October/November 2020

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October/ November 2020




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October/ November 2020

10 PERSONA Peter Duchemin, Mui Wo’s Doctor of Magic, discusses the tarot... and sleight of hand

14 PUI O SUPPLEMENT Insider’s guide to Pui O: Where to eat, drink, shop and hang out

26 WALKABOUT Climb 529 metres above Tung Chung and hike across Pok To Yan ridgeline

30 HOME CHEF Wickedly indulgent, easy-to-make treats for Halloween

36 MOMENTS Read an excerpt from Butterfly Hill by Brendan Le Grange













and www.lifeonlantau.com


For the latest Life on Lantau updates


Photo by Duey Tam



To read the cover story, turn to page 10

We also publish 5

Dr Peter Duchemin in Mui Wo

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2019 / 2020

Kevin Chu: Reducing the transmission of COVID-19 through art

Magical reads for Halloween and beyond Expert advice for wannabe day traders Armchair travel: Australia’s Red Centre

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Private school bus serving all South Lantau


October 17, 2020 10AM-1PM


PUBLISHER Philip Jay MANAGING EDITOR Rachel Ainsley rachel@baymedia.com.hk ASSISTANT EDITOR Elizabeth Jerabek elizabeth@baymedia.com.hk DIGITAL MANAGER Jan Yumul jan@baymedia.com.hk

Electric airside bus


ART DIRECTION Terry Chow terry@baymedia.com.hk


atching a flight from Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is becoming more environmentally friendly as the Airport Authority (AA) continues to increase its fleet of electric airside buses. These electric buses boast zero tailpipe emissions, a quick charge (within 90 minutes) and a driving range of up to 200 kilometres.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Duey Tam duey@baymedia.com.hk OPERATIONS MANAGER Amber Kahu amber@baymedia.com.hk PHOTOGRAPHERS Terry Chow terry@baymedia.com.hk Duey Tam duey@baymedia.com.hk

The new buses are being introduced at HKIA in phases to ensure the smooth transition from diesel to electric. Ten electric passenger buses and six electric staff buses are already in operation. The AA has pledged to grow its electric-bus fleet to 25 in the coming year. With the expansion of HKIA into a three-runway system, the AA aims to replace all airside diesel passenger buses with electric buses by 2024.

CONTRIBUTORS Elizabeth Kerr Brendan Le Grange Martin Lerigo Jason Pagliari

HKIA is committed to becoming one of the world’s greenest airports, with the AA actively seeking and implementing best practices in environmental management. Adopting an airport-wide approach, the AA works closely with its business partners, suppliers and contractors, regulators, passengers and the local community to reduce HKIA's environmental footprint.

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This process involves measuring HKIA’s performance and benchmarking against hub-sized and environmentally leading airports worldwide; developing, implementing and updating a five-year environmental plan to reduce HKIA’s environmental footprint; and integrating environmental policy into the AA's wider corporate plans.

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Photo courtesy of www.hongkongairport.com

Tel: 2987 0167

Since HKIA is one of the world’s busiest airports, air and noise pollution are primary concerns. The AA is committed to complying with statutory air-quality criteria, and monitoring, controlling and reducing air emissions associated with airport operations. To manage and control aircraft noise, the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) monitors aircraft’s adherence to defined flight paths, and continuously monitors noise levels. The CAD has implemented a number of noise-controlling measures, including avoiding aircraft overflights in densely populated urban areas; using noise abatement departure procedures for North East departures; requiring South West approaches over water whenever possible; and requiring continuous descent approaches for flights arriving from the North East.




ui O’s wetlands made headlines again in August, when some 5,000 residents signed a Save Lantau Alliance petition demanding that an unauthorised campsite near Pui O Beach be removed. Bull Wave Camp Plus was built without approval last November in a government-designated Coastal Protection Area well known for its open wetlands and herds of water buffalo. It remains in place despite an order issued in May by the Lands Department demanding that it be taken down. The controversy over Bull Wave Camp Plus is only the latest incident to reveal that the Pui O wetlands are under threat. Landowners need to gain Planning Board approval for all plans to build camping grounds or holiday camps within the protected zone, as well as for any landfilling or excavation, but they continue to put up illegal structures and try to introduce new uses for their property.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department is responsible for managing the Lantau herds and while much good work has been done over the years, there is still a lack of any strategic plan for their future or any proper protection for their habitat. Loss of habitat is already having an effect, with buffalo having to wander further afield, including along the increasingly busy South Lantau Road, to find adequate pasture. Habitat loss also forces the buffalo into closer proximity with humans, both local people and visitors, increasing the likelihood of an incident.

The government’s inability to prevent illegal construction, landfilling and excavation in the Coastal Protection Area stems from inadequacies in the law, something officials have long been probing. Meanwhile, local conservationists continue to campaign for ‘immediate’ action, and have suggested that the government could buy back the land, look into land swaps or implement a managed land leasing scheme in order to preserve the buffalos’ homeland.

Bull Wave Camp Plus

The two ferry operators have pledged to enhance service levels and provide additional fare concessions during the new five-year licence period.

Photos courtesy of www.wikimedia.org

New World First Ferry Services



he Transport Department (TD) announced the tender results of the six major outlying island ferry services on September 8. Effective from April 1, 2021, New World First Ferry Services will operate the Central to Mui Wo and Central to Cheung Chau ferry routes, as well as the Inter-islands routes between Peng Chau, Mui Wo, Chi Ma Wan and Cheung Chau. Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry will operate the Central to Peng Chau, Central to Yung Shue Wan, and Central to Sok Kwu Wan ferry routes.

In response to passenger demand, the operators will disseminate arrival/ departure times of sailings and the number of remaining seats available via mobile phone applications. Existing benches and fans will be replaced at ferry piers, and passengers can also look forward to the provision of wi-fi and self-service ticket machines. In order to further enhance service levels, additional early morning, evening and peak period sailings will be introduced. Given that the last fare increase of the six major outlying island ferry routes was in 2017, the TD stipulated that any fare increases proposed by the tenderers must not exceed 5%. Effective April 1, 2021, the average fare increase rate of a single adult fare will be 4.7%. Meanwhile, in addition to safeguarding existing fare concessions, the selected operators will provide new fare concessions including a student monthly ticket and a multi-ride ticket. During the new five-year licence period, the TD will implement the long-term operation model for the six major outlying island ferry routes and continue to provide Special Helping Measures. The TD also plans to launch a Vessel Subsidy Scheme to maintain financial viability, improve service quality and promote environmental protection. www.lifeonlantau.com October / November 2020







heung Sha resident Enzo Hilaire, 11, is competing in The Voice Kids (France), now airing every Saturday night on French TV. The casting team spotted him on YouTube and invited him to a Skype audition, where he won his ticket to ‘the blinds’ in Paris. You can watch the show which includes short documentaries about Enzo shot in Hong Kong at www.tf1.fr replay. Catch the semifinal on October 3, and the final on October 10.

he Hong Kong Snakes Facebook page, set up by government snake catcher and Pui O resident William Sargent, notched up 10,000 members in September. A fantastic resource for local ophiophilists, it’s filled with photos and videos of snakes, most posted by people seeking help to identify a species. “Next time you see a snake take a photo and share it with us! This is the place for those interested to learn more about these fascinating and misunderstood creatures,” says William.

Enzo Hilaire

A Year 7 student at Discovery College, Enzo started singing when he was just two years old and hasn’t stopped since. “Music is my passion,” he says. “I play guitar and I love singing rap and hiphop.” Is he enjoying The Voice? “You bet!” And does he want to be a singer when he grows up? “Mais oui!” See more of Enzo in action at www.youtube.com/enzothesinger.


T Photos courtesy of Debbie Mannas, Francois Hilaire & William Sargent

ung Chung-based songstress Debbie Mannas, who is known for her work with Syzygy and The Soul Sessions, plus a string of successful solo albums, has launched I’m More Than A Cover (IMTAC) – a free e-zine designed to address the issues young girls face in their adolescent years.

Debbie Mannas

“KFBG is Hong Kong’s most important wildlife conservation and education agency raising awareness of ecological and sustainability issues, and undertaking species conservation and ecosystem restoration in Hong Kong and South China,” says William. “It plays a unique and critical role for Hong Kong (a hub for wildlife smuggling) in conservation and education. The Snake Handling Facility sees over 1,000 stray snake deliveries from the police annually, most of which are safely released after health checks. KFBG also deals with all the captured snakes (which used to be killed) and other exotic/ endangered animals that turn up in the territory.”

“IMTAC aims to create a safe space for young women to be heard, to hear from other young women, to understand how to deal with pressures from peers, adults and the fashion and personal care industries, plus myriad other topics adolescents and young women feel too embarrassed or ashamed to discuss,” Debbie says. “Social media and other magazines bombard young girls with unrealistic ideals, without addressing the angst of the adolescent years. IMTAC’S focus is on empowerment.”

Debbie is looking for subscribers to share her passion, provide feedback and perhaps even contribute an article or two. The magazine launched on September 1 (issuu.com/imtacmag/ docs/imtac_issue01) and you can get involved @IMTAC_MAG or www.facebook.com/IMTACMAG. 8  LIFE ON LANTAU

To celebrate reaching its 10,000-member milestone, Hong Kong Snakes is holding a Simply Giving fundraiser for Kadoorie Farm Botanical Garden (KFBG). At the time of going to press, the group has already collected over HK$50,000, which far exceeds its HK$10,000 target.

October / November 2020


William Sargent


Virtual Lantau 2 Peaks


October 1 -1 1


Starts at Citygate, Tung Chung


Run a 23K course, passing over both Lantau and Sunset peaks. This year’s race is a virtual event – choose a date within a window of 1 1 days to run




Salomon Lantau Trail 70


October 31


Starts at The China Bear, Mui Wo


Complete the 70K Lantau Trail loop from Mui Wo and back, passing over Lantau and Sunset peaks




T GR Summits @ Mui Wo


November 7


Starts at The China Bear, Mui Wo



Chase the sun from east to west across Lantau. The 50K route ascends all of Lantau’s major peaks. Shorter courses of 27K and 18K are also available




To see your photos featured on this page, email duey@baymedia.com.hk

Over the weekend of September 12, the inaugural Mui Wo Market saw over 15 entrepreneurs from the Lantau community showcasing their wares. To register for a stall at the market this month (October 10, 11, 24 and 25), download a form at https://forms.gle/hnrv93kwddDDdhZPA. Find more familiar faces @ www.lifeonlantau.com

Photos by Duey Tam


October / November 2020


To celebrate turning 50, long-term Mui Wo resident Jo Lodder completed a 58-kilometre bike, hike and kayak across Lantau on September 19. In the process he broke his collarbone‌ and raised HK$25,000 for Stop Trafficking of People, an initiative driven by local charity Branches of Hope. Find more familiar faces @ www.lifeonlantau.com

Photos courtesy of Jo Lodder

To create awareness about marine pollution, while encouraging everyone to relax and have fun despite COVID-19, Tung Chung based eco-artist Agnes Pang exhibited an abundance (100 to be precise) of fish at Treats in Cityplaza, Quarry Bay last month. The fish were made from cardboard and foam nets. Find more familiar faces @ www.lifeonlantau.com


www.lifeonlantau.com October / November 2020



Magical Thinking YEARS OF

As a Doctor of Magic, Mui Wo resident Peter Duchemin is doing his part in helping us make sense of the world. Elizabeth Kerr reports


Photos by Duey Tam

ythopoeic. Polyvalents. Chimera. Western esotericism. These are some of the easier words Mui Wo resident and tarot reader Dr Peter Duchemin effortlessly bandies about during a rambling conversation at VIBE Book & Music Shop one soupy morning. It’s to be expected, really. That ‘Dr’ is no joke, and it was earned after defending a thesis titled The Art of Hidden Causation: Magic as Deep Mediation. A doctorate a decade in the making, Peter’s argument is simply that magic, philosophically speaking, does indeed exist – from a certain point of view. To quote the great philosophical mind, Obi-wan Kenobi. “Having an argument with me about magic and religion is not fun,” cracks Peter, something he does often, as he explains the concept of his thesis (for him, mediation refers to the creativity to change the world). Erudite as he may be, Peter is never less than engaging – and engaged. He’s approachable in his braided beard and red fedora. It’s something that probably comes naturally given his Atlantic Canada roots and Newfoundland gift of the gab. “We’re notoriously chatty,” he admits. Nor does he brandish his obvious smarts like a cudgel. Peter uses his brains for the more benign purpose of actually talking to people. Cases in point: A family comes into the shop and he immediately starts up a conversation about their literary choices.


October / November 2020


Peter’s preferred Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck

He chats with a woman who comes in for a scan and print, and nearly forgets to charge her. One look at this writer and he guesses Concordia – not McGill – as my alma mater (OK, I’d admitted to attending university in Québec), possibly the result of having someone to nerd out over the vinyl with that morning. He thinks Henry Rollins is cool. He saw Victor Borge live. He’s into Saharan desert rock. The point is, Peter is here to listen. Meta Magick Matrix Peter, 44, is working at VIBE because he digs it. He also runs a magic show company Abracadabra Magic Theatre (@doctor_abra), performing circus acts and sleight of hand for kids and adults – yes, he enjoys mainstream magic too. But Peter’s vocation, his calling, is the tarot. “The tarot helps us find our place in the great ecology of time, space and spirit,” he says. “Its true purpose is to lead us to wisdom.” Peter teaches the art, offers readings and sells tarot decks through Meta Magick Matrix (@tarotphilosopher). “Meta Magick Matrix has emerged because there are so many different styles of magic involved in my life and my philosophy, and what I practice brings them all together. Tarot philosophy brings them all together. I am now setting up a weekly online course as well, as an exclusive Patreon (patreon.com/tarotphilosopher), where followers can see my creative process in action.” To understand how Peter became Hong Kong’s Arch-Mage, you have to go back to the start. Born to an academic household in Ottawa, he eventually settled in St John’s (“St John’s is just extraordinary”) after studying philosophy, linguistics and religion as an undergrad. That gave him an appreciation for nuance; the ability to connect the dots between language, spirituality, science and myth — and zero tolerance for absolutism. For Peter, tarot is a way to understand oneself and the world, similar to traditional therapy, but rooted in interpretation of our histories. It would be easy to lump Peter in with New Age-y flakes, but that’s not what he’s about – and neither is tarot. “When someone has a reading it’s not so much about me telling them what the future will bear. I wouldn’t consider myself a fortune teller,” he says of the resurgent art. “What we’re doing is drawing a fruitful conversation out of myth and symbol and philosophy and we’re using the cards for a basis for this. That’s what I love about the tarot. And I love it because it taps into just how important the oral tradition is.” He explains the symbols and the dichotomies in the cards, how they relate to each other and tell stories and how they can be empowering. “Every [card] relationship paring is some modality of consciousness encountering the world,” he continues. In other words, if you ‘draw’ Death it doesn’t mean your days are numbered. That’s for the movies.

www.lifeonlantau.com October / November 2020



Hong Kong’s Arch-Mage After finishing his interdisciplinary PhD, Peter and his wife Evelyn Osborne, a PhD of Ethnomusicology, founder of Hong Kong Suzuki Music Institute and a fellow Newfoundlander, struck out on a travel adventure. He performed magic tricks on Canada’s national rail carrier, Via, in return for passage: Halifax to Vancouver is five days after all. From the west coast the duo flew to Japan, crossed Asia and Siberia, and dropped in on Stonehenge – at the summer solstice. “That was magical,” he recalls. After three transformative weeks in rural Ghana they wound up in Hong Kong, where they’ve spent the last five years. “We were shown around different areas and this is the one that stuck,” Peter says of Mui Wo. “You have more personal space, which is a luxury you don’t realise you have living in Canada until it’s gone.” There are a few cats at home, and a snake, but no kids. Neo-pagan or not, living in the countryside clearly suits Peter. “I am not a practicing Wiccan, but I have some similar points of view, regarding nature and the sacred,” he says. “I guess you could call me an esoteric philosopher with an eclectic spirituality. I find truth in all paths, but in general I think the Universe is a living being, and we have a relationship to it, and we are part of it.” Speaking of Wicca, ask Peter what he’ll be doing on October 31 and he says, “I have no specific plans for Halloween, but I will definitely do something special to celebrate the pagan new year at Samhain.” A playbook for our world Peter does tarot readings wherever it’s comfortable. (Contact him at a6rax1s@gmail.com, which any Santana fan will be able to read, or though the All About You wellness centre in Sheung Wan, where he also runs a tarot training programme following the Qabalistic philosophy.) He warns though that anyone seeking guidance on marriage or career should look elsewhere. The cards don’t say anything; they never have. Tarot cards are about having someone with a wealth of knowledge interpret the stories they tell. And as Peter sees it, we all need that right now.

“Tarot is coming back into popularity and being reactivated by the fact we’re overwhelmed by too much data. We’ve lost our bearings. We’ve got all sorts of information, which is acting as a substitute for knowledge and we’re feeling that vertigo” An afternoon with Peter is a workout for the mind, something that’s rare in a 280-character, 30-second soundbite world. There’s an authenticity at work that would make it easy to sit down for a reading with Peter. He favours the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, and he’s busy designing one of his own. He’s also writing a few books, but for now he’s content to work his, uh, magic. “Tarot gives a voice to marginal realities,” he finishes. And anyone who believes there are no marginalised realities in the world right now should pick up a newspaper. “It’s not supernatural. It’s a playbook for our world.”

“Tarot is coming back into popularity and being reactivated by the fact we’re overwhelmed by too much data,” he says. “We’ve lost our bearings. We’ve got all sorts of information, which is acting as a substitute for knowledge and we’re feeling that vertigo.” He sees a return to tarot as part of what he calls “failsafe orality;” the return to a moral intelligence that supports embodied intelligence, not reliant on “extended digital infrastructure” but on our own memories, often retold to each other.

Peter at VIBE doing a reading for owner Gary Brightman


October / November 2020


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PU i O

Photos by Duey Tam

Where to eat, drink, shop and hangout


October / November 2020



n this, our first insider’s guide to Pui O, we’re inviting you to enjoy the village and its many attractions as the locals do. We’ve sorted through everything Pui O has to offer to bring you the best of the best all in one handy compact guide. From pastimes to pets, and education to staycations, it’s all here. One of South Lantau’s more remote neighbourhoods, Pui O is first and foremost a fabulous place to get away from it all. There’s the famous beach with its curious mixture of black and yellow sand that stretches from the Chi Ma Wan Peninsula all the way to Cheung Sha. Then, of course, there are the hikes to be had in the nearby country parks, and the protected mangroves and wetlands to explore. For non-residents, looking to overnight in the village, we recommend a stay at Treasure Island, where there are both tents and cabanas on offer, or at JK Club Caravan Park, which has its own organic farm and a ‘playground’ for goats. A bustling community in its own right, Pui O is in fact made up of four main villages – Lo Wai, San Wai, Lo Uk and Ham Tin, and it’s brim-full of interesting businesses continuing to do what they do best, despite the pandemic. There’s Garden Plus, a hub for budding horticulturists; the Community Vet, where Dr Queeny takes care of our four-legged friends; and, for residents with young kids, there’s Lantau International School (upper primary campus) and Bui O Public School. Newcomers to Pui O should also know that the village really comes into its own after dark. COVID-19 allowing, there’s a thriving rock music scene out of Tap Tap Bar & Restaurant, and at The Water Buffalo, British owner Chris Riley brews up his own real ales (as well as serving up some great pub grub). Of course, Pui O is also home to Lantau’s largest population of water buffalo. Nobody seems quite sure as to their origins – they are not native but were brought in from elsewhere in South East Asia. Many were used on the land as working animals and then left to go feral once farming fell out of fashion. Others appear to have been bred for meat, a venture which, given they’re still here, was ultimately unsuccessful. Recent degradation of the wetlands by landfilling and construction, some sanctioned by the government, some illegal, has thrown into stark focus the potential for the herds to be lost to the community. But for now, they are an integral part of the local landscape, and ours to protect. Welcome to Pui O! If you’re a local reading this, we hope we’ve done your home justice, if you’re not, we hope we’ve encouraged you to pay the village another visit. You may never want to leave.

www.lifeonlantau.com October / November 2020



At a glance


Lantau International School’s upper primary campus is located in Pui O, as is Bui O Public School, a popular, local primary school offering both English and Chinese curriculums.


Shaped by the Chi Ma Wan Peninsula and the lower slopes of Sunset Peak, Pui O lies 4.5 kilometres from Cheung Sha, 5.6 kilometres from Mui Wo and 10.9 kilometres from Tung Chung.


Garden Plus JK Club Caravan Park The Water Buffalo Tap Tap Bar & Restaurant

Pui O is a sleepy hamlet, home to a growing number of expat residents as well as locals. There are four main villages – Lo Wai, San Wai, Lo Uk and Ham Tin.

Lantau International School (upper primary campus) JK Club

Village life


Public transport

Illustration by Duey Tam

Pui O is well served by public transport, with buses and taxis accessing the village via South Lantau Road and Tung Chung Road. It takes around 10 minutes to get to Mui Wo, and 20 minutes to get to Tung Chung by bus.

oa d

Community Vet Clinic

So ut hL an ta uR

Homes in Pui O tend to be either village houses, villas or low-rise flats. Most villas come with amenities, such as pools, gardens and parking spaces. Village houses are typically three floors plus a roof, with many subdivided into more than one home. The maximum square footage per floor is 700 square feet. The ground food unit typically comes with a garden, the upper floor unit with a rooftop.

There are eight restaurants/ bars in Pui O, plus numerous other local businesses including a veterinary clinic and garden centre. The nearest Fusion or Wellcome is in Mui Wo. For fresh produce, residents head to the Lantau Grocer in Cheung Sha.

Bui O Public School

Local attractions Pui O is best known for its beach, wetlands and mangroves. The Lantau Trail passes through the village, and there are many other hiking routes and mountain-biking tracks in the vicinity.

To Tung Chung or Cheung Sha


Residents can obtain a driving permit to allow them to drive their own car. Parking in Pui O is at a premium, as it is throughout South Lantau.


October / November 2020

Treasure Island Group



Lessons learnt during COVID-19


ever has a back-to-school season been so eagerly anticipated by parents, teaching staff and students as it was in September. At Lantau International School (LIS), the staff – led by Principal James Lambert – have used what they learnt during the 2019/2020 school year closures to strengthen their programme across the board for both face-to-face and distance learning.

Reporting by Elizabeth Jerabek, photos by Duey Tam

“We continue to follow the advice from the Education Bureau,” says James. “When LIS students were able to return to school in May, we implemented temperature checks, health declaration forms and social distancing to protect everyone’s health. We are continuing with these measures, and we are ready to add more to keep the school open.” With campuses in Pui O (upper primary), Tong Fuk (lower primary) and Cheung Sha (reception), LIS is well known as the ‘greenest school’ in Hong Kong, and in heading back to school, its students are looking forward to spending time together outdoors, as well as in the classroom. “Like all our campuses, the Pui O location provides ready access to a green environment and a beach where we often swim and take outdoor lessons,” says Ruby Bhatia, Head of Upper Primary. “We stress the importance of caring for nature with our children.” In addition to its outdoorsy, eco-friendly focus, LIS is also known for its small class sizes – at the Pui O campus the teacher student ratio is 1:15 – which ensures that students get individualised attention in the classroom. James and Ruby agree that the small class sizes also helped when the school made the transition to distance learning. “Our small class size enabled teachers to communicate quickly to help any children who were having issues making the transition,” James explains. “All our campuses are in a slightly remote location but teachers were available at school during the closure and they were able to drop off/ collect work for children in Tung Chung and Discovery Bay. This face-to-face contact (safely of course) was so

LIS Principal James Lambert with Ruby Bhatia, Head of Upper Primary (Pui O)

important because the children still felt connected to their teacher and class.” Noting that some of the primary students, in particular, missed the social aspects of school, James says, “We scheduled time for PE, and encouraged regular breaks from the computer. We did not want the children solely online, so we produced printed work packs every week (Literacy, Numeracy etc.). The learning was supplemented with twice daily Zoom lessons with the class and the use of the Seesaw platform for communication and uploading work. Once we adopted Seesaw as the main platform and introduced live lessons, our online programme really developed.” “The Seesaw platform gave the children a chance to make videos and present their work in a different format than they perhaps usually would,” adds Ruby. “Being out of the classroom allowed for more time for projects and some of the older children produced some incredible art and design work that we simply would not have had time for in class.” The distance learning programme also provided a unique opportunity for LIS teachers and staff to reassess the curriculum for students returning to campus. Just as a routine schedule helped students cope with distance learning, LIS is also incorporating a more structured day for all year groups and providing more opportunities for students to ask questions and speak to teachers during classroom instruction. “I am sure there will be positive developments in education that will come from the COVID years,” concludes James. “But for now, I am excited to see the students back on campus once again.”


Lantau International School, www.lis.edu.hk

www.lifeonlantau.com October / November 2020



JEAN LEUNG: Buffalo Whisperer


hen crossing the Pui O wetlands, you’ll often see a tiny figure, basket in hand, calling out to the water buffalo. Jean Leung, Pui O’s own buffalo whisperer, has been tending to the herd for over 11 years, watching out for the sick or injured and providing food for those that cannot get enough to eat by themselves. Over time a bond of trust has developed and so the buffalo make a beeline in Jean’s direction as soon as they hear her call. They are always keen to inspect the contents of today’s basket – apple and orange are favourites, closely followed by pear, guava and pomelo. Like many Pui O villagers, Jean loves to have the buffalo as part of her daily life but their existence has long been under threat due to the landfilling, construction and waste dumping that continues unabated in the wetlands. This loss of the buffalo's protected habitat is a sign that something is wrong in Hong Kong and the balance between making money and conserving nature has tipped inexorably to the former. Jean, a native of Cheung Chau, first came to Pui O 31 years ago. After a long career in property management she was looking forward to retirement, dreaming of country walks, painting and putting her feet up. Then, one day, something happened that would change her life forever – the arrival of Ngau Ngau.

Reporting by Martin Lerigo, photos by Duey Tam

“Ngau Ngau took shelter in my garden in September 2009 and would not move,” Jean recalls. “His leg was badly swollen and the hip joint misshapen. Vets said there could be several fractures and that Ngau Ngau might not make it.” Determined to give Ngau Ngau the best possible chance, Jean gave him a home. Over time he began to stand and shuffle gently on the spot, clear signs that the treatment was working and his massive hip and thigh were beginning to knit back together.

Jean Leung with Ngau Ngau, the first Pui O buffalo to benefit from her care

As to how Ngau Ngau sustained his injuries nobody is entirely sure. That he had been fighting, in a vain attempt to retain control of the Shap Long herd, was confirmed by other injuries on his body but vets advised it would be rare for a leg or hip to be broken in such encounters. “Maybe Ngau Ngau was hit by a van or car,” Jean says. “We’ll never know for sure.” Ngau Ngau’s rehabilitation took over seven months but finally he was fit enough to return to his herd on Shap Long Hill – a bittersweet day for Jean. On his journey home, however, he was challenged by the new dominant male and forced to retreat to Lo Wai. There, since he was not seeking to be herd leader, Ngau Ngau found a new home but, troubled by his leg, he couldn’t put in the yards needed to find adequate grazing. Fortunately, Jean had been watching out for Ngau Ngau and this is when she started bringing him a daily basket of fruit.

Buffalo grazing in Lo Wai


October / November 2020


So began Jean’s journey as a whisperer, getting to know what makes the buffalo tick, how they communicate and what their lives entail.

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A large cabana room at TIG


A TIG six-person tent


f you can’t quite tear yourself away from Pui O after a day at the beach or a hike in nearby Lantau South Country Park, there are plenty of options for a staycation whether you’re a camper, a caravaner or more of a cabana type.

Located halfway down Pui O Beach, Treasure Island (TIG) is best known for its beachside restaurant and water sports rentals, but the group also offers both campsite and cabana rentals. The ensuite cabana rooms all have private beachside access; fully airconditioned with free wi-fi, they are well-stocked with bedlinens, towels, a small fridge, kettle and basic toiletries. The large cabana rooms with a kingsize bed and double sofa bed start at HK$1,300/ night. The slightly smaller rooms with a double or two twin beds start at HK$800/ night.

Reporting by Elizabeth Jerabek, photos by Duey Tam

If you’re feeling more adventurous, TIG also offers campsite rentals in a large grassy space bordered by mature trees less than 50 metres from the beach. You can take your pick from either a fourperson tent starting at HK$500/ night or a six-person tent starting at HK$700/ night. “Camping is the perfect way for groups to spend time together,” says TIG business manager Michael Baird. “For families camping together, we often recommend booking the smaller four-person tents for the adults so they can enjoy a little peace and quiet, and booking the larger six-person tents for the kids.” TIG provides a full-service camping experience which means the tents are set up ready for use, and come complete with bed rolls, cooking utensils, a gas camp stove, lantern and barbecue grill. Most importantly, TIG also provides water for campers. “Not having to carry your own water for the night takes a weight off people’s shoulders, both literally and figuratively,” says Michael. If you have your own camping gear, you might want to check out the no-frills public campsite, maintained by the Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), at the east end of Pui O Beach. Currently closed due to social distancing restrictions, it can accommodate 54 tents some 50 metres from the sea. To apply 22  LIFE ON LANTAU

October / November 2020


JK Club Caravan Park

to camp here (for free), you need to be aged 18 or over and have a Hong Kong identity card. The onsite barbecue pits are a big draw and you can buy cooking equipment at the tuck shops on the road to the beach.

Caravan interior at JK Club

Another great way to enjoy a staycation in Pui O, complete with air conditioning, showers, bedding, power sockets and bluetooth speakers, is at JK Club Caravan Park situated just off South Lantau Road, in a superb rural setting some 550 metres from the beach. There are three slightly smaller caravans suitable for groups of up to four people, and three larger caravans suitable for groups of up to five people. Coming in at around 120 square feet, all six caravans have private bathroom facilities and a hot-water shower. You can rent a caravan from Monday to Thursday for HK$1,999/ night, and from Friday to Sunday and on public holidays for HK$2,499/ night. Groups of two enjoy a 10% discount. Meal packages are available from the Garden Café, JK Club’s onsite restaurant, including a grill-your-own barbecue set complete with charcoal and stove. JK Club also boasts a seven-strong goat playground, and a 2,000 square foot organic farm where you can pick and eat freshly grown strawberries from mid-December to April. “We are hoping for cool temperatures in December so we can grow plenty of strawberries,” says TJ Loo, one of JK Club’s two business partners. Don’t forget the Moet!


• •

JK Club Caravan Park, 6285 2233, 9828 6090, en.jkclub.com.hk

Treasure Island Group, 5236 7016, inquiries@treasureislandhk.com, www.treasureislandhk.com

LCSD Pui O campsite, 2984 1116, www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/camp/campsites/p_ng_po.html


usiness has been growing tremendously for the past couple of years,” Henny Robertson says of Garden Plus, the deceptively small looking, 13-year-old garden centre she runs on South Lantau Road. You can put this down to the fact that the people who live in Pui O (South Lantau in general) tend to be outdoorsy – and their properties often come with a garden and/ or rooftop. You can also lay it at the pandemic’s door, since plant growing as a hobby (both indoors and out) has boomed during recent months. Gardening is a great way to fill time, for some it’s even a kind of therapy. While most of the people who drop in at Garden Plus live in Pui O or in nearby Lantau villages, Henny says she also has a number of clients who regularly make their way over from Tung Chung and Discovery Bay, and even from the Mid-Levels and Sai Kung. Occupying about 1,000 square feet, Garden Plus is packed with plants, seeds, garden tools, soil, fertiliser – everything a keen gardener could need or want. You can also pick up a wide variety of garden furniture, including barbecues and sun shades, both at the Pui O store and at the Garden Plus online shop. But for Henny, who came on board eight years ago, it’s really all about the plants. “We have a nursery in China and some of the plants are local. We also order some from Europe,” she says.

Reporting by Jan Yumul, photos by Duey Tam

A walking plant encyclopaedia, Henny is the go-to person for clients who need advice, always just a WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger away. She grew up in Bulacan, north of Manila, and she’s inherited the teachings of her father who was a farmer. “We’re offering support,” she says cheerfully. “If you have questions then we answer them. We give advice on how to garden – what to plant where and when.” Ever quick to reassure people who come to her saying they don’t have a green thumb, Henny says it’s all about the way you “take care of the plants, and knowing what is good for outdoor or indoor. “When you buy a plant, you have to know how much water it needs, if it needs shade, what kind of soil, whether you have to use fertiliser…” For outdoors, Henny recommends lemon trees and bougainvillea, though she warns that bougainvillea take almost a year to start flowering. Indoors, she currently favours air-purifying plants, like bird of paradise or areca palm. “If people have respiratory problems, passion fruit vines also help with breathing,” she says.

Henny Robertson, manager at Garden Plus

For aspiring horticulturists, Henny recommends windowsill gardening. All you need is a windowsill that receives plenty of sunlight, some potting soil and a couple of containers (with holes for drainage), plus seeds or plant starts. Leafy greens or herbs, such as mint, basil, thyme and parsley, are easy to grow on windowsills, as they adjust well to varying amounts of sunlight. Just add water. In the coming weeks, Henny will be busy with Christmas tree orders. (You can pre-order through November 30 for a discount.) “All our Noble firs come from the US. We do around 150 trees a year,” she says proudly. “There are five sizes to choose from this year, and all are fresh-cut, meaning they should last throughout the holidays. “The Christmas trees will arrive in Hong Kong around November 26 for delivery that same week,” Henny adds. And for those of us who live in Lantau, Garden Plus also provides a handy disposal service.


Garden Plus, www.gardenplus.com.hk

www.lifeonlantau.com October / November 2020



The friendly

neighbourhood vet


rom treating a tiny bug bite to finding lost terrapins and doing house calls, the team at the Community Vet Clinic in Pui O has, time and again, proven invaluable to small animals (and their owners) throughout South Lantau. At the helm is petite, camera-shy Dr Queeny Chan who came on board two years ago. It’s business as usual at the clinic despite social distancing, and Dr Queeny shares that she averages around 50 to 70 cases a week, mostly dogs and cats who come in for regular check-ups and vaccinations. This friendly neighbourhood clinic also provides microchip implants and dog license applications, diagnostic lab tests, digital radiology, surgeries and dental care, as well as pet food retail and pet transport and cremation services. “We often cooperate with Team for Animals in Lantau South (TAILS) to do rescue jobs, de-sexing, vaccinations and check-ups,” Dr Queeny adds. “Occasionally the volunteers have emergency cases for sick animals and we can provide immediate treatment before they are taken to a bigger clinic.”

Reporting and photos by Jan Yumul

The most common injuries Dr Queeny treats are caused by dog fights. “We have quite a number of dog-bite cases because most of the pets here are free range, not kept at home,” she says. Pet owners are advised to keep their animals indoors if they’ve got wounds to prevent maggot infestation – it takes about 14 days for a maggot-infested wound to heal.

Dr Queeny with a cute client

Dr Queeny is quick to stress the importance of profilactive treatments. She urges owners to invest in tick collars for their pets and also to stay up-to-date with immunisations, particularly against contagious diseases. “Leptospirosis killed about 10 dogs in the village last year,” she says. “Most of the time they get the disease by drinking water contaminated by rat urine, so we advise owners to keep their dogs on a leash when they take them for walks and to try to keep them from splashing in puddles.” When it comes to diet, Dr Queeny is well aware that people love to feed their pets what they eat themselves, in addition to store-bought pet food – and she’s a fan of this idea, up to a point. “If you’re going to prepare some homemade meals like meat and rice for your pets, it’s good to add a supplement powder to their food because in the long-term they may lack vitamins and minerals.” Owners are encouraged to monitor their pets’ bowel movements, as well as their eating and drinking habits, in order to help Dr Queeny identify any problems. “It’s really helpful if we can get some basic information about their daily habits, that way we can eliminate some possibilities and find out what the problem is more quickly,” she explains. Another thing we can keep an eye on at home is our pets’ dental hygiene. “We recommend regular dental check-ups (scaling) each year but it’s also very important to care for your pets’ teeth yourself, particularly if they are on homemade or canned food,” Dr Queeny says. “You can use a brush, with some cleansing wipe and cleansing solution or, if your pet is not OK with brushing, you can try special prescription food that helps remove plaque and tartar. “One more thing we want owners to pay attention to is how they pick up their pets,” Dr Queeny concludes. “Most of the time they pick them up by the armpit, but this doesn't give enough support to their back.” When you want to cuddle your pet, pick her up from the front while also supporting her bottom.

FIND IT The Community Vet Clinic opposite San Wai Village Office


October / November 2020


• Community Vet Clinic, 3486 6100, communityvethk@gmail.com


Where everybody knows your name


o say that Pui O is packed with bars and restaurants (and bar-restaurants) would be overstatement but for such a small village there are a surprising number. That’s currently eight by our count: four local restaurants, three Western bar-restaurants (Tap Tap, The Water Buffalo and Treasure Island) and one bar (JK Club). The ongoing social distancing measures – and the total dine-in ban before it – have dealt a harsh blow to all these businesses but they’re hanging in there. Just. Matthew Bradford, the friendly manager at Tap Tap, now clocks in from Friday to Sunday – he used to work five days a week before COVID-19 showed up. “When we had the lockdown for the evenings, the rest of the week died,” he says frankly. Business has been bad, there’s no sugar-coating it, and Matthew draws attention to the disconnect that means a group of 10 people can sit on the MTR at 12am but only four can sit together in a restaurant at 10pm. “If that’s going to happen on the MTR then it needs to happen in bars and restaurants too,” he says, calling for measures that are “equal across the board.

Reporting by Jan Yumul, photos by Duey Tam

“I think one of the biggest problems for any business is you’ve had a full-time team and then because of all the restrictions, you’ve had to lay off some staff, put some on unpaid leave, put some on part time,” Matthew adds. “The wage subsidy helps, to a certain extent, but it’s not enough.”

Matthew Bradford, manager at Tap Tap Bar & Restaurant

the need to “carry on, being careful with each other,” while taking a practical approach. “This pandemic has reinforced the lessons that we learnt in SARS, so we all know how to work with common sense,” he adds. Ask Matthew what new lessons the pandemic has taught him and he highlights two things. First, he’s worked out what he wants. If he won the Mark Six, he’d like to own a “cheap, cheerful, local” restaurant – someplace simple without Michelin-stars or massive overheads. Second, he’s feeling more connected. “I think lots of us have a greater sense of unity than we’ve ever had before,” he says. “The good that’s come out of it is solidarity.”


• • • •

JK Club, 2984 0220 Tap Tap Bar & Restaurant, 2015 0903 The Water Buffalo, 2109 3331 Treasure Island Group, 5236 7016

For the most part, Tap Tap continues to rely on its takeaway trade for survival, though Matthew says there are still a few locals who’ll “get off the bus after work and have a couple of drinks, and maybe a steak or a pizza.” The weekends are quiet too. Even Tap Tap’s loyal band of musicians has had to stop playing. Yes, musicians. Rewind to the start of the year and you’ll find that Tap Tap was a seriously chilled little music venue, known for its rockin’ weekend jam sessions. Depending who was playing on any particular night, you could get a loose improvisational jam, or songs from across the spectrum of modern music. The official home of local musicians’ collective The Swamp (previously The Ad Hocs), Tap Tap also regularly hosted Pui O rockers The Banded Kraits. The good times need to roll again. Matthew, a Lantau resident of 10 years, believes the government should relax existing distancing measures so that businesses can get back on track. He emphasises 26  LIFE ON LANTAU

October / November 2020


Tap Tap is known for its music nights – and its fajitas




It’s October, aka hiking season, so what better way to spend an autumn afternoon than with a steep climb to 529 metres in Tung Chung, and a stroll along Pok To Yan ridgeline. Jason Pagliari reports

Photos by Jason Pagliari


ooking for a testing hike that takes you high above Tung Chung and back in around three hours? This one’s increasingly popular with fit and enthusiastic hikers, since it offers up steep climbs, superb views and the option of a detour to one of Lantau’s most interesting rock formations, the ‘Book Cliff.’ You’ll be climbing the mountain ridge that extends from above Tung Chung Fire Station to the Caribbean Coast development reclamation, and returning via a descending ridge which ends above the North Lantau Highway.

At this point you reach a dirt trail. You’ll have to crouch under many low branches initially and, making your way generally right, you’ll see two peaks at a steep angle above you – it’s the big one on the left (Pok To Yan) you’re climbing. At about 75 metres elevation, the forest thins out and the trail becomes increasingly steep. Once out of tree cover, you can orientate yourself, noting that you’re directly in line with Shun Tung Road.

Standing at the corner of Chung Yan Road and the beginning of Tung Chung Road (where the overhead walkway from the North Lantau Hospital starts), you turn east towards looming Pok To Yan and follow the road past the newly completed high-rise housing development on your left. You then follow its site hoarding up a rise a short way to a concrete building where your hike begins. Take a right after this building (which has no roof, it’s for stormwater flash-flood control), and climb the concrete steps behind it. At the top, take a left and you’ll soon see, on your right, some ribbons in the trees heading uphill. Follow the ribbons, take a left fork and eventually you will find yourself on a concrete drainage channel which ascends into a forest of low, gnarly trees.

Continuing up, you’ll find that the trail gets pretty steep – from about 150 metres to 350 metres you’ll be climbing at an angle of 45 degrees in places. Be sure to take plenty of rest stops on the way as it’s hard work. But the good news is that there are rocks firmly embedded in the earth, which provide a good foothold, so you don’t have to worry about slipping. Also, there are no plunging, vertigoinducing drops to contend with.


October / November 2020


The steep climb

Halfway into your climb, you’ll see Yat Tung Estate and the coastal Ma Wan village to the northwest, with Nei Lak Shan and Lantau Peak (Fung Wong Shan) behind. As you climb higher, you’ll be using your hands to hold onto rocks and, at about 300 metres, there’s a short

View from Pok To Yan’s third peak across the descending ridge

but particularly steep, rocky stretch which you do have to physically haul yourself up. When you get above 350 metres, the tough part of the climb is over and you’re on a gentle, bushy path, which leads over a few ‘false summits.’ You can now see Wong Lung Hang Valley far below and, by the time you’ve reached the first peak, you’ll have passed three ridges below on your right. All of these ridges have steep, narrow trails but the last one is probably the easiest; it looks like a knifeedge and its trail start is difficult to find, but it could be another route up from Wong Lung Hang Valley. Along the ridge Pok To Yan ridgeline (‘thin razor’s edge’) actually consists of three gently undulating peaks at an elevation of around 500 metres. This hike takes you up and over all three and the trail is fairly steep in places though not difficult. At the top of the second peak, you’ll see an old trig point that’s been mostly demolished – it seems this peak has been demoted from ‘summit status.’ From here, the view over Tung Chung and

the Caribbean Coast skyline is fantastic. You may not be able to see this view by December since the air quality and visibility steadily deteriorates over the dry season, so October really is a great time to do this hike. There are some boulders overlooking the last peak, where you can rest up and scan the ridge top on your right for the location of the previously mentioned Book Cliff, which is hidden in a secluded treecovered area. This rock formation begs for a closer look. But first you continue on, to the third peak, the true summit of Pok To Yan which stands at an impressive 529 metres. From the trig point, there’s a great view over the next mountain along the coast, the pointy and extremely steep Por Kai Shan. Por Kai Shan (‘old woman’s hair mountain’) is backed by the land reclamation which now extends all the way up to the Hong KongZhuhai-Macau Bridge. There’s a major trail along the base of Por Kai Shan, which you will be taking for a while, turning off at a ridge heading downhill to the northwest, and back to Tung Chung. But first you take that detour. www.lifeonlantau.com October / November 2020



The Book Cliff

Detour to the Book Cliff

Downhill to Tung Chung

Heading right after the trig point, look out for bushy trails with ribbons leading to the tree-covered area mentioned earlier. Soon, there’s a fork – the left path takes you to the clifftop, the right fork leads just a short way down to the base of the Book Cliff.

Heading downhill, following steps consisting of wide wooden shutters filled with earth, you see Por Kai Shan ahead and pass the implausibly steep trail up to its summit. As the path swings eastwards towards the coast round the base of Por Kai Shan keep a close eye out for a trail on your left that leads downhill to a ridgeline in line with the far away Novotel Citygate hotel. This section of your hike is popular with Tung Chung residents, but it’s quite steep in places with lots of loose stones, so take it slowly.

Also known as the Heavenly Book Wall, this feature consists of two sheer vertical rock walls about 8-metres high aligned at a right angle. It looks like a giant book that’s been opened by divine forces. The thick forest here is nourished by a stream that runs down to Wong Lung Hang Valley – this stream is a favourite climb for stream trekkers, perhaps the most extreme of all hikers. After taking in the beauty of the Book Cliff, head back up the trail due east until it hits a main thoroughfare – the path to the right goes up and around Lin Fa Shan and onwards to Sunset Peak (Tai Tung Shan), but you go left, to the north and back towards the coast.

Rounding the first peak of Pok To Yan ridgeline, looking west towards Nei Lak Shan and Lantau Peak


October / November 2020


Once past the rocky section, you’re back on an even trail and there’s a fork, where you keep right. Soon you arrive at a water catchment and retaining wall with concrete steps going down. There are 11 of these to descend, with 50 steps between each one. Continue on until you hit a larger retaining wall with handrails, just above Cheung Tung Road, next to the North Lantau Highway. Follow this wall west through a breezy forest of tall trees and after you cross a bridge over a stormwater channel, drop down to the road. From here, you soon pass under a bridge which will take you to the Caribbean Coast or you can continue on and take a left onto a cycle path – within five minutes you’ll be at the main bus stop in front of Tung Chung Fire Station.

Pok To Yan summit, with the Book Cliff location on the right

GIVING LIFE SHOULDN’T BE SO DEADLY Ramatoulaye, who lives in Burkina Faso, was about to give birth to her fourth child, but the boatman was nowhere to be found. Unable to get to the health centre across the river, she gave birth alone on the river banks. Maternal health is a human right — join Amnesty International to defend human rights for women like Ramatoulaye. Learn more at www.amnesty.org.hk.

© Anna Kari


Candy corn, toffee apples and a witch’s brew, get ready for a wickedly indulgent Halloween

Witch’s Brew Serves 1 1 pumpkin 1tsp honey 6tsp fresh lemon juice 4tbsp bourbon ¼tsp fresh ginger, ground ¼tsp cinnamon, ground

Photos courtesy of stock.adobe.com

6tbsp ginger beer

Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and stringy fibres, and discard the innards. Cut into small cubes and peel. Place in a pan of boiling water and cook until tender. Purée down to a liquid and leave to cool. Next, place 2 tablespoons of pumpkin purée, the honey, lemon juice, bourbon, ginger and cinnamon in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain over ice into a large glass. Stir in the ginger beer, and garnish with a cinnamon stick or jellied sweets.


October / November 2020


Candy Corn Makes 25 3½oz granulated sugar 6tbsp light corn syrup

the heat. Pulse the icing sugar and powdered milk until smooth. Add the sugar syrup and vanilla extract and stir to form a dough. Once cool, divide into 3 equal pieces.

3 drops each yellow and orange food colouring

Add 3 drops of yellow food colouring to one piece of dough and knead well, add orange colouring to the second, and leave the third white. Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch strand. Cut each strand in half and roll each piece into a strand that is about ½ an inch thick and 22 inches long. Lay the strands side by side and press them together. Cut into 4-inch pieces.

Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and a splash of water in a saucepan. Cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add the butter, and bring the sugar syrup to 110ºC. Remove from

Then, press each piece into a wedge, keeping the orange section wide and making the white part come to a tip. Cut each wedge into individual candies.

2tbsp unsalted butter 4½oz icing sugar ½oz powdered milk ½tsp vanilla extract

www.lifeonlantau.com October / November 2020


Toffee Apples Makes 8 8 green apples 400g caster sugar 1tsp vinegar 4tbsp golden syrup

Cover the apples with boiling water to remove the waxy coating and help the caramel to stick. Dry thoroughly and twist off any stalks. Push a wooden skewer into the stalk end of each apple. Cook the sugar in 100 millilitres of water for 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup. Boil to 150ÂşC. (You can test the toffee by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly.) Dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, let any excess drip away, then place on wax paper to harden.


October / November 2020


AKASH MOVING Local packing, moving, storage & handyman service • All kinds of transport services • Inbound shipment clearance Having stuff delivered from China? They are not delivering to DB or Lantau? Have it delivered to our office in Kwai Chung & we’ll deliver it to your home

Contact 2421 8088 or visit

info@akash.hk www.akash.hk


LIFE ON LANTAU CLASSIFIEDS For reminders about EVENTS www.facebook.com/ lifeonlantaumagazine To advertise in CLASSIFIEDS 2987 0577

info@baymedia.com.hk Deadline for CLASSIFIEDS

December/ January issue

November 15

Dogs and cats on Lantau need you! To adopt or foster a pet and make a difference, head to www.tailslantau.org To offer your support by donating or volunteering, head to www.tailslantau.org/donate-volunteer TAILS’ Adoption Days are held every Saturday, 2 to 5pm; usually we will be at China Bear (Mui Wo) or Treasure Island (Pui O). Stay tuned for weekly location updates by following us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/tailslantau) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/tails.lantau). TAILS’ adoption fee is HK$1,500 for dogs and HK$1,000 for cats. This fee covers the first set of annual vaccinations, rabies vaccination, microchip, de-worm and de-flea treatment, heartworm test and 6 months of heartworm prevention, plus de-sexing surgery and any additional required medical treatment and animal care received prior to adoption. TAILS’ priority is to find the right match that will be in the best interests of both the animal and the family. Please fill in a foster or adoption questionnaire at www.tailslantau.org/adopt.

Jane is just 8 weeks old. She’s from a litter of three newly rescued pups (Jane, Judy and Astro – The Jetsons!) who are all looking for families to take them in and love them forever! Charlie is 11 months old. She was found running around scared looking for food, but she has grown into a beautiful, loving cat who loves to play and chat to her foster family.

Bubi is 12 months old. He loves being outdoors exploring and hiking and he is calm, gentle, playful, friendly and loyal with humans, K9s or felines! He loves to cuddle! Bak-Bak is 12 months old. He is calm, gentle, sweet and easy-to-train, and he loves spending time with his fosters. Like his brother Bubi, he loves socialising with other dogs and going on hikes.


LOCAL NUMBERS COMMUNITY SERVICES Tung Chung Man Tung Road Sports Centre Tung Chung Public Library Tung Chung Public Swimming Pool

2109 2421 2109 3011 2109 9107

EDUCATION Christian & Missionary Alliance Church Education Centre Discovery Mind Play Centre & Kindergarten Discovery Mind Primary School Greenfield International Kindergarten Han Xuan Language Education Centre Salala Kids’ House Soundwaves English Education Centre Sun Island Education Foundation Sunshine House International Preschool Tung Chung Catholic School YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College

3141 7319 2987 8070 2915 0666 2162 5538 2666 5905 2611 9193 2164 7210 2420 1068 2109 3873 2121 0884 2988 8123

ELECTRONIC REPAIRS So Nice Technologies (Onkar Singh)

6206 3497

EMERGENCY – FIRE/POLICE/AMBULANCE – 999 North Lantau Hospital Tung Chung Ambulance Depot Tung Chung Fire Station Tung Chung Police Station

3467 7000 2988 8282 2988 1898 3661 1694

FOOD & RESTAURANTS A Tavola Bar & Grill Curry Lounge Essence Restaurant - Novotel Citygate Handi Indian Restaurant McDonald’s Delivery Melody Thai Moccato Coffee Shop My Thai Olea Restaurant - Novotel Citygate Pizza Hut Delivery Resto Restaurant Velocity Bar and Grill - Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott

2321 5500 2960 1977 3602 8808 2988 8674 2338 2338 2988 8129 3602 8838 2907 6918 3602 8818 2330 0000 2886 3156 3969 1888

HEALTH & WELLBEING Freedas Max Beauty Spa OM Spa - Regal Airport Hotel Quan Spa - Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel Rainbow Voice and Soundhealing Spa by MTM Tung Chung Nail Ninjas

3483 8356 2162 5752 2286 6266 3969 2188 5178 5658 2923 6060 9551 6468

HOME REPAIRS & DESIGN New Look Design Mega Power Engineering/Locksmiths Mr. Chan 24-hours Handyman Shun Yu Engineering

9783 5840 2109 2330 9343 3718 2988 1488

HOTELS Novotel Citygate Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel Regal Airport Hotel

3602 8888 3969 1888 2286 8888

KIDS 4 Dimensions+ (Dance, Gym, Drama, Art) Clement Art School Jumping Castles Kidznjoy Little Stars Playgroup Sakura Kids Soundwaves Tung Chung

9446 6013 9021 1502 9662 1747 6273 7347 6479 0390 6674 6194 2164 7210

36  LIFE ON LANTAU October / November 2020


MEDICAL Bayside Dental Essential Health Family Clinic Human Health Medical Centre Maternal & Child Health Centre North Lantau Hospital Quality HealthCare Medical Quality HealthCare Physiotherapy Raffles Medical Raffles Medical Emergency Skyline Physiotherapy

2185 6550 2109 9396 2109 2288 3575 8370 3467 7000 2403 6623 2403 6328 2261 2626 2261 0999 2194 4038

REAL ESTATE HomeSolutions

3483 5003

REMOVALS & RELOCATIONS Akash Removals FTC Relocations ReloSmart SwiftRelo

2421 8088 2814 1658 2561 3030 2363 4008

RESIDENTIAL ESTATE CONTACTS Caribbean Coast Club House Caribbean Coast Management Office Coastal Skyline Club House Coastal Skyline Management Office Seaview Crescent Club House Seaview Crescent Management Office Tung Chung Crescent Club House Tung Chung Crescent Management Office

2109 9277 2109 9288 2179 6678 2179 6621 3473 8700 3473 8833 2403 6770 2109 1222

SPORT & RECREATION Aqua Gym Asia Pacific Soccer Schools Canterano Futbol Club Dance for Joy Edge ’n Pointe Dance Centre ESF Sports HK Dragons Kinder Kicks Soccer KipMovin La Cantera Perun Fitness Rugbytots Sparrow Soccer School Hong Kong Tung Chung Rugby Club

2914 0658 2385 9677 5611 2490 9264 8597 6688 2167 2711 1280 2987 4274 2385 9677 6180 3256 2557 8007 6443 6597 5307 6677 6051 8196 6079 0825

USEFUL NUMBERS Alcoholics Anonymous Arrow Accounting Services FTC Apparel Phoenix Wills

9073 6922 6201 9710 2428 2566 3100 0101

VETERINARY & PET SITTING SERVICES Bon’s Mobile Pet Grooming Royal Pets Ltd - Pet Sitting Tung Chung Animal Clinic Tung Chung Vet Centre

9099 9959 6314 9887 2988 1534 2328 7282

ART & CULTURE Flanhardt Galerie und Atelier (FGUA)

2882 3390

EDUCATION Ashville International Kindergarten & Nursery Buddhist Fat Ho College Lantau International Kindergarten Lantau International School Lao Shi Lantau Mandarin lessons Little Lantau Montessori Kindergarten Mindfulness Matters Mui Wo Language Cafe Silvermine Bay School

2109 9886 2985 5365 2984 0302 2980 3676 5197 4647 3689 6709 9048 5425 5511 6107 2984 0006

FOOD, BEVERAGES & RESTAURANTS Bahçe Turkish Restaurant Bathers/ Beach House Cafe Isara Caffe Paradiso China Bear Deer Horn Restaurant & Bar Kebab Korner Lantau Grocer Lantana Italian Bistro Le Jardin de Sophie Loi Chan Frozen Meat Co. Long Island Mucho Gusto Natural Plus Robert’s Market Tai O Solo Café The Gallery The Kitchen The Stoep @ High Tide The Water Buffalo Value Vigilantes Treasure Island Restaurant

2984 0222 2504 4788 2470 1966 2984 0498 2984 9720 3484 3095 6429 3507 2702 0050 5465 5511 2997 9070 2984 8346 2320 2001 6422 5009 2984 2233 9193 2937 9153 7453 2980 2582 5991 6292 2980 2699 2109 3331 6132 9120 5236 7013

HEALTH & BEAUTY Greenstyle Organic and Healthcare Pause by the Banyan - health ∙ wellness Spa Ambiance Spa Puretouch Thai Palin Thai Sa Baai

9802 0553 9708 0187 2984 2488 2984 0088 9062 0148 5228 6552

HOME REPAIRS & DESIGN New Look Design Unitek

9783 5840 9156 0360

HOTELS Silvermine Beach Resort Tai O Heritage Hotel

6810 0111 2985 8383

REAL ESTATE HomeSolutions Findley Leung

3483 5003 2984 8334

RETAIL INSIDE Quay House VIBE Book & Music Shop

2890 8606 2882 8710 2984 9371

SPORT & RECREATION Lantau Base Camp Long Coast Seasports Pause by the River - pilates ∙ yoga ∙ dance Treasure Island Group

5463 6060 2980 3222 9708 0187 2546 3543

TRANSPORT New Lantau Bus Company

2984 9848

USEFUL NUMBERS Alcoholics Anonymous Phoenix Wills

9073 6922 6108 8471


2984 0060



LOCAL NUMBERS COMMUNITY Club Siena DB Recreation Club DB Fire & Ambulance DB Marina Club DB Management

2987 7382 2987 7381 2987 7502 2987 9591 2238 3601

EDUCATION DBIS Kindergarten DBIS Primary School Discovery College Discovery Mind International Play Centre Discovery Mind Kindergarten Discovery Mind Primary School, North Plaza Discovery Montessori Academy, North Plaza Discovery Montessori School, North Plaza Epic Adventurers , North Plaza Eye Level Education Learning Centre, North Plaza Lingostars HK, North Plaza Mandarin for Munchkins, North Plaza Mathemagic – home tutoring Mathnasium, North Plaza SKH Wei Lun Primary School Sunshine House International Preschool Zhi Zhi Chinese

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FOOD & RESTAURANTS 22˚ North Coyote Mexican Cantina Epic Foods, North Plaza Gilmore’s by the Golden Pig, North Plaza Hemingway’s McSorley’s Ale House The Pier Bar Uncle Russ, North Plaza

2987 2298 2987 2848 2172 6111 2662 9168 2987 8855 2987 8280 2520 2166 2840 1188

HEALTH & BEAUTY Afflatus Hair Workshop, North Plaza Maximum Care Nailed It!

2987 0283 2987 2060 2987 2266

MEDICAL Bayside Dental Practice, North Plaza DB Medical Centre Health and Care Dental Clinic Island Health Quality Health Physiotherapy

2987 0855 2987 5633 2666 6183 2987 7575 2473 6200

PROPERTY LISTINGS & BOATS Headland Homes Okay.com Savills Hong Kong

2987 2088 2102 0888 2987 1919

RETAIL Bookazine P-Solution Wing On Star Mart, North Plaza

2987 1373 2987 1777 2987 9268 2366 6534

SPORT & RECREATION DB Pirates Rugby, Netball, Hockey & Dragonboat Greenwich Yoga School, North Plaza HK Dragons Football Club Harry Wright International Island Dance Kapuhala Train-in-Space, North Plaza Yoga Bay, North Plaza Yoga Up, North Plaza

9255 6133 9685 8366 5322 5556 2575 6279 2987 1571 6101 8434 6704 9851 8197 5591

TRANSPORT Passenger Telephone Hotline

2987 0208

USEFUL NUMBERS Alcoholics Anonymous Auberge Discovery Bay Hotel, North Plaza Island Veterinary Services

9073 6922 2295 8288 2987 9003

www.lifeonlantau.com October / November 2020



BLOODLINE In this excerpt from Butterfly Hill by Brendan Le Grange, psychopathic anti-hero Hiko Shimuzu makes his way to Mui Wo where he believes the rightful heir to the Chinese throne is in hiding. A high-speed Indiana Jones-style mystery unfolds


iko was interested in Mui Wo, the largest of those villages. The ferry to and from Hong Kong Island docked there, making it a hub for city families on a weekend day out and commuting office workers, though to call it a town would be a stretch. It was really just a handful of restaurants, a pier-side pub, a trailrunners’ store, two supermarkets, a general store selling everything from rubber work boots to art supplies, and a string of shacks hawking buckets and spades to beachgoers. But it had a history long preceding the British colonialists.

successor, who was enthroned as Emperor Huaizong of Song upon the entourage’s arrival in Mui Wo. Setting the village’s fate. The Mongols’ appetite for territory had not been sated and they continued their advance southward, until there were no more Song left. Three years after he escaped, Huaizong was dead, too, jumping to his death in the final stages of the battle of Yamen. Allegedly.

From the middle of the 10th until the end of the 13th century, the Song dynasty led China through a period of unparalleled innovation, scientific d i s c o v e r y, a n d t e c h n o lo g i c a l development. It was a glorious rule. Until it met an irresistible force.

Cover illustration by Adam Hill

The Mongol armies of Kublai Khan invaded the Song dynasty’s lands from the north and drove unceasingly south-ward. They overran Xiangyang, they overran Changzhou, they overran the Song’s capital – when Lin’an fell, the victory of the Mongols was complete. The Song dynasty had been replaced by the Yuan dynasty. Except it wasn’t so simple. In the final chaotic hours of the battle for Lin’an, a band of faithful loyalists hastily enthroned the Grand Empress’s son, the boy prince Duanzong, and slipped through the Mongols’ tightening noose, smuggling the imperial heir and his younger brother south into modern-day Guangdong, and then south again. The young Duanzong succumbed to illness not long into the escape, but he was survived by his five-year-old brother and


October / November 2020


No corpse was ever flaunted in victory. No grave has ever been found. And nor has the Imperial Seal of the Song dynasty. According to an expensive but trusted source, Huaizong had faked his death that day and gone into hiding, along with that most powerful symbol of his legitimate claim to China’s throne. They had been guarded by a band of his most loyal soldiers – and thus the Order of the Cocooned Butterfly was born. Named for the insect’s ability to be reborn, the 700-year-old organisation was dedicated to being the Song dynasty’s chrysalis, waiting for the perfect time for Huaizong’s bloodline to emerge. The emperors had been overthrown, but the present rulers of China were surely not so comfortable in their beds that a believable claimant to the throne would not cause them alarm.

Butterfly Hill by Brendan Le Grange is available at VIBE Book & Music Shop in Mui Wo, on Amazon.com and Book Depository


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For 17+ years the Bay Media team has been publishing the original community magazine in Discovery Bay. Around DB is the most trusted source of content for DB residents. From our humble origins we have grown into another two publications, Life on Lantau and Best of Lantau, and a design studio. We have a very active Facebook presence, over 40,000+ visitors to our website every month and provide tailor-made marketing campaigns to reach our unique readership. We are currently offering special advertising packages (both print and digital) for 2020 and 2021.

For further enquiries on details of our packages, please contact our publisher, Philip Jay, at philip@baymedia.com.hk.

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