Southside Magazine October 2015

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October 2015

High flyers What the drone saw

Tame the beast Hiking Lion Rock

Behind the scenes... at Pomegranate Kitchen

Boutique fitness

The new way to work out


The really useful magazine October 2015

PEOPLE 2 Snapped! Southside’s social life. THE PLANNER 6 Happening in October What’s on. NEWS 10 What’s going on? In your backyard. GIVEAWAYS 14 Free stuff Fab things to win. FIVE MINUTES WITH... 16 Joakim Cimmerbeck The co-founder of eicó.

LOCAL 18 What’s the plan, Stan? The latest on Stanley car park. NEWS FROM THE GREENS 19 A load of rubbish Join the Cleanup revolution. FEATURE 20 High flyers All you need to know about drones. EATING 28 Food for thought Behind the scenes at Pomegranate Kitchen. EDUCATION 34 School scoop Inside Quarry Bay School.

ARTS & CULTURE 40 Due south Artist South Ho Siu Nam. FAMILY 44 Culture vulture Six of Hong Kong’s marvellous museums. 46 Halloween parties Eat, drink and be scary. BIG DAY OUT 48 King of the Kong Rory Mackay scales Lion Rock. TRAVEL 54 Singapore The Lion City’s wild side.

HEALTH & BEAUTY 58 Pick ‘n’ mix fitness The start-ups shaking up the fitness scene. PETS 60 Pillow talk What goes on in the mind of your dog. HONG KONG CREATURES 60 Horseshoe Crab The true Nine Eyes. SOUTHSIDE SECRETS 68 Doomed to fail HKU’s University Hall.


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OCT 11

2015 Repulse Bay Small Dragon Boat Race Haven’t got your Dragon boat fix for the year already? Watch more teams battle it out for glory at Repulse Bay. 8am-6pm. Free. Repulse Bay beach.

OCT 1 National Day Boom! Watch the fireworks, it’s free. Victoria Harbour at 9pm.

OCT 1-18 Singin’ in the rain Glorious songs, dances and gallons of water. Lyric Theatre, HKAPA, Wan Chai, Tickets $445-995 from

OCT 2-10 Hong Kong Beer Week Beer events at various restaurants around the city, including Chilli Fagara, Crafty Cow and Aberdeen Street. It all ends in a craft beer tsunami, Beertopia.

OCT 4-7 Fine Art Asia 2015 Fine antiques and contemporary


art spanning more than 5000 years of history. Tickets $50-$200 on the door. 11am-7pm, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai, 3107 0681.


Al Murray, Pub Landlord


Beef and Liberty Thursday Cinema Nights Sit back, relax on a rooftop under the stars and catch a classic film whilst feasting on a juicy burger. This month’s films include Big

Fish, Airplane! and Eat, Pray, Love. Thursdays at 7pm, Beer & Liberty, Star St. Precinct, 2/F, 23 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai. Tickets $160 (food and drink purchased separately),

Britain’s favourite publican in “One Man, One Guvnor”. Tickets $488-$788. 8pm, Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre.

OCT 8-11 Asia Contemporary Art Show See pieces from up-and-coming and established artists at the 7th edition of the art fair.40-42/F, Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty. Tickets $220 from, 3128 8288.

Singin’ in the rain

happening in October


OCT 9-10 Beertopia 2015 The city’s largest craft beer festival returns for a fourth year. With over 500 beers from breweries across the world as well as an array of stomachlining snacks, games (including giant beer pong), live bands and DJs. Friday, October 9 (6-11pm); Saturday, October 10 (12-11pm). Central Harbourfront Event Space. Tickets start at $280.

OCT 9-11 Hong Kong Classic The classic car show returns to celebrate all things automotive. Car simulators, children’s games, live bands and even a retro hair and beauty salon. Tickets $50$100 from hk. Oct 10, 11am-10pm; Oct 11, 11am-7pm, Central Harbourfront Event Space,

OCT 10 The Clean Half Extreme Marathon Swim This open-water swimming event takes place on a 15km course, starting at Stanley Main Beach and finishing at Deep Water Bay. Although mainly a 5-person relay event, it’s also a solo event for those who want a challenge. Register by October 3 at or head over on the day to spectate.

OCT 10 Foreign Correspondents’ Club Charity Ball Fabulous dinner, drinks and live music from 1980s faves Tears for Fears. Tickets from $2,888 per person.

OCT 10-18 Hong Kong Tennis Open Female tennis greats, including Venus Williams, battle it out. Victoria Park Tennis Stadium, Causeway Bay. Free tickets for qualifying matches from Oct 10-12. Tickets $160-$880 from, 2111 5333. For more information,

OCT 16 Slideluck II - Potluck art Slideluck provides an audience for budding artists to showcase their work. Take a homemade dish and share your food and critique with the group. This year’s theme is “Contrast”. 7pm, The White Loft, 10/F Yally Industrial Building, 6 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang. Free entry. RSVP to

OCT 16 - 18 Secret Island Party Stay for the day or sleepover at this weekend of art, music and performance. Tickets $250-$750 from


planner OCT 17 100 Years of Sisters Acts

OCT 25 Central Rat Race


The Hayward sisters return to Hong Kong performing the best hits by girl groups throughout the decades. Grappa’s Cellar, 1 Connaught Place, Central. Tickets $228 from, 2521 2322.

An obstacle-filled race and lifestyle metaphor; this popular charity event starts at Chater Road.

UNTIL OCT 27 Think Pink charity art exhibition

OCT 18 Harbour Race 2015 Watch thousands brave the waters of Victoria Harbour. They dive in from 8.30am., 2572 8594.

OCT 21 Chung Yeung Holiday Public holiday.

OCT 22-25 HK Wine and Dine Festival Head down to the harbour for great wine, food and amazing views. Tickets $15-$30. Central Harbourfront Event Space.

OCT 22-25 Hong Kong Open Championships 2015 Watch some of the world’s best golf players including Justin Rose. The Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling. Lot no. 1, Fan Kam Road, Sheung Shui. Tickets from $150 from


OCT 30-NOV 8 Hong Kong International Literary Festival Workshops, book signings, and readings with local and overseas authors. Tickets available at

OCT 31 Boo! Halloween NOV 1 Pumpkins and Pooches sponsored dog walk Work off those treats from the night before whilst helping a good cause this Halloween weekend by participating in Kirsten’s Zoo Charity’s sponsored walk. Help raise money for abandoned and neglected animals; there are even prizes for best costumes (for children and dogs) and most money raised. Aberdeen Country Park, Magazine Gap Road. Download your sponsorship form at

Think Pink’s annual fundraiser for the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation returns with an art exhibition at the Mandarin Oriental’s Clipper Lounge. A special “Think Pink” afternoon tea set is also available throughout the month. A pink-themed auction will be held on the evening of Oct 29 at The Space, 210 Hollywood Road.

UNTIL OCT 31 Shop for Pink Shops, restaurants, spas and hotels will be offering special deals to raise funds for Pink Revolution, Cancer Fund’s annual cancer awareness and fundraising campaign. Pink deals can be found at Nude Beautique, Sense of Touch, Hard Rock and Chow Sang Sang plus many more. Full details can be found at

OCT 9-19 Drink for Pink Some of Hong Kong’s best bars will be serving up special pink tipples to raise money for Hong Kong Cancer Fund.


BOOK NOW NOV 24 Elton John: All the Hits Join the Rocket Man for a romp down memory lane. HKCEC, Wan Chai. Tickets $488-$2,388 from, 3128 8288.

NOV 27-29 Clockenflap Clean Bandit and Flying Lotus headline Hong Kong’s funkiest music festival plus art, film cabaret and a silent disco on grass at West Kowloon Cultural District. Tickets $580-$1940 from

NOV 27-29 Roald Dahl, The Witches One of our all time favourite books comes to life. Great for children five years and up (plus brave grown ups). Lyric Theatre, HKAPA. Tickets $295-$

Cirque Adrenaline

DEC 22-JAN 3 Cirque Adrenaline

FEB 16 Madonna

Adrenalin and death-defying performances from a troop of 50 trapeze artists, mixing clowns, and acrobats. Tickets $295-$895 from, 3128 8288.

Madge touches Hong Kong for the very first time. AsiaWorld-Arena. Tickets $688-$11,888.

Got an event? We can publish the details for free. Email



in your backyard

Mom’s the word Pre- and post-natal workouts have arrived in Hong Kong thanks to Petra Klerken and Mom In Balance. Launched in the Netherlands in 2008 and now in over 30 locations across the world, Mom In Balance helps mums and mums-to-be to keep fit. “As a mother I know how important it is to look after yourself yet how easy it is to forget” says Petra. “Life moves fast, before you know it another week without exercise has passed. Working out with other mums and mums-to-be really makes the

difference as we all encourage each other to keep at it.” Offering three programs: Pregnancy, Back in Shape and Mom in Shape, all workouts are done in small groups with a maximum of 15 people per class. Classes take place across the city, from Victoria Park to the Botanical Gardens. For more information contact Petra Klerken on 9478 3364 or email

H&M comes to Stanley Murray House in Stanley has a new resident: H&M opened its doors in the historical building on September 26. The retail giant, which occupies space on two floors, is not the only global label to move into the area in recent months: San Francisco-based make-up brand Benefit landed in Stanley Plaza in April. Murray House is one of Hong Kong’s oldest surviving public buildings. Originally built in Central in 1844 as officers’ quarters of the Murray Barracks, it was later used by Japanese military police as a command centre - and place of execution - during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. After World War II, several government bureaus used the building as offices. Believed to be haunted, the government had it exorcised twice. In 1982, Murray House was dismantled to make way for the new Bank of China Tower. Murray House was restored brick by brick in Stanley in 2001.


New street market in Quarry Bay Starting Sunday October 4, and co-presented by Taikoo Place and Honestly Green, the city’s online guide to green living, the Tong Chong street market is all about food and drink. With plenty of music and seating and 40 stalls selling everything from meat and preserves to baked goods, organic fruit and vegetables, be sure to go on an empty stomach. Look out for signature dishes and cocktails developed exclusively for the market by 10 of the city’s homegrown restaurants and cafes, including Wong Chuk Hang’s 3/3rds. The market will also feature the successful candidates of a two-month executive chef boot camp aiming to train the city’s next group of street-food pioneers. Every Sunday until December 27, 11am-5pm, Taikoo Place, Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay.

Bottoms up The annual “Drink For Good” community event returns this month. Over 60 of the city’s bars and restaurants show their support by donating $5 or more for each drink purchased on the day. All donations go towards HandsOn Hong Kong’s programs for children with special needs and other programs addressing pressing social needs in Hong Kong. Executive Director of HandsOn Hong Kong Caroline Sprod says, “it is wonderful to see venues and sponsors spontaneously coming back to us, asking to take part in this year’s event. It is touching to see how much people care about giving back to our community”. October 8,



photo by: NPro+ Production

Half-term workshops

Scare park Just in time for its Halloween Festivities, Ocean Park has introduced an online booking system for spaces in its car park on special events. It is hoped that the new system, suggested by the Southern District Council, will help to reduce weekend traffic jams caused by private vehicles waiting to park on-site. A shuttle bus service will also be made available for car parks such as One Island South. Furthermore, after months of campaigning

Think Pink hosts art exhibition at Mandarin Oriental Think Pink returns for its second annual fundraiser for the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation, this time with an art exhibition at the Mandarin Oriental. The exhibition, which coincides with the international Breast Cancer Awareness Month, focuses on the themes of “love”, “pink”, and “women” and features work donated by over 30 artists and galleries, both local and international. Also available is a special “Think Pink” afternoon tea set created by Executive Pastry Chef Yves Matthey. An online auction will be held throughout the month, culminating in a pink-themed auction evening at The Space at 210 Hollywood Road on the evening of October 29. Funds raised from the auction will be donated to the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation. From September 29 to October 27 at the Mandarin Oriental Clipper Lounge. The Think Pink Afternoon Tea is available seven days a week, though times vary depending on the day. Guests can also enjoy the same tea set at Café Causette during the promotion period.


by District Councillor for the Bays Area Fergus Fung, the Government has agreed - on completion of the MTR - to turn the land next to Ocean Park Station back into a bus depot for buses to park at night, as well as a free car park for tour buses during the day. This should reduce the number of coaches parking illegally across southside. Fung continues to campaign for more carefully planned and spaced out roadworks to alleviate southside traffic.

Keep your little ones busy this half-term with Colour My World’s visual art and drama workshops. On the arts side, children aged four to six-and-a-half will create their own skull candies to celebrate the Mexican Festival “Dia de los Muertos”, while slightly older children (up to 10 years) will create their own plastercast fruit. The drama workshop will explore the world of James and the Giant Peach: activities include mask making, stage readings and stage movement. In the mixed-media collage and painting workshop, children aged 10 years and above will create self-portraits inspired by their favourite fruits, vegetables and other foods. The three-day workshops start at $1,650 and will be held on October 20, 22 and 23. Room 108 Aberdeen Marina Tower, 8 Shum Wan Road, 2580 5028. Download the enrolment form online at

A close shave Tired of fighting the frizz? Sign up for the St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event on October 17 and kill two birds with one stone: tame your mane and help out a good cause. Organised by the founders of Wong Chuk Hang’s The Artist, Benjamin Cox and Olivier Gilson, the event hopes to raise funds for lifesaving research into childhood cancer. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds childhood cancer research around the world: last year, its events in Hong Kong, where it is partnered with the Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF), raised almost $2million. The CCF works to improve the quality of life for young cancer patients and their families; to help doctors improve the survival rate of children with cancer; and to provide upgraded equipment to Hong Kong’s major public hospitals. The event will be hosted by the Aberdeen Boat Club at its Middle Island Club House (6:30pm-11:30pm). Cox and Gilson will be facing the razor but are also looking for other volunteer shavees. Sign up or donate at

New yoga classes in Pok Fu Lam Instructor Charlotte Douglas brings the benefits of 12 years of yoga practice to Pok Fu Lam with a series of Hatha Yoga classes this autumn. Classes take place in the dance studio of West Island School on Tuesdays at 6.30pm and 8pm, BYOB (bring your own mat). Each class last 60 minutes and costs $200 per head. “I believe yoga should be available to everybody, whatever your level of experience or ability,” says Douglas. “I will guide those new to the practice gently as they start their yoga journey at the same time as allowing others to deepen their practice and understanding of the postures.” Douglas’ classes focus on the breath; she is also trained in pre- and post-natal yoga (Birthlight) and is a qualified Raja yoga teacher, teaching classes across Hong Kong as well as running retreats and workshops. Email her at,, 6680 0340.


free stuff

win at

Hong Kong Classic Following its roaring debut last year, the Hong Kong Classic returns for a celebration of classic cars, motorcycles and all things vintage. The festival is expected to feature over 100 classic automobiles and motorcycles from collectors and aficionados in Hong Kong and overseas. We’re giving away 10 pairs of tickets to lucky readers. The Central Harbourfront Event Space, October 10-11. Deadline: Oct 5



In need of a new fitness regime? GuavaPass is a monthly fitness membership that gives members access to a community of fitness studios, classes, healthy-living experts and other perks from premium healthy-living partners across Hong Kong. We’re giving three readers a one month GuavaPass valued at $899. Deadline: Oct 30

Who doesn’t need more wardrobe space? PAKT is an online ‘wardrobe at your fingertips’ that keeps your apparel in a climate-controlled facility. Perfect for keeping all those summer outfits safe until next year. Equipped with an individual garment tracking system, items can be requested for retrieval at a moment’s notice. We’re giving away three bronze memberships for two months valued at $1798 each. Deadline: Oct 30

Christmas Snow Shoot Rock your Christmas card with a snow photoshoot, courtesy of photographer Melanie Adamson and stylist Ingrid Keneally. Melanie and Ingrid will have winter clothes and props on hand, or you can bring your own favourites from home. We’re giving one away one 20 minute session and three high-res photos valued at $800. Winners must be available on Saturday November 7 for the photoshoot. Room 1303 13/F Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road. Deadline: Oct 23


What the Ladybird Heard

Take flight and soar with Seedling’s ‘Design your own Butterfly Wings’ kit. The Seedling kit contains butterfly wings, craft markers, glitter glue and instructions. We’ve got three kits to give away. Deadline: Oct 28

Two crafty robbers, one tiny ladybird, and a whole farmyard of fun. What the Ladybird Heard is the live show based on the awardwinning picture book by Julia Donaldson & Lynda Monks. We’re giving away a family set of four A Reserve tickets to to the show, plus a copy of the book signed by Julia Donaldson. Deadline: Oct 7

To enter, click the Giveaways tab on our website, Deadlines vary. 14 | WWW.SOUTHSIDE.HK


five minutes with... Editorial

Senior Consultant Editor Jane Steer

colour me beautiful

Joakim Cimmerbeck Callum Wiggins meets one of the founders of eco-friendly paint company, eicó.

Managing Editor Callum Wiggins Editor Shreena Patel

Many people think carefully about what kind of food they eat or the beauty products they put on their bodies but no one considers the paint that on the walls around them.

Digital Editor Annie Wong


Art Director Kelvin Lau

eicó paints are manufactured in Iceland and Sweden using 100 percent geothermal or hydropower energy. They are odourless and non-toxic.

Senior Graphic Designer Jack Yip

Thanks to

Being in Wong Chuk Hang is the most convenient location for the business. It is relatively cheap and the area is changing into a very vibrant and eclectic neighbourhood. Some people compare the area to the Meatpacking District in New York. If you explore the buildings you can discover some fantastic businesses, cool restaurants and a mixed bunch of people.

Amanda Sheppard Carolynne Dear Evie Burrows-Taylor Mawgan Batt Nigel Griffiths Nissa Marion Paul Zimmerman Rebecca Keiller Rory Mackay Sally Andersen Steffi Yuen


Tom Hilditch

Published by

Fast Media Floor LG1, 222 Queens Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Photo by: Karsten Heinrich

eicó paints was launched in the UK in 2009 and established in Hong Kong in 2012. We are committed to manufacturing eco-friendly and ethically-sound decorative paint. In the year 2000, the store owners of a paint shop that I regularly visited asked me to invest in a paint company. As an investment banker I knew what I was doing with investments but nothing about paint. After a couple of years I decided to invest. Then followed years of tweaking, testing and working with professional painters to develop our products.


After living in Hong Kong in the early 90s I came back to work in 2008. I worked for an awful bank and grew thoroughly bored of my work. I realised that there was something worthwhile about launching eicó paint and so I quit banking. The quality of paint used in Hong Kong is very poor. They are fantastically toxic and smell very bad. There is a lack of information and awareness about the harmful effects of bad paint and people do not know that there are other, more eco-friendly options available.

I lived in Stanley in the early 90s. It was a lot quieter back then. There was still the army barracks and the new waterfront that exists now was not there. It certainly wasn’t as posh but it was much livelier. We fell in love with the southside area of Hong Kong and there was only one place for us when we relocated back years later. Living in Shouson Hill is ideal for being close to my children’s school and my work in Wong Chuk Hang. One thing that I have absolute confidence in is our product. Whether people understand the reasons behind why eco-friendly paint is so important remains to be seen. But I am proud of the products that we sell and I am excited to watch the business grow.



stanley car park

Sales & Marketing Head of Sales & Marketing Karman So Sales Manager Oliver Simons Sales & Marketing Executive Alastair Grigg John Lee Office Security Cat the dog


Accounting Manager Connie Lam Accounting Assistant Jason To


Apex Print 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong @southsidemag

GIVE US A CALL! Admin: 3568 3722 Editorial: 2776 2773 Advertising: 2776 2772, 3563 9755 Southside Magazine is published by Fast Media Ltd. This magazine is published on the understanding that the publishers, advertisers, contributors and their employees are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors and omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication. The publisher, advertisers, contributors and their employees expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, whether a reader of this publication or not, in respect of any action or omission by this publication. Southside Magazine cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by advertisers or contributors. The views herein are not necessarily shared by the staff or pubishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.


What’s the plan, Stan?

The car park would be built at the site of the present bus terminus.

After more than two decades, the proposal for a car park in Stanley is still in limbo. By Shreena Patel. The current proposal would build a 140-space underground car park at the junction of Stanley Beach Road and Stanley Village Road at the site of the present bus terminus and car park. The metered parking at street level would be replaced with bays for coaches. While the Transport Department (TD) says the project would take 40 months to complete, no official estimated cost has been given; according to the SCMP it could total $50 million. The Stanley car park saga dates back to 1994 and previous versions of the proposal have twice been rejected by Legco. The latest proposal for an underground - as opposed to overground - car park is an attempt to allay concerns over the obstruction of sea views. Residents however remain worried about the impact on traffic congestion and pollution. According to the TD, since the car park is not a tourist attraction, it won’t attract additional traffic. However, aside from the questionable logic behind that argument, an independent study commissioned by Stanley Residents Concern Group (SCRG) in April 2013 concluded that the

Traffic and infrastructure are growing issues across southside proposal would increase traffic congestion and adversely affect safety and the environment. In a survey of nearly 1000 Stanley residents conducted by SRCG earlier this year, 97% objected to the proposal. Still, some owners of land and shops in the area support the plan which they believe will help generate more business and increase the value of their holdings. District Councillor for Stanley Chan Lee Pui-ying, who is a firm advocate of the proposal, is reported to own property in the area herself. Most recently, SRCG member Maxine Yao met with with Alan Tam, a Senior Engineer from the TD, to discuss the proposal and residents’ objections. According to Yao, Tam suggested the impetus for the proposal was coming mainly from the District Council

and that plans for the car park are not yet confirmed due to the number and scope of objections received from the public. Yao, a long-time Stanley resident, acknowledges the need for more parking spaces on weekends and public holidays, but instead of an underground car park at Stanley Beach Road, she proposes to build a wet market and car park a few minutes walk further out of the centre of Stanley at No. 5 Carmel Road. Yao plans to challenge the incumbent Ms Chan (who has held the position for 16 years) at the District Council elections next month. When asked for comment, the TD said it would continue to communicate with locals who objected to the car park project with a view to gaining their support before moving the project forward. Yao expects no decisions to be made either way until after the elections in November. Traffic and infrastructure are growing issues across southside. TD figures show the number of road accidents in the southern district grew steadily from 339 in 2010 to 428 last year.

news from the greens

trash talk

Clean up your act, Hong Kong Guest columnist and co-founder of Hong Kong Cleanup, Nissa Marion, asks you to join the Cleanup movement.

Eight million tonnes of plastic currently enters the ocean every year. Eight. Million. Tonnes. It can be hard to picture, especially here in Hong Kong: nearly 11,000 workers clean our city streets daily – a service to our aesthetic senses, but perhaps a disservice to our environmental awareness, feeding our ‘pick-upafter-me’ mentality. So I’ll paint it for you: we are burying ourselves in trash. Locally, landfills are bursting at the seams and the detritus of

modern, disposable living is strewn across our country parks, waterways and coastlines. Our ecosystems are choked with garbage. It’s even in our food. Turning things around requires a serious shift in individual attitudes. The government is starting to act on the waste issue, but it’s not known for its lightning speed, and the problem is growing every day. So let’s take matters into our own hands. As co-founder of Hong Kong Cleanup, I know Hong Kong citizens care: I see it every day in my work. For our 15th anniversary we want to engage five per cent of the population. Five per cent of Hong Kong is roughly 360,000 people, and if you’re reading this, I hope it includes you. Why? Research suggests that this percentage represents a ‘tipping point’ where individual awareness can become something bigger: a civic movement or a paradigm shift. It’s a step to real change. So

this is my heartfelt invitation to you to join the movement to stop trashing our planet. Not sure where to start? Here’s some lowhanging fruit: 1. Join the world’s biggest clean up. Register for the 2015 Hong Kong Cleanup Challenge, on now until December 1, at 2. Be in the conversation. Find us on Facebook and Twitter (hashtag #HKcleanup). 3. Refuse disposable plastics: bags, bottles, straws, umbrella sleeves, etc. 4. Money talks. Stop buying overpackaged junk. 5. Spread the word: lobby your friends, family, colleagues and elected representative.

Nissa Marion is the Editor in Chief of Ecozine and Co-founder of the Hong Kong Cleanup. She loves to talk trash.



Game of drones It’s not a bird, it’s not a plane, it’s an unmanned aerial vehicle. Shreena Patel discovers the world of drones.


Gazing out of your window across southside, you’re likely to catch a glimpse of a few black kites flying around, the occasional butterfly floating through the air and, increasingly, the odd drone. The silent hoverers have experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and are now a major global consumer-product category in their own right. According to a report released by Innova Research in August, the (nonmilitary) drone market in 2014 generated global revenues of over US$1billion and is forecast to generate over US$6billion in 2020. Hong Kong is estimated to be home to over 5,000 drone users. It’s no wonder why: prices start as low as $250, regulation is minimal, and the city’s compact yet diverse terrain - from soaring skyscrapers to lush greenery and

high flyers

photo by: NPro + Production

Hong Kong is the biggest drone hub in the world coastal beaches - makes for some spectacular aerial images. But Hong Kong isn’t just home to users; it also plays a key role in the supply of drones. The world’s largest drone manufacturer DJI, which has a 70 per cent share of the global market for civilian drones, was founded by a Hong Kong University of Science and Technology alumnus. Headquartered in neighbouring Shenzhen, the company operates a lab at Hong Kong Science and Technology Park to recruit talent for research and

development. In fact, Hong Kong is the biggest drone hub in the world: over 90 per cent of the world’s drones are manufactured in Shenzhen and shipped out via the SAR. Aside from recreational uses, the commercial applications for drones are many and varied: Innova Research forecasts that agriculture and forestry, mapping and power grid inspection will be the top three drone applications in terms of revenue growth in the next five years, although drones are also being used to shoot movies, predict weather patterns, fight fires and conduct search and rescue operations. Online retailer Amazon has even announced plans to deliver by drone in the near future. If you want to get in on the action, it’s not too late. Here’s all you need to know about drones: from how to buy to how to fly.

What is a drone? Drones are unmanned aircraft. Unlike ordinary remote control devices, they have a degree of independence, for example the ability to hover on their own. Traditionally associated with the military for situations where manned flight was considered too risky or difficult, they have since been scaled down in price and size and are increasingly used commercially and recreationally.



The basics

The 3D Robotics Solo can follow you around like a hands-free camera

Here are some things to consider when buying your drone: Is it ready to fly? RTF (Ready To Fly): you’re pretty much ready to go straight out of the box. BNF (Bind and Fly): usually comes preassembled, but without a controller which you must buy separately. Check that your drone and controller are compatible before buying either. ARF (Almost Ready to Fly): these ‘kits’ require varying degrees of assembly and may not include all the necessary components. Check exactly what is included.

Hiro Action Sports Airframe

Durability Consider what you want to use your drone for and where you plan to fly it. A $250 drone from Stanley Market is unlikely to be able to cope with much wind and is probably best flown indoors. However, professional drones can withstand

gusts of up to 50km per hour. The Hiro Action Sports Airframe is made from special militarygrade polymers which allows it to fly through fire, land on water and crash against objects. It can even survive some gunshots. Stability Not all drones are easy to fly. Practice helps but the flight controller (a small computer inside the drone which acts like its brain) is also important: it keeps the drone stable and level under the pilot’s control. Depending on the sensors, the capabilities of the flight controller and how it is set up, a drone may be easier or more difficult to fly. Not all drones must be flown manually: the 3D Robotics Iris+ and Solo models can be programmed to fly a particular route or even follow you like a hands-free camera. Range Most drones have a limited range. If connected to the controller via WiFi, you may be able to boost it by using a WiFi router as an extender. Look for a ‘return home’ feature, where if the drone goes out of range it will return home and land automatically. Many also have a ‘no fly zone’ safety feature which disables them flying into restricted areas as designated by national airspace regulations.

Where to buy Most of the big brands are available to buy online, but if you want something cheaper or some expert advice, there are plenty of places you can go. Oasis Gallery in Stanley market is at the cheaper end of the spectrum, selling small quadcopters only a few inches wide. Expect to pay between


$250-650. Also in Stanley market are Winnie and SKYiN Gift Store. Prices at SKYiN range between $228 for a SKYiN mini quadcopter to $4680 for a Cheerson drone complete with camera and monitor. For a wider range of models, try FlyCamHK in Wan Chai or Zeta Limited at Golden Computer Plaza.

Battery life Most electronically charged drones have a flight time of around 10-15 minutes (quadcopters as little as seven) and even the more expensive models rarely get past 25. Flying in strong winds or with a heavy load is likely to drain your battery faster. Avoid charging too far in advance, draining your battery and overcharging. If the battery is removable you can try upgrading it but, since bigger batteries tend to be heavier, this won’t necessarily buy you more time in the air.

DJI Inspire 1

Landing features Landing is tricky but technology can help. The DJI Inspire 1 can land safely even where GPS is unavailable and in harsh terrain: a downward facing camera provides a map of the ground below, allowing the drone to lock onto safe landing points, while two ultrasonic sensors tell the drone how close it is to the ground. Ease of control Most drones are operated by a remote control with two joysticks: one for altitude and tilt, the other for throttle and rotation. Make sure the controller sits comfortably in your hands, with the sticks underneath your thumbs, and is responsive to your touch. Drones can often also be controlled by smartphones or tablets, but this may not allow the same degree of control. Some controllers can display a live video feed from the onboard camera, giving the pilot a first person view (FPV, as it’s known in the biz).



photo by: Stéphane Ma

Tech talk

A still from Ma’s video, “Hong Kong from above”.

We speak to photographer and drone hobbyist Stéphane Ma, whose video “Hong Kong from above” shot to fame earlier this summer. What first made you want to fly a drone? I started using drones about a year and a half ago, after watching a video shot in Thailand by the famous drone photographer Philip Bloom. I liked the new perspectives the drone could offer, the cinematic impression it gave. What was your first drone? My first drone was the DJI F450 (a DIY quadcopter). It cost roughly $3500; the extra equipment cost another $3000. I bought it from Flying Hobby in Yau Ma Tei, though now I usually buy my drones online. Building it from scratch taught me a bit about how the electronics in a drone work. I installed a GoPro camera on it and used it to make short videos in my spare time. I also bought the DJI F550 (a hexacopter): the quad, although less stable, is a lot more convenient. After a year with those two I got a DJI Phantom 3 Pro, an all-in-one drone which is smaller than the F450. There was no assembly required so it was easier and faster to deploy. I used it to film “Hong Kong from above”.


I wanted to capture that lesser known, more rural side of Hong Kong

of the “jello” effect caused by the vibration of the propellers. Where do you most like to fly in Hong Kong? I like to fly in Tam Tai Bay and around Shek O. You can find a variety of beaches and trees without encountering too many people, as well as some beautiful sea and island views although you might need to hike for an hour or two for the best views.

What inspired you to make your video? I really wanted to make my own aerial movie since there weren’t many around at the time. I wanted to capture that lesser known, more rural side of Hong Kong. It took me about four Sundays to get the footage and the postproduction took about one day. It was shot mainly in Quarry Bay and Kowloon (Kwun Tong, Lohas Park, Clear Water Bay, Nam Shan Mei).

Which drones would you recommend? I’d say DJI’s Phantom drones and the 3D Robotics Solo are good options for amateurs and hobbyists like me, but for pros and cinematographers I’d suggest the DJI S1000 or other heavy-lifting ones, such as the Aerigon from Intuitive Aerial or the Black Armoured Drone.

Are you happy with it? Working in the post-production industry I enjoy grading the videos I shoot. I’d give “Hong Kong from above” a 7/10: I didn’t spend much time editing it. If I’d known how much attention it would get I would’ve worked a bit harder to improve the editing of shots, stabilisation and colours, and to remove some

How much should you spend? Amateurs can easily find decent copters for $4000. The price range largely depends on the camera and the stabilisation system. For pros it will be a lot higher, from $30,000 if you want an integrated camera. Drones large enough to carry a professional camera (Red, Arri, BMD) can cost between $75,000 to $250,000.



Top tips for flying Richard Kimber from Hong Kong’s SCP Aerials, a specialist in aerial UAV drone cinematography, shares his top five tips for flying a drone.


Do your homework Read drone blogs, join forums, watch videos and talk to as many people as you can to get advice. It takes a lot more than a skim-read of the instructions to operate a drone safely and stylishly, even one that claims to be “ready to fly”. And of course, read up on any regulations.

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Take your time Before you take off, run through a mental checklist and establish some ground rules to help you operate in the air. For example, never let your battery run down below 30% before you land. Communicate Always communicate clearly and confidently before, during and after a flight as to exactly what you are planning to do. If working for a client, be explicit about what you are happy to do and what you are not prepared to do and keep any government regulator informed.


Let your imagination fly Drones are meant to be fun and, if flown responsibly, they are an amazing way to see the world from a unique perspective. Experiment with different styles of flying, subject matter and locations. It is always surprising how even the most unremarkable of objects or landscapes can become the most beautiful when viewed from the air.


photo by: NPro + Production

Location, location, location Before you fly, check all the dangers of operating in your chosen area. Are there any antennas or radio masts nearby that might cause interference? Could the buildings or trees nearby create a wind tunnel? Are there factors beyond your control, like crowds or other objects in the air?

Rules and regs Below is a brief introduction to the rules. Before you fly, read the regulations in full at and Safety and interference If you’re planning a non-recreational drone flight, you must apply to Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department (CAD) for a flight permit. Your application must reach the CAD at least 28 working days before the scheduled takeoff. No permit is required for the recreational use of drones weighing less than seven kilograms (without fuel). Non-recreational drones are generally limited to daytime flights and may not fly within five kilometres of an aerodrome, over 300 feet above ground, or in conditions of poor visibility (less than five kilometres).

Privacy Under guidelines issued this year by the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, users of drones fitted with cameras should assess whether using a drone is necessary and justifiable and consider less intrusive alternatives. They should also plan flight paths to avoid flying close to other people or their properties; determine what to do with any irrelevant or unintentional data captured; consider how to properly protect captured data from falling into the wrong hands; and inform those in the immediate flight area that they are being filmed.



southside story

(from left): Maria with her daughters; two of Maria’s culinary creations.

Food, glorious food

Shreena Patel chats to Maria Bizri, founder of Pomegranate Kitchen. How long have you lived in Hong Kong? Just over five years and we are here for the long run. My husband was transferred here with work, and the girls and I tagged along. What gave you the idea to open Pomegranate Kitchen? I have always cooked. When I moved to Hong Kong, a friend of mine encouraged me to cater a few of her events and I really enjoyed it, both the cooking and the pressure! From there, Pomegranate Kitchen grew and now we run 20 events a week in our venues as well as outside catering jobs. We are hoping to do even more when we launch our re-modelled Pomegranate Kitchen terrace and the new Pomegranate Dining Room, our second and latest venue. Did you always want to have your own catering business and private kitchen? I never thought about it in that way. I have always loved cooking and entertaining, but I didn’t know I could make a living out of it. I had never worked in a restaurant before so it was a big leap of faith. It was quite scary initially but I love it and I’ve never looked back.


A smell or a taste can can you to a place you have not been in a long time When did you realise you had a passion for food? When I was very young I loved watching all the activity that went on in the kitchens of my family’s homes. They were full of fun and laughter with some hot tempers flying around and a ton of stories being told. I was happiest there: I enjoyed the playful politics and the strong sense of competition over whose dish was best. I also knew it was the way that the women showed love to their families. Who or what is your inspiration? My mother, my grandmother and all the women I grew up with. Also, the connections that you build around a table: I love that something as simple as food can bring people together and create such different situations, from the dramatic to the comedic to the emotional.

Is there a theme running through your food? All my food is influenced by the Eastern Mediterranean: it is where I’m from and a big part of who I am. Every dish I create stirs up memories for me. A smell or a taste can take you to a place you have not been in a long time. It can bring back all sorts of memories: sad or happy. The food at Pomegranate is in essence the food I grew up with: I use the same spice palate but I also use nontraditional ingredients. I like to think that the food here is a modern interpretation of that cuisine, a more global one. How do you create your menus? Our style of eating is family style. When creating a dish or a new recipe I don’t just think of it in isolation: instead, I try to make sure that all the various dishes and flavours on the table go together. I always start with a main ingredient and go from there, layering the flavours and combining different ingredients. I know what works traditionally and I like to challenge that tradition by playing with favours to create something new and unexpected.


eating Where do you get your ingredients? We have many different suppliers and spend a lot of time ensuring we source the best ingredients from the best areas. Some of my spices are even hand flown from Lebanon by family and friends. What is your favourite dish? My favourite ingredients are lamb and eggplant. Luckily for me, they go together well. I love our Chermoulah Lamb Chops, a dish that satisfies true foodies. Pair that with fried eggplant, parsley, tomato topped with a garlic and lemon vinaigrette and I am in heaven. What is the best thing about running Pomegranate Kitchen? The opportunity to create something new and do something I love every day with a team that feels like a family. I think all of these things are a huge luxury. Why did you choose to set up in Aberdeen? I always liked Aberdeen’s accessibility to both Central and southside. I was also excited at the prospect of starting Pomegranate Kitchen in an area that is undergoing such a huge transformation. I cannot wait to see what the future brings.


The food at Pomegranate Kitchen is influenced by the Eastern Mediterranean.

What is the most challenging thing about running your own business? Time. Time away from my family. I don’t know where the days go. The industry is very fast paced. Days, weeks and months fly by.

host more dinner parties. I am excited to have a second venue for more formal dining events.

What are your plans for the future? Our latest project is our new venue, Pomegranate Dining Room, which launches this month. It’s a venue designed with a private/ home dining room in mind where we hope to

Pomegranate Kitchen, 4B, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, 2580 0663, (Pomegranate Dining Room opens this month, just a few floors up on Level 8).

What is your motto when it comes to food? The more the merrier.




News from the dining scene.

Crab delights at Le Meridien Cyberport Autumn is crab season. Cantonese restaurant, Nam Fong, are serving an Autumn Crab Delights menu including steamed hairy crab and baked hard shell crab with lemongrass, lime and fish sauce. The special menu is available until October 31. Le Meridien, 100 Cyberport Road, 2980 7410, Hairy crab season at JW Marriott Hairy crab season has arrived at JW Marriott. Led by executive Chinese chef, Ip Kwok Fai, the seasonal crustacean will be featured in


several promotional lunch and dinner Ă la carte dishes like steamed pork dumpling with crab roe and crab meat ($90 for 1 piece) and braised noodle with crab roe and crab meat ($280) at Man Ho Chinese restaurant. Guests can experience an abundant feast of international crab dishes and hairy crab specialties from the dinner buffet at JW Cafe. The dinner buffet starts from $718 for adults and $498 for children. The crab menu is available from October 1-31. Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2810 8366, Seafood galore Inspired by the magnificent seaview in Stanley, new items on the menu at The Boathouse include jet-fresh seafood from around the world including smoked salmon carpaccio and seared scallops with yellow lentil puree, bacon and hazelnut. An old favourite, bucket of fresh seafood, has been brought back to the menu. The bucket is full to the brim with your choice of mussels, clams, or a mix of everything.

Complete with garlic bread and your choice of sauce. 88 Stanley Main Street, Stanley, 2813 4467, Champagne brunch at TRi Sit back and enjoy an island-inspired version of champagne brunch at Balinese restaurant, TRi. The multi-course brunch is created by executive chef Conor Beach and chef de cuisine Wayan Mustika, and features a six-course appetizer to share including Heirloom tomato salad or pan-fried flatbread stuffed with chicken curry. It is followed by a range of main course dishes like Jimbaran iberico pork ribs or coral trout red kare with scallops, and desserts to finish. Diners can choose from no champagne brunch ($580 per person), free-flow Louis Roederer Brut Premier ($680 per person) or Cristal Louis Roederer 2007 ($1,880 per person). Available on Saturday and Sunday, from 11am-1pm or 1pm-4pm. Shop 302, 3/F, Lobby C, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2515 0577,



school life

A three-year renovation plan has seen buildings upgraded and a new playground opened.

Quarry Bay School Mawgan Batt takes a tour. It’s playtime, and the playground at Quarry Bay School (QBS) is a sea of hats trimmed in red, yellow, green or blue. Located at the top of Braemar Hill and sharing a quiet street with several international schools, QBS is one of nine primary schools operated by the English Schools Foundation (ESF). The students, aged five to 11, are enjoying some fun before lessons resume: one small group is intensely involved in a chess game; others are learning to play their brand-new recorders; some of the younger children are running around laughing during a game of tag. Watching over this scene is school Principal Mina Dunstan, a familiar sight to the students of QBS. Whether in the playground at break or lunchtime, or on one of her daily visits to see the students in their classrooms, Dunstan places a strong emphasis on being visible and available to the students at QBS. A part of the school for three and a half years, Dunstan was previously Vice Principal at Sha Tin Junior School, following her move to Hong Kong from Australia nine years ago. QBS is a school with an interesting history. Originally located on King’s Road in North Point,


We strongly believe that if they are not happy the learning will not happen and founded in 1926, it has been in its current location, and part of the ESF stable, since 1985. Connections with former students are seen throughout the school body, in both parents and teachers. It’s a school that prides itself on its continued associations with past students, parents and staff. “I no longer raise an eyebrow when I discover an adult connection to the school,” says Dunstan. “There’s a really good attachment to the school from former parents and staff.” Most notably, the current School Council Chair is a former alumnus of the original school in North Point, as was his mother. His continued involvement with QBS highlights the school’s strong community connections. The ever-present Hong Kong challenge of space has been an issue at QBS, particularly

with 720 students enrolled. A three-year renovation plan, funded by ESF, is now coming to an end, and has seen the internal and external parts of buildings upgraded, new contemporary learning spaces integrated, and a new playground opened. These improvements all had the objective of maximising space for the students and the investment has paid dividends. QBS’s intake is based on a catchment area, stretching from Happy Valley to Shek O, including areas such as Chai Wan and Tai Tam. With over 40 nationalities represented, the school exemplifies the diverse nature of Hong Kong. “The ethos of the school is about community,” says Dunstan. “We’re an inclusive, family-oriented school with a diverse student body. All our decisions come from putting the children first and focusing on what matters to them.” The staff are also comprised of numerous nationalities and experiences including longterm QBS teachers, those at the beginning of their career, as well as teachers who have taught all over the world. “I count my blessings every day to work with such a professional group of people who are serious about giving



Over 40 nationalities are represented at QBS.


education children what they absolutely need,” says Dunstan. So what can prospective QBS parents expect from the school? “Children who are happy,” Mina states emphatically. “We strongly believe that if they are not happy the learning will not happen.” Parent involvement is crucial in the ongoing connection between a student’s school and homelife. Parents are regularly seen at the school in a number of capacities: be it imparting their gardening skills to students in the new micro gardens; participating in reading sessions; or helping in the learning centre. “Our door is always open,” emphasises Dunstan. “We want parents to be involved in the school and we see parents as partners.” For those students who have additional learning needs, QBS has fully integrated learning support, with specialist teachers who work to allow all children to access the curriculum. These children remain part of the classroom setting. They receive specific small group support where appropriate, but inclusion is encouraged and diversity is celebrated. One recent initiative that the school is looking to develop over the coming year is its connection with an old people’s home in Chai

services and uniform sales. With the three-year renovation project coming to an end, QBS is looking forward to its next chapter. Principal Mina Dunstan wants the school to become a beacon of both visual and performing arts, to further grow its sporting participation and to continue its emphasis on prioritising the children in all decisions. If the smiling faces in the playground and the engaged students in the classrooms are anything to go by, the school is certainly fulfilling its goals. Wan. The children visit the centre, and residents have also been invited into the school to read with the children and engage in their learning. “Many children don’t have grandparents in Hong Kong,” says Dunstan, “And it’s important to us that our students can make meaningful connections with our local community.” In addition to a dedicated body of teaching staff, the school has a supportive PTA which raises funds for the school through fairs and events that take place over the course of the academic year. The PTA is very active and, in addition to their fund raising activities, is also responsible for coordinating the school’s bus

Quarry Bay School Established: 1926 Number of students: 720 Class size: 30 Curriculum: International Baccalaureate PYP Fees 2015/2016: $78,700 Non refundable capital levy: $38,000 Address: 6 Hau Yuen Path, Braemar Hill, North Point Tel: 2566 4242


sponsored column

Year One admissions and interviews Preparation is key to secure those all-important places. One of the biggest tasks for parents is getting their children admitted to a school of their choice – this is far from easy. There is no shortage of international schools in Hong Kong but there is a shortage of spaces. Admission at Year One is generally based on an interview. The main objective of the interview is to observe children’s character, age-appropriate skills, English ability and overall readiness for ‘big school’. Other qualities examined are children’s interest in puzzles, books and classroom activities, their ability to understand what the teacher says and their receptiveness. Children are observed on their recognition of letters, food, colours, shapes, animals and common objects. They may also be asked to recite nursery rhymes, or do basic letter and number tests. Schools put a strong emphasis on previous academic reports and comments from teachers on prospective student’s behaviour, strengths and overall academic ability.


Try to stimulate their curiosity about their environment, in order to develop interest and knowledge. Be sure to provide children with every opportunity to develop their creativity – never try to curb their urge to learn new things, or to learn more about something that interests them. Help your children develop morally, mentally and physically through gentle encouragement. Focus on developing good habits, social attitudes and manners. A large number of parents who clamour for their children’s admission to a popular school do not stop to think about what they are actually looking for. Research has shown that character is determined by early education, so an institution which puts an emphasis on character building may well be preferable to one known to produce bookworms. It is impossible to find a school which will impart all the qualities of character to children in full measure. Select a school which you feel comfortable with and remember that a great school is one which inspires children and broadens their

outlook on life. Finally, don’t miss deadlines. Finding out that application deadlines have passed can be quite disheartening. You feel bad because you were unable to provide your child with a chance of even being offered an interview never mind a school place. Make sure to put a structured plan in place for the next academic year. Contact all your preferred schools and make sure to set up calendar alert in your diary for when the application opens. Do it on the first day, so you don’t have the urge to procrastinate. Have copies of all the documentation you need for the application in order and in separate folders for each school. ITS Education Asia provides an education consulting service that works with families and employers to find the right schools for individual children in Hong Kong, from nursery to secondary schools. ITS also offers research, policy and advisory services for corporations. For more details, contact, 3188 3940 or


arts & culture

due south

Occupy my mind Amanda Sheppard talks to artist South Ho Siu Nam about his new exhibition.

(from left): Artist South Ho Siu Nam; a piece from his exhibition of Tamar park.

Award-winning artist South Ho Siu Nam has a new solo exhibition “good day, good night”, until November 14 at Blindspot Gallery. His exhibition features select images, video works and mixed media pieces in reference to last year’s Occupy Movement. Black and white may be his modus operandi, but the works are coloured by his overtly political stance. A photography book of the project has also been released to coincide with the exhibition. Last year’s socio-political developments are metaphorically represented – the intricate subtleties carrying a loaded sentiment. South’s work has been collected and exhibited internationally, but the heart of his art rests firmly in Hong Kong. Your latest exhibit, good day, good night, presents photographic and video works taken during the Occupy Central movement. Why did you choose to present these images in black and white? Black and white photography is always my personal preference. Without colour, viewers can concentrate on the content and detail in the image. Black and white photography today is also seen as an abstracted presentation. In my mixed media piece, Not Every Daily, I hand-painted black, white and grey stripes in the sky from top to bottom, imitating the fences


Without colour, viewers can concentrate on the content and detail in the image and barricades seen used during the Occupy Movement. The greyish hues also reflect my personal mixed feelings about Hong Kong. Is your approach in line with the prevalent documentary-style footage of Occupy? Viewers should experience the scenes as I did, behind the lens. A series of video footage, each about 30 minutes long, captures the Occupy Movement at different points and times. In contrast to the photography, these keep the original colours. I would like to keep them as raw and original as possible. Political developments in Hong Kong have continued to inspire your artistic process. Have your opinions on last year’s political movement changed? My thoughts and opinions haven’t changed. Hong Kong needs real democracy in order to retain its freedom and rule by law. As a witness to the deterioration of the overall

living conditions in Hong Kong, I am heartbroken. You co-founded the 100 sq ft. PARK art space in 2013. Do you think that there are enough opportunities for young artists to present their works in collaborative, noncommercial projects? More art spaces have been founded in Hong Kong in the past year and they have helped to create a new art scene here, offering more opportunities to young artists. There is still a large gap between supply and demand and artists still need to pay high prices. We had one goal when we first founded our space – to encourage more people to join, or even establish, their own spaces. How do you view the growing community and collaboration between artists and galleries? An excellent gallery not only exhibits works of artists and finds collectors for the works; it also actively seeks different levels of opportunity for artists to bring their talent to fruition and assist them in their long-term development. I’m glad that Blindspot Gallery and I have maintained a lasting relationship. 15/F, Po Chai Industrial Building, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Rd,


arts & culture

South Island Art Day Amanda Sheppard takes a look at the highlights of this year’s South Island Art Day.

On September 19 the third instalment of the South Island Art Day was held, drawing in artists, collectors, curators and art enthusiasts alike. Comprising more than twenty galleries and art spaces, the burgeoning cultural district boasted eight new exhibit openings, several guided tours as well as artist and curator led discussions and performance pieces. In case you missed the day, here are our top recommendations for galleries and exhibitions not to miss. Charbon | Until Oct 17 Quite literally the new kid on the block, Charbon is a multipurpose art space run by manager curator Lalie Choffel. Serving as an exhibition space, performance venue, co-working space and boutique shop, the venue opened with a travelling exhibition by Hong Kong artist Movena Chen. The unique piece, travelling into your bookshelf, is a paper installation six years in the making, involving shredded and knitted books collected during Chen’s travels. 8/F, Sing Tek Factory, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road,

The South Island Art Day saw eight new exhibit openings.


Pékin Fine Arts | Until Nov 17 In his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, the Shenzhen-born artist Xu Zhenbang presents a selection of mixed media paintings. Titled

arts & culture “Look Again”, the exhibit allows audiences to delve deep beneath the surface by engaging with large scale artworks referencing popular symbols and items that have been concealed and reconstructed. 16/F, Union Industrial Building, 48 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Rossi and Rossi | Until Oct 24 Tibetan artist Tenzing Rigdol pays homage to the four noble truths of Buddhism in his third solo exhibition at Rossi & Rossi gallery’s Hong Kong space. Featuring select video works, photographs, paintings and collages, “Change is the Eternal Law” references the socio-political strife of the people of Tibet. Unit 3C, Yally Industrial Building, 6 Yip Fat Street, Whitestone Gallery | Until Oct 17 The Japanese gallery, which has recently opened its doors in Hong Kong, presents “A Serious Bluffer”, a solo exhibition by the acclaimed Gutai artist Shozo Shimamoto. His unique and innovative ‘cannon painting’ method has garnered the attention of art critics and collectors for decades, as he remains at the forefront of the Gutai movement. 28/F, Global Trade Square, 21 Wong Chuk Hang Road,

A performance by Bleu Ka Wing.



culture vulture

Day at the museum

Shreena Patel unearths what Hong Kong’s museums have to offer.

The Cantonese Opera theatre at the Heritage Museum.

Museums aren’t just for rainy days and school trips, and not all of them are stuffy and full of old objects (and curators) gathering dust. The majority of Hong Kong’s museums are bilingual, easily accessible by train or ferry and offer cheap admission and an air-conditioned break from the outdoors as well as educational insights. Many offer free admission one day a week (typically Wednesdays) and interactive exhibits that are great for children. They cover a surprising range of fields, from history and art to considerably more niche interests such as 3D art and correctional services. We’ve picked out six of the best for you to explore. Hong Kong Museum of History What: The museum’s permanent exhibition, The Hong Kong Story, brings to life thousands of years of Hong Kong history, from the prehistoric era to the Opium War to the handover to China, through dioramas and life-size exhibits. Look out for a tram, a fishing junk and a street scene complete with barber, bank, post office and grocer. There is even a Chinese medicine shop which was relocated from its original location stone by stone. The special exhibition on the Han Dynasty runs until October 5 and features a number of


A fishing junk at the History Museum.

exhibits on loan from the mainland, including a jade suit sewn with gold thread from the mausoleum of King Chu at Xuzhou. Where: 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Contact: 2724 9042, Admission: $10 standard; $5 concession; free for under-fours. Free on Wednesdays, except for some special exhibitions. Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Fri: 10am-6pm; Sat, Sun and public holidays: 10am-7pm; closed Tue (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.

Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum What: Formerly accommodation for married staff, the building now houses 10 galleries displaying the evolution of Hong Kong’s penal system over the last 160 years. Exhibits include prison records, two reconstructed cells and an array of gruesome equipment used for corporal punishment, including a mock gallows and rattan cane known as “the cat of nine tails”. Where: 45 Tung Tau Wan Road, Stanley Contact: 2147 3199, Admission: Free. Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 10am-5pm; closed Mon and public holidays. Hong Kong Heritage Museum What: Permanent exhibitions include the Cantonese Opera Heritage Hall, which showcases a reconstructed bamboo theatre as well as items once used by famous Cantonese opera artists. The Children’s Discovery Gallery features eight play-zones which transport little ones to the depths of the sea, the Mai Po Marshes, archaeological digs and a traditional New Territories village in search of wildlife, ancient artefacts and cultural heritage. A special exhibition on Hong Kong Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee runs until 2018.


Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence What: Set in a British fort now over a century old with beautiful views of the Lei Yue Mun channel, this museum offers a fascinating insight into Hong Kong’s military past, from the Ming and Qing period, to the British colonial era and the Japanese occupation. Take the historical trail through the casemates and passageways to the sea, and explore the array of artefacts on display, including uniforms, maps, cannons, replica torpedos and guns. Where: 175 Tung Hei Road, Shau Kei Wan Contact: 2569 1500, Admission: $10 standard; $5 concession; free for under-fours. Free on Wednesdays. Opening hours: Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun: 10am-5pm (until 6pm from March to September), closed Thu (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.

photo by Marco Repola

Where: 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin. Contact: 2180 8188, Admission: $10 standard; $5 concession; free for under-fours. Free on Wednesdays. Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Fri: 10am-6pm; Sun and public holidays: 10am-7pm; closed Tue (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year. (from left): Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb; the Museum of Medical Sciences.

Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum What: Discovered by workmen during a construction project 60 years ago, this 2,000-year-old tomb dates back to the Eastern Han dynasty. Peer inside the tomb and learn about the period from which it dates through videos, maps and photos. A gallery features the objects found during the excavation, including pottery and bronze wares. Interestingly, the site of the tomb once overlooked the seashore, but after a series of land reclamations, now lies almost 2km from the sea. Where: 41 Tonkin Street, Sham Shui Po. Contact: 2386 2863, Admission: Free. Opening hours: Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun: 10am-6pm, closed Thu (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year.

Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences What: Housed in the Old Pathological Institute, this was the battleground of the city’s fight against infectious diseases, including the plague, smallpox and malaria. Explore Hong Kong’s first clinical and public health laboratory, and see a reconstruction of students dissecting rats for plague surveillance. Visit the Herbalist Shop in the basement to find out about traditional Chinese medicine. Also keep an eye out for the x-ray of a bound foot. Where: 2 Caine Lane, Mid-Levels. Contact: 2549 5123, Admission: $20 adult; $10 concession. Opening hours: Tue-Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun and public holidays: 1pm-5pm; closed Mon and the first three days of Chinese New Year.



Fright night Annie Wong finds out where the party’s at this Halloween.

Turtle in the Hat x Butchers Club Billed as Hong Kong’s most ridiculous Halloween Party and hosted by a drag queen MC, this year’s bash will be headlined by Barcelona’s WILDKATS. Expect music, fancy dress, magicians, acrobats and more. Tickets from $800 and include two hours of free flow drinks and a hog roast on the roof. The Butchers Club Deli at Editus, 16-17/F, Shui Ki Industrial Building, 18 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen.

Ocean Park Celebrating 15 years of haunting celebrations, Ocean Park has upped its scare-level with eight haunted attractions, its largest fright fest ever. Attractions include scenes from popular TV drama ‘The Walking Dead’, a puppet master’s deadly workshop, a mutant escape and Bloodborne Mansion. Attractions will be open throughout the day until November 1. Tickets are $345 for adults and $173 for children (aged 3 to 11), available at

Super Hero vs. Princess Halloween Party at Miles ELP International Academy It’s all about super powers and fairy tales at this Halloween party, with live music performances and games for the whole family. The party starts from 3.30pm-5pm. Free admission, no registration required. October 24, B102, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay,



Disneyland Hong Kong Disneyland’s halloween spectacular, “Dare to get lost in Ghost Town”, includes a mystic time warp, spooky puppet shows at Grizzly Gulch, and a Jungle River cruise. You can even trick or treat with all your favourite Disney characters on the Main Street. Guided Halloween Spectacular tours are available for groups of six or more from 1pm-11pm. Tours are conducted in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and start at $5,388. Halloween nights start October 2-31, Friday to Sunday, 6pm-11pm. Regular tickets are $399. Book at

Haunted Room Halloween Party at The Mira Don your scariest costume and mingle with other zombies and ghosts at Room One on October 31. Enjoy free-flow beverages and spooky music by international DJs. The best dressed guests will win dining vouchers for The Mira Hong Kong. Tickets are $358 before October 28, $398 on the door. For bookings, call 2315 5888 or email

Lan Kwai Fong Halloween Party Party mecca Lan Kwai Fong can be a scary place on any night. On October 31, party goers will descend on the streets around Central for a night of spooky debauchery. From 7pm onwards (arrive early to avoid queues). Avoid Central MTR otherwise. Free admission. Lan Kwai Fong, Central.


big day out

Lion tamer Rory Mackay scales Lion Rock in search of the best views in town. Main photo by Nick Seymour


big day out


big day out

(clockwise from left): sunset views over Lion Rock; signs point the way; look out for monkeys.

For those who thought The Peak was the most dramatic summit looming over Victoria Harbour, think again. There is a roaring lion to the north. It may not be as well known, but Lion Rock is right up there in terms of grandeur. Conquer this rugged ridge and witness some of Hong Kong’s finest views. Feel the intense sprawl of Kowloon and enjoy the iconic backdrop of Hong Kong Island. A gaze round to the other side reveals Sha Tin valley and the expansive hills of the New Territories. Not only are the views from the top incredible, but the hike along the way is invigorating and is a great one to get under your belt as the hiking season begins. Mid-afternoon is an ideal time to set off, ensuring cooler temperatures and sunset vistas from the summit. The route up is easily accessed from Wong Tai Sin MTR Station. Find exit E and begin climbing up Sha Tin Pass Road; stay on this road and gradually rise above the tower blocks of Kowloon. After about 45 minutes of walking, intercept the MacLehose Trail and signage for the Lion Rock Country Park on your left hand side. This is where the real adventure begins. Not to worry if you’re feeling peckish before the ascent, continue another 50 meters up Sha Tin Pass Road to


Keep an eye out for particular monkeys

discover a delightful little Dai Pai Dong. Head back down to the Country Park sign and get stuck into an engaging ridge walk through lush forests. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way, in particular monkeys! The path will undulate for an hour until arriving at the foot of Lion Rock. From this juncture, follow the signposts for Lion Rock and climb the staircase. Upon reaching the summit at 495 meters above sea level, the footpath emerges from the undergrowth to reveal unrivaled panoramas of Hong Kong. Pose for dramatic photos above large granite outcrops dating back to the Jurassic Period. Or take a perch and soak up the relaxing vibes as skies darken and the vibrant lights from the city below come to life. The return route down is fairly simple. Keep

turning left at all junctions along the hiking trail and you’ll be back to civilization in an hour. The simplest way to the MTR is to turn left once you reach Lung Cheung Road and follow the highway into Wong Tai Sin. Alternatively, you can cross Lung Cheung Road and head into either Lok Fu or Kowloon Tong. The whole walk should take the best part of four hours. An enjoyable way to extend the hike is to continue along the MacLehose Trail, either east towards Tate’s Cairn, or west towards Kowloon Reservoir. Be sure to take a few light snacks and plenty of fluids for consumption along the way. Lion Rock is a classic year-round hike that almost anyone can have a crack at, yet one that keeps even the most seasoned of hikers honest. Its enchanted forests below and spectacular vistas above will no doubt ensure this is not the last time you tame the lion.

Rory Mackay runs adventure company Wild Hong Kong. For details, visit





A slingback to nature in Singapore Rebecca Keiller leaves the city behind.


travel When you think of Singapore, nature might not be the first thing that springs to mind. You’ve probably been to Sentosa, experienced all the delights of Universal Studios, and jostled for position on Siloso beach. Presumably you’ve experienced the downtown buzz, paid a visit to the Merlion and sipped a Singapore Sling at Raffles. But what about the rest of Singapore? The areas of rugged nature, outdoor activities and wildlife trails? For a city synonymous with sleek architecture, squeaky-clean streets and a slight shopping obsession, you might find it a challenge to get out of the CBD and into the countryside. On a recent three-day getaway in Singapore, I made it my mission to explore beyond the comforts of the city and get out into nature. First stop was the MacRitchie Reservoir, a nature reserve popular with locals for hikes, running trails, picnics and monkey spotting. Colour-coded walking trails weave through the park and a boardwalk skirts the edge of the reservoir, but the main attraction is definitely the TreeTop Walk, a free standing suspension bridge connecting the park’s two highest points, raising you as high as 25 meters off the forest floor. Next stop: something more active. Stand Up Paddle Boarding seems to be the newest craze in watersports. Boards and beginner lessons are available along the beaches near East Coast Park. Even better, the Beach Club welcomes weary parents with a refreshing drink while the kids are at play. But what really piqued my curiosity was SUP After Dark, an instructor-led 30-minute activity where LED lights illuminate the tropical waters beneath your board. Many visitors are unaware of the number of beautiful islands Singapore has to offer (and no, I’m not referring to Sentosa). Clean beaches, blue shores, picturesque treks and an array of flora, fauna and animal species draw city slickers in the hundreds every weekend. Pulau Hantu, St. John’s Island, Lazarus Island and Kusu Island are all well worth checking out with boats departing from Marina South Pier most days.

Kayaking through the mangroves on Pulau Ubin island


travel By far the most popular (and the most frequented) island is Pulau Ubin. This largely untouched island off the east coast of Singapore, is a little gem and easily accessible from the city. Just a 15-minute bumboat ride from the mainland and you’re thrown into a 1960s Singapore time warp. Walk, bike or kayak around this boomerang-shaped island for a feel of old Singapore. Glimpse the city’s version of a simpler life: wooden kampong houses, rustic trails, swaying coconut palms and tropical mangroves. If you have time, indulge in seafood, refresh with coconuts, wander the wetlands and slow to the island pace, a welcome contrast from a Singapore that is rocketing into the future. Two popular outdoor activities to do on the island are biking and kayaking which take you away from the island’s weekend crowds. Make a beeline for the East coast and experience kayaking through the mangroves. There is a choice of two kayaking adventures: Mangrove Kayaking, a four-hour kayaking trip for all levels, or Ubin Bisect Kayaking, which cuts through the island’s middle for more adventurous types. I opted for the shorter route as I wanted the chance to explore Pulau Ubin and make time for a local meal too. Taking a bumboat from Changi Point Ferry


(clockwise from top): a rustic beach on Pulau Ubin; a TreeTop walk at MacRitchie reservoir; a traditional home in laidback Pulau Ubin.

travel Terminal, I arrived at Pulau Ubin after a leisurely 15-minute ride. Turning left at the end of the pier, I passed numerous bicycle rental shops before arriving at one of the larger huts on the right to meet my kayaking guide Fadil and an American family. As an Ubin native, Fadil grew up on the island and knows its nature and mangroves like the back of his hand. Throughout the trip he was eager to share his knowledge of the island and introduce the local way of life. First, we paddled along the coastline and through the offshore fish farms while the wind stirred up choppy seas, which heightened the serenity once we entered the mangroves. We then glided gently past houseboats and entered deeper into the mangroves. As we reached a tranquil clearing, Fadil was keen to get us on our feet and play games in the kayaks. Pulau Ubin is home to an abundance of wildlife, so sightings of monkeys, iguanas, dolphins and wild boars are not uncommon. We managed to spot a number of monitor lizards on our journey and Fadil pointed out all the different types of mangrove plant (red, black and white depending on their age and location), but unfortunately no dolphins or wild boars on this occasion. Something to leave for next time.

My Singapore itinerary Mangrove Kayaking is HK$364 per person and Ubin Bisect Kayaking is HK$576 per person. Children must be at least 5 years old to participate and children up to 12 years old must be accompanied by at least one adult. Beginner SUP Lessons are HK$710 for 90 minutes, Kayak and SUP rental is HK$219 for 90 minutes, SUP After Dark is HK$191 for 30 minutes with equipment and instructor. Ubin Biking Adventure is HK$364 per person for a 4 hour guided ride. I booked my activities through Klook at For enquiries, call 3462 6208 or email


health & beauty

Pick‘n’Mix fitness In a backlash against traditional gyms and long-term fixed contracts, a bunch of startups are looking to shake up the fitness scene in Hong Kong and beyond. Based on the concept of paying a fixed monthly subscription fee to access multiple gyms and fitness studios, ClassCruiser and GuavaPass are hoping their flexible approach to working out will change our gym habits. We talk to the people behind the startups and give you the lowdown.


Rosh Pritmani, founder of ClassCruiser.

Shreena Patel puts ClassCruiser to the test. Between the long contracts offered by big box gyms, expensive rates for drop-in classes and the intense heat and humidity of summer (which put a stop to any long hikes) I’d been neglecting my fitness, so when I heard about ClassCruiser I was excited to try it: no long-term commitment and an unlimited amount of classes across Hong Kong at my fingertips. Classes are available across the city from Sai Kung to Aberdeen, which means you should find something near you. I’ve tried everything from aerial silk acrobatics to barre fitness and all are within a 10-minute walk of where I live or work. The monthly limit of three visits per studio has not been a problem as I had initially feared. I picked five classes (at five different studios) to attend every week for the first three weeks; I’m using my fourth week to try new classes, including CrossFit, which I’ve been meaning to attempt for a while. I like the continuity but also the fact that I’m forced to incorporate a little variety into my fitness regime (or take a break!). Many of the studios are quite small and


some specialise in just one core activity. I’ve found that shower and toilet facilities, whilst clean and well-equipped with towels and toiletries, are usually limited: some studios are only big enough to accommodate one shower, though so far queueing hasn’t been a problem as class sizes tend to be small. Walking to a different studio each time means you have to be a bit more prepared. ClassCruiser advises you to arrive 15 minutes beforehand which can be tricky, especially if you’re on a tight schedule. However I’ve found that, aside from first visits where I occasionally had to sign a form and familiarise myself with the setup, arriving later hasn’t been a problem as long as I’m ready to begin the class on time. Booking classes is easy: the website is clear and simple and you can filter by neighbourhood, time, studio and activity. The main attraction of this type of membership is the variety of classes and freedom to cancel my membership at any time. I’ve decided to continue to next month, and look forward to the release of the app which will make the process even simpler.

How did you come up with the idea for ClassCruiser? The idea came to me in early 2014, after one of my friends was complaining about how difficult it was to find a Pilates class. Many of the providers didn’t offer free trials and didn’t have prices or class schedules listed online, and the big gyms that offered classes were asking for long-term contracts: it was just tedious and a pain. I was looking for a solution, and at the same time, I came across ClassPass in the US, so I decided to base our fitness-sharing model on theirs. Have you always been interested in fitness? Not exactly. After spending five years in the States (four years studying at the University of Southern California and another year working as a real estate broker in Downtown Los Angeles), it’s fair to say that I had gained more than a few pounds from the college lifestyle. It was only upon returning to Hong Kong that I finally got motivated to start taking care of myself, and I’ve been addicted ever since. I now play football at least twice a week, go to the gym twice a week, and just picked up Muay Thai which I do at Hanuman Thai Boxing in Hung Hom. Who are you targeting? People who want variety, flexibility and the boutique experience. No matter where you are, you can log in to ClassCruiser and find the nearest fitness class to you, book it, and show up. It’s that simple. We’re trying to make fitness easier and more accessible for everyone.

health & beauty


Rob Pachter, co-founder of GuavaPass. How many partners do you have? We have over 70 studio partners, and we’re adding more every week. Our studio partners benefit by filling otherwise under-subscribed classes with new faces as well as gaining the chance to convert our users to members. What sets ClassCruiser apart from the competition? We’re the only fitness pass provider that’s Hong Kong based. Our studio partners love this because it allows us to be extremely responsive to their needs and wishes. We’re huge advocates of supporting Hong Kong based startups. What’s the best class you’ve tried? My team and I have tried out classes at most of our studio partners. Our most memorable experiences have been at Barre2Barre, JAB MMA, Flex Studio, and Hanuman Thai Boxing. Cost: $899 per month. Cancellation policy: cancel any time, at least one day before your next billing cycle to avoid auto-renewal. Most classes require 12 hours notice for cancellations. Late cancellations incur a $149 fine and count as a studio visit. Missed classes result in a $199 fine and count as a studio visit. Restrictions: users can participate in an unlimited number of classes but can visit the same studio no more than three times per month. No, of studios: over 70 across Hong Kong. Mobile app: under development. Use the code “SOUTHSIDE” for $150 off your first month.

What is the idea behind GuavaPass? GuavaPass is not simply about providing a pass to as many gyms as possible, it’s about providing top-quality resources to empower our members to live healthier lifestyles. We personally vet each studio and class our members are signing up for, to guarantee not only the quality of the teaching, but also the quality of the experience. We want our members to look forward to their next workout, live to their full potential and be inspired every day.

What are the most popular classes? Classes vary in popularity based on location, activity and frequency. Some of our most popular classes in Hong Kong are at Torq Cycle, Flex Studio and Barre 2 Barre. Who are you targeting? GuavaPass is a community that welcomes anyone interested in living a healthy lifestyle. Our target demographic is individuals who care about the quality of their group fitness experiences and strive to be healthy day-to-day. Where else do you plan to expand to? GuavaPass is soon to be launched in cities across Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Dubai, Shanghai and Melbourne will soft launch in the next month. Members can change their location and use their GuavaPass worldwide.

Cost: $899 per month. Cancellation policy: cancel anytime before the next billing cycle to avoid being charged. Most classes require 12 hours notice for cancellations. Late cancellations incur a $75 fine. Missed classes result in a $100 fine and count as a studio visit. Restrictions: users can participate in an unlimited number of classes but can visit the same studio no more than three times per month. No. of studios: over 60, mostly on Hong Kong Island. Mobile app: under development.



top dogs

Pillow talk

There’s a lot more going on in your dog’s mind than you realise, says Sally Anderson. There have been some funny goings on in my bedroom lately. Not what you might be thinking as it’s to do with the dogs, of course. It goes without saying that I share every part of my life with dogs, including my bed. I got used to having the two little ones at my feet and three (or more during thunderstorms) spread around the remaining space, leaving a tiny strip at the side for me. Then two of the small dogs decided to move off and one of the larger ones passed away of acute diabetes. For a while, I enjoyed the luxury of being able to stretch my legs out and even move around a bit during the night. Then, seemingly without reason, big and fluffy Diamond, who had until then found herself a space somewhere on the ground, decided to sleep beside me at night. She took over the space that my usual sleeping companion, Griffin, had occupied. Griffin then had to squeeze in between us, once again pushing me to the very side of the bed. Soon after Diamond had claimed her bed space, Griffin’s sister Lima decided she too would give up sleeping on a dog bed and join

the others, and to liven things up she instigated the pre-lights-out game of “zoomies”, that manic, high-speed circling that dogs do when the mood takes them. This includes frantically digging up the bedsheets and ripping them off me before finally settling down, sprawled across the bed, and falling asleep. I, of course, have no such luck, having neither space nor bedsheets for comfort. The point of this story is that Diamond and Lima are fully grown adults who have very

different characters and no real connection to each other in their daily life. Both seemed to be settled in their habits, but just as the two small dogs decided to move off my bed after years of having slept there, something motivated the larger dogs to make a sudden lifestyle change which has now become their routine. This type of behaviour change shows that, although dogs like routine and stability in their lives, they are also capable of making decisions that require thought. I have no idea what went through Diamond’s mind before she suddenly changed her sleeping habits, nor Lima’s, or how long they had been planning their moves. I just find myself constantly fascinated by the inner workings of these animals’ minds and how wrong people are when they talk about dumb dogs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sally Andersen is the founder of Hong Kong Dog Rescue, a charity that rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes unwanted or abandoned dogs.


hong kong creatures The Horseshoe Crab Horseshoe crabs are marine living fossils, probably dating back to the Ordovician period 485 million years ago. There are two species found in Hong Kong: Chinese horseshoe crab (Tachypleus tridentatus) and mangrove horseshoe crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda). They once thrived on many of Hong Kong’s local beaches. I recall seeing many on Lantau Island and my late mother’s amazement at such a peculiar invertebrate. However, since the late 80’s, they have largely vanished from many of their former habitats. Nowadays, they are found only on certain beaches in Deep Bay and Lantau Island. In Disney’s Timekeeper, we encounter the character Nine Eyes. The horseshoe crab is a true ‘Nine Eyes’: a quick glance at the crab and we see the obvious two compound lateral eyes – unusual because


no other living Chelicerate possesses compound eyes (multifaceted and especially sensitive to motion). These are used primarily for finding mates and also help the crab to adapt to darkness. There are five more eyes on the top of its shell, including two median eyes and an endoparietal eye which detect UV light from the sun and reflected light from the moon. These help the crab to follow the lunar cycle. The tail also has a series of light sensors that keeps the crab’s brain synchronised with cycles of light and dark. On the underside of the crab, near the mouth, are two ventral eyes, which may help it to orientate when swimming. Over-harvesting of the creature for food and research has led to a dwindling of its numbers. The horseshoe crab plays an important part in biomedical research: its

photo by: Smallbones

By Nigel Griffiths

blue blood can be used to detect bacterial toxins. Entanglement in fishing nets and coastal development are also culprits. To see one, try looking at the sand surface in the intertidal zone at Shui Hau, Lantau Island. Bus 11 and 23 from Tung Chung Bus Station will take you to Shui Hau, where clams are also in abundance.




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To advertise, email or call 2776 2772


To advertise, email or call 2776 2772




To advertise, email or call 2776 2772


To advertise, email or call 2776 2772


southside secrets

hocus pocus

University Hall is one of the most popular halls of residence amongst prospective HKU students.

The cursed statues Callum Wiggins finds curses and castles in Pok Fu Lam. University Hall, currently a residence for students at the University of Hong Kong, has a history which predates the university itself. Built in 1864 by wealthy Scottish trader Douglas Lapraik as his residence, the building was first known as Douglas Castle. With the newly constructed Pok Fu Lam reservoir providing a fresh water supply, 360 degree panoramic views and its close proximity to the booming trade of the docks, Douglas Castle should have been a residence of great comfort and splendour. Lapraik however was not a well man and subsequently returned to Britain shortly after its completion. Douglas Castle was handed over to French missionaries 30 years later, after Hong Kong was declared to be an infected port of


Allegedly, students who touch the ‘cursed’ statues fail to graduate

the bubonic plague, and many made a hasty retreat. Renamed the Nazareth by the French Mission, the building underwent many changes and new wings were added. In 1954, as foreign missionaries were declining, the government decided to grant the building to the University of Hong Kong. Now named University Hall, the building again underwent major renovations to

facilitate its purpose as a student residence. While little remains of the original Douglas Castle, perhaps University Hall’s most striking features are the statues guarding its entrance. Part-elephant, part-lion, the mythical creatures are rumoured to be malevolent towards the Hall’s students: allegedly, students who touch the ‘cursed’ statues fail to graduate. The threat of academic misery doesn’t seem to be putting too many students off from choosing University Hall as their residence, however, as the colonial relic is still one of the most popular halls of residence amongst prospective students. University Hall, 144 Pok Fu Lam Road, Pok Fu Lam.