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February/ March 2017


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2  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017

February/ March 2017


FEATURES 16 24 28 33

DISPATCH Air pollution in Lantau PERSONA Ukelelist Jimmy Denis SPOTLIGHT The art of storytelling HEALTH Sophrology made simple


14 19 35 36 40

GIVEAWAYS Win great prizes PULL-OUT GUIDE Activities for kids LADA UPDATE The DADs Network LANTAU FACES Community snaps INSIDER Race for Valentine’s Day

AGENDA 04 06 35 37 38




February/ March 2017



tickets to the Longines Masters of Hong Kong and a dining voucher for two at Curry Lounge


We also publish Discovery Bay’s original community magazine


Feeling the love on Valentine’s Day

For general enquiries, email To advertise, email Call 2987 0577/ 2787 0886 | Fax 2987 0533


Skills kids really need

If you have a story idea, email To publicise a local event, email

Swim class for DB helpers





COVER Composing on the Lantau Trails



Publishers in in Lantau Lantau since since 2002 2002 Publishers

Photo by Andrew Spires


How to handle your equities




For the latest Life on Lantau updates, find us on


LANTAU NEWS By Sam Agars and Claire Severn



DIGITAL STRATEGIST & COORDINATOR Claire Severn SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andrew Spires ADVERTISING & SALES MANAGER Connie Cottam SALES ACCOUNT MANAGER Monika Carruthers OFFICE MANAGER Maxine Parry PHOTOGRAPHERS Baljit Gidwani - Jason Pagliari Andrew Spires CONTRIBUTORS Henry Benjamin Allen Ha Patricia Jover Elizabeth Kerr Sharon Lesley Le Roux Katrina Mercado (intern) Claire Severn Samantha Wong PRINTING Fantasy Printing Limited 7/F Tin Fung Industrial Mansion 63 Wong Chuk Hang Road Aberdeen, Hong Kong DISCLAIMER The views expressed in Life on Lantau 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.


It has been a hectic couple of months at Hong Kong International Airport, with the tragic death of a 41-year-old man, a brazen robbery and two wild boar running loose. The man was killed on November 24 when he was hit by a taxi while crossing Airport Road. Earlier on the same day, armed police were called into action when a man stole ÂĽ59,000 (HK$66,700) from a money exchange outlet. Wielding a knife, the man threatened counter staff before grabbing the cash and fleeing the building. Staff triggered the security alarm as the man ran towards the taxi rank outside the Regal Airport Hotel and he was quickly surrounded by armed police, with all of the stolen money recovered. On December 20, airport police were called in to capture two wild boar that had entered the restricted area at Chek Lap Kok. The first boar, a female weighing approximately 50 kilogrammes, was spotted at around 2pm on the North Perimeter Road section of the airport apron. The boar was captured, however sustained injuries in the process and was sadly euthanised later that day. The alarm was raised again at roughly 6.30pm, when a second boar was spotted in the area. Police attempted to capture the animal, however it escaped by jumping into the sea. It is not yet clear how the pigs came to be at the airport, however there have been suggestions that they may have swum there from somewhere on Lantau.



JAPANESE TOURISTS DO THEIR BIT Locals trying to keep Lantau’s beaches free of trash received help from an unlikely source in December, with a number of Japanese tourists making a special trip to Hong Kong to do their bit. The group, made up of 32 volunteers aged from as young as 10 to over 60, spent five days in Hong Kong and cleaned beaches on both Lantau and Lamma islands. During that time, the eco-tourists visited a number of beaches on each island and collected an incredible 135 bags of garbage. To make their effort even more impressive, group members financed their own travel, paying in excess of HK$10,000 each to take part in the trip.

After a report released by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) early in the New Year stated that Hong Kong’s air quality showed improvement in 2016, January threw up a number of ‘unhealthy’ days to keep residents on their toes.

The group was led by 31-year-old Hiromasa Suzuki, founder of environmental organisation Open Earth. A renowned eco-warrior, Hiromasa first came to Hong Kong in August 2016 to help clean up the masses of marine waste that were blighting our shores over the summer.

Tung Chung experienced a swag of polluted days, with the days around January 21 listed as being particularly bad. The Hong Kong Air Quality Index uses six gradings, ranging from good to hazardous, to rank levels of pollution, with unhealthy the fourth of those, better only than very unhealthy and hazardous. On an unhealthy day, it is recommended that everyone should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. People with respiratory diseases should avoid outdoor exertion altogether. Lantau is expected to be affected by significant pollution in February. On the positive side, the EPD report found that in 2016, the number of days recorded as high or above on the Air Quality Index decreased by 44% year on year. To read more about air quality across Lantau, turn to page 16.

Photo courtesy of Hiromasa Suzuki

PUI O BEACH CAMPSITE REVAMP South Lantau residents and those travelling to the area can expect a treat as the weather warms up later in 2017, since the Pui O Beach Campsite is undergoing a revamp. The campsite has been closed for over three months for maintenance, with the renovations including an upgrade to the barbeque pits and the repainting of the camp bays and campsite facilities. According to the Islands Districts Land Office, improvement works have also been undertaken to the footpaths, entrances and signage to ensure an even more enjoyable experience for campers. The campsite was expected to be open in time for the Chinese New Year holiday – definitely a fine place to camp once the warm weather returns.

Photo by Jason Pagliari

February/ March 2017



WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING ACROSS LANTAU Find more photos of community events @

MSIG LANTAU VK AND LANTAU 50 The MSIG Lantau VK and Lantau 50 – both part of the Asian Skyrunning Championship – traversed the Lantau Trail on December 2 and 4, with top international runners converging on the island. The Lantau VK was taken out by Japan’s Miyahara Toru, while his countrywoman Yoshizumi Yuri was the fastest woman. The Lantau 50 offered 16-, 27- and 50-kilometre races, with France’s Nicolas Martin and Caroline Chaverot topping the leaderboards.

6  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017

Photos courtesy of Action Asia

LIS CHRISTMAS FAIR Lantau residents were treated to a vast array of stalls at the Lantau International School (LIS) Christmas Fair on December 3, including second-hand clothes, books and food, as well as plenty of games for the kids.

Photos courtesy of LIS

YHKCC INTERNATIONAL FUN FAIR A good time was had by all at the YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College (YKHCC) International Fun Fair on December 10. In addition to the seasonal bazaar, game booths and food stalls, families enjoyed talent shows and hot-air ballooning.

Photos courtesy of YHKCC

February/ March 2017



Photos by Connie Cottam


Mavericks at Pui O hosted the South Lantau Children’s Christmas Party on December 4, with South Lantau residents both old and young enjoying Christmas carols, a kid’s nativity and tree decorating. There were also dance per formances by the Lantau Cheerleaders and Mui Wo’s Island Dance.

EDGE ‘N POINTE XMAS SHOWS It was a busy festive season for Edge ‘n Pointe Dance Studio at Tung Chung, with students performing in a number of different events throughout December. They started at the SkyCity Marriott Hotel Christmas tree lighting ceremony and went on to Swire Properties’ white Christmas street fair and the Regal Airport Hotel Christmas mob before finishing at the Tak Oi Secondary School Christmas prayer service.

Photos courtesy of Edge ‘n Pointe

8  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017


ISLAND-WIDE EVENTS FOR YOU TO ENJOY Find more information and events @ February 2

Through April 10



Open to students across DB and Lantau Now in its fifth year, the Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writer’s Competition (YWC) provides secondary school students living and/ or studying in Lantau with the chance to get published. This year, we are asking students to write a 600- to 700-word account from the point of view of a famous historical figure. Prizes for the three winners and three runners-up will be provided by Bookazine. The deadline is April 10. To enter, check the YWC guidelines at or on the Around DB and Life on Lantau Facebook pages.

February 11

D i a m o n d Wa y B u d d h i s m Hong Kong is bringing the internationally celebrated documentary Hannah – Buddhism’s Untold Journey to Hong Kong. “Even if you know nothing about Buddhism, it is a compelling and beautiful story about a woman who chose to live her life quite differently,” says event organiser, Upper Cheung Sha resident Kukka Hopson. Alongside her husband, Ole Nydahl, who will be at the premier, Hannah made it her life’s mission to bring Tibetan Buddhism to the West. Tickets are available on the door, or you can head to

February 14



If you are planning to say it with flowers, remember 50 red roses symbolise eternal love and 12 are for gratitude

Start: Nam Shan Picnic Area Entering its fourth year, Lantau Base Camp’s popular couples’ race welcomes teams of two (mixed, female or male), and covers 13 kilometres. The race is limited to 250 teams and offers unique prizes, so head to to register by February 1. Turn to page 40 to find out more. 10  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017

TO JOIN A BEACH CLEAN-UP or dive against debris, in and around Lantau, visit


DOGATHON Hong Kong Disneyland Hill’s Pet Nutrition and the February 19 Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are joining forces to raise funds to support animal rescue and provide homing services and desexing programmes. Registration kicks off at 7.30am with the Dogathon starting at 8.30am. All participating dogs get a certificate and a goody bag. Enrolment, open until February 8, costs HK$589 for an individual (one dog and two participants) or HK$1,639 for a group (four dogs and six participants) and can be completed at


through Protection of Animals Lantau South (PALS), call Jacqui Green on 9197 4371, for Hong Kong Paws Foundation (PAWS), call Kat Cheung on 9485 5188.

March 13

WISHING LANTAU’S INDIAN COMMUNITY a very happy Holi Day as they celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring with a day of laughter, happiness and, of course, richly coloured powders.

Like us on LifeonLantauMagazine for event reminders

March 10-12

Photo courtesy of Alexis Grand Trail


Start: Silvermine Beach, Mui Wo The ever-popular TransLantau, covering two country parks, has again sold out in quick time. With 90% of the course on Lantau’s trails, participants are treated to magnificent views as they push themselves to the limit. Solo or in teams of two, participants take on either the Ultra 100km (5,800m+ elevation), or the sister races of 50km (2,700m+ elevation) and 25km (900m+ elevation). While participation is full, you can get involved as a volunteer at

DASH FOR A BEER Start: Tong Fuk


March 25

Throughout Lantau Ongoing

Hong Kong Hikers holds regular jaunts on Lantau and across Hong Kong and welcomes hikers of all levels of fitness and experience. It is a members-only group but registration is quick, easy and free. To start exploring Lantau’s many exciting trails, head to

Registration opens on February 6 for the ninth Lantau International Beer Dash on March 25. This hugely popular 5-kilometre run sees participants dress up and drink a different international beer at every checkpoint. Entry costs HK$380 for an individual and HK$1,480 for a team of four. Limited spaces are available, so head to to enrol.

February/ March 2017






Tung Chung

Start: Parkview March 25 Photo by Terry Chow

With an exciting yet traditional range of the finest I n d i a n d i s h e s , C u r r y L o u n g e a t Tu n g C h u n g u s e s fresh local ingredients, halal meat and herbs and spices imported directly from India. The menu boasts a vast array of options – including vegetarian – with dishes from various regions of India. Find out more at

The first Trailwagger, started in 2016 by Pui O resident William Sargent, saw Lantau residents walking their dogs between Mui Wo and DB. This year, the 8-kilometre trail hike starts in Parkview and finishes in Tai Tam, with proceeds going to Animals Asia. To book your spot, HK$350 per adult and HK$280 per child, visit



IMI, DB North Plaza

Throughout February

Zak’s, DB

February 21

February 9

Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI) sophrologist Celine Pellarin is holding no-obligation 20-minute sessions ideal for those who find it hard to relax, anger easily, worry a lot or experience chronic pain or insomnia. Sophrology is also a popular tool for birth preparation and a great way into meditation. Call 2537 1087. To read more, turn to page 33.

12  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017


Photo courtesy of DBIS

Parents can find out exactly what Discovery Bay International School (DBIS) has to offer at its open day, with the early years programme beginning at 9.30am and primary and secondary at 11am. To sign up, head to http://form.

Gain a unique insight into the ecological, economical and social crises that countries across the globe are going through by watching Tomorrow , a globetrotting documentary that’s more focused on solutions than problems. Showing at 7.30pm, HK$40 donations are welcome at the door. Find out more on the Films 4 Change in DB Facebook page.

NOW Delivering Discovery Bay and South Lantau

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Welcome to Curry Lounge A restaurant in Tung Chung that offers its customers an incredible culinary experience in Indian cuisine while retaining the authentic flavours and textures. The menu includes a wide assortment of dishes (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) from the various regions of India and cooking techniques that bring out the most exotic flavours. From chaat and shorbas to delectable vegetable specialties, aromatic curries and koftas, signature tandoor-grilled meats and biryanis to the most tempting desserts, Curry Lounge is the essence of Indian cuisine. Business information: Website: FB page: Whatsapp No: +852 55401099 Contact No: 29600911 / 29601977 / 29601766 Opening Hours: 11:30am to 11:00 pm Monday to Sunday Address: Shop S G/F, Seaview Crescent, 8 Tung Chung,Waterfront Road, Tung Chung, Lantau Island Our restaurant offers dine-in, take-out or delivery options Free delivery service within Tung Chung


GIVEAWAYS WIN TICKETS TO THE LONGINES MASTERS OF HONG KONG YOUR PRIZE: AsiaWorld-Expo is offering two readers two prestige seat tickets (worth HK$720 each) to the Longines Masters of Hong K o n g a t A s i a Wo r l d - E x p o , C h e k Lap Kok, on February 11 at 6pm. (Readers entering this competition n e e d to d o s o b y Fe b r u a r y 8 . )

Here’s your chance to win great prizes!

Here’s your chance to win great prizes! Life on Lantau competitions are incredibly easy to enter (you’ll even find the answers to our questions right here). You have until February 10 to submit your answers. To enter, email, click on the competitions link at, or scan the QR Code below. Don’t forget to give us your name and telephone number!

Which big award did Longines Masters of Hong Kong win in 2016?

FIND THE ANSWER: The final leg of the Longines Masters brings some of the world’s best show jumping to Hong Kong from February 10 to 12. Winner of the Gold Award for Best Live Experience at a Professional Sporting Event at the Sports Industry Awards Asia 2016, the Longines Masters of Hong Kong is now an integral part of the region’s social and cultural calendar, on a par with the Rugby Sevens and Art Basel. For tickets, starting at HK$200, visit

WIN A DINING VOUCHER FOR TWO AT CURRY LOUNGE YOUR PRIZE: Curry Lounge is offering one reader a dining voucher for two (worth HK$1,000). FIND THE ANSWER: Curry Lounge offers a wide assortment of Indian cuisine (vegetarian and nonvegetarian) from all over India. Signature dishes include chaat, shorbas and tandoori-grilled meats. Visit Curry Lounge at Shop S G/F, Seaview Crescent, 8 Tung Chung Waterfront Road, Tung Chung and find out more at

Where is Curry Lounge located?

Congratulations to last issue’s winners Kim Durna for tickets to see the Metallica WorldWired Tour; Lisa Bartlett for a Parteezi shopping voucher and two Santa sacks; and Nancy Trueman, Marina Watt, Jennie Mak, Paula Hannan and Eric Lau for VIP tickets to the AIA Great European Carnival.


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Photos by Andrew Spires , Jason Pagliari , and


GETTING A LUNGFUL Air pollution is on the rise in densely populated cities across the globe, and you only have to look out the window to see that this includes Hong Kong. But living on Lantau, many of us believe we are protected from the worst of the smog. Henry Benjamin investigates

View from the Caribbean Coast with high levels of air pollution

16  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017

View from Ngong Ping Cable Car – fluctuating pollution levels


ith air pollution and its effects constantly making headlines, the most basic thing most of us in the developed world have come to accept as normal – clean air – can no longer be taken for granted. Just last month, ABC News reported that the levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide in some London districts regularly breached European Union standards in 2016, and that air pollution is responsible for the deaths of about 10,000 Londoners per year. It’s time to face facts – big city smog is no longer the preserve of well-publicised global hotspots like Delhi and Beijing. So how does Hong Kong fare in the scheme of things? And how concerned should we Lantauers be about the air we breathe? Quality control We can see with our own eyes that air quality in Hong Kong fluctuates. On high pollution days, a thick smog blows in from the factories in China, particularly Guangdong Province. That Hong Kong has the world’s highest traffic density and still relies upon coal-burning power plants is also a major contributor. According to the Hedley Environmental Index, which measures Hong Kong’s pollution, the territory experienced PM2.5 levels in excess of the WHO short-term limit for the first four months of 2016. Measuring one-thirtieth the width of a human hair, PM2.5 particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and are known to cause illnesses such as lung cancer and heart disease. Air pollution has emerged as the world’s fourth biggest cause of premature death, according to the results of a joint study by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The Hedley Environmental Index also shows that between January 1 and September 1 of 2016 there were 1,117 premature deaths due to air pollution in Hong Kong alone. On the upside, the Environmental Protection Department states on its website that air quality in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), including Hong Kong, has improved since 2015 and improved greatly since 2006.“The average annual concentration levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and respirable suspended particulates in the PRD decreased by 19%, 11% and 13% respectively in 2015 when compared with the 2014 levels,” it says. “Compared with the 2006 levels, the pollutants also showed a

A clear day at the Caribbean Coast

significant downward trend with decreases of 72%, 28% and 34% respectively.” Air pollution hotspot The Hong Kong Air Pollution Index is based on a rating of low to severe. Hotspots include built-up areas like Causeway Bay, Central and Mongkok, particularly at street level. It follows that Lantau, Lamma and the New Territories usually have low levels of pollution. That being said, a 2015 study showed that pollution in Tung Chung is among the worst in all of Hong Kong. Green group Green Power states on its website that: “Tung Chung has the highest air pollution index compared with other areas of Hong Kong, in terms of both number of days and hours when the air pollution index exceeds official standards. Even more shocking is that the air quality of

February/ March 2017



Looking out towards Castle Peak Power Station and Shenzhen

Tung Chung is worse than Kwai Chung and Kwun Tung, which are chock-full of industrial buildings.” “You have got polluted air coming down from the PRD getting caught against Lantau and aggregating there, as well as the issue of the aircraft,” Merrin Pearse of the Living Islands Movement (LIM) explains. “But it is not just the airport; it is more the way that the air builds up in that area with the air coming down from the PRD. Tung Chung is between two major shipping channels, so there is also the issue of ships and boats creating air pollution.” Outside of Tung Chung, across the rest of the island, air quality is generally good with low levels of pollution recorded. However, the more Lantau is developed, the poorer our air will become. Local action groups expect increased road traffic to have an adverse effect on air quality in South Lantau, in much the same way that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will lead to increased air pollution in Tung Chung. The shape of things to come Ongoing construction is already affecting air quality on the island and many fear the Integrated Waste Management Facilities (IWMF) about to be built on Shek Kwu Chau will mark the end of clean air in Lantau. While no one is in any doubt that Hong Kong is in dire need of a workable waste disposal solution – existing landfills will be full by 2020 – the decision to build this 3,000-tonne-a-day waste incinerator just off Lantau was fiercely contested by island residents. Concerns raised were focused on the environment, and also the long-term effect the IWMF could have on our air quality and health. LIM’s Martin Lerigo argues that plans for the IWMF are poorly thought through. “It’s the wrong technology, wrong approach and wrong location,” he says. Small, compact and with land at a premium, Hong Kong is perfectly placed to be a role model for the world in the way that it approaches air pollution. But research by local action groups says the IWMF (and its 150-metre smoking chimney) will use air polluting technology and produce toxic ash. Hong Kong is not Denmark, but the authorities there are already leading the way with imaginative waste disposal processes that 18  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017

Site of the Integrated Waste Management Facilities

do not pollute the air. A few years ago a group of authorities near Copenhagen commissioned New York-based architecture firm BIG to design something new in incinerator waste disposal. The 80-metre tall structure will burn 400,000 tonnes of waste a year, generate enough electricity for 50,000 houses and enough heat for 120,000, while producing zero toxic emissions. Due to open this year, the Amager Bakke plant will also put its 41,000 square metres of roof to good use. It will double as a small mountain, complete with trees, hiking trails and a ski slope for winter fun. Food for thought, and at least the Danes will be getting a clean lungful.

FIND IT • Green Power, • Living Islands Movement,


' Kids Corner Illustration courtesy of


February/ March 2017





6748 4378,, Iggy Artist arranges educational and fun art parties for up to 25 children. Book the venue (anywhere in Hong Kong) and Iggy Artist provides all the paints, art materials and equipment needed. One-on-one art lessons, group art lessons and team events are also on offer.

9662 1747,, A jumping castle is essentially a portable kids’ playground and they can be used indoors or out – all you need is a level play area. Jumping Castles offers a personalised, professional, high-quality rental service with free delivery and pick up.




RUMPLE AND FRIENDS, THROUGHOUT LANTAU & HK,, Facebook: Parteezi Parteezi delivers affordable children’s party favours and decorations direct to your door. It aims to make party planning as stress-free as possible. So if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the website, drop them an email and they’ll do their best to help.

9830 8287,, Rumple and Friends, Hong Kong’s most sought-after children’s entertainers, perform at over 600 parties and events each year. Eleven unique and hilarious characters perform a hilarious magic show followed by themed games.





2988 5355,, Ark Eden runs hands-on environmental activities for children and adults from a secluded valley in Mui Wo. It offers school programmes, including planting days and tree maintenance; nature holiday camps; permaculture workshops; camping weekends and a forest-play group.

9048 5425,, Ingredients of Wellness offers eight- to 10-week mindfulness programmes, teaching young people to direct their attention, be calmer, concentrate more fully and to notice what is happening with their minds, bodies and emotions.





6335 7147,, Facebook: iVed.hongkong Tripsyoga specialises in themed classes like Power Yoga, Vinayasa, Pranayam, balancing, slimming, inversions, twisting, stretching and meditation for children and adults. It holds an annual Yoga Day, and kids are given ample opportunity to stage performances.

+65 9328 1683,, Angelibebe carries a wide range of beautiful, high-quality, premium children’s fashion brands for children aged zero to 14 years. Based in Singapore, it offers free shipping to Hong Kong on orders of US$50 (HK$388) and above. Shipments are made within 24 hours of payment.


20  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017





6274 1167,, Coding helps prepare children for modern life by providing them with skills for the future. Coding Kids classes are suitable for six to 16 year olds and teach problem solving, logical thinking and of course, code!

9469 8225,, Offering high-quality creative coding and robotics classes in term time, Creative Coding also provides fun holiday camps for children aged six to 14. Qualified instructors are passionate about teaching kids the language of the future and preparing them for jobs that have yet to exist. CODING


BETTITUDE PHOTOGRAPHY, THROUGHOUT LANTAU & HK 6082 3199,, Bettitude Photography specialises in family photography, including newborn, maternity, toddler and baby. Its focus is on people and bonding. Sessions are provided outdoors, at clients’ homes or at its Kwai Chung studio. Expect naturally lit images that are soft, pure and organic.

MELANIE ADAMSON PHOTOGRAPHY, THROUGHOUT LANTAU & HK 9661 3234,, One of Hong Kong’s leading photographers for over 13 years, Melanie Adamson is now offering her services on Lantau. Maternity, newborn, family, cake smash, special events shoots and much more – through studio and location sessions.





6053 6069,, A natural observer, Trix Malan loves witnessing the interaction within families. She is passionate about capturing these precious moments on film, and documenting them for clients to keep as treasured memories.

5360 0565,, As Lantau’s premier football coaching company, HK Dragons Football Club welcomes all players, aged three to 21. Challenging, fun and interactive sessions are coached by professionals, and there are league and tournament opportunities. SPORTS




6077 2758,, Facebook: iGymGymnastics iGym brings you iCheer! Classes teach all the fundamentals of cheerleading such as stunts, tumbles, cheering, chanting, dance and pom. Kids, aged five to 15, develop teamwork skills and sportsmanship in a friendly environment with coaches that really care.

6077 2758,, Facebook: iGymGymnastics iGym offers skill progression from beginner to advanced in gymnastics and tumbling. Fun-filled, energetic, skill-based classes are offered for boy and girls aged three to 16. Experienced male and female coaches provide hands-on coaching in a positive environment.



February/ March 2017




EDGE ‘N POINTE DANCE CENTRE, TUNG CHUNG, At Tung Chung Rugby Club (TCRC) young children, aged four to 13, play non-contact rugby, before moving on to contact in the older age groups. TCRC has an active touch-rugby side, which fields both youth and adult teams.

6688 2167,, Edge ‘n Pointe is the leading performing-arts class provider for kids and adults in Tung Chung. Classes offered include Ballet (using the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum), Jazz, Contemporary, Latin, Musical Theatre and Kindermusik.



The Story Studio

Writing Workshops for Creative Kids

FAUST INTERNATIONAL YOUTH THEATRE, DB & SHEUNG WAN 2547 9114,, For 18 years, Faust International has brought the wonderful world of theatre and performing arts to the young people of Hong Kong. It holds holiday programmes in both theatre and creative writing for kids aged four and up. Check the website for what’s on offer over Easter. kidz wagon ad(EP)-2op.pdf












1:37 PM


THE STORY STUDIO, LANTAU, DB & CENTRAL 6341 3989,, The Story Studio creative writing workshops are for imaginative children who love reading and writing stories. Students, aged seven to 13, find fascination and fulfilment in the act of self-expression through the written word. THE ARTS

Photo by Andrew Spires


24  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017

Jimmy Denis composed much of the music for his album Ukulele Circus on the Lantau Trail


CONNECTIONS French transplant and Mui Wo resident Jimmy Denis is on a mission to extend the ukulele’s unlikely renaissance to Hong Kong – one pluck at a time. Elizabeth Kerr reports


t’s an underdog instrument,” says Mui Wo resident Jimmy Denis of the belittled four-string ukulele. True. Say ‘ukulele’ and the first thing most people envision is the anti-psychedelia of Tiny Tim and his tulips or the easy-listening camp of Don Ho. Like the instrument itself, Jimmy is a breath of fresh air sitting in the city’s temple to big business, IFC. Jimmy is comfortable and confident in his funky folding shades, hair styled into a very Hong Kong front ducktail. He’s a ukulele-wielding Johnny Cash, dressed in black except for colourful sneakers. And his eyebrows are impeccable. Born in France’s northeast Champagne-Ardenne region to an Italian-Argentinean mum and French-Gypsy dad, Jimmy’s life in creativity was sparked by his parents’ shared careers in the arts festival industry. Armed with a formal education in drama – a happy accident stemming from a sprained knee that demanded low-key studies – Jimmy worked in Paris for eight years before heeding the siren call of Asia. Jimmy landed in Hong Kong, like many non-natives, after tooling around the region, finally dropping in to see a friend. “People from all over the world live here. You can approach anyone and it was a very easy connection, an easy way for me to share with people,” Jimmy says. “I was seduced by the contrast of life – the big city hub and the islands on the side.” Indeed, Jimmy’s first trip to Hong Kong took him to Mui Wo with his hammock and guitar, where he slept on the beach for a week. Nine years later, Jimmy still lives in Mui Wo, unwilling to give up the nature, the water, the water buffaloes and the relaxed pace of life. What else would you expect from a kid who grew up on the festival circuit? Ukulele Circus Jimmy, 37, loves music, and he loves to create, but he loves educating just as much. “I came to Asia to discover more, yes. But I graduated

from university in drama, as an actor and director, and my intention was to teach drama. I wanted to come, learn, adapt, share,” he says. Point out that Hong Kong’s nickname may as well be ‘cultural wasteland’ and he sees a silver lining. “That may be a gap that’s an opportunity for me to fill. Because there is culture here. There is heart. There is creativity,” he argues. “I’m not a fatalist.” Music may be a tertiary career trajectory but it was almost a given. Exposed to music titans like BB King (who he ran into at seven years old) and Eric Clapton through his parents’ work, Jimmy was teaching himself guitar by the age of 13. But how does one go from blues legend King and legendary rock god Clapton to the ukulele – the 19th century Portuguese machete derivative that counts Clash frontman Joe Strummer as an enthusiast?

Say ‘ukulele’ and the first thing most people envision is the anti-psychedelia of Tiny Tim and his tulips “It starts kind of sad, but it gets better. I swear it has a happy ending. It starts at the hospital here in Hong Kong,” says Jimmy with typical effusiveness. He first picked up the ukulele in 2011 during a threemonth stay in hospital getting treated for pneumonia and surgeries for a pneumothorax – basically a collapsed lung.

February/ March 2017



“My friends brought me a soprano ukulele. I was amazed I could play in that state. It’s so light. It’s a very easy instrument to learn and I just started to play and compose some tunes,” he recalls. “It was a joyful moment in that situation. I vowed to compose music and make an album with this instrument.” And make an album he did. Ukulele Circus was a Kickstarter project, an album of ukulele ditties written, recorded, engineered and produced in Hong Kong’s Studio 101. Ukulele Creative Method Listening to Jimmy evangelise about the ukulele is contagious; he makes you see its beauty by sheer force of personality. The distinct sound, warm resonance and crystalline short ‘C’ note are among the technical elements of its charm. “But like any instrument, it’s full of musical richness,” Jimmy enthuses. “It’s a very complex instrument if you want it to be.” Jimmy also argues its compact size and relatively low cost make the ukulele ideal for young musicians in space-constrained Hong Kong. Ultimately, it is the acoustic, handcrafted nature of the ukulele that is winning over new fans. Despite the album, Jimmy’s real pride and joy are the workshops he runs – the Ukulele Creative Method (UCM) – that teach participants

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to play and compose their own songs in a matter of hours. “It’s not for anyone to become a performer. It’s to understand the process and share creativity,” he says. So far, learners have included everyone from students to high-powered executives (ironically Jimmy’s girlfriend works in finance) looking for a way to transcend social barriers and express themselves. A show in Taiwan may be on the horizon, and perhaps even a gig at the Hong Kong Ukulele Festival (yes, that’s a thing) were it to return. But for now, Jimmy’s too busy with the UCM to have much time to perform live; he’s also in talks with various schools around the world about touring the course. “I decided to ‘full-time-it’ let’s say… to show off that I never went to school and that anybody can do it themselves too,” he finishes with a surety that is uniquely artistic. “You define yourself.”

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WE STORYTEL LERS Photos courtesy of Sharon Lesley Le Roux and

Everyone enjoys a good story and we are all natural-born storytellers. Sharon Lesley Le Roux, one of this year’s mentors in the Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writer’s Competition, reports


here once was a comedian called Max, and like other comedians at the time, Max had a catchphrase. He would start his performances with, ‘I wanna tell you a story’, and the people in the audience would listen with rapt attention, hanging on his every word. Have you ever wondered what it is about the promise of a story that has us sitting up in our seats? Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin. Making sense of our world The truth is, storytelling is at the very heart of human interaction, we literally talk in stories. Every day we each tell, and listen to, hundreds of stories: I had such a weird dream last night; You’ll never guess what happened at work today; I met So-and-so this morning, and she said: ‘Remember that family who lived at the end of our street who...’, 28  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017

and so on. Between teller and listener, author and reader, a symbiotic relationship exists; we need to tell, and be told, stories. Why is that? Well, it turns out sharing really is about caring. As individuals, it’s impossible for us to be in more than one place at a time, and so we look to each other to share our experiences of the world. Anthropologists tell us we most likely began telling stories as a way of educating or warning others about the beneficial or dangerous situations we encountered. Author Lisa Cron, in her book, Wired For Story, believes story is what first enabled us to visualise what might happen in future situations, and prepare for them. It seems our brains are hardwired for story. In his book, The Art of Immersion, Frank Rose says we use stories to make sense of our world. When information is shared, our brains look for the story in the content, rather than the content in the story, in order to make sense

of that information. This is because our brains look for the familiar amongst the new when attempting to assimilate new information. Combining the new with what is already known – familiar places, people or situations – makes the brain more susceptible to accepting and storing it. Long before we recorded information about the world around us by writing it down, we stored it in our brains, committing it to memory in story format. Studies by Stanford University have proven that when we hear or read information delivered as a story, we’re 22 times more likely to remember it than if we’re just given the bare facts. Consider for a moment, how you remember the origins of the sandwich or the wellington boot. It’s most likely due to the stories you heard about the Earl and the Duke, and the reasons for their inventions. Story affects us in ways that fact alone doesn’t. This is because the human brain processes imagined experiences the same way it does real ones. Psychologist Pamela Rutledge says story creates genuine emotions and presence (the sense of being somewhere) as well as behavioural responses. Have you ever been so completely engrossed in a novel or a movie that you found yourself crying real tears of laughter or sadness? Ever found yourself suddenly acutely aware of every noise, movement and shadow around you, the hairs on the back of your neck rising, as you listened to a ghost story? A story has the power to immerse us in a situation we’ve never been in – and are probably never likely to be in – enabling us to experience it, see it, feel it.

Expanding our horizons Story is the door key to our very own private holodeck, and we love the virtual reality therein, no matter the guise in which it appears. When we watch Jack Reacher blowing the bad guys to smithereens on the big screen, we each feel we’ve personally taken back control of our world, just a little. We listen to voicemail messages, waiting, not only for the message, but the meaning, and the consequence. We feel every emotion as we are caught up in the pages of Austen and Shakespeare, Facebook and Twitter. Any good album contains songs that evoke the various feelings of love: from how love at first sight feels, through being in love, and loss and heartbreak, to all the way back again (listen, feel, repeat). We watch drama because it delivers precisely that; we get to feel the drama without the inconvenience of having to leave our sofas and go through it in real life. And, we tell each other our real-life stories, often embellishing or ‘stretching’ the truth just a little, simply because it makes our stories better. Information delivered in the form of over-the-fence gossip is deliciously packaged, and the near non-existence of truth seems hardly important at all. When we interact through story, we don’t just share information, we share ourselves; our feelings, our opinions, thus making the messages we send not merely factual, but meaningful to those around us. Whether it’s around the campfire, the dining table, or the TV, story allows us to affirm, and challenge, our shared values,

Young Writer’s Competition 2017 A well-told story creates genuine emotions

Now in its f i f t h ye a r, t h e Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writer’s Competition (YWC) provides secondary school students living and/ or studying in Lantau with the chance to get published. The challenge, this year, is for students to write a 600- to 700-word account from the point of view of a famous historical figure. Stories need to be submitted by April 10. Prizes for the three winners and three runners-up will be provided by Bookazine. You can check the YWC guidelines at, or on the Around DB and Life on Lantau Facebook pages.

We use stories to educate and inform loved ones

February/ March 2017



beliefs, and wisdom. And, while doing so, we’re able to pass these things forward, from parent to child, from generation to generation. We all remember that much-loved uncle who we gathered around to hear tell the family stories, and today we remember, and tell, those same stories. We humans use stories to deliver and receive information in such a way that it is easily understood, stored, recalled and experienced. It’s not simply the case that storytelling is something we do; very often we do it without realising, without consciously choosing to. We talk to each other in stories because we can’t do otherwise. The author Vera Nazarian says old storytellers don’t die, they simply disappear into their own stories. Storytelling is such a fundamental part of each one of us – it isn’t what we do, it’s who we are.

Sharon Lesley Le Roux runs creative writing classes for kids and young adults at The Story Studio, with workshops in Mui Wo, Tung Chung and Discovery Bay. Sharon is one of the mentors in this year’s Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writer’s Competition (YWC). You can contact her on 6341 3989, email, or visit SR_Ad_135x185_OUTPUT_PDF.pdf










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By telling stories, we share our experiences



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ell-established and popular especially in France and Switzerland, but relatively new to people outside of Europe, Sophrology is a healing modality that combines Eastern traditions with modern Western approaches. It has its roots in yoga and Zen and Buddhist meditation, and incorporates elements of modern psychology and hypnosis. A highly structured discipline, specifically designed for modern living, it consists of practical physical and mental exercises aimed at achieving a prepared mind in a focused body. According to Integrated Medicine Institute Sophrology therapist Celine Pellarin, “Sophrology can provide pragmatic and effective solutions to stress, sleep issues, anxieties and chronic pain. While it is widely used for birth preparation, it can also help people get ready for key events, such as interviews, public speaking, sports competitions and even surgery. Sophrology is proven to restore energy levels and enable people to enjoy a more conscious and happier life.” Sophrology also offers a great starting point for people who find it difficult to meditate. It provides many strategies to keep the mind still and present. This in turn, allows people to tune into their inner resources and address particular life or health issues.

PERFECT Simple and easy to learn, Sophrology aims to help people live more consciously, with their minds and bodies in harmony. Samantha Wong reports

A better way of being French native Professor Alfonso Caycedo, the founding father of Sophrology, is a doctor of medicine and surgery, specialised in psychiatry and neurology. Unsatisfied with the then academic approach to psychological issues in the 1960s, he began to look for alternative methods to help people live a fuller life. One of his beliefs is that each and every person should be able to implement an empowering daily practice. He created Sophrology as an efficient complement to established medicine.

Photos courtesy of

From 1988 to the present, Professor Caycedo continues to develop and improve the Sophrology method. The practice is highly influenced by his travels in India and Japan, where he studied Zen and yoga, bringing them into his psychology-based theory of human development. “Most of the people I work with experience a better way of being after just a few sessions,” says Celine. “At the beginning, people usually feel the body is more relaxed and the mind more calm. Overall, they feel more energised. Often after only a few sessions, people report that they have become more conscious, and that they can relate to themselves and others with greater kindness and optimism. That experience helps them to get further involved in the practice. “For me as a therapist, Sophrology means putting an end to an unrealistic or negative vision of life in order to see things as they

Sophrology has its roots in yoga and Zen and Buddhist meditation

February/ March 2017



are and reinforce the positives we have in us. Many discover that if they can’t change the world, well... at least they can work on changing how they approach things,” Celine adds. Promoting relaxation and focus, Sophrology can help people alleviate stress and anxiety, and learn how to take better care of themselves. It is for this reason that Sophrology has become a popular tool for birth preparation. Anxious mums, who are perhaps questioning their own capability to give birth, are pre-taught pain management techniques to increase their confidence and help them develop a positive attitude towards the big day. A typical session Sophrology is generally taught on a one-to-one basis, with the first session dedicated to clarifying objectives. “All sessions are tailored, we work according to the objective defined by the client,” explains Celine. “Autonomy and empowerment is at the heart of how I teach Sophrology. My aim is to help the client discover what works best for him according to his needs and lifestyle.” Each session begins with Celine guiding a client through a deep, dynamic relaxation technique, which relaxes the body while the mind remains fully alert. The second step introduces a specific exercise related to the client’s key objective. A straightforward set of tools are employed: breathing, visualisation, and/ or simple body movements. The client is then advised to follow the practice himself on a daily basis. “All sessions are recorded so that clients can practise at home and help themselves,” Celine explains. “Many say that the ‘do-ityourself’ aspect helps them to feel empowered and reach their objectives faster.” Celine herself discovered Sophrology when she was experiencing health issues, and suffering from insomnia and headaches. “The more I practised, the better I felt – not only during the sessions, but most importantly in my life,” she says. “It became so meaningful to me, I decided to step back from my corporate career and specialise in Sophrology. I wanted to teach others to connect with themselves in a more positive way.” 34  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017

Three-step relaxation technique 1. Become aware of your feet on the floor until you feel totally grounded. 2. Become aware of your breath and gently start slowing it down. 3. Become aware of your forehead, jaws and shoulders (for many, these are the key areas of tension). Start relaxing them one after the other. With a little bit of practice, you can learn how to relax your body deeply in minutes. Offer yourself these little breaks throughout the day and see how a bit of ‘me time’ can make a real difference.

Celine Pellarin provides Sophrology therapy sessions at the Integrated Medicine Institute in DB North Plaza, Discovery Bay. For more information, you can contact her on 2537 1087.



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A DATE WITH DAD Contributed by Lantau Development Alliance founding chairman, Allen Ha

3 FUN THINGS TO DO IN HK THIS MONTH YELLOWCARD: FINAL TOUR Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, Kowloon Bay Bid farewell to Yellowcard as the US rockers present their final world tour. Celebrate their journey, sing along to their hits, and get nostalgic as they reminisce about their legendary career. For tickets, starting at HK$580, visit

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HONG KONG MARATHON Victoria Park, Causeway Bay

February 12

The Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon is now in its 21st year. Registration is now closed, but you can join in the fun and cheer the 70,000 runners taking part. Events include a full and half marathon, plus 3-kilometre and 10-kilometre wheelchair races. For more information, visit

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Experience fabulous food at affordable prices! For seven days, over a hundred of Hong Kong’s finest restaurants will be offering three-course lunches (starting at HK$118) and dinners (starting at HK$298). For more information, visit

The DADs Network encourages active parenting


nternational research suggests that participation by fathers in parenting impacts positively on children’s IQ, academic performance and interpersonal skills. To put this theory to the test, I set up the DADs Network in 2015 with a group of LaDA colleagues and other volunteers. The DADs Network aims to encourage Lantau fathers to take an active and positive part in parenting. The idea is to educate them about their role and equip them to establish more intimate on-going relationships with their kids. A Date with Dad is one of our key projects. Through a range of school activities, fathers and children are encouraged to get into the habit of meeting up regularly. Since its launch, thousands of families have joined the DADs Network. According to our surveys, 80% of the fathers involved believe that the project has successfully deepened their relationship with their children. It has helped them better understand the significance of active parenting, and improved their ability to communicate and interact with their kids. Most of the fathers in the network are now committed to spending one-on-one time with their kids (arranging A Date with Dad) on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The DADs Network also organises family-orientated lectures and hiking tours. Last Christmas, a Where’s my Daddy? – Hiking Challenge Day saw families collaborating on a number of assigned tasks, across 10 checkpoints, within four hours. Spending quality time together, and overcoming challenges hand in hand, strengthened the bond between fathers and their kids. Witnessing the young ones overcoming physical uphill challenges with their father’s encouragement was fulfilling for everyone involved. In 2017, the DADs Network will continue to organise a series of A Date with Dad activities. We hope that more fathers will get involved. Let’s work together to create a more enjoyable family life for Lantau kids... and their daddies.

February 17-26

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February/ March 2017




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36  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017


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38  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017

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2987 0283 2987 2060 2987 0614 2987 2266

MEDICAL Bayside Dental Practice 2987 0855 DB Medical Centre 2987 5633 Health and Care Dental Clinic 2666 6183 IMI (Integrated Medicine Institute) 2537 1087 Island Health 2987 7575 Quality Health Physiotherapy 2473 6200 RETAIL Bookazine Little Whale P-Solution Wing On

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SPORT & RECREATION Caissa Chess Club d. Be FIT Daruma Sports DB Pirates DMR School of Ballet HK Dragons Football Club Island Dance KIPMOVIN Movement Improvement Harry Wright International The HIT Room

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9073 6922 2295 8288 2987 9003

February/ March 2017




he first LBC Valentines Race in 2014 saw the then organisers Jeremy and Valerie Ritcey get engaged at the start, but it’s not exclusively for lovers. Open to teams of two, there are three different categories – mixed, male and female. All partners must finish the course à deux, making it a trust, as well as a physical exercise, and a great way to work up a sweat together. “We have a permitted limit of 250 couples,” says Shane Early of Lantau Base Camp. “Romantic couples are about half the entrants. The rest are friends out there to have fun – some are very competitive.” The race, which starts and finishes at Nam Shan Picnic Area on South Lantau Road, is categorised as a fun run but it’s not an easy 13 kilometres. “It has hills on the second half and a total elevation gain of 800 metres. It is not for beginners,” Shane says. In 2014, Olya Korzh and Tsang Chun Kit finished the race in a record 1:27:11 but competitors can take their time on February 11, thanks to a generous cut off of 4.5 hours. Lovers and buddies can sign up for the race (HK$350 per team) online by February 1. Ladies only

Photo by Anya Belcher

The LBC’s motto is ‘Get out there! Have fun! Enjoy the trails!’ With this in mind, Shane is constantly expanding the LBC racing portfolio to make it more inclusive. The LBC Lantau Ladies Run/ Hike, the first Hong Kong trail race designed exclusively for women, was a great success on January 21, with 400 ladies taking part in either the 20-kilometre or 10-kilometre race. “We would like to encourage more women to be active on the trails,” Shane says. “Presently the average for female participants is 20-25% in races in Hong Kong. We would love to see that number increase. We plan to make this an annual event and grow it.

Top local runners Zein Williams and Garrett Quigley in the LBC Valentines Race 2016

LOVE ON THE RUN Lantau Base Camp extended its reach with an inaugural all-female race in January, and its annual Valentine’s dash continues to attract a passionate following. Samantha Wong reports for women who wanted to hike it,” Shane adds. “The highest point (275 metres) was within the first 6 kilometres, after that it was just rolling trail.” As an added incentive for competitors, the LBC Lantau Ladies Run/ Hike supports

the Hong Kong Cancer Fund – this year, runners had the option to donate as they enrolled. “Cancer has affected friends and family close to all of us,” Shane says. “In life we face our trail challenges together – the Hong Kong Cancer Fund helps make sure no one faces cancer alone.”

FIND IT “When I designed the course, my thoughts were to make it challenging for top local runners, like Zein Williams, but very doable 40  LIFE ON LANTAU February/ March 2017

• Hong Kong Cancer Fund, • Lantau Base Camp,

WHAT IS EFFECTIVE ESTATE PLANNING? The answer to this question is to speed up the overall distribution of your estate; and to mitigate unwarranted taxes whilst providing the right people with the right money at the right time!

How does one do this? Writing your Will - This will allow everyone you leave behind to understand what happens to everything you own. If you die with a Will in Hong Kong, the Grant of Probate (a legal document releasing your assets) can take months. Without one, it can take years! Setting up a Family Trust — Your Will instructs who gets what BUT it does not speed up time nor does it distinguish how assets are to be given. Trusts can more specific to certain property (assets you own.) Trusts can be used for Tax Mitigation, Asset Protection and/or Succession Planning and is not just suitable for the rich and wealthy. Nominate Beneficiaries — if you have any life insurance plans, savings plans linked to life insurance or are member of a company pension or death in service benefit then you can have beneficiaries nominated to speed the process of distribution. When your death certificate is received, your Executor or loved ones can submit this to claim the proceeds. Very often, this method of nomination does not require probate (therefore your beneficiaries receive funds within weeks rather than months or years.) Write assets down — People die without letting other people know what they own! This can leave millions in the various financial institutions such as the bank, insurance company, stock broker etc. If no one claims the money, the institution keeps it after a certain period, depending upon the jurisdiction. You should also let people know that you have a valid Will and where it is kept, or no one would know to look for it. Advisably, you should allow your Executor/s a copy of the document and your Guardians, if applicable. Updating and Reviewing — as you acquire assets globally; you should review your estate planning instructions. If your Will only covers certain jurisdictions and you have secured assets in others, you have to update your Will. Also, for change in personal circumstances for example, a Marriage revokes all other Wills but a Divorce does not! Rules and Regulations are changing fast so it is important to keep abreast of what you own and the effect of them on your estate whilst you are alive AND when you pass away … the rules are different!

We at Carey, Suen Will Services have the knowledge and expertise to assist you in establishing your own Will and ensuring efficient Estate Planning.

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Life on Lantau February/ March 2017  
Life on Lantau February/ March 2017  

Life On Lantau is a community magazine for visitors and residents.