25pm. For more information, visit


Happy Year of the Dog! To get CNY off to a good start, turn to page 43.


February 17


Discovery Bay Recreation Club and Club Siena

Club members are invited to celebrate Chinese New Year with a lion dance performance, traditional Chinese snacks and tea, and an arts-and-crafts workshop. For more information, visit

Enjoy a night of mingling with the DB Pirates, kicking off at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to wear a Chinese or red outfit. The cost of entry, priced at HK$100, includes one drink and one raffle ticket. To register, visit or email

February 27 February 2018



COMPETITIONS GREEN.ICON@DB GRAFFITI DESIGN COMPETITION It’s time for Deadline: DB students February 5 to submit their entries for the Green.Icon@DB Graffiti Design Competition. The winning designs from the primary and secondary categories will be painted on the gate of the new Green. Icon@DB exhibition centre, and there will be prizes for the six finalists in each category. The theme is Green and Environmental Protection. The winners will be chosen via an online vote on the Around DB Facebook page. To find out more, head to

YOUNG WRITERS COMPETITION Secondary school Deadline: students living March 7 and/ or studying in Lantau are on deadline to complete their stories for the Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writers Competition. 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. Check the guidelines at, and read advice from the mentors on page 36. Be sure to email your article to by March 7.


#thatscoolHK and #thatsnotcoolHK are the catchphrases of Jonny Haines and Tim Tait, the DBIS teachers who are paddling around Lantau to raise awareness about plastic pollution on February 2. To enter the Around DB and Life on Lantau #thatscoolHK (#thatsnotcoolHK) Competition, simply send us two photos, one of something ecologically cool (that you spot either at home or when out and about in DB) and one of something ecologically uncool. The top five finalists (chosen by Jonny and Tim) will each receive two reusable metal straws and a pair of eco-friendly Eureka Socks, and see their photos published in the April issue of Around DB. Email by March 15.

SAVE the DATE TENNIS NATIONS CUP Discovery Bay Recreation Club

DBIS INTERNATIONAL FOOD FAIR Discovery Bay International School

March 3 & 4

March 10

The 25th edition of DB’s biggest and best tennis event is on the horizon, so start working on your fitness (and a whacky national costume). To register for the Tennis Nations Cup, visit


February 2018

The annual Discovery Bay International School International Food Fair is one of the largest community events in DB, offering a range of culinary delights from all corners of the globe. You can also look forward to music and singing, plus a host of commercial and charity stalls.

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Kelly Merrick Sharon Riley Misako Takato Kim Jomar

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Lovely villa in gated estate. 3 Beds, 2.5 Baths inc 1 ensuite. Fashionable fittings with lounge area opening onto beautiful garden. Decked patio, BBQ, private car park and communal pool surrounded by amazing mountain views.



$48K SAN SHEK WAN VILLAGE HOUSE 2100’ + 700’ Rooftop

Stunning home in quiet South Lantau village. 4 Beds, 3 Baths inc 2 ensuite. Gorgeous sea views from exquisite designed open plan kitchen, dining and living area. Spacious bedrooms, modern finishes with plenty of storage, a must see!


TAI LONG WAN VILLAGE HOUSE 2100’ +Rooftop + Garden

Beautiful family home with large garden. 3 Beds, 2 Baths inc 1 ensuite. Spacious master bedroom, open plan kitchen with combined lounge dining area opening on to balcony. Quiet village with stunning views.

$42K CHEUNG SHA VILLAGE HOUSE 2100’ + 700 Rooftop

Gorgeous home in desirable area. 3 Beds, 3.5 Baths inc 2 ensuite. Large open plan kitchen, dining and living area with pantry. Loads of storage space, play area, and close to popular beach.

$12M / $38K SHUI HAU VILLAGE HOUSE 2100’ + 700’ Rooftop

Designer home in quiet location. 4 Beds, 3 Baths inc 1 ensuite. Master bedroom with spacious walk in wardrobe and stylish lighting. Private outdoor area, terrace and plunge pool. ADT alarm and curtains inclusive.

Making you feel at home is our business

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







Photo courtesy of Maxine Parry Photo courtesy of Hemingway’s

Epicland’s adrenaline-pumping Virtual World comprises three top virtual-reality (VR) attractions. Kids, aged seven and up, can play VR games in The Arena, enter virtual pods in The Capsule, and take a roller-coaster tour through space in the 360 Chamber. To find out more, visit

At Hemingway’s, you can now enjoy hearty vegan food safe in the knowledge that your meal is not contributing to climate change or animal suffering. The menu is big on comfort food, like Shepherd’s Pie, Spaghetti Bolognaise and Nachos, plus a Rudeboy Chili and Beyond Burger. Hemingway’s still does dairy, but it’s aiming to be 100% vegan soon. To book a table, call 2987 8855.

On November 18, 2017, Discovery Mind held its 12th annual sponsored walk in aid of Operation Santa Claus (OSC), raising an incredible HK$110,000. Approximately 500 children, parents and friends joined this year’s walk. Over the past 12 years, Discovery Mind families have raised a total of HK$1,555,592 for OSC. Discovery Mind won the Top Fundraiser Award for schools this year, for the ninth consecutive time.

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Phone: 2628-3362 Website: http: // Location: Shop 105-B, North Plaza, 92 Siena Ave, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island


B D @ n o c I . n e e r G

– Promoting a green lifestyle in Discovery Bay


sk any DB resident, and environmental protection is high on their agenda, but did you know that there are numerous green initiatives already in place in DB that can help you further reduce your carbon footprint?

food waste composting machine, part of City Management’s (CM) territory-wide food waste reduction programme, which is aimed at encouraging the reduction of compostable waste. Bottles of eco-enzyme detergent, produced from fruit waste, are on display.

To find out more about the various ways you can go green in DB, simply make an advance booking to visit the new Green.Icon@DB exhibition centre, located near Parkridge Village. Previously an unused refuse collection chamber, the space has been transformed into an education centre, aimed at promoting a green lifestyle within the community, and acting as a food waste and glass bottle recycling operation and demonstration centre.

Incredibly, with the support of the community, DB recycled over 42,000 kilogrammes of food waste last year, with the resulting compost used for local landscaping. What’s more, since 2016, CM and DB restaurants and shops have joined hands to work with NGOs that collect surplus food and redistribute it to underprivileged families.

From the moment you arrive at the centre, upcycling is in evidence, with the welcome sign made out of reused wooden pallets and the interior walls separating each zone built using abandoned bamboo construction poles. The space features wooden stools made from fallen tree trunks and a ‘green wall’ comprising various small plants.

You’ll also find information at the centre about how DB recycles its glass. Bottles are ground into small granules of sand that are used for local repair works.

Photos courtesy of Hong Kong Resort

Throughout the centre, energysaving devices, such as LED lights and solar fans, are in use.


As well as educational displays, Green.Icon@DB is also a working building, in which waste is turned into useful resources. It houses a

But it’s not just food waste and glass that DBers can recycle – all over town, there are facilities to donate items such as unwanted clothes, second-hand books and toys. It’s no surprise, therefore, that DB has received several awards for its green efforts, including the Green Development Award in the Outstanding Developer Awards 2016, organised by Capital Weekly. Let’s join together to continue the good work and create an even greener DB!

Green.Icon@DB Graffiti Design Competition Kids, grab your paint brushes! Green.Icon@DB needs a green-themed design for its gate! Open to primary and secondary students across DB, this is your chance to showcase your creativity and have your artwork painted on the centre’s exterior. Submit your design to your school by February 5 for your chance to win! For full details and more information on how to enter, head to

February 2018

Shop I, Lifestyle Hub, Fashion Walk, Cleveland St, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (T) +852 2570 0307



making a difference one meal at a time!

Photos courtesy of Hemingway’s

O 20

n January 2, Hemingway’s unveiled its new menu and there was something missing… meat! After 11 years of serving up burgers, steaks and ribs, the popular D’Deck restaurant has taken a new direction – plant-based vegetarian/ vegan comfort food. The move was largely driven by Hemingway’s co-founder Gary Stokes, DB resident and ocean conservationist with Sea Shepherd, the international NGO

that works to protect, conserve and defend the world’s oceans and their inhabitants.

graze), we are destroying the very eco systems that make the world habitable.

During his time with Sea Shepherd, Gary says his eyes have been opened to the urgent need to resolve the myriad of environmental problems that threaten life on Earth. “One of the largest of these problems is that we need to drastically cut down our consumption of meat and seafood,” he says. “Through over fishing and deforestation (to create space for cattle to

“We live in a world of 7.6 billion people, many of whom eat meat or seafood three times a day. This is unsustainable,” Gary adds. “While most people cannot go to sea for several months to save whales, sharks, turtles or fish, we can all make a huge difference by simply looking at what we decide to put on our dinner plates! The ‘easy’ solution is a plant-based diet – going vegan.”

February 2018

As a restaurateur, Gary is making a bold move, since the concept of dining at a vegan restaurant is still daunting to many – carnivores and vegetarians, alike. What do vegans eat after all? Nuts, lentils and tofu? Gary, however, is quick to dispel such concerns.

Spaghetti Bolognaise, Nachos, Rudeboy Chili (that has actually been vegan for the past five months) and an equally meatfree Beyond Burger. Also on the menu is a BBQ ‘Pulled Pork’ Jackfruit Sandwich, emphasis on the jackfruit!

“I was pretty nervous about what I was going to eat when I first headed out on a vegan Sea Shepherd ship,” he says. “But I stopped worrying when I saw the ‘normal food’ on offer. That was my inspiration for the menu change at Hemingway’s.”

“The mission is to show people that they can eat vegan food that has all the flavours they have come to love, with the added knowledge that the meal is not contributing to climate change or animal suffering,” Gary says. “People choose to become vegan for three reasons: personal health, animal cruelty and environmentalism.”

In order to introduce vegan dishes, and ensure DBers enjoy them, Hemingway’s is focused on offering (plant-based) comfort food – ‘normal food’ as Gary calls it. There’s Shepherd’s Pie,

Removing meat from the Hemingway’s menu is in fact step two in Gary’s mission to change

the way DBers eat. Fish and seafood were dropped from the menu last year – and the changes are still coming. “Currently, we still have dairy cheese for the pizzas as well as vegan cheese, however we hope in the very near future to be able to source a great dairy-free mozzarella,” Gary says. “Once we phase out dairy cheese, our menu will be 100% plant based. “It’s all about taking things step by step,” Gary concludes. “We don’t expect everyone to go vegan, however if we can provide somewhere that serves ethical food in DB, then we provide an alternative choice. The decision is then in the individual’s hands. What sort of future do you want to see?”

To book a table at Hemingway’s or find out more about the new vegan menu, call 2987 8855. February 2018



HERE’S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN PRIZES! Around DB prizes are incredibly easy to get your hands on, and you have until February 10 to apply. Simply scan the barcode, or go to, select the giveaway you want, and enter your details into the online form.

Win a two-week unlimited HIT+Spin package with The HIT Room The HIT Room is offering one reader the chance to get fit, lean and strong through a two-week unlimited HIT+Spin package (worth HK$1,038). The instructors and trainers at DB’s The HIT Room are handpicked to motivate, challenge and inspire clients to achieve their fitness goals. The studio offers one-on-one personal training, plus group exercise classes including Les Mills Bodypump, GRIT Strength, Bodystep and RPM, as well as Boxing, Legs Bums & Tums, TRX and Spin. For more information, visit

Win a VR experience at EpicLand’s new Virtual World EpicLand is offering one reader five weekday passes (worth HK$1,390) accessing its brand-new Virtual World. Launched this month, EpicLand’s Virtual World allows kids aged seven and up to embark on an epic virtual-reality (VR) adventure across three main attractions. Play over 20 VR games (slice fruits like a ninja, gun down space drones!) in The Arena, spin in a rollercoaster or take a space tour in the 360 Chamber, and get transported to another world in a virtual pod in The Capsule. For more information, call 2441 0098, or visit

Congratulations to last month’s winners Kelly Crawford and Pia Minsberg for adult Mandarin classes at ZhiZhi Chinese Education; and Emily Clarke for a gift box from The South African Shop.


Photos by Baljit Gidwani -



Eco by design Designer and DB resident Kevin Chu aims to bring a whole new standard of environmental design to Hong Kong homes. Elizabeth Kerr reports

Kevin Chu with his wife Maria at home in DB

February 2018



f you haven’t noticed, Hong Kong isn’t as green as it could be. The government loves to drone on and on about how it’s committed to building a green city, a smart city, a liveable city, but when regulating d e p a r t m e n t s (t h e B u i l d i n g s Department, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department as two) make it difficult for even the Big S even developers to innovate, it’s up to individuals to fill in the gaps. Hong Kong native, designer and architect, and Discover y Bay resident, Kevin Chu has set out to do something about that, one chair – and one home – at a time. This morning, Kevin and his wife, Maria Giulia di Bonaventura, are parked at Fuel in ifc mall. For all their personal standards and dedication to sustainable design, neither looks the preachy hipster type you’d expect. Kevin is relaxed in the kind of weekend pants suitable for frequent ferry rides, and Maria, originally from a tiny town on the east coast of Italy, looks effortlessly thrown together – and like she just stepped out of a Michelangelo Antonioni film.

guy who doesn’t speak Mandarin and she’s the Western partner who does. People remember us.” That team is the heart and soul of Chu Original Creations (COC), founded in 2 012 to fo cus o n c o nte m p o ra r y e nv iro n m e nt al design – possibly the only studio like it in Hong Kong. The pair met in 2009 when she was in town from Beijing, where she was studying Mandarin and working in education. He spent some time there, and they relocated to Hong Kong in 2014, settling in DB after an exhaustive search. “When we decided to move to Hong Kong, we looked in every

After graduating from the London U niversit y B a r tlet t S ch o o l of Architecture and working for a pair of architecture firms there, he came home and worked at a few firms locally before striking out on his own. The turn towards e nv i ro n m e nt a l d e s ig n wa s a process, one that followed socalled ‘normal’ design work, and the realisation that there’s a great deal of misunderstanding about what exactly environmental or sustainable design is. “ I n 2 013 I s t a r te d g e t t i n g a bit more recognition for [my] environmental design, and since last year we focused completely on it,” Kevin says. “If a client wants us to do interiors, I will introduce a lot of environmental technologies. For example, we’re working with a new technology that can clean the environment of your house without a machine – through the material. It uses a chemical process through sunlight that is non-toxic. We’re the first to use this. Or we introduce upcycling through furniture, and if clients need this k nowledge I ’m happy to teach them.”

He’s not so much a believer that form

follows function, rather it should work for function; he is firm that aesthetics are every bit as valid in design

Partners in life and work Kevin, 42, is taking a day away from the Discovery Bay home studio for inspections and other design legwork, and to set up some appointments with Maria’s doctor – the life and work partners are expecting their first son in a few months. “I’m creative; I’m not really good at marketing. I can do it, but she’s the exact opposite,” begins Kevin with a laugh. “Maria is really good at it – and my Mandarin is ridiculous. So we go as a team. I’m the Asian

single area of the cit y,” says Kevin. “ We looked in Shek O, Yuen Long, at anything green. A f t e r B e i j i n g w e’d b o t h h a d enough of the cit y and the p o l l u t i o n ,” M a r i a i n t e r j e c t s . On top of which she admits a new appreciation for her tiny h o m eto w n’s cl e a n li n e s s a n d g re e n e r y, a n d f o u n d i t b e s t duplicated in DB. “And we’re qualified for DB now, we have a cat, and a baby on the way,” Kevin chimes in. Green rooms COC was always in the cards for Kevin. “I think I wanted to be a designer when I was five ye a r s o l d. A n d eve n w h e n I was a student I was focused on environmental architecture. I didn’t even know it,” he recalls.

It was a wise move: Kevin’s won a d oze n d e s ig n awa rd s i n a relatively short career in Milan, Beijing, London, Tokyo, Chicago and New York, and he has been a guest speaker or featured exhibitor in Valencia, Dublin and Munich. Suffice it to say when he posits an opinion on Hong Kong design and its sustainability footprint, he knows what he’s talking about. Getting the word out “Hong Kong is not that forward thinking; interiors are still very archaic,” Kevin says. “It’s not like Singapore or Germany, there’s still a lot of solid materials like marble and gold. We’re behind February 2018



Maria and Kevin in their recycled, upcycled, environmentally conscious home

t he re st of A sia , a nd we lag behind even compared to China, which is really into the green look and movement.” Get him started on sustainable, green design and Kevin’s got plenty to say. He’s not so much a believer that form follows function, rather it should work for function; he is firm that aesthetics are every bit as valid in design. He sees design eras as products of their political zeitgeists, the current one being the environmental m ove m e nt as a re sult of t h e urgency of climate change. He agrees that policy in Hong Kong is stunting sustainability, and an economy, rooted in land sales and property taxes, is never going to be one that can effectively respond to the demands of green building. Kevin is convinced that environmental education is still needed in the SAR. Until Hongkongers opt out of spending

ex tra cash in a casino or on a f a n cy s o f a , u n t i l t h e re’s a wider understanding of ideas as valuable – that an upcycled cardboard lamp isn’t necessarily ‘c h e a p’ – t h e re w i l l b e l i t t l e movement on sustainability. For now, it’s trendy, and that helps, but passing the buck hurts. “The answer is always, [Hong Kong’s] not as bad as China,” Kevin says. “That’s true, but it’s far worse than Europe or North America.” “In China, it’s a matter of political stability now. People are suffering with the pollution, so the government is looking at green energy and designers are pushing sustainable products,” adds Maria. “Maybe that kind of demand doesn’ t exist in Hong Kong.”

In the meantime, COC (yes, Kevin is fully aware of what that looks like, and he’s endlessly amused by it) is working with the aforementioned sunlight technology on sustainable interiors, and on incorporating another one that involves some revolutionar y environment cleansing. And he’s hoping to launch his own upcycled furniture brand down the road. As it stands, COC does a lot of work in China and Europe, though as a local Kevin would love to do more here at home. And even though things could be better, COC’s profile is rising and he’s getting the word out. “Someone needs to break the mould,” Kevin finishes. “You can’t think money every day.”

For more on Chu Original Creations (COC), visit To view the Chus’ beautiful DB home, visit talking-points/futuristic-farm-db-resident-kevin-chus-designer-eco-pad/.

Find more local heroes @


February 2018



e h t e m w o $h

Photos by Baljit Gidwani -




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Do you invest your MPF contribution wisely, or is it more a question of ticking a few boxes at random and hoping for the best? Sam Agars gets some advice from three DB brokers on constructing a balanced and diversified portfolio that will set you up for retirement

he mandatory provident fund (MPF) scheme has been running since the year 2000, and it was put in place to ensure each and every Hong Kong resident enters retirement with some money to support themselves. The government views MPF as the first and most basic of pillars when planning for retirement, believing that something is better than nothing – hence its mandatory directive. There are currently 19 providers to choose from. Nearly all of the schemes are administered by household names from within the banking and insurance sectors, with the exception of one independent consortium, which specialises exclusively in pensions. Over the past five years, a number of regulator-driven initiatives have led to a reduction in fees and a broadening in the range of investment funds, which is great news for everybody. While you are automatically enrolled in a scheme by your employer, and are tied to it for their contribution, you are free to choose

providers for your own contribution. (Both employer and employee must contribute a minimum of 5% of the first HK$25,000 of salary each month.) But how many of us take this investment opportunity seriously? More often than not,

If you have 20 years until you retire, you may as well be in an equity fund or take some risk don’t we simply tick a couple of boxes and forget about the whole thing?

February 2018


What many people don’t realise is that there is plenty of advice available on how best to invest your MPF contribution. Each provider has its own bank of information to help you through your choices, while there are also specialised websites to allow you to compare the host of providers out there. Or, if you choose to go one step further, there is the option of enlisting the assistance of a broker to ensure you are getting the absolute maximum out of your retirement fund. Back to basics

Most of us, on starting a new job, are presented with an MPF form by our employer, which offers us a couple of options as to how we would like our contribution to look. The first option is the default investment strategy, which is a mixed assets fund constructed by the provider. The second option involves choosing from a host of different funds (money market funds, guaranteed funds, bond funds, mixed asset funds and equity funds), and selecting a percentage of each to make up 100% of your contribution.

John Parsons and Gordon Franks

DB resident John Parsons of St James’s Place Wealth Management (SJP) outlines exactly what each option involves. “A money market fund comprises short-term, liquid debt and monetary instruments,” he says. “It is effectively a cash-equivalent asset and often characterised as a low-risk, low-return investment. A guaranteed fund provides a guarantee to investors, usually on the principal capital or on the investment rate of return. Some guaranteed funds offer conditional guarantees, which may require the fulfilment of a set of qualifying conditions. “A bond fund invests in fixed income securities and debt instruments issued by governments and corporations. Fixed income securities have an assured cash flow and a specified maturity, hence it is generally considered a lower risk investment than the equity fund,” John adds. “An equity fund invests in stock securities. Their returns tend to be more volatile as

an asset class. A mixed assets fund may hold a mixture of cash, bond and equity as its name suggests.” While the majority of us choose the default investment strategy, there’s a tendency for those who choose to select their funds themselves to do so at random, without seriously thinking about the ramifications. DBer Mark Kirkham, the chief executive of Platinum Financial Services, advises against this. “Perhaps just take it a little bit more seriously,” he says. “It is your future, after all, so take an interest. “If you’re not going to take advice, and have little clue about where your money should be invested, then opt for either the default investment strategy or one of the diversified managed funds, which are offered by all providers,” Mark adds. “But the providers are well set up to provide information, so take advantage of that, or consult a licensed intermediary to make sure you are making the correct choice.”

Taking the plunge According to fellow DBer Gordon Franks, managing director at LFS Brokers, your choice of investment strategy will have a lot to do with where you are in your working life. “It all depends on the time to retirement,” he says. “If you are close to retirement, you should consider the guaranteed or money market funds, because you can’t predict the volatility of the markets. If you have 20 years until you retire, you may as well be in an equity fund or take some risk, because if the markets go down you have got time to come back up again.” The guaranteed, money market and bond funds are the more cautious options, but Mark is quick to point out that they still have a role to play even in more aggressive portfolios. “They are cautious but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t co-exist within a balanced portfolio or an aggressive portfolio,” he says. “Even if you see yourself as adventurous, that doesn’t  February 2018



returns, but with the government curbs starting to bite hard in certain areas, residential property looks and feels overvalued right now,” Mark adds. “In fact if Hong Kong is heading for any sort of correction or downturn, it is likely to affect residential property prices in the short term. We will see what happens as 2018 unfolds.”

Mark Kirkham

mean you have to put all your money on 29 black. You will have some equity exposure but also some bond or cash exposure – a balanced and diversified portfolio will invest across a whole spectrum of assets, and allow you to rest easy when the markets get choppy.” John warns that the safest option is not always the best option. “Cash, bank deposits and money market funds would appear to be safest since their value does not drop, but returns on them are low nowadays, in fact typically lower than inflation rates. Therefore, in the medium to long-term, there is a risk of a purchasing power loss, i.e. a risk to go backwards when adjusting asset value for inflation. “Similarly, guaranteed funds can be psychologically comforting, however they are likewise exposed to inflation risks, since guaranteed rates are low,” John adds. “The cost of the guarantee means that upside potential embedded within such products (and thereby its inflation protection ability) is limited.”

Time to prosper With a new year comes new opportunities and, with the market continuously changing, it pays to stay on top of the latest trends. While it is very much an inexact science and Mark is quick to point out there are no certainties, he feels commodities could be a strong option in 2018. “From a market perspective, I think it will be a good year for commodities, certainly that is what all the specialists are telling us,” he says. “It’s been a while since commodities have had a rally, and some of them are certainly due one. I don’t have a crystal ball but I’d say there is nothing wrong with having some exposure to commodities in the coming year. “Property funds traditionally deliver consistent inflation-beating

According to John, keeping a balanced portfolio is still the best way to go. “Markets have proven to be wildly unpredictable in recent years. Political turmoil also added to the uncertainty. SJP does not bet on a particular type of asset class or attempt to benefit from timing the markets. Studies have shown that investment results are more dependent on investor behaviour than market performance, with investors rarely succeeding in timing the markets and executing the perfect strategy of buying low and selling high,” John says. “Since the best performing investment in one year can often turn out to be the worst performing investment the next year, SJP recommends clients to stay invested in properly constructed and well-diversified portfolios. By spreading assets across a selection of asset types, as well as countries and sectors, investments stand a better chance of achieving more consistent returns.”

FIND IT • LFS Brokers, • Platinum Financial Services, • St James’s Place Wealth Management,

Government comparison websites • • Find more monetary advice @


February 2018


Kung Hei Fat Choi! FourEverGreen is a hydroponic farming company that grows high quality, healthy food, using sustainable production methods. We are committed to ensuring our processes and produce meet our four core values; healthy, sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethical. Our vision is to create more food security for the growing world. There are many reasons why we need to continually research and develop new and alternative food production methods: We have a growing water shortage on the planet: Hydroponic farming uses 90% less water as it feeds the plant directly, rather than the soil that the plant is growing in. Many countries suffer from food shortages: We need to grow food faster without GMOs and other damaging modifications. Our harvests grow 300% faster than arable farming.

Certain parts of the world are obsolete for growing conditions, creating land shortage: A lot of land previously used for farming is now unusable. How do these nations provide food? Climate change is having a huge effect on our ability to produce enough food: Our historic growing methods need to be reviewed. We cannot grow food like we used to. Hydroponics can be grown anywhere, during any season.

The world is growing in population: We over have 7.4 billion people now, and expecting another 1 billion within 30 years; but can only sustain 10 billion people in total globally with current food growth methods.

HYDROPONIC OPPORTUNITY Hydroponic farming is a great way to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs under totally controlled conditions. Check out our website to see how you can get involved today!

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1601 Yu Sung Boon building 107-111 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong Tel: 3611 6864 email:


Malvern College Hong Kong A holistic education for future success

Photos courtesy of Malvern College



ne of the most respected names in primary and secondary education, and due to open a campus in Hong Kong this year, Malvern College is a beacon of academic excellence, committed to developing independent, forward-thinking individuals who demonstrate strength of character and a strong sense of responsibility.

new dynamic to learning in the city, with a unique blend of tradition and cutting-edge education serving the international community.

Founded in 1865 in the heart of England, the school, which began life with just 24 pupils and six school masters, now boasts campuses across the globe. Malvern provides a high-quality education for boys and girls from a diverse range of international and cultural backgrounds in England, China, Egypt, and soon Hong Kong.

“We are committed to giving pupils a rich learning environment in order to encourage them to be vibrant, inquiring learners, passionate about engaging with the world as global citizens,” explains MCHK founding headmaster Dr Robin Lister. “We aim to equip all Malvernians with the skills, attitude and temperament required for the inevitable challenges they will face as the century progresses.”

The latest member of the Malvern family of schools, Malvern College Hong Kong (MCHK), will open this September, and aims to bring a

At Malvern, the emphasis is placed firmly on preparing pupils for the changing demands of living in the 21st century, combining academic success with ample opportunities for character and personal development.

At the forefront of education for the past 152 years, Malvern was one of the first schools in the UK to adopt

February 2018

the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. Leveraging the 25+ years of experience from the mother school, MCHK plans to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP). The curriculum of choice for more than 4,500 schools worldwide, IB’s inquiry-based method offers students the opportunity to develop a deep, broad body of knowledge across a wide range of subject areas, and fits perfectly with Malvern's experiential approach to education. “The IB curriculum is collaborative in nature,” says Dr Lister. “It engages the learner in such a way that they come to truly enjoy the learning process, which spurs them on to success. This is perfectly aligned with our school mission – to provide a holistic education, nurturing pupils’ qualities in ethics, global understanding, critical thinking and teamwork.”

With regard to the sciences, MCHK is also set to be a leader from day one; Malvern being the school that pioneered Nuffield Science, an approach which promotes the study of science through experimentation and discovery rather than textbooks (and has created three Malvern Nobel Science Prize winners to date!).

The programme also supports Malvern’s ethos of educating the whole child and not just the intellect. While exam results are, of course, paramount – Malvern graduates regularly average over 36 points (6.1 points higher than the IB world average), with 26% of pupils having scored 40 points or more over the last 11 years – co-curricular activities play an important part too. Such activities are not just seen as ‘add-ons’ but as an integral part of children’s education, enhancing their learning by ensuring their full potential is fulfilled outside as well as within the formal curriculum. “Whether it’s being part of a school team, singing in a choir, taking part in a play or putting on an art exhibition – all these activities (and many more) are incredibly important in developing a child’s full potential,” says Dr Lister. “Success is not just good exam grades; it is good exam grades plus full personality development! I cannot stress this enough!” This nurturing approach to education is clearly evident in Dr Lister’s plans for student welfare at MCHK. “Inheriting the ethos from Malvern College, MCHK will offer a strong pastoral system; it will be a tightknit community with structures in place to ensure the very best support is provided to our pupils,” he explains.

“In addition to a house system, to help foster team spirit and a sense of belonging, we will also provide a mentorship programme, character education classes, and career and guidance counsellors,” Dr Lister adds. “In addition, each pupil will be assigned a personal tutor who will focus not only on academic enrichment but also on the child’s emotional development.” In terms of facilities, MCHK will be second to none, its purpose-built, low-carbon footprint, seven-storey campus featuring everything a child needs for successful learning, with state-of-the-art academic, sporting, creative arts and technology spaces. At the heart of the school, an open-plan library will serve as a common learning space.

The school’s close proximity to the Hong Kong Science Park, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Institute of Education will undoubtedly further strengthen its success in this area, providing excellent opportunities for collaboration, and offering further experiential learning prospects for pupils. When it comes to getting to and from school, school buses will serve multiple routes across Hong Kong, ensuring that pupils are transported safely and quickly. With an eventual capacity of 960 pupils across Years 1 to 13, MCHK will initially offer 400 places to pupils in Years 1 to 9, with applications for the 2018/ 19 academic year now being accepted.

Class sizes are optimal too, with a low pupil-teacher ratio of 10:1 enabling teachers to provide personalised learning support to each child. Whether a pupil needs additional help or shows particular promise in a particular area, Malvern’s approach aids them in reaching their full potential.

To find out more about Malvern College Hong Kong, visit To apply for the 2018/ 19 academic year, head to February 2018






6774 6567,,,

Kidz Wagon is your go-to shop for Japanese-made baby clothing, handmade toys, baby carriers, accessories and daily essentials. There’s also a stylish and fashionable clothing line for little ones. Shop and reserve your items online, and you can view them at the Kidz Wagon showroom in Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay before final purchase.





Available online, Lantau Ren is a lifestyle brand created by a South Lantau mum. As well as kids’ products, the range includes everything from home textiles and accessories to fine jewellery, all inspired by life on beautiful Lantau Island. The founder’s 10 years of experience with luxury brands is reflected in the quality of Lantau Ren products – attention to detail is evident both in the designs and the way they are presented.



2987 1386,, Partytime has everything you need to organise an unforgettable party on any budget. Its Discovery Bay shop, located in Bookazine, stocks the city’s largest selection of party supplies, from tableware to balloons, piñatas, party favours, toys and sweets. Partytime also provides full party-planning services, supplying everything from face-painters and magicians to customised cakes and invitations.





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Purple Turtle Parties takes parties to the next level of entertainment with a jawdropping collection of characters, themes and attractions. Look to them if you want a princess singing enchanted songs to your birthday girl, or a dinosaur raging through the house… Not just for kids, Purple Turtle Parties puts on events of all types and sizes.

Best known for its disco, freestyle, ballet and hip-hop classes at the Discovery Bay Recreation Club and Club Siena, Island Dance also hosts birthday parties, with a dance instructor providing party-rocking choreography and games. The DB-based dance studio runs classes across Hong Kong Island and Kowloon along with dance workshops, flash mobs and camps.

Pizza-making parties at PizzaExpress in DB allow young chefs, aged four to nine, to unleash their creativity as they handcraft their own pizza with their favourite toppings. Each child is provided with a chef’s hat and apron as an experienced pizza maker guides them in whipping up their own fully customised pizza.

February 2018

CNY ARK EDEN 9277 4025,, Ark Eden’s forest camps bring out the adventurous, curious and compassionate side of children. Held in a beautiful valley in Mui Wo, each day is different. Eco-activities include campfire cooking, making a tree-house, ‘forest fashions,’ organic farming, nature play, fun yoga, dog-walking, netting in a stream and cosy camping. Running from February 19 to 23, the nature camps are open to children aged five to 11.


HK DRAGONS FC 5360 0565,,

Sam Newman, who grew up in DB, is revamping his popular Get Hooked Fishing Camp, with a re-launch expected over CNY. Taking the children, aged six to 16, to two of Hong Kong’s best populated fishing ponds (in Lau Fau Shan), he aims to provide more than just a fishing trip. He sees the experience as a rite of passage for kids, and endeavours to kick-start a lifelong passion for conservation and sustainability.

HK Dragons FC offers football classes in DB, Pui O, Mui Wo, Stanley and at YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College, Tung Chung for kids, aged three and above, of all abilities. Children learn about teamwork and fair play, and how to get competitive in a fun and safe environment. Professional coaching from UEFA/ FA qualified coaches ensures an improvement in skills, match awareness and fitness. Enrol your kids now in the February 20 to 23 CNY Football Camps, for an early-bird discount!




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Kids who join Rumple and Friends in Sheung Wan this CNY get to perform an original play, The Story of the Zodiac. Students study drama, magic, circus, musical theatre and puppetry, and put on a performance for parents at the end of the course. Camps run from February 12 to 15 and 20 to 23, 10am to 12pm, and are open to kids aged three to seven.

DB’s Zhizhi Chinese Education is holding a CNY Language and Culture Camp from February 20 to 22, for kids aged five to 14. Students learn the language by exploring Chinese culture and doing fun activities, such as calligraphy, lanternmaking and traditional food tasting. Experienced international school teacher Debbie Tai invites all students from different language backgrounds and levels to explore Chinese culture during this most important festival.

DB Pirates is celebrating CNY with drinks at McSorley’s in DB Plaza on February 27 from 7.30pm. Entry is HK$100 and includes a free drink and raffle ticket. Everyone is welcome to attend – dress in traditional Chinese style, or wear red! To register, visit February 2018



YWC countdown

Photos by Baljit Gidawni -

With the deadline for this year’s Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writers Competition fast approaching, Trisha Hughes sits down with fellow mentors Peter Sherwood and Sharon Le Roux to provide some tips for wannabe finalists



ast year’s entries to the Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writers Competition (YWC) were exciting and enthralling, and we mentors loved every minute of the experience. We were astounded at the level of talent, imagination and creativity displayed, and, if this year is anything like last year, we are going to have a hard time picking the three finalists.

With this year’s subject – Lantau life in 2030+ – we can expect a lot of powerful stories about the island’s ongoing development and, of course, a lot of mind-blowing science fiction. As mentors, each of us is going to be looking for something special that grabs us personally; something that makes us feel an emotional connection to the subject and transports us into the story. That’s not an easy thing to do but we know it’s possible.

February 2018

Last year’s winner, Kayla Lee, did this for me. Her amazing thoughtprovoking story on Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele had all of those qualities, and I was stunned by her ability to write such a powerful story from his point of view. Stories can start and end in countless ways and no one can tell you which one is the right one. Sometimes you can even start at the end. This worked beautifully for Kayla and she wrote a story that was hard to beat.

what, where, when, why and who. Where are you and when? What can you see? What can you feel? Is it hot? Is it cold? Who are you and why are you there? It’s a very simple start and it gives you a basis from which to begin your story. Using these simple guidelines, you can expand and take the reader anywhere you want.

this is to drop the character (and the reader) straight into the middle of the action,” she says. “This will interest the reader straight away (as any sudden action does) and will serve to hook him because he will ask who is this happening to… and why. The same thing can be achieved by using a short piece of unique dialogue or description.”

Always the pragmatist, Peter advises: “The key is just to write, remembering it takes 10,000 hours to get professional – at anything. I always tell entrants that if we’re serious there is only one way to learn to write, and that is to write a lot and read even more.

Creating a fictional world

“It does not matter how we do it, or where,” Peter adds. “The great novelist John Le Carré writes his brilliant bestsellers by hand. When I interviewed novelist Frederick Forsyth, he told me he writes on the portable typewriter he bought in Paris in 1961! And the best English ever written was with a quill pen.” When I start writing a story, I normally have the setting, main characters and plot already mapped out in my mind, but you may find that your ideas only start flowing once you begin.

YWC mentors 2018: Trisha Hughes, Peter Sherwood and Sharon Le Roux

How to start your story Not all of us are like Agatha Christie who was able to sit down and write a story from beginning to end without too much effort. Knowing where to start is always a challenge. Sitting down and getting that first sentence on paper can seem like an insurmountable task. Most of us need guidelines. I always use the ‘Five Ws’ method:

“Write a ‘what if’ first sentence… and keep going,” Sharon advises. “‘What if my character met a dragon, or woke up in a place completely different to where he fell asleep, or...?’ Write whatever comes to mind, until you are literally buzzing with excitement about what is happening. Continue to write how your character solves the problems he encounters, and how he proves himself the hero.” Sharon is also quick to point out that, these days, readers have short attention spans, so you need to draw them in with the first sentence or two. “One way to do

In story writing, whether plot or character comes first is sort of like the chicken and egg thing, and it greatly depends on your point of view. The way I see it is that you can have a story idea without characters, but it’s hard to have an actual plot without characters. To develop a story of any length, you need first to understand the secrets, faults and dreams of your characters. And of course once you know your main character inside out, you can make sure the reader is connected to him. “A story is something happening to someone we care about,” Sharon says. “Something may well happen, but unless the reader has been led to care about the character first, what happens will be irrelevant or – worse – boring! Make the character likeable in some way – kind, funny, fallible – someone like us, who we can immediately empathise or even sympathise with. This way, by the time something goes wrong, the reader is already hooked; he is emotionally connected with the character, concerned for him and hoping things will turn out OK.” When it comes to picking a location for your story, it’s tempting to choose a new and exciting place, somewhere you’ve never been before – a Bedouin market, for example. But Sharon warns against this: “To hold the reader’s attention, you have to make the  setting feel real, and if you’ve February 2018



never actually been to such a place (and can describe it – the sounds, smells, colours etc.) that might prove difficult. “The best thing to do is take a setting that is familiar to you (e.g. a café), and write about what you personally connect with in that place,” Sharon advises. “Don’t over describe – remember a reader knows what a café looks like – just point out a unique feature or two to make this particular café different from any other, so that it’s believable and interesting, familiar and yet different. “Don’t focus exclusively on what a character sees or hears,” Sharon adds. “In a café setting,

for instance, smell and taste adjectives can evoke a mental picture, taking the reader out of his chair and placing him firmly in your fictional world.” How to handle rejection We mentors are always impressed, not only by the quality of entries to the YWC, but by the courage it takes to submit them to scrutiny and possible publication. Showing your work for comment and criticism – not only to a panel of judges but to the whole community (during the online vote) – is a great way to learn, but it can also be very daunting. If you are put off by this aspect of

the competition, remember that all writers experience criticism and rejection. Eventually we develop a thick skin but it still hurts. It truly does. We pour our hearts and souls into our projects, not to mention endless days and nights, and the last thing we want is to be rejected... So do you want to know my fool-proof method of handling rejection? It’s quite simple really – tear your hair out, howl and cry, and then head straight back to the computer. “Rejection is part of writing and part of life,” Peter says. “We should learn to love it, learn from it and move on. I suggest you get your article finished, leave it for a week, then go back and read it as if someone else had written it. The process can help you see flaws or inspire you to make changes or do a rewrite. “Above all, be yourself,” Peter adds. “Remember, whatever you write is yours alone, it’s unique. No one can ever do it the same. The reason to write is to find your voice; to express yourself in a new and refreshing way. The excitement lies in uncovering ideas and expression from our unconscious mind as we write – one idea leading to another. Like peeling an onion, there is always another layer.”

YWC finalists 2017: Janice Ho (DBIS), Kayla Lee (YHKCC) and Sienna Bertamini (DBIS)

So, with the March 7 deadline fast approaching, my fellow mentors and I wish you great fun writing your stories, and the best of luck in the competition.

All secondary school students living and/ or studying in Lantau are eligible to enter the Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writers Competition. Students are asked to submit an account of 600 to 700 words describing Lantau life in the future – in 2030+. Be sure to check the YWC guidelines at, or the Around DB and Life on Lantau Facebook pages, and submit your article by March 7 to

Find more child-centric stories @


February 2018

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iscovery Bay is known throughout Hong Kong as being a pet owner’s paradise. But while some residents may consider their furry friends part of the family, there are others who would prefer not to share their neighbourhood with other people’s canine companions. It’s fair to say that Jacqui Green, of animal welfare society PALS, knows a thing or two about balancing the needs of pets and people. PALS has been in operation for nearly a decade, working to rescue and re-home stray animals in DB and South Lantau. At the monthly PALS in the Plaza sessions, residents can meet potential adoptees and learn more about dog ownership.


2018 your

Photo by Baljit Gidwani -

Year of the Dog? Kate Farr discovers what responsible pet ownership takes, and why not everyone wants to see more dogs in DB


For anyone thinking of homing a dog this year, Jacqui has this advice: “Think long and hard – responsible pet ownership involves time, effort and money. Consider your accommodation, your family members and your working schedule. And make sure you are 100% committed to taking care of another life for the rest of its natural life.” Pet owners’ paradise When it comes to welcoming a dog into your family, Jacqui is adamant that it’s best to adopt, rather than shop. “PALS supports the adoption of tong gau – the local dogs that are indigenous to Hong Kong,” she says. “We are very much against the concept that ‘a breed is best,’ and generally despise the breeding trade as it operates in Hong Kong. Adopting means saving a life, while buying often means putting money in some unscrupulous person’s pocket! “DB is relatively compact so very large or hyperactive breeds, and obviously those disposed to a poor

Bonita Treece celebrating the Year of the Dog

February 2018

temperament, should be avoided,” Jacqui adds. “It’s also safe to say that breeds accustomed to a much colder climate, and with very abundant hair, will suffer in the heat without constant air-conditioning.” So does Jacqui believe that DB’s reputation as a hound heaven is well founded? “Discovery Bay is a safe and secure environment for dog lovers. There is plenty of space, clean fresh air, varied walks and parks – all attractions not found in the urban areas,” she says. “There is also a readyat-hand support system of dog walkers and sitters, as well as veterinary services close by.”

daughter wasn’t seriously hurt, the experience has left her with lasting anxiety around dogs. Vivian would now like to see compulsory muzzling for all dogs in residential areas, and thinks that potential owners should be required to have a permit to keep a pet. She points out that while you need a license to drive a car, an out-of-control dog is potentially just as dangerous.


Hound heaven or hell?

Rodee Ho

But not everyone shares Jacqui’s enthusiasm for dog-filled DB. Twelve-year resident Vivian (not her real name), who agreed to speak out on the condition of anonymity, has little time for dogs – and is not a huge fan of their owners either. “I think the biggest problem with DB is the number of dogs here,” she says. “They make the area dirtier, noisier and more dangerous for everyone, especially children.” Never a pet fan, Vivian became even more anti-dog than before after an unleashed dog bit her eight-year-old daughter last year. “The owner didn’t even apologise after it happened, he just pulled the dog away and walked off,” she says. “I was too busy making sure my girl wasn’t seriously hurt to try and stop him.” Although Vivian contacted the police and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to report the attack, they were unable to pursue the case, as she couldn’t identify the owner. While Vivian’s

Bellfell Chan

but then they can’t be bothered to clean up after it.” Not just for CNY… Jacqui agrees that there is a lot for pet owners, particularly first timers, to learn. “It is said that there's no such thing as a bad dog, only the human who keeps it!” she says. “It is absolutely vital that pet dogs are completely socialised with both humans (adults and children), and other dogs from a very early age,” Jacqui explains. “They should be exposed to all and any scenarios that might arise in a calm and comfortable way.” Good training is also vital: “Dogs should walk properly on a lead and respond promptly to commands. They should be walked frequently to expend their energy.” As for the thorny issue of poo, Jacqui is clear: “Pick it up, scoop it up; use newspaper, plastic bags or leaves if you must. Pour water on it, and leave no trace!”

Milo Collins

“DB’s pavements are always covered in dog poo, even in the playgrounds,” Vivian adds. “It’s a health hazard, particularly for kids. People see a cute puppy and treat it like getting a new toy,

For families looking to mark this Year of the Dog by adopting a pup, Jacqui has these final words of advice: “Responsible pet ownership means taking care of your dogs as you would a family member – providing them with food, water and a roof over their head, and giving them exercise, stimulus and guidance. Keep them healthy… and mindful of their manners.”

Jacqui Green is the founder of PALS, a voluntary animal welfare society working to rescue and re-home stray animals across Lantau. Visit

Find more topical local topics @ February 2018




n our quest for wellness in 2018, we’d be foolish not to hope for a little luck, and there’s no better time than Chinese New Year (CNY) to start bringing it home. Tradition dictates that there are certain things you can do over Lunar New Year, and certain things you absolutely cannot do, if you are to enjoy a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead. If you want to breathe some magic into your life as you head into the Year of the Dog, try these easy-to follow, tried-and-tested observances. February 14 On the day before Lunar New Year’s Eve, you need to set to and clean house. This will clear out any bad vibes picked up over the past year and allow good luck to come in. Once through, put away your brooms and brushes – you can’t touch them again until February 16, lest you sweep out all the luck that you’ve just made room for.

Photos courtesy of

You want to start the Lunar New Year ‘clean’ in more ways than one, so pay off all your debts and scratch off everything on your todo list. You’re about to enter a new chapter and you don’t want to carry old baggage with you – try to resolve any differences you may have with friends, relatives or work colleagues. Lunar New Year is a public holiday (February 16 to 19 this year) because it’s unlucky to work at this time. You need to avoid work of all kinds, housework too, so prepare meals for Lunar New Year’s Eve and Lunar New Year’s Day in advance. February 14 is also the day to decorate your home for CNY – even this is considered work, and therefore needs to be done

Raising your

vi b r ati o n

How you spend Chinese New Year can set you up for an auspicious 12 months. Ray Robertson reveals some ancient practices worth following, and gets the lowdown on lai see giving before Lunar New Year’s Eve. It’s traditional to hang firecrackers on your front door to frighten away evil spirits, and to fill your home with flowering plants, which symbolise growth and new beginnings. Live potted plants are preferable to fresh cut flowers but if any flower blooms on Lunar New Year’s Day, you can expect to prosper in the months ahead.

February 15 On Lunar New Year’s Eve, the trick is not to do too much. If you meditate, use the time to say goodbye to things that no longer serve you, and give thanks for everything that’s good in your life. Burn a little sage to free your home of negative energy, and pay your respects to your ancestors.  February 2018


WELLNESS What’s important is that you get together with family and friends for a celebratory (pre-prepared) meal to welcome in a new, prosperous year. If you are celebrating at home, arrange bowls of oranges (for good health and long life), tangerines (for fruitful, lasting relationships) and persimmons (for happiness and wealth). Offer your guests eight varieties of dried fruit to ensure they start CNY sweetly. Come midnight, open every door and window to let go of Rooster Year and any bad vibes associated with it. It’s traditional to set off firecrackers to blast out the old and welcome in the new but, since these are illegal in Hong Kong, head to the fireworks display in Victoria Harbour on February 17 instead. February 16 Everything that happens on Lunar New Year’s Day impacts on the year ahead, so be careful with your words, your deeds, what you eat and whom you greet. The first interaction you have sets the tone for your relationships throughout the Year of the Dog – so make sure it’s a positive one. What you experience on February 16 will keep recurring over the next 12 months. Make sure your day is filled with love and laughter – don’t cry, and don’t lend or borrow money. Greet your relatives, neighbours and friends and wish them well. CNY is a celebration of change. It’s important to speak positively about the coming year, and avoid talking about the year gone by, or things in the past. Wear new

KUNG HEI FAT CHOY – HAPPY NEW YEAR clothes, remembering that red is the colour of joy and happiness. Avoid wearing white or black, as these are the colours of mourning. Avoid all mention of death – don’t say 四 (the number four in Chinese) because it sounds like 死亡 (the Chinese word for death), and don’t tell ghost stories. You already know not to work, cook or clean over the holidays. Be mindful not to wash your hair on Lunar New Year’s Day, as this will wash away your luck, and don’t use knives or scissors, as this cuts your luck. Through March 2 To get CNY off to the right start, you need to give lai see, and you have 15 days to do so. This year’s celebrations run from February 16 to March 2, and this is the time to hand out those little red packets. When giving lai see, the first thing to bear in mind is that it’s not a tip or a year-end bonus. It’s a blessing. “In Chinese, lai see can be written 利是, 利事 or 利市, with each pronounced the same way. The character 利 means ‘good for’ or ‘smooth,’ 是/事 refers to ‘things’ or ‘matters,’ and 市 refers to ‘the market’ or ‘business.’ So together, lai see is a wish of good luck, for everything to go smoothly or for one’s business

to be good,” explains Kate Zhou director of Yifan Mandarin. “The Chinese believe that luck is a two-way street,” Kate adds. “So the more luck you give to others, the more luck you will receive. The quantity inside each lai see packet is irrelevant. Bigger amounts do not equal to bigger luck.” It’s also important to give lai see personally. “In some buildings management has a lai see fund to which tenants and owners contribute, but this turns the luck-giving into a materialistic exercise. The giving of lai see is meant to be a joyous act of spreading good cheer and best wishes, and you do it yourself,” Kate explains. “It’s like sending Christmas cards or throwing confetti at a wedding.” Importantly, children should not give lai see, they receive only. “More egregious than over giving is having your children hand out lai see, especially when giving to service staff,” says Kate. “It isn’t cute – it is inappropriate and insulting. “There is an order to lai see giving: older to younger, married to nonmarried, or between people of the same generation,” Kate adds. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Kate Zhou is founder and director of Yifan Mandarin, which offers Mandarin and Cantonese classes for both children and adults in DB North Plaza. Visit Find more on wellness @


February 2018

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TOP 10 things to do in


Photos courtesy of

In The Eternal City, Italy’s hot-blooded capital, history is brought to life by haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and unforgettable fountains. Dorothy Veitch reveals why all roads (should) lead to Rome


1 Hop on a bus

2 Visit the Vatican

great way to get an overview of Rome’s delights is to take a sightseeing tour on one of the city’s hop-on-hopoff buses; you can then work out which sites you want to spend more time at during the rest of your stay. Another good way in, is to take a balloon or helicopter ride over the city. Visit

No one is ever prepared for the size and magnificence of St Peter’s Square, St Peter’s Basilica (the largest church in the world), or the Vatican Museum, which is over 14.4 kilometres long. The Renaissance wow-factor carries through to Michelangelo’s glorious Sistine Chapel, and its world-famous frescoes. To book your place at Pope Francis’ weekly audience, visit


1 February 2018

2 4

4 Get gladiatorial

3 Live like an emperor When in Rome, you’ll want to get a feel for the ancient city. Visit Palatine Hill to see where the emperors and aristocracy lived, and the Roman Forum – the site of elections, processions and criminal trials – for an insight into day-to-day Roman life. A former temple now a church, the Pantheon is Rome’s bestpreserved ancient monument, with the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.


In the Colosseum, which used to seat 50,000, you can walk in the footsteps of emperors, and explore the underground complex, where gladiators prepared themselves for battle. If this speaks to your imagination, sign up at the Roman Gladiator School, which offers classes for children as well as adults. Visit romes-gladiator-school.

‘square.’ Today, it’s a centre for openair cafes and seasonal fairs, lively with painters, fortune tellers and street performers. It’s best known for its jawdropping Baroque fountains: Fountain of the Four Rivers, Fountain of the Moor and  Fountain of Neptune.

5 Drop by Piazza Navona Built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, where the ancient Romans went to watch the ‘games,’ oval-shaped Piazza Navona is Rome’s largest

5 February 2018





6 Go to the dark side In a city as ancient as Rome every stone has a story to tell, every building has a history, and those stories can be ghostly and sinister. On the Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends of Rome Night Walking Tour, you can explore the dark side of Rome, and see angels and demons come out to play. Visit

7 Climb the Spanish Steps


A great place for peoplewatching, the elegant, butterflyshaped Spanish Steps feature in Roman Holiday (1953), The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) and the Bob Dylan song When I Paint My Masterpiece. There are 135 steps – don’t mistake the slightly elevated drainage system for the first step – linking Spanish Square below with Trinità dei Monti church above.

8 Eat the best pizza For the best pizza in Rome, head to Sforno, located in the Tuscolana neighbourhood, just outside the city centre. The pizzas have a thick rim and elastic body similar to the pizzas of Naples, which are considered the best in all of Italy. Should you decide to take a day trip to Naples to experience the real thing, be sure to check out Mount Vesuvius between meals.


9 Be wowed by Villa Borghese

10 Guarantee your return No trip to Rome is complete without a glimpse of the outrageously Baroque Trevi Fountain. Arguably the bestloved fountain in the city, every night about HK$28,000 is swept up from its basin, and donated to needy families in Rome. What makes visitors to the Trevi Fountain so charitable? Throw a coin into the water and, legend has it, you’ll be sure to return to Rome.


Originally the 17th-century estate of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, Villa Borghese is set in a lovely 80-hectare park, with naturalistic landscaped gardens arranged in the English style. The onsite art gallery, housing the Borgheses’ private art collection, boasts paintings by Caravaggio, Raphael and Titian, as well as sculptures by Bernini. Find more exciting holiday destinations @


February 2018

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

My thoughts I understand we all go through different stages of life and so do our insurance needs. But the mandatory insurances required by the HK Government (including domestichelper insurance, house insurance, automobile coverage and life insurance), are always worth due diligence. This month, I want to wake you up to some things you may not have considered about your health insurance policies.

Health The different types of medical insurance available in Hong Kong are confusing, and the premiums vary tremendously. Here’s how to make sense of a four- tier medical system: 1. Government hospitals – you know how that works. 2. Lower tier insurance – basic coverage for those of you on a budget. This type of insurance is good for the self-employed and for non-travellers (limits can be really low for Europe, Australia and North America). It can be used at local private hospitals but may leave you short if any major surgery is needed. Be aware too that if you have a large claim your next premium will increase considerably. For outpatient claims, reimbursements are not so high especially if your doctor is in Central or DB. 3. Middle tier insurance – high local coverage that is also sufficient to cover outpatient claims and doctors’ bills in DB and Central. This type of insurance is typically for those at managerial level. It works for frequent travellers, even those heading to Europe, Australia and Canada but those travelling to the US will need a bit more protection. 4 Top-tier insurance – high-end cover for just about any hospital, anywhere in the world. This type of insurance provides all kinds of benefits, including private rooms, and free delivery for pregnant women. Top-tier insurance is popular with senior executives, independently wealthy people and women who want kids.

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

s ’ e n i r t e n p e p l u a S V


These aphrodisiacal dishes are temptingly easy to make, but be warned they may cause passion

Bacon-wrapped monkfish Serves 2 • 400 g monkfish tail, sliced into 2 fillets • 2 sprigs fresh thyme • 12 rashers streaky bacon

Photos courtesy of

Lay the monkfish filets on top of each other, so each end has one thick and one thin end butted together. Garnish with thyme. Lay the bacon rashers on a board, slightly overlapping, and put the monkfish in the centre. Wrap the fish in the rashers. Grill for about 7 minutes – join-side down – until the bacon starts to crisp. Flip, and cook for another seven minutes, until the monkfish feels firm when pressed on top. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Cut the monkfish into medallions, slightly on the diagonal. Serve with mushrooms and a small helping of pasta.


If you would like to see your favourite recipes featured in this section, email February 2018

Lobster Thermidor Serves 2 • 1 cooked lobster • 150 ml dry white wine • 1 shallot, chopped fine • Handful tarragon leaves, chopped • Handful parsley leaves, chopped • 1 tsp Dijon mustard • ½ lemon, juice only • 3 tsp paprika • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce • 5 tbsp parmesan, grated fine • 140 g butter, softened Declaw the lobster and cut it in half. Wash the head cavities under cold water, then lay the lobster, cut side up, on a baking tray. Crack the claws and remove the meat, divide between the head cavities. Then, to make the butter, put the wine and shallot into a pan, bring to the boil and simmer until nearly dry. Tip into a bowl to cool, and mix in all the remaining ingredients. Roll into a log, using cling film or foil, then chill to harden. Slice the butter into thin rounds and lay it along the lobster so all the meat is covered. Grill for 6 minutes until the butter is bubbling and starting to brown. Serve with salad, fat chips and cheese sauce.  February 2018



Wine-poached pears Serves 2 • 750 ml red wine • 200 g golden caster sugar • 2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half • 1 vanilla pod, quartered • 4 firm pears, peeled

Gently heat the wine, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears, making sure they are fully covered by the wine, then simmer for 20 minutes until tender. Remove the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon and boil the syrup for 30 minutes until reduced. Cool, then serve with the syrup and a little chocolate sauce.

Find more classic recipes @


February 2018


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ONE PURCHASE = ONE PAIR DONATED Let’s reach our 2018 target together: 100,000 pairs of socks will be donated to children in need.

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Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wanchai This is your last chance to experience KidsFest! Grab your tickets for I Believe in Unicorns (February 1-4), Dinosaur Zoo (February 2-4), What the Ladybird Heard (February 8-11), and Lost and Found (February 10-11). For more information, visit For tickets, starting at HK$195, visit

Through February 11


CATS Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wanchai

Like the Around DB Facebook page for event reminders

Through February 11


Central Harbourfront Event Space, Central The Great European Carnival continues through February due to public demand! With new rides, games and attractions, the best elements of carnival and festival are merged into one amazing outdoor event. To complete the experience, expect live performances and a wide selection of Asian and Western food. For tickets, starting at HK$40, visit Through February 25

Join the Jellicle Cats as they come out to play in a largerthan-life junkyard on the night of the Jellicle Ball. One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, CATS has won numerous awards, including Olivier and Tony awards for Best Musical. For tickets, starting at HK$445, visit


February 3

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM Hong Kong Arts Centre, Wanchai

Faust International’s young actors, aged eight to 16, present a reimagining of one of Shakespeare’s most popular works, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Join a playful sprite up to no good, two fairy royals caught up in a battle of wills, and four lovers involved in a hectic forest chase. For tickets, starting at HK$275, visit

February 8-11

Visit the Reggio Emilia-inspired campus to meet teachers and founding principal Jacqueline McNalty, and find out more about Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong. Expect activities and games for kids and parents at the event. For more information, visit


February 2018


No plans yet for this February 14 special day? Why not treat your beloved to a helicopter ride over Hong Kong’s fantastic skyline. Fifteen-minute flightseeing tours depart from either the rooftop of the Peninsula Hong Kong in Tsim Sha Tsui, or the Wanchai Helipad next to the Convention and Exhibition Centre. Prices start at HK$2,000 per person. To find out more, visit

Get your events listed @



February 17

Every Chinese New Year, boats set up in the middle of Victoria Harbour and launch dazzling pyrotechnics that leave the audience breathless. The event starts at 8pm and you can admire the spectacle from wherever the harbour is in full view – ideally Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade or Central Waterfront Promenade.

The Hong Kong Chinese New Year Night Parade features colourful floats, marching bands, acrobats, drummers, and dragon and lion dancers. The fun starts at 8pm. To purchase tickets for the special spectator stands by the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, head to the Kowloon Star Ferry Terminal Tourism Board Office on the Star Ferry Concourse, Tsim Sha Tsui. February 23 - March 24

CHINESE NEW YEAR RACE DAY Sha Tin Racecourse, Sha Tin

Chinese New Year Race Day combines Hong Kong’s fondness for horse racing and festivity. The event includes a grand opening show, a traditional lion dance, cultural performances and, of course, fiercely competitive horse racing. Tickets, starting at HK$10, are available at the door. To find out more, visit

February 18


The Hong Kong Arts Festival invites emerging local artists as well as renowned international artists and institutions to showcase the best in dance, music, theatre and opera. Workshops and demonstrations are on offer to promote artist-audience engagement. To find out more, visit For tickets, visit February 2018



Alcoholics Anonymous •Counselling for individuals, couples, families & adolescents • Sliding fee scale; affordable options for all clients • English, Putonghua, Cantonese, Russian, Hindi, Marathi and Marwadi speaking counsellors

Pastor James Buckner Tel: 2987 7061 Serving the community over 40 years A Member Agency of the Community Chest

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


COMMUNITY SNAPS! Who do you know? Find more familiar faces @

Photos by Baljit Gidwani -

Win prizes from Uncle Russ Coffee and The Pier Bar! Congratulations to last month’s winner: Jenn (@jenn_freidenrich)


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! January 2017

View local business directories @ HEALTH & WELLBEING



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 2575 7707,



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


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


• Painting & handyman works, interior & exterior • PU waterproof injection for external walls • Astro-turfing, tiling & electrics


Contact Roger at 9156 0360,



• Packing, moving & storage service • Interior painting & patch-up work • Appliance installation • Hanging pictures & mirrors • Blinds, curtains & shelves installation • Lights & ceiling fan installation • LCD TV mounting & switch replacement Contact 2421 8088,,



Lessons for adults & children, individually & in small groups. Any level/ time/ purpose. In the Greens. Call 6071 9643, or visit


• BA degree in English from a US university • Over 10 years’ teaching & tutoring experience, with children, teens & adults at all levels of fluency • DB-based, flexible schedule & reasonable rates • Learn to understand, speak & write English well • Build confidence & increase your vocabulary • Write better essays & improve schoolwork Call, text or What’s App Charles at 9406 8342


• Native speaker • DELE examiner & experienced teacher • IB, IGCSE, A Level & HKDSE Business Spanish • Courses for adults • Flexible schedule & locations • Special offers for DB & Tung Chung students Contact Erik at 9666 9511,


CELTA qualified with 10 years+ experience, including ESF. Improve your or your child’s written or spoken English through home tuition. • Interview techniques • Exam preparation • Social & business conversation • Support of class lessons Lessons tailored to suit individual needs for all ages. Call Anne on 5972 6969 (852) 3126 2331

View local business directories @

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

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


Magazine Online

All the latest community news.

• This month’s hottest happenings and events in Discovery Bay


• Fantastic giveaways, offers and much more!

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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, blu-ray home theatre. Contact the owner on 9317 0624,


Fully furnished, 2-bedroom flat with wi-fi & Now TV. Full sea view & Disneyland-firework view. Photos available. Contact Jacqueline on 9811 0718,


Newly renovated, 2-bed flat with balcony. Luxuriously furnished, with TV, cable & broadband. Panoramic harbour views & short walk to pier. Contact Charles on 6140 7971, Contact Katie on 9150 7319,


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

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Flight Centre has its flagship stores in Central, Wanchai & Happy Valley. Natalie Flyazhenkova is acting as a mobile consultant in DB, providing residents with face-to-face consultations. For an appointment with Natalie, contact 2829 2006 or

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

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Bahce - Turkish Restaurant Café Bar Bathers Caffe Paradiso (Tom’s Café) Cafe Isara China Bear Deer Horn Restaurant & Bar Di Jerk Shed Kebab Korner La Pizzeria Lantana Italian Bistro Long Island Mavericks Restaurant Mucho Gusto Robert’s Market Stoep @ High Tide Restaurant The China Beach Club The Gallery The Kitchen The Water Buffalo HEALTH & WELLBEING

Jill Marshall Pilates Kremer Method/ Bowen Therapy South Lantau Paddle Club Thai Palin Massage Thai Sa Baai Tony’s Salon Treasure Island Findley Leung Group Koon Wah Hardware Lee Wo Construction Engineering Man Shun Construction & Engineering New Look Design HOTELS

Mui Wo Inn Silvermine Beach Resort Tai O Heritage Hotel

2984 7225 6810 0111 2985 8383 LEARNING CENTRES

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

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

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

2109 9886 2984 0302 2980 3676 5197 4647 3689 6709 2984 0006 2984 8334 3483 5003 2984 1666


Friendly Bike Shop Greenstyle Organic & Healthcare INSIDE Island Wines Lantau Base Camp Lantau Grocer Quay House Red Hall Chinese Antiques ZenvarA

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


Jumping Castles SPCA Miriam Safadi Photography Parteezi Phoenix Wills Value Vigilantes


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

2984 8334 2984 8487 2984 1802 2984 9833 9783 5840


9021 1502 2987 8070 2162 5538 6273 7347 6674 6194 2611 9193 2164 7210 2420 1068 2109 3873 6341 3989 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

9708 0187 9827 9911 9688 9112 9062 0148 5228 6552 2984 0990 2546 3543 HOME & REPAIRS


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 The Story Studio Tung Chung Catholic School (Yat Tung) YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College

2984 0222 2504 4788 2984 0498 2470 1966 2984 9720 3484 3095 2234 5375 6429 3507 2984 8933 5465 5511 2320 2001 5662 8552 6422 5009 9193 2937 2980 2699 2983 8931 2980 2582 5991 6292 2109 3331

9662 1747 2984 0060 5145 0227 6112 9842 6108 8471 6132 9120 TRANSPORTATION

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


Add your business for FREE @

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

2987 2259 2987 2987 2987 2987 2666 2834 2537 2987 2987 2468 2259

0855 3422 9909 8136 7061 5633 6183 7276 1087 7575 9003 3577 3422

Quality dry cleaning at affordable prices. Pick-up and delivery from DB every Wednesday and Friday. 2812 2400

Tree of Joy Tree of Joy provides children with a fun, engaging and supportive environment to play and learn. Programs include: Dropoff Nursery Class, Parent-Toddler Class, Afternoon Camp and a Cooking Class. Tel: 9787 2755,,

DAILY NECESSITIES 2987 2987 2448 2987 2947


Dance classes based on the ISTD requirements conducted in a fun, disciplined and safe environment. 2987 6867

Latin & Ballroom classes for adults and children, Zumba, Pilates, Piloxing, Yoga, Beat Cardio Fusion, Belly Dance and many more... 5194 9630

3102 2977 5690 4960 2987 8460

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

Future Stars Dance Academy

The Beat

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES Action X, North Plaza Little Whale Nomadic




4401 7486 1180 4089 9092

Harvey Law Group An International Law Firm in DB North Plaza providing a wide range of commercial and personal legal services. 2416 8618 DB Party Time Gillian florist, North Plaza Mypetshop, North Plaza P-Solution Pen’n Paper Pets Gallery The Optical House Well Supreme Laundry Services

9502 2529 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987

2381 8256 8873 1777 8898 0428 1368 5151

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


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

The Stephen Putnam Practice Private Client Wealth Management Tel: 2914 0388 Bank of China HSBC

2160 8585 2233 3000

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 Tactful Design & Build Tai Fat Hardware Store Wing On Department Store Yours Electrical Centre

6323 9156 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987 2987 2886 2987 2987 2987

1417 0360 1313 4488 5087 1041 0222 7082 0789 8555 0789 9268 4428

7 + 1 Creative Club Bayview House of Children DB International School (Kindergarten) DB International School (Pri / Sec) Discovery College Discovery Mind International Play Centre Discovery Mind Kindergarten Discovery Mind Primary School, North Plaza Discovery Montessori School, North Plaza DMR School of Ballet Early Adventures Playgroup Eye Level Centre Funfit HK International Learning Academy, North Plaza Island Dance Kumon, North Plaza L’Ecole Française de Discovery, North Plaza Links Parenting, North Plaza Little Explorers English For Kids Mandarin for Munchkins, North Plaza Mathnasium SKH Wei Lun Primary School Sunshine House Intl Pre-School and Kindergarten The Story Studio Treasure House Zhi Zhi Chinese

3709 6114 2914 2987 3969 2987 2987 2914 2987 2987 2987 9366 6302 2416 2987 2459 8191 6114 9327 2480 2628 2987 2987 6341 2987 9648

8466 2436 2142 7331 1000 8088 8088 2202 1201 4338 9644 0000 6327 3088 1571 8808 0813 2436 0507 3909 3362 8608 8143 3989 4217 2966

MULTIMEDIA Bookazine Fotomax (F.E.) Ltd

2987 1373 2914 2378

Boat/ Yacht Sales & Brokerage - Berths/ Debentures - Marine Insurance - Marine Problems/ Resolution 6017 7802

Lifestyle Homes & Boats 2914 0888 Centaline Property Agency EPS Property Consultants Headland Homes Kingsland DB Land Master Property

2987 2987 2987 2987 2987

8484 2023 2088 2987 6238


Nura Rolls Over 60 varieties of rolls. Outside catering and home delivery available. G13A, North Plaza, (Next to Wellcome) Tel: 2652 6613 22º North Auberge Discovery Bay (Hotel), North Plaza Café Bord de Mer & Lounge Café Duvet Caffe Pascucci Cali-Mex Coyote Mexican Cantina Chef’s Choice, North Plaza Ebeneezer’s Figos Seaside Café First Korean Restaurant

2987 2295 2295 2987 2591 2904 2987 2172 2987 2987 2987

2298 8288 8299 0966 1426 7698 2848 6111 0036 2915 9123

DB NUMBERS FOOD & BEVERAGE, HOTELS Fresh Fruit Juice Paradise Hemingway’s by the Bay il Bel Paese Island Café Jaspa’s, North Plaza Koh Tomyums La Creation & Châteraisé McSorley’s Ale House Mirch Masala, North Plaza Moofish, North Plaza Pacific Coffee Paisano’s, North Plaza Peony Chinese Restaurant PizzaExpress Salt & Pepper Solera Subway The Pier Bar Uncle Russ, North Plaza Zak’s


2987 4768 2987 8855 2987 0202 2987 9311 2997 8688 2987 0767 2987 1829 2987 8280 2987 1337 2987 6318 2987 1662 2673 4445 2500 1950 2465 2426 2336 8001 2555 0772 2914 0005 2520 2166 2840 1188 2987 6232


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

Greenwich specialises in Hatha Yoga and Muay Thai( 泰拳 ) . Gentle flow, step-by-step, safe and skillful 9685 8366

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

Vikings Football Club Professional Soccer Coaching From ages 18 months to 12 years Tel: 9533 2600 2911 2987 6473 2517 2987 2987 2987 6624 2441 8197

4833 7382 4277 8248 9591 7273 7381 8712 0098 5591

TOYS & KIDS’ PARTIES Bo Bo House Little Whale, North Plaza Toysland

DB Golf Cart Services DB Transit Services DB Transportation Services Limousine Rental Passenger Telephone Hotline Wiselink Golf Cart Services

2914 2914 2987 5303 2987 2987

2727 0186 7351 3489 0208 9368

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 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

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

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



Elly House of Beauty As DB’s very own highly-skilled skincare specialist, Elly House of Beauty is committed to providing the most effective skincare services to the community. 6131 9039


Action X, North Plaza Club Siena DBees Ice Hockey DB Pirates Rugby Football Club Discovery Bay Marina Club Discovery Bay Golf Club Discovery Bay Recreation Club Embody EpicLand YogaUp

Add your business for FREE @

2987 4230 3480 1348 2987 7859

Ingredients of Wellness – Mindfulness Training Teaching young people skills to direct attention, to be calmer and concentrate better. 9048 5425

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

Afflatus Hair Workshop, North Plaza Maximum Care Nest Care, North Plaza Salon De Coiffure

2987 2987 2499 2987

0283 2060 8826 4112

To add your own directory listing box, call the Bay Media office on 2987 0577, or email



here is no such thing as fresh fruit and vegetables. Once cut, picked or plucked, it’s dead. Same for slaughtered beef, lamb, chicken, pork and fish. Now to the antithesis of ‘fresh,’ even as a figure of speech – the freakish, grotesque fruit and vegetables sold in local supermarkets. The impossible has been achieved: imported produce better suited for display at the Hong Kong Museum of History.

Rotten Tomatoes

How come out of a bag of six oranges, I regularly find three that are juice-free and as solid as marble? All six look alike, but 50% have been touched by the devilish hand of a Dr Frankenstein.

Reviewing frankenfruit and other unappetising imports, Peter Sherwood gives supermarket produce a 0% rating

How do they create frankenfruit? Why, they load them up with chemicals before sending them on the long voyage from South Africa or Chile. Wouldn’t it be wiser to eat oranges that have been grown closer to home? At a posh supermarket in Central, I’ve seen small, very ordinary Japanese melons, the stuff they feed to pigs in Australia… for HK$300 each. But at least they’re edible. What about the magic avocado, that blogosphere nutrition sensation that can cure everything from warts to paranoid schizophrenia? (Interestingly, this miraculous health food, a flowering member of the Lauraceae family, was for a few thousand years the staple diet of Central America – when the average lifespan was 23.)

Photo by Olivier Miche

What used to be a cheap Mexican


export is now a prize fought over by crooks and cartels south of the US border and in faraway New Zealand. Recently, a supermarket in Brisbane, Australia, posted this sign: No cash or avocados are kept on the premises overnight. Fruits of antiquity If ‘fresh’ is a bit of a misnomer, what of ‘still fresh?’ Simply, it is a note from the supermarket that the item is pretty tired. After journeying halfway round the planet and then sitting on a shelf for a week, it should be disposed of – but preferably at our expense. In Hong Kong, the avocado presents two options: rock hard for eternity or rock hard for a week, while black and rotting in the middle. What alchemy is afoot? Millennia from now, archaeologists digging in an ancient Lantau landfill will mistake these petrified avocados for dinosaur eggs.

At least half of all locally available avocados and oranges should be sold to the Chinese Army as mortar rounds. Bananas, black and green with age and mould, can be considered marketable, if only to malnourished monkeys. And there are bananas that stay green for months, and are harder than a North Korean prison sentence. In the murky world of the supermarket, ‘still fresh’ meat is the Russian roulette of mass-marketed food. It might be OK, but then again… Would you risk ptomaine poisoning to save a few dollars? I take it all more seriously than most. After months on the upper Amazon River circa 1968, I returned home ill and spent a month in hospital with suspected beef tapeworm. What this demon is, and how to be rid of it, is not for this page. Google it.

Peter Sherwood has lived in DB for 18 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 @ February 2018

Around DB February Issue 2018  

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

Around DB February Issue 2018  

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