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December 2016

The really useful magazine Decemeber 2016

PEOPLE 4 Snapped! Sai Kung’s social life. THE PLANNER 8 Happening in December What’s on. FAMILY 14 Christmas gifts Goodies for everyone. NEWS 16 What’s going on? In your backyard. GIVEAWAYS 20 Free stuff Fab things to win. FIVE MINUTES WITH... 22 Gregory Charles Rivers The Australian-born, Clearwater Bay-based actor.

ON PATROL 23 Police blotter Sai Kung Police updates. LOCAL 24 Given a wide berth Fierce resistance from residents as planning of Stage 2 of Hiram’s Highway are underway. VILLAGE FOCUS 26 Lai Chi Chong Lychee trees, unique rock formations and a wealth of sea creatures. COVER STORY 28 The Gifts of the Magi A tale for the holiday season by James Stevenson. EATING

HOME & LIVING 40 Festive decorating Your guide to Sham Shui Po. Plus tips on decorating. LIFE & STYLE 44 O Christmas Tree Where to get your Christmas tree. EDUCATION 46 Malvern College Top British school lands in Hong Kong. BIG DAY OUT 50 Lamma panorama A day on Lamma island. TRAVEL

PETS 56 SPCA case stories SPCA Inspector Bob reflects on his work. DOCTOR, DOCTOR 56 Ask Dr. Pauline “Should I get my family a pet this Christmas?”. Plus Walkies. NEWS FROM THE GREENS 58 I don’t want no scrub Body scrubs and polluted oceans. VINES IN SAI KUNG 64 Left in the dark Clearing up Ma On Shan trails and Stage 2 of Hiram’s Highway.

52 Banyan Tree Lăng Cô A relaxing weekend in central Vietnam.

32 Christmas dining Best places to eat out, turkeys and Christmas hampers. “DOING THE RIGHT THING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN DOING THE THING RIGHT.” - PETER DRUCKER


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hkbricks4kidz HK Bricks 4 Kidz Sai Kung Creativity Center 2791-0007 1/F, 65 Man Nin Street, 2 | WWW.SAIKUNG.COM


people Snaps from Sai Kung


say cheese! Snaps from Sai Kung



Photos by Eugene Metreveli

The Dragon Run


say cheese! 24 Hour Charity Dinghy Race

Photos by Jasper Cheung

Mix and Mingle Art Night

Share your event photos with us at Get snapping!




AIA Christmas Carnival

Roll up, roll up! The AIA Great European Carnival returns to Central Harbourfront. Attracting more than one million visitors last year, the carnival will once again play host to fairground rides, games, dance shows, pantomimes and magicians. Tickets start at $90 for children and $125 for adults. For more information, visit

DEC 1 The Annual Christmas Carol Concert Appeal

DEC 1 Carols by Candlelight charity event

This annual event has been running for five years in support of Society for Community Organisation (SoCO), a charity which supports the poorest of Hong Kong’s society, many of whom are “cage dwellers”. This year’s event takes place at The Helena May. Open to all, tickets are $600 from, and include free flow food and drink. ChristmasCarolConcertAppealHongKong

Five Christmas choirs, Father Christmas and snowmen join forces at the Matilda International Hospital, whose heritage hospital grounds have been transformed into a romantic, twinkling Christmas wonderland. Families can enjoy Christmas stalls of food and other goodies, games and crafts, plus Santa’s grotto. Free, and open to all, with all proceeds going to Matilda Children’s Foundation, which provides life-changing surgeries to children with no other means of assistance. 6-8pm, 41 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak, 2849 0355. A free shuttle bus runs between the Peak Galleria and the Matilda International Hospital every 30 minutes starting at the Peak from 5.15 to 8.30pm.

DEC 2 Bradbury School Winter Night Market Local vendors, international food, games, prizes and more, plus a silent auction. 5.30-8.30pm,


43C Stubbs Road. No parking available (a regular shuttle bus operates from Central and the cricket club). Entrance is $30 per person, $100 per family.

DEC 2 American International School The annual Winter Fair includes international food stalls run by parents, a wide variety of game booths, student performances and a grand prize lucky draw for families of all ages. Fair tickets and raffle tickets are available at the door. 3.30-8pm. 125 Waterloo Road, Kowloon Tong, 2336 3812.

DEC 2 Quarry Bay School Run by Quarry Bay School parents, the Christmas Winter Fayre will include a host of international food stalls where you’ll find delicacies from around the world. Don’t miss the lucky draw, games stalls and special performances. Tickets $10 per person. 5.30-8.30pm, 6 Hau Yuen Path, Braemar Hill, North Point, 2566 4242,

happening in December DEC 2-4 Hullett House Christmas Market Head to this Nordic-themed Christmas market and enjoy live music while shopping for gourmet food and drink, fashion, handmade accessories and festive decorations. Free entry. 5-11pm (Friday); noon-11pm (Saturday); noon9pm (Sunday). 50 Pigeons Courtyard, Hullett House, 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.

DEC 3 Discovery College Family Fun Day

students, teachers and alumni, art exhibitions, film screenings and theatre. 3-10pm. Entry $20. 20 Borrett Road, Mid-levels, 2524 7135, island.

This indoor market has tasty treats, plus a great selection of gifts including food, handicrafts, jewellery, wine, children’s clothing and more. Free entry. 11am-5pm, Hong Kong Academy, 33 Wai Man Road, Sai Kung.

DEC 4 Hong Kong Corporate Sevens

DEC 3 Island Five-0 Winter Arts Festival

DEC 4 H Studio open day

Suits play sevens. The 2016 tournament has set their sights on raising $1 million for The Deaf Rugby Programme. Free entry. 9am-8pm. So Kon Po Recreation Field, 55 Caroline Hill Road,

Take a look into H Studio’s three working studios and speak to local and resident H Studio artists Lori Foster, Helen Boyd and Narelle Cridland. Free with refreshments provided. 11am-4pm, 1/1, Wan King Path, Sai Kung.

Santa shops at

Count Along Cash Register

Noah's Balancing Ark


$250 City Auto Centre


DEC 3-4

Organised by local artist Tony Cheng and the Sai Kung District Council, the outdoor art event sees over 50 artists gather to meet and share creative ideas where guests can attend workshops. Free, 12.30-6pm, several locations around Sai Kung, see website for details,

DEC 4 Sai Kung Sunday Christmas Market

Discovery College’s biggest event of the year and its major fundraiser. Delicious food stalls, great games and activities for children of all ages, live music and entertainment, arts and crafts, bouncy castles, prizes and more. Noon to 5pm, 38 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island.

Island School’s long standing winter fair focuses on the arts this year, as the school celebrates its 50th anniversary. Enjoy an international food hall, craft beer stalls and games, plus musical performances by

Sai Kung Art and About

Raleigh Bikes

Baby Walker with ABC Blocks


from $1,399


Sweetheart Cottage with Furniture

Bosch Junior Workbench or Carpenters Belt



Mini Micro 3-in-1 Deluxe


Slam Stars Junior Basket Ball or Reflex Soccer Swingball


from $250

Extending Microphone, Wooden Ukulele or CD Player

from $225

Oven & Hob

$750 Christmas Stockings, Sacks & Santa

from $99

NEW Central Location Entertainment Building Store, Central T 2522 7112

Horizon Plaza Store, Ap Lei Chau T 2552 5000

Stanley Plaza Store, Stanley T 2555 6318

Sai Kung Store, Sai Kung T 2976 0223

D Park Store, Tsuen Wan T 2799 2923 WWW.SAIKUNG.COM | 9

planner 2 Tin Kwong Road, Ho Man Tin, 2711 3029,

DEC 10 Sai Kung Community Christmas Concert A night of music and entertainment from local bands Pineapple Jam, Loose Ends and Choir Boys as well as Clearwater Bay School Choir and Sai Kung Orchestra. Live music starts from 5pm, concert kicks off 6pm and community carols at 7.30pm. Held at the Waterfront Park. Contact Chris for more information

DEC 10 SKIP Christmas Fair

Catch Sai Kung artist Helen Boyd at H Studio’s open day.

DEC 4 & 11 Classics for Kids Christmas Concert

DEC 8 Cub Scout Christmas Pantomime

The SAR Philharmonic Orchestra’s 15th annual interactive concert introduces children to classical music and lets them try out the instruments too. 2.15pm and 5pm, Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheatre, HKAPA, Wan Chai. Tickets from $295 from, 3128 8288.

The 299 Cub Scout Pack will be performing their christmas pantomime, this year they have chosen to perform 12 days of Christmas. Throughout the event, there will be stalls selling cakes, hot chocolate and pre-loved toys and books - all of which will be run by the Scout Troop. All money raised will be donated to Butterfly Children’s Hospice. Performance starts at 7pm at TWC Sea Activity Centre, Pak Sha Wan. For more information email

DEC 7 WIFA Annual Holiday Bazaar Hosted by Women in Finance Asia in aid of Free To Run, an organisation that uses the power of sports to help women and girls overcome the harmful effects of conflict and discrimination. Browse products from local businesses, artisans and designers, while enjoying holiday treats. Don’t forget to enter the lucky draw for a chance to win prizes. Free entry. 6.30-9pm, Clifford Chance, 27/F, Jardine House, Central.


DEC 9 King George V School Alongside Kowloon Junior School and Jockey Club Sarah Roe School, the KGV Christmas fair will feature food and drinks stalls with the highlight of the night being the carol concert where student musicians and singers will perform Christmas classics. Stalls open at 5pm, concert starts at 6pm at KGV’s Piazza.

Classics for Kids Christmas Concert.

Festive family fun for pre-schoolers. Meet Santa, and enjoy arts and crafts, games, food and drink. 10am-2pm, $50 per person. Sai Kung Preschool Group Limited, 159 Che Keng Tuk Road, Sai Kung,

DEC 11 Discovery Bay Christmas Market Find one-of-a-kind, locally crafted gifts for everyone on your list. Free entry, 11am-6pm, Main Plaza, Discovery Bay. Stay for dinner at one of the designated D’Deck restaurants and enjoy a free ferry ride back to Central.

David Gething book signing


Meet author Dr. David Gething at the signing of his latest book, Relentless: Seven Marathons, Seven Continents, Seven Days, as he shares his stories and experiences. 6.30-7.30pm, Escapade Sports, Shop 5, Level 8, Silverstrand Mart, Clearwater Bay. There are 30 places available on a first come, first served basis. Entry is $275, to register, contact

Open Air Cinema Night Enjoy drinks and snacks and watch 1984 comedy horror film, Gremlins. Starts at 7pm, doors open at 6pm. Tickets are $120 per person including two drinks and snacks. RSVP by emailing The Hive Sai Kung, 5 Tai Mong Tsai Road, Sai Kung.

DEC 17

happening in December making sure kids have fun. Camp takes place from 12-3pm. Fees are $3,000 for five days. For something broader, try the Multi-Sports Camp (ages 4-11) which involves a variety of sports, games and activities. Camp takes place from 9am-12pm. Fees are $2,800 for five days. Both camps take place at Hong Kong Academy, 33 Wai Man Road. To sign up, call 2773 1650 or email

DEC 24 Christmas Eve Don’t forget to leave out a snack for Santa Claus and his reindeer.

DEC 25 Christmas Day Santa’s been (hopefully). Open your presents, eat, drink and be merry.

DEC 11 & 23-24 The Snowman & the Bear

DEC 26 Boxing Day

Watch Raymond Briggs’ heartwarming Christmas classics on the big screen with a live orchestral accompaniment, narration and singing. Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium on December 11 and Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall on December 23-24.

The group’s 55th panto - The Snow Queen - an icy take of love and hate, good and evil, courage and cowardice, and trolls! Performances on December 11 and 14-18 at Kellett School Theatre, Kowloon Bay. Concession tickets from $250 and adults tickets from $270 at More details at

DEC 11 & 14-18 Hong Kong Players Pantomime

DEC 19-JAN 6 Sport4Kids’ Christmas camps

Hong Kong Players have been staging Christmas pantos in Hong Kong for the past 54 years.

Football Camp (ages 5-14) is run by specialist coaches and develops a range of skills while

UNTIL DEC 28 Christmas-themed 3D Light Show

Public holiday. Play with your new presents.

DEC 27 The second weekday after Christmas Day Another public holiday!

The 3D Light Show displays Victoria Harbour in all its glory during its nightly Christmas-themed spectacular with audiovisual effects at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui. Four shows each night (8.20pm, 8.45pm, 9.15pm, 9.45pm).

DEC 31 New Year’s Eve Celebrate the start of 2017 with the masses by grabbing a prime spot along the harbourfront for the midnight firework display. Those seeking a quieter start to the year should head to Bowen Road for all the spectacular views but without the throng of people.

UNTIL JAN 2 Disneyland

Get active with Sport4Kids’ Christmas camps.

Goofy is bringing Christmas cheer to Hong Kong this year as he dons his Santa costume and greets guests during Hong Kong Disneyland’s “A Sparkling Christmas”. Tell Santa Goofy what you’re wishing for this year or send a limited edition Christmas postcard through the Santa Goofy mailbox. An 18-metre LED-wrapped Christmas tree is not to be missed while the night parade is a visual feast of seasonal decorations with Christmas carollers singing all your favourite tunes. Visit for more details.



BOOK NOW JAN 5-FEB 12 Kidsfest 2017

FEB 3-5 Legends in Concert

The biggest children’s theatre festival returns for another year of fun-filled performances at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. One production not to miss is Gruffalos, Ladybirds and other Beasts which will feature Julia Donaldson herself live on stage. Tickets available at or call 3128 8288.

The live celebrity tribute show features an all-star cast of Elvis Presley, Adele, David Bowie and Madonna direct from Las Vegas to The Parisian, Macau. Running for 33 years, Legends in Concert is Las Vegas’ longest-running live entertainment show. Tickets $180$480 from, 3128 8288.

FEB 12 Standard Chartered Marathon Hong Kong’s annual marathon is back with full, half and 10km marathons, plus 3km and 10km wheelchair races. Starts on Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. The public ballot is closed but charity entry is open until Dec 7.

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



family Canvas Santa table top variety $65 from TREE, 116 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, 2791 2802,

THE FOR ME HO “Teeny-tiny Nativity” wooden nativity set and mini book


$100 from Bookazine,

Dear, Santa

'Sai Kung' print by Louise Hill starts from $2,850 (including delivery) from

This year for Christmas, I would like…

Sunglasses sweater  227 from Seed Heritage, $

‘Sai Kung’ handpainted soap dish $120 from G.O.D, G/F, 2 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung, 2791 7122,

'Hello Cities' aromatic soap $110 each from Maven, G/F, 37 See Cheung Street, Sai Kung, 6388 4398,

Advent Christmas greeting card $75 from kikki.K,


goodies for Christmas ‘Heart’ rose gold classic reminder band $325 from Mindful Company,

Navy Glitter Leather Party Ankle Boot $390 from Simply Shoes,


Santa stripe organic romper (0-18M) $250 from Cigognebebe,

 ingerbread Man crew neck G Christmas jumper by TOPMAN $549 from Zalora,

Christmas gift tag $5 each from The Lion Rock Press,

 ox of six (edible) limited edition playing cards B by Emmanuel Pierre for Maison Chaudon $  698 from The Mandarin Cake Shop, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road, Central. For orders, call 2825 4008 or email


Grande Cuvée Tradition Price: $650 + $15 for christmas packaging (reindeer wine bottle sweater and hat),

Jo Malone Advent Calendar $4,700 from Lane Crawford, stories in IFC mall (2118 5720) and Times Square (2118 6182),

ANORAK Kissing Rabbits shopper bag $239 from Escapade, Shop No. 5, Level 8, Silverstrand Mart, 2705 9919,



State of the art

Founder of Art House Asia, Helen Smeaton.

Sai Kung has welcomed its very own art gallery - coming in the form of founder Helen Smeaton’s beautiful home, located along Siu Hang Hau Road in Clear Water Bay. The unconventional concept aims to make art available to everyone. On top of bringing art into people’s homes and offices, Helen invites people into her home to fully experience the artworks in a space buyer’s intend them for, especially works in larger formats. “Our home gives the client a great sense


of statement in their own homes”. Smeaton continues, “When we moved to Hong Kong, I was disappointed to find we could not afford many original works for our home. It became a mission to make original artworks affordable. And also to allow people to view them in ‘real’ lifestyle spaces,” said Smeaton. The Art House Asia has featured numerous artists, including: Frederic Belaubre, Gugi Gu and Veronica Vilsan and currently feature the works of Sai Kung resident, Phillipa Bloom.

The Art House Asia has launched with great success as Smeaton explains, “We enjoy meeting artists, sourcing stunning artworks and seeing them transform people’s lifestyle places into something they’re proud of, and somewhere they really want to be.” Smeaton is in the midst of planning some off site exhibitions for regional artists next year. For more information, visit

in your backyard

New location for Bumps to Babes Central store Our favourite mother and baby superstore Bumps to Babes has moved to a new location on Queen’s Road Central. The new, bigger store stocks maternity, new baby and children’s ranges (from birth to 8 years old) from around the world. Whether you’re looking for nursery furniture, pushchairs, toddler food, toys or clothing, it’s a one-stop shop. The new location also houses a mother-and-baby feeding/changing room. Open seven days a week, 10am-7pm (Monday to Saturday); 11am-6pm (Sundays and public holidays). 13/F Entertainment Building, 30 Queen’s Road Central, 2522 7112,

Kellett School celebrates 40th anniversary Sai Kung Art and About returns Building on the success of their last event in March, local artist Tony Cheng and the Sai Kung District Council will be bringing Sai Kung Art and About to Sai Kung again this December. After four years of planning and the desire to bring art to Sai Kung, Cheng co-founded the outdoor art event and with the help of Sai Kung District council, Sai Kung Community Centre and Sai Kung District Office, he was able to turn the concept into more than just an idea and bring it to fruition. The previous event was the first Sai Kung Art and About which saw artists from all over Hong Kong come together and display their creative work. Over 50 of these artists came personally to share their creative ideas and meet guests and allow them to understand how their creative minds work. “For this December’s event, we will be bringing you many new artists that are interested in showcasing their talents and creative ideas into Sai Kung Art And About; bringing new themes and activities for visitors,” says Cheng. Ranging from street artists to sculptors, there will be over 70 artists to meet, live art demonstrations, mural paintings and free art workshops. “I hope that you will enjoy the event, and others like it in the future,” adds Cheng. Sai Kung Art and About will be held on December 3 and 4, from 12.30 to 6pm at different locations in Sai Kung town. Art booths and pavement drawings can be

found on Mei Yuen Street, ground paintings at Sai Kung Waterfront, exhibitions at Sai Kung Jockey Club Town Hall, art booths at Tin Hau Temple square, and wall paintings on Po Tung Road and Sha Tsui Path. For more information, visit

In celebration of Kellett School’s 40th anniversary, 1,325 people have been named Guinness World Record breakers. Kellett School now proudly holds the title for ‘Largest Human Image of a Boat’. On November 5, participants gathered at Kellett School’s Kowloon Bay campus wearing outfits that represent the school’s dragon mascot. The record breaking boat was created in the shape of a traditional Hong Kong junk, paying tribute to the city in which the school was established and has flourished. Kellett School began life in 1976 with only 44 children, throughout the years the school has seen a massive transformation and now has over 1,300 students.



Last month, over 800 local children and volunteers teamed together as part of Kids Ocean Day to form an image of Hong Kong’s trash monster “Lap Sap Chung”, or Trashzilla, on Repulse Bay Beach. The aerial art image carried a powerful message about protecting the ocean from plastic pollution that endangers marine life. Young ocean ambassadors came from schools across Hong Kong and Macau to volunteer. The image of Trashzilla, designed by nine-year-old Ty Curnow from The International School of Macao, was chosen as part of a drawing competition organised by Hong Kongbased NGO Ocean Recovery Alliance. Michael Klubock, the Founder of Kids Ocean Day, which was conceived in the U.S. in 1994, said, “Kids Ocean Day is about alerting us all to the need [to protect] the ocean from the everyday trash and plastic litter that is thrown on streets, which sadly often ends up in our waters, killing marine life and polluting our food resources.”


Ocean Recovery Alliance/Malibu Foundation/Spectral Q/Alastair Gray Photography

Trashzilla sighted at Kids Ocean Day

in your backyard

Hong Kong Academy’s Extended Learning Winter Programme Courses range from football to parkour, robot coding and an introduction to magic. Plus, one drop off and pick up time makes life easier. Enrol by December 5 to save 10 percent - use the code “10% EARLY BIRD” online. Courses

run from December 19-23 and January 3-6. Half-day sessions (either 9am-12pm or 12-3pm) start at $2,000. For information, call 2655 1205 or visit


free stuff

win at

Bee’s Diamonds

Benefit Cosmetics

Flex Studio

Bee’s Diamonds is Hong Kong’s award winning diamond supplier and bespoke jeweller. It supplies diamonds to jewellery shops and helps individuals to design and produce one of a kind jewellery at its workshop in Central. This month, three lucky couples will win the opportunity to learn and make their own wedding bands (worth $2,500) with Bee’s Diamonds’ Chief Gemologist and their Chief Artisan, who possesses more than 30 years of jewellery crafting experience. In the hour long workshop, couples will use the traditional wax carving method to create a pair of wax rings that will be turned into commercial caster, which can be turned into gold bands of their choice. To enter, send Bee’s Diamonds a photo of your engagement ring and why you want to experience the creation of wedding bands together to The workshop must be attended by both bride- and groom-to-be.

Benefit Cosmetics is giving you a Christmas to remember: there are seven holiday sets to choose from this year. Take your pick from Girl O’Clock Rock, their advent calendar containing 12 bestsellers, Kissy Missy (for the lipstick lovers) or Girls Gone Wow (containing full size products for your entire face). There are three sets to give away.

Start 2017 the clean way with a six-day detox at Flex Studio led by Michelle Ricaille, Homeopath Doctor and EYRT-500-hour Yoga Alliance Instructor. One fortunate reader will win a spot at this transformative detox, which starts on January 16th. The workshop includes a comprehensive detox manual, a lecture and cooking class, a daily yoga class and much more.

Deadline: December 20

Deadline: December 22 Deadline: December 23

The South African Shop This Christmas, The South African Shop will be giving away a Christmas Hamper bursting with all your favourite South African goodies to one lucky reader. Containing a variety of delicious biltong, classic sweets, teas, pastes and chutneys, old-school crisps and so much more, it is the perfect cure to any homesickness you invariably get around the holiday time and a perfect Christmas treat. Want to buy some great Christmas gift ideas? Have a browse at and check out their delicious, carefully selected South African products. Deadline: December 21

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



five minutes with...


Tom Hilditch

Editorial Editor-in-Chief Shreena Patel Editor Annie Wong Contributing Editor Carolynne Dear Callum Wiggins Senior Staff Writer Eric Ho


Design Manager Cindy Suen Graphic Designer Anna Schulteisz

Thanks to

Adele Brunner Claire Billson Cecilia Hua Dr Pauline Taylor Edward So Ellie Kehoe Eugene Metreveli Graham Turner Jaki Faulkner James Stevenson Jasper Cheung Nigel Griffiths Paola de Antonellis Paul Zimmerman Stephen Vines Tracey Read

Published by

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

Gregory Charles Rivers The Australian-born, Hong Kong actor speaks to Annie Wong about his road to fame in the SAR. I was an actor with TVB for 20 years. They reluctantly hired me after my audition and I earned $300 a day. It was only after I complained twice about the low wages that they offered me a contract. I stayed with a friend’s father on Broadcast Drive, which was where TVB’s studio used to be and saw a job post for a Caucasian role in a drama series.

Illustration by Claire Billson

Caucasian roles in Chinese dramas are often a one dimensional character and you’re usually an accessory to the main actor. Roles that give the character dimension appeal to me the most. I had the chance to play these characters in Always Ready where I was a helicopter pilot and C.I.B Files where I was a police chief. I like to watch American television where there is more of a story line. I pick up the skills from the actors and use it in my roles.


It all started when I was studying medicine at University in Australia. At first, I wanted to learn Chinese to show off then it became loving learning the language. I clicked with the students from Hong Kong and they introduced me to Cantopop. I was Cantopop superstar Leslie Cheung and Alan Tam’s driver when they toured in Australia. Meeting them had a great impact on me. I memorised song lyrics and participated in competitions in China town. I failed my exams in the third year of my degree and had to repeat subjects and that’s when I decided to buy a one way ticket to Hong Kong and moved May of 1987. My wife and I moved to Clearwater

Bay in the 2000s. We ended up really liking the area after visiting a friend. I grew up on a farm in Australia and I gained an affinity for animals from my father. We have cared for 13 rescue dogs over the years in our 700 sq ft village house. We currently have six dogs, the others have passed away due to complications and illnesses. We recently lost my wife’s favourite dog who I cared and watched over him when he fell ill. I had no expectations when I moved to Hong Kong, only anticipation which is my approach to a lot of things. There’s a sense of adventure when you go from an Australian society to a Chinese society. You can miss out on so much if you cling onto just one culture.

Gregory on the set of

Always Ready

on patrol

Police blotter Senior Inspector Max Yip documents the recent cases from Sai Kung.

- There has been a number of vehicle

vandalism cases along Po Lo Che Road. Police believe the culprit was looking to steal money, dash cams and other precious items left in the vehicles. Police are still seeking the culprit.

- A man was arrested and charged with theft

for culling and stealing incense trees. Police were able to catch the offender whilst he was asleep in his makeshift camp located at the junction of Ho Chung near Lui Mei Tsuen. Typically the offence results in one to three years jail time but a maximum of seven can be given.

- There were four cases of burglary. One

incident happened along Chuk Yeung Road, where the culprit removed the entire safe. When police arrived at the scene and chased after the burglar, the culprit dropped the safe and managed to escape. In each of the

cases, residents had either left their windows or doors unlocked. Police will be holding seminars on home safety.

- Two taxi drivers were arrested for

overcharging customers travelling out from the east dam of High Island Reservoir. Both drivers are to face court and fines. Taxis seldom drive into the area, plus there are no other means of transport besides taxis to leave. Hong Kong laws forbid taxi drivers to charge more than the meter but customers can ask for discounts. The case is still under investigation.

- There have been several reports on drones

flying over residential properties. Police believe the drones belong to construction workers and likely used for surveying purposes but are cautious to the possibility of burglars scouting the area.

- Two hikers sprained their ankle whilst hiking near Sharp Peak and required rescuing. A joint operation including Police, Civil Aid Services, Fire Service Department and Government Flying Services was conducted.

- A paraglider needed rescuing as he got

caught in a tree whilst paragliding in Long Ke Wan. Luckily he came away with only a few broken bones and scratches.

- A one and a half year old dog was reported

missing. The dog is a Shiba Inu with brown and white fur. If you spot the mentioned dog or have more information email For more information, contact Sai Kung Police Station, 1 Po Tung Road, Sai Kung, 3661 1630




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Sales & Marketing Sales Director Oliver Simons

Sales & Marketing Executive Egbert Cheung Maria Jones Bonnie Li


PA to the Publisher Amanda Chia Accounting Executive Jason To Office Security Cat the dog


Apex Print Limited 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong @saikungmag GIVE US A CALL! Admin: 3568 3722 Editorial: 2776 2773 Advertising: 2776 2772, 3563 9755 Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay 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. Fast Media Ltd 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 publishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any way, part or format without written permission from the publisher.


Given a wide berth

Stage 2 of Hiram’s Highway has been met with fierce resistance culminating in a recent public forum. By Graham Turner.


erving as the main connecting route between Sai Kung, Kowloon East and Tseung Kwan O, the expansion of Hiram’s Highway has remained a hot topic amongst local residents since it was initially proposed. Plans for the expansion of Stage 2 of the highway have begun, starting with a forum which was open for discussion to the public but were their concerns heard? The $1.77billion dollar project has already commenced its first stage - expanding the sections between Clear Water Bay Road and Pak Wai, the existing Ho Chung Road and Luk Mei Tsuen Road. The works began in March of this year with an aim to be completed by 2020. The second stage of Hiram’s Highway aims to ‘improve’ the section of road from Marina Cove to the south of Sha Ha, has been met with fierce resistance from local residents. Speaking about the road expansion, Iris Au from the Information and Public Relations Unit at the Highways Department says, “The objectives of the

projects are to improve the Hiram’s Highway to the current design standard, enhance road safety with provision of better pedestrian crossing facilities and increase the capacity of the road sections to cope with the developments in Sai Kung.” The local constituency claims that they have taken the concerns into consideration while conceptualising plans for Stage 2 of the construction. On this topic, Au says, “In preparing the proposed improvement option, the Government has considered factors to minimize environmental impact, maintain coastline and coastal activities, minimize impact on locals, preserve the traditional community culture and address the needs of the locals to minimize any potential impact on the surrounding areas.” To give an open platform for these issues to be discussed, a forum to give locals the chance to voice their concerns over the projects second stage, which is still in the negotiation stage. The talks seemed to be productive from the councils point of view.

“At a public forum for the Stage 2 project, diverse views on the project including engineering design, environmental protection, future planning, feasibility of alternative schemes were collected. Some stakeholders supported the dual two-lane widening option while some opposed to it. We have reported the views collected to Sai Kung District Council,” says Au. Although the public forum seemed to offer a platform for a wide range of views to be heard, many locals feel as though it was simply a token gesture to appease those who are against it. Local teacher Vivi says, “It doesn’t matter what we say, when there is this much money involved, the government will go ahead with its plans no matter what. All we can do is make our voices heard so that it maybe makes them think twice about other plans”. Whether the recent talks have any kind of actionable impact remains to be seen as Stage 1 of improvements roars ahead. Got an opinion? Have your say by emailing



village focus

Lai Chi Chong

Eric Ho discovers unique rock formations in a village located north of Sai Kung Peninsula.


ong Kong is a relatively well-connected city, with choices from: MTR, minibuses, buses, taxis and trams - all which run frequently and typically on time. But as connected as Hong Kong may be, one destination none of these transports can help you reach is Lai Chi Chong, a small village sat along the north shore of Sai Kung West Country Park. No roads run through this area of Sai Kung. The only way to get to the village is either by foot or via an hour ferry ride. The absence of cars in the area means Lai Chi Chong has been able to maintain majority of its serene natural beauty. According to legends, three lychee trees with enormous trunks once grew in the area, hence its name Lai Chi Chong which directly translates to ‘lychee village’. The more likely reason though is due to the practice of cultivating and selling lychees by past villagers.


Looking out to Tolo Channel from the Geo Park trail in Lai Chi Chong.

Over time, the villagers all began to leave and no residents currently reside in Lai Chi Chong. The few buildings which still stand in the village belong to residents who typically only visit over the weekend, either as a holiday home or to set up pop up stores to capitalize on the growing number of visitors. The village is now encapsulated by lush overgrown greenery, whilst a steady stream runs nearby. A few hundred metres out, the dense bushes and trees open up to reveal a flat grassland leading up to the mangroves growing on the inlet. The setting offers city dwellers a perfect retreat from the manic streets of Hong Kong, many coming here and setting up camp for the weekend. The seemingly perfect camping spot was in fact originally flattened and used for farming purposes. The villagers not only left their homes, but also their land and the cows they once used to farm their terraces. The cows now wander freely and can occasionally be spotted around the village. Nearby in the water, you can also find a wealth of other critters; from puffer fish, squids and crabs. Follow the path out further towards the water and past the pier until you reach a wooden sign marked with the village name. Here marks the start of the geopark where a volcano erupted over 140 million years ago. Skirt the coast and

discover unique rock formations and patterns dating back to the Jurassic Period. Today the site constitutes as one of the most important places in Hong Kong for geological study on rock formation. Want to have your village featured? Email

How to get to Lai Chi Chong • Take No.7 Minibus from Sai Kung Town, alight at Pak Sha O followed by a one hour walk. Costs $12.1 • Take a ferry from Wong Shek Pier, costs $18.


cover story

The Gifts of the Magi By James R Stevenson.

It was the week before Christmas and all was quiet during the dead of night on the streets of Sai Kung. The shops were dressed in the festive spirit with displays of lights, ribbons and tasteful decorations. The sun was still resting and wouldn’t show its face for another hour. But a mysterious force was at work. Someone or something was making the rounds around town delivering secret letters and small gifts. For the recipients, their lives were about to change… Dylan Stark woke up early in the morning, as he always did and walked down the stairs to get a glass of orange juice. With his hand on the fridge door, something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye. He could see a white envelope taped on the outside on the glass of the front door.


That’s strange, who would tape a letter to my door during the night?


He opened the door and grabbed the letter. His name was written on the front of the envelope. The letter had no other markings. He was about to put the envelope on the kitchen table and get on with his morning but his curiosity got the better of him. He opened the letter, there was a single photo inside. It was a picture of their dog, Marley. Marley looked happy in the snapshot, he was outside in their garden and had a big dopey grin on his face. Dylan stared at the photo wondering what it meant. Suddenly, panic started to rise in his chest.


a Sai Kung Christmas

Has Marley been taken by someone? He quickly flipped the photo over, there was writing on the other side.

“Well, I chose Jaspa’s last Sunday, so it’s Davey’s choice,” replied Alison. “Classified,” responded Davey without hesitation. The four of them walked into Classified and were happy to see that the large community table at the entrance was free. It was their favourite place in the restaurant.

‘Dylan, Marley woue ldtimlike ewittoh spend mor Please take his owner. walk twice him for a day. a Merry Christmas! M.’ Dylan stared at the writing in disbelief wondering if this was some sort of joke or prank by someone in his family. And who was M supposed to be, he wondered. A thin smile started at the corners of his mouth. ‘M’ as in Marley, I bet I know who is behind this little joke. Dylan put the photo into his pants pocket, he would deal with it later. Alison Stark gave her husband, Dylan, a hug when she walked into the kitchen. She liked her Sunday morning lie-in, followed by the family tradition of having breakfast in Sai Kung. The Stark family made the walk from Tai Wan Village into town. It was a short walk but with plenty of scenery on the way. “So where are we going to eat?” asked Richie, he was the youngest of their two boys.

It didn’t take long to get their orders in. While they were waiting for their food, a young couple walked into the near full restaurant. “Do you mind if we share the table with you?”, asked the man, eyeing the empty spots on the corner. “No of course not, help yourself,” replied Dylan with a warm smile. The man sat down, while the woman went to the back of the restaurant to use the restroom. Dylan pulled the photo of their dog Marley out of his pocket and dropped it onto the table for his family to see, he gave a meaningful look at Davey. “Marley’s not getting enough walk time?” Dylan raised his eyebrows as he said this.


cover story

His son gave him a quizzical look. Dylan looked at Richie and Alison, he could see similar puzzled looks on their faces. Davey picked up the photo, turned it over and read it aloud. A flurry of questions came from his family, but what caught Dylan’s attention was the reaction of the man sitting at their table. “I got a mysterious card this morning as well,” said the man as he put a red envelope on the table, he pulled the card out and opened it up so the Starks could read it.

‘Tom, Rachel would likeitto spend more qual y e time with you. Takte her out on a da at least once a week. Merry Christmas! M.’

Tom “I have been meaning to spend more time together as a couple but I always get so busy with work,” explained the man called Tom, “but when I found this card this morning, it was the shove I needed and I called Rachel.” 30 | WWW.SAIKUNG.COM

a Sai Kung Christmas

Early the next morning, Dylan was up and walking out the door with Marley for a hike that would take them up the hill and into the forest. It was a pattern they would follow for the rest of the week leading up to Christmas. And everyday new stories were heard in Sai Kung about the mysterious ‘M’ and the small but meaningful gifts he left. Fathers were spending more time playing with their kids, brothers and sisters were fighting less, and crotchety old men were beginning to find their manners. It was a Christmas season to be remembered in the small town of Sai Kung and for years people would talk about the mysterious benefactor who spread so much joy that Christmas.

The Starks and the young couple puzzled over who could be the mysterious ‘M’ as they ate their breakfast at the communal table. Another customer heard them talking and told them something similar had happened to one of the ladies who sold fruit at the corner over near the Thai restaurant. The lady opened up one of her boxes with oranges and found a letter with her name on it, inside was a card written in Chinese saying she should visit her sister on the Mainland and the money she needed to make the trip.

Marley continued to enjoy his daily walks, but it was Dylan who benefited the most. The early morning walks cleared his mind and refreshed his body, something he had been sorely missing. And what he didn’t know was his health took a dramatic turn for the better, that fateful letter during Christmas saved him from a heart attack that was waiting in ambush down a different path.



Christmas feasts

Annie Wong finds the best spots to eat out, turkeys to go and festive hampers.

The hotels

Grand Hyatt Fill your boots at Grand Hyatt’s buffet restaurant, Tiffin. The buffet offers a delicious spread of Western and European delicacies, freshly prepared waffles and an ice cream station. Carols will be performed during Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day lunch, along with a visit from Santa. $1,280 per adult, $640 per child for lunch and dinner. Mezzanine floor, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, 2584 7722,

The Peninsula Hong Kong Available from December 22-26, the muchloved Lobby at The Peninsula is offering a delectable Christmas afternoon tea ($458 per person) and four course set dinner ($1,488). Meanwhile, the hotel’s European avant-

Hyatt Regency Sha Tin Hong Kong The Sha Tin-based hotel is offering a Christmas lunch ($558 for adult, $279 for children) and dinner ($688 for adult, $344 for children). Feast on pan-fried foie gras, turkey with traditional stuffing, lobster and more at Hyatt Regency’s

garde restaurant, Felix, is serving up a threecourse ($1,388 from 6-8pm) or a five-course dinner from 8pm onwards ($1,888). Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui,

Cafe. Each sitting includes a glass of wine, beer or soft drink. 18 Chak Cheung Street, Sha Tin, 3723 1234,

InterContinental Hong Kong The Steak House Winebar and Grill is offering surf-and-turf Christmas lunch and dinner set menus. Both menus start with a trip to the salad bar, followed by a choice of main, dessert buffet and coffee or tea. Choices for mains include U.S rib eye steak (8oz for lunch; 14oz for dinner), filet mignon and sirloin steak (8oz for lunch). Lunch is $1,138 per person; $838 per child. Dinner is $1,688; $1,388 per child. Inspired by Christmas classic “The Nutcracker”, Executive Pastry Chef Cyril Dupuis has put together a Festive Nutcracker Afternoon tea. Available throughout December and starts at $608 for two (prices vary depending on dates). Lower level, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2313 2323,


Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East Situated on the first floor, Chef’s Table is serving traditional Christmas dishes like turkey and ham, as well as seafood favourites including oysters, blue mussels, lobster and clams. Special items such as scallop carpaccio and pan fried goose liver are available at dinner. ($358 per adult, $268 per child for the lunch buffet; $638 per adult and $518 per child for dinner). In addition, a festive tea set is available at Cielo on the 47th floor, complete with savoury items like turkey burrito and mini lobster burgers. Desserts include English scones and Christmas log cake. $328 for two, available from December 20 to January 1. 3 Tong Tak Street, Tseung Kwan O,


Tikitiki Bowling Bar Bowl your way into the festive season at Tiktiki Bowling Bar. Guests can enjoy a Christmas buffet packed full of cold appetizers, hot dishes, turkey and beef tenderloin carving and dessert. Kids don’t miss out either - there’s a kids’ corner with macaroni cheese, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. Lunch is $499; dinner $599. Available Dec 24-25.

eat, drink and be merry 208 Duecento Otto Italian restaurant, 208 Duecento Otto has prepared a selection of Christmas dishes with an Italian twist. On the menu are venison carpaccio, porcini and wild mushroom risotto, Christmas trifle and more. Guests also receive a complimentary panettone. Available December 21-27. Head to 208 Duecento Otto on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for the restaurant’s signature brunch: an unlimited spread of salads and antipasti for $508 per person. Mains and desserts available at extra cost, additional $180 for free-flow Veuve Clicquot.

Jamie’s Italian Sharing is caring at Jamie’s Italian. The eatery has two specific menus this Christmas - Festive Lunch Set and the WOW menu. The lunch set has an option for two ($168) or three ($198) courses which comes with starters, mains and dessert. For groups of 10 or more, the WOW menu ($468 per person) includes three courses of two starters, two mains, two side dishes and a dessert. Available throughout December.

4/F, Centro, 1A Chui Tong Road, Sai Kung, 5116 7494,

The Optimist Feliz Navidad! The Optimist brings Spanish fever to its five-course Christmas menu. The menu includes the restaurant’s signature dishes like grilled Galician octopus, wild monkfish and Spanish fillet Chateaubriand. It finishes with Turrón de Navidad, a traditional dessert of sweet nougat, honey and roasted almonds. Available on December 24 and 25. $688 per person, with free flow packages starting at an additional $240 for bottomless wine, beer, prosecco, champagne and house spirits. The Optimist is also offering a semi-buffet style brunch. Expect roast turkey, with various small dishes, mains and desserts. $348 per person, additional $180 per person for free flow prosecco, sangria, wine and beer. G/F-2/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, 2433 3324,

208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2549 0208,

2/F, Soundwill Plaza II - Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 3958 2222,

Pirata Celebrate the Italian way with Pirata’s festive lunch and dinner menu. Marvel at the giant carved out parmesan wheel full of boletus mushroom risotto during brunch ($298 per person; free-flow for an extra $180). The five-course dinner menu ($648 per person) tantalises taste buds with wild boar ragout, Tuscan sea bass and butchers’ cut steak, followed by popular Italian desserts like tiramisu and panna cotta. 29-30/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, 2887 0270,

Catalunya Along with specially created dishes like homemade terrine foie gras and the seafood platter for two (available December 24, 25 and 31), a Spanish brunch awaits diners at Catalunya. The Christmas day brunch starts from $780 ($208 for children aged 3-9) and includes free-flow French oysters, plus a seafood station and signature dishes like charcuterie, pinchos, salads and desserts. Free flow starts at an additional $230. G/F, Guardian House, Morrison Hill, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, 2866 7900,


eating Popsy Modern Kitchen Art inspired restaurant Popsy Modern Kitchen has been transformed into a black and gold winter garden with silk flowers. The restaurant has also prepared a special eight-course Enchanted Christmas menu. Dishes include seared scallops, pan seared duck foie gras and poached turbot. Following the tradition of roasting game, roasted duck is served and finished with a ‘Christmas Wreath’ dessert. $988 per person. 5/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Sheung Wan, 2907 8188,

Zuma Go fancy with Zuma’s Baikingu Christmas brunch. Acclaimed for its Japanese cuisine, Zuma has ensured that this year’s festive menu features its signature dishes as well as seasonal delicacies, like iberico pork ribs with Japanese BBQ sauce and spicy cashew nuts, Teriyaki turkey and roasted blue lobster. For an added festive twist, guests will enjoy white truffle shaved table side by the chef. Zuma is also serving its own homemade mulled wine. $590 per person; $650 for the Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne package. Available on December 24 and 25.

A Festive Season Tasting Menu with white truffle is also available from December 5 2016. Finally, if you still haven’t made plans for New Year’s Eve, ZUMA is bringing the glitz and glamour of 1920s America with Japan in the form of Gatsby Shogatsu. Enjoy a special tasting menu with white truffle accompanied by live performances, or head upstairs to the lounge for DJs, performances and a set menu and wine pairing menu offering. Landmark Level 5 & 6, 15 Queen’s Road Central, 3657 6388,

l Traditiona

Feast (Food by EAST) Feast is kicking off the festive season with a semi-buffet brunch, which comes with half Boston lobster, antipasti and a range of seafood. Choose from hand-carved turkey breast, organic baby rack of lamb and rib of beef for mains. The brunch is topped with festive desserts like


cinnamon creme brulee, lemon ginger polenta cake, mince pies and more. Look out for a visit from Santa and the Snowman. EAST, 29 Taikoo Shing, Taikoo Shing Road, 3968 3777,

Classified Classified is serving up a storm with all your favourite Christmas dishes including honey roast ham, rolled Norfolk turkey and Christmas pudding. Sides include roasted potatoes, honeyed carrots and brussel sprouts to share. $480 per person. Available from December 1, minimum of six guests per booking. Outlets across Hong Kong including 5 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, 2529 3454,

eat, drink and be merry FRITES Tuck into a three-course Christmas menu at Belgian beer house FRITES. The menu starts with a pot of Guezue mussels, followed by turkey ballotine served with sausage and chestnut stuffing or black angus roast beef. Things are rounded of nicely with a Christmas brioche pudding. $495 per person. Additional $250 per person for two hours of free-flow prosecco, beers, wine, spirits, juices and soft drinks. The dishes in the express lunch menu change weekly during the three weeks leading up to Christmas. Branches available across Hong Kong including 1/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, 2217 6671, Casa Lisboa For a cosy Portuguese fare, Casa Lisboa’s Christmas buffet is filled with new dishes. There will be various dishes to sample from their cold buffet, hot food, bacalhau, and dessert station. Homemade Portuguese bread, soup and sharing plates will also be available. ($480 for adult; $250 for children aged 4-11). Free flow options start from $90 per person. 8/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, 2905 1168,

Aberdeen Street Social Located in PMQ, Aberdeen Street Social has crafted a British fare for diners this Christmas. The menu starts with soup and appetizers, followed by various traditional dishes, including turkey, venison wellington and roasted south coast bass, followed by dessert and mince pies. Complimentary mulled wine is available during the two weeks leading up to Christmas. $750 per person. Available Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. PMQ, JPC G/F, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, 2866 0300,


eating Wooloomooloo Prime With glittering views of Hong Kong, Wooloomooloo Prime has crafted a Christmas set dinner menu ($988 per person, available December 24 and 25) which starts with a smoked salmon and crab parcel, smoked duck breast and foie gras, soup and a main choice option of traditional Christmas turkey, panseared halibut or the signature Wooloomooloo grilled Australian beef tenderloin. The evening finishes with a dessert, coffee, tea and petit four.

With a view

Level 27 & 28, Soundwill Plaza II – Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 2771 3600, aqua Located on the top level of One Peking, aqua has panoramic views of Hong Kong Island. This year’s festive offering is a Yuletide five course feast ($1,498 per person; extra $398 per person with wine pairing). The restaurant uses both Japanese and Italian flavours and conjures up grilled umami Hokkaido scallop, roasted turkey breast and grilled Japanese sea bass.

Morton’s The Steakhouse With harbour views available from every table, guests are spoilt for choice at Morton’s The Steakhouse this Christmas. The dinner set menu ($1,088 per person) begins with a starter, followed by a choice of appetizers, mains, sides and desserts. Mains include 16oz rib eye and 8oz filet mignon as well as salmon and chicken dishes. Served with coffee and tea.

29-30/F, One Peking, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3427 2288,

4/F, The Sheraton Hotel & Towers, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2732 2343,

go Turkeys to

Morty’s Delicatessen Feast in the comfort of your own home with Morty’s Delicatessen’s Family Feast@HOME package ($2,788). Available throughout the month of December, the package can feed 10-14 people, with a whole roasted American turkey, apple smoked bacon stuffing, mashed potato, sweet potato mash and more. Dessert dishes include Martha’s apple pie and homemade blueberry cheesecake. Extras like honey glazed ham (8kg), salads, desserts and other treats can be ordered separately. Orders need to be placed at least three days in advance. Order at, or call 3665 0900.

Oliver’s The Delicatessen Oliver’s offers two choices of turkeys this festive season. The Ali Oli Christmas turkey dinner set ($4,388) comes with a full spread of antipasti, roasted turkey with apple and walnut stuffing, honey-glazed ham, salmon, sides, desserts and mulled wine. Orders must be placed by December 19 (at least four days in advance for delivery). Alternatively, there’s an oven-ready 13lbs US roast turkey without stuffing ($680 each, needs to be picked up). Order by emailing oliversdeli@dairy-farm. or for more information, call 2810 7710,


Blue Raised on the banks of Hunter Valley in Australia, Blue is offering a whole ($1,880) or half ($980) semi deboned Hunter Valley freerange turkey to tuck into at home. The turkey comes with mashed potatoes, homemade pork stuffing, chorizo brussel sprouts, gravy and cranberry sauce. Plus all orders include sweet potato pie and cinnamon whipped cream. All turkeys must be ordered 48 hours in advance. 108 Hollywood Road, Central, 2613 9286,

eat, drink and be merry Invisible Kitchen Hong Kong’s gourmet little helpers have put together a classic Christmas home hamper. The hamper serves eight to 12 people and includes a traditional roast turkey, sliced turkey breast with pork and cranberry stuffing, roasted potatoes, brussel sprouts and more. $2,400 per hamper. Call 2711 5788, or visit

GREAT Food Hall Choose from different sized turkeys at the GREAT Food Hall. Imported from France and the US, frozen, chilled and organic turkeys available and range from 3kg to 9.5kg. Prices vary depending on type of turkey. Festive sides like roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, truffle potato gratin and turkey gravy can also be ordered separately at an extra cost. Cooked dinner sets are also available and start from $1,299. Order at least four days in advance, by December 19 at the latest. Order online hk/christmas, call 2918 0091 or in store Basement, Two Pacific Place, Queensway.

Christmas hampers InterContinental Hong Kong There are four hampers to choose from; The Festive Foodie Basket ($2,998), The Epicurean ($3,998), The Gourmet ($6,998) and the New Life Organic Holiday Hamper ($1,998). Each hamper is topped with various festive items like panettone, Christmas pudding and mince pies. Hampers come in a specially designed carry case. Available till December 30.

Classified Choose from a variety of hampers from Classified that are filled with all your favourite Christmas goodies including gingerbread, mince pies and mulled wine mix. Hamper sets include The All I want for Christmas Hamper ($2,600), Winter Wonderland Hamper ($1,190) and Little Drummer Boy Hamper ($900). Delivery fee varies depending on location. Orders must be placed before December 26, by emailing

Berry Bros. & Rudd Make the festive season more merry with Berry Bros. & Rudd’s King’s Ginger Gift Set ($499). Along with a bottle of The King’s Ginger Liqueur, the set comes with a leather hip flask and a brace of two extendable cups. The liqueur will come in handy for making the perfect Christmas mulled wine. Order from

Marks and Spencer There is a wide range of hampers available from Marks and Spencer including the Christmas Spectacular ($3,699), the Christmas Joy ($299) and Kids’ Delights ($125.5). Gluten-free hampers are also available. Orders to be placed before December 16 to receive free delivery, call 3656 2223,

Made In Germany

Garden Furniture Up to 30% off For Christmas…..

Clearance sales for Lechuza Furniture Until December 24, 2016 Caballo Living Co., Ltd.

Unit 1903, 19/F, Block A, New Trade Plaza, 6, On Ping Street, Shatin, N.T. T: +852 2363 1925


M: +852 9109 7629

She Shan Road, Taipo, N.T.


M: 9109 7629 (by appointment only)




Xinjiang mint salad Jacqueline Faulkner prepares a minty fresh salad.


int is another one of our garden favourites and we’re rarely without one variety or another in our garden. For this recipe we use the common garden variety, which can be easily grown in a pot on your balcony or indoors on your kitchen windowsill. It has many health properties including to relieve indigestion, inflammation and freshly crushed leaves are effective for both nausea and headaches. Some say it can help with allergies such as hay fever as it inhibits the release of histamines.


There are many recipes you can do with this herb, but this one is a great way to benefit from all that garden mint offers, leaving you with a great entrée that is quick to make and a tasty alternative to regular green salads. Method • Wash and dry the mint leaves. • In a bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, and vinegar. • Drizzle over the mint and mix well. Add salt/ sugar if required. • Finish with some coarsely chopped almonds and decorate with whole almonds.

Jacqueline Faulkner is Community Manager at Hong Kong Permaclub which aims to improve and promote environmental sustainability, clean food and a healthy sustainable lifestyle in Hong Kong. For more information visit or email:

Featuring performances by: Echoes of Erin Irish Dancing, Clearwater Bay ESF School, Sai Kung Singers, Pineapple Jam, Shatin College Soul, The Choir Boys, Clearwater Bay International Baptist Church, Rx band, Sai Kung Orchestra

• 200g mint • 1 handful of unpeeled almonds • 1 teaspoon lemon juice • 3 tablespoons or more of extra virgin olive oil • 2 or more tablespoons rice vinegar • Salt to taste/sugar optional


Resurrection Church presents:

Carols by the Seafront Get in the Christmas spirit with some carol singing and performances by local community groups!

Saturday, December 10, 2016 Sai Kung Waterfront Park (behind S2 Cafe) 5.00-9.00pm Carol Singing at 7.30pm bring your own beverage. shortbread provided Join us for Christmas at Resurrection! For a list of our holiday services, please visit

Hong Kong’s best value wine store Orders Tel: 2433 9929 |

M.A.N. Warrelwind Sav Blanc

$70 W. Cape South Africa

MDLC MM Cava Rose

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Clos La Coutale Malbec

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Shop 5, Kam Po Court, Sai Kung Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung (near Casa) T 2253 6929

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$165 Piedmont, Italy

H. Park Leston Shiraz

$195 Margaret River, AUS


Sea Food Restaurant

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Vavasour Pinot Noir


Man Nin Street

Starborough ‘FE’, Sav Blanc

Free home delivery on any mix of 6 Bottles - Shop 5, Kam Po Court, Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung WWW.SAIKUNG.COM | 39

home & living

Deck your halls

There’s no right or wrong way to do Christmas - but there’s always room for improvement, says Adele Brunner.


veryone has their own traditions at Christmas, and whether you’re a stalwart of the pile-em-high brigade, or prefer something more minimal, it’s up to you how you deck your halls. But then again, who hasn’t felt a twinge of tree envy when faced with a friend’s stunningly decorated fir or wanted more of a creative Christmas table? The key is planning says Jude Bailey, cofounder of party planning company Events For Life. “Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time both to assemble your ideas and to actually decorate,” she says. If you want a stylish living area, she advises, it helps to have a stylish room to begin with. With space so tight in Hong Kong homes, too much furniture and clutter can stop a room from looking its best. Bailey suggests moving furniture around and decluttering shelves and other areas to create empty space for Christmas decorations. “Decide which areas of the room you want to accent and create one or two focal points

(such as a Christmas tree in one corner or a festive display on a sideboard) which will draw the eye towards them,” says Bailey. “Don’t go overboard or it will look messy. It’s also best to have a plain backdrop so the decorations really stand out.” She also advises sticking to one or two neutral base colours such as white, silver or gold, and adding pops of colour to these. This even extends to the colour of your wrapping paper, which should be bought to complement your decorations and complete the overall look. “It’s worth investing in some good quality baubles in your base colour because they will be used every year,” she says. “If you like a bit of colour at Christmas, buy cheaper decorations in that shade. That way, you can change it from one year to the next without breaking the bank. Purple, green and red are the obvious Christmassy colours but if you want something more contemporary, try hot pink, lime green and orange.” If you’re not particularly creative, have no fear. Decorating inspiration abounds online. You only have to go to Pinterest for thousands of amazingly simple ideas, such as Mason jars filled with pine cones, a line of different sized wreaths on a coat rail and mini trees made out of twigs. Bailey suggests playing with scale - even going “big” in a small flat - and using windows, windowsills, ceilings and balconies and banisters if you have them. “You can get some fabulous snowflake stickers from stationery shops that you can stick onto windows, or boughs of greenery

What’s hot this winter Pastels - combine pale blues and greens with pale grey and white, translucent, metallic and frosted. Rustic materials - go for a homemade approach with hessian, twine and brown paper packages. Vintage kitsch - bring on turquoise, hot pink, canary yellow, red and lime; the brighter, the better. Geometrics - delicate, angular baubles in gold and silver. Beautiful birds - peacocks, owls and birds of paradise as well as mini bird houses.


with battery powered fairy lights entwined in them that look great running up a banister,” she says. Nor does having children mean you have to abandon all sense of style, even though they often have a homing instinct for picking the most garish, gaudy decorations they can find. Bailey suggests allocating them their own corner to decorate, giving them a box of pre-selected decorations that they can use in any way they like, or letting them go wild in their own bedrooms. (Or you could discreetly change the choice and placement of tree ornaments and decorations once they’ve gone to bed). “I would advise not going overboard - multicoloured flashing fairy lights are a definite “no” in my book,” says Bailey. As with room decoration, similar rules apply to your table setting - don’t overdo it, invest in a couple of key festive pieces to go with what you already have, and keep it simple. Candles, fresh foliage, a table runner and sprinkles of table confetti are all relatively inexpensive elements that can easily be used to jazz up a table; coordinating napkins, name-cards, placemats and crackers add to the elegance. Try filling a clear vase with baubles or fresh clementines, or assembling a tower of crackers. Stanley market is a great location for sourcing good quality, snow-white table linen; or try Sham Shui Po for inexpensive lengths of silvery fabric for table runners. “Be careful with the height of your centrepiece,” says Bailey. “It should either be low down on the table or very high. If it is at eye level, it will only get in the way.” Christmas is a theme in itself, so you can pick an aspect such as winter woodland or the twelve days of Christmas and run with that. If you are entertaining children at the Christmas lunch table, incorporate table games like Secret Santa, or tactile centrepieces such as a nativity scene with wooden animals. Personalised messages and gifts at each person’s table setting are also nice touches. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting into the spirit of the season and having some fun.

party people

Party pieces

Stuck for small talk? Not sure how to make an exit? Sir David Tang has you covered.

This is Sir David...

SK: Do you enjoy Christmas? Sir David: Yes, yes, yes.

So your social diary must be looking pretty busy now...

No, no, no. I never accept any Christmas parties.

Oh, ok. How will you be spending Christmas Day then? I always spend it quietly with my family.

You’re a social kind of guy the rest of the year. What makes a good party?

A good party is one where the host only pays attention to his or her guests.

It’s often said it’s fashionable to be late, but how late is too late? It is never fashionable to be late. People who are late are rude.

Any tips for making small talk? All small talk should be banned.

...and tbhoisok is his

How do you navigate duller guests?

When you meet someone boring, leave them in mid-sentence.

Any advice for escaping the party from hell?

If I don’t like the party, I simply slip away without saying goodbye to anyone.

Doesn’t politeness dictate that you seek out the host when you’re leaving?

It really depends on how well you know the host. On the whole, if you’re leaving because you’re not enjoying the party, say nothing to the host. But if you’re leaving full of beans, then thank them.

If you’re hosting, how do you go about evicting unwanted guests?

One should be firm about unwanted guests and drunks. You must make sure that they leave. With help if necessary.

Is it ok to serve prosecco? Yes because it’s all relative.

Are handwritten thank you notes still de rigeur?

Email is an acceptable substitute these days. It’s not the mode of thanks that counts, it’s what you actually write that matters.

What about e-Christmas cards? I hate e-cards.

In terms of Christmas decorations, how do you dress your tree? Sleek and sophisticated or submerged in hand-crafted ornaments from younger family members? I like old-fashioned Christmas trees full of old-fashioned decorations.

Is an artificial tree ok? No.


home & living

How to do Sham Shui Po Insider tips on navigating the fabric bedecked lanes of Sham Shui Po.


f you’re looking for advice on Sham Shui Po, home accessories designer Kim Buggins is your lady. She happily admits to spending “most of her time” trawling the lanes for materials and inspiration for her designs. She knows the suburb like the back of her hand, and is on first-name terms with many of the shopkeepers. So where to start? First up, a coffee. For those in the know, Cafe Sausalito on Tai Nan Street is the only place to go. “There didn’t used to be a lot here for coffee lovers,” admits Buggins. “But since (Sausalito owner) Michael Tam opened up, I have my perfect caffeine stop.” The coffee is indeed so good I would actually make a detour for it - along with a lovely latte, Tam does a nice line in sandwiches, cakes and other assorted snacks and lunch items. Fully caffeined up, now it’s time to shop. For first-timers, the blocks of streets and myriad shops can be daunting. However, if you know what you’re doing, the roads can be divided into specific items. Yu Chau Street, for example, is all about beads and ribbons. While Buggins has a handful of personal favourites, she says on the whole they’re all pretty good. “And so cheap. You can buy an entire roll rather than just a length for a great price. My cupboards are groaning with rolls of ribbon, fantastic for gift wrapping.” Shopkeepers are also happy to cut snippets if you need to go away and compare colour schemes. “From wrapping presents, trimming cushions or just keeping lengths of ribbon for kids’ hair ties, the products are great value,” says Buggins. Top buys at this time of year include Christmasthemed ribbons decorated with trees, gifts and stars, to anything glittery - including yards of sparkling rope “which would look great as a tie for napkins or for hanging name labels onto chairs at the Christmas table. Also fabulous for trimming hand-made stockings and sacks.” The MTR end of the street is stuffed with bead and button shops. Let your imagination run riot - from stitching colourful beads onto stockings or gift bags, to creating necklaces for kids or using them to trim a plain dress or top, there are plenty of ways they can be used to accessorize. Tai Nan Street is chock full of leather goods. Certain shops offer masterclasses in leather-making - Buggins recommends the bag making classes. Alternatively, the rolls of brightly coloured leather could be used for placemats at the Christmas lunch table.


Where to go

Ki Lung Street is a treasure trove of beautiful fabrics, including the fabric market. Ricky’s at 1J-1K Shek Kip Mei Street is overflowing (literally, some jostle on the pavement outside) with rolls of gorgeous material - there are loads of silver and gold options that would look great as table runners or napkins. Lengths of white cotton are good value and cheap enough to turn into luxurious looking table cloths that can soak up the odd red wine stain without worrying. It’s also worth rummaging inside the shop for the odd designer remnant - we turned up a gorgeous roll of Tory Burch end-of-line. Also recommended is Kazaf Chau on Yu Chau Street - the silks are to die for and would make perfect party dresses or wraps. Buggins recommends purchasing materials (and also zips) to be tailored from Sham Shui Po rather than buying in Shenzhen - “the quality is better.” If you’re looking for stocking fillers, head to Fuk Wa Street, it’s bright, gaudy and perfect for cheap decorations, dress-ups and bits and pieces for the kids. Buggins’ Love Friday designs can be bought at Mirth,

Leather workshops - Tepee, 217 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, 2488 9101; Brothers Leathercraft, 222 Tai Nan Street, SSP, 9136 0897. Rope - Wai Hung Weaving Factory, 90 Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, 2394 7838. Ribbon - Po Wai Knitting Limited, 150A Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, 2361 1003; Cheng Hsing Ribbons Company, 162 Yu Chau Street, SSP, 2381 5611. Personalised ribbons and woven tags - Mei Shing Company, 164D Yu Chau Street, SSP, 2381 0991. Fabric - Ricky, 1J-1K Shek Kip Mei Street, SSP, 2393 3525; Moon Yue Piece Goods, 1/F, 125-127 Yu Chau Street, SSP, 2789 9661.

Top tips DON’T go if it’s raining - a lot of the marketholders stay closed. DON’T go before 11am - Hong Kong is a late opening kind of city! DON’T go on a public holiday - many stores and market-holders will stay closed. DO take a small handbag and fold-away shopping bag - the fabric shops in particular are stuffed with treasures, you don’t want to be toting over-sized bags around the material rolls. DO catch the MTR - Sham Shui Po is on the Tsuen Wan line, seven stops from Central, exit A1 and walk straight ahead until you reach “bead street” (Yu Chau Street). Happy shopping!


life & style

O Christmas Tree Eric Ho has your tree needs covered. The real deal Anglo Chinese Florist

This year is the florist’s 70th anniversary. Choose between Noble fir, starting from $936, and Douglas fir, starting from $990. All trees are sourced directly from the Oregon Tree Farm. G/F & Basement, 9 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 8am-8pm, 2921 2986,

Cindy Florist

Sai Kung’s favourite local florist is stocking a variety of American Noble fir. A good selection in store, with more on order. 22 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, 10.30am-7pm, 9365 0624.

The Flower Market in Mong Kok

During the festive season, the aptly named Flower Market in Mong Kok is lined with Christmas trees and other festive plants and decorations. Don’t buy too quick, shop around for the best bargain! Flower Market Road, Mong Kok, 9.30am7.30pm.


Douglas, Noble and Nordmann fir, all imported from USA Oregon State. All trees will come with a stand. Prices start at $1,198. Open for orders until December 12. Shop 201-205, 2/F Landmark Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central.



Order a real fir tree, grown in a sustainable ecoenvironment, from IKEA. Prices start at $599 for a 150cm tree with orders open until December 18. Available to order at any of the IKEA stores including Upper Basement, Parklane Hotel, 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, 10.30am-10.30pm.

Sophie’s Christmas Trees - Ma On Shan

Prices start from $685 for a 4-5ft Noble fir. Visit the website, fill out an online form and send it via email or post. 42E Ha Pun Shan, Ma On Shan Tsuen, Ma On Shan, 2649 6280,

Wah King

The family-run nursery has a selection of trees from America. It also provides removal services once the festive season is over. DD217, Lot 907, Tai Chung Hau Road, Sai Kung, 2673 7888,


Pick up a tree next time you’re doing your groceries. Wellcome is stocking Nordmann, Douglas and Noble fir, with prices starting at $1,198. Shop A1-A10, G/F, Marina Cove Shopping Centre, 380 Hiram’s Highway, Ho Chung, Sai Kung, 2243 0731.

Christmas tree types Buying a real Christmas tree for the first time and feeling frazzled by all the choices? Here’s a breakdown of the 3 most common Christmas tree types you’ll find in Hong Kong:

Noble - The longest native fir in North America. Loved for its symmetrical bluegreen needles, spaced out and sturdy branches - great for holding up heavy ornaments.

Douglas - The most popular tree in the US thanks to its nice cone shape, bushy appearance and fragrant scent. Usually the cheapest type of Christmas tree as it grows relatively quickly, allowing farmers to harvest sooner.

Nordmann - This variant is the most popular Christmas tree throughout Europe and steadily gaining popularity around the rest of the world. The tree has softer needles, which have a higher resistance to shedding as the tree dries. Due to the minimal fragrance, the tree is great for households with sensitive noses or allergies.

trim the tree XmasTreeOnline


Shun Kee City Houseware

Faux firs

Toys “R” Us

Order a tree in just a few clicks. XmasTreeOnline ships Hong Kong wide until December 10 and also operates a limited removal service after Christmas. Order online at


The premium supermarket is stocking six different types of artificial Christmas trees this year, with prices ranging between $98 to $1,680. ifc mall Level 1, Shops 1041-1049, Central.

Sai Kung’s best homeware store, as voted by you, is adding artificial christmas trees to its comprehensive lineup of products. G/F, 6-10 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung, 2792 9850.

Toys “R” Us have a selection of miniature artificial christmas trees, coming in fun neon colours as well as more traditional styles. Shop 2052-53, Level 2, Metro City Phase II, Tseung Kwan O,

Oncor Recycled Trees

Oncor stocks just about every shape and size of artificial tree you can think of with prices ranging from $240 to $5,490. Free shipping. Available online at



Malvern College comes to Hong Kong

The private school adds Hong Kong to their portfolio, Carolynne Dear finds out more.

Artist’s impression of the brand new Kowloon-based campus.


ritish private school Malvern College is opening a pre-school in August 2017 and higher years in September 2018. The pre-school will have 120 places available in 2017/18 with its school to house 960 places at full capacity. Backed by 150 years of education experience in the UK, Malvern College Hong Kong will follow the ethos from its mother school and offer a “hands-on”, “child-centered” Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum at its Kowloon-based pre-school. The curriculum is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, a teaching philosophy that views the environment as the “third teacher”.


A wood hut, sand pit and open-ended play equipment will create an environment where children will be able to freely explore their five senses. “Our educationally harnessed play programme builds on UK’s EYFS curriculum, which sets expectations for each age and stage of a child’s developmental progress,” said Malvern College Preschool principal Jacqueline McNalty. Seven areas of learning and development are targeted, including personal, social and emotional; physical; communication and language; literacy; mathematics; understanding the world; and expressive art and design. The emphasis will be on play-based learning,

with a balance of child-initiated and adult-led activities. “While such a play-based approach might be different from that of other Hong Kong kindergartens, many European and Scandinavian countries take a similar approach in Early Childhood Programs and achieve academic results that top global leagues tables,” said McNalty. The school will embrace diversity and expects a proportion of its students to be learning English as an additional language. Teachers will be appropriately trained to ensure children acquire good standards in spoken English. Each classroom will be assigned a native English speaker as well as a native or near-

school days native Mandarin speaking teacher and songs and activities will be devised for children to take an active role in acquiring vocabulary in each language. Classes will accommodate 20 students for Pre-Nursery (from two years), Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2; with a ratio of one teacher to six students in Pre-Nursery, and nine students to each teacher in Kindergarten 1 and 2. Students enrolled in the pre-school for at least one year will receive priority for assessment for Malvern College. Applications for admission in August 2017

Students enrolled for a year will receive priority for assessment for Malvern College. are now welcome and prospective students and their parents will be contacted for observational assessments. According to the school, this assists teachers in reviewing the child’s social and emotional skills, school readiness, interest and knowledge of the EYFS and physical skills. They are then in a better position to tailor their teaching to the needs and learning styles of the child. Parents will also be required to attend an interview with the child present. With its foundation stone laid earlier this year, the primary and secondary section of the school is on track for a 2018 opening and has appointed Dr Robin Lister as founding headmaster of its New Territories-based campus. Lister has been teaching at the 150-year old British private school since 1989 and will be leaving his current post as senior deputy head at Malvern College UK to take up the top spot at Malvern Hong Kong. “I am really enjoying Hong Kong,” he enthuses as we meet to discuss Malvern’s opening. “I’m loving the “backyard” - the mountains, the beaches - it’s certainly not all high rise as we’re led to believe overseas.” A keen hiker and cyclist, Lister’s enthusiasm for all things outdoors also stems from the importance the school places on nature as a learning platform. The college will be based in leafy Tai Po, and while the preschool has premises in not-so-green Yau Ma Tei, Malvern has secured land in the New Territories to enable preschoolers to access Hong Kong’s great outdoors on a regular, weekly basis. “The environment will be fundamental to our learning process,” says Jacqueline McNalty, who will be moving from Singapore to head up the



Malvern Pre-school students get back to nature.

new pre-school. Malvern College Hong Kong will be the territory’s first Forest School, run by Forest School leaders, certified by the UK’s Forest School Association at the highest level (level 3). “Our Forest School programme will run in all weather conditions, subject to safety conditions


of course,” says McNalty. “As students extend their education beyond the confines of the classroom walls, they grow in confidence and increase physical and social skills, enabling holistic development of the children.” Malvern College Hong Kong will offer a International Baccalaureate curriculum with

rigor in teaching mathematics and sciences and compulsory English and Chinese studies. However, the education of the “whole child” is indeed at the heart of Malvern’s ethos. “Academics are of course important, but not exclusive,” says Lister. “I am a strong proponent of a holistic education, educating the whole child,

school days not just the academic child.” Extra-curricular activities, for example, will be central to the school day, not just an add-on after the bell rings. Where sport is concerned, there will be inter-house competitions and the school is keen to make its mark on the wider, Hong Kong school sporting leagues. Although maintaining day-school hours, the school will offer boarding school options.

Students grow in confidence and increase physical and social skills, enabling holistic development of the children. Students will be divided into “houses” with designated house masters or mistresses, plus personal tutors to monitor every student as they progress. “The personal tutor will not just be checking whether the student is academically on track, they will also be ensuring the child is taking

up every opportunity available to them - from community work to sports, music and drama, the tutors will make sure students are participating in school life to the best of their capacity, with report cards going home regularly during termtime,” explains Lister. Academically strong students will be offered “stretch” classes, and if any students are found to be struggling, personal programmes will be set up to support them. Tutors and housemasters will also be asked to sit with students during meal-times. “This encourages good table manners and social skills, all part of educating the “whole child”,” says Lister. The school is looking at exchange opportunities with Malvern College UK to further enrich its education programme. As far as technology is concerned, Lister believes nothing beats a teacher interacting with a class. “Of course this will be backed up with the latest tech. But I strongly believe in the strength of old fashioned interaction.” The application process is now open for both Malvern College and Malvern College Pre-school. Contact mcpsadm@malvernpreschool. hk (preschool) or hk (school) for more information. 3898 4660,

School Report

Scheduled opening: Pre-school to open in August 2017 and Malvern College in August 2018 Ages: Pre-school 1-6 years old; 5-18 for higher years Curriculum: Early Years Foundation Stage for Pre-school, and full International Baccalaureate for higher years programme. Fees: Pre-school starts from $8,500 per installment and approximately $148,000/annum, subject to Education Bureau approval for higher years.

Prepare your child for school interviews and assessments. ITS Education Asia Tel: 852 2116 3916 Email:


big day out

Lamma panorama Nigel Griffiths hikes across lovely, laid-back Lamma Island.


amma is one of Hong Kong’s bestknown outlying islands, with a rep for superb seafood, pretty beaches and hippies. The last is a little out-dated, because while some of the 5,000 residents on the 13 sq km island embrace an “alternative lifestyle”, a fast ferry service to Central means it is also home to plenty of professionals seeking a close-knit community and a laid-back, carefree, after-hours environment. For the rest of us, it’s a great place to take a breather from the frantic pace of Hong Kong life. Located southwest of Hong Kong Island, life on the territory’s third largest island revolves around two relaxed villages – Yung Shue Wan (Banyan Tree Bay) in the north and Sok Kwu Wan (Picnic Bay) in the east. Few people live on


the southern part of Lamma and access is only by hiking or private boat. The south’s biggest beach, Sham Wan, is an important breeding site for sea turtles. Catch a ferry from Central or Aberdeen to Yung Shue Wan. From the pier, the fishing harbour of O Tsai lies to the left with the smallest Tin Hau Temple I have seen in Hong Kong. To the right, the main harbour also serves as a typhoon shelter. Head along the harbour side to the main street. As well as various restaurants, from Cantonese seafood to organic vegetarian, there are two bars and the main Tin Hau Temple, built in 1876 and guarded by peculiar western lions. Apparently, when the temple’s original Chinese-style lions were damaged in 1960, the mason hired to replace them specialised in Western-style stone lions.

The result is a fitting motif for this east-meetswest community. Half way down the street, a well signposted left turn leads to Sok Kwu Wan. The signpost suggests a hiking time of an hour and 20 minutes, but I suggest allowing at least two hours to take in the views. Follow the footpath through Tai Yuen and Wang Long villages to Hung Shing Yeh Beach. The going is flat and beautiful orange flowers and purple grasses attract butterflies and many species of birds. The golden beach is peaceful during the week, but it gets busy at weekends, with shower and changing facilities, and a barrestaurant in season. From here the path heads uphill, curling around the headland to give a great view over the beach and beyond to the power station.

idyllic getaway The sunsets are magnificent. There are plenty of sidetracks for those wishing to venture off the concrete path and a pavilion shelter that makes a good place for a rest. From there are views of the hard-to-reach Tit Sha Long Beach and the island’s mountains, including imposing Mount Stenhouse. The trail is up and down. When the sea appears on the left, the hardest part of the hike is over and it’s downhill the rest of the way. Pass a cement works jutting out to sea, another pavilion overlooking Picnic Bay and some beehives. At Lo So Shing Village is an impressive graffiti mural painted in 2013 by Hong Kong Smilemakers. Walk through the village to lovely Lo So Shing Beach with barbecue pits, changing facilities and shallow rock pools on the headland for children to explore. Returning from the barbecue pits, before the LCSD block, stairs ascend and a footpath beckons through green vegetation and past the defunct Lo Shing Village School. If you did not turn off through the village to the beach but continued straight, it is here that the footpaths meet again. Walk around Picnic Bay past a sandy shoreline with egrets stalking fresh fish and the Kamikaze Caves, dug by the Japanese during the wartime occupation to hide boats filled with explosives to destroy British ships

Tin Hau Temple in Sok Kwu Wan.

should they come near. Be brave and walk inside: there are no bats or other wildlife, just a stone face at the end. Soon Sok Kwu Wan’s seafood restaurants appear across the inlet. Cross a bridge past a few houses and pathways leading left and right. The right track heads to a fenced-off pool teeming with wildlife. There are birds in the trees and frogs call at dusk. As well as a multitude of brown tree frogs and Asian common toads, this is where John D. Romer discovered the rare and endangered Romer’s tree frog in 1952. Keep your eyes open for a frog 2.5cm-3cm long with has a brown snake-like pattern on its back. Carry on the footpath and past another Tin Hau Temple, built after 1826, and into the strip of restaurants. The only one that doesn’t sell seafood is Lo So Kitchen, which has a vast selection of beers and German-style sausages. From here, take a ferry back to Aberdeen or Central. The path continues on to Mo Tat Wan, which has a pleasant beach fronted by The Bay Mediterranean restaurant. The Cheun Kee Ferry calls there between Sok Kwu Wan and Aberdeen. From Sok Kwu Wan or Mo Tat Wan, keen hikers can set out to climb Mount Stenhouse (Shan Tei Tong), Lamma’s highest at 353 metres. There are several routes up and down. Be warned: it’s not for the faint-hearted.



Banyan Tree Lăng Cô Shreena Patel checks in for the weekend.


weekend break




s Christmas approaches, many of us are preparing to fly out of Hong Kong to spend the holidays with extended family. But if thoughts of successive turkey-based meals, “Trexit” and overly aggressive games of Monopoly are stressing you out already, perhaps it’s time to book a(nother) holiday. When it comes to short breaks from Hong Kong, Vietnam is a perennial favourite for good reason - delicious food and cheap massages just an hour and a half away. Nevertheless, the scooter-filled streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh don’t exactly spring to mind when thinking of relaxing holiday destinations. Enter Banyan Tree Lăng Cô. Any resort where you can choose your pillow in advance must have its priorities right. The place Located along the tranquil south-central coast of Vietnam near Lăng Cô Bay, beneath the Truong Son mountain range, Banyan Tree Lăng Cô’s collection of private pool villas opened four years ago, the hotel group’s first foray into Vietnam. Together, with its sister (not as plush, more family oriented) hotel Angsana next door and a championship golf course designed by Sir Nick Faldo, they form Laguna Lăng Cô, a 280-hectare integrated resort, complete with a three-kilometre stretch of pristine private


The hotel operates a daily shuttle to and from the royal city of Hue.

beach. The concept is similar to Laguna Phuket, the group’s flagship integrated resort in southern Thailand. Banyan Tree Holdings is not the only luxury hotel group to move into central Vietnam over the last five years - in fact, the pace of change is dizzying. Travelling in the car from Danang airport to the resort, we pass numerous luxury residences, manicured golf courses and beachfront hotels under construction. However, Laguna Lăng Cô’s location is uniquely beautiful and secluded - this part of the country was traditionally a retreat favoured by Vietnamese royalty and it’s clear why. As we approach Laguna Lăng Cô, there is a definite change of pace from the city. The landscape is dominated by rice paddies, dotted with the conical bamboo hats of farmers and quietly grazing water buffalo. Fishermen’s nets hang silently above the lakes. Just outside the resort we pass a few signs declaring that development of a new luxury resort - Mediterraneano - is underway, but Laguna Lăng Cô is vast and there is no resulting disturbance to its guests. The room 49 private detached villas, modelled on the traditional houses of the nearby imperial city of Hué, each with its own infinity pool. There are six different types of villa to choose from, with capacity ranging from one to three bedrooms.

Ocean-view villas (on the hillside and by the beach) are more expensive. For something slightly cheaper, opt for a residence that faces the lagoon and the surrounding hills. It’s still gorgeous and you’re only a two-minute walk from the beach. The rooms are beautiful - huge comfy beds, a big stone bath and separate shower, a large covered and furnished terrace with a wooden sundeck and best of all - an inviting private pool. Dining I love a good hotel breakfast and the Banyan Tree’s does not disappoint. Each morning, guests enjoy a vast spread of Western and Asian delights - make sure to try the Vietnamese pancakes (banh xeo). As for lunch and dinner, there are seven restaurants to choose from across Banyan Tree and Angsana, each with its own distinctive cuisine and style. The food is good but not the primary motivation for staying here (you can find cheaper yet delicious food across Vietnam). Frequent guests of Banyan Tree will be familiar with the hotel’s signature Thaiinspired restaurant, Saffron. Set in the hills (don’t worry, a buggy will take you up there and back), it’s definitely worth a visit.

weekend break The best seats are on the outdoor terrace, where you can dine in the moonlight overlooking the waves crashing against the rocks below. Activities A championship golf course is just one of the delights on offer at Laguna Lăng Cô. There are activities going on throughout the day, from Vietnamese coffee making, to morning yoga, lantern making and archery - you’ll get a schedule of activities when you arrive (some activities - such as boat tours through the local fishing village, cooking classes and bike tours along the Hai Van Pass - cost extra). During our stay, the fully equipped gym is almost always empty whereas the spa is pretty much fully booked (book your treatments in early!). The treatments are expensive but wonderful. Tip: those staying in Sanctuary villas can enjoy unlimited spa treatments. Guests are free to migrate between Banyan Tree and Angsana - both have large main pools but Angsana’s pool is particularly great for kids, with lazy rings, waterways and water jets. There are also lots of games (Pétanque, frisbee, darts, pool) available - just ask a pool attendant for the equipment. I recommend taking advantage of the free bicycle rental to get around the resort (nothing is very far away but it’s great fun) - there is also a small boat that operates between Banyan Tree and Angsana. Excursions Culture aficionados will be pleased to hear that Laguna Lăng Cô lies within a two-hour drive of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the imperial city of Hue, the ancient port town of Hoi An and the architectural ensemble that is My Son Sanctuary. Banyan Tree operates daily two-way shuttles to both Hoi An and Hue, free of charge. Private car rentals and tour guide packages are also available at an extra cost. If you go to Hue, it’s worth getting a guide (either from the hotel or once you’re there) as attractions are spaced far apart. Other guests Hotel Manager José Luis Barrera informs me that Hong Kong ranks first in terms of visitor numbers to the hotel this year (for the first time), followed by China and South Korea. During our stay, it appears to be mostly families and honeymooners, from across the world: America, Israel, Germany... the design of

the hotel ensures that even when it’s busy, it still feels very peaceful. Every Tuesday and Friday at 6pm, there are complimentary drinks and nibbles at the main bar - a chance for guests and hotel management to mingle over a few glasses of wine and some (delicious) spring rolls and other Vietnamese treats. I recommend going - there’s no pressure to chat if you don’t want to and it’s a good spread, with live music and a few activities to keep any little ones entertained. I advise against booking a big evening meal on the same night. General thoughts Throughout our stay, our villa host Tieu strikes the perfect balance between being attentive without being intrusive, helping us to make the most of our stay and sample what the hotel has to offer. I would recommend Banyan Tree Lăng Cô for families and couples looking for an easy, luxurious and relaxing holiday. True, you are largely confined to the resort but with a daily schedule of free activities, games and

facilities, a private beach, golf course, day trips to Hue and Hoi An - not to mention the quiet serenity of your villa, there’s plenty to keep you entertained for up to a week. Those who really take to the area may want to consider purchasing a hillside pool villa. These villas come in one-, two- and three-room configurations - depending on the view, prices start from USD$850,000 for a one-bedroom villa. I’m told there are 11 for sale at the moment, all three-bedroom, with prices ranging from US$1,280,000 to US$1,430,000.

Need to know Banyan Tree Lăng Cô Cu Du Village, Loc Vinh Commune, Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Hue Province Vietnam Tel: +84 54 3695 888 Email: 60km from Danang airport. A complimentary shuttle bus is available - book 24 hours prior to arrival. Rates from USD399/night When to go: February to July Don’t forget to the Vietnamese embassy website to check if you need a visa.





Pets Central veterinarian Dr. Pauline Taylor answers your questions. Q: “We’re thinking about getting a family pet this Christmas, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea...” - Lauren S., Stanley Pandora has mastered the art of finding the cosiest spots for her snoozes.

Wobbly kitten syndrome

Stray cat Pandora was born with a neurological disorder for which there is no cure. The SPCA helped her to find a home. Pandora arrived at the SPCA as a four-week-old stray. She had a clumsy stance, walked with her legs wide open and experienced tremors when attempting to focus on objects such as food and toys. After careful examination by the veterinarian team, she was diagnosed with feline cerebellar hypoplasia, commonly known as “wobbly kitten syndrome” - a condition in which the cerebellum, the part of the brain which controls fine motor skills and coordination, is underdeveloped. Although there is no treatment for this condition, it is non-progressive and afflicted cats can live a happy and healthy life if given proper care. This includes being kept indoors and having sturdy, non-spill dishes. Owners should also take precautionary steps to minimize accidental injuries, such as placing cushions or mats close to window sills, coffee tables and other elevated places to act as crash mats. Initially, Pandora was fostered by a member of staff to assess her special needs. She thrived in a home environment.


Her playful and sweet personality became an instant attraction to other household dogs and cats. Despite being a little wonky, she soon found a family to adopt her and is now happily settled into her new home. Diagnosing cerebellar hypoplasia MRI and CT scanning can confirm the diagnosis. Characteristic clinical signs include: • Lack of coordination. • Tremors that increase when focusing on a task or object, but subside when the animal is relaxed. • A wide-based stance and poor sense of balance.

If you are interested in animal adoption, visit or call the Homing Department at 2232 5529. Alternatively, visit the animals in person at one of SPCA’s adoption centres.

A: Getting a pet around Christmas used to be considered a bad idea. Impulse pet buying and adoption were thought to lead to a higher “postholiday” rate of both pet abandonment and returns to welfare groups and shelters. The theory behind this is that as the holiday spirit wears off and life returns to normal, having a pet becomes more work, more expensive and the magic wears off with the daily drudge of taking them on walks, cleaning their feet, washing their bowls and so on. However, studies in California show that pets adopted around the holidays actually have the lowest rate of return to animal shelters. With this in mind, if you are considering getting a pet, you should ask yourself two basic questions: 1) Have you enough time for a pet in your dayto-day life? Pets need to be walked, they need exercise, playtime, bathtime, feeding, hair combing and so on. They need this for their entire lives. 2) Can you afford a pet? Expenses include food, regular vaccinations and parasite prevention, and other unforeseen medical bills. If you answered “yes” to both questions, I would advise you to go ahead and rescue a pet for Christmas. There are many homeless animals waiting to be adopted. If you choose carefully to suit your family and lifestyle, not only will you help a pet find a loving home, you will get a lifelong companion. Got a question for Dr. Pauline? Email




With our Sales Manager Olly Simons.


I don’t want no scrub

What’s the connection between body scrubs and polluted oceans? Tracey Read, founder of local environmental charity Plastic Free Seas, explains.

D Olly and Nathan with their dogs, Rocky and Cat.

Q: How many dogs do you have and what are their names? We have two - Cat who is nearly two years and Rocky who is just six months old. Q: How did they come into your family? We got Cat through the lovely folk down at Hong Kong Dog Rescue. We attended their weekly puppy adoption day at Whiskers and Paws in Horizon Plaza. Nathan instantly fell in love with Cat’s tenacious nature so we took her home that day. Rocky was a private adoption from someone who had rescued him and his six siblings from a construction site in Yuen Long. We have a thing for black and white dogs so we instantly fell in love with him. His other siblings are, however, still looking for a new home! Q: Favourite walk? We love hiking and camping in Ham Tin Beach in Tai Long Wan. We take a taxi into Sai Kung Country Park and get dropped off at Sai Wan Pavilion. We then walk to Sai Wan Tsuen village where there are a few stalls selling food and drinks. Another 45 minute hike over the mountain along Section 2 of the MacLehose Trail will take you to Tai Long Wan. We like to camp overnight on Ham Tin Beach. It’s easily accessible - there is a boat from Ham Tin Beach back to Sai Kung which will cost $150 per person. Q: Best place for doggie accessories and products? Whiskers and Paws are great for variety. Q: Who looks after your dogs when you leave Hong Kong? We have a great lady called Tina Leung who boards just one or two dogs at a time from her place near HKU. She’s also a dog walker and takes Rocky for long walks every day. I have never met a lady who cares more about dogs and I know they are in the safest of hands.


id you know... some face and body scrubs sold in Hong Kong contain over one million tiny plastic microbeads? Each time you wash your face you could be releasing 17,000 plastic beads down the drain, many of which flush straight through the wastewater treatment system out to sea. But why focus on these microbeads when larger pieces of plastic are more of a problem for oceans by volume? Because it’s simple to fix. Unlike other broken plastic fragments, plastic microbeads have one major source point - exfoliating personal care products. By targeting this source point, we can prevent trillions of plastic pieces from entering our local waterways and potentially polluting our food chain. Due to their small size, microbeads are easily ingested by marine life – zooplankton, fish, and filter feeders such as mussels, clams and the blue whale – from the base of the food chain to the top. They are known to negatively impact the health of many species. Microplastics (including microbeads and polyester fibres) in the marine environment are known to accumulate toxic contaminants such as persistent organic pollutants (or POPs) that are already in seawater in minute quantities. Over time, these POPs accumulate on the surface of the plastic and create a very unhealthy plastic soup. To date, governments in the USA, Canada, UK, Taiwan and Korea have all issued statements on microbeads with some legislation enacted or due to be in the near future. In 2013, the HKSAR government released a report, commissioned by government working group Clean Shorelines, which committed to source reduction initiatives for How can you push for change plastic marine pollution. It is now in Hong Kong and Asia? time that the government makes • Sign the microbead petition good on its commitments to reduce at to show plastic marine pollution at source, the government we want less recognises microbead usage in microplastic pollution in our body care products as an issue waters and officially commits to taking a • Use your voice on social media proactive and preventative approach to raise awareness of plastic to cleaning our seas. microbeads • Don’t buy products which contain plastic microbeads (download the app at for Hong Kong products)

Tracey Read is the Founder & CEO of Plastic Free Seas,


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vines in Sai Kung

Left in the dark

Photo credit: Edward So

Plans for Stage 2 of Hiram’s Highway are underway and country park cleanup, writes Stephen Vines.

Filipino hikers seen cleaning up the country park trails.

Are we really going to have a say over Hiram’s Highway? Something pretty unusual happened in Sai Kung recently when the local town hall filled up with people participating in a public consultation exercise. It was held to consider plans for Stage 2 of the Hiram’s Highway redevelopment. Stage 1, already under development, went ahead without a meeting of this kind but we were assured that extensive consultations had taken place with a mysterious group known as ‘stakeholders’; I say mysterious because everyone reading this is highly likely to be a stakeholder yet it’s a pretty good bet that, like me, they were gloriously unaware of this previous consultation exercise. However we must not be churlish and should acknowledge that the Highways Department and their contractors Meinhardt made an effort here, to the extent of publishing a glossy brochure about the project. However the brochure was notably light on facts and figures yet was confident enough, for example, to predict that following completion of the whole Hiram’s Highway projected for 2031, the congested period traveling time between Sai Kung Town and Clearwater Bay Road would be cut from 30 to 11 minutes. This is to be achieved by creating a dual two-lane highway. I say this with certainty


because although the public consultation exercise claims to be sifting through various options the bureaucrats have already picked their preferred option and did little to disguise this conclusion during the meeting. Other suggestions, such as using tunnels for part of the route or even more modest localized measures were dismissed out of hand. Yet there is a big elephant in the room whose presence was mentioned by one of the meeting’s participants rightly pointing out that more road building has never provided a solution to traffic congestion or to improved transportation. He cited the example of the very expensive M25 motorway ring road that surrounds London and was built on the promise that it would greatly improve inner city congestion; instead it has moved congestion to the motorway itself, which is now famous for its traffic gridlock. There is not a scintilla of doubt that a bigger road in Sai Kung will encourage higher traffic usage yet the rigid compartmentalised thinking of transport planners means that wider solutions are shoved into the too hard basket. The reality is that the delicate balance between improving traffic flow, preserving the environment and achieving real improvements in transportation will not be achieved by building a new road.

Aside from the lady who thought it was clever to treat the meeting’s participants to a moment of silence and the usual self interested calls for more compensation for those affected by the road works, it was clear that many other participants had been thinking more widely about this issue than the government. There were suggestions concerning improved public transportation, use of sea transportation and a host of more modest measures such as the deployment of additional laybys, roundabouts and traffic lights. Even more fundamental, but not discussed, is the issue of housing planning in the area, which relates to the big issue of population density. It would have been really good to see government departments working together on this but as this meeting showed the government has confined this matter to the Highways Department alone. As the name suggests its job is essentially to build roads. It is good that so many people showed up but there is another aspect of this meeting that I found rather depressing, namely that it was attended by an overwhelming majority of people in my own age group, very few young people were there yet it is they who will face the full on consequences of this lack of real planning for how a place like Sai Kung is to deal with its transportation problems. Kudos to the Filipino clean up Meanwhile on a much brighter note is news of an intrepid group of Filipino hikers who set out to clear rubbish from the Ma On Shan Country Park trails. They did so without the usual self-serving publicity of officials who periodically show up for clean ups with cameras in tow and disappear as soon as is decent once media representatives have departed. These fine folk only came to the public’s notice after hiker Edward So came across this group and posted pictures of them at work on his Facebook page. The post received a wide and warm welcome from netizens and so urged others to follow their example or at least to ensure that they don’t add to the problem with their own litter.

Stephen Vines is a journalist, broadcaster and entrepreneur. He is the former editor of the Eastern Express and Southeast Asia correspondent for The Observer.

Sai Kung Dec 2016  
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