Southside Magazine March 2016

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March 2016

STATE OF THE ART Inside Hong Kong’s art community


The really useful magazine March 2016

PEOPLE 4 Snapped! Southside’s social life. THE PLANNER 8 Happening in March What’s on. NEWS 12 What’s going on? In your backyard. GIVEAWAYS 18 Free stuff Fab things to win. FIVE MINUTES WITH... 20 Piet Guilfoyle Southside’s pro skateboarder.

NEWS FROM THE GREENS 21 A new congestion charge? Electronic road pricing comes to Hong Kong. LOCAL 22 Driven out Rezoning of Ap Lei Chau Driving School. FEATURE 24 State of the art Inside Hong Kong’s art community. READERS CHOICE AWARDS 32 Vote to win Have your say in our annual southside awards and win great prizes.

EDUCATION 34 A day in the life... of a nursery teacher at Miles ELP International Academy. FAMILY 40 Easter camps Keep idle little hands busy this holiday. EATING 44 Food for the soul Art-inspired restaurants. BIG DAY OUT 48 Take a hike Shek Pik to Tai O.

HEALTH & BEAUTY 56 Achoo! An alternative solution to allergies. PETS 58 How to train Dealing with behavioural issues. CREATURES 58 The Rhesus Macaque Boldly going where no monkey has gone before. SOUTHSIDE SECRETS 64 Bone idol Cape D’Aguilar’s whale skeleton.

TRAVEL 52 Siem Reap A four-day adventure.


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Dr. Sonal Hattangdi-Haridas

Nick Denambride

Vasavi Seethepalli

Founder and Director of Maya Health Institute, Dr. Sonal Hattangdi-Haridas specialises in homeopathic and nutritional therapeutics. She has been in private practice for nearly two decades and has an international clientele. Read her advice on how homeopathy can help with allergies on page 56.

The artist behind this month’s cover, Nick is a French/American Urban Contemporary artist living in Hong Kong with a workshop in Aberdeen. Most of his art involves a unique technique which allows each piece to be made of real light weight concrete. Check him out at, #denambride

Vasavi Seethepalli is an artist and a freelance writer. She has been living in Hong Kong for the past eight years with her husband and two children. Vasavi has lived in many countries, but loves the cultural dynamism of Hong Kong. Find out about her adventures in Siem Reap on page 52.

Want to write for Southside Magazine? Contact



people Snaps from Southside


say cheese

Bonaqua LIFEPROOF Action Sprint, Repulse Bay


people 2016 Winter Fiesta, Aberdeen

Valentine’s Day weekend and Lion Dance at the pulse

Share your event photos with us at Get snapping!



planner Elite (19km). Both routes include trail running, orienteering, kayaking, and swimming, with a few surprise challenges en route. Register online at

MAR 8 Mumtrepreneur’s Breakfast Gathering The Mumtrepreneur’s Gathering is back, this time at Pomegranate Kitchen. Eat and mingle. 10:30am till noon, Pomegranate Kitchen, 4B, 4/F 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Sing Tek Building, Wong Chuk Hang. Tickets $250 per head. RSVP

MAR 13

Walk for Sight Put your best foot forward and help raise funds to restore sight to some of the 285 million visually impaired people worldwide. There are three routes available: 6km for families; 10km for keen walkers and 14km for adventurous walkers. Plus, enjoy a sandwich lunch, onstage performances, fun game booths and more afterwards. 9:30am-3pm, Hong Kong International School, Tai Tam Country Park. Free round-trip shuttle buses will run to HKIS from Central Pier No.8 between 8am and 8:45am. Enrol at

MAR 5 Stormys Charity Ball Stormy Dragons invite you to their annual ball in aid of the Hong Kong Sea School. Tickets $1,000 per head. Dresscode: Black tie. 7:30pm to midnight, Hong Kong Sea School, Stanley. To book, email

MAR 5 The Power of Nutrition Certified nutritionist Selina Kuok offers practical tips and resources on balanced nutrition for children aged three to eight, food to boost mental and physical performance, food safety, plus tips for dealing with fussy eaters. Free admission, registration required. 3pm-5pm, Colour My World, Room 108 Aberdeen Marina Tower, 8 Shum Wan Road,

MAR 5-18 Science Alive 2016: “Impossible to possible” A showcase of how the power of science can be harnessed to achieve the “impossible” with leading UK science academics. Discover how science applies to our daily lives through activities including family days, science drama shows,


workshops, debates, and more. Free admission. Hong Kong Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon. For more information, visit

UNTIL MAR 6 Hong Kong Restaurant Week Over 80 popular restaurants offer discounted three-course lunch and dinner menus over ten days. The winning restaurants will offer another round of tasting menus starting March 18.

MAR 6 Outward Bound Adventure Race A one-day adventure race on Hong Kong Island. There are two courses: Challenge (14km) and

MAR 9-12 Hong Kong French Theater Festival Making its theatrical debut, this festival is organised by southside residents Sebastien and Beatrice Biessy. All theatre companies will be performing for free. Profits will go to Pour un Sourire d’Enfant, a charity whose schools educate over 7,000 Cambodian children in need. - Pyjama pour six (A Pyjama for six) by Marc Camoletti (March 9, 8pm) - Inconnu à cette adresse (Address Unknown) by Kressmann Taylor (March 10, 8pm) - Le plaisir de l’amour (The Pleasure of Love) by Robert Pouderou (March 11, 8pm) - Le médecin malgré lui (The Doctor in Spite of himself) by Molière (March 12, 8pm) Book your tickets online at

MAR 10-13 Taste Festival Bringing together some of Hong Kong’s best restaurants including Aberdeen Street Social, Duddell’s, Yardbird and Serge et le phoque, The Taste Festival gives foodies the chance to create their ultimate tasting menu, plus attend interactive workshops from visiting international chefs. Hong Kong Central Waterfront. Tickets from $108-$608 per person and available from

MAR 11-20 Hong Kong Flower Show Don’t miss this year’s Flower Show “Blossoms in Vivid Art”! Featuring the themed flower Antirrhinum majus, the show is a refreshing oasis and comfort zone in the middle of the city. Spend

happening in March a day out with the blossoms and greenery! Tickets at $14, 11-20 Mar, 9am-9pm, Victoria Park., 2601 8260.

MAR 13 Discovery Bay Sunday Market Shop till you drop for original handmade crafts, creative ideas, vintage clothes and organic goods. 11am-6pm, Discovery Bay Plaza, 3651 2345,

MAR 17 St. Patrick’s Day Head to Cyberport to be transported to a typical Irish village, complete with Irish Band DARGLE, street theatre and Irish food and drink. There will be plenty of Guinness! Free entry, with giveaways and special prices on draught. Ocean View Court, The Arcade, Cyberport.

UNTIL MAR 20 Hong Kong Arts Festival The city’s annual cultural bonanza with world

class performers from Asia and beyond. For more details, visit

MAR 21 Art Gallery Night A chance to mingle with fellow art lovers and enthusiasts ahead of ‘Hong Kong Arts Month’. On the night, special events and exhibitions will take place at participating HKAGA member galleries throughout Hong Kong, from Central to the Southside. Free. No registration required. 6pm-8pm,

MAR 21-26 Art Central Hong Kong’s vibrant contemporary art fair returns with large-scale installations, engaging talks, performance art and tours. Tickets for opening night are $500. Otherwise: $230, adults; $110, concession; $50, student: free for children aged 12 and under accompanied by a paying adult. Book in advance at and get two for the price of one, plus fast-track entry to the fair. Central Harbourfront,

MAR 24 Art Basel x South Island Cultural District Art Brunch 24 galleries, artist studios and non-commercial art spaces within the South Island Cultural District open their doors and host exhibition openings, talks and performances over brunch. Head to Spring Workshop for the premiere of American filmmaker and artist Wu Tsang’s new film installation “Duilian”, produced after her six-month research residency. Free. 10am – 2pm, 3/F Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Or head to CHARBON, where Art Basel VIP ticket-holders can enjoy brunch and and a live dance performance curated by French artist Cyril Carret. 8/F Sing Tek Factory, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road,


planner MAR 26-27 Easter Egg Treasure Hunt Prizes include a day pass to the hotel swimming pool and a buffet lunch for two. Children aged three – 12 whose parents stay at the hotel or dine in any of its restaurants from March 26-27 may join for free. 1:30pm, PSI Bar, Le MÊridien, 100 Cyberport Road,

MAR 26-27 Cyberport Carnival Visit the Blinking Bunny Workshop to create your own mini bunnies, hunt for Easter eggs or check out the Inflatable Dolphin Place. Free entry. 2pm-5pm, The Arcade, Cyberport.

MARCH 24 - 27, 2016 Asia Contemporary Art Show

MARCH 25 Good Friday

Browse and buy original paintings, limited editions, sculpture and photography from emerging and mid-career artists, to those who have already achieved recognition in private and public collections, and at auction. Buy your ticket online ($220) at and bring a friend for free. Or pay $220 per person on the door. Conrad Hong Kong, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty.

Public holiday.


MARCH 28 Easter Monday Another public holiday!

MAR 31 The Chocolate Wonderland Find out where the first Easter Egg came from in this drama experience for families. Tickets from $140, Black Box Theatre, Kwai Chung Theatre,


BOOK NOW APR 14-24 The Illusionists Astonishing acts of magic, illusion and mindreading from the biggest selling magic show in Broadway history. Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tickets $395-$995 from, 3128 8288.

orienteering, a fashion show and education workshops for healthy living. Game booths, dance corners, yoga corners, pilates corners and wushu corners operate throughout the day. 10am-6pm, the pulse, Repulse Bay. Tickets $150 per adult; $100 per child. Register at

for children under 16. Hong Kong Convention and Trade Centre, 1 Expo Dr, Wan Chai,

JUN 3 - 5 Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach MAY 13-15 Affordable Art Fair

APR 17 Moveathon An aquathon, plus parent-child relay races,

A fresh mix of high quality yet affordable artworks and over 100 galleries. Tickets are $150 for adults, $80 for concessions and free

Join James and his friends - Miss Spider, Old-Green-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybird and Earthworm on their adventure of a lifetime as they venture to New York City in their giant peach. Lyric Theatre, HKAPA, 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai. Tickets $265-$295 from, 3128 8288.

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



in your backyard

Twinkle toes

Twinkle Dance Company opens a branch in the Southside on April 1. Founded by Twinkle Lam in 2007, the company offers ballet, jazz and contemporary dance classes for children aged 14 months all the way to adults. All teachers

have professional training and qualifications. The launch party will take place at the new Aberdeen studio on April 3 from noon, with performances by a guest dancer from the Hong Kong Ballet and the Twinkle Dance Production

Spring workshop wins award

Spring Workshop has been awarded Best Asian Contemporary Art Institution at the 2016 Prudential Eye Awards in Singapore. The award was decided by public vote. Founder Mimi Brown had this to say, “Our entire team is beyond thrilled. We work very hard on every program, but when you start a nonprofit dedicated to experimentation, then by definition - you don’t know if it will work! This award gives us confidence that the work we are doing is meaningful both to people in Hong Kong and those who visit us from abroad.” During the past four years Spring Workshop


has hosted over 8,000 audience members at 184 programs and events featuring 160 artists, residents and collaborators. Still, the nomination came as a surprise to the team at Spring. “We didn’t even have a video to submit,” says Brown. “So we spliced one together overnight and sent it along with a prayer.” As for what’s next, Spring opens a new film installation by Wu Tsang to the public on March 12. “It’s a love story that she filmed entirely in Hong Kong, so it is a must–see for all of us locals who will be able to recognize all of the locations,” says Brown. Congratulations!

Team. Each guest will receive a free pass to an adult dance class, plus food, drink and a lucky draw. Shop 311, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Aberdeen,

Hong Kong Beach 5s cancelled

One of our favourite outdoor family events of the year will sadly not be returning this March. The annual Hong Kong Beach 5s, which has been supported by title sponsor Prudential for the past three years, has failed to find a new title sponsor for its sixth edition. Taking over Repulse Bay beach for a weekend of rugby, sports and general partying, the event has become one of the major highlights on the calendars of families and rugby enthusiasts alike. We hope for a successful return next year!



MTR might run further over budget

Let’s dance The team at Rumple & Friends has yet another way to get kids’ parties started with their new RF Discos party package. Packages include one fabulous DJ, energetic hosts, a fog machine, lighting rig with lasers, top of the range speakers and microphones, banging tunes and, of course, a disco ball. Tailored parties for seven- to ten-year-olds and children aged 10 to 14 are also available and last up to two hours. For full details and booking information visit

The South Island Line (East) could run $220 million over budget. According to a progress report prepared by the Transport and Housing Bureau for the Legislative Council, 93 percent of the construction had been completed by December 2015, 0.9 percent less than planned. The Admiralty expansion project was identified as a source of the delays. But the biggest news in the report was an increase in the estimated overspend from


$190 million to $220 million. According to the MTR Corporation, the increase in construction costs is a result of “unforeseen complicated underground utilities encountered in the Wong Chuk Hang area” and rising labour costs. The target opening date of the South Island Line (East) remains unchanged: the end of the year. The new line will run between Admiralty and South Horizons, stopping at Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang and Lei Tung. Construction began in 2011.

Fancy a stroll? City walks app iDiscover has received funding from the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust to create a city walk for Aberdeen. Research is underway for what will be an educational amble through the old fishing village on Hong Kong’s Southside. iDiscover aims to launch the Aberdeen City Walk at a community event in Aberdeen in May. Watch this space.



have your say

Everyone’s birthday “I happened to come across this street procession when out and about in Stanley and took some photos for southside magazine. The seventh day of Chinese New Year is always celebrated as the birthday of humanity!” - Marianne Yeo, Stanley

Email your photos or letters to We may edit for length. Or tag us, #southsidemag on social media!



free stuff

win at

Reebok CrossFit Asphodel

Rafferty’s Garden

CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning programme made up of short, intense daily workouts. We’re giving away a three-hour ramp session to three lucky readers. Once completed, the winners will also receive a free week of classes. The total prize value is worth over $2,000. The session will take place at Reebok CrossFit Asphodel, G/F, Fook Hing Factory Building, 33 Lee Chung Street, Chai Wan.

Rafferty’s Garden is Australia’s premium brand of baby food selling a range of cereals, rusks, smoothies, meals and snacks for babies as young as four months. We’re giving away a Rafferty’s Garden hamper worth over $1,000 packed full of flavoursome products your baby will love. Deadline: March 25 Deadline: March 22

Raiz The Bar

PizzaExpress PizzaExpress has arrived in Southside with a new branch in One Island South. Yummy! We’re giving away ten sets of dining vouchers valued at $250 each. Deadline: March 30

Hong Kong’s first and only local bean-tobar. Raiz The Bar specialises in organic, raw, vegan, low-glycemic, paleo and allergen friendly handcrafted chocolate. We’re giving away three ‘Bundle Me Gift Packs’ valued at $495 each. Each pack includes six bars of your choice from the Raiz The Bar collection plus Raiz The Bar drinking chocolate. Deadline: March 21

NOSH NOSH is aiming to reinvent the takeaway and office lunch business by delivering fresh and healthy meals daily through its partners. We’re giving away four $300 vouchers to hungry readers. Deadline: March 29

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to get all our giveaways delivered straight to your inbox:



five minutes with... Editorial Managing Editor Callum Wiggins


Piet Guilfoyle Pok Fu Lam’s coolest resident tells Shreena Patel why life as a skateboarder is flippin’ awesome.

Editor Shreena Patel Digital Editor Annie Wong


Art Director Kelvin Lau

photo by: Dani Bautista and Leong Zhang

Senior Graphic Designer Jack Yip

Thanks to

Amanda Sheppard Carolynne Dear Hazel Yin Tong Kristy Wong Mawgan Batt Dr Mike Muir Nick Denambride Paul Zimmerman Rory Mackay Steffi Yuen Vasavi Seethepalli


Tom Hilditch

Published by

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

Illustration by: Nick Denambride

From the moment I was introduced to skateboarding, everything about it was awesome. It was exciting, fast paced and slightly rebellious with loud music, black t-shirts and a solid community of young and old who all took care of each other. I was working at a skate shop, 8FIVE2 in Causeway Bay, skating every day and night, making videos, shooting photos, traveling to China and meeting new people. Vans APAC was starting its skate program. I met the right people at the right time, we connected and they have taken care of me ever since and taught me well. I have been skateboarding for over ten years - though I wouldn’t consider myself a professional or much of an athlete. For me, it’s about the good times skating with your friends. Skateboarding has given me the opportunity to visit places I


would never have even heard of and meet great people from all walks of life. It’s taught me the importance of being yourself - and having an outlet to do so. I could tell you stories for days. At a competition in Guangzhou, one of the residents didn’t appreciate the noise from the event and started throwing plastic bags full of urine onto us. She then came down and tried to brawl with one of the skaters. The most challenging thing about skateboarding is the mental barrier. It’s mind over matter: once you overcome the fear of hurting yourself you can really progress and enjoy it. I am still learning how not to fall over all the time! The skateboarding community in Hong Kong is getting larger all the time. Head to the skateparks and you will see people of all ages skateboarding.

I practise as often as possible. Due to a lack of facilities I rarely skateboard on the Southside, but in Causeway Bay there is a great bike track called Morrison Hill Playground. In the land of skating, many people dream of skateboarding there - it’s appeared in videos internationally and is known as “The Racetrack”. It’s great for beginners too. Many “professional skateboarders” have to work side jobs to support their lifestyle of travel and fun. I consult with the Vans marketing team and take care of the skate-related business. I’ve had many odd jobs: working on film sets, modelling, retail, doing voice overs. There are so many things that interest me and that I would love to pursue as a career. I’m looking for the right one. How long do I think I will be a skateboarder? Skate or die.

news from the greens A new congestion charge? Paul Zimmerman discusses the Government’s new pilot scheme for electronic road pricing.

Current traffic management methods include toll booths, such as those at the Aberdeen Tunnel.

The Government is preparing a pilot Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) scheme. The plan is to start with a small area between Rumsey Street, Caine Road and Admiralty. The public is invited to provide input and respond to 13 specific questions online. The consultation ends on March 18. I’m in favour of adding tools for managing traffic and encouraging the use of public transport. However, the ERP system should be designed to deal with the real problem: the increasing density of development in older urban areas is attracting more cars. The resulting traffic cannot be absorbed by limited road networks, leading to queues which block main roads. The ERP pilot scheme on Hong Kong Island should therefore cover the older area from Sheung Wan to Causeway Bay south of the Gloucester/Connaught Road corridor. Drivers should be charged for time spent on small roads. The Aberdeen Tunnel Road, Gloucester Road and the future Central Wanchai Bypass should not be charged. North of the corridor, we need new parking facilities as a complementary measure, and all revenues should be spent on improving the elevated and street level pedestrian networks. This would help to create a high quality “park’n walk” environment in Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Central and Sheung Wan. ERP risks disenfranchising

lower income segments of the community in favour of those who can afford to pay. Although it is expected that bus passengers will benefit from reduced congestion, it is critical that we also accelerate new rail lines, especially the Northern Island Line (a parallel rail from Central to North Point) and the South Island Line (West) connecting Aberdeen, Wah Fu, Cyberport and Queen Mary with HKU station. Finally, the chosen technology should allow ERP to be scaled up for the entire territory, including the tunnels and border crossings. Our closed road system will be quickly opened up to the mainland. Vehicular trips across the boundary will rise from 50,000 to 220,000 per day once new crossings such as the bridges to Macao and Zhuhai are completed. This will introduce new demand for our already congested road network. The charging system should differentiate between visitors – both private vehicles and tour coaches – and local residents entering urban areas. Have your say at

Paul Zimmerman is the CEO of Designing Hong Kong, a Southern District Councillor and the co-convenor of Save Our Country Parks alliance.



designated driver

Sales & Marketing Head of Sales & Marketing Karman So Sales Manager Oliver Simons Sales & Marketing Executive Maria Jones Sales & Marketing Executive Egbert Cheung Office Security Cat the dog


A view of Ap Lei Chau Driving School.

Driven out

Accounting Manager Connie Lam

Hong Kong Island’s only designated driving school might be closing. By Shreena Patel.

Accounting Assistant Jason To

Ap Lei Chau Driving School might be forced to close to make way for residential developments. The Government submitted a proposal to the Town Planning Board last December to rezone several pieces of land in Ap Lei Chau for residential use, including the lot occupied by the driving school - the only designated driving school on Hong Kong Island. The designation expires on June 15 this year. The Secretary for Transport and Housing faced questions about the school’s potential closure at a meeting of the Legislative Council last month. When asked whether the authorities are identifying another site on Hong Kong Island to relocate the school, he indicated it would continue to operate in some capacity. “Part of the lot will be rezoned for residential development”, he said. “In view of the keen demand from the public for driver training and driving test service, the Government plans to continue to use the portion of the lot that is not for residential development (together with an adjacent piece of land) for driving school by way of short term tenancy. Upon the termination of the existing short term tenancy on June 15 this year, the Government


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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.


will handle the matter through established procedures to maintain the operation of the driving school.” Originally situated in Wong Chuk Hang, the driving school relocated to Ap Lei Chau to make way for the development of Ocean Park in 2007 and occupies a site of around 14,400 square meters. In addition to lecture rooms and indoor simulated training, traffic facilities for off-street driver training include ramps, parking spaces, zebra crossings, traffic lights and roundabouts.

Originally situated in Wong Chuk Hang, the driving school relocated to Ap Lei Chau to make way for the development of Ocean Park

Questions about the school’s location were previously raised at the Legislative Council in 2009,

due to concerns that the site was too small and that the South Island Line MTR project would seriously affect staff and learner drivers during construction. Unpredictable threats brought by the coastal environment, shortage of space for driving practice on roads, and lack of facilities for road driving training were also raised as issues. At the time, the Government said it had considered the feasibility of relocating the school elsewhere on Hong Kong Island, but that there was nowhere of a comparable size suitable for use as a driving school. Designated driving schools are part of the Government’s stated “two-pronged” approach to driver training, which promotes off-street driver training to alleviate congestion on public roads, whilst also maintaining a sufficient supply of private driving instructors for on-street driver training. Ap Lei Chau Driving School is one of four designated driving schools in Hong Kong. The others are located in Kwun Tong, Siu Lek Yuen and Yuen Long. There are also 17 driving test centres established by the Transport Department to provide services to all citizens in Hong Kong. Four of these are located on Hong Kong Island.




art month

State of the art As Hong Kong prepares to host the the world’s largest international arts fair, Amanda Sheppard and Shreena Patel talk to members of the art community. Hong Kong is a city aflush with creative spirit. There is no better time to delve into this unique melting pot of cultures, artists, galleries, and collectors than Art Month. Over the next few weeks the SAR will play host to the world’s largest international arts fair - Art Basel - and Art Central, a remarkable satellite fair for the contemporary arts. Both fairs feature many of Hong Kong’s rising stars and established artists. Other events include the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association’s annual Art Gallery Night on March 21, which offers a closer look at the galleries scattered throughout the city. We speak to the people at the heart of one of the world’s leading art centres to find out about their work and what makes them tick.

The Affordable Art Fair takes place slgihtly later this year, in May.



The collective This group of artists come together on Wednesday mornings to enjoy life drawing at the Visual Arts Centre on Kennedy Road. They tell us about their exciting new exhibition. How many of there are you in the group? There are eight of us: seven of us live on the Southside, and Helen Boyd, our lovely coordinator, lives over in Sai Kung. We come from different countries - Australia, UK, France, Sweden, India, Japan and Hong Kong. Over the years, people have come and gone but we stay in touch. We exhibit with other Hong Kong artists too - in fact, two of our life drawing models are artists. We all support one another in our artistic endeavours, we are strong friends!


Do you have a name? Some of us exhibited as a group at the Visual Arts Centre a few years ago. We called it Life Inspired because we are all inspired by life around us. Afterwards, we kept that name. Each of us draws in our own way, but there is a common thread: life, readiness to share our art, and most importantly, enthusiasm for art. The best thing about the group is meeting likeminded people who share a passion for fine art. Can anyone join? Yes! So long as you join us for our life drawing sessions reasonably frequently. We help one another only when help is asked for, so you can develop your artwork as you like. Individuals are free to take up other art projects and as

We all support one another in our artistic endeavours, we are strong friends!

a group, we have yearly art exhibits. We are serious about what we do, but it’s also a lot of fun. We laugh a lot and we socialise. Do you have any upcoming exhibitions? Eight of us are very excited to be coming together for our exhibition RIPE at PubArt

feature The critic HILARY BINKS Former art critic Hilary Binks, a prominent art critic in Hong Kong in the 1990s, spent two decades chronicling the city’s art movements. She now lives in France, but serves in an advisory role for Fine Art Asia. Binks tells us about her experience as a critic in an ever-changing city. How would you describe the role of an art critic? The main role is to inform and educate the public on what to see and how to see it. A good review should promote discussion and persuade the reader to engage in the art. The best art critics write fluently and well; take the late, great Robert Hughes, whose eloquent, if often combative prose in The Shock of the New turned art criticism into a form of literature. What are some common misconceptions? The most common one is that it is easy, which is far from the truth! As an art critic, my aim was always to understand and appreciate the art fully, which meant careful research on the artist, his or her life, training, career and work. What are some of the changes you’ve witnessed? The changes in the art world in Hong Kong over the past 20 years are amazing and far-reaching. Hong Kong has become the centre of the art market in Asia. It is not only the gateway

to China; its central location also makes it accessible to collectors and dealers from all over Asia. How have the art fairs changed the way art is perceived and received here? Fine Art Asia, founded by renowned Chinese antique furniture dealer Andy Hei in 2006, was the pioneer of art fairs in Hong Kong and is now proudly celebrating its tenth anniversary. Art Basel Hong Kong has played a similar role in the contemporary art field. Major dealers, collectors, curators and art connoisseurs now flock to Hong Kong for both fairs, causing a real buzz in the city. Which artists stir up a feeling of excitement? The Chinese artists of the diaspora; foremost among them is Zao Wouki. His works evoke a peaceful atmosphere and a sense of harmony through a refined use of brushwork and colour. What do you think about the new clusters and ‘art hubs’ in Wong Chuk Hang and the Western district? It is inevitable that galleries should move to areas like Wong Chuk Hang, given the astronomical rents in Central. With improved transport links, they should do well, especially if they cooperate to encourage visitors.

The group meets on Wednesday mornings at the Visual Arts Centre on Kennedy Road.

Gallery, Central from March 11-24. It’s a diverse expression of what it is simply to be alive. Are there any events you are particularly looking forward to attending this month? We are excited about the new Sai Kung Art And About art fair on March 19-20 in Sai Kung town centre. We will have our Life Inspired booth there. Three of our group are participating in Art on the Line at the Space on Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan on March 10 in a charitable event run by the American Woman’s Association. There are lots of art exhibitions to go to too we’ll be going to many including Art Basel and the Asia Contemporary Art Fair. If you would like to join the group, get in touch with Helen at Binks serves in advisory role for Fine Art Asia.


feature The investor JACK BROWN Senior Art Broker, Art Futures Group (AFG) Jack Brown was exposed to art from an early age. His mother was a high school art teacher, while his grandmother, Mary Fogg, a painter and potter, was a founding member of the renowned Welsh Art Group. Brown has over five years’ experience trading and investing in art. He tells why art is not as subjective as you might think and about his best investment. What made you decide to become an art broker? I saw a great deal of instability in the art profession: despite my grandmother’s work being posthumously displayed on the BBC website and held in public collections, she - like many other talented artists - did not receive the financial recognition you might expect. I love working with art as a financial tool. The market is growing - I can show investors good returns whilst also satisfying my creative gene - I’m surrounded by fantastic art daily. What does AFG do? We provide a brokerage service which includes tracking and research to identify the artists whom we consider to have the best investment potential. We import the artwork and arrange independent valuations, insurance, options to lease the art and exit strategies. Does AFG specialise in a type of art? Our primary focus is Chinese contemporary art, as this has been the fastest growing market for the last decade or so. There are more midcareer artists moving up to the blue chip level in the Chinese contemporary market than in the European market, indicating that in many cases Chinese artists are undervalued in relation to their foreign counterparts. Isn’t art subjective? Traditionally that was seen to be the case, but the market has made great strides in the use of data and tracking to provide indicators for art investment. At AFG we look closely at numbers behind the artwork and artist, even before taking into account the execution or “quality” of the piece being analysed. For example, the longevity of the artist’s career and the output of paintings, amongst others. Does death boost exclusivity and rarity value? Death of the artist means no more production. There are many examples of artists only being recognised posthumously, but you don’t have to be dead to be successful. At the top end of Chinese contemporary art is Zheng Fanzhi,


Brown grew up around art but saw instability in the profession.

You don’t have to be dead to be successful.

whose work sells at over USD$20 million. British contemporary names like Damien Hirst or Jeff Koons are also well into the millions of dollars, and all of the above are still alive and producing art. What is the market like in Hong Kong? The Hong Kong market is amongst the best in the world. It is the art hub of Asia. The reasons are simple: proximity to China, zero taxes and royalties payable when trading art, and fantastic competition amongst auction houses, galleries and brokerages. Does the art come first or second for your clients? Most of our clients are investors. For them, it’s about building a collection and diversifying into different artists as opposed to picking what will look good in their living room. The people we have made the most money for are those who can put personal taste aside and buy based on financial logic. We do try to match personal

taste with what makes sense to invest in, but it is secondary to showing investors a profit. Why do you think more people are in investing in art? In my experience, investors are disheartened with the instability of other assets. There is also evidence to suggest that growth in the art market has outperformed indexes like the FTSE 100. Within the alternative asset classes, art is by far the best performing except for classic cars - but to invest in cars you need garages and spare parts (possibly from the 70’s!) which eats up profits. How do you deal with faddish tastes in the art world? Bubbles in the market don’t really affect us as they tend to involve up and coming artists. An artist must have proven longevity before we will look at them. This is a safer way to invest and much less speculative. Do you yourself invest in art? Yes I do - most of the brokers here do. The best performing piece in mine was a Liu Li Guo on which I made a 34 percent return over two years. There are some pieces of art I bought in Indonesia because I liked them. I doubt they will ever be worth anything but they are for enjoyment rather than investment.

The artist JOVIAL YEUNG Hong Kong artist On show until April 2 is In Peril, an exhibition by emerging Hong Kong artist Jovial Yeung. Her mixed media works, installations and glass pieces are achingly demonstrative of the fragility of both the human spirit and the animal kingdom which has suffered as a result of mankind’s harmful practices. We speak to Yeung about the influences behind her art. Has your passion for animal rights always influenced your art? I started paying attention to animal rights after reading a piece of news a few years ago. It was about large-scale ivory smuggling. I was shocked and felt sad for the elephants. Since then I have discovered more information about suffering animals and I want to express my sympathy for them through my art. I created the series The Victim with an elephant as the first piece, followed by sharks, and rhinoceros. Unfortunately this series could be endless... The exhibition is split into two sections. What is the dialogue taking place here?

and habits. For example, audiences from Japan and Taiwan cherish and appreciate nature very much, while some Chinese audiences may not agree on abandoning the use of animal body parts for Chinese medicine. Do you feel a sense of community among emerging Hong Kong artists? Yes, I think many emerging artists have a strong sense of community too, as we are facing quite an unstable situation in Hong Kong right now. Some of my artist friends have formed groups for sharing Yeung with one of her creations. information and this helps us to connect This exhibition is divided into two areas: me and with each other. them. I talk about myself and explore personal fears and life challenges in the first area, letting What do you think about the growing arts the animals “speak” like silent victims of human hub in the Southside? selfishness in the second. The dialogue between I am happy to see more and more art galleries me and them is interesting - we are both in peril, and art spaces located in the Southside. I’ve but in different ways. always enjoyed visiting galleries in Central and Sheung Wan districts, and now Southside is a Your work has been exhibited in Hong Kong, must for me to visit too! China, Taiwan and Japan. How do audience perceptions differ? In Peril runs at Mur Nomad Gallery until April The audiences have differing points of view 2. Unit 1606, 16/F, Hing Wai Centre, 7 Tin Wan according to their cultures, living environments Praya Road, Aberdeen.



The gallerist JIYOUNG PARK Manager, Whitestone Gallery Whitestone Gallery is firmly rooted at the forefront of the contemporary arts scene in Japan. With a newly opened gallery in Wong Chuk Hang, it is set to make its mark on Hong Kong. Manager Jiyoung Park tells us about the arts community in Wong Chuk Hang and the gallery’s exciting year ahead. Why did you open a gallery in Hong Kong? In the past, many valuable artists and art scenes have been undervalued compared to their Western counterparts. But Hong Kong is a vibrant city with local and international galleries and open-minded collectors. In our opinion, this is the best place to introduce audiences to our focused vision of East Asian art.

exhibition in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the artist passed away last autumn. Many pieces have never before been shown to the public, so this is a rare chance to see unique works that span his 60-year career. What is the impact of the big fairs on Hong Kong’s arts scene? Many galleries source quality, historical works for the fairs. They can also be a place for future collectors to develop their taste. It is a festive month for art lovers. There are many events, such as Art Gallery Night by the HKAGA and the South Island Cultural District’s Art Brunch, as well as gallery talks and live performances.

Above: Whitestone Gallery; Inset: INFINITY-DOTS by Yayoi Kusama.

What is the arts scene like in Wong Chuk Hang? Young, ambitious and experimental. The arts community here brings a fresh energy to Hong Kong’s art scene - we are happy to be part of it.

How do the artworks differ across the fairs? Over 300 galleries from all over the world show their works at Art Basel and Art Central. I believe it is less about finding pieces from different fairs, and more about finding the right work and context for one’s collection. Hopefully, collectors visit both fairs, talk to gallerists, and find quality additions for their collections.

is dedicated to a group of artists from the historical Gutai Art Association. The other half showcases a selection of established Japanese artists. From Inokuma’s minimalist works to Kusama and younger artists’ eye-catching creations, our focus is on the diversity and unique creativity of these artists.

Discuss your current exhibition. We are presenting Yasuo Sumi’s first solo

How is your booth at Art Central curated? The booth is divided into two. Half of the space

Whitestone Gallery, 28/F, Global Trade Square, 21 Wong Chuk Hang Road.






a day in the life

Miles ELP International Academy Nursery teacher Amanda Jones shows us around Miles ELP International Academy in Repulse Bay.


manda Jones is responsible for a class of two and three year old children at Miles ELP International Academy. The school offers bilingual (English and Mandarin) classes for children aged between eight months and six years. Every day we start our class with free play to settle the children into the start of the school day. Some children choose to play with their favourite toys and some help me with classroom tasks such as watering the plants, feeding our class pet Rollie, and preparing snacks. We then have circle time to talk about the theme of the day that is related to our monthly inquiry unit; children also greet each other and sing songs together during circle time. After that, it is exploration time – four to five learning stations are set up for children to freely explore. They mainly involve language (English and Mandarin), logical thinking, science, practical life and art and craft. This structure allows children


After exploration, we have snack time and playground. Depending on the weather and pollution, we sometimes stay indoors or go to the beach or our rooftop garden. After that, we either have music time with our professional musician teachers, show and tell, imaginative play, library time, or a volunteer parent might lead an activity. We then have a little quiet time before finishing the class where children can read books, draw or play with building blocks.

to learn at their own pace and it motivates them to learn based on their interest and ability. It also gives teachers time to work with children individually.

Our child-centered program requires us to do a lot of observation in class so that we can design the curriculum based on children’s learning habits, interests and abilities. Each month we have one inquiry unit which we use to teach across subjects. This creates a cohesive learning environment which helps children to relate one idea to another. Based on this inquiry unit, and with reference to Early Years Foundation Stage Framework of the British


education outdoor play for at least 45 minutes a day, but in a busy city like Hong Kong this is difficult to achieve. We are lucky to be situated right next to the beach. On the other hand, we incorporate our carefully designed curriculum so it is not just free play when we bring our children outside. For example, we recently did painting on mirror and aluminum foil under the sun so that children could explore the concept of reflection.

National Curriculum (EYFS), we design four to five learning stations every day. Our Experiential Learning Program (ELP) emphasises hands-on experiences and motivating children to find answers to their questions independently. Most inquiry units are followed by outings or meetings with specialists to help children understand that what they learn in the classroom is useful in their daily life, motivating them to learn more. For example, we have an inquiry unit on ‘Space’. We enhance children’s language skills by having them role play astronauts and go through the names of items we see in space and the space station. We make planets using yarn (children practice their hand movement

by wrapping around a balloon using yarn) and compare the sizes of the planets. To help children understand concepts of 2D and 3D, we have them use different shapes to design rockets on paper, then provide them with building blocks of different shapes and ask them to construct a 3D rocket based on their 2D designs. One of the important elements of our teaching approach is natural play. We believe that nature is the best classroom and it provides many open-ended resources to stir children’s imagination and creativity. That’s why we bring our children out to the beach and rooftop garden for them to explore and discover. Children need

School Report Miles ELP International Academy Application date: Rolling admission policy Year founded: 2014 Total number of pupils: 80 Age range: 8 months to 6 years School fees: $8,200 per month for half day sessions, $11,200 for the full day.











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International School Trends in Hong Kong Anne Murphy explains why the number of international school places is rising. After years of a shortage in the supply of international school places, a glimmer of hope is on the horizon. Children seem to be progressing through waitlists faster, thanks to the expansion of existing schools and opening of new campuses since 2011, including Anfield, Kellett, Harrow, ICA, Hong Kong Academy, Island Christian Academy IMS and Nord Anglia. Furthermore, the recent allocation of new land will lead to the expansion of two existing campuses and the opening of three new international schools in 2016 and 2018, respectively. NEW LOCATIONS: French International School. Opening in 2018, in Tseung Kwan O, the new primary campus will include a spacious gymnasium, state-of-the-art swimming pool, running track, 300-seat auditorium and three large playgrounds.


The Harbour School (primary and secondary education) is moving to a new location in Ap Lei Chau. The new campus will include an indoor forest, open-plan lounge, and a two-story library. The school is known for its inclusivity, dedication to each student, and experiential approach in science, history and the arts. NEW SCHOOLS The American School Hong Kong (ASHK) opens this August in Tai Po. Open initially for Kindergarten through to Grade 6, it will evolve to a full-scale K-12 school, offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, US High School Diploma and Advanced Placement options. The curriculum is based on the US Common Core. Contact Admissions Director Mary Ewing on 3974 8554, The UK’s Shrewsbury School is to open its second international school in Hong Kong. The

new co-educational Primary School will open in Tseung Kwan O (Siu Chik Sha) with space for over 850 international students aged five to 11. It will offer the National Curriculum for England. Contact Malvern College Hong Kong will open in Tai Po in September 2018 with 380 primary places, and capacity rising to 960 once full. The school will offer the International Baccalaureate curriculum and will be open to children aged six-12. Applications open this September. Contact Communications & Marketing Director Gill Keefe on 3898 4688, 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



fun and games

Easter camps Want to avoid idle little hands during the Easter break? Don’t miss out on these great workshops in town. By Kristy Wong.

(from left), Having a laugh with Rumple & Friends; jamming at RockABaby Music Academy.

Southside RockABaby Music Academy Adding the fun of music and drama to the holiday, RockABaby offers a variety of workshops for children aged eight months to six years. Start your little one’s musical journey now with workshops on dance, drama and musical instruments. Classes start at $250 and run from March 21-April 1. B102, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay. Rumple & Friends Got a born-entertainer on your hands? Sign up for the Rumple & Friends Easter Camp. The Performing Arts Course covers drama, puppetry and circus. Children can learn how to juggle, direct plays or design costumes, and display their new skills in a performance at the end of the week. Courses run from March 29-April 1, and April 5-8, $2200. Morning classes are for children aged threesix, afternoon classes for children aged six and above. 504 Enterprise building, 228 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan.


Colour My World A range of different workshops allow young explorers to savour the fun of arts and crafts and learn about drama production and performing techniques. Classes start at $1,650 and run from March 30-April 1. Room 108 Aberdeen Marina Tower, 8 Shum Wan Road, Aberdeen, Dagis HK Let your child embrace the outdoors and give them the freedom to get their hands and feet dirty. The all-outdoor playgroup by DagisHK runs from March 29-31 and April 1 at Chung Hom Kok Playground and beach, from 9am-11:30am. For children aged two to nine, $410 per class., 5117 2545. Little Picasso Fancy an Easter-themed camp this Easter? Don’t miss out on the “egg-citing” chance to create your own Easter chicks, baby bunnies and little lambs at Little Picasso. From March 28-April 1. Prices start from $900. 43 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang.

Anastassia’s Art House Spring workshops take place from March 29-April 9. Projects include painting your own Easter Candy Land, creating 3D Easter Bunnies, and drawing a portrait of the Spring, to name a few. Branches in Stanley Plaza and Repulse Bay. $340 per session for kids under six and $410 for kids aged six or above. Book online at Multi-Sport For those interested in a variety of sports. A team of physical education experts will give your kids a marvelous three-day sporting experience. For ages five to 11, March 29-April 1, $1,620 or $700 per day, at International Montessori School Stanley.



Around Hong Kong YMCA Why let the kids have all the fun? The YMCA offers a wide range of activities for families, ranging from rock climbing to inline skating and bakery. Adventure, residential, sports and explorer camps are also available for kids who want to meet new friends and learn new sports. Those looking for something creative can try specialty camps including science or cooking. For children aged seven to 14. Prices range from from $150 to $1,990. 41 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. The Banana Art Club Little ones can make their own clay creations during the Easter art camp at the club’s Wan Chai Centre. Suitable for ages three to 17, around $396 per session. ESF Language and Sports Check out ESF Language and Sports Camps for a wide range of fun learning activities and READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2016

Works of art at The Banana Art Club.


clinics this Easter. Classes run daily from March 21-April 9 at ESF Schools. Camps range from $660 to $3150. Faust World Young thespians who love the limelight can sign up for Faust World’s Easter Holiday Theatre workshop for an introduction to the world of drama production and theatre techniques. Children will have the chance to perform in front of family and friends at the end of the week. Creative writing workshops also available. Workshops run from March 19-April 1 and April 5-8, $2,280. For ages four to 14, 5/F, Nan Dao Commercial Building, 361 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan. Hebe Haven Yacht Club Adventure Watersports Week offers five full days of soaking wet fun this Easter. From March 28-April 1 and April 4-8 kids aged seven to 14 can experience a variety of watersports including beach games and kayaking in Sai Kung. $1,600 for members, $2,200 for nonmembers. 10.5 Miles Hiram’s Highway, Pak Sha Wan, Sai Kung.

Got a favourite extracurricular activity? Tell us by voting in our Readers’ Choice Awards. Vote now at



Food for the soul Combining great food with creative art, Annie Wong checks out the best restaurants to complement Hong Kong’s month of art.

Bibo Dine on French cuisine at luxury art space and restaurant, Bibo, located on the slopes of Hollywood Road. Every corner of Bibo is layered with quirky and colourful street art and you’ll even find a portrait of Kate Moss on the wall. The dishes are beautifully presented, with choices including slow-cooked Japanese pork belly and lobster with mushroom ravioli. A threecourse lunch set is priced at $380, and dinner is an a-la-carte menu. Wine pairings available. 163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2956 3188,


eating Dine Art Tucked away in an industrial building in Wong Chuk Hang, this private kitchen is led by Italian Chef Cosimo Taddei. The multi-purpose venue oozes cool and sophistication and is perfect for large get-togethers and dinner parties. The works of international leading artists can be found on the walls of Dine Art. The art exhibitions are updated frequently. Changed on a weekly basis, a set lunch is available on weekdays with a range of main meals. Additionally, guests can opt for a specially prepared private luncheon prepared by Chef Cosimo (minimum spend $6,000) or an elegant five-course private dinner available for 10-30 guests (available Monday-Saturday, minimum $12,000 spend) which includes complimentary canapés and Italian prosecco. 16/F, Kwai Bo Industrial Building, 40 Wong Chuk Hang Road, 2805 8555,

Duddell’s Duddell’s is a winning combination of sophisticated Cantonese dining and an art gallery. Designer Ilse Crawford’s ambition is to give the ambience of an art collector’s home. And the results are impressive. Duddell’s also houses an outdoor terrace on its rooftop, giving ample space to relax and dine. Led by an Arts Committee, Duddell’s hosts regular exhibitions, screenings and features artwork from renowned artists like Song Dong and M.K. Lau. As for the

menu, Chef Siu Hin Chi’s Peking duck ($600 for one course) comes with all the trimmings and is available during dinner and carved at the table. The crispy chicken ($250 for half and $500 for full) and the extravagant dim sum brunch ($480$680, $250 for children under ten; weekends only) are all veritable crowd pleasers. 3 -4/F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central, 2525 9191,

Gormei Art Month Gormei, in collaboration with leading restaurants and celebrated artists, presents three specially curated art programmes in March - Art Hour, Art Table and Eat Art. The programmes feature local and international artists and galleries including Simon Birch, Parkview Art and popular dining destinations Stone Nullah Tavern, Duddell’s and VEA Restaurant and Lounge. For a list of participating artists and upcoming events, visit




News from the dining scene

Le Méridien Cyberport It’s an EGGxtravaganza at Le Méridien Cyberport. Easter Holiday Brunch (from $598/adult excluding alcohol and $98/child with each paying adult) and Easter Tea Buffet (from $298/adult and $149/child) are available March 25-28. Call 2980 7417 and 2980 7424 for reservations, respectively. Kids Cooking Classes take place on March 26 and 27 (3pm-4pm) for children aged four and above ($220/child). To book, call 2980 7417. Le Méridien Cyberport, 100 Cyberport Road, CIRQLE at Ovolo CIRQLE at Ovolo is hosting a mouthwatering brunch all weekend with a sizzling BBQ, Champagne, wine, brews and more. From $298 per adult and $168 per child. From March 2528, noon to 3pm. 4/F, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen (entrance on Yip Fat Street). Call 3460 8157,


Mother’s Day at Southside Long Lunch Treat your mother to a special Mother’s Day at The Butchers Club Deli in Aberdeen. Held on March 6, the Southside Long Lunch will include five Butchers Club food stations - a spit and carvery, seafood grill, salad bar, afternoon tea-style stall and a dessert station. Tickets $550, free for kids under 8. 7/F, Shui Ki Industrial Centre, 18 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, 2884 0768, 3/3rds opens in Central Located on the top level of an industrial building in Wong Chuk Hang and to cater to their growing popularity, hip cafe 3/3rds has opened up its second branch in Central. The menu is similar to that in Wong Chuk Hang including a range of salads, soups and sandwiches using locally sourced ingredients. To keep things fresh, the menu is changed regularly at

Kids cooking classes at Le Meridien Cyberport

Hip 3/3rds of Wong Chuk Hang opens a new branch in Central

both locations. Open from MonSat, 12-7pm. Shop 1, 1/F Manning House, 34-38 Queen’s Road Central, Central, 2562 8805, Bye-bye Boqueria Black Sheep Restaurants has announced that a new venture will be replacing the popular Boqueria in Central’s LKF Tower. The space is currently under renovation. The group has promised to retain the fun-loving and sociable atmosphere that people loved about the Spanish restaurant, but the genre of food will be changed to provide an improved dining experience. The new restaurant will be announced in Spring 2016. Watch this space. Taste of Hong Kong From March 10-13, a long list of exciting events will be presented at Taste of Hong Kong, including masterclasses, wine tastings,

cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs and restaurateurs. The four-day event at Central Harbourfront will feature a selection of Hong Kong’s leading restaurants including Aberdeen Street Social, RONIN and Amber. There will be music and live entertainment, as well as special taster portions. Early bird tickets available. Regular tickets start at $168 for a weekday and $198 for the weekend on Ticketflap. Probiotic water kefir Fermented foods are predicted to be a major food trend of 2016. Want to know more? Sign up to Jacqueline Renee Cohen’s fermentation class at Le Meridien Cyberport. Learn more about probiotic drinks and how to make your own water kefir. Plus, take home goodies and recipes. March 1, 11am-12:30pm, $500 per person. To book, contact


big day out

Off the beaten track Rory Mackay heads to the south of Lantau for his next adventure, hiking from Shek Pik to Tai O.


here are many spots in Hong Kong that can feel far removed from the city, but are in fact just round the corner or over the hill from town. Then, there are those rare confines that are genuinely far removed from civilisation. The southern tip of Lantau Island is such a place. Take the time to venture out to this enclave and you will be rewarded with a trip back in time! An untarnished landscape bursting with deserted beaches, fertile valleys and lush jungles lying in wait. Despite southern Lantau’s geographical isolation from the rest of Hong Kong, it is easily accessible and can be reached from the city within a couple of hours. Once there, southern Lantau is best explored by foot. My favourite route follows the coastline regions, starting


at Shek Pik in the east and finishing at Tai O in the west. As a direct hiking route, more experienced hikers can complete the 15 kilometers within four to five hours. However, there are many sights worthy of a cheeky detour along the way and it is worthwhile dedicating an entire day to this adventure. As a coastal hike, the main path avoids any major hills and is ideal for families who enjoy the outdoors. It is advisable to bring a map along if you are unsure of your directions and bring plenty of fluids during the warmer months. To reach the start of the trail, catch either the no.11 bus from Tung Chung, or the no.1 bus from Mui Wo to Tai O. Keep an eye out for Shek Pik Reservoir and disembark at the first bus stop immediately after crossing the dam wall. Take in the beautiful sight of Shek Pik

Reservoir and Lantau Peak before following the Lantau Trail south. The first part of the walk follows a catch-water and serves as a gentle warm up before hitting the dirt track. Staying up above the coastline, there are beautiful views to be had across many bays and beaches on this section. The path then descends to the idyllic Fan Lau Peninsula and its two sandy beaches. There is a small dai pai dong here with a friendly owner who can whip up a wholesome bowl of noodles, complete with drinks and fruit. This is the only such facility along the way, so make sure to recharge before heading on. If you are interested in historical sites, you can take a half-hour excursion to visit Fan Lau Fort on the far end of Fan Lau Peninsula. Built in 1729, during the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor, the

big day out

fort was subsequently abandoned by the British in 1898 and a large stone rectangle is about all that remains today. The second half of the walk from Fan Lau to Tai O follows a much more sheltered section of coastline. The area possess great biodiversity, so keep an eye out for interesting plants and animals. Pass through the majestic village of Yi O; complete with agricultural farmland, grazing cattle and abandoned buildings, it’s an exceptionally surreal settlement to stroll through. Shortly after passing through Yi O, the path meets an area of mangroves on the coast. At this juncture there is an option to check out the most stunning of detours at the Man Cheung Po waterfalls and infinity pool. Turn right onto a less distinct path and follow your way up the

hill past a few abandoned houses. Continue for around 20 minutes up the valley until you reach the pools. It’s quite a popular spot, so you may suddenly see more people in the first five minutes than you have on the entire walk up to that point. Although it is prohibited to swim in the infinity pool (as it serves as a reservoir for Tai O), the numerous rock pools and waterfalls behind it are fair game. Once you’ve gone for a dip, go back down the same way you came up to return to the main path. From here, it’s a simple one hour walk to reach Tai O. Once in Tai O, make sure to wander around the village and grab a bite to eat as reward for a long walk. From Tai O you can simply hop on the bus back to civilisation, although beware that the no.11 bus to Tung Chung

can sometimes have long queues during holiday seasons. If this happens, I strongly recommend cutting your losses by opting for the no.1 bus to Mui Wo and an onward ferry to Central. Southern Lantau is an incredible part of Hong Kong so take the time to explore. Any adventure here will leave you with a bunch of great memories and a sound night’s sleep!

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





Siem Reap Following in the footsteps of Lara Croft, Vasavi Seethepalli heads on a four-day adventure to the ancient province.




inety minutes after taking off in Hong Kong, I can see small pagodas below glistening in the sunset as the pilot announces our arrival in Siem Reap. Located in northwestern Cambodia, Siem Reap is home to ancient ruins, the Great Tonle Sap lake and the largest religious monument in the world: Angkor Wat - literally, “City of Temples” in Khmer. A trip here has been on my bucket list for years, and I can’t wait to get out and explore. A shuttle bus arranged by our hotel collects us from the airport and takes us to Sokha Angkor Resort. The main attraction of this five-star resort is the location, but the ambience and hospitality are also great and the rooms are spacious, with balconies overlooking the pool. “Sous-dey,” the concierge greets us as we alight. Our four-day-trip is spread out comfortably to capture the essence of the city.

Siem Reap is home to...the largest religious monument in the world: Angkor Wat

Day One

Gateway to the royal city of Angkor Thom.

Our English-speaking tour guide suggests we buy a three-day temple pass since we have a few days to explore. First stop: the walled city of Angkor Thom. This royal city was the filming location for “Tomb Raider”. The last capital of the Angkorian empire, it was surrounded on all sides by an eight-metre high wall and a moat, said to contain hungry crocodiles. Today, the moat is dry and over the centuries, the trees have entwined with the structures inside the city to become part of the edifice. Five monumental gates allow access to the city: one along each wall and the fifth leading directly to the Royal Palace. The south gate is adorned with the four faces of Avalokitesvara, the “Lord who looks down (in compassion)”. It’s approached from outside via a causeway that extends across the moat. Flanking the causeway are 54 demons on the right and 54 gods on the left, enacting the Hindu myth of the Churning of the Ocean. At the centre of Angkor Thom is Bayon temple, best known for the massive faces sculpted on its stone towers. As we walk past the rubble up to the terrace we encounter a maze of free-standing shrines with huge beaming countenances. Most of the temple outskirts are filled with vendors selling fruits, fresh juices and clothes – a perfect place to refresh before the next temple visit.



Left: a silk cotton tree entwined amongst the ruins; Right: a Pub Street vendor selling tarantulas, crickets and snakes.

Back at the hotel, we take a refreshing dip in the pool before heading out for dinner at Chancery Tree. To get there, we take a Tuk Tuk, the most commonly used transport in Cambodia. Well lit and airy, Chancery Tree provides impeccable service and the Khmer food is scrumptious. From pomelo salads to seafood curries, everything is polished off without a whinge. A must visit. Day Two Today, we decide to venture into the wild. The concierge arranges a zipline adventure with ecotourism company Flight of the Gibbon. We are promptly whisked away on a 20-minute journey to Angkor Park, a UNESCO heritage site. After 10 minutes of orientation and a quick check and sign of the waiver, we find ourselves walking through the jungle to our first tree. This is the only zipline located within a UNESCO World Heritage site. The tallest tree reaches up to 50 meters high. Sailing through the jungle canopy is amazing. “Let go of your grip and flap your arms like a duck!”, shouts our instructor. I feel like I’m flying. After a long day in the jungle, we make our way to another highly recommended bar-cumrestaurant, the Foreign Correspondents Club. This old French colonial mansion - formerly the Governor’s residence - is just a few minutes ride from the hotel in a Tuk Tuk. Sitting in the openair restaurant (inside seating is also available) overlooking the garden is perfect after a day of pretending to be monkeys. The cuisine is a mix of Southeast Asian and Western delicacies with a touch of local Khmer flavours. We fall into bed well-fed and exhausted. Day Three We decide to explore the countryside of Siem Reap on quad bikes. After a briefing, trial ride, and another waiver signed, we set out for a three-hour adventure armed with sun glasses,


helmets and masks. Along the way we take in some cattle watching, a village tour, a temple visit. The ride is bumpy and ridden with water ditches and lots of cow dung. Priceless.

It’s construction involved over 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants.

Saving the best for last, we head to Angkor Wat in the afternoon. This ancient temple complex stretches over 160 hectares. Originally built as a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is now Buddhist. Unlike other Angkor monuments that were at some stage abandoned to the elements, Angkor Wat has remained in use since it was built. According to inscriptions, its construction involved over 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants. The temple is a source of great national pride and appears on the national flag. Enclosed within a moat and built across three levels, it represents Mount Meru, the centre of the universe and home of the devas in Hindu mythology. Take the steep climb to the uppermost level to get the best views. Day Four Time for some rest and relaxation. A quiet morning at the spa, a lazy lunch at the hotel café and a visit to the night market before dinner are ample. Dinner at Champey restaurant - located in the heart of the old market - is another evening well spent. Known for its Khmer cooking class, this restaurant has a French charm, with arc-shaped long windows overlooking the busy market. It’s a stone’s throw away from the hustle bustle of the

infamous Pub Street. Home to an array of bars and restaurants, Pub Street is one main street that spreads into numerous alley ways and side streets. Cafes, ice cream parlors, arts and crafts, street vendors and hawkers all fall under the Pub street directory. We briefly stop by a hawker stall selling fried snakes, tarantulas and crickets and watch in awe as a fellow tourist dares to indulge in a few of the local delights. Pop-up bars with blaring music and neon lights line the pavements, packed with young tourists, backpackers and families alike. By the time we return to the hotel it’s midnight. The next day, on the way to the airport, I notice the construction taking place along the stretch between the airport and the city centre. Recovering from the recent past, the people of the Khmer region are striding towards a better tomorrow. Despite hordes of tourists gushing in, the area sustains its vigor, ancient charm, and sense of adventure. I’m sure it has plenty more to offer so it’s not off the bucket list just yet.

Plan your trip Hotel Sokha Angkor Resort: $$$ Ziplining with Flight of the Gibbon: USD$99 pp. Quad Adventure: From USD$32 pp (or USD$43 per pair) for a sunset ride on the paddy fields, Champney’s Khmer Cooking Class includes a visit to the old market, followed by a lesson on how to prepare traditional Khmer dishes under the guidance of a professional chef and, of course, dinner. USD$25 pp, Peak season is from November to March, when the weather is dry and temperatures are coolest (25-30°C).


health & beauty

Allergy season As we move into allergy season, Dr. Sonal Hattangdi-Haridas, founder and Director of Maya Health Institute, tells Shreena Patel how homeopathy might help. minimal dose is required to initiate change (the substances within homeopathic remedies are diluted to ultralow doses). ‘Potentization’ is the technique used to prepare homeopathic remedies. It involves dilution and succussion (vigorous shaking) to reduce the material dose and chances of side-effects while releasing the therapeutic power. Why do skin and respiratory allergies flare up at this time of year? Hong Kong is well known for its high humidity and air pollution. The cold, damp weather increases exposure to respiratory allergens. House dust mites and mould thrive in this weather, increasing skin irritation, nose and chest allergies. Allergic bronchitis and asthma are common in Hong Kong, especially in February, March and September. How many people do they affect? Globally, allergies affect 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children. In Hong Kong, statistics show that one in three children suffer from at least one allergic condition, with asthma and allergic rhinitis being the most common, while food allergies are increasing rapidly.

Dr Sonal Hattangdi-Haridas has been in private practice for nealry 20 years.

What is homeopathy? Homeopathy is a natural therapeutic science. The aim is to assess all the symptoms of a person and treat the complete unique picture, not just the diagnostic label. Natural homeopathic remedies are given to reduce immediate discomfort and balance the body’s immune system, which should in turn reduce external reactions. Nutrition and lifestyle changes may also be suggested. What is the basis of homeopathy? Homeopathy is based on three principles: The ‘Law of Similars’ is the basis of prescription. It says, “let like be cured by like”, meaning the responses to a substance are a guide to the READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS 2016


In Hong Kong, statistics show that one in three children suffer from at least one allergic condition diseases it can treat. For example, Allium Cepa is a homeopathic remedy for Hay Fever. It’s made using onion (known for causing watery eyes and nose). The ‘Law of Infinitesimals’ states that only a

What are the common signs of skin and respiratory allergies? At the start of a reaction, skin may be bumpy with itching. More advanced stages include recurrent hives, rashes or dry scaly skin with scabs and oozing. Secondary infection is common: once the body is in a reactive state, it can start flaring up at other triggers or without exposure. For example, a person sensitive to mould reacting to dust mites or dog dander. What is the ‘allergic march’? Allergies tend to appear in a particular sequence during childhood (skin allergies usually appear first, respiratory allergies later on). This progression of the symptoms and the allergies is known as the ‘allergic march’. It is commonly seen in babies with atopic dermatitis who react to cow’s milk in formula or their mother’s diet. They have a tendency to develop nasal and chest allergies as their immune systems

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health & beauty

are in a hyper reactive state. What starts out as a skin irritation can develop into allergic airways and recurrent bronchitis if not assessed comprehensively. What are the conventional methods of treatment? Conventional medication for skin allergies helps to reduce discomfort locally through mild steroid creams or antihistamines which quickly reduce inflammation. In severe cases, cortisone ointments may be suggested. For respiratory allergies, steroid sprays for the nose, bronchodilators and steroid-based anti-inflammatory puffs can bring acute relief, which is important. Medication may be given for chronic sufferers. What do homeopathic remedies do differently? Medication that suppresses external symptoms can help at surface-level, but, since the immune sensitivities within the body remain, the tendency for allergic reactions continues. Holistic treatments such as homeopathy and nutritional therapy aim to balance from within and thus help mitigate the overall allergic tendency.

stopping the remedies should not result in a return of the original symptoms. What would you say to those who are skeptical about homeopathy? Homeopathy has received a lot of criticism: firstly, for the ultra-high dilutions and secondly, as some “homeopaths� suggest prophylactic (preventative) usage without clinically documented proof. However, there is positive clinical and trial evidence of the benefits of homeopathy for illnesses including allergies and ADHD. Eczema is my favourite as the before-and-after pictures are objective evidence of healing. It is important that your homeopath is clear on what he or /she can and cannot do and gives you a timeline for recovery.

Dr. Hattangdi-Haridas’ tips for combating allergies 1. In damp weather, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent to reduce mould and dust mite growth. Avoid constant contact with upholstery, cushions and carpets that cannot be washed often. 2. ForIn infants, generally, I suggest solely breastfeeding in the first year of life with the introduction of solids from six months and formula after the first year. 3. Adults, children and pregnant women should take the appropriate combination and dosage of probiotics and Omega-3 oils. 4. Reduce processed food in the diet and include more homemade whole foods. Wash vegetables and fruit before eating to remove oil-based pesticides on the outer surface.

Is homeopathy safe? The point of homeopathy is to gently stimulate the body to heal itself. Homeopathic remedies are made using natural sources, such as plants and minerals. When processed in sterile licensed laboratories and prescribed by an experienced practitioner, they are safe for children and pregnant women, do not have side-effects or withdrawal reactions and are non-addictive. In the case of food-based intolerances, elimination diets must be sensible and done under nutritional guidance to ensure correct substitution of the essential nutrients. In your experience how long do these treatments take? For a few recent rashes homeopathic treatment would show results within a few weeks. With generalized long-term hypersensitivities, it would take between three to 18 months. In most cases, positive changes are seen within the first two to three weeks. Once the treatment is complete,



on best behaviour

How to train Dr Mike Muir of Pets Central shares his advice on dealing with behavioural issues. Some of the most common issues that vets get asked about relate to problems with dog behaviour and how to modify it - from how to train puppies, to curbing behaviour that causes inconvenience, to more serious issues such as aggression towards other dogs or humans. In theory, the basics of training are simple. The key is to reward appropriate behaviour consistently, not to reward inappropriate behaviour and to make sure all household members follow the same methods. For puppies, it’s a good idea to get them socialising as early as possible to reduce potential anxiety issues later in life. Done well, this should resolve or prevent many behavioural problems, but owners often require help to make sure they have a good program in place. Help is available in several forms. For example, puppy classes provide an opportunity for puppies to socialise with other humans and pups. They are usually run by someone with dog training experience, who can advise on a training program. Trainers can also be a fantastic aid to resolving behavioural issues, but some trainers can do more harm than good, especially where family pets are concerned. Traditional training is based on the idea of dominance, specifically owners enforcing their dominance over the dog. However, it has been

If owners do not also change their behaviour, bad habits will likely return.

proven recently that the idea of an alpha male dog is incorrect and that - even in wolf packs there is not a stereotypical alpha male dog. Dominance-based training is therefore undesirable and trainers using these methods are best avoided. Using fear or pain to control dogs - including shock or prong collars - means that either ever-increasing levels of force are required to ensure the correct behaviour is maintained, or the human-dog relationship is permanently damaged. It is also a good idea to avoid trainers who take dogs away for a period of time and return them once they have been trained. Part of the role of a good trainer is to train owners on how to work with their dogs: if owners do not also change their behaviour, bad habits will likely return. Visiting your vet is important, especially if

there has been a sudden change in behavior such as inappropriate urinating or aggression. Often these are not behavioural problems but medical issues, such as a urinary tract infection and pain, respectively. The behaviour usually improves as the underlying problem is fixed. For genuine behavioural issues, the vet will try to ascertain what the underlying issues are and design a treatment plan which may include pheromone treatments, behaviour toys and possibly medication. Very serious cases may be referred to a veterinary behaviourist, who can apply a wider knowledge of the causes and treatments for different behavioural conditions. This is a brief and generalised introduction to approaching dog behaviour. It is not a substitute for getting professional advice, but it’s a good starting point.

hong kong creatures The Rhesus Macaque The rhesus macaque is no stranger to monkey lovers. It is one of the most commonly seen and thoroughly studied monkeys of all nonhuman primates. Widely distributed and close to humans anatomically and physiologically, it has been used extensively in medical and biological research. The rhesus factor, one of the elements of a person’s blood group, is named after it. Several rhesus macaques have been launched into space including Miss Able, one of the first two animals (along with “Miss Baker” on the same mission) to be launched into space and return alive. The rhesus monkey is common in Hong Kong and also found in Afghanistan, India,


photo by: PeterAndrewL

aka Macaca mulatta. By Steffi Yuen

A family of rhesus macaques on a Wilson Trail monument

North Thailand and parts of China. It can adapt to many habitats, including arid, open terrain, woodlands, mountains, wetlands,

and agricultural and rural areas. Some even become accustomed to living in human communities. These monkeys have grayish-brown or golden brown hair, a pinkish face and rump, and cheek pouches to store food for later consumption. The young can swim when they are just a few days old. They feed on roots, fruit, seeds and bark, but also insects and small animals. Rhesus macaque troops have an average of 20 to 200 individuals. Males are the dominant sex, though females may outnumber the males by a ratio of four to one. Where to find them in Hong Kong: Ma On Shan, Sai Kung, Tai Lam Country Parks and the North District.



To advertise, email or call 2776 2772.


To advertise, email or call 2776 2772


STRESSED BY YOUR PET?!!! PET BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS? Hong Kong’s first and only Behavioural Veterinary Practice can help resolve aggression, fear, anxiety, separation related problems, compulsive disorders, inappropriate toileting, noise phobias etc.

Not all behavioural problems are simply training issues.

Dr. Cynthia Smillie BVM&S PG Dip CABC MRCVS

Tel: 9618 2475

To advertise, email or call 2776 2772




To advertise, email or call 2776 2772


To advertise, email or call 2776 2772


southside secrets

photo by: Chensong at

whale kept secret

Are these the bones of Ocean Park’s “Hoi Wai”?

Bone idol Southside has a skeleton in its closet, but “whose is it?”, asks Shreena Patel.


of visitors there are no public sanitary facilities in the Marine Reserve, including litter bins and toilets. In order to protect the important organisms and their habitats here, all water sports and coastal recreational activities except those permitted for scientific purposes - are prohibited. To get to Cape D’Aguilar, take First Bus no.

9, get off at D’Aguilar Road and walk for about 40 minutes (no motor vehicles are allowed on the road except for taxis). Alternatively, you can hike straight up and over D’Aguilar Peak from Shek O beach (an unofficial trail is marked by ribbon and chalk). The area is closest to Hong Kong Trail Stage 8.

photo by: KL. Lau

Exactly whose skeleton stands guard next to the Swire Institute of Marine Science at Cape D’Aguilar remains a mystery. Some say it belongs to the female Orca (killer whale) “Hoi Wai” who performed in Ocean Park for 18 years until her death in 1997. Others say the bones are those of a juvenile Bryde’s whale found stranded between the pillars of a wharf in Victoria Harbour in 1955. Google Maps denotes the skeleton as the “Bones of Miss Willy”. In any case, this lesser known part of the Southern District is well worth visiting. Named after Major-General George Charles D’Aguilar, D’Aguilar Peninsula sits at the southeastern tip of Hong Kong Island. It’s a quiet, wild and wave-lashed place with a 20-hectare marine reserve, mangroves, caves, a coral reef and a heritage lighthouse dating back to 1875 - the first in Hong Kong. The lighthouse and Swire Institute of Marine Science are not open to the public but visitors can explore other areas, whilst minimising any disturbance to the surrounding nature. A word of caution - to discourage hordes


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