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July 2017

My big fat HONG KONG day out


Things to do

Holiday haul What to take on your summer getaway

You are what you eat Seven spots for healthy food

Living like a rockstar at…

Trisara, Phuket

5 min withutes ... Tom

G co-fou rundy, n Hong Kder of Free P ong ress


The really useful magazine July 2017



9 26

23 PEOPLE 4 Snapped! Southside’s social life. HONG KONG ADVENTURES 6 Stella So heads to… Victoria Park, Causeway Bay THE PLANNER 8 Happening in July What’s on THINGS WE’D BUY 12 Holiday haul What to pack in your suitcase NEWS 14 What’s going on? In your backyard GIVEAWAYS 20 Free stuff Fab things to win

54 FIVE MINUTES WITH... 22 Tom Grundy Co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press LOCAL 24 Wetland or wasteland? The battle to stop dumping on wetlands COVER STORY 26 My big fat Hong Kong day out Things to do for kids, adults and families EATING 42 Healthy bites Where to eat well in the city. Plus Nibbles INTERVIEW 54 Ben Bland The Financial Times South China Correspondent on his new book

43 TRAVEL 54 Trisara Beachside bliss in Phuket PETS 62 Ask Dr. Pauline Pet eccentricities and abnormalities explained


HOROSCOPE 64 You will meet a tall, dark stranger... Adam White predicts your future ZIM CITY 66 Paul Zimmerman on... Protecting country parks SOUTHSIDE SECRETS 72 Xu Dishan - writer, translator and professor of literature The last in a series on the Southern District Literary Trail


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Cora Chan

En g lis h a n d ... ha s a d eg re e in re from H K U. She erat u e C om pa rative Lit film a n d, outs id t ou b a rly a ul g w rit es re g at g ig s spotted d a n ci n e b n ca k, or w of th e e late st flicks in a n d wat chin g th fa m ily th, C ora ex plores on m s hi T a. em ci n . g K on g (pa g e 26) d a ys out in Hon

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Photo by Sauvés par le Kong

Snaps from Southside, featuring the 2017 Action Asia Kayak n Run (Tai Tam), Mums@Play Bazaar (Cyberport) and the first Stanley Ferias (Stanley)


have your say “How do you feel about the closure of Taste in Stanley Plaza?”

We lost our local supermarket, Taste used to have a lot of stuff

- Elise

It was affordable. It’s disappointing, it’s very symbolic, it’s very sad

- Sabrina

The old Park n Shop offers diversity and local goods - more akin to a wet market which is lacking in this area

- Eleanor

How very sad to see such a long standing supermarket, where my kids go every day, close

- Joanne Cooper


HK adventures Each mo nth, local a Stella S rtist oe a new co xplores rner the city of


Victoria Park




Sheko Challenge

Join over 300 sports lovers, parents and kids, locals and expats in Shek O for the annual 2.2km Sheko Challenge Swim or team up with friends to run or paddle, or both in the Trisolothon. The after-party includes beach water polo, barbecue and DJ-spun music. For under-18s, there’s a kids’ beach swim (a 600m loop starting and finishing at Back Beach) - a great introduction to open water swimming. Race starts at 2 pm, Shek-O, Big Wave Bay. Finishes at Shek O Back Beach. To register, visit

JUL 1 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day Public Holiday

JUL 2 World UFO Day JUL 2 Jazz Sunday with Carl & Alan Maguire + Ted Lo Best known for their modern take on traditional Jazz, brothers Carl and Alan Maguire are joining forces with world class Jazz pianist, Ted Lo. 9pm until midnight, cover charge starts at $100. Peel Fresco, 49 G/F Peel Street, Central, peel-fresco. com, 2540 2046.

JUL 2 Aerial yoga showcase & family fair Enjoy performances of aerial yoga, flyoga and acro flow, join open taster sessions and shop


from local vendors like Wild Mylk, Pumpernickel Cafe, Naturally Thinking, Gourami and Aroma Synergy. There’s also Flyoga Kids and Ninja Kids for little ones. Tickets are $200 (adults) and $100 (kids), available at 2-7 pm, Trybe HK, Shops 209-210 2/F, 2 Heung Yip Road, One Island South, Wong Chuk Hang, 5532 6571.

JUL 4, 11 & 18 Yoga on the beach Nighttime beach yoga classes, hosted by Limewood and GuavaPass and led by yoga instructor Lindsay from Krishnan Yoga. After the hour-long beach workout, enjoy a healthy mocktail and sharing meal, which includes Limewood’s signature salmon tartare and more. Held on the first three Tuesdays of the month, 6:30pm at Repulse Bay. $390 per person for yoga and dinner. To reserve tickets, email, Limewood, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Shop 103/104, Repulse Bay,, 2866 8668.

Mother/daughter mini sports day

Jul 2

Calling girls aged 8-12 and their mums, for a day of fun and games. Organised by Women in Sports Empowered (WISE). Female coaches will lead three mini sessions of field hockey, tag rugby and ultimate frisbee. A great way to try sports, spend time with your mum and make new friends. 10 am-12:30pm, Happy Valley Recreation Ground. To ensure your space, sign up at,

happening in July JUL 10-22 Flex Studio summer retreat A two-week retreat - in Hong Kong - led by Flex co-founder and yoga and Pilates instructor, Heather Shalabi. On the menu are daily Barre, yoga or Pilates group classes run by Heather, as well as privates and trios. Packages start at $2,000 for 10 classes; $3,000 for 15; $4,000 for 20. The premium package ($5,100) includes all group classes, two private sessions and a trio on The Tower (a Pilates apparatus that - in Hong Kong - is only found at Flex). Six days a week for two weeks, Flex Studio, Shops 308-310, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang Aberdeen,, 2813 2212.

JUL 12, 19 & 26 Snorkelling at Sharp Island Explore Sai Kung under the sea. Starts with a sampan ferry ride to Sharp Island, followed by an exploration of the coral colonies. Regular tickets are $290; child tickets at $250. Prices include ferry round trip tickets and use of snorkelling gear (mask, snorkel and flippers). Bring a swimsuit and a towel. Arrive at Sai Kung New Public Pier (no. 7-10) before 2pm. Tickets are available on Visit CountrysideAdventureTours, or call 6053 6076 for more details.

SportsFest, held on July 15 and 16, is specially designed for children to join in games, drills and training workshops run by professional coaches -- including baseball, cricket, floor curling, lion dance and more. Free, Central Harbourfront,, 3929 9500.

JUL 15-16 International Military Tattoo To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover, military bands from the United States, Russia, Scotland, the Netherlands and Mongolia are to join the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Hong Kong disciplined services in a rendition of the Canto-pop song, Under the Lion Rock. There’ll also be a free-admission outdoor carnival at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre with family-friendly game stalls. Tickets for the concert start at $150 are available on, Hong Kong Coliseum, 9 Cheong Wan Rd, Hung Hom.

The ultimate Summer street party is back with over 70 booths offering food, beer and interactive games for all ages. Bands of different genres will be rocking all day long while you eat, drink and play. Free admission. The festival runs from 1pm to midnight on 15 July and 1-10 pm on 16 July. Lan Kwai Fong, Central,, 9151 1711.

JUL 26 The FunnyFellas Live in Hong Kong The comedy trio arrives in Hong Kong as part of a world tour. Expect a night of witty jokes, unexpected punchlines and a dose of political satire. Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9pm. Advance tickets are $200 from; or $300 at the door. Take Out Comedy, 34 Elgin Street, Central,, 6220 4436.

Hong Kong Book Fair 2017

JUL 13-24 Central Harbourfront SummerFest

JUL 15-16 Lan Kwai Fong Beer and Music Fest 2017

Jul 19-25

The annual book fair returns with over 450 publications and exhibitors. The fair is divided into eight zones, including English Avenue and Children’s Paradise. Shop, read and enjoy over 300 cultural events and talks featuring high calibre authors and critics. This year, for the first time, the fair is introducing a theme: Chinese Martial Arts Literature. The genre gained continual popularity in Hong Kong during the 50s-60s, when Chinese martial arts novels started to be serialised on newspapers. Some became so popular that they were re-published as printed novels. Opening hours for each day differs. Tickets are $25 (adult) and $10 (child, morning entry), available at the venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai,

A series of action-packed sports activities and games for all ages by the harbour. Youth


planner Inventing le Louvre, From Palace To Museum Over 800 Years

Unt Jul 2i4l

For once, we don’t have to fly to Paris to admire le Louvre’s impressive masterworks. The collection on display includes artworks from all of Louvre’s departments, spanning hundreds of centuries. Highlights include a marble statue of Jean de la Fontaine dating back to 1785 and a painting by Anthony van Dyck from 1617-1619. Tickets are $20 (adult) and $10 (concessions), available at Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Road, Shatin, New Territories,, 2180 8188.


JUL 26-27, 29-30 Gazillion Bubble Show

JUL 31 - AUG 4 Watersports Summer Camp

Bubbles, mesmerising lights and a laser show finale by the Yang family, which holds an amazing 18 Guinness World Records for bubble feats. Showing at two venues in Hong Kong: Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall, Tsuen Wan Town Hall Auditorium. Additional shows are added to meet with overwhelming demand. Tickets start at $140 from, 2370 1044.

Children aged 8-16 can try kayaking, standup paddling, windsurfing and wakeboarding under professional guidance in this five-day summer camp. The fees ($4,600) cover coach, equipment and lunch expenses. For tickets, visit Hong Kong Aquabound Centre, Hoi Fung Path, Stanley, 8211 3876.

happening in July

BOOK NOW SEP 21 Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Tour The world’s hottest pop star Ariana Grande makes her Hong Kong debut this September. Don’t miss the chance to hear the multiplatinum and Grammy-nominated artist’s performance. Regular standing tickets at $888; fanclub members only tickets at $2,188; $4,888 for the ultimate backstage VIP package. Book at 8pm, AsiaWorld-Expo, Arena, 2989 9239.

OCT 15-21 Flex Private Island Retreat Flex Studio has partnered with Cambodia’s

Song Saa Private Island to offer a six-night experience, with daily intensive yoga sessions with Flex’s founders. All-inclusive packages start at US$7,500, excluding flights, alcoholic beverages, scuba diving and spa treatments. Eight spaces available. To book yours, email

NOV 11 Hong Kong Rugby Union Charity Ball

NOV 17-19 Clockenflap Hong Kong’s biggest music and arts festival is back for its 10th edition. The Chemical Brothers, A$AP Rocky, The Libertines and others have all graced its stage. Fan fare tickets are on sale for limited time. $1,280 for a three-day weekend pass; from $740 for a single day pass. Book at Central Harbourfront,

One of the city’s largest charitable and social events. This year’s ball features an all-star performance by a supergroup of world-class rockers - featuring former members of Satana, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steppenwolf and more. Proceeds go to Po Leung Kuk to support underprivileged children through education and rugby training programmes. Cocktails start at 6pm, dinner at 8pm. $2,488 per person or $29,856 for a table of 12. Tickets available on Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai,, 2829 2950.

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


things we’d buy

We’re all going on a summer holiday Things to pack, whether you’re heading to Shek O or further afield… Saint Laurent Slim square-frame sunglasses $2,260 available at Harvey Nichols Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, 3968 2668,

Kids shorts $50-79.90 from H&M 96 Murray House, Stanley Main St., Stanley, 2811 1584,

Velvet flip flops $250 from Pagoda

Folk embroidered kids’ tunic $390 by Seed Heritage x The Webster Folk from Lane Crawford

Cooler bag - Ditsy Floral $299 by Lou Harvey, from Escapade Sports Shop 110, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2395 2778

Beach reads Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan The bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend is back with a new novel that reveals the long-buried secrets of Asia’s most privileged families and their rich people problems. Go from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a kidnapping at Hong Kong’s most elite private school to a surprise marriage proposal at an Indian palace, caught on camera by the telephoto lenses of paparazzi. $190 My Travel Journal A great way to help kids (and adults) manage and remember a big trip. $100


Sand free multirug $599 by CGEAR, from Escapade Sports Shop 110, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2395 2778

Mad by Chloe Esposito lvie’s identical twin A sister dies. When Fate gives Alvie the chance to steal her sister’s perfect life, she starts breaking every rule in the book. $180

All available from Bookazine, locations around the city, including Shop G107 C&D, G/F, The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Road, 2750 1136,

Kids shoes $70-149 from H&M

Sorrento Panama Fedora Hat $1,000 from Bella Blu

holiday haul Kaia kimono $540 from Aanya

Beach toys Mudpuppy Outer Space Puzzle to Go $100 from Bookazine

Luxe Flamingo Float - Rose Gold $688 from Mirth

Travel wallet - Palm $975 by MISCHA, from at home with kapok PMQ, G/F HG10-12, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, 2858 8170 Hat case ( designed to fit into standard airline overhead lockers and under seats) $800 from Bella Blu

UV Defence Duo (SPF 50, 5-star UVA rating) - Tinted and Non Tinted $280 each from

Plastic frame sunglasses $169 from Zara

Classic Hamam towel ( 100% pure turkish cotton and can also be monogrammed) $200-280 (starting 180x100cm) from or visit 3/F Xiu Hua Commercial Bldg, 211 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai

Swimming trunks 1,400 from MAZU Resortwear ($2,000 $ for the father-and-son bundle) Liberty print swimsuit with tassel lime $785 from Bonpoint

NARS Orgasm Liquid Blush 310 from NARS $ Shop 1, G/F, Takshing House, 20 Des Voeux Road Central, 2918 9886 (flagship)




CAMPAIGN FOR FOOTBRIDGE AT WATERFALL BAY Southern District Councillor Paul Zimmerman has launched a petition urging the government to prioritize a footbridge in Pok Fu Lam’s Waterfall Bay, where a man fell to his death last month. Many cross over the top of the waterfall, which lies between Cyberport and Waterfall Bay Park, but with no railings or pathways, the 15-metre waterfall has led to three deaths in the last eleven years. A footbridge was proposed in 2010, and again in 2013 as part of the Southern District Council’s Signature Project Scheme. However, the plans were rejected both times and now the project is making slow progress with the District Minor Works Programme. Zimmerman says the government needs to expedite the process and place the waterfall under LCSD management. See the petition, which closes on August 20, at

Woodland Pre-Schools, voted Best Pre-School in the Southside Readers’ Choice Awards four years in a row (2014-2017), is offering readers of Southside Magazine a free ‘Morning of Fun’ at any one of their Pokfulam, Harbourside (Aberdeen), Beachside and Repulse Bay Montessori locations. During the morning, little ones will sample this year’s Summer Fun Programme which covers five core areas: arts & crafts, cooking, music, sports, and drama. To register, call your local school directly and bring along this notice to redeem your space. Places are available from July 3 to August 11.

Woodland’s Summer Fun Programme runs for six weeks (July 3 - August 11), with one-week enrolments also available. Open to all children aged 6 months to 7 years, it is also available entirely in Mandarin at certain locations. A Summer Sports and Games Programme will also be running at certain campuses. Half-day options are available for both programmes. For information on fees and locations, visit Pokfulam: 2551 7177 Harbourside (Aberdeen): 2559 1377 Beachside (Repulse Bay): 2812 0274 Repulse Bay Montessori: 2803 1885

SMUGGLED GOODS SEIZED NEAR LANTAU ISLAND In a sea chase near Tai O fishing village last month, marine police officers seized boxes of live tortoises and other smuggled goods. Seven smugglers fled on land, and an eighth smuggler eventually abandoned the speedboat after police gave chase. No arrests were made, but police found $3.4 million worth of products aboard the speedboat, including ten live African spurred tortoises (a protected species), half-finished animal fur and amber stones popular for jewellery. The goods were believed to be en route to the mainland. Call 2545 6182 to report any suspected smuggling to the customs department.



(Inset): Cara Mcilroy wearing the Fantine dress

American born, Hong Kong Based designer, Laura Egloff, has launched her new eponymous womenswear brand and retail store in Wong Chuk Hang. Egloff, founder of luxury children’s clothing brand Velveteen, brings elements from around the world to her designs. The debut Spring/Summer 2017 of LAURA EGLOFF by Velveteen echoes her signature flowy, Bohemian look, while instilling a touch of elegance and romance - perfect for these warmer months. Shop everything from embroidered jackets to purses to layered maxi dresses and small leather goods.The collection is available immediately online, the retail shop will launch at the end of August. 56-60 Wong Chuk Hang Road, 4A, Eh Wah Factory Building,

SOUTH HORIZON RESIDENTS OBJECT TO NEW HOTEL An application from HK Electric to the Town Planning Board (TPB) for the construction of a new hotel has been opposed by the Southern District Council. HK Electric submitted an application in April to convert the HK Electric Operational Headquarters and Car Park into a hotel, but after the TPB’s approval, the planned number of hotel rooms increased from 510 to 1,200. This increase prompted widespread resistance from Southern Horizons and Ap Lei Chau Estate residents, leading the Southern District Council to make an objection. Residents pointed to potential detrimental effects, including increased traffic, lower security and environmental damage. In a District Development and Housing Committee (DDHC) paper, Southern District Councillor Lo Kin Hei criticised the room increase, which he said “will draw a surge of tourists to the area and increase the burden of the Ap Lei Chau community.” A report from the Hong Kong Police Force was used to support residents’ concerns, showing two identified traffic blackspots and numerous traffic complaints in the vicinity. To read the full DDHC paper, visit



NEW TIN WAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL CAMPUS FACES RESISTANCE Nord Anglia International School’s proposal to use Tin Wan Shopping Centre as its new campus is facing resistance from members of the Southern District Council. Since Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Link REIT) sold the shopping centre to a private developer in 2015, residents in the Tin Wan Estate and Wah Kwai Estate have complained that local amenities, including retail shops and parking spaces, have diminished. Other concerns include struggling local businesses and increased congestion. Those present at a meeting of the District Development and Housing Committee on May 29 voted unanimously in favour of two motions objecting to the resale of shopping centres and car parks previously divested from public housing estates in the Southern District; calling for the provision of social facilities for the affected communities; and requesting that the Education Bureau should not approve the international school’s application for using Tin Wan Shopping Centre as its school premises. Nord Anglia is also building two new kindergartens in Tai Tam and Sai Kung, which will open in September. Parents who expressed interest in the Tin Wan campus have the option to enroll their children into these campuses. For information, visit

Tin Wan Shopping Centre


Photo by Maxine Yao


A landslide on Tai Tam Road was reported the morning after Typhoon Merbok struck the city last month. The Fire Services Department deployed eight fire engines and two ambulances to deal with the situation. A spokeswoman said rubble covered an area


measuring 49 square metres. “Firemen from the urban search and rescue team equipped with life detectors searched the scene,” she said, adding that no casualties were reported. Residents alerted each other to the incident via local Facebook group Southside Mums.

On July 1, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover, twelve young inmates of the Cape Collinson Correctional Institution will perform with the Music For Our Young Foundation orchestra. The inmates, aged 14 to 21, have been attending rehearsals with 80 other orchestra members in Stanley Prison ahead of the final performance, which will also feature choirs from Guangdong and Macau. Two concerts will take place on July 1 in Stanley Prison and in Central’s PMQ. To learn more, visit





MWM Wine School has opened in Wong Chuk Hang. Run by long-time Pok Fu Lam resident and Master of Wine Debra Meiburg MW, the school hopes to reshape wine education into a total lifestyle experience, with its modern teaching facilities, lively curriculum, qualified teaching staff and alumni program. The school offers internationallyrecognised wine industry qualification, WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) as well as Master of Wine study programmes. The wine courses are open to anyone with an interest in wine, from beginners to professionals, and prices start at $2,000 for the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines (an ideal introduction for beginners). Package discounts available. Located a few minutes walk from Wong Chuk Hang MTR station (Exit B). Units 1521-24, 15/F, 41 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang,

Hong Kong’s homes are notoriously unaffordable, but real estate experts have just declared a waterfront house at 110 Repulse Bay Road the world’s most expensive per square foot. The 4,120 sq ft house is priced at $680 million, with four main bedrooms, four bathrooms, two extra bedrooms for domestic helpers, plus a swimming pool and garden. And of course, a gorgeous view of Repulse Bay Beach and the South China Sea. There are more expensive houses overall in the world; a BelAir mansion in Hollywood is priced at US$500 million; another Mumbai mansion cost US$1 billion to build. However, their prices per square foot, US$6,756 and US$2,500 respectively, pale in comparison to the Repulse Bay mansion’s US$21,200 ($165,350) per square foot. As demand continues to keep prices up amid short supply, so Hong Kong continues to be home to some of the world’s most expensive real estate.


in your backyard

BOAR SIGHTING IN COUPLE CIRCUMNAVIGATES ABERDEEN HONG KONG ISLAND There have been multiple wild boar sightings in June, many of which have taken place close to urban developments. A cyclist and a police officer were injured when the officer kicked the animal, spotted near Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O. Later in the month, police were called to Aberdeen, where four boars were spotted near the South Wave Court residential complex. Standard procedure is for the animals to be subdued and released into the remote countryside by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. A hunting team of volunteers is authorized to step in if boars cause public damage or endanger civilians. To report a sighting, call 1823. Husband-and-wife team, Paul Niel and Esther RĂśling, took six days to circumnavigate Hong Kong Island by foot. The trek was challenging: they slept on rocks during a black rainstorm, clambered across jagged shores and racked up a few injuries. The couple collected water samples along the way and - in collaboration with The Open University of Hong Kong and nonprofit group Ocean Recovery Alliance - have used them

to create a coastal pollution map. Pollution has long been an issue in Hong Kong, and the couple witnessed it firsthand in their journey, noting dozens of abandoned fridges and dead fish along the coast. Open University is currently analysing the water samples, to learn more about Hong Kong’s water quality and marine biodiversity. View the map at


win at


enter to win! Guess How Much I Love You Join Little and Big Nutbrown Hare, from the best-selling Guess How Much I Love You and I Love You All Year Round collections, as they leap off the page and onto the stage in this magical journey through the seasons. Watch them settle down after a bedtime story and re-awaken to discover the delights and colours of each season as they compete to measure their love for each other in this timeless loveable story. We’re giving away a family set of four tickets, worth $1,740 in total, to the opening night at 5pm on October 20.

Chopsticks, Fork and Knife

Blue Sky Sports Club


Feast on CFK (Chopsticks, Fork and Knife)’s Modern International Dining Menu this summer. Featuring international cuisines - from Italian, to Chinese, Japanese and Korean - and signature dishes, there is sure to be something to suit everyone’s tastes. We’re giving away a set of four dinner tickets, worth $1,000 in total.

Cool off from the heat! Blue Sky Sports Club has a range of water sports activities and is one of the only providers of stand up paddle boarding (SUP) in Hong Kong. As a relatively “new” water sport, it focuses on core fitness with distance flat-water paddle along with stand up paddle surfing. We’re giving away two SUP Beginner courses, which include gear rental and an electronic SUP certificate, valued at $500 each.

Be stylish and Instagram-worthy in all your travel photos! is Asia’s largest designer rental platform where ladies can find and wear the best designer work outfit, cocktail dresses, evening gowns and more. With YEECHOO’s travel package, you will get to select five outfits from 3000+ designer pieces and take them with you to your travels for up to two weeks. We are giving away two luxury travel packages, valued at $980 each.

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five minutes with


Tom Hilditch


Editor-in-Chief Shreena Patel Contributing Editor Carolynne Dear Acting Editor Eric Ho Editorial Assistant Trisha Harjani


Design Manager Cindy Suen Graphic Designer Anna Schulteisz

Thanks to

Adam White Cora Chan Jessie Yeung Paul Zimmerman Dr. Pauline Taylor Rory Mackay Sam Edwards Stella So Viola Gaskell

Published by

Hong Kong Living Ltd. Floor LG1, 222 Queens Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Photo courtesy of Zoom Ribs


Co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press, the city’s first independent, non-profit, English-language news source. By Trisha Harjani Have you seen that interview with Richard Ayoade? He talks about how uncomfortable he finds interviews because it’s such an unnatural interaction: I can’t ask you questions back. It just feels weird. Even as a kid I was making family newspapers, radio shows, TV shows as a rather obnoxious sort of mini-Rupert Murdoch. I studied Media and Communications at university but couldn’t afford to enter the industry and do free internships. I came to Hong Kong and taught under the government programme for eight years. I was always writing, I had a column in Time Out and a blog called Hongwrong. When I was younger, I organised protests in the city such as the Support Snowden protests. I would go to the pro-democracy July 1 marches and ran Hongwrong as a blog and advocacy platform. I also ran a domestic worker NGO.



In 2014, I quit my job and enrolled in a Journalism masters at HKU. Suddenly, the Umbrella Movement happened. I started doing broadcast clips on it for Sky News and BBC, Vocativ, Global

Post, Quartz and tweeting a lot. At Christmas, I built HKFP. We’re based in Cyberport. It was the fastest funded, biggest crowd funding campaign Hong Kong had seen. We got almost four times more than we asked for. Since then, other media have turned to crowdfunding.

We’re strong on underreported stuff, LGBT and women’s issues

In Hong Kong you’re either a huge operation with over 300 staff, loads of resources and a conglomerate or tycoon behind you, or you’re a small start up with fewer than ten staff and you struggle by. There’s very little middle ground. With the HK$600,000 we raise annually, we’re able to keep our heads above water. We don’t have investors - we’re a non-profit.

We are designed to fill a gap between Chinese and English media. Despite a blossoming of independent digital media since the Umbrella Movement, it’s dominated by outfits that are controlled by Chinese conglomerates or proBeijing tycoons. I think there’s room for more diversity. It’s about trying to safeguard and maintain press freedom in Hong Kong. In my ten years here, I’ve seen an erosion of things that differentiate us from the mainland: rule of law, press freedom, freedom of expression, academic freedom. Rather than complain about it, I hope that we’re a positive response to some of the concerns. We’re strong on underreported stuff, LGBT and women’s issues. We did some really good work following the elections and on the bookseller disappearances. One of our writers won an award for her piece on sexual harassment in Hong Kong’s universities. We don’t just measure impact through traffic but also how other media cite our stories. The BBC cited us last week which shows we have enough credibility for international titles to pick up our news.

stop press! I live in Jordan. The district is unrecognisable from 10 years ago - the mix of shops, supermarkets and community stores on Nathan Road has been replaced by back-to-back jewellery shops and rents have soared. The pollution is a bit nasty but we’re lucky to be in an old building with a large flat so it’s hard to give it up although I’d love to do a stint on Lamma. I’m originally from the Shenzhen of the British Empire: Birmingham, England. We used to make everything before China. I’m actually from the Black Country which is next to Birmingham. It’s called that because of all the smog from the industry. My family has a little corner shop. My relationship with Hong Kong is a lovehate one. I’m still discovering new abandoned villages to explore and things to do. It’s great for travel - I’ve been to almost every other country in Asia, so I am very grateful for my years here. But, despite being a permanent resident, I suppose I’ll always be a foreigner. I don’t speak Cantonese. If I’d known I would be here for 11 years perhaps I would’ve made more of an effort. I hate to sound like a terrible Brit but I have never really been a fan of the local food. It

bothers my friends a lot more than it does me, but I feel a bit antisocial sometimes when I’m sat with just a drink in a dai pai dong. You only see the city through fresh eyes when you host visitors and they become all wide-eyed at the neon lights and skylines, otherwise you just take it for granted. Then it’s a shock to go home where it’s five quid on the Underground.

I’m originally from the Shenzhen of the British Empire: Birmingham

I’m in Hong Kong indefinitely. After a while it becomes weird going home and it feels you’ve lost touch. Particularly with how depressing Brexit is, I can’t see myself moving back. It’s funny, I thought I would be doing more journalism. But it’s very rarely I write anything, so much of it is HR, PR, accounting, finances, recruitment. Financing and recruitment have been the toughest challenges. It’s very hard to

find unicorns who speak Cantonese, Mandarin and English and pay attention to local politics. I don’t consider myself an entrepreneur. I had to learn everything from scratch and it was total chaos in the early days. I relied on volunteers and friends and the internet. It took us a while to discover who we are and what we want to do. We have a bus factor of one. This is a measurement of how many people would need to be hit by a bus for a company to collapse, so if I get hit by a bus, we’re screwed. I’m trying to change that and ensure HKFP is more self-running. If you google me, you’ll find an episode of The Weakest Link (a British game show) where I’m probably making a fool of myself.



Sales & Marketing Sales Director Hilda Chan

Sales & Marketing Executive Maria Jones

Photos by Cecile Gamst Berg

Kiran Hiranandani Venus Man Sam Edwards


Office Manager Amanda Chia


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

WETLAND OR WASTELAND? Doubts are being raised over the sustainability and environmental protection offered by the government’s newly released development plan for Lantau. Trisha Harjani reports

L @southsidemag

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



ast month, the government released its development plan for Lantau. The “Sustainable Lantau Blueprint” (herein “the Blueprint”) is part of the government’s overall development plan for Hong Kong beyond 2030. Speaking at the press conference last month, Secretary for Development Eric Ma said that the Blueprint was a fine balance between development and conservation. Housing and economic developments will be focused in the northern part of the island - including the Tung Chung New Town Extension, which involves the addition of two new railway stations; the Siu Ho Wan Development, a commercial and employment platform near the airport; and the controversial East Lantau Metropolis (ELM), a reclamation project to create a third core business district in addition to Central and Kowloon. The role played by south Lantau in conservation and cultural- and eco-tourism is to be strengthened. The government expects the Blueprint could create homes for 700,000 to 1 million people and

provide 470,000 jobs as well as better transport links and increased public services. There will be four marine parks and rural conservation projects in The Brothers (Mo To Chau) North of Lantau, Soko Islands to the South of Lantau and the Southwest Marine Park. About $30 million has so far been earmarked to support nature conservation projects and work against illegal dumping.

Conservationists claim to have observed dumping on the Pui O wetlands

However, not everyone is convinced that the Blueprint will make Lantau sustainable. Nonprofit and conservation groups such Designing Hong Kong and Greenpeace Hong Kong have expressed a number of concerns about destroying the

mountainous region by building roads; loss of cultural heritage in Mui Wo Village; legalities over private and public land rights for residential development; and the monetary and environmental cost of reclaiming an entire island to build the ELM, amongst others. Furthermore, conservationists claim to have observed dumping on the Pui O wetlands, a coastal protection area. According to the Hong Kong Planning and Standards Guidelines, the current conservation status implies that efforts should be made to “retain the natural coastlines and the sensitive coastal natural environment...with a minimum of built development.” Wetlands form a crucial part of any ecosystem; the United States Environmental Protection Agency classifies them as “among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rainforests and coral reefs.” Eric Kwok-Ping, member of the Islands District Council and Paul Zimmerman, district councillor for Pok Fu Lam and CEO of Designing Hong Kong, both trace the recent dumping on Pui O wetlands back to a legal loophole in the regulation of the construction process.

the blueprint

According to Zimmerman, “the government is unable to stop it because the laws are not in place and they lack enforcement powers.” In fact, the Blueprint identifies the occasional illegal dumping of construction waste near Pui O beach as a problem and states that “the government has formed an inter-departmental working group on fly-tipping control and will take a proactive role to strengthen measures against illegal dumping of construction waste”. But time is running out. Even if the government was now able to enforce legal powers upon private developers, Kwok-Ping estimates this would take “10-20 years, but there’d be no wetland by then.” So what are the solutions? Halting construction would not be economically viable for the developer, so Kwok-Ping suggests setting up “a fund to recover the land for conservation.”

The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Islands District Council were unable to provide comment ahead of the publication of this article. The Civil and Engineering Department said, “Taking into consideration the public views... the Government formulated the Blueprint to tap these opportunities to provide land for housing, commercial, retail, hotel, recreation and tourism, high value-added logistics and storage purposes.” Speaking on the Blueprint in its entirety, Zimmerman thinks the conservation proposals need to be much stronger for such a major development. “Lantau has very little flat land and any work you’re going to do will impede on conservation areas,” he explains. “If you promise all development will be sustainable you have to get very specific. From the get go you need to establish the traffic impacts on building roads and slope stabilisation impacts.” Likewise, Kwok-Ping views potential roads as an interference with the region’s nature. He suggests, “we can use ferries because we are islands. They are a good means of transportation that can help to conserve the countryside.” This is not the first time the developments have received public criticism. The initial proposal was released in October 2016 and was taken to the Lantau community for a litmus test. Although the official report states, “the proposed

Lantau Development is considered generally supported by the public”, the breakdown of votes and comments told a different story. Among other statistics, the developments to boost tourism in Tai O received a paltry eight percent in favour. The new blueprint abandons previous plans for Tai O developments, an animal farm and a stargazing point at Sunset Peak. The initiatives are currently waiting on approval of funding from the Legislative Council in order to set up the Sustainable Lantau Office to begin implementation of the blueprint.

Expected timeline 2018 - Extension of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort 2018 - Completion of mountain bike trail network and mountain bike training ground in Mui Wo 2020 - Completion of North Commercial District on Airport Island 2030 - Lantau population reaches 300,000. 2030 - Completion of Tung Chung New Town Extension, Tung Chung River Park Siu Ho Wan developments, Tai O Nature and Cultural Heritage District 2030+ - East Lantau Metropolis.


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My big fat Hong Kong day out Sticking around this summer but not sure what to do? We’ve got you covered.

By Trisha Harjani, Cora Chan and Jessie Yeung

ON THE WATER Hire a boat

DIY Water Sports

Try kiteboarding

Hire a junk with friends, take a sampan ride (around Aberdeen Harbour or from Sai Kung to a nearby town or beach) or hop on the Star Ferry for a taste of the past and great views of the skyline. If you want something more thrilling, try Zoom. The brainchild of boating enthusiast and long-term Hong Kong resident Nigel Davis, Zoom specialises in high-speed thrill rides and trips to parts of the territory that are off the junk-beaten track. Zoom’s speciallycommissioned RIB (rigid inflatable boat) was constructed in the UK and holds up to 10 people. The boat’s speed means it can access areas of the territory where junks are unwilling to venture. “So far I’ve captained a couple of kids’ parties, zooming around off Aberdeen and Stanley to give the children some highspeed fun before returning them to dry land for tea. I’ve also organised trips out to Sai Kung’s geopark, Po Toi, Tai O and around Hong Kong Island. It’s been a lot of fun,” says Davis. Trips begin either at Aberdeen or Causeway Bay and venture out to Tai O, Po Tai, Stanley, Plover Cove, Lamma, Sai Kung’s geopark and more. Starts at $500 per person for an hour’s ride. If you have a trip suggestion, get in touch and Davis can work out a package.

Hire your own equipment for water sporting activities from the many government funded water centres around Hong Kong Island and the New Territories. Available equipment varies depending on location, ranging from kayaks, sampans and sailing dinghies, to windsurfing boards. The Chong Hing site in Sai Kung also houses a number of land based facilities such as an archery range, basketball court, multi-purpose lawn, campfire and barbecue sites. Sai Kung also has the Jockey Club Wong Shek Water Sports Centre. Along the Southside, locations include Stanley Main Beach and St. Stephen’s Beach. Note these water centres only rent out to those with the necessary certifications. Centres are open from 8am to 5.30pm. For price and application enquiries visit

If wakeboarding and surfing are too mainstream for you, head on over to the Kiteboarding Association of Hong Kong to try something new. Kiteboarding is a type of wave riding that combines elements of paragliding, windsurfing and wakeboarding. With winds blowing in from the Southwest, March to August weather provides the optimal conditions for beginners and intermediates to learn and develop the watersport. Offering oneday or three-day packages, the Hong Kong Kiteboarding Association teaches beginners and intermediates the basics and provides all equipment. One-day packages start at $2,000 per person at Shui Hau Wan (South Lantau) and Lung Kwu Tan (Tuen Mun)


we love Hong Kong

Go dolphin watching The Chinese white dolphin (also known as the “pink dolphin”) was first recorded in local waters as early as the 1600s, although the population has been in decline since the mid1990s. Sea Kayak Hong Kong runs a Kayak Dolphin Watching Tour so even if you don’t catch a glimpse of the rarely seen dolphin, you can still have fun on the water. Beginning at Tong Fuk Beach or Lamma Island, a boat takes you westward to the southernmost tip of Lantau Island, where you can paddle around some of the most untouched areas of Hong Kong, to catch a sight of pink dolphins in their natural habitat. Sea Kayak Hong Kong also offers standard tours, including kayaking, around the Northern and Southern coast of Lamma Island. Tours cost $750 per person.

Two Kayakers at South Lamma Island

HONG KONG ADVENTURES Explore Hong Kong’s hidden gems

Go on an action-packed adventure

Visit the flipside of Hong Kong with Adventure Tours: travel back in time to a Hakka village, snorkel in Hoi Ha, boat around the Ninepin Islands or go on a geotour of Plover Cove Country Park. These excursions are a great opportunity for parents and kids to visit Hong Kong’s relatively untouched and unknown jungles while learning about the historical and the ecological pockets within the metropolis. All activities are provided by Adventure Tours and narrated in English. Running from July until November, tours are available in private groups of eight to ten in addition to scheduled group tours. Snorkelling and island tours start at approx. $300 per person.

Kayak into the blue, paddling from waterfalls to villages to the backdrop of Hong Kong’s mountainous horizons. ATeam Edventures offers paddlers a day of kayaking combined with either hiking, canyoning, camping or snorkelling. Tours also include customised trips for the entire family or even a romantic excursion for two. Offering add-on activities such as surfing and stand-up paddleboarding, the tours are flexible and include lunch. Night owls can opt for the Cheung Chau night paddle - a moonlight kayak followed by a tour of the night market where there is a variety of local food and drink on offer. Private one-day booking of kayaks start at $900 per person with a minimum of four people.


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Try a tea workshop Tea is big in Hong Kong, the city even has its own museum dedicated to tea ware (Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware in Hong Kong Park). Discover the different variations of tea, and try your hand at traditional brewing at Quarry Bay tea house MingCha. Alternatively, learn about complementary flavours in a tasting workshop that pairs Chinese teas with chocolate, pastries, and even Spanish hams. MingCha sources tea from farms across China, and hosts a variety of workshops for novices and tea connoisseurs alike. Its newest Japanese Green Tea Workshop is perfect for the the muggy summer, offering Matcha and Sencha along with carefully selected Japanese snacks. Starting from $350 and ranging from one to two hours, the lessons are free for children aged 11 and below.

Go on a food tour They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The same could be said for Hong Kong. The city is packed with over 10,000 Chinese restaurants, noodle shops and street food but it’s not always easy to know where to go and what to order without help. Little Adventures in Hong Kong (LAHK) operates bespoke tasting tours around the Sham Shui Po, Yau Ma Tei and Central and Sheung Wan districts. In 2015, the team was chosen by chef Anthony Bourdain to kick off season 2 of his show on CNN, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.The team all speak native English as well as Cantonese. There are four walks to choose from - each led by a local food journalist, who will guide you through some of Hong Kong’s most historic neighbourhoods whilst you feast on traditional dishes such as roast duck, dim sum, wonton noodles and congee.


Mini chefs at the Mixing Bowl

Tours are conducted daily and start at US$115 an hour, per person, for a minimum of 3.5 hours and include selected food and drink tastings at six venues. LAHK also hosts basic tours around Kennedy Town on Thursdays and Wanchai on Sundays for 2.5 hours starting at $888 per guest; or custom-made, private tours in an area of your choice.

mint gelato. For gorgeous beach views and a glimpse of a bygone era, munch on raspberry tarts by open bay windows at The Verandah ($308, Repulse Bay Road, Repulse Bay), formerly the Repulse Bay Hotel.

Treat yourself to afternoon tea There’s nothing like escaping the heat for a relaxing afternoon tea, a long-standing Hong Kong tradition. For an iconic setting with music, soaring arches and classic architecture, try The Peninsula ($368/person, Salisbury Road, TST) with plate upon plate of pastries, finger sandwiches, and English scones. There are many other hotel options, including the Sheraton Hotel ($258, Nathan Road, TST) for a panoramic harbour view; the InterContinental ($578, Salisbury Road, TST) for its excellent smoked salmon sandwiches; the Mandarin Oriental ($298, Connaught Road, Central) for its signature rose-petal jam; and the Four Seasons Hotel ($275, Finance Street, Central) for its fresh

Harbour Views at The InterContinental

Classic Tea Set at The Peninsula

Take a baking class

Put your aprons on this summer and learn to bake everything from French macarons to Hong Kong-style egg tarts at The Mixing Bowl in Sheung Wan. Founded by Hongkonger Victor Lo and primary school teacher Kyle Giesbrecht, The Mixing Bowl offers classes nearly every day in Sheung Wan, focusing on new dishes every time. Learn how to measure, mix, knead and shape your culinary creations. All classes are between two to three hours, and start at $400. Alternatively, the Patsy in Wong Chuk Hang offers adult and kids baking workshops including a summer baking boot camp, themed workshops and the option to hire out for parties. Classes last between two to three hours, and start at $960.,


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Make a day trip to Disney

Go ice skating

The magic of Disneyland is sure to capture the imagination of little ones, although parents should be prepared for crowds, queues and high temperatures. Throughout the summer months, there will be parades running up and down the Main Street, fairies prancing around and Jedi training hosted in Tomorrowland. For those brave enough to make more than one trip, avoid paying the general admission ($589) and buy the annual pass instead (starts at $619). If you don’t fancy a trip all the way to Lantau, there’s always Magical World (Granville Road, TST). This Hong Kong-meets-Disney 4D experience, formerly known as the Hong Kong 3D Museum, uses augmented reality technology, sounds, smells and special lighting effects to create an all-round sensory experience. Tickets are $168 for adults and $120 for children aged 3-11. If you’re a party of twenty and up, fill in a form on the website for a group offer.,

Escape the heat and take little snow angels out onto the ice for a magical day of ice skating at one of Kowloon’s shopping centres: Elements ($0.5-1.5/minute); MegaBox ($50-80/session); Festival Walk ($55-60/hour); or Dragon Centre ($40-65/session). Alternatively, stay on the island at Cityplaza Ice Palace ($55-70/hour) in Tai Koo Shing. Mega Ice (located in MegaBox) is the largest ice rink in Hong Kong the only internationally sized rink in the city. If you’re looking for a party venue, most locations are hireable for little penguins to zoom around on birthdays, summer parties and more.


Eat at a themed cafe Take kids to indulge in Hong Kong’s obsession with all-things-cute. Dotted all over the city are animal and cartoon themed cafes. Brighten up your dim sum with a little Hello Kitty on Canton Road in Jordan or surround yourself with Snoopy-inspired decor at Charlie Brown cafe in TST. Alternatively, make some new furry friends

at Cat Store in Causeway Bay or OnDogDog Cafe in Ho Man Tin, which are home to a resident group of cats and dogs, respectively.

Visit Ocean Park This summer, Southside’s very own theme park Ocean Park presents its annual Summer Splash, running from July 1 until August 27. Specifically, the park has been decked out in a retro theme and - on top of the standard rides and activities - has commissioned what is the largest sand sculpture in Hong Kong, created by internationally acclaimed sculptor Ray Villafane. If all this seemed regular enough, thousands of rubber ducks have also appeared, in celebration of the park’s collaboration with Hong Kong’s toy success story, LT Duck. Admission starts at $219 for children aged 3-11 and $438 for adults. On a side note, get ready for Ocean Park’s Water World, set to open in the second half of 2018.


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Get cultured in Soho’s galleries

Try stand-up-paddle-boarding Take an art tour With over two hundred galleries freckled around yoga Dee Cheung and Nadine Bubner invite you to swap your planned retreat for a day-treat doing stand up paddle boarding yoga. Train your muscles to achieve the ultimate balance by getting bendy on the water. SUP Hong Kong is offering regular classes for those looking to learn the basics of yoga on the water at Stanley Bay on either Saturday or Sunday through July and August. If you like what you find, keep an eye out on Facebook for the retreat to Ishigaki, Japan in September. 90 minute classes are priced at $500, including class and board rental.

Do aerial yoga on the beach Join yoga studio Bamboo Yoga for a full-day workshop, starting with an aerial yoga class at Yoga Bam Bam in Central (learning several Vinyasa inversions and poses on hammocks), followed by a hike to the silvery sands of Tai Long Wan beach, where students will employ their newly-gained aerial yoga skills on bamboo tripods. The mid-air suspension increases flexibility and strengthens the core, allowing tension to leave the body. If you’ve tried aerial yoga before, sign up for the half-day workshop, which omits the class in Central (meet at the pier instead to go straight to Tai Long Wan). Beginners welcome for the full-day session. Full-day session ($720): July 2, 9, 16. Half-day session ($520): July 1, 8, 15. Book online at

Hong Kong, choosing which ones to visit can be difficult. Thankfully, a number of companies have put together curated art tours of the city - a great way to meet like-minded people while discovering new art. The most popular districts for browsing art are Soho and Wong Chuk Hang. Here are a few options to get you started: Accidental Art Accidental Art runs a number of tours, including the Soho Gallery Tour. Narrated in Mandarin or English, it meanders through a selection of galleries showcasing sculptures, paintings and photography by Chinese and international artists. Yan Gallery and Parkview Art Gallery are always included on the tour, but exhibitions change approximately every six weeks. Currently, the Yan Gallery is showcasing minimalist ink paintings by Chinese artist, He Wei until July 9 while the Parkview Art Gallery is featuring a mixed collection headlining

An Accidental Art guided tour


French artist Amélie Ducommun until the end of August. Tours run every Saturday until September 30 ($265 per person). If you’re more interested in street art, try the Central Street Art Tour. Learn about the artistic masterpieces tucked away in the nooks and crannies of Soho - discoverable by many but known by few - and enjoy a day out in the Hong Kong sun. The experts will show you gorgeous yet fleeting pieces, hung one day and gone the next, some of which have been valued at up to $2 million. The featured exhibition this month is a Chinese artist solo exhibition at Teakha House (Sheung Wan) that will be standing from July 7 till the end of August. Weather permitting, the tour starts at G.O.D, 48 Hollywood Road and takes twelve curious souls around SOHO for an hour guided in Mandarin or English. Runs every Sunday until September 24. Costs $165. Oneoff events also include #EatwithART on July 8, a lifestyle afternoon experience in SOHO and an Art talk “Why Art” at Parkview Art Gallery in Central on July 15, 2-3:30 pm. Book online at South Island Cultural District (SICD) Visit Hong Kong’s growing arts hub in Wong Chuk Hang, home to the South Island Cultural District (SCID). Created in 2013, the SCID is a group of nearly thirty art galleries, studios and non-commercial spaces. Explore artwork from both upcoming and renowned artists. A must-see this summer is the Fereydoun Ave at Rossi & Rossi gallery running until July 29. Ave is an iconic Iranian artist who uses large printed quilts sourced from Tehran as a canvas for his paintings. For information on the organisation and upcoming events, visit


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Clean up a beach

Watch a movie

Get creative at Art Jamming

Every summer sees a flood of new movies, and this season boasts everything from superhero flicks to war dramas. Watch newlysolo musician Harry Styles’ acting debut in Dunkirk, a gripping tale of the WWII Battle of Dunkirk, arriving July 20. Written and directed by filmmaking giant Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk looks to be as darkly suspenseful and emotionally complex as his previous successes. Meanwhile, everyone’s favorite teenage superhero gets a re-make in Spider-Man: Homecoming, in cinemas July 6. This latest addition in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will feature other well-known superheroes, such as Tony Stark and Captain America. If you’re in the mood for a raunchy comedy, catch Rough Night, in which a wild bachelorette weekend goes horribly wrong. Releasing on July 27, the cast includes Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon. There are a few cinemas around Hong Kong, including PALACE ifc (Finance Street, Central), AMC Pacific Place (Queensway, Admiralty), Broadway Cyberport (Cyberport Road, Telegraph Bay), The Grand Cinema (Elements, Kowloon - for vibrating seats) and UA iSquare (Nathan Road, TST - for the IMAX experience). For an old school theatre experience, try Golden Harvest Grand Ocean (Canton Road, Kowloon).

At Artjamming, visitors can sit down and paint for hours. The studio provides all the necessary equipment, so all you need to do is put on some music and let inspiration strike. The Wong Chuk Hang venue boasts both a garden terrace and an indoor studio, open six days a week. Catering options and projector screens are available on request, making it a great option for parties and events. Buy a gift voucher for a friend, or book a private session by calling 2541 8816. Prices start at $250 and vary according to canvas size.


Go bowling Thunder Bowl ($30/game, Whampoa Garden, Kowloon) is one of Hong Kong’s first public bowling alleys, it offers cafe snacks, fluorescent lights, a billiards room, and bowling lessons for beginners. With over 300 shops and restaurants in Whampoa Garden, you have plenty of options for food and entertainment right outside the bowling alley. Members of the South China Athletic Association (Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay), the Ladies Recreation Club (Old Peak Road, ML), the Hong Kong Club (Jackson Road, Central) and the Hong Kong Football Club (Sports Road, Happy Valley) are in luck, for these private club memberships include access to their bowling alleys and other athletic facilities.

There’s no time like summer to dive into the cool ocean, but Hong Kong’s beaches and waters are drowning in rubbish. Make a difference by taking part in the 2017 Cleanup Challenge. Last year, over 80,000 people took part. Participation is easy: choose a team (of friends, colleagues, family, classmates, community group), a date, and a location for your cleanup, and complete the registration form online. Once your team is registered, you will be invited to a briefing to meet other teams and learn about having a safe, fun, successful cleanup. The registration fee starts at $150 per person for a group of up to five.

Walk a dog If you’re a dog person, make some canine friends this summer at Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR). HKDR saves abandoned and unwanted dogs, placing them into foster care and adoptive families. As a non-profit organisation, HKDR relies on volunteer dogwalkers and donations, so make your way to the Tai Po and Ap Lei Chau Homing Centres, home to their 600 dogs. No experience is required, only an application fee, orientation session and a trial shift. Outside of dog walking, volunteers can also help plan events, do administrative work, and fundraise, all vital to support the organisation. Only volunteers aged 18 and above are eligible. Find out more at

Pathfinders Hong Kong is home to over 300,000 migrant workers, some of whom face abuse, neglect, and even trafficking. Pathfinders provides vulnerable migrants with legal protection, education, healthcare, and other critical services. There are many ways to get involved; volunteers can work with migrant children during education workshops, distribute supplies and clothes, provide pro bono medical care, and more. Volunteers can also join awareness and outreach campaigns by distributing information around Hong Kong. To sign up, visit


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Hong Kong Maritime Museum at Central Pier

Hong Kong Museum of History What: The museum’s permanent exhibition, The Hong Kong Story, brings to life thousands of years of Hong Kong history, from the prehistoric era to the Opium War to the handover to China, through dioramas and life-sized exhibits. In eight sprawling galleries, look out for artifacts from ancient dynasties, a modern tram, and get a taste of the old Hong Kong by strolling through a reconstructed street complete with a barber, bank, post office and grocer. There is even a Chinese medicine shop which was relocated from its original location stone by stone. Where: 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Contact: 2724 9042, Admission: Free for permanent exhibitions and for children aged 4 and below. Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Fri: 10am-6pm; Sat, Sun and public holidays: 10am-7pm; closed Tue


(except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year

to be a seafarer. A special exhibition about the infamous Chinese pirate Cheung Po Tsai runs until October 8. While you’re there, make sure to swing by Cafe 8 for a cup of coffee and enjoy one of the city’s best views of the harbour. Where: Central Ferry Pier No. 8, Man Kwong Street, Hong Kong Contact: 3713 2500, Admission: $30 adult, $15 concession Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9:30am-5:30pm; Sat, Sun and Public Holidays 10am-7pm

Hong Kong Railway Museum What: Hidden in the vibrant Tai Po Market, the charming open-air museum is converted from the former Tai Po Market railway station. The museum is declared a city monument, dedicated to introducing visitors to Hong Kong’s rail history. Travel back in time to colonial Hong Kong by walking on the rail tracks, getting on board and taking pictures in the authentic train compartments. Where: 13 Shung Tak Street, Tai Po Market, Tai Po Contact: 2653 3455, Admission: Free Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sun: 10 am-6 pm; closed on Tues (except public holidays) and the first two days of the Chinese New Year

Hong Kong Maritime Museum What: Since its relocation from Murray House to Central Pier No.8, the museum has become a favourite among locals and travellers alike. The interior is divided into three decks with 10 galleries dedicated to exhibiting 3,000 years of Chinese maritime history. The newly installed ship-bridge simulator is a highlight for children to get a taste of ship-steering and what it’s like

Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum

Photo by Hong Kong Railway Museum

Riding the waves of the third Muse Fest HK, a variety of special activities and exhibitions are taking place across the city’s museums from June 24 - July 9, including film screenings, behind-the-scene tours, exhibits from The Louvre and the British Museum and many more. | MID-LEVELS.CO 36 The majority of Hong Kong’s museums are bilingual, easily accessible by train or ferry and offer cheap admission and an air-conditioned break from the steamy hot weather as well as educational insights. Many offer free admission one day a week (typically Wednesdays) and interactive exhibits that are great for children. They cover a surprising range of fields, from history and art to considerably more niche interests such as 3D art and correctional services. We’ve hand-picked nine of the best for you to explore.

What: Formerly accommodation for married staff, the building now houses 10 galleries displaying the evolution of Hong Kong’s penal system over the last 170 years. Exhibits include prison records, artifacts from Vietnamese migrants, two reconstructed cells and an array of gruesome equipment used for corporal punishment, including a mock gallows. Where: 45 Tung Tau Wan Road, Stanley Contact: 2147 3199, Admission: Free Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 10am-5pm; closed Mon and public holidays

Hong Kong Heritage Museum What: Permanent exhibitions include the Cantonese Opera Heritage Hall, which showcases a reconstructed bamboo theatre as well as items once used by famous Cantonese opera artists. The Children’s Discovery Gallery transports little ones to the depths of the sea, archaeological digs and a traditional New Territories village. Newly added to the permanent exhibitions is the Jin Yong Gallery, a zone specifically dedicated to the works of celebrated martial arts novel author Dr. Louis Cha. As part of the Museum Festival

we love Hong Kong

Photo by Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences

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

museum’s latest permanent installment. Where: 2 Caine Lane, Mid-Levels Contact: 2549 5123, Admission: $20 adult; $10 concession; $50 family pass Opening hours: Tue-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun and public holidays: 1pm-5pm; closed Mon and the first three days of Chinese New Year *Enjoy unlimited access to these museums with a museum pass (adults pay $50 for six months). Family and concession passes also available. See

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

3D museums Need aachange fNeed changeof ofperspective? perspective?Take Take a closer look at these museums which showcases the art of optical illusion through 3D artwork and interactive exhibits. Magical World The first 4D museum in Hong Kong. 1/F Hilton Place, 96 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, 2721 9720, Trick Eye Museum Part of a global chain first launched in South Korea. Shop No. 1, 3/F, The Peak Galleria, 118 PeakPeak 118 Road, Road, The Peak, The Peak, 28132813 1686, 1686,

Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences What: Housed in the Old Pathological Institute, this was the battleground of the city’s fight against infectious diseases, including the plague, smallpox and malaria. Explore the old laboratory of the Bacteriological Institute, Hong Kong’s first clinical and public health laboratory, and see a reconstruction of students dissecting rats for plague surveillance. Visit the Herbalist Shop in the basement to find out about traditional Chinese medicine: look at the tools and specimens on display and learn about how different treatments were made. Learn more about the complex workings of the human body with cutting-edge 3D and 4D display in the

will be on display until October 18. The touring exhibition, Eternal Life: Exploring Ancient Egypt, will display the mummies like you’ve never seen them before, with a 3D visualisation made possible by computerized x-ray scanning. The British Museum’s Egyptian collection is the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind outside Egypt. It includes sculpture, architectural pieces, mummies and other relics. Where: 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon. Contact: 2732 3232, Admission: $20 adult; $10 concession; $14 group ticket; free admission on Wednesdays Opening hours: Mon-Wed, Fri: 10am-7pm; Sat, Sun and public holidays: 10am-9 pm; closed on Thurs (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year

Hong Kong Science Museum What: Boasting over 350 interactive exhibits, the museum encourages visitors to engage in hands-on exploration of the mystery of science. With over 500 exhibits, ignite your child’s curiosity with games, digestible bites of fun facts about electricity, earth formation, motions and many more. There is also a children’s gallery/ play zone providing further entertainment. Six Egyptian mummies and over 200 valuable exhibits borrowed from the British Museum

Photo by Kelvin Leung

programme, a special exhibition showcasing selected masterworks from the world-renowned Louvre Museum will run until 24 July, whilst an exhibition on Hong Kong Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee is also open until 2018. Where: 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin Contact: 2180 8188, Admission: Permanent exhibitions are free. For special exhibitions, $20 standard; $10 concession. Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Fri: 10am-6pm; Sun and public holidays: 10am-7pm; closed Tue (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year


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Hike along Tai Long Wan to enjoy gorgeous horizon views

Take a hike There are many hiking routes in Hong Kong. For our favourites in Sai Kung, see The Sai Kung & Clearwater Bay Hiking Guide (available online for $210 at and at select Bookazine stores). In the meantime, here are a few options, on and off the island: 1. Enjoy the lush trails and ocean views on the Tai Long Wan Hiking Trail, wrapping around the bay and winding past several coves. Start your hike at the Sai Wan Pavilion, accessible by village bus 29R from Chan Ma Road. Cool off mid-hike at Sai Wan Beach, then enjoy refreshments at Ham Tin Wan. You could end here by taking a boat back to Sai Kung Pier, or keep hiking past the Chek Keng cove and end at Pak Tam Au, where you can take a bus back to the Sai Kung town. This hike around the island-dotted bay takes four to five hours. 2. For something more challenging, try the Lai Chi Chong. Starting at Pak Sha O and ending at Shui Long O, the six-hour hike follows Sai Kung’s western shore. Along the


The Tai Long Wan hike overlooks Ham Tin Wan Beach

way, snap photos of the coastal volcanic sedimentary rocks and Sham Chung’s open grasslands. 3. Hong Kong Island offers hiking trails of every difficulty level, starting with the classic Dragon’s Back. Everyone’s go-to hike, this relaxed 3-hour trail starts at To Tei Wan and ends at Big Wave Bay, twisting through the Shek O Country Park. The soaring peaks

offer views of Shek O, Stanley, Tai Tam and the South China Sea. If you feel like tackling the Hong Kong Trail, Section 1 offers a meandering 2-hour hike from Victoria Peak to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir. Start at the Peak Tram Station on Lugard Road, hike past the Peak’s mid-slopes, and enjoy the flora on the Native Tree Walk. Take in the western landscape on the Lung Fu Shan lookout, before finishing at Pok Fu Lam.


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Wan Tsai South Campsite

Spend a night under the stars Here are a few options to get you started: 1. Set in the northern part of the Sai Kung peninsula, Wong Shek is conveniently located by a bus stop and includes basic amenities including barbecue pits, toilets, sinks and potable tap water. 2. Those wanting a workout and gorgeous sunrise should hike up the Ma On Shan trail to Ngong Ping campsite where the unobstructed horizon provides a true getaway from Hong Kong’s chaos. Toilet pits and occasional stream water are present. Look out for cows. 3. If you want the best of both worlds, a magnificent view with minimal effort, head to Wan Tsai. The one-kilometre walk is a breeze and opens up to two campsites that boast picturesque views of the Wan Tsai peninsula. Handicap facilities are available plus easy access to snorkelling sites and fishing spots. 4. For activities and nearby restaurants, head to Pui O beach on Lantau Island (ferries run


Pack a picnic from the Central Piers), an extremely popular camping site with buffalo, a great beach bar/ restaurant (Mavericks) and other facilities. You can pay to book a spot on Treasure Island HK’s private campsite (treasureislandhk. com) or on the Leisure and Cultural Services Department website ( 5. Even further south and quieter than Pui O although within close reach, Lo Kei Wan campsite on Lantau Island has barbecue pits, dry toilet pits and seasonal stream water. Aside from the beaches, southeast Lantau holds woodier campsites such as the Nam Shan campsite with optional hiking trails. 6. For HK islanders wanting to stay local, head to the Tai Tam branch of the Scout Association of Hong Kong for a campsite boasting numerous activities for little ones including rock climbing, pioneering and archery. It’s also furnished with a canteen, basketball court and a campfire circle (

Grab your lunch-bags and fill ‘em up with pinwheel sandwiches, lemonade and your favourite book, before heading to the park to bask in the sun. Great options include the Hong Kong Park next to Cotton Tree Drive or the Zoological and Botanical Gardens next door. If you opt for the latter, don’t forget to pay a visit to the meerkats, monkeys and more. Popular sites along the Southside include Tai Tam Country Park and the beaches at Shek O and Big Wave Bay - all three have free, first-come first-served barbecue pits where you can cook your own food. It can be hard to snag an open space on weekends, but you can also reserve an unlimited barbecuing time at some privately-run pits, such as Liu’s Barbecue on Shek O Beach ($400). For Sai Kung and the New Territories, check out Sham Cheung which also boasts a few village stores, mangroves, an astronomical observatory and an abandoned village. Alternatively, check out Pak Tum Chung’s grassy patches or Tai Mong Tsai’s barbecue pits to get a taste of life in the countryside.

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First ever sculpture park living concept unveiled in Clearwater Bay

Clear Water Bay’s Rebounds (2015) by Jean-Michel Othoniel


ew World Development continues to lead the way in creative property development with “Mount Pavilia”, a new sculpture park living concept in Clearwater Bay. Inspired by the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, it is the first of its kind in the area. Mount Pavilia is the latest low-rise architectural project to be unveiled as part of “The Artisanal Movement”, a group initiative pioneered by art entrepreneur Adrian Cheng, which aims to unite audience and artisans in a creative collision of appreciation and enrichment. In the 80’s, sculpture parks such as Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Chicago’s Millennium Park, and Japan’s Hakone Open Air Museum gained international repute, becoming symbols of cultural status, city development and quality living.

Now, The Artisanal Movement brings the concept of the sculpture park to residential living, combining art and nature in everyday life. Set in a “secret garden” measuring approximately 270,000 sq.ft., Mount Pavilia’s sculpture park contains four sculptures (created by Gao Weigang, Kum Chi Keung, Tatiana Trouvé and Jean-Michel Othoniel), each one a representation of the sculptor’s interpretation of “home and family”. Accessibility is key: residents can touch, hop on, dive through and even lie on the art. Another architectural showpiece is the White Yard, designed by internationally renowned Korean architect Minsuk Cho, the 2014 winner of the Venice Architecture Biennale Golden Lion Award. Streamlined, with plain colours, exposed brickwork and curved glass panels, it harnesses the natural light and blurs the boundary

Home by Gao Weigang

between indoors and outdoors. There are two parts to the White Yard: White Yard Club and White Yard Gallery. The former is the biggest clubhouse in the Pavilia series and contains a wide range of recreational facilities, including a children’s play area approximately 17,000 sq.ft. in size. Ever dedicated to showcasing the artisan spirit, the top floor of the gallery houses “chi art space”, which exhibits from time to time different kinds of art and crafts for the community to enjoy. At Mount Pavilia, the concept of home is realised not just in the residences, but also in art, culture and nature. This is a curated living space for those who dream of a contemporary lifestyle centred around home and family in a natural environment. For more information, visit

Bespoke craftmanship by Korean architect, Minsuk Cho




Bearing the above in mind, we’ve rounded up a few of the city’s nutritious and healthy food selections

Grassroots Pantry Healthy living and achieving wellness are at the core of Grassroots Pantry’s philosophy. Chef Peggy Chan founded Grassroots Pantry in 2012 to support eco-conscious practices and complement particular dietary needs. Sustainable, organic and locally-sourced ingredients are used to create wholesome dishes like soft-shelled maki roll, signature mixed mushroom linguine and Moroccan tagine stew. The restaurant utilises clean lines, muted colours and tropical plantations to complement their food and to give the restaurant a homey feel. Shop D, G/F, CentreStage, 108 Hollywood Road, Central, 2873 3353,


eat well, feel well

Peggy Chan of Grassroots Pantry When did your passion for food start? Since I could possibly remember, food was always the topic that took centre of attention. Eating always drew upon stories of my parents' childhood, or history and origins of the food source and sometimes a joke or a dare around it - like a balut, tabasco contest. What is your favourite ingredient to cook with? Mushroom. All kinds. What is your favourite dish to eat? Rather difficult to choose just one! Hand-made pasta - anywhere. Shows the skills and heart of a chef to make pasta by hand, and then to cook it to perfection.


What is the worst thing to happen to you in a kitchen? Anytime I work myself to the bones (literally) and my sciatica or old injuries return. That's when I know I can no longer work in the kitchen until I let my body rest for a few days. What would you be if you weren't a chef? A psychologist, an environmentalist or a practicing nun in a monastery. One thing to advise to an amateur chef? Let go of your own ego. That's the only thing that will stop you from achieving mastery.

Kasa Central Set in a two-storey space on Wellington Street, Kasa works on the concept of convenient healthy takeaway with a sit down area on the second floor. Kasa offers a MSG-free, vegetable-centric menu that is based on contemporary Cantonese flavours. The team changes the menu regularly to keep things fresh but the sweet potato noodles with sauteed shiitake mushrooms and onsen egg is a popular favourite. Plus the team blends as much local and raw ingredients as possible in their beverages. Long lines can be seen at Kasa during lunch hour so get in early. G/F, 61 Wellington Street, 2868 6864,



3/3rds Perched on top of an industrial building in Wong Chuk Hang, 3/3rds is a cafe serving all things fresh and healthy. The cafe has a cosy and rustic ambience, and is filled with couches and wooden furniture. The menu changes regularly with the likes of salads, sandwiches soups and pizzas, plus a variety of cakes and pastries. The team has welcomed a rooftop garden where they can grow their own herbs to

Sweetpea Cafe Newly opened Sweetpea Cafe is a cute little spot of gluten-free goodness. Sweetpea Cafe, hidden on the steps of Shin Hing Street has a quaint vibe with wooden decor and high chairs for the kids. Co-owner Angela Hon started with humble beginnings, baking for friends and family, and has now made her dreams come true with a permanent spot for her savoury and sweet offerings such as acai berry bowl, breakfast tartine, and their ‘not-your-ordinary scrambled eggs’. With different egg- and dairy-free selections available each week, Sweetpea’s macarons, cakes and donuts are delicately decorated and if described in one word, pretty comes to mind.


G/F, 4 Shin Hing Street, Central, 3689 7269,

ensure freshness of the ingredients used in their food. The rooftop is also open for customers to dine alfresco during service and can be hired for events. 22/F, Unit 22D, Yally Industrial Building, 6 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang, 3462 2951,



Home Eat to Live Located in a comfortable and homey two-storey space on Des Voeux Road, the decor reflects its name completely - to feel at home. The restaurant sports wooden and earthy furnishing with sofas and long communal tables. Serving plant-based cuisine and employing eco-friendly practices, Home Eat to Live aims to inspire Hongkongers to take on a healthy lifestyle. Using organic ingredients as much as possible, produce is sourced from a web of local farms to create nutritious salad bowls, soups, wraps, desserts and more. Shop G01 & 101, 77 Des Voeux Road Central, 2777 4777,

The Elephas Extending health and wellness into likeminded individuals’ lifestyle, The Elephas brings wholesome healthy food to Hong Kong. Situated inside Warrior Academy, a training facility, gym junkies can indulge in anything from fully raw, gluten-free snacks and everything in between. The menu has Asian flavours and sees the likes of a salmon burrito bowl, home-made healthy pastries, and nutritious smoothies. The Elephas also has a dedicated coffee bar with beans from Vietnam, India and Indonesia and a special The Elephant Blend. Shop 118, 1/F, Hong Kong Plaza, 188 Connaught Road West, 2838 3979,

Green Common Following a plant-based diet, Green Common hopes to inspire a holistic and sustainable lifestyle in their guests. Located on 1,000 sq ft of space the restaurant can accommodate up to 50 people. Made up of superfoods, the Rainbowl includes quinoa, kale and blueberries. Otherwise, try the Hainan Runaway Chicken and the Soba So Good for something more substantial. Green Common also offers a Superkids menu, which include Freeing Nemo, a Gardein fish burger and a kid-friendly Rainbowl - the Magic Rainbow. There is also a green store where diners can purchase all the superfood ingredients.


Shop OT G61, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, 3102 1220,

eat well, feel well

NIBBLES News from the dining scene.

Tsuta opens in Hong Kong Tsuta, Japan’s first ramen eatery to receive a Michelin star, has opened its first restaurant in Hong Kong. Queuing time for Tsuta’s flagship restaurant in Japan has been known to hit the five-hour mark, and queues have already started forming at the brand’s new Causeway Bay location. The restaurant only supplies 400 bowls per day on a first-come-first-served basis. The menu is simple: for the ramen, just choose whether or not you want an egg, the quantity of char siu and the ramen broth - either the signature Shoyu Soba (soy sauce ramen) or the lighter Shio Soba (salt ramen). Both options come with homemade truffle sauce. The ramen is freshly made each day in the restaurant. The base is a blend of dashi (soup stock, made with whole chickens, fresh clams, dried fish, simmered for

nine hours each day and MSG free) and a soy base, created according to a special recipe which uses soybeans that have been matured for two years. Wash it all down with a refreshing cup of caffeine-free wheat tea. No.2 G/F V-Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 3188 2639

New happy hour at The Drunken Pot

many may prefer their food served ready-toeat, hot pot is a must-try at least once in Hong Kong. Top tip: don’t wear a white shirt unless you know what you’re doing. $328 per person ($40 extra for free-flow wine and beer; $60 for sake), available at the TST and Causeway Bay locations until August 31. Check the website for serving times, For reservations, call 2321 9038 or WhatsApp 9506 1900.

The hot pot restaurant has launched its “Thirty Special Flavours Happy Hour Menu” just in time for summer. Enjoy an array of appetisers plus the new “Best of the Four Nations” hot pot - a selection of four broths: Singapore’s iconic Bak Kut Teh (one of the restaurant’s most popular broths of super-tender pork ribs simmered in herbs and spices); Sichuan-style Numbingly Spicy Soup; Thai-style Green Curry with clams, shrimps, mussels and squid; and Hainan-style Coconut and Chicken Soup. You’ll get about 30 ingredients to simmer in the broth, from shrimps and sliced angus beef chuck, to Kurobuta pork, dumplings, noodles and veg. A good one to do with friends and, although



BEN BLAND The Financial Times South China Correspondent talks about his new book, Generation HK, which explores the identity of Hongkongers post-Handover. By Trisha Harjani

I’m originally from the UK, I worked there for almost five years after I graduated. Then, I quit my job and moved to Southeast Asia as a freelancer and joined the FT as a correspondent in Hanoi. I spent seven years between Jakarta, Hanoi and Singapore. I speak pretty good Indonesian, survival level Mandarin, conversational Vietnamese and sub-survival Cantonese. When I first moved here, I tried to use Mandarin every day but I annoyed a lot of people. At that time I was a bit naive about Hong Kong politics, I didn’t think it would be an issue. I recall being in a 7-Eleven and trying to talk to the person in Mandarin. They


just shouted at me, “Either speak English or Cantonese, we don’t speak Putonghua here! This isn’t China”. Now I’m able to detect the people with whom I can use Mandarin. Getting in powerful people’s faces and annoying them and listening to people’s stories are two things I enjoy equally within journalism. Photo by Doctor Ho via Wikimedia Commons

I am the South China Correspondent for the Financial Times. I’ve been based in Hong Kong for just over two years. For us, South China means Southern mainland China plus Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China’s relationship with Southeast Asia.

As journalists, it’s our job to hold powerful people to account whether they’re in business, politics, or charities. We’re lucky to get privileged access, but we must have our wits about us as some of those people will get upset. It comes with the territory. I’ve been monitored by the secret police in Vietnam, questioned time and again and received threats like “we’re going to sue you”, “we’re watching everything that you write”. At one protest in Vietnam, the police were trying to drag me away physically and the protestors were trying to drag me back to report on their

Protesters in Causeway Bay

who do you think you are? complaints. I’ve also reported in Papua New Guinea, where it’s pretty dangerous, but that’s a question of crime more than media freedom.

But things started to spiral pretty quickly, first with the vote on the reform package for LegCo and then everything else. I began to realise Occupy wasn’t really the end of something, it was the beginning. Hong Kong is an easy place to live. Prior to this, my five years in Hanoi and Jakarta was five years of intermittent food poisoning, not being able to drink water out of the tap and no public transport. In Jakarta, there’s no real mains water, there’s just ground water so when you shower the water’s all brown. It’s just depends on what’s in the ground, even in a decent apartment building. You can only drink out of these 20 litre water things you get delivered to your house which is just really ma fan. I live in Sai Ying Pun. I can see the area is losing more of its traditional character: many of the six/seven story walk ups are being replaced by these forty-story micro apartment blocks with 380-square-foot coffins, or apartments. But I can’t really complain as I was part of that trend in coming here. Change is part of the natural ebbs and flows of every city. Everyone told me the stereotype that Hongkongers are interested in making money and buying property, but against that there’s this history of dissent and protest. I’d seen how the rest of Asia was struggling to deal with a rising China that is more economically powerful, militarily powerful and more confident in projecting that power. In Hong Kong, this is intensified 100 fold because it’s technically a part of China but has its own separate rules and identity. I think Hong Kong is a fascinating, unique case of a mostly free city in one of the world’s most tightly controlled dictatorships. I’m really glad to be living here. I became particularly interested in the question of young people and identity. So much of the commentary around Occupy was either economically (i.e. young people just want good jobs and affordable housing) or politically

The Handover


The transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the People’s Republic of China took place on July 1, 1997.

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It rained. A lot. Depending on your perspective, this was viewed either as a cleansing of the territory, or as the gods expressing their sadness. The ceremony took place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai and was attended by the Chinese president and premier Jiang Zemin and Li Peng, the first chief executive of Hong Kong Tung Chee-hwa, Prince Charles, departing governor Chris Patten and British prime minister and foreign secretary Tony Blair and Robin Cook. It was later claimed Prince Charles described the event as “The Great Chinese Takeaway”.

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Welcome to the Phillippines!

Photo by Dan Marsh via Wikimedia Commons

I arrived in Hong Kong in early 2015. Occupy Central had finished. All that remained were leftover cigarette butts and a few lingering tents outside LegCo. The people I spoke to thought there was nothing to write about Hong Kong politics. The sense was, “Occupy is done, it failed, all those guys will go back to university, work in banks or property companies and they’ll go on a march once a year, but that’s it.”

Things you need to know


After the Union Flag was lowered, Prince Charles and governor Chris Patten and family boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia at Tamar and sailed to the Philippines.

The British laid claim to what is today Hong Kong in 1898 when the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory gave the UK control of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon (south of Boundary Road) and the New Territories (north of Boundary Road to the Sham Chun River, plus outlying islands). The Basic Law, a mini-constitution, was drafted with the participation of Hong Kong people and formally promulgated in 1990. Hong Kong Island and Kowloon were ceded to the UK in perpetuity, the New Territories on a 99-year lease. But 99 years later in 1997, it was deemed impractical to separate the three territories and so all three were returned to China. The theme for the 20th Anniversary of Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is Together, Progress, Opportunity. There will be fireworks on Victoria Harbour at 8pm, best viewing opportunities include TST Promenade, Central Harbourfront Promenade or Bauhinia Square, Wan Chai.

I’ve been monitored by the secret police in Vietnam, questioned time and again and received threats

After the Handover, people who came of age really had no connection at all with the British system. They may have heard of the name Chris Patten, but it didn’t bring meaning to their lives. One guy told me he had a black passport with a unicorn on, but aside from that Britain meant nothing to him. Although Hong Kong was now part of China, there wasn’t much emphasis on promoting the Chinese element of the city either.

I wanted to find out what young Hongkongers think about who they are. The more people I spoke to the more interested I became, not least because most of the people I spoke to didn’t really have a good answer.

People growing up in this vacuum formed their own identity. It’s a process that’s not dissimilar to other nations that emerged in Asia. China and Indonesia talk about thousands of years of history, but most countries in Asia, as we know them, are inventions of the last 70 to 100 years, set by the arbitrary nature of colonialism.

(people want democracy, free and fair elections for LegCo and universal suffrage for the CE) driven. I thought people were missing a trick.


Photo by Zubaidah Nazeer


Ben Bland interviewing Indonesian President Joko Widodo in 2014

In a strange way, this identity that’s coalescing in Hong Kong is both threatened by the mainland but also empowered by it. People define themselves against others. I’m English because I’m not Scottish. Generation HK is a series of conversations with interesting young people about who they feel they are and what it means to be a young HongKonger today, how they’re different from their parents and the direction in which Hong Kong may be heading. The book is not about politics, it’s about the people. For example, there was one guy who worked as an insurance broker for a mainland Chinese company. He was apolitical and then became a strong activist for democracy in Hong Kong. I’m intrigued by how people navigate these situations. I met so many fascinating people, from Joshua Wong, to YY Lam, the multimillionaire super-tutor, to Lau Ming Wai, the billionaire son of a fugitive from Macau. Lau is also a trained pilot, chartered financial analyst, lawyer, professor, runs the family


business and was a deputy campaign manager for Carrie Lam in the recent elections. Wong was thrust into the global spotlight at age 18. Not only that, he energised tens of thousands of young HongKongers to jump into politics and defy obvious stereotypes.

The single most surprising thing in my research was that for a relatively small young man, Joshua Wong has a very big appetite

I learnt the value of comparative perspective particularly having lived in other, different kinds of systems: Vietnam, which is also a communist dictatorship; Indonesia, which is a developing country but a pretty vibrant democracy; and Singapore, which is a nominal sort-of democracy.

How much can an outsider know about a place? That’s the interesting question above the book itself. There are things people inside the system can’t see because they’re pressed up too close against the daily issues. The single most surprising thing in my research was that for a relatively small young man, Joshua Wong has a very big appetite. I interviewed him over lunch and he ate a huge amount of food. He just kept going and going, ordering more. What I find most difficult about reporting in Hong Kong is that most people you talk to are quite anxious and even pessimistic about the future, including those in government. The issues for censorship here are mostly about self-censorship and the Chinese language press and local news. It’s things like the kidnapping of the booksellers, which had a really chilling effect on the Chinese language publishing industry in Hong Kong. Other book shops shut down after that, people found it difficult to get Chinese language books even printed in Hong Kong.


Photo by Ken Ohyama from Funabashi via Wikimedia Commons


Protesters during the Umbrella Revolution in 2014

Photo by Roger Wollstadt via Wikimedia Commons

Getting business people to talk honestly about their attitudes to the one-country, twosystems on the record is not easy. Whether they’re local or international business people, they’re really worried about how it’ll seem to the Hong Kong and Chinese government and how it’ll affect their business. An increasing number of publications are now owned by business people on the mainland. Hong Kong journalists I talk to say there’s been a big change over the last tenfifteen years and much of it is self-censorship.

The key is to be interested in people. You don’t need to know much, you just need to be plausible, persistent and interested

I think self-censorship, is the most insidious because you can’t see it. There’s people trying to clamp down on debate and free speech, but there’s enough pushback. That’s what makes Hong Kong interesting, it’s a contest. People are fighting over the future.


The 1967 Hong Kong Riots: pro-communist demonstrators clash with the Hong Kong Police Force

It’s always local journalists that feel the pressure more, they’re stuck here and they need to keep their jobs. I think they’re at the front line of it. At the Financial Times we’re not worried about people that criticize our stories, we have a 130-year track record of independent reporting. The difficult thing is when you can’t get access to information. It’s honestly a really different time to enter the industry. As the career prospects for journalists have dwindled, the number of people who want to be journalists is on the rise.

The key is to be interested in people. You don’t need to know much, you just need to be plausible, persistent and interested. I’ll be doing a few talks across town, some open to everyone. On July 25, I’ll be doing something with Young China watchers. Generation HK is available online on Commercial Press ( and Book Depository ( as well as local bookstores from July 1.



TRISARA, PHUKET Shreena Patel lives like a rockstar on Phuket’s western coast


do not disturb


ver wondered where Maroon 5 goes on holiday? Answer: Trisara. The band stayed at the resort in 2015 while on their Asia tour, and it’s not hard to see why. Within an hour of landing, we are relaxing by the marble infinity pool in our secluded villa, drink in hand, admiring the spectacular sunset. Nestled in a tranquil bay off the Andaman Sea, the family-owned resort opened in 2004, but relaunched at the end of last year after a series of extensive renovations to its villas, restaurants and spa. It is vast (16 hectares with 2km of private coastline), yet almost invisible from the sea thanks to its lush tropical vegetation and cleverly designed architecture. In fact, ‘Trisara’ translates to ‘The Garden in The Third Heaven’ in Sanskrit. “We planted over 10,000 plants and trees,” says General Manager and Managing Director Anthony Lark, who was heavily involved Trisara’s development and design. Lark came to Phuket from Australia in 1989 to be general manager of the first ever Aman resort, Amanpuri, a pioneer of the boutique luxury hotel concept. He has spent over 25 years managing and developing luxury resorts in Asia, including Amandari, Amanusa, Amankila and The Strand Hotel in Burma. In 2000, he joined Trisara.



The resort balances serenity and luxury with a friendly and unpretentious atmosphere. Over a decade after opening, it’s still a hit with guests: it is the only Phuket resort included in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Gold List as one of the “Favourite Hotels in the World” (for the third year straight). It also won this year’s Gallivanter’s Guide award for Best Resort Worldwide. 25 percent of guests are return visitors. So what’s the key to Trisara’s success? If Lark has learned anything in 25 years, it’s that change is inevitable. “Many of our older guests want to arrive, meet the general manager, unpack and have a tea in the villa, then get dressed for drinks and dinner. In contrast, a lot of the younger generation prefer to arrive, connect to WiFi and get on Instagram before they even open their luggage. They don’t want unnecessary, pretentious service. They want to be left alone. If you want to evolve, you have to cater to both of these generations.” So, down to business. Trisara is home to 39 spacious, ocean-facing villas and suites as well as 24 two- to seven-bedroom private residences. All villas and suites have ocean views, a private pool and enjoy complete privacy, even out on the pool deck, something that was paramount in the design. “I remember going around with the staff from villa to villa,” Lark recalls, “Going out onto the deck and shouting and waving madly to check if we could be seen by the people on the other decks.” The private residences were developed and designed by Trisara, together with many of the owners who reside all over the world. All residences have dedicated cooks and housekeepers and extended private swimming pools (No. 32 has a built-in Martini bar and private seaside terrace). Owners can enjoy their residence at any time, and in their absence the hotel maintains the property.




In fact, 75 per cent of the total number of rooms at Trisara are privately owned residences, managed by the resort as guest accommodation when not in use by the owner. From time to time, existing residences become available for re-sale. The range of food and drink is varied enough to cater to all tastes but not so extensive as to overwhelm. Breakfast includes an extensive buffet, with fresh juices, homemade yoghurts and pastries, as well as a la carte main options. For lunch, ‘The Deck’ has something for everyone - pizzas, pastas, salads, grilled meat and seafood and a variety of delicious local dishes (get a seat closest to the ocean for the best views and a gentle breeze). There is an emphasis on using local ingredients where possible in all the restaurants, especially the latest addition, PRU (Plant-RaiseUnderstand), which specialises in farm-to-table cuisine and sources the majority of its produce from ‘Pru Jampa’, Trisara’s own working and organic farm, located less than a 20-minute drive from the resort. My favourite of the three restaurants is Seafood@Trisara which, as the names suggests, serves an array of wonderfully fresh local seafood, inspired by local “Mama” recipes that have been passed down through generations. Diners can choose from the menu or pick from the range of freshly caught seafood and have it prepared to their liking. The fresh Phuket lobster, fried with garlic and chilli is delicious, spicy without drowning the delicate lobster flavour. The Sunday Jazz brunch is a must (THB 2,600++ pp, food only) and special private dining experiences are available at extra cost. During the day, you can do as much or as little as you please. The newly renovated Jara Spa offers a wide range of treatments delivered by experienced therapists; the gym is well-equipped and looks out onto the tree tops and the ocean; tennis and Muay Thai lessons are also available and a range of nonmotorised watersports, including snorkelling


Trisara facesheet and SUPing, are offered complimentary. For the particularly athletic, there is a small island just over a kilometer offshore to which you can canoe or paddleboard to work off a sumptuous meal. For those feeling less energetic, grab a book from the library and a daybed on the beach or charter one of the numerous boats owned by the resort - the Captain can design a cruise to suit your interests. If you want to explore outside the resort, the concierge can also arrange a variety of tours including to Phuket Old Town and there are several good golf courses nearby, however dragging yourself away from the comfort of the resort is easier said than done.

Getting there: Fly to Phuket, then a 15-minute drive. A Trisara representative will meet you at the arrivals gate and transport you to the resort. 39 ocean-facing villas, all with private pools. 24 two- to seven-bedroom private residences. 400 staff Nightly rates from $5,800 60/1 Moo 6, Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket 83110 Thailand +66 76 683 320




Ask a vet... Dr. Pauline Pets Central veterinarian Dr. Pauline Taylor answers your questions.

“My dog keeps eating my cat’s poop. Why is this and how do I get him to stop?” The technical term for this behavior is Coprophagia. Whilst normal for adult females to ingest the faeces of their pups, all other types of coprophagia in dogs should be checked out. If everything appears normal, a diagnosis of a problem behaviour may be made. Inadequate diets and malabsorption may be involved but the ultimate cause of this condition in adult dogs is still unknown. Treatment varies from dog to dog but denying access to the faeces is definitely the first step. “ My dog gets overly excited and rough when he plays with other dogs. How do I make sure he stays safe?” The rules of play are best learnt when your dog is less than 18 weeks. Where dogs are deprived of play with other dogs during this phase, they will not master the correct manners to play appropriately. Many dogs will not welcome rough play and will become defensive and/or aggressive. Choose his playmates very carefully and keep him leashed till you are sure things will be fine. Discuss your problem with a dog trainer or consult Dr Google for helpful tips and advice. “What should I be cautious about when taking my dog to a boarding house?” Dogs like routine so when you ask them to stay somewhere else with someone else some can get anxious. Boarding houses usually house a large number of dogs in the same enclosed space which potentiates the spread of possible disease. Ensure your dog is fully vaccinated at least one week prior to going to stay, and administer prophylactic antiparasitic preventatives. I recommend taking your dog’s own food, his favorite toys and a piece of your clothing with your smells on it. Write down what your dog eats and when. Exercise tolerance as most carers will want to look after and ensure your dog enjoys his visit.

Got a question for Dr. Pauline? Email 62 | SOUTHSIDE.HK


hong kong horoscopes

AQUARIUS Jan 21–Feb 19

PISCES Feb 20–Mar 20

ARIES Mar 21–Apr 20

TAURUS Apr 21–May 21

Confucius, he say: “There is no better thing than faith in one’s own dreams.” Deep, right? Oh wait. I just made that all up. Sorry. Beware the false quote, Aquarius. After all, as Confucius really did say, “Don’t look to others for your wisdom: make your own instead.” Wait, no he didn’t. I made it up as well. Make sure to verify what you hear: after all, it could be total rubbish.

Summer days, drifting away! If you’re on a floatie on a junk, that’s great news. If you’re just letting life pass you by, however, you might want to start paddling. Summer is a time of lazy relaxation – but there’s no better time to start that hobby, open that business, ask out that crush. You’re no driftwood, Pisces. Don’t let yourself be caught up in the current.

What a good month it’s going to be for you, Aries. I just know it. Riches upon riches will be heaped upon you. It might not be in terms of Chow Sang Sang golden piglet necklaces, however. You might have to look elsewhere for those riches. Is it someone new entering your life? Is it a couple of amazing nights out? My guess is that you’ll know it when you see it.

Freddy the Weatherman has been a fixture on our TV screens for at least three decades. TVB’s animated prognosticator is known for his “ahhhs” and “awwws” depending on the weather. It’s good, sometimes, to boil down our emotions to the basics. Try to channel Freddy the Weatherman, Taurus: are you feeling ahhhh or awww right now?

LEO Jul 23–Aug 22

VIRGO Aug 23–Sep 23

LIBRA Sep 24–Oct 23

SCORPIO Oct 24–Nov 22

Leo, you’re a chatty kind of person. But which kind of chatty? Are you the goodnatured wet market stall owner, ready with a kind word for all? Or are you like my former neighbours, constantly yelling at each other after 20 years of marriage? Try for the former, if you can. And if it’s the latter, please don’t move in next to me.

Steady sailing is a wonderful state of affairs, Virgo. When the seas are calm, it’s easy to settle in for the ride and be lulled to sleep by the gentle motion. But what if you’re sailing in the wrong direction? Sure, you might have boarded the fast ferry to Lamma. But maybe it’s 2am and you’ve jumped on board a slow boat to Zhuhai. Check, just to make sure.

When I’m feeling a little aimless, sometimes I’ll take a walk through the streets of Wan Chai. It’s probably my favourite bit of Hong Kong, a wonderfully dense area where every side street hides something worth examination. Failing that, there’s a couple of really great char siu rice shops, as well. Libra, I highly recommend seeking out the solitude of crowds: It gives you space to think.

Consider, Scorpio, the humble wonton. A mix of shrimp and pork, wrapped in a square dumpling skin. Boiled in broth and served alone, or with noodles. It’s not fine dining, certainly: But I’d choose it every time over a Michelin-starred molecular seafood foam. Why? Because to me, a simple thing done well far outshines any complex concoction. Extend that rule to your life, Scorpio. Become the wonton.

As transmitted to Adam White, writer, editor and occasional soothsayer. 64 | SOUTHSIDE.HK

GEMINI May 22–Jun 21

CANCER Jun 22–Jul 22

Skin whitening cream is big business in Hong Kong. They call it mei bak – “beautiful white”. I’m not the first to remark upon the fact that Asians want to be whiter, while Europeans always want to look darker. It’s a sad irony that we always want what we don’t have. Gemini, I’m not going to tell you to jettison your desires. But I will ask you to look at them and evaluate them. Skip the beautiful and white for the beautiful and right.

Summer has well and truly set in, and sticky humidity has become a constant, damp companion. At this time of year, most of us scuttle from air-con to air-con, avoiding the oppressive heat. I say: embrace it, Cancer. A sweltering Hong Kong summer is something to cherish. Don’t cut yourself off from life’s rich tapestry – even if that tapestry’s gone a little mouldy.


CAPRICORN Dec 22–Jan 20

Have you been lucky at the races, Sagittarius? Perhaps you headed to the Jockey Club on Wednesday and won big on an amusingly named nag. Congratulations! What will you do with your winnings? My recommendation: Take half, and spend it on something special for yourself. But take the other half, and spend it on something or someone that matters – a lover, a child, a charity. Keep it all in balance, and it’s not just you who wins.

When Hong Kong airport was based at Kai Tak, the approach to the city was one of the most hair-raising in the world. Pilots flew perilously close to the buildings of Kowloon, making a steep right turn just 200m above ground. I think we’ve since lost the thrill of air travel, Capricorn. I want you to rediscover it as you fly out on your summer holiday. Thrill in the very nature of flight.


Looking for land

zim city

The latest green issues affecting our city.


e need a new way to discuss land supply options. The government has invited a developer, the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS), to study the development potential of two areas extending into Tai Lam Country Park and Ma On Shan Country Park – one near Pat Heung and the other near Shui Chuen O. But surely we should first agree the rules. Country parks are a special asset of Hong Kong. Any decision to make them smaller must be taken very carefully. We have a law for creating parks. We have a law for managing parks. But we do not have a law that says how to cut parts off a country park. We can learn from another special asset: Victoria Harbour. To reclaim land, you must prove that there is a public overriding need, that there are no reasonable alternatives and that only the minimum is taken away. The same can be agreed for country parks, with one additional rule - zeronet loss. This requires another area to be added as compensation. In 1995 we did exactly this to build Route 3 to Yuen Long. Instead of digging a road through Tai Lam Country Park, we limited the damage by building a tunnel. Only two hectares were lost for the approach road and an area of around 40 hectares was added to the park elsewhere. In 2003, the extension of the Tseung Kwan O landfill was carefully planned to have minimal impact on the Clearwater Bay Country Park, and land was added elsewhere as compensation. But this time, developers are being invited to consider country parks when there are sites ready for development nearby. Why? The Planning Department completed a land use review of Kam Tin South and Pat Heung in 2015. It identified opportunities for the development of at least 33,000 residential units on top of and in the vicinity of Kam Sheung Station and the Pat Heung Maintenance Centre. There is also an abundance of “abandoned


‘Save Our Country Parks’ rally on 28 May 2017 at Tai Lam Country Park

agricultural land” along Kam Sheung Road now used for open storage, temporary carparks and other brownfield uses. And next to Shui Chuen O is a large green belt area which could be studied. All these sites have good access to rail and road. Why have they not been offered to HKHS for a development study, before the country parks? The other issue is the study brief. The government instructed the developer to use ecological and landscape values as criteria. This makes no sense. Country park areas near existing developments suffer noise, light and traffic, but they buffer the rest of the country park. Accept these criteria and we will be forever eating up country parks until no park is left. Carrie Lam in her manifesto promised to establish a task force, steered by professionals, to engage stakeholders and the community on a macro review of our land supply options. Green groups have written to Lam and asked her to rescind the invitation to HKHS and set up the task force as soon as possible. We need a more equitable, fair and sustainable process for discussing land supply options. Green groups consist of regular people who suffer the same problems as everyone else. Yet, they recognize that our country parks are a unique asset which should be safeguarded for future generations.

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


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