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SEPTEMBER 2019 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . co m LIV MAGAZINE

Plant Based

How to turn your home into a plant sanctuary

Fam Jam

Wellness getaways for the whole family

Bound For Greatness Outward Bound changes lives in the great outdoors

happy place FIND YOUR

How mindful design can make a mood

WIN a vitamin infusion, Sake Walk tickets, and a rose quartz facial roller set on page 18!

SEPTEMBER 05 Editor’s Letter



06 Wishlist

22 Superior Interiors

08 It’s a Date

28 Botany 101

10 Hot Right Now

32 Charity Spotlight

12 Fresh Cuts


Lovely things we want right now

Events for your diary

New happenings on the wellness scene

Dining news that’s good for you

14 Cheat Day

Because #YOLO

16 Reviews

Weight training at Strength Culture

Mindful design that will boost your bliss


What's the best houseplant for you?

Outward Bound Hong Kong

34 Recipe

Grilled watermelon and feta salad from Leaves & Liberty

36 Pamper

Our beauty picks for this month

38 Kid-Friendly

Wellness getaways for families

42 Travel

Cambodia's southern coastline 28




UNLOCK YOUR HIDDEN POTENTIAL Are you feeling stuck or demotivated? Are you at a crossroads in your life, your career or in a relationship? Do you want to break through personal barriers and reach your full potential?


t Ozone, we take a holistic approach to our client service. That’s why we also provide 1:1 transformational life coaching to help you achieve powerful breakthroughs in your personal development and performance – whether it relates to health and fitness, or whether you are looking to develop your leadership skills, career path or personal character. Transformational coaching enables you to achieve self-awareness, discover your blind spots, experience shifts in your mindset, build self-confidence, and realize your dreams! For a free initial consultation with a Certified Transformative Life Coach, email (No membership required, and video coaching also available.)



SPECIAL OFFER: 50% off normal session price. Ozone Fitness terms and conditions apply.


HOT GIRL SUMMER September is here, and with it comes the end of what has undoubtedly been one of the most memorable summers in the city to date. From typhoons to tear gas, it’s been a crazy one, and with all the tension boiling over outside you’d be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed, overextended, and just over it in general. That’s why it’s so important to have a safe space, a place where you can recalibrate and bring yourself back to a state of inner peace. Finding and making a happy place of your own takes minimal effort (really!) but has so much impact on your wellbeing, that’s it’s hard to argue against. We talk to the experts about how to build your own personal sanctuary with our cover story on Happy Places on p.22. Part in parcel (or pot in parcel?) with that theme are plants. Houseplants are one of the simplest yet impactful things you can do to improve the look of a space, but also your personal wellbeing. If you’re not a natural greenthumb, don’t stress - we’ve done our research and rounded up the best plants for any kind of home, from low-light to neglectful owners, on p.28. Speaking of changing a space, you might have noticed a new look on some of our pages this month. We’ve refreshed our Fresh Cuts section (p.12) emphasising more F&B news and an in-depth look at our favourite food trends; first up, mooncakes! We’ve also changed up our Family section (p.46), giving our Liv mamas and papas more news, events and products to keep the whole fam happy. Send your tips for food and family related news to, and remember to stay safe out there!

MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS Zoe Belhomme gives you the lowdown and dirty on the best reusable nappies, in our redesigned family section on p.46.

Kate Springer flies out to Cambodia’s oft overlooked coastline to check out its southern shores on p.42.

From arrowhead to venus flytrap, Cherry Kong rounds up the best plants for your home on p.28.

Bro, do you even lift? Jo Robinson tries out a weightlifting class at new fitness studio Strength Culture on p.17.

Sally Victoria Benson sends news of an extra-special fireworks competition in Macau this month on p.44.



Photographer: Sarah Thrower Model: Imogen Dunn


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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG SENIOR SALES MANAGER ANSHU RIJHWANI SALES MANAGER AILEEN CHAN EDITOR CARLA THOMAS WRITER ZOE BELHOMME SOCIAL MEDIA STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN TAMMY TAN EDITORIAL ASSISTANT CHERRY KONG CONTRIBUTORS JO ROBINSON, KATE SPRINGER, KELSEY TANGEL, SALLY VICTORIA BENSON PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2019 Liv Media Limited. The content provided here is the property of Liv Media Limited and may not be reproduced in any part without the written permission of the Publisher. The information provided by Liv Media Limited’s contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the company. The information provided by Liv Media Limited, or its staff, advertisers and contributors is given in good faith; readers should gather more information before making the decision to purchase any goods or services highlighted here. Liv Media Limited will not be held responsible for any action, omission or error resulting from actions taken on the basis of the information provided here. Please seek the approval of a doctor before following any health advice.


Retail Therapy


Here's what we're crushing on this month


Treat yo’self to Emack and Bolio’s Mid-Autumn themed ice cream. Available only from September 6-15. $78 from Emack & Bolio’s

A BRUSH WITH FATE Keep your mane on the straight and narrow with the GHD Glide, a heated styling brush that was sold out just two weeks after its launch. $1,580 from GHD


Eyewear chains are trending everywhere, and we’re here for it! Made with 18K gold and freshwater pearls, this Lien Atelier chain is luxurious, stylish and keeps your eyewear firmly on your person at all times. $1,700, 6


Sustainable skincare brand, Bamford, is officially launching in Hong Kong. Visit the pop-up at the Upper House, and pick up a gorgeous lavender and peppermint handwash for your bathroom. Available from Bamford

Retail Therapy



From the bold prints to the dramatic black panel, this voluminous skirt is total goals. $2,858 from Emma Wallace


Inspired by the Bauhaus architectural movement, this ring is made up of dozens of tiny squares for a subtle but stylish piece. $13,750 from Niessing

Don’t let anything slow you down with this sleek one-shoulder pack with room for just the essentials. $650 from The North Face


Sophisticated flavours like Rose Pistachio and Matcha Yuzu elevate these Pura Vida granolas from crunchy hippie to divine goddess. $98, 7


IT’S A DATE SEP 21- 22

IRIS YOU WELL Warm up those hamstrings, because urban fitness festival IRIS is back for another edition this fall! Hong Kong’s biggest health and wellness festival, here you’ll find everything from fitness classes to silent disco to every style of yoga under the sun salutation. It’s not all about the body though. This edition’s

theme focuses on saying goodbye to negative energy and embracing balance in one’s life. Expand your mind in the newly added Zen Garden, which will focus on meditation and healing. Weekend tickets ring in at $380 in advance, or $450 on the door. Central Harbourfront,

SEP 22


Organising events over land and sea (quite literally what TerraMar means in Spanish), this outdoor enthusiast group hosts an array of different races throughout the year. The Hoi Ha SwimRun will take participants through one of Hong Kong’s relatively unknown beauty spots near the Chinese border. Each of the four stages includes a run and swim section, through majestic terrain and clear waters that will test both stamina and technique. Although this race isn’t designed for beginners, there are two distances to choose from, an achievable but still challenging 8km and a 20km for people who know what they’re doing! Entry fees start at $380. For race timings and exact start location, check out 8


SEP 26


SEP 25


If you’re working in the fitness industry, or thinking about getting into it, the Asia Fitness and Wellness Summit is hitting Hong Kong for its first time this month. Gain a better understanding of industry trends through seminars and thought leadership sessions, or join networking sessions to connect you with fitness movers and shakers. Liv readers also enjoy a 10 percent discount on tickets with promo code LIVMAGHK when booking.

Love kombucha, but not the hefty, health store markup? Make it yourself with Foodcraft’s Kombucha Workshop. Learn to make the effervescent, tangy beverage at home for a fraction of the price of the shop-bought versions. This two-hour workshop will teach you everything you need to know about making the perfect kombucha, including what equipment you need, the potential pitfalls and how to look after your little SCOBY for optimal results. Tickets available for $680 via Eventbrite, which includes your own kombucha starter kit worth $480. 6-8pm, Room A, 21/F Yiuga Factory Building, 62 Victoria Rd., Kennedy Town.

8am-7pm. The Mira Hotel, 118 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui,




Didn’t book a city break during Mid-Autumn Festival? No matter, just head down to Tamar Park for a charity sunset yoga session, hosted by Java Yoga. Enjoy the positive energy of an uplifting practice, with the added feel-good factor of giving back to the community. Pay as you please for the session but remember, all money collected will go towards charities who support the Indonesian and Philippine communities. Pre-booking not necessary - just bring your mat, towel and a generous spirit! 6-7:15pm. Visit or call 9455-7780 for more info.

Starting this month, Bobby’s Rabble on Wyndham Street will host “Inspiring Mondays,” where special guest speakers take to the stage to tell their inspiring stories. The first guest to speak will be Mui Thomas, author of “The Girl Behind the Face”. Born with a rare genetic skin disorder that covered her body in scar-like fissures, Mui was abandoned at birth in Hong Kong. She was later adopted by a family, and would go on to become both the world’s first rugby referee and yoga teacher with harlequin ichthyosis, and the fourth oldest survivor of it in the world. Entry is a $100 donation to a charity of Mui’s choice, and includes one house drink. Space is limited, so email to reserve your place. From 7pm at Bobby’s Rabble, 46 Wyndham St. 9

Cool Stuff

HOT RIGHT NOW News from the wellness scene


One of the latest fitness studios to grace the Tsim Sha Tsui hood, Ikigai is a gem well worth checking out for anyone in need of an urban escape from the hurly burly of nearby Nathan Road. Specialising in yoga, meditation and conscious movement classes, the studio also offers some neat extras, like “Silent Hours,” when students are welcome to come in and use the space for anything quiet, like meditating, studying, or just chilling with a good book. Aptly named after the Japanese concept, “a purpose for being,” you’ll find a strong emphasis on mind-body connection here, with a well-stocked roster of classes offering everything from immersive sound meditation to a wide range of yoga classes, including power vinyasa, yin, and Katonah. New guests are being offered one free introductory class as well as a $200 unlimited oneweek pass, and 30 percent off their packages. Unit 1207, 62 Mody Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui,


If you haven’t heard it on the grapevine yet (and if so, are you living under a rock?!), Hong Kong is getting its first Sephora store in IFC Mall. Opening sometime this month, this 4,200 square foot flagship store will carry over 40 exclusive brands, including Rhianna’s cult makeup line, Fenty Beauty, as well as a selection of local brands. This isn’t just any old brick and mortar beauty shop, though; Sephora has upgraded its website to include online services like a “Virtual Artist,” which gives users the chance to test and compare products digitally before buying. Customers can also book in-store services online like brow-shaping, making the whole self-care experience that much more seamless. The only downside is the large credit card bill you might get at the end of the month - but with a fully stocked makeup bag and brows to die for, it’s probably worth it. IFC Mall, 8 Finance St., Central, 10

Cool Stuff


It can be hard choosing sustainability over convenience, but who says they have to be mutually exclusive? KIRR is a new online platform based in Hong Kong aimed at helping us lead more eco-friendly lives. An acronym for “Keeping It Real & Raw,” the site is the brainchild of the people behind specialist bakers The Cakery, and focuses on spreading information to champion the rise of sustainable living. Offering recipes, tips, articles and a beautifully curated range of slow fashion, accessories, homeware, clean beauty and children’s toys, you can’t help but jump on the green bandwagon with this sleek website. Taking zero-waste to the next level, KIRR stocks a range of basic food ingredients and healthy snacks in bulk, without any harmful packaging to encourage people to cook at home and reduce plastic waste. They also offer a wide range of gluten-free, organic and vegan ingredients that can be delivered directly to your home.

PUNCHY HEADLINE Having operated out of Warrior Hong Kong in Tin Hau for the last year, super-trendy boxing gym Lights Out has grown into its own space in Sheung Wan. Classes are 50 minutes of alternating high-intensity boxing and fitness workouts in an uninhibited atmosphere thanks to dimmed lighting and energising soundtracks. The new studio will include nine aqua bags (better than heavy bags for preventing injury when you’re throwing punches) and nine brand new custom-built floor stations for a serious full-body workout. Packages start at $1,250 for five classes, or if you’re just testing the waters, there’s a 2-for-1 class introductory offer for $300. 11/F, 22-26 Bonham Strand, The Pemberton, Sheung Wan, 2512-2262,



r e h t o n A t s u J

e k a c n o o M c i n a M

ooncake -maligned m ch u m e th r, and suga Festival. den with lard la y ll a n io Mid-Autumn it is d th Tra r ve o e k a -conscious m gets a health

THE CAKERY This year, The Cakery is partnering up with sustainable Chinese restaurant John Anthony to create four different mooncake flavours, each bursting with health-boosting ingredients. Think black and white sesame; mango, ginger and turmeric; dark chocolate and Sichuan pepper; and rose and mixed berries. Free from gluten, egg, dairy and refined sugar, they ring in at roughly 40 percent fewer calories compared to traditional mooncakes. $398 for four, or $88 each. Pre-order essential. Shop 303, 3/F, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, 6683-3833.

SUPERNUTRI Using chia seeds as the key ingredient, Supernutri has created a lineup of mooncakes that look as good as they taste. Low in sugar, oil and free from artificial colours, flavours in the box of six include matcha and red bean; rose and pine nut; almond and purple yam; oat and pecan; or osmanthus and black sesame. Buy vouchers from various outlets, including Mira Place, Sogo and HKTVMall. Redemption counter: Mira Place, L/2 Mira Bridge, 118-130 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui. 12



FOODCRAFT Catering for allergy sufferers is FoodCraft’s mission, and with their gluten-, cholesterol-, trans fat- and sugar-free vegan mooncakes, everyone can get in on the fun. These cakes come in an adorable gift set that combines matcha and chocolate cookie dough and black sesame mooncakes with healthy golden latte, cinnamon rose and blue sage and lavender teas. The set is $288 and comes in eco-friendly packaging for extra green points. Place your order on by September 6; delivery will be made on September 11-12.

Longstanding vegetarian favourite Grassroots Pantry shuttered its doors to make way for Nectar, a brand-new concept from chef and owner Peggy Chan. Taking sustainability and earth-friendly practices to the next level, this vegan fine-dine will offer tasting menus of five, eight or twelve courses, showcasing the latest and most innovative eco-friendly ways of preparing plants.

FEAST TO BRING NEW BRUNCH CONCEPT TO HONG KONG The brainchild of events company Magnetic Asia and catering company Pyjama, FEAST is a brand-new brunch event, where eight chefs from top local restaurants come together to create a multi-course, free-flow banquet. The first event is taking place on September 7-8 at PMQ and features dishes from Aaharn, Francis and Kinship, to name a few. It’s $680 per adult for free-flow food and drink from 12:304:30pm. Learn more at


GREEN COMMON New for 2019, Green Common has partnered up with Patisserie La Lune to create a vegan custard mooncake. The secret ingredient? ForaFaba Butter, a vegan butter made from chickpea water and vegetable oils. These morsels contain 25 percent less fat, 8 percent fewer calories, and 11 percent less sugar than traditional mooncakes, and are also free from cholesterol and trans fats. A set of four is $218. Love Green Common’s ever-popular blueberry and mixed nut mooncake? Fear not: they’re also available at $258 for four. Available at Green Common outlets citywide.

Quick, healthy and cheap meals abound at Sprout Cafe, a casual vegetarian spot in the middle of Wan Chai. Takeaway options start at just $39 on weekdays, or once the restaurant is fully opened in early September, you can go for the healthy buffet for just $98 for a 50-minute slot. Come for the buffet; stay for the delicious vegan cakes, coffees and healthboosting smoothies.

AVOBAR TO OPEN IN K11 MUSEA Love avocados? You’ll be thrilled to learn that Covent Garden’s Avobar is opening an outpost in new harbourside mall, K11 Musea. We don’t have all the details as of press time, but expect IG-tastic “on-toast” dishes, Buddha bowls and superfood-packed dishes, all paying tribute to the humble avocado, in a bright, leafy space. Keep an eye open for updates at facebook. com/avobarhk. 13



Because life’s too short to always order the salad

SIP-LY THE BEST Just in time for those balmy summer nights, Thai fusion hotspot Sip Song has opened its doors to the starving and sunburnt masses at Repulse Bay. The latest offering from Maximal Concepts, Sip Song is a lovesong to Head Chef Nuch Srichantranon’s native Bangkok roots and southern Thai beaches. Inspired by the adventurous flavours of Thailand’s street foods, the kitchen here maintains a mean and sinfully smoky grill that you’ll smell before you see, clocking char grilled meats like pork neck, squid and marinated chicken as they waft along the beachfront. Highly rated mains include Lemongrass & Fish Sauce Pork Ribs (pictured), a crispycoated, grilled sharing plate that’s served doused in tangy fish sauce, or peppery Jungle Curry Clams in green peppercorns and hot basil. If you’re more of a classicist, you’ll find staples like Pad Thai and Pad See Ew also available, as well as a creative cocktail list with ingredients like condensed milk, coconut and gin infused with kaffir lime leaves for that extra Thai nod. Who needs a Koh Samui getaway anyway? Shop 114-115, Level 1, The Pulse, 28 Beach Rd., Repulse Bay, 2328-8285,


D Feature ining Sponsored



o understand the unifying power of sport, you only need to attend the Hong Kong Sevens. Every year teams from around the world send their best rugby players to duke it out on the field, and the world turns up to watch them do it. Why? Because sport transcends language, culture and borders, bringing people of all walks of life together for the pure and simple love of the game. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world is lucky enough to enjoy the opportunities that a love of sport can provide. That’s why RedBox Storage is dedicated to instilling the spirit of rugby into communities outside of Hong Kong. Working with the Lao Rugby Federation, RedBox Storage has supported youth with a passion to pursue their dreams both on and off the field in a banner year for youth rugby in Laos with a series of activities. In March, Laos’ U16 girls rugby team, Segantii Lao Nagas, travelled to Hong Kong for the first time ever to compete in the world’s largest all-girl rugby tournament, the All Girls International Rugby Sevens Tournament. This elite event brings together female youth players from around the world to compete and learn from each other, a unique and deeply enriching opportunity for young women. It was the first time for the twelve girls to leave their home borders, as well as their first shot at playing rugby at an international level. This historic event was thanks to sponsorship from Segantii Capital Management and RedBox Storage and it was also a testament to female sport on the rise in Asia; with a 56 percent female coaching force, female participation in rugby in Laos is among the highest in the world. Every year, the sport of rugby grows in Laos, with 300 registered players in 2015 to over 3,000 today.

Supporting Organisations:

Rugby Bridges Hong Kong and Laos Youth Over twelve weeks this summer, RedBox Storage was also a driving force behind a citywide collection drive for rugby kit to start a new season in Laos. Working with Hong Kong clubs and schools, the campaign collected over 800 items of apparel, including rugby boots, jerseys, shorts and sports bras, which were cleaned, sorted by Under Armour volunteers and delivered to Lao Rugby Federation in Vientiane courtesy of DHL. This kit will help to protect these young rugby players from injury and encourage their continued pursuit of the game. In Hong Kong we often take for granted the opportunities we have. The Lao rugby teams are just one of the organisations that RedBox Storage is grateful to support. Valuing corporate social responsibility, the Hong Kong-based self-storage company aims to enhance communities, local and abroad, through a variety of partnerships with charities and organisations. 



TEST-DRIVE Liv checks out the newest workouts and wellness trends


A great way to think about chakras is doing a full-body

The Buzz: Feeling out of sorts? The answer could lie in your chakras, the seven energy centres that many believe exist in our bodies to help facilitate the flow of energy. While some might balk at the term, chakras are actually a longstanding part of yoga tradition and practice; if you’ve ever practiced plow pose or lion’s breath, for example, you’ve activated your throat chakra. Chakra healers assess your energetic alignment, giving you a sort of spiritual inventory so you can work on unblocking that pesky energy clog and get back

inventory of your health and wellbeing.

Chakra Reading with Flora Chan

to your best self. The Experience: We meet with chakra expert Flora in

Sheung Wan for our reading. Flora starts the reading by explaining what chakras are, and how they can manifest in our lives. From our initial conversation, she seems confident that our root chakra, representative of stability and grounding, is healthy, but detects underactivity in our solar plexus chakra. A healthy solar plexus chakra allows you to know yourself and live confidently; a blockage here can express itself as selfdoubt or in physical ways like asthma or poor digestion. Each chakra is associated with a colour, and as the solar plexus is yellow, Flora recommends absorbing more yellow energy, including spending time in the sun and drinking lemon water. She also points out that just by acknowledging one’s energy, it can be changed - a chakra-fied take on mindfulness, if you will. 16

The Verdict: A great way to think about chakras is doing

a full-body inventory of your health and wellbeing. Exploring how we feel about different areas of our life and psyche is never a bad thing, and it provides an opportunity in our busy lives to self-reflect and be mindful. The entire chakra reading wasn’t unlike a therapy session, and in that vein, felt like a healthy and productive way to spend an hour just checking in with ourselves. Chakra readings cost $500, with discounted rates available when purchasing Flora’s chakra-inspired jewellery line, Flo Jewellery. Flora will be at IRIS event on Sept. 21-22 offering readings and an interactive workshop. Visit or email chakras@ if you want to make a booking.



Weight Training at Strength Culture The Buzz: Having previously built a strong following

through their niche personal training service, Strength Culture co-founders Ian Nam and Denn Robles have finally opened their own dedicated gym on Wyndham Street. These heavyweights are out to prove that strength training is for everyone, regardless of prior fitness background.

The Class: We tried the popular Strongman class,

affectionately branded the Strong(wo)man class given that ladies frequently outnumber men. Capped at eight per class, it’s split into three sections: one main lift, some accessory work (smaller exercises which complement the main lift), and lastly some conditioning, aka cardio. Joining on deadlift day, we were expertly coached through the correct technique whilst slowly building up weight, then transitioned to our accessory work which was all about that booty burn. We finished with a few lengths of the farmer’s carry to get our heart rate pumping. The Verdict: Initially intimidated, we left full of

adrenaline, knowledge and already excited for round two. What we assumed would be an hour of weightlifting was in fact a 75-minute challenging full-body workout. The team seamlessly provide one-to-one coaching within a small group setting, perfect for those brand new to weights or seasoned pros alike. Price: $350 per session, with packages available. 1/F, World Wide Commercial Building, 34 Wyndham St., Central,


KOREAN ATHLEISURE After taking Seoul by storm, Letizia activewear set to launch in Hong Kong Classic yet contemporary, Letizia activewear combines a minimalist K-style aesthetic with quality and functionality. A certified SPF 50, four-way stretch material provides unparalleled comfort, while sexy mesh panels provide a cooling effect. Letizia is launching in Hong Kong on HKTVMall. Leggings will be priced from $400-$650, whlie tops and tees will range from $300-$550.


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GIVEAWAYS Visit for a chance to win!

WIN: two tickets to Sake Walk Most people associate sake with sushi dinners and a precursor to latenight karaoke jaunts, but this traditional rice wine from Japan is so much more than that. With a flavour range that varies from crisp and refreshing to sweet and flowery, it’s an amazingly diverse and complex beverage with literally thousands of years of history behind it. Surprisingly, it also has some potential health benefits; sake is high in amino acids and has been shown to have moisturising effects on the skin (it’s been used as a toner in Japan for centuries.) Sake Walk is Hong Kong’s largest sake event, featuring over 80 sakes from 14 different breweries. Get to know your junmai from your honjozo at this unique event that includes workshops covering how sake is made, food pairings, blind tastings, and much more. Each ticket is valued at $280, which includes $200 worth of tokens, and we have four pairs of tickets to give away.

WIN: a vitamin IV drip at Lifehub Ready to take your hydration to the next level? Get vitamins and electrolytes delivered directly into your bloodstream via an intravenous drip from Lifehub. These magical medical devices are used to deliver a specialised cocktail of healthy goodness that bypasses your gut and liver, meaning that you feel its effects almost instantaneously. Choose a drip that suits you, from boosting immunity to getting over jetlag to a good old-fashioned hangover remedy. Worth $1,280, there’s one infusion of your choice up for grabs.

WIN: a facial roller and guasha scraper set from The Artistry You’ve seen them on Insta, now win one for yourself! Rose quartz and jade has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to enhance circulation, encourage lymphatic drainage, cool inflamed skin, and enhance your natural glow. Courtesy of The Artistry, we have three facial roller and guasha scraper sets to give away, each worth $298.

Enter at before Sept 29 to win!


Workshop and Therapy Room for Hire



All About You Wellness Centre is conveniently located in the heart of Sheung Wan. The Centre offers room rental spaces for private consultations, and a multifunctional training room ideal for workshops, seminars, meditations and group gatherings. All rooms reflect confidentiality and comfort with a reclining sofa, basic soundproofing, and loose furniture available for your setup preferences. All About You was personally designed by founder Sonia Samtani with the intention of coaches, healers, and therapists to provide a safe space for their clients to grow, develop and achieve breakthroughs. To book a consultation room or training room, please visit: | call: 29920828 | Whatsapp: 54358119


Rediscover Your Inner Peace In Hong Kong, we are so consumed with our hectic lifestyles that we rarely slow down for even a second; sadly, inner peace has become a luxury. CHUCHU offers sustainable Palo Santo wood and 100 percent pure essential oil from Peru, which helps clear negative energy and deepen meditation practice, bringing you back to a state of peace, calm and clarity. The grounding scent of Palo Santo, a fresh, slightly resinous and citrusy aroma, helps you rediscover your inner peace that is fundamental to your well-being and happiness. For more details, please visit: | | Whatsapp: 97386949


Sake Walk 2019 Jebsen Fine Wines are excited to be launching the largest sake event in Hong Kong. Held in the beautiful courtyard of House 1881, Sake Walk features over 80 types of sake from 14 breweries. Take this opportunity to meet the knowledgeable brewery owners and producers, and hear their insights. Whether you’re a curious beginner or a sake connoisseur, you’ll enjoy savouring amazing sake flavours for an experience to remember. Find out more here:


Sponsored Feature


This December, set sail aboard Spectrum of the Seas, Royal Carribean’s latest and most impressive cruise liner, on an allinclusive deluxe cruise from Hong Kong to The Philippines.


s the mercury drops in Hong Kong, you might find yourself dreaming of sunny shores and sparkling blue sea. But where to go? The Philippines? Subic Bay and Illocos? With Royal Carribean’s Spectrum of the Sea’s upcoming sailings this Christmas and New Year, you can get the best of both worlds, alongside unparalleled comfort and entertainment.


SPECTACULAR SUBIC BAY One of the stops on Spectrum of the Sea’s December and January cruising is Subic Bay. Situated on the western coast of Luzon around 100 kilometres north of Manila, this Freeport Zone in The Philippines offers world-class entertainment facilities, from water parks to nature reserves, for all ages. Discover the area’s impressive biodiversity with a snorkelling adventure at Capones Island, or experience a wreck dive at the site of the USS New York. Nature lovers should take a trip to the beautiful El Kabayo waterfalls, while adrenaline junkies will find plenty to entertain them at the enormous Inflatable Island water park (including the Instagram-famous unicorn park), the JEST Hunger Games survivalist camp, or Networx Jet Sports, where you can try out big boy toys such as flyboards, hoverboards, jet skis and more. Looking for family-friendly entertainment? Zoobic Safari is the biggest and best zoo in the Philippines. This 25-hectare park contains spacious enclosures that you can navigate by guided jeep tour, as well as interactive zones featuring smaller animals. A stone’s throw away, the indoor Funtastic Park is a great rainy day option. It promotes creativity and problem-solving through interactive exhibits, such as optical illusions, trick eye photo backdrops, mirror mazes, grass slides, trampolines and more.

Sponsored Feature

LET THEM ENTERTAIN YOU A “Quantum Ultra” class of ship, the 16-deck Spectrum of the Seas is a game-changer in the cruise market, thanks to its high-tech entertainment offerings. The 2,000-plus-cabin megaship offers the latest in entertainment technology, including the Skypad, a virtualreality bungee trampoline experience that allows you to experience a new dimension. Prepare to be dazzled by the Vistarama-enabled multimedia entertainment centre, projected onto a 100-foot-by-20-foot wall. Or pay a visit to Star Moment, the state-of-the-art karaoke lounge with a vast library of both classics and the latest chart-toppers. Thrill-seekers will be thrilled to discover an impressive lineup of facilities, including: • RipCord® by iFly®, a skydive simulator experience • Rock Climbing Wall

• FlowRider® surf simulator • Bumper cars • Laser Tag: Battle for Planet ZSM

And so much more!

DINING DELIGHTS Say goodbye to the typical cruise fare: Spectrum of the Seas offers a diverse culinary lineup, meaning you’ll find something new to tantalize your tastebuds every day of your trip. The jewel in the crown is the ship’s 1,844-seat buffet restaurant that serves up an impressive roster of international favourites. Spice-lovers will fall in love with Sichuan Red, which crafts authentic delicacies from this culinary destination. Elsewhere, Jamie’s Italian dishes up modern Italian cuisine while Izumi specialises in delicate Japanese fare.

THRILLING ENTERTAINMENT The fun doesn’t stop there. Let Royal Caribbean entertain you with high tech multimedia shows at Two70, a vast entertainment venue with floor-to-ceiling windows more than 100 feet wide, a 270-degree ocean view, and Vistarama technology, which transforms the windows into a projection surface for dazzling multimedia shows. A must-watch is “Silk Road,” a spectacular live production that fuses hightech visuals for a one-of-a-kind journey through the sights and sounds of China, Central Asia and Europe.

THE VIP TREATMENT For vacationers seeking a little more exclusivity, Spectrum of the Seas is delighted to offer three VIP decks with a separate elevator, restaurant and lounge, exclusively for Golden and Silver suite guests. Plus, these very special guests will enjoy access to The Balcony, an exclusive sun deck with the best views onboard.

HOW DO I JOIN? Booking in for a joyful, fun-filled Christmas and new year cruise couldn’t be easier, with cruises departing on your doorstep at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Just contact your travel agent or connect with us directly to learn more. DAY



Hong Kong








DEPART 16:00








Subic Bay






Hong Kong


Departure Date: 22 Dec 2019 (Christmas) 2 Jan 2020 (New Year) Promotion price: HK$7,624 up/pax *Terms and Conditions apply.

Booking hotline: 3018-3464 Booking center: Suite 2006, 20/F, Tower 1, The Gateway, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui Website:


Cover Story

Find Your

Happy Place From the minimalist movement to Marie Kondo, we all know that our interiors have a huge impact on our wellbeing. So how can we create our own happy place? Carla Thomas speaks to the experts.

Imogen Dunn (photos: Sarah Thrower)


appy home, happy heart. It’s more than just a folksy saying cross-stitched onto a pillow at your nana’s house; the link between our emotional wellbeing and the spaces we inhabit is an obvious one, and something we’ve all experienced firsthand (when’s the last time you were overjoyed to come home to a messy apartment?) The scientific community agrees. A cluttered home environment has been widely shown to impact stress levels, as well as a spectrum of negative physical and mental health effects. A 2009 study by UCLA found that mothers who believed their homes were cluttered were more likely to suffer chronic stress; a 2011 Princeton study revealed that a visually busy environment negatively impacted


Lahra Tatriele’s bedroom haven

decision-making; and in 2016 a study of college students found that students were more likely to reach for unhealthy comfort foods when confronted with a messy kitchen. Things like colours, objects, elements, cleanliness and light are all factors that have been shown to have a real impact on our happiness levels, making the design of a space important to consider for day-to-day wellbeing. “Our environment has a very close relationship to our health and the wellbeing of our physical and mental state,” says Thierry Chow, an expert in feng shui, the Chinese practice of arranging a space to balance its energy flow, or qi. “Having a good living space is essential to

Cover Story

tapping into our best potential self, and ultimately, very good for our souls as well.” Imogen Dunn, a Hong Kong-based interior designer, agrees that the link between personal space and personal wellness are inextricable and fundamentally related. “Bringing wellness to a space means creating places that allow us to come back to our natural senses: appreciating the texture of a wooden table, or the embroidery on a cushion,” says Dunn. “Wellness in a space for me means creating places in which we can live and work feeling our best.”

Taking small steps to be mindful about the space you’re in can have a huge impact on our happiness, which is why creating your own “happy place” could be your next wellness project. It could be the place you love curling up with a good book on a rainy typhoon day, a home altar where you practice yoga, or a plant-filled, fairy-light strewn rooftop where you entertain friends. All a happy place needs to do is turn a frown upside down. Here’s how to make it happen in a few simple DIY decorating steps, straight from the mouths of experts.

Imogen Dunn (photos: Sarah Thrower)

Thierry Chow’s studio (photos: Zuice Flowers)

MAKE IT MEANINGFUL If you’re anything like most Hongkongers, you probably have a sizeable inventory of mass-produced IKEA wares around your home. And while we can’t begrudge anyone the excellent value of an EKTORP or VONSBÄK purchase, designers do suggest including items that have special meaning in order to personalise your space and infuse it with positive associations. “Super-charge your space with positivity,” says Chow. “Place an object that has meaning to you, such as a family photo, a photo of your spouse, or a book with a positive title, somewhere in your space.” Lahra Tatriele, founder of the HK/Bali wellness retreat Fivelements, says she’s made her bedroom her happy place through specially curated items that make

her feel at peace. “The Buddha, crystal and family photos each remind me of defining moments in my life,” says Tatriele, who also feels inspired by her book collection about design and inner beauty. “Collectively, this space brings me a deep sense of joy.” Dunn recommends identifying something you love, such as a beautiful vase, a souvenir from your travels, or a sentimental keepsake, then making it a regular part of your day. Find a place where you spend time daily to put this special item, a place where you feel able to stop for a few moments: waking up, going to sleep, somewhere you know you will be able to appreciate it often.


Cover Story

GO GREEN Plants are proven to be amazing additions to any home. One study by NASA suggests that plants are capable of removing up to 87 percent of air toxins in just 24 hours, making them a great natural air purifier. More than just functional, however, plants have also been shown to improve our concentration, reduce stress levels and boost our mood. “Adding plants to a space is one of the simplest yet most impactful things you can do,” says Dunn. “I’m not green fingered at all, but I love browsing the flower markets, enjoying the beauty of what people have nurtured and grown.”

COLOUR MATTERS Colours affect our mood, and it’s important to choose wisely when cultivating a space that’s designed to make you happy. Studies have shown that using warmer shades of yellow and orange boost creativity and inspire relaxation, while light blues and greens have a calming effect. Chow suggests having some fun with your colour choice, opting for hues like yellow, pink, orange and purple that will energise your space. 24

But be careful not to overdo it; according to Dunn, overusing colour is one of the most common mistakes people make when decorating. “Walking into a space and being faced with a lot of competing colours and patterns feels stressful and overstimulating,” she says. “Choosing natural colours and materials as the foundation for a space, with consciously chosen splashes of a favourite colour or pattern, creates a sense of personal style without it being overwhelming.”

Cover Story

DOES IT SPARK JOY? According to Chow, to best serve the energy of your space, it’s recommended that you “purge” every few months, getting into a regular habit of decluttering your home. “Donating or getting rid of things that no longer serve you will help to open new space for yourself, as well as opening new space for your mind.” Chow also recommends keeping entrance ways, doorways, pathways and desktops tidy, to keep that qi optimally flowing. Dunn also admits that allowing piles of stuff to build up impacts her ability to feel relaxed, especially challenging in a city like Hong Kong where space is so limited. “Creating a structure in a space is impactful: assign places to store the things we need to keep, and space to regularly sort and let go of the things we no longer need. Reducing the amount of clutter allows a space to flow, to feel more balanced and harmonious.”


THE HAPPY HOME OFFICE Use of colour in Thierry’s studio

Imogen Dunn’s living room and her children’s bedroom (opposite)

LIGHT UP A ROOM Creating a sense of light in a space goes a long way to improving its ambiance, and Dunn emphasises the need to nurture the natural light a space has. “Sunlight is essential to the well-being of our bodies, we need exposure to it every day as an essential ingredient to overall health,” she says. Dunn advises taking our cues from the sun, ditching any harsh lighting in favour of things that mimic the sun’s warming energy. “Our bodies naturally function with a circadian rhythm attuned to the rising and setting of the sun, and bright overhead lighting is stimulating and confusing for this natural cycle,” says Dunn. “Introducing low level lighting, or the atmospheric glow of candles, into a living room or bedroom in the evening supports the body to relax and feel ready for sleep.” 26

Setting up a home office? Kate Babington of sustainable furniture brand TREE shares her choice tips for making workspaces happy places. • Create an area where you can stay comfortably seated and focused on what’s at task. Look for a desk that has integrated storage to keep your books, paperwork and stationery neatly tucked away, ensuring you have a clean tabletop void of distractions. • Consider if your desk sits at a suitable height, and whether your chair provides the right support and allows feet to rest flat on the floor. • Keep a table or floor lamp nearby to ensure your workspace is well illuminated. • Factor in where your workspace is and how it works with the rest of your room – a desk in a bedroom should be clutter-free in order to maintain a sense of tranquility for a peaceful night’s rest.




ver wondered how what you eat affects your focus and productivity? Our readers got to take a deep dive into the gut-brain connection at LifeHub, where Executive Director Candice Chan explained how the right diet can lead to better brain function, and offered some practical tips on how to eat to improve your clarity and mental motivation. What’s more, guests got to tour the facility, taste meal boxes prepped by Emporio Antico, and trial some of the products and treatments on offer. Thank you to all our guests, and see you in September for our next event!


GREENING OUT It’s sad but true: in Hong Kong, we’re often stifled by polluted, dirty air. Because of the magic of photosynthesis, plants are little miracle workers when it comes to ridding our air of nasties, a quick life hack for anyone too thrifty to splurge on a flash new air purifier. But with so many plants and so little space, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. Here’s a handy guide of the best plants for your living space. By Cherry Kong





ROOFTOPS AND BALCONIES Aloe vera needs long periods of time in bright sunlight, and they can grow rapidly into fat fleshy plants under the right conditions. Good at withstanding drought, this sunloving succulent flourishes in outdoor areas and requires minimal effort. Best of all, you can harvest its gel to make homemade face masks, hair care or skin relief. Cactus thrives in the mild winter climate of Hong Kong, and a few of these prickly plants are a fun way to add some desert chic to a balcony or rooftop. Although cactus famously tolerates droughts well, it will succumb to too much moisture. Use a good drainage soil to prevent it from retaining too much moisture, and consider moving indoors when the heavy rains of summer hit. Aloe vera


LOW-LIGHT AREAS Syngonium podophyllum, or arrowhead plant, is a great choice for beginner gardeners as it’s relatively easy to maintain. Preferring humid conditions, this plant is great for bathrooms or other areas with low ventilation, and easily adapts to darker spaces. Bird’s nest fern, or asplenium nidus, hails from the floor of dense tropical rain forest areas, making it accustomed to partial sunlight - or that shadowy corner of your home. It prefers high levels of humidity and hotter temperatures, so is perfectly suited for Hong Kong’s climate.

Arrowhead plant 29



PEOPLE WHO KILL EVERYTHING Tillandsia is the ultimate lowmaintenance plant. No potting soil or water are needed as trichomes on their leaves help absorb water and nutrients directly from the air - how cool is that! Their watering routine couldn’t be simpler – simply soak in water every month or two, depending on the humidity level of your home. Pro tip: they need some indirect sunlight, but won’t tolerate overexposure - so don’t be afraid to get shady. Tillandsia

Snake plant

Don’t let the name scare you - snake plant, or sansevieria trifasciata, does the most while needing the least from you. It tolerates low light, minimal watering and long periods of neglect. Just avoid overwatering and this plant is hard to kill. Best of all, snake plants work overtime; while most plants absorb oxygen at night, they actually release it, purifying the air in your home while you sleep. Hedera Helix, otherwise known as English ivy, can adapt to a wide range of lighting conditions, including artificial light. Easy to maintain and great for classing up any space, this creeping plant loves the relatively humid atmosphere in Hong Kong. Avoid leaving in spaces with exposure to full sunlight, as excessive heat may kill or harm them; they thrive best in shady areas with dappled sunlight. 30

English ivy



Venus flytrap

STARTING A CONVERSATION Carnivorous plants such as Venus flytrap and butterworts aren’t just statement pieces in your living room, they’re also effective at reducing pesky insects. Carnivorous plants are surprisingly simple to care for. Just place them somewhere where they’ll get about five hours of sunlight a day and water them with distilled water instead of tap water. They don’t need any fertilizer. Lithops are tiny, rock-sized succulents with an extremely unusual appearance. With a cleaved shape, it’s often likened to a human brain or, ahem, derriere, earning it the unfortunate nickname “butt plant.” They make an ideal low-maintenance plant as they require little watering, especially during the winter. Bonus: after three to five years, they flower!


Pachypodium brevicaule resembles a flowering mound of ginger, and is a favourite among rare and unique plant collectors for their distinctive appearance. Indigenous to Madagascar, this one needs a lot of sunlight but not a lot of water; use well-drained soil to keep it healthy.



Charity Spotlight


As anyone who’s ever hiked Hong Kong’s peaks can tell you, pushing yourself to your limits in the great outdoors is an experience that’s as rewarding as it is challenging. Operating since 1970, Outward Bound Hong Kong is a non-profit organisation offering expeditions and outdoor activities that challenge participants both physically and mentally - teaching them some valuable life lessons along the way. By Carla Thomas and Cherry Kong


Q What does Outward Bound do? We give people the opportunity to learn about their own capabilities and make the most of their potential. We do this by putting them in unfamiliar settings, such as a kayak, a yacht, a tent or on an expedition, in which they work with our instructors who help them identify their strengths as individuals and team members. The result is more confident, resilient and capable young people who can go on to be better in school, university, work, and family life. Q Does it cost anything to attend? There is a cost, but Hong Kong residents are eligible for courses subsidised by the government’s Continuing Education Fund, which covers up to 80 percent of the course fees. We also provide scholarships for disadvantaged groups, those in trouble with the police, students with specific learning needs, ethnic minorities, and the physically disabled. Q What level of fitness do participants need to have? This is a very good question! Many people have the wrong idea that in order to join Outward Bound programmes, they have to be physically fit. You do not have to be an athlete or in peak physical condition to attend an Outward Bound programme. There is a physical element to all programmes


their confidence or feelings of anxiety about the future. Our programmes use adventures in an outdoors environment to expose young people to new and challenging experiences, and at the same time equip them with the skills they need to face challenges head on to overcome them. Q What are some upcoming programmes you have planned? In the upcoming months, we have the Adaptive Journey programme for the disabled, and the Active Ageing programme for mature adults who are fully or semi-retired. For young people aged 18 or above, we have our regular three-day or eight-day Outward Bound Certificate courses, and Leadership & Team Development courses as well. Some of these programmes are under the Continuing Education Fund Reimbursable Course, which subsidises a large portion of the cost.

- they are not meant to be easy - but they are not a test of your physical ability. Participants can complete our programmes without specific training. Q How can outdoor activity be more beneficial to young people than indoor learning? The experiential nature of outdoor learning means that the education is real, immediate and has an emotional component, rather than indoors which tends to be more passive. As a result, it has more impact. There are real consequences of our outdoor group activities - everyone has to work together to achieve a group aim. The sense of teamwork and achievement that results has a long-lasting effect; some of our alumni groups still meet 50 years after their Outward Bound programmes.

Q How can our readers support the work you do? They can make a donation or join our fun and exciting fundraising events! Our signature fundraising events include Adventure Races, Multi Races, and Corporate Challenges. Each year these events have attracted hundreds of individuals and corporations to participate, while many more in the community that were in need benefited from the donations generated. Your contribution in the form of donations, sponsorship, voluntary services and direct participation in our fundraising activities will support the ongoing work of Outward Bound to provide training courses for Hong Kong people that in turn, will equip them to make contributions back to our community. Visit for more information on programmes and how to support.

Q How do the outings help participants with their personal growth, particularly if they have special needs or are disadvantaged youth? We empower those with special needs and disadvantaged youth. Many of these participants may be struggling with




Watermelon & Feta Cheese Salad By Leaves & Liberty Made up of 92 percent water, is there anything quite as hydrating as watermelon? This super-simple salad is easy to throw together and oh-sodelicious to eat especially at the height of summer.



10 minutes




• ⅔ cup watermelon

Leftover watermelon and mint? Muddle together for a cheeky watermelon mojito.

• ½ cup rocket leaves

1. Dice watermelon into 3cm cubes. 2. Take 4 pieces and place on char grill. Char each side for around 1 minute. 3. Stack the grilled watermelon into a bowl, placing the rocket leaves around and on top of the melon. 4. Tear the fresh mint leaves and add to the rocket. 5. Gently crumble the feta over the top. 6. Add salt, freshly cracked pepper, and about ⅕ of the zest of a lemon. 7. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Enjoy!

• ⅓ cup feta cheese • 3 mint leaves • sea salt • cracked black pepper • 1 lemon (for zest) • olive oil • balsamic glaze



THE GLOW UP News from the beauty aisle

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS What’s old is new again, as trendy barbershops have made their triumphant return for Hong Kong’s hirsute hipsters. From manscaping to moisturising, these all-class grooming salons offer a wide range of men-inspired treatments and services.



A firm favourite with celebrities and influencers, this stylish salon has four locations across the city, including Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui. $380 for a wet shave. 28 Swatow St., Wan Chai, 2729-0488,


This classy shop on Graham Street runs the gamut when it comes to facial hair, including shaving, beard trimming and an oh-so-adorable Father & Son Package. $500 for Classic Wet Shave. 41-43 Graham St., Central, 2405-6880,



Serving shaves since 1963, this heritage grooming salon is like stepping back in history with its elegant retro decor that has changed little over the decades. Try the Gentleman’s Grooming package for a real treat, which includes shampoo and a haircut, shave, and a Shanghainese pedicure. $1,870. 5 Connaught Rd. Central, 2522-0111,

New kids on the shaving block, this hip hideaway on Wellington Street is a throwback to old-school Hong Kong barbershops with fluorescent lighting and friendly ambiance. $380 for haircut with razor line up and neck shave. Unit C, 4/F, 15 Wellington St., 9337-9868, toofareastbarber.




NEW FIND Elu. Spa is a brand new urban retreat offering a large menu of stressbusting treatments. Most spas in Hong Kong fall into one of two camps - functional and efficient, or luxurious and time-consuming - but this little Central oasis falls perfectly in between. Alongside relaxing rituals like aromatherapy massages, body scrubs, and nail services, this holistically-minded spa also offers some more novel treatments, like the Gemstone facial which uses a face mask made from precious stones like rose quartz, jade or black obsidian. Facials and others massages start from $1,600 while nail treatments range from $400-600. First timers enjoy a 30 percent discount if they quote WELCOME30 on booking, so take advantage while it's still fresh on the scene! 7/F, 46 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2668-1381,


FULL BODY Blending cutting-edge tech with the height of spa luxury, bliss spa at the W Hotel is offering guests a four-week sculpting and anti-aging programme with its Intensive Makeover Program. A series of non-invasive treatments like LPG Endermologie (which gets deep into your dermis with a highpowered rolling device) and 4D RF/MP (which stimulates collagen via thermal energy) are combined to tackle a whole host of bodily annoyances, like cellulite reduction and wrinkle removal, along with some avant-garde bells and whistles, like a 3D body scan and posture analysis. Guests may use the facilities on the day of treatments, including Hong Kong’s highest outdoor swimming pool. At $22,000, it’s not exactly an impulse purchase, but if you’re keen to spoil yourself for a month and see some dramatic before/after pictures - this is one splurge that’s well worth investing in.

“Packed with powerful ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, as well as activated charcoal and magnesium. Not only is it a wonderful detox for your armpits, it lasts through tough workouts.”

SARAH FUNG, PUBLISHER MOOD Deodorant by Coconut Matter ($120 for 30g) “This dry, slightly powdery deodorant glides on and is made from all-natural ingredients. I love the eucalyptus and peppermint it feels super fresh.”

CARLA THOMAS, EDITOR Routine Natural Deodorant ($165 for 58ml) “I love the glass packaging, plus they have fun names like Bonita Applebom and A Girl Named Sue for different scents!” 37


Give em


Does mama need a spa getaway? Don’t let the kids hold you back. An increasing number of wellnessseekers are booking wellness holidays - and bringing their little ones along too. By Sarah Fung

Six Senses Zighy Bay


et’s face it: holidaying with kids is pretty much the polar opposite of a relaxing break. Between the chaos of packing, the hours spent in the pool and the cacophony that soundtracks most kid-friendly resorts, it’s no wonder that parents come away from their vacation feeling frazzled. But parents don’t have to bid farewell to restorative retreats; family wellness is becoming a huge travel trend, with parents now opting for laid-back, wellness-focused getaways for the whole family. Here are a couple of spots that are giving us all the holiday feels.



FOR THE KIDS: There are daily free activities for the entire family, the highlight of which is the rice-planting. Dress up in traditional farmers’ garments and wade out to the hotel’s working paddy fields to learn more about the life cycle of this staple crop. Don’t miss the nature walk, an hour-long guided adventure that’ll take little ones on a tour of the expansive grounds, pointing out local flora and fauna along the way. Save a banana from breakfast for the friendly resident buffalos; guests are welcome to join in the buffalobathing, which takes place daily. You can also sign up for paid family activities such as cooking classes, Muay Thai and yoga. FOR THE PARENTS: Bespoke wellness itineraries are the name of the game here, and visitors can choose from an exhaustive menu of spa, yoga, Pilates, bootcamp, Muay Thai, TRX and more - check the website for inspiration. Drop the little ones at the wellappointed, supervised kids club, or book a babysitter with 24 hours notice. Or bring grandma along to watch the kids while you spa!

FOUR SEASONS RESORT, CHIANG MAI An easy two-hour flight from Hong Kong, Chiang Mai is known for eco-activities, spas, and action-packed day trips set against the lush northern Thai jungle. For families seeking some downtime, the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, situated in the lush Mae Rim Valley, is placing both families and wellness front and centre with their range of wellness programmes.

WHAT ELSE: Raw, plant-based and nutritionally balanced dishes are gaining prominence among the hotel’s dining options. For instance, the buffet breakfast at Khao restaurant has added a roster of healthconscious choices, from superfood smoothies to raw bites, to name just a few. Don’t worry - you’ll still find pancakes and other treats for the little ones.

ACCOMMODATION: Traveling with multiple generations? Book into the Residences. These gorgeous two- to four-room villas offer families space and privacy, with plunge pools, pavilions and a living and dining area, meaning you don’t feel trapped in your room come naptime. The residences also have a decidedly family-friendly design - think wooden floors that are far safer for kids than slippery marble, and homey furnishings with no sharp corners in sight. The villas come with a live-in butler who can take care of anything, from putting guard rails on the bed to calling a buggy to take you around the resort. 39


SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY Six Senses hotels have long been known for their ecological bent, and their Zighy Bay property on the coast of Oman has launched a range of programmes to entertain and educate little eco-warriors about the natural world. ACCOMMODATION: It’s all about barefoot luxury here, with natural stone and wood structures inspired by the local architecture. Think cool flagstones underfoot and rustic, minimal decor. Each villa or suite has its own plunge pool. FOR THE KIDS: Go on a tour of the hotel’s own farm and organic garden, and get up close with baby goats, camels, chickens and cows. Kids are encouraged to collect their own food for breakfast, all the while learning more about agriculture. Don’t miss the Earth Lab, where children are introduced to the concepts of upcycling and recycling through fun programmes; or the snorkeling adventure, where the hotel’s resident marine biologist teaches kids all about the ocean and the importance of conservation. There’s a kids club and separate teens club, both of which offer dozens of activities, from beach bowling and arts and crafts for the little ones, to slacklining, abseiling and moonlight kayaking for the teens.

FOR THE PARENTS: Adrenaline junkies will find lots to do in Oman; the country is well known for its magnificent canyons, and rock-climbing carabiner adventures can be arranged through the hotel. For a once-in-a-lifetime adventure you can even go paragliding off the top of Zighy Mountain. Also not to be missed are mountain biking adventures, snorkeling, scuba and spectacular hikes. WHAT ELSE: Six Senses resorts also make a big environmental commitment in their kitchens. Zero-waste, sustainability and plastic-free are key tenets of their philosophy, and the hotel makes great efforts to avoid palm oil, source ethically and even make their own cheeses, milks, ice creams and more onsite. 40

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TRAVEL WELL with Kate Springer


ngkor Archeological Park is usually the first stop in Cambodia for good reason. But the coastline - about an hour’s flight south - is quickly gaining traction as one of Asia’s oft-overlooked getaways. On a recent trip, I swam in the gin-clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand, dined on delicious blue crab in the coastal town of Kep, and explored an aromatic local pepper farm outside of Kampot. If you have a few days to trace the Cambodian southern shores, here’s how to do it.

Alila Villas Koh Russey

WHAT TO DO You’ll fly into Sihanoukville City, but most people prefer to hop around the 20-some outlying islands or explore more low-key towns like Kampot and Kep - about a two to 2.5-hour drive southeast by car, respectively. Kampot, which is famous for its excellent dining options and French colonial architecture, has no shortage of activities. This is the land of salt and pepper, so don’t miss a chance for an agritourism experience at a family-run farm, such as Sothy's Pepper Farm ( Then there’s Banteay Srey Women's Spa, Yoga, & Massage, a haven for wellness gurus who want to support the vocational training of Cambodian women from difficult circumstances ( Around town, try a leisurely boat cruise, go trekking through nearby Bokor Mountain, or kayak along the river at sunset to experience the region’s magical fireflies. 42


Banteay Srey


WHERE TO EAT A historically agricultural society, Cambodia produces a trove of ingredients which you'll see pop up across menus everywhere. In Kampot, stop for ultra-fresh smoothies and delicious brunch options at Epic Arts Cafe - a social enterprise that supports those with disabilities ( Meanwhile, Simple Things, another atmospheric spot nearby, delivers giant salads, vegan pizzas and even doubles as a yoga studio ( And for some traditional Khmer cuisine, don’t miss Rikitikitavi - a twostorey restaurant overlooking the Teuk Chhou River. In Kep, just a 20-minute drive southeast of Kampot, it doesn’t get any fresher than the famous outdoor crab market. Vendors pull up their catch of the day - primarily famous blue-clawed crabs, squid, prawns, snapper and tuna - which you can bring to one of the 30-some restaurants along the boardwalk to be flash-fried then smothered in an addictive green peppercorn sauce.

WHERE TO STAY The area has been creeping onto the radar lately thanks in part to a few big-name hotel openings like Alila Villas Koh Russey. Set off on Bamboo Island, about 15 minutes by boat off the coast, the hotel is the first in the country to achieve EarthCheck’s highest level of certification thanks to the eco-sensitive hotel building strategy. They’ve also stepped up with a no-plastics policy, local hiring practices, waste management programmes for the local community, and a hotel-wide beach clean-up day every Sunday should you wish to mingle with other guests and staff members while giving a little something back to the ocean. Ailia Villas

Kate Springer is an Asia travel expert who contributes to Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, CNN, BBC Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, Fodor’s, Vice, and more. Follow her travels on Instagram @katespringer. Send travel news to




News and deals from our sister SAR

KISS OF THE DRAGON If you’re after something a bit more exclusive when it comes to spa treatments, you might be interested to learn about the Macanese Dragon treatment at the Mandarin Oriental Macau. True to its name, this is one experience you’ll find only in Macau, making it that much more unique and worth the splurge. This signature two-hour treatment takes place in a private suite. A stimulating body scrub is followed by a steam shower and bath. Then it’s time for a lymphatic body massage that uses Baoding balls, a Chinese meditation tool. These heavenly orbs are warmed up and rolled over your body to reduce tension and detoxify the system. Costs MOP2,150 during the week or MOP2,250 at weekends. The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Macau, Av. Dr. Sun Yat Sen No. 945, +853-8805-8588,

LIGHT UP THE SKY The Macau International Fireworks Display Contest takes place every September to much fanfare from the local community, and this year will be no different. But there’s another reason to be extra excited about the event this year: it coincides with the 20th anniversary of Macau’s establishment as a special administrative region, as well as the 30th anniversary of the contest itself. To mark the occasion, the Macao Government Tourism Office has invited an unprecedented twelve pyrotechnics teams from around the world to present their fireworks displays, part of a “Duo Celebrations for Macao” celebration. The displays will take place throughout September, and in a rare move, will extend into the first week of October, ushering in Golden Week with a literal bang. When: September 7, 13, 21 and 28, October 1 and 5, 2019

ROSE ALL DAY Everyone loves a chilled glass of rosé, so I’m thrilled that Rosé Revolution, Asia's biggest celebration of the blush-pink tipple, is returning to Macau this year! Held on September 28 at the MGM Macau, this wine festival features all kinds of events, masterclasses and tastings, including pink-tinted dim sum and rose pairing, wine tastings and booths from various rosé-adjacent lifestyle brands (!) and much more. Time to get your tipple on! Tickets MOP220 (early bird) or MOP290 (standard) from

Sally Victoria Benson grew up in Macau and is the publisher of, the city's leading lifestyle platform. She's passionate about sharing Macau's hidden healthy side and everything happening in the city. 44



with Zoe Belhomme

HAPPY NAPPIES We’ve come a long way from terry towels and safety pins. These days, reusable nappies are simple to use and almost as convenient as their disposable cousins. The mums at Liv love them. But whether you use them full time or just when you’re at home, choosing the right nappy for your little one can be confusing. We pick three of our favourite brands which are all available in Hong Kong or to order online.



A one-size-fits-all, all-in-one nappy with popper adjustments and absorbent insert. Easy to use, quick to dry and available in a range of gorgeous prints that are hard to resist. Best for babies from three months through to potty training.

A more traditional fitted nappy that comes in cotton, bamboo or microfibre depending on your absorbency needs. Can be adjusted to fit, reducing the chance of leaks, and must be paired with a waterproof wrap. Available in three sizes so you will have to buy more as your child grows.

$186 per nappy; packs available at

From $90 per nappy plus delivery from



A one-size waterproof outer shell paired with either a reusable insert or disposable soaker depending on your needs. Practical and flexible, this nappy is fully adjustable and will take you through from infant to toddler. The shell can be used multiple times before needing a wash.

A favourite on Amazon, these reusables are much cheaper and are thus good for parents wanting to dip their toe into reusables without making a hefty investment. These come with a waterproof shell lined with a moisture-wicking fleece, plus absorbent inserts. Adjustable poppers mean that they’ll last through to toddlerhood, and a range of cute prints is available.

$165 per nappy,

US$7 per nappy from 46






Fed up with throwing away cups, plates and cutlery every time you host a party for your children? That’s exactly how Louise Kaus, founder of Ecoparties felt when one of her two daughters was invited to a birthday party every weekend for six weeks in a row! The eco-conscious mum-of-two teamed up with her children to take matters into her own hands, and developed a rental business providing quality, reusable party supplies and plastic-free products. They can even provide items to fit in with your preferred party theme. What’s more they will deliver everything to you and pick it all up dirty, making life even easier for busy Hong Kong parents. No muss, no fuss and no rubbish left behind! Find out more at

Head to Dragon-i on September 7-8 for delicious dim-sum and a spot of feel-good shopping. Consignment store, KidsDressSmart (KiDS), will be running a pop-up throughout the weekend full of preloved designer kids’ clothing. Expect gems from Armani, Bonpoint, Jacadi, Petit Bateau and more. Over half of the money raised from the pop-up, as well as 10 percent of lunch proceeds from Dragon-i, will go towards helping Splash, a local charity that teaches underprivileged kids to swim.


THE DEETS: From now until the end of the month, The Peninsula Hong Kong is doing a Hello Kitty X Pen Bear crossover promotion, featuring a super kawaii afternoon tea. Fans of the world’s most famous cat will be able to tuck into a tasty tea, with mini cakes inspired by Hello Kitty herself.

over the pageboy hat-shaped trifle, the salted caramel apple cake, and the Hello Kitty-shaped cookies. Our junior reviewers had a couple of nibbles and were soon distracted by the free stickers that were given out as gifts, giving the grownups ample time to chat and finish their meal. There’s a ton of food, so for younger guests we suggest you don’t get them their own set, and instead let them take a cake or two from the grownups’s stand.

THE FOOD: Absolutely adorable. There were loads of kids (and a fair few kidults) oohing and aahing

THE SERVICE: Couldn’t be sweeter! Though it wasn’t on the menu, the waiters were happy to

Hello Kitty High Tea at The Peninsula

bring over a glass of milk for the kids to go with their mid-afternoon treat. There was loads of food left, and many guests were walking out with beautifully boxed-up leftovers to enjoy later.

Zoe Belhomme is our resident fitness writer and new mum. She loves working out, eco-friendly parenting, and partnering with her husband to produce some of the region’s biggest sports events at MBS Concepts. Reach out to her directly with your healthy family news at


Liv Media is


POSITION: PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER Want to work in a fun, fast-moving company with flexible hours and plenty of room for growth? Liv Media is looking for a partnerships manager to work with our exciting brand partners. THE IDEAL CANDIDATE WILL HAVE: 1-2 years’ sales experience (recent graduates will be considered) Passion for wellness Great people skills Contacts of decision-makers in the wellness, fitness and lifestyle industries • Cantonese ability and HKID essential • • • •

INTERESTED? Send your CV and covering letter to s a ra h @ l i v.m ed i a .

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And love your skin again!

“The Oldest Swinger in Town,” DJ Fred Fung has been providing quality music entertainment in Hong Kong since the 1970s. From Motown to rock n’ roll, right up to the latest hits, his chart-toppers through the ages will delight everyone. Whether you want background music for a cocktail reception or to fill up a dance floor, DJ Fred will get the party started. Clients include: The Masonic Lodge | Hong Kong Tatler The Peter Bennett Foundation | KCC | USRC WhatsApp 9834-4320 for rates and availability.

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Soholistic SOL Wellness Soul Feet Sparadise Central Strip The Body Group The Hive the Practice The Right Spot The Store Torq Ultimate Performance UP! Health Urban Bakery van der Bloom Vitality Centre Wagyu Waveworks weStretch XP Fitness Hub KENNEDY TOWN/ POK FU LAM Club 9 Crossfit Asphodel Eric Kasyer Foodcraft Hale N Hearty Infiniti C Jaspas Just Green Le Meridien Cyberport Little Creatures Mulan Spa Bel Air The Hive Slowood Spicebox Organics Utime Waffling Beans ISLAND SOUTH Beef & Liberty Byrne Hickman & Partners Classified Flex Food For Life Island Wake Just Green Limewood Mum Veggie+Coffee+Sweet

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Liv Magazine September 2019  

In this edition of Liv Magazine, we explore how your interiors can have a positive effect on your wellbeing. Plus we uncover the best plants...

Liv Magazine September 2019  

In this edition of Liv Magazine, we explore how your interiors can have a positive effect on your wellbeing. Plus we uncover the best plants...