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December 2017

s ' a t n Sa i a S to

visit g n u K

The really useful magazine December 2017



8 40 32

PEOPLE 4 Snapped! Sai Kung’s social life THE PLANNER 8 Happening in December What’s on this festive season FAMILY 16 Stocking fillers Christmas gift ideas for all NEWS 18 What’s going on? In your backyard GIVEAWAYS 20 Free stuff Fab things to win FIVE MINUTES WITH... 22 Leo Lu Kwong Fai The League Founder of the Sha Tin Martins


9 ON PATROL 23 Police blotter Sai Kung Police updates LOCAL 24 Trashy animals Locals frustrated with the mess after animals raid their bins VILLAGE FOCUS 26 Chek Keng The village stuck in its past COVER STORY 28 ’Tis the Season A Sai Kung Christmas tale HEALTH & BEAUTY 32 Party prep On-demand beauty services EATING 34 Eat, drink and be merry! The best festive food our city has to offer

HOME & LIVING 40 O Christmas tree Where to find your Christmas tree and Christmas decorations BIG DAY OUT 44 Ng Tung Chai Waterfall Escape Christmas fever by heading to the hills

GARDENING 53 In the garden What to plant in December VINES IN SAI KUNG 56 Worse than worst Stephen Vines weighs in

PETS 52 Ask Dr. Pauline Pet eccentricities and abnormalities explained. Plus Walkies. ZIM CITY 50 Paul Zimmerman on... “What do you do as a District Councillor?” HOROSCOPE 48 Signs from the stars Adam White predicts your future



Find us on Facebook Sai Kung Magazine



Joni Chan ... is this month’s cover artist. She has a passion for Art a nd Design a nd enjoys photography. She draws a nd paints in her spare time. In her art, she tries to capture beauty in mu nda ne objects a nd places. cha nhc1222@gmail. com

James Stevenson ‌ loves spending time outdoors with his fa mily. Last year he pu blished his first novel, The Medusa F ile. He is currently working on the sequel, which is expected out late next year. Read his Sai K u ng Christmas story on p.28

Helen Boyd ... illustrated our cover story on p.28. She lives a nd works in Sai K u ng, ru nning H Studio Gallery in town. Alongside ru nning art classes, workshops, talks, yarn group a nd exhibitions, Helen is a full time practicing artist herself. Visit

Want to write for Sai Kung Magazine? Contact



people Snaps from Sai Kung

Pedal Through Perthes


Photos by Mariella C. Amitai Photography

say cheese

Pink Chic


people Sai Kung and beyond

Tools with tools

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Festivals and carnivals

DEC 21–FEB 25

AIA The Great European Carnival

This year’s offering is filled with rides and roller coasters, game stands for all ages, plenty of food stalls, live music and performances, as well as the famous Gandey European Circus staged in a 1,200 seat big top circus tent. Central Harbourfront event space. Tickets can be bought online at or on site.

UNTIL JAN 1 A Disney Christmas

UNTIL JAN 1 Hong Kong WinterFest

Disneyland has been transformed into a magical winter wonderland for the holidays. Enjoy shows and events such as Mickey and Friends Christmastime Ball, and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The restaurants within the park and hotels have added more than 70 items especially for their festive menus. In addition, from now until December 22, Hong Kong residents can sign up for the Double The Fun offer for two entries on or before December 23 for $639. 10:30am-8pm. $419 for child tickets, $589 for adults and $100 for seniors. For more details, visit

Organised by Hong Kong Tourism Board, WinterFest consists largely of a range of seasonal displays spread across several landmark buildings. Worthy of note is the

Holiday Happiness is Here @ Tikitiki

DEC 2-25

Every Saturday of the month, and Christmas Eve and Day, Tikitiki is hosting fun activities with prizes up for grabs. Enjoy family friendly workshops and games, as well as entertainment for the grown ups. Admission costs $399 for adults and $199 for children. 4/F, Centro 1A, Chui Tong Road, Sai Kung, 2657 8488.

Christmas tree at North Statue Square in Central. Soak up the festive spirit and uncover new Christmas delights such as special shopping offers and festive menus as you roam the city.

DEC 11–JAN 1 Ocean Park Christmas Sensation Headlining the festivities is Hong Kong’s first ever virtual reality rollercoaster Mine Train, VR game zones and a Christmas village on Waterfront Plaza. Daily Light Up the Night ceremony and choir performance. Kids can also participate in the interactive Whiskers and Friends Winter Games at Whiskers Harbour. Ocean Park, Aberdeen.

DEC 24-28 Food Festival This annual event is a delicious journey of food from all over the world: Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Italy, Australia, Thailand and many more. Dec 24-27: 10am- 9pm, Dec 28: 10am- 7pm. Hall 3, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. $20 Entrance fee and free for anyone who is below 4 or over 64.


Winter camps and workshops

happening in December

camps to spark children’s imagination and creativity. Day camps run December 18-23 while overnight camps run December 27-30. To register visit

DEC 18-22 & 2-5 ESF winter sports camps & clinics Camps are split by age or ability and range from tennis, to multisport, swimming and gymnastics. The multisport course covers six sports (football, tennis, gymnastics, swimming, basketball and kung fu) and starts at $2,500 for a week. Locations vary. Visit

DEC 19-31 YWCA winter camps

DEC 16- JAN 6

Banana Art Club Christmas camp

This Christmas art camp is available for children aged 3 to teens aged 17. The camp will cover canvas painting, crafts, watercolour painting, sketching, manga and cartoon drawing and Chinese painting. Two-hour sessions cost $398, three-hour sessions cost $590, five sessions cost $2,100; all materials included. Locations at either Causeway Bay or Discovery College—prices differ by location. Visit

Planet scented candle workshop


K11 art mall and exhibition space have a range of events for Christmas. In this planet themed candle making workshop, participants can choose different cosmic colours and aromas to create one-of-kind candles— perfect for a Christmas gift. 7-9pm. The workshop costs $350, covering all tools, wax, essential oils and gift box. For details, visit

DEC 18-23 & 27-30 HK Forest Adventures Christmas camp Let the kids run wild this christmas at HK Forest Adventures’s Christmas camp. Trading indoor classes for outdoor forests, HK Forest Adventures runs themed

37 different camps, each separated into different levels depending on participants’ age. There will be arts and crafts, almost any sport you can think of, speech, chinese writing, Hong Kong street food, robot workshops, sensory discovery and many more. Prices, dates and times will differ according to choice of camp. For more information and booking, visit

DEC 27-30 ESF winter language and learning camps This camp caters to two groups: kindergarten students and lower primary students. Immersive in nature, it aims to improve students’ confidence and English-speaking abilities. Spread across four schools, the exact location will differ according to choice of camp. $2,580 for a week-long course. For more information, visit



Markets and fêtes


Sai Kung Winter Market

This indoor market is filled with potential Christmas gifts, from street food to all natural soaps. The event is made kid-friendly with tables for the children to play at. Limited parking available. Robina #4, Tam Wat Village, Yan Yee Road, Sai Kung.

UNTIL DEC 2 White Christmas Street Fair Swire Properties brings us festive shopping, food and drinks, DIY workshops, and live entertainment. Last year’s event boasted 36 performance units and around 30 shopping booths, brought to life by 150 community ambassador volunteers. Look out for this season’s mascot, a gingerbread man. Tong Chong Street, Taikoo Place. Visit for updates.

DEC 1 Quarry Bay School Christmas Fayre The Quarry Bay School parents are hosting their annual christmas fayre. Expect multiple food stalls with delicacies from all around the world, all lovingly prepared by the parents—plus game stalls, special performances and a lucky draw. Tickets are $10 per person. 6-8pm. 6 Hau Yuen Path, Braemar Hill, North Point.

DEC 2 GSIS Christmas Bazaar Enjoy a taste of authentic German Swiss festivities with games, a Santa’s grotto, booths selling ornamental wreaths and more, plus


plenty of traditional food such as raclette and Stollen. Parking is not available, but the school provides free shuttle bus services to and from Central, Pok Fu Lam, and Southside. 10am-4pm. German Swiss International School, 11 Guildford Road, The Peak.

are eligible for a 15 per cent VIP Prestige Shopper Discount when dining at the Garden Café or Lobby Lounge. Free admission, 10am-6pm or 8pm. Visit for the full list of vendors. Grand Ballroom, Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway.

DEC 2 AND 10 Prestige Christmas Showcase at the Conrad

DEC 3 SKIP Christmas Fair

Over 350 pop-up stalls and brands from around the world to solve your gift-buying woes. If you prefer a more opulent environment to street fairs, this is for you. Browse the best of fashion, gourmet food, homeware, children’s products and more within the luxury of the Conrad. Participating stalls vary on each date. Shoppers

The annual SKIP Christmas Fair returns with festive family fun for pre-schoolers. Enjoy arts and crafts, cookie decorations, games, food and drinks, and a visit to see Santa. $50 entrance. 11am-3pm. Sai Kung Pre-school, 159 Che Keng Tuk Road, Sai Kung.

DEC 7 Jingle while you Mingle Stop by The Hive for its Christmas pop up market and support the community’s local vendors. Expect at least 14 companies including Bella Blu, Not Only Olives, Glasshouse Fragrances, and Catherine’s Puppies Rescue Shelter. There will also be mulled wine to keep you warm and fuzzy, and a free glass of prosecco for clients. 6-10pm. The Hive Sai Kung, 5 Tai Mong Tsai Road, Sai Kung.

Carols, concerts and shows DEC 1 11th Annual Community Carols

The Hong Kong Singers is the longest established theatrical group in Hong Kong. Over the years they have presented productions from Mendelssohn’s Elijah to West End and Broadway classics, and every year they do carolling tours across Hong Kong, performing from the beginning of the month until Christmas. Admission to the community carols is free for all. 7:30pm start. Lan Kwai Fong Amphitheatre, Wo On Lane, Central.

DEC 8 Christmas Carol Concert Appeal Join the festivities with drinks, canapés and carols to benefit the Society for Community Organization. This event will be their sixth annual carol concert. Tickets range from $600 to $2,500, visit 6:30-8:30pm. Helena May, 35 Garden Road, Central.

happening in December Classics for Kids Christmas Concert

DEC 3&10

The SAR Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual interactive concert introduces children to classical music and instruments. The fun and games run from 2:15-5pm, Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheatre, HKAPA, Wan Chai. Tickets from $295 at, 3128 8288.

DEC 8 Winter Arts Show Creative Secondary School will be putting on a winter show this year. There will be music and drama performances as well as a visual arts exhibition. The event is sponsored by the Creative Secondary School Parent-Teacher Association and is open to the public. 7-8:30pm, free entry. 1/F School Hall, Creative Secondary School, 3 Pung Loi Road. Email for more information.

Other events

DEC 16-17 AND 23-26 The Nutcracker The Nutcracker follows the magical adventures of Clara, Fritz and the heroic Nutcracker in their quest to defeat the evil Rat King and reunite true love. Prices range from $180 to $1,000 on urbtix. hk. Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Exhibition: The World of Tintin


Created in 1929, Tintin’s Adventures have been translated into 100 different languages and sold more than 230 million copies worldwide. The World of Tintin is a landmark exhibition exploring the internationally known cartoon reporter and adventurer. The exhibition showcases eight albums from The Adventures of Tintin series and much more. Wednesday to Sunday, Noon8pm. ArtisTree, 1/F, Cambridge House, Quarry Bay.

UNTIL MAR 2018 Exhibition: Glitter, Glitz, Glamour

DEC 10

Hong Kong Corporate Sevens

Watch men and women from the city’s many corporates—including HSBC, Savills and KPMG— compete in tag rugby and help to raise funds for the Po Leung Kuk Tackling Life programme. 9am-8pm, 2850 5990. Caroline Hill Road, So Kon Po Recreation Ground.

A collaboration between Avenue of Stars and movie poster artist Yuen Tai-Yung. This series spans 24 caricatures of famous movie stars and singers, such as Bruce Lee, Angelina Jolie, Steve McQueen, Jackie Chan, Leslie Cheung and many more. The exhibition continues from now to March 2018. Admission is free; Garden of Stars, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.


planner DEC 1-23 Holiday Nail Art for a cause The Mandarin Salon at the Mandarin Oriental is here to help put the finishing touches on your seasonal party looks with a range of holiday themed nail art and manicures. You can choose your favourite motif, priced at $90 per finger. Alternatively, choose the hour-long charity manicure priced at $390—proceeds will be donated to Mother’s Choice. 5 Connaught Road Central.

festive treats decorating including gingerbread house decorating. Classes are inclusive of a storytelling session from ‘The Nutcracker’ and a cup of hot chocolate (for both kids and adults during storytelling); Santa himself will drop by with cookies. Open to 5- to 11-year-olds, $380 per head. The Steak House winebar + grill, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon.

DEC 11 The Art of Composition and Arrangement Music legend John Altman will host a masterclass on composition and arrangement. Altman’s music credentials include James Bond films, The Life of Brian, Titanic and collaborating with musicians such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Bob marley and more. Enrolled students will have the opportunity to share their own compositions for Altman’s invaluable feedback. 3:30-6pm. Hong Kong Academy, 33 Wai Man Road. Open to music students and teachers, $500. To register visit

DEC 12 The Art of Improvisation A second masterclass by John Altman, this time focusing on the art of improvisation. Learn his golden tips and secrets to achieving musical success and perform in a concert following the masterclass. 4:00-6pm, followed by the public concert at 7:30pm. Hong Kong Academy, 33 Wai Man Road. Open to high school music students, $500. To register visit

DEC 2 Sai Kung Montessori Information Session Sai Kung Montessori will be hosting an information session for the upcoming 2018/2019 academic year. The session will introduce and explore the child-centered Montessori approach and provide an opportunity to learn more about the school. 10-11am. RSVP by emailing

DEC 2 Sai Kung Live The monthly music event returns after its brief hiatus with classic and modern rock performances from Urban Nomad and local band The Village Dogs. 8-11pm. Momentai, Sai Kung Waterfront, Wai Man Road.

DEC 2-3 HKT Hong Kong E-Prix This event will once again open the annual Formula E season, but this time it will be split into two races. A purpose-built urban track has been set up at Central Harbourfront. At the centre of the events lies the Allianz E-Village, where attendees can engage in interactive experiences such as the racing simulator. Only a small number of Grandstand tickets remain, prices start from $1,190. For ticketing, chances to win Allianz E-Village entry and more information, visit

DEC 2, 3 AND 23 Kids Holiday Treats Decorating Classes InterContinental Hong Kong’s executive pastry chef Cyril Dupuis will lead three sessions of


Wind Water book signing DEC 9-10 Sai Kung Art and About Sai Kung Art and About returns for its third event, this year with over 70 artists involved. Expect live art demonstrations, art workshops and art displays aroundb the town hall. Local artist Tony Cheng started the annual event as a way to bring Sai Kung artists together and share creative ideas. Located around Sai Kung. See facebook. com/saikungAAA for more details.

DEC 9-10 Rhythm of Shape The International Schools Theatre Association are holding an intensive weekend of drama, physical theatre and music. Students will learn to abandon the safety of rules and create from a deeper level of consciousness, helping them hone skills for creative collaboration and communication. Hong Kong Academy, 33 Wai Man Road. Open to ages 14-18, $1,500. To register visit

DEC 13 Animal Benefit Concert The Village Dogs and other local bands will be performing at the Animal Benefit Concert. All proceeds made from the live music event will go towards numerous Sai Kung Animal Rescue Groups. Tickets $250 per person, includes finger food and two drinks. 7-11pm. Momentai, Sai Kung Waterfront, Wai Man Road.

DEC 14

Palani Mohan is bringing out his sixth book Wind Water, a visual and artistic reflection on the feng shui elements that power Hong Kong. Take a look through Mohan’s eyes and see the spirit of Hong Kong that so captures newcomers and natives alike. His book launch at F22 gallery will run from 6:30-8:30pm, and his previous books and fine art prints are available on, F22, 5/F, Amber Commercial Building, 70-74 Morrison Hill Road, Wan Chai.

happening in December



BOOK NOW JAN 6-28 CATS the Musical

Photo by Viaggio Routard via Flickr

The 2015 Olivier Award-nominated, Andrew Lloyd Weber production CATS is coming back to Hong Kong after a 12 year absence from London’s West End. Witness the Jellicle Cats’ annual gathering to decide which feline will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and a new life. Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Tickets from $445 to $1,245; family packages and student discount available. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Lyric Theatre.

JAN 13 International Montessori School Open Day Find out if IMS is the right fit for your children and family by touring the campus and speaking to faculty members. 9am to noon. Email for enquiries. Phase III, Ma Hang Estate, Stanley.

JAN 14-FEB 11 Kidsfest 2018 This festival is full of different plays adapted from books for children. These include The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler and Ugly Duckling by Emma Reeves. Other events include Dinosaur Zoo. Tickets prices vary, book at or visit

JAN 25-28 Disney on Ice The show returns to Hong Kong to celebrate “100 years of magic” (Walt Disney’s 100th birthday). The program includes 50 Disney characters and 30 sing-along songs including

‘Let It Go’, ‘Hakuna Matata’ and You’ve Got A Friend In Me’. Ticket prices from $300 to $780. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai.

MAR 8-18 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time An adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time written by Mark Haddon by Britain’s National Theatre. The play has won five Tony Awards and seven Oliviers including Best Play, Best Design, and Best Director. Showtimes vary. Ticket prices range from $180 to $580. Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai.

MAY 2-6 Swan Lake Performed by Russia’s critically acclaimed St.Petersburg Ballet Theatre. Tickets from $445 to $995. Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai.

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


happening in December


family Lonely Planet Kids The Incredible Cabinet of Wonders $220 from Eslite Cityplaza, 18 Tai Koo Shing Road, Taikoo Shing, Lonely Planet Kids Epic Bike Rides of the World $350 from Eslite Cityplaza, 18 Tai Koo Shing Road, Taikoo Shing,

18k silver Sun and Moon bracelet $3,900 from Tunique Four locations across Hong Kong including APM Mall, 418 Kwun Tong Rd, Kwun Tong, 2151 1175,

Lonely Planet Kids Epic Drives of the World $350 from Eslite Cityplaza, 18 Tai Koo Shing Road, Taikoo Shing,

All I want for Christmas is...

Find the perfect presents with our Christmas gift guide 9-FREE nail polish and Lollips lip gloss Starting $99 from SNAILS

Musical gift set $399 from Picked By Poppins

HK Districts Tote $480 from Goods of Desire G/F, 2 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung Town

Double Happiness men’s tie $580 from Goods of Desire G/F, 2 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung Town

Hong Kong mugs $120 from The Lion Rock Press Available at

Melamine medium cup two tone $79 each from Mirth, available in three prints 66 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung


stocking fillers DropMix Music Gaming System $999.90 from Toys”R”Us L/2, New Town Plaza, Phase I, Shatin

My First Tool Bench $799 from Bumps to Babes 30 Queen’s Road Central and 7 Wan King Path, Sai Kung, 2976 0223 Creatista Plus coffee machine $3,430 from Nespresso Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong

Rose Cottage $1,650 from Bumps to Babes 30 Queen’s Road Central and 7 Wan King Path, Sai Kung, 2976 0223

Personalised Christmas dinosaur babygrow $220 from Gifts Less Ordinary

Everlasting Love deluxe red rose (preserved flower gift box) $688 from Crostini Order online at at least seven days in advance or in store. Locations across Hong Kong including Shop 213, L2, Metro City Phase III, TKOTL 34, Tseung Kwan O



Another great year for Sai Kung Pink Ladies

Annual Winter Garage Sale postponed

Photos by Mariella C. Amitai Photography

The much loved annual Winter Garage Sale at HKUST has unfortunately been postponed this year. Instead, there will be a Spring Garage Sale with a tentative date of March 10 & 17 - final confirmation of dates in January. Registration and reservation of tables will start early February. To receive notifications for the event and an application form, email with your email address and mobile phone number.

Sai Kung Pink Ladies have outdone themselves again. Last month, their Pink Chic fundraiser lunch raised $62,000 for the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation. The event included a raffle and an auction for a Louise Hill artwork. Sai Kung company, The Property Shop, won with the highest bid and will be hanging the piece in their office. More than 40 local businesses donated to the event raffle and every guest was given a gift from Turkish Towels and a

ShockAbsorber sports bra voucher courtesy of Escapade. “The support from local Sai Kung businesses such as Escapade and Winerack has been tremendous,” said organiser, Ellen Hobson. “The main challenge facing us next time is to find a big enough venue capable of fitting 250 people.” For more information and pictures from the event visit

Carol and Carol tackle Sai Kung’s recycling problem Fed up with the problem of overflowing recycling bins, Sai Kung residents Carol Biddel and Carol Ho have taken it upon themselves to start Sai Kung Recycling Day, a monthly recycling event to “educate people as well as collect,” said Biddel. The event specifically targets glass, plastic and polystyrene as recycle companies cannot get enough of these materials to maintain their recycling businesses. The second Sai Kung Recycling Day was held on November 4 at the open space of Man Yee Square. Within a few hours, a large pile of boxes full of recyclable waste was collected, “We collected a lot more at the second event as people are bringing their recycling to us, their village bins - if any - are always overflowing and do not take glass


ISTA makes HKA its permanent Hong Kong home

or polystyrene.​” The next event will be held outside SPCA on December 2, 9am-noon. For more information or if you would like to help volunteer, email or Whatsapp 6531 8215.

Starting this month, the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) will have a permanent home in Hong Kong, choosing Hong Kong Academy as its location. ISTA is a performing arts academy which inspires young artists to become performers through workshops and summer programmes. Spearheading the programme is Anne Drouet who also launched ISTA Shanghai four years ago. Wasting no time, ISTA have already organised four events for December, including a masterclass with music legend John Altman. Besides being an Emmy award winner, Altman’s music credits in TV and film include Monty Python, James Bond, Titanic and more. For more information email or visit

in your backyard

Pedal Through Perthes raises $22,500 Admissions open for new Avendale International Kindergarten Avendale International Kindergarten is set to open its 11,000 square feet campus at The Parkside, Tseung Kwan O in early 2018 - admissions for 2018/2019 are now open. The new campus will be Avendale’s very first and will have nine classrooms and a common area equipped with balancing and climbing facilities, an interactive wall and open play area. The Kindergarten will offer an English and Putonghua learning environment for K1 to K3 which follows a child centered curriculum inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. Avendale will also offer playgroups for children from ages 6 months to 2 years old in English, French, Cantonese and Putonghua. A second campus in Siu Sai Wan will open later in the year. For application forms email admissions@ or for more information visit

Approximately 250 people came together to support Jack Farmer’s charity run on their bikes, skateboards, scooters, or simply their own two feet. Sailability ‘Saturday Sailors’, and RCHK staff and students also finished the entire walk. Hot dogs, raffle tickets and t-shirts were completely sold out, and altogether the event raised $22,500. The Farmers will continue to raise awareness about Perthes disease and funds through Just Giving donations and t-shirt sales. Their next big adventure takes them on a three month English teaching trip to Peru,

followed by a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow and St Petersburg. They will then organise another fundraiser, a 200 mile ride on Jack’s handcycle on the Danube trail through Austria en route to Scotland overland. Leanne, Richard, and Jack Farmer would like to thank the supportive community, RCHK student volunteers, first aid marshals, photographers, and raffle prize sponsors in making Pedal Through Perthes an overwhelming success. Keep up with Jack’s journey on

Destiny Church launches in Sai Kung

HKUST students develop app to pair helpers and employers

Destiny Church launched its first Sai Kung campus on November 5 at The Hive. Founded in Glasgow over 20 years ago, a number of Destiny churches have since been established around Scotland, the UK, and now Hong Kong. Prior to the big move to Sai Kung, lead pastor James Trower has been leading meetings and services in their home. “Opening our doors to all not only means that anyone who is interested in finding out more about the Christian faith is able to come along, but it also means we will be able to serve the Sai Kung community better,” he said. When asked about his plan of finding a permanent location in Sai Kung, Trower said that “for now, being a church on the move has its benefits of helping us get the word out around the area. It may have been difficult to find a permanent venue but we are determined to stay in Sai Kung Town and be a church presence in the heart of the community.” Visit for more information and to keep updated with venue locations as they move around Sai Kung.

Two students from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have developed a mobile app that pairs domestic helpers in the city with employers. Mamahelper was initiated last year by postgraduate students and classmates Yan Leung Yat-yin and Amanda So Tsz-yan when they enrolled in the school’s Technology Leadership and Entrepreneurship programme. Employers hiring domestic helpers via the app are charged from HK$1,598 to HK$5,200, depending on the type of contract. Those looking to hire a part-time helper via the app do not have to pay because no contract is needed. Since its soft launch in September, it has attracted more than 20,000 members and on average, 3000 users were active daily. So and Leung want to roll the platform further - they hope to work with at least 200 agencies in Hong Kong, in addition to helper training schools in the Philippines and Indonesia. “We started MamaHelpers to help employers and helpers alike. We believe in order to improve the current employment system, greater transparency is needed,” said So. “We encourage users on MamaHelpers to contribute to the community and write reviews for every

helper they have employed in the past and the present, ensuring future employers know who they’re employing.”



win at


Scooter by Meekboyz

Classified has launched a new range of Christmas hampers ready for this year’s festive season. Choose from three homemade gourmet hampers, all filled with treats and nibbles, perfect for Christmas party gatherings with family, friends or co-workers. Order from December 1 at, or purchase from any Classified outlets. We’re excited to give away an indulgent ‘All I Want For Christmas’ hamper, valued at $2,400. Enter by December 15.

Founded by the adventure sports-loving Meek family, Meekboyz scooters are created using light-weight parts which makes it easier to do tricks—use the flat deck on the sides to pull off an impressive finger whip. The Meta X-1 Scooter is ready for any skate park or street spot! We have one Meekboyz Meta X-1 Pro Park scooter in black, worth $1,999, to give away.

Picked by Poppins This new, user-friendly mummy, baby and child online store is full of brands that parents trust and kids love. From organic foods and natural bath bubbles, to toys and gift vouchers, you’re sure to find something here. Find out more at We’re giving away an Ergobaby Original Carrier in Black and Camel, valued at $990.

Insight School Insight School of Interior Design is the city’s only school dedicated to design. It offers a year-long diploma as well as over 20 short courses for anyone with a passion for design. One lucky reader will win the opportunity to attend a one-day course valued at $2,600.

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



five minutes with


Tom Hilditch


Editor-in-Chief Shreena Patel Contributing Editor Carolynne Dear Acting Editor Eric Ho


Design Manager Cindy Suen Graphic Designer Anna Schulteisz


Digital Co-ordinator Cora Chan

Thanks to

Adam White Dr. Pauline Taylor Mehul Dhakka Michael Lai Paul Zimmerman Robyn Or Sarah Rock Steven Vines Tara Smyth

Published by

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

Illustration by Joni Chan



Leo Lu Kwong Fai

Founder of the Sha Tin Martins, the first youth baseball team in Hong Kong, talks to Robyn Or I have lived in Sha Tin since I was born. I became an English and PE teacher after graduating from Sir Robert Black College of Education, formerly the Education University of Hong Kong. The most glorious moment of my 40 year education career was forming the first youth baseball team “Sha Tin Martins” in 1983. It all started from a meeting initiated by Donald Tsang while he was still Sha Tin District Officer. In the meeting we discussed the use of a surplus fund and that was when I proposed forming a youth baseball team. We spent almost all the money in the first year. We bought the latest baseball pitching machine from Japan, team uniforms and coach training fees to name a few. Parents were the main obstacle in forming the team. They complained their kids were performing badly at school due

to practice. The complaints continued until we finally won the championship.

I remember two girls walking barefoot to school on a snowy winter day.

Sha Tin Martins won the Hong Kong Little League Championship in 1983. The news immediately spread across Hong Kong and China.

In 2010 when the Yushu earthquake hit, I flew in as a journalist to record what was happening after the disaster. Children were waiting at the refugee camp for their parents, not knowing whether they had been killed. I took pictures of how the children remained strong during the disaster and sold them to raise funds for their recovery.

A bridge over the Shing Mun River Channel was named Sand Martin Bridge to commemorate our victory. In 2016, the story of Sha Tin Martins was shown in the movie Weeds on Fire. My students called me “Mountian Dog”, because I spent most of my time in the rural mountains in China. After I retired in 2001, I devoted myself to a school rebuilding project in China. There I helped rebuild more than 700 schools. The Guozhou area was particularly unforgettable as its poverty problem was so serious.

School rebuilding in China was tough work, it required tremendous energy and resources to battle poverty and natural constraints. However, education is the only way to improve people’s living condition. As a Christian, I believe in serving and sharing. It was this belief which guided me towards helping sustain education for impoverished rural children.

on patrol

Police blotter Senior Inspector Michael Lai reports on the recent cases in Sai Kung -A male attacked four dogs in Luk Mei Village. A villager living nearby heard the sound of rocks being thrown but it was only when he checked his home CCTV recordings that he saw what had happened. A male was arrested two days after the report was made. The case is still ongoing and the arrested male is currently on bail.

-A paraglider was injured when he hit some

trees during his landing into Long Ke. The male sustained injuries to his waist but was conscious when he was rescued and airlifted to hospital.

-On November 11, the police received a

report of an attempted burglary in Kap Pin Long New Village. The female homeowner was asleep at the time but was awoken by

the sound of sawing. Upon checking, she found her bedroom window prized open and the window grille cut. No property was stolen and no one has been arrested so far.

-Over 100 officers were on standby during the Oxfam Trailwalker event. Their main tasks involved crowd control and traffic management.

-A 15 year old female student went missing

on November 6. Her father made the report to the police after she failed to return home. She had told her father she was going out to find her friend in the New Territories. The missing girl was located five days later on the streets of Mong Kok.

-A male Pakistani was located near Chan

Man Street and arrested for failing to provide a valid entry record and for possession of dangerous drugs. The man was also working as a goods transporter so his employer was arrested too. The case is pending further investigation.

-A large python was spotted in Tai Wan Village at the end of October after it had swallowed a villager’s cat. The police called in local snake catcher David Willott to safely capture the python. The snake regurgitated the dead cat at the Sai Kung Police Station before it was later taken to Kadoorie Farm.

For more information, contact Sai Kung Police Station, 1 Po Tung Road, Sai Kung, 3661 1630



Sales & Marketing Sales Director Hilda Chan

Sales & Marketing Executive Kiran Hiranandani Venus Man Isamonia Chui

Photo by Louise Garnaut


Management Trainee Charles Lau


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

Trashy animals @saikungmag GIVE US A CALL! Admin: 3568 3722 Editorial: 2776 2773 Advertising: 2776 2772, 3563 9755 Sai Kung & Clearwater Bay 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. Hong Kong Living Ltd cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by advertisers or contributors. The views herein are not necessarily shared by the staff or publishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any way, part or format without written permission from the publisher.



Local residents frustrated by the mess after wild animals raid their bins. Eric Ho reports


ncidents of animals knocking bins over and throwing trash everywhere has been occurring in Sai Kung for a number of years – but residents say little has been done to improve the situation and the number of cases is on the rise. In November, we received several reports from residents in Clearwater Bay and Hoi Ha who woke up to find their local streets scattered with rubbish. “I see this daily when I leave the village at around 6:30am. The wild boars generally visit at around 10pm and some wild dogs during the early hours of the morning,” said Tai Hang Hau resident Mawgan Batt. When asked where she sees this happening, Batt replied, “The villages around us located on Lung Ha Wan Road, by the entrance to Mau Po. I also see overturned bins on nearby hiking trails. We’ve only lived in the area for six months but

it seems to have gotten worse in the last couple.” In the wake of these incidents, Clearwater Bay residents are calling for government departments to act on possible

The problem is not with the animals

solutions, “I think all villages need animal proof rubbish bins as standard, with lids that close so animals can’t access them. There is also the requirement for more bins - we have four to deal with the waste from Mau Po, Siu

Hang Hau and part of Tai Hang Hau,” said Batt. “Education is also crucial - we need residents to not use the rubbish bin area as a general dumping ground for all household waste, like old furniture, as it quickly overflows resulting in rubbish bags left on the ground for the animals to access. Far too many people believe that it ceases to be their problem once it’s in the vague vicinity of a bin.” Nicola and David Newbery from Friends of Hoi Ha have also encountered the same problem around their area. “The problem appears to be concentrated at Hoi Ha, Ko Tong and Uk Tau. However, this is a problem which, probably, affects all the villages within Sai Kung Country Park to a greater or lesser extent.” said David. “The problem is not with the animals, who have every right to be within the Country Park, but with having readily available food for them in

the shape of easily overturned and opened rubbish bins”. In response to the complaints, FEHD has since installed bars and chains to anchor the refuse collection bins down at Hoi Ha, but with little success, Nicola explains, “The intelligent animals have now figured out how to straddle the metal chain and rock the bins until they fall over. Unfortunately, the refuse lorry operators are also failing to chain up the bins and lids after emptying.” David tells us FEHD have also begun trialling a new orange bin design, “They are an improvement on the traditional design and they appear to be ‘monkey-proof’. The bins are excellent for visitors to dispose of their smallitem rubbish, but are too small to be useful for domestic rubbish. In addition, the new bins are light and easily turned over by wild boars unless firmly anchored. The anchoring mechanism should be part of the design rather than relying on pieces of string to do the job.” Nicola adds, “Ideas are being trialled and adopted in the light of user-feedback. The best

Photo by Louise Garnaut

bin raiders

bins will be of little use if people don’t use them – as well as being animal-proof, they need to be human-friendly.” A FEHD spokesman confirmed the trial of the new bins, “We have recently put on trial the animal-proof litter containers in Hoi Ha and Po Lo Che and will extend its use to other areas in Sai Kung with the same problem if proven successful. To solve problem at root,

the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department is setting up a working group, with the support of the FEHD, to further improve the designs of refuse bins and refuse collection points against wildlife raids.” If you’ve experienced something similar, contact FEHD at 3740 5100 or


village focus

Chek Keng

Photo by FolloMe 隨我行 (

Crumbling but not forgotten, Eric Ho visits the village stuck in its past


ituated along the northern coast of Sai Kung East Country Park is Chek Keng, an old village largely abandoned by its villagers yet continues to attract many visitors over weekends. Those looking to visit the remote village have a couple of options to do so. Take minibus 7 or bus 94 from Sai Kung Pier and alight at Pak Tam Au - the bus stop is easily recognisable by the public toilets. From here it takes a further 40-minute walk to reach the village. If you prefer to travel over water or don’t feel up for the short hike, take bus 94 to Wong Shek Pier before hopping on a 10-minute ferry which takes you directly to the village. The latter option is my preferred choice as it provides a scenic journey around the coast of Long Harbour and into the bay of Chek Keng Hau. Chek Keng was founded over 200 years ago by a group of Hakka villagers and during its peak had a population of over 100. Unfortunately, the combination of the remote location, declining


fishing and farming industry, and growing opportunities in the city led to many villagers leaving. Today, the village has largely been abandoned. While most of the buildings seem to have stood the test of time, a quick peek through the windows will show the insides have crumbled. Take a closer look and you can still find tables, pots, pans and bowls; all possessions of the villagers who once called this home. Further up the hillside, the buildings for a Catholic church and a village school still stand. Occasionally you will find former villagers and their descendants visiting Chek Keng for a weekend break or just to check on their old home. Despite its crumbling state, Chek Keng is still widely visited by people from all over Hong Kong thanks to its beautiful natural surroundings. Mangroves flourish in the area with seven out of eight true Hong Kong species growing along the shores. Cows can often be seen grazing on the grasslands while the mudflats teem with mudskippers and fiddler crabs. Also helping bring more visitors is Chek Kung’s convenient location along one of Hong Kong’s most popular trails: the MacLehose. Hikers can stay or camp the night at Chek Keng Bradbury Hall Youth Hostel before tackling the

rest of MacLehose, heading down to Tai Long Wan or making the journey up the notorious Sharp Peak. Want to be village correspondent? Email

A peek inside one of the crumbling houses


cover story

’Tis the Season

By James Stevenson. Illustrations by Hellen Boyd Dylan Stark made his way down to the kitchen early in the morning, it was the first day of the Christmas holidays and he wanted to have a fresh start. He was pleasantly surprised to see Davey and Richie, his two sons, busy getting breakfast ready, and it was a family favourite, pancakes. His wife, Alison, soon joined them as they sat down for a family breakfast. They spoke animatedly about the day ahead, it looked like a busy one for the Stark family.


Alison was the first to leave the house, she had organised a beach clean-up at Tai Long Wan, and she wanted to arrive before the other volunteers. When she got to the beach she saw a large man with a big belly hauling up a broken kayak, he wore red trousers held up with suspenders. “Good morning, I’m Alison. Thank you for helping,” she greeted him. “My pleasure, I wanted to start early as I have a full day ahead,” replied the kind man, who despite his white hair and beard, appeared quite fit and strong.

“It looks like you’ve been at it for sometime,” said Alison with a smile, commenting on the large pile of plastic and rubbish he had collected. It didn’t take long for more people to arrive, most from Sai Kung but some from farther afield, lending a hand to clear the rubbish that lined the beach and threatened the marine life. Stopping for a water break, Alison was happy to see the community working together. She scanned the group for the kind elderly man who had been the first to arrive but couldn’t see him, she had forgotten to ask his name before he left.

secret santa

As the morning light streamed through the trees, Dylan Stark made his way up the steep hill from Po Lo Che. Huge stones had been placed decades ago to act as steps up the trail. He had once wondered who had set the stones, back breaking labour it would have been, until a hiking friend had told him, convicts had been used. His legs were feeling it when he reached stage four of the MacLehose trail, but he was rewarded with sweeping views of Sai Kung and the islands that dotted Emerald Bay. Dylan walked towards Pyramid Hill, he was surprised not many people were out on the high bluffs, usually a magnet for paragliders and hikers. There was a large group of feral cattle in the grassy area, they looked relaxed as they ate and lazed in the sun. Then he saw something odd, there was a man, who stood out in his red outfit, with one of the cows, it looked like he had it by the horns. Deciding to investigate, Dylan noticed the man looked old, with a large white beard and wild hair to match, but robust and round.

“Excuse me, I think it best if we leave the cattle alone,” suggested Dylan as he approached the man. “Oh hello, come over here and help. It’ll go faster that way,” replied the big man. It was only then, that Dylan noticed what the man was doing. He was winding red and white reflective tape around the animal’s horns. The end effect made it look like it had candy canes attached to its head. “The reflective tape lets them be seen at night,” the man continued. “I hope it protects them from being hit by cars.” “That’s a great idea, I’m happy to help you”, Dylan replied. Together, the two men made short work of attaching the tape to the cattle. And when the old man had to go, Dylan continued on his own and explained to curious hikers, who stopped to watch, why he was doing it.


cover story

Standing on his paddle board, Davey was happy to see almost no boat traffic on the water, it would make the crossing over towards Sharp Island easier. When he arrived to the sand bar that connected two small islands, he was surprised to see an empty kayak lodged on the beach. Davey soon saw the owner sitting down in the water on the other side of the sandy spit. The large man with a prominent white beard and wearing a bright red wet suit, was putting on a mask and fins. He waved when he saw the teenager. “You can join me if you like, I have an extra set,” the man held up his mask as he said this.


“Where are you going?” asked Davey. “There’s a small coral reef over there,” the man pointed to a spot on the water. “I’m going to collect plastic and styrofoam. The fish eat the small pellets, which is harmful. I want to give the marine life a better home.” Davey didn’t need much persuading to join the adventure, and the pair were soon snorkelling and collecting waste from the sea in the large nets they brought. Apart from the floating rubbish they were collecting, he had never seen the water look so clear, the coral looked healthy with many small fish around. But the most amazing sight was the anemone

they found, with a family of clownfish living in it. The biggest one, darted back and forth in an aggressive way, close to his face, like it was protecting its home from Davey. When their nets were full, they returned to the beach. “Thank you for your help, young lad. You’ve made the sea a cleaner place. Have a Merry Christmas,” he said with a wink and a smile. As the large man got into his kayak, it struck Davey who the man reminded him of. It was on the tip of his tongue to say something, but he didn’t want to seem rude. So he settled for a wave goodbye.

secret santa

Richie, the youngest Stark, was taking the family dog, Marley, for his afternoon walk along the sea wall. The area was quite active with lots of stalls set up, offering gift ideas for people strolling by. And then he saw something he’d never forget. A man dressed like Santa had set up a large play area for dogs, the best part was the dogs had fake reindeer antlers on their heads. Richie went over to check it out. “Hey Santa, are these guys reindeer in training?” Richie asked playfully. The large man smiled. “No, these are dogs without a home. My mission is to find a loving family for each of them. Do you want to help?” Richie was happy to help out. Over the next hour he was able to find homes for three of the dogs, someone had even wanted to take Marley home. Before he left to go, Richie asked the man his name and where he was from. The

man’s response, barely above a whisper, left a surprised look on the boy’s face. There was a lot of excited talk at the dinner table that evening, as the Starks sat down for a meal. They had a tradition of sharing their high and low for the day. And as each took their turn, a pattern could be seen as they spoke of a kind old man who helped make Sai Kung a better place. Smiling inwardly, only Richie knew who the man was, but that was told in secret, and the best secrets are worth keeping.



Christmas calories don’t count Catharina Cheung brings you the best our city has to offer for festive foods. Eat, drink, and be merry!

CHRISTMAS EVE & CHRISTMAS DAY Gaucho Gaucho’s Christmas brunch begins with refreshing starter platters made for sharing, such as the tuna or sea bass ceviche and the exquisite watermelon salad with feta cheese. Meat lovers will adore the braised beef baked back ribs. For mains, choose between the Ancho prime ribeye steak, oven baked salmon, or the slow-cooked braised lamb shank. All mains are accompanied by classic sides to share like brussel sprouts, carrots, parsnips, Yorkshire pudding and more—we particularly

enjoyed the chorizo pigs in blankets. Finish off the meal with Gaucho’s famed dulce de leche cheesecake, dulce de leche cookie man, apple crumble, or warm chocolate brownies. The basic package starts at $518 for free flow starters, sides, and desserts, going up to $768 which also includes unlimited Veuve Clicquot champagne and select cocktails. Available on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day from 11am-4pm. On Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, the same menu will also be available from 6pm onwards. 5/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central. 2386 8090,

Padstow Padstow has everything you need to keep things merry and bright right on your doorstep! Adults can enjoy British-inspired classics like ham hock terrine, roast parsnip soup and Shropshire blue cheese puff, followed by turkey and honey-glazed ham, or tenderloin beef, and eggnog crème brûlée or Christmas pud to


Have a cracker of a Christmas at Gaucho

finish your meal in style. Meanwhile, younger members of the party will love tomato soup, roast turkey or mushroom pasta, plus a crowdpleasing sticky toffee pudding. Padstow Restaurant & Bar, 12 Pak Sha Wan, Sai Kung, 2335 5515,

Steak House Winebar + Grill This steakhouse at the InterContinental Hong Kong will be bringing out a Christmas Day-only exclusive menu. Aside from the starter of a Deluxe Seafood Tower of French oysters, Boston lobsters, king crab legs, abalone and more, guests get to choose between nine different main courses. On offer are US steak, Welsh lamb, roasted turkey with honey glazed ham, wagyu beef and more, all served with black truffle potato gratin. This four-course Christmas day set dinner menu costs $1,788 for adults and $1,388 for children under 11. InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon. 2313 2323,

season’s eating Sevva Celebrate Christmas in refinement at SEVVA, with a specially curated menu. Enjoy the spectacular views from the terrace before settling into the Christmas Celebration Set Lunch, which features roast turkey (of course) as well as a rum and fig Christmas pudding in French crêpe with crème Anglaise ($600 per guest; available December 4 to 22). Alternatively, book in for the restaurant’s Christmas Eve Dinner Menu ($2,580 per guest), highlights of which include·a prawn, crab meat & zucchini crêpe with Champagne beurre blanc and caviar, plus roast duckling with red cabbage and sweet onion risotto. 25/F, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central. 2537 1388,

Zuma Exclusively for Christmas Eve and Day, contemporary Japanese restaurant Zuma is bringing out a Christmas Baikingu Brunch. This will include guest favourites alongside seasonal specials, such as teriyaki glazed turkey, teriyaki salmon fillet with pickled cucumber and grilled Brussel sprouts with spicy shiso butter. Even the mulled wine has a Zuma twist—a mixture of Pimms, yuzu juice, honey, lemongrass, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorn and more. Head pastry chef Eddy Lee will also add gingerbread pudding, Japanese strawberry cheesecake, and chocolate log to his famed dessert platter. 11am-5pm in two hour seating slots, $648 for non-alcoholic package and $788 for the deluxe package with free-flow wine, champagne, sake and beer. L5, Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road, Central. 3657 6388,


The Peninsula Hong Kong

Holiday season diners will be given an artistic dining experience in this art deco inspired venue featuring artwork from contemporary artists such as Basquiat, Damien Hirst, and King of Kowloon. Bibo is also the only restaurant in Hong Kong that is part of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux group. Highlights from the Christmas lunch and dinner menus include La Langoustine pan fried Norway lobster, Le Pigeon roast fillet with foie gras, and La Boule de Noel chestnut Bavarois. Lunch costs $480 and dinner $980; both include a glass of champagne and are available from December 24-26. Bibo, 163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. 2956 3188,

The Peninsula is bringing out a variety of holiday offerings at its signature restaurants and bars. Much-loved Swiss restaurant Chesa will host a festive five-course gala dinner on Christmas Eve ($1,888) and a three-course lunch on Christmas Day ($628), while French fine dining institution Gaddi’s will offer a six-course Christmas Eve dinner ($3,388), in addition to a four-course festive lunch ($1,288) and five-course dinner menu on Christmas Day ($2,088). Those with a penchant for the avant garde should consider heading to Felix for a six-course Christmas Eve meal ($2,888). Alternatively, on Christmas Day Felix offers a choice of a three-course early dinner from 6-8pm ($1,388) or a five-course meal from 8pm onwards ($1,988). There will also be a live band performing from 8pm from Christmas Eve to New Years Eve. Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. 2926 2888,


eating Wooloomooloo Australian steakhouse chain Wooloomooloo is serving up delectable menus for each of its branches. Served on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Wooloomooloo Wan Chai will have a four-course menu ($898 per person) with dishes such as Hokkaido scallop tartare with Avruga caviar, and main courses of either traditional Christmas turkey, pan-seared Patagonian toothfish or grilled Australian beef tenderloin. Meanwhile, the higher end Wooloomooloo Prime in Tsim Sha Tsui will have an even more decadent five-course menu ($988), with offerings such as roasted French quail with duck foie gras, king salmon fillet with mussels in lobster sauce, and Prime’s signature Australian 200-day grain fed sirloin. Three locations including 31/F The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai. 2893 6960,

Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin The popular Cafe at the Hyatt Regency Shatin will be bringing out new themes and dishes to its buffet service for the festive season. Menu details have yet to be finalised, but we have been told to expect offerings such as mini donburi Japanese rice bowls with fresh sashimi, surf and turf from the grill station, and


flambe desserts. There will also be hearty main dishes such as wok-fried lobster in supreme stock, whole roasted turkey with trimmings, and pan-fried foie gras with a balsamic glaze. Cafe, Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, 18 Chak Cheung Street, Sha Tin. 3723 1234,

season’s eating CHRISTMAS HAMPERS ($3,978) is filled with festive treats including mini York ham, potted Stilton, and a variety of delicate sweets. Finally The Hamper ($2,898) is made for those with a penchant for Christmas sweets—think Christmas pudding, mince pies, classic Stollen, and more. Delivery only (additional charges apply). Orders must be placed at least 48 hours in advance. Call 2825 4008 or email

Lala Curio If you love Christmas, beautiful objects and sweet treats, this is for you. Design boutique Lala Curio’s hampers include its own signature products, such as handpainted bins, Cloisonné curios and Obi cushions, as well as a few sweet delights from Jouer Atelier—Christmas macarons, fondant Christmas cake and Canelés. Prices range from $2,200–$5,500. To order, call 2528 5007 or visit the store,

Farmers Market Enjoy the convenience of having your entire Christmas meal delivered to your door with Farmers Market. We particularly like the look of Christmas Hamper 3 ($1,425), which includes a whole chicken, 1kg side of Huons famous premium smoked salmon, 5 portions of Huons fresh salmon, and 1kh of premium ribeye to roast up for your parties. They stock four types of frozen Christmas Hampers ranging from $875 to

$2,100, available this festive season at discounted prices. Order online at or call 9556 0070 for enquiries.

Marks and Spencer This year M&S presents 11 different Christmas hampers and food gifts to suit all tastes, including a gluten free option. Filled with food and drinks from around the world, the contents include Portuguese 10 year old Aged Tawny Port, marc de Champagne truffles, and mulled wine winter berry conserve. Prices range from $130.50 for the Kid’s Delights to $3,889 for the Christmas Spectacular hamper. Order before December 15 to receive complimentary delivery service on select hampers. Order in all M&S stores or phone 3656 2337.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong The Mandarin Oriental’s Deluxe Hamper ($5,998) contains everything from Ruinart Brut Champagne to C&B acacia honey with comb. For something a little less extravagant, the Traditional Hamper



208 Duecento Otto

Aberdeen Street Social

Oliver’s the Delicatessen

Want the privacy of your own dining room without the washing up? Consider 208’s private dining space ‘The Cellar’. Gather your friends and family in this clandestine venue for a touch of exclusivity. There’s no special Christmas menu, but you can enjoy a family style sharing feast, the highlight of which is a five and a half kg slow roasted Tomahawk cut. This feasting menu costs $660 per person and includes free flow house wine, aperol spritz and draught beer. The Cellar is available for dinner functions from Sunday to Thursday. 208 Hollywood Road, Central. 2549 0208,

Pull off an impressive dinner party with minimal effort, with a little help from Chef Chris Whitmore and his team. What’s on the menu? Beef Wellington plus trimmings including roasted potatoes, carrots and shallots braised in port and red wine sauce. $350 per person, minimum size serves two. All the prep work is done, just heat up and serve. If you’re on the hunt for a decent mince pie, Aberdeen Street Social’s mini mince pies are baked fresh daily using French butter, spices and raisins. Available to pre-order in packs of six ($88). You’ll also find a limited supply in the restaurant’s pastry kitchen from December 16–23. G/F, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, 2866 0300,

Oliver’s does a range of 16 chilled and frozen birds for your Christmas gathering purposes, from the US Maple Leaf Frozen Duck (approximately $155) to the 10 pound UK Chilled Turkey (approximately $1,725). Choose from quality party offerings such as Pork Belly Roulade with Beef Stuffing ($360 per kilogram), French Cheese Platter ($750), or Mini Quiche platter ($228). Alternatively, cut the fuss out of feasting by ordering complete meal sets such as the Ali Oli Christmas Turkey Dinner Set ($3,028). Orders must be placed before December 24. Call 2810 7710 or email hk with ‘Fresh Order’ in the subject.

La Rotisserie La Rotisserie brings two French seasonal delights to Hong Kong: Guinea Fowl and Capon. Guinea fowl is tender and rich in flavour, ideal in size for smaller parties of three to four people. Buttery and tender, Capon offers much more meat and can serve eight to 10. Both are imported directly from France and served with homemade Champagne sauce. $888 for the Capon (3.5 kilogram), $288 for the Guinea Fowl (1.4 kilogram). If you’re feeling really lazy, the “Capon Feast” ($1,680) and ‘Guinea Fowl delight” ($1,380) feed eight to 10 people and include either one Capon or two Guinea Fowl served with side dishes and a whole chocolate cake topped with sea salt. Advance booking of at least three days is required. Email or visit


Invisible Kitchen Invisible kitchen’s Christmas party menus focus on dishes that are great for sharing. The sets range from the budget-friendly Essential Christmas party menu ($225 per head, minimum 15 people), featuring five buffet-spread options and one dessert, to the Premium Christmas Party menu ($500 per head, minimum 20 people). Invisible kitchen also does gourmet roast turkey feasts. The Classic Christmas Dinner Hamper ($2,400, serves eight to12 people) features roasted sliced turkey breast plus all the trimmings. Upgrade to a free range British whole turkey for $1,000. Deliveries available until January 1, including Christmas day itself. For orders and enquiries, phone 2711 5788 or 6227 5730.


health & beauty

Party prep Get your party prep sorted with these handy on-demand beauty services. By Catharina Cheung

WeCut founder Vic Kwan gets to work

WeCut What is it? Professional and affordable hair, makeup, facial and nail services on demand. How does it work? Download the app from iTunes or Google Play. Enter the address and time, and choose a stylist. You can also shop products at When is the latest I can book? At least three hours in advance. How much is it and how do I pay? Prices start at $190 for a blowdry to $41,800 for a full bridal makeup package. Payment is completed online once the booking is confirmed. Can I request a specific stylist? Yes. Can I book with friends? Yes. What’s the service area? Hong Kong island, Kowloon, and New Territories, except the Islands district. About the founder. Founder and CEO Vic Kwan, has been in hairdressing for over 20 years, working with brands and celebrities from around the globe.


All hands on deck at WeCut

Style Brigade

What is it? A new online platform for booking beauty services, from hair care, to nails and makeup. Book at home/mobile beauty services as well as salon appointments. How does it work? Sign up at, then choose whether you want an at home service or salon appointment. Select a service and preferred stylist or salon and the time and date of your appointment. B







helping hands

Photo by Michelle Proctor

When is the latest I can book? At least one hour in advance. How much is it and how do I pay? Prices start at about $600 for haircuts to $3,000 for hair straightening treatments. Pay online—your card will be charged after the appointment is complete. Can I request a specific person for the appointment? Yes. Can I book with friends? There will be an online group booking option soon, but for now group bookings can be made via email or phone. What’s the service area? The salons are located in Central, with a Causeway Bay branch in the works, but mobile beauty services can travel to most areas of Hong Kong. About the founders. Founders Mansi Shah (a consultant) and Kathy Lee (a professional hair stylist at Toni & Guy) met last year through a mutual friend and launched StyleBrigade in August 2017. Both wanted to build a platform to improve access to premium beauty services. When you need to sneeze but someone is doing your lipstick

Photo by Michelle Proctor

How much is it and how do I pay? Prices start at $330 for a blowout to $1,100 for makeup lessons. Charges made via credit card at the time of booking. Can I request a specific person for the appointment? No, but all are professionals and have been selected after interviews and trials. Can I book with friends? Yes. Email or use the online contact form What’s the service area? Central, Sheung Wan, Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and more. If you are outside the service area, Sponge will do its best to accommodate. About the founder. Founder Diane Younes, a former New York lawyer, created the business during her first year in Hong Kong. She launched it in just four months.

diyi Kathy Lee and Mansi Shah, founders of StyleBrigade

Sponge What is it? Sponge provides access to handpicked independent beauty professionals wherever you are in Hong Kong: be it your home, office, hotel or an event. Choose from hair, makeup, makeup lessons and eyelash extensions—we’re told more services are being added soon. How does it work? Create an account at Select a service or customisable look from the menu, plus a date, time and location. Have a cuppa and wait for the experts to arrive! When is the latest I can book? Book up to 30 days and at least six hours in advance

What is it? Search and book curated massage and beauty services near you. Choose from foot and body massages, to manicures and facial treatments. How does it work? Download the app from iTunes or Google Play to see what is around you right now and at what price. Select the service you want and a map will direct you to the provider. Afterwards, you can leave comments or ratings and get the chance to win the same treatment in a weekly competition. When is the latest I can book? diyi is a realtime app, so customers can make bookings as long as the centres are open. How much is it and how do I pay? Prices vary and are set by the centres. Can I request a specific person for the

Diane Younes, founder of Sponge

appointment? This feature is soon to come. Right now diyi only allows customers to select a female or male therapist. Can I book with friends? Yes, just input a head count. What’s the service area? Hong Kong Island plus Tsim Sha Tsui and parts of Kowloon. About the founder. AJ Halkes, a long-term Hong Kong resident, was frustrated with how ineffective and difficult it was to search for and book therapy and beauty services nearby, so he decided to build a hyperlocal real-time solution, and diyi was born.


home & living

O Christmas tree

Real or artificial Christmas trees—which camp are you in? The Flower Market in Mong Kok During the festive season the aptly named Flower market in Mong Kok is lined with Christmas trees and other festive plants and decorations. Don’t buy too quick, shop around for the best bargain. Flower Market Road, Mong Kok, 9:30am7:30pm

van der Bloom Order yourself a sturdy Noble fir. Choose as size from 3–4ft. (90–120cm) up to 6–7ft. (182–213cm). Prices range from $890–$1,960. Delivery to Hong Kong island costs $200 (removal costs $250). Get 10 per cent off when you order more than one tree. Either complete the online form or head in store. G/F, 61 Hollywood Road, SoHo, 5505 1661,

Anglo Chinese Florist Anglo Chinese Florist

Wah King The family-run nursery chain is offering a large selection of American Noble firs. Trees available in store range from four to 10 feet, with prices ranging $800 to $2,500. Wah King also offers removal services once the festive season is over. Tai Chung Hau Road, Sai Kung, 2792 7440, 9am-7:30pm,

A selection of wreaths, plants and Christmas trees. Our top picks are the dried fruit, cinnamon stick, berries and pine cones wreath ($1,080); the berries, orange peels, cinnamon sticks & pine cones mini Christmas tree ($1,080); and the Poinsettia ($88). G/F, 13 Lyndhurst Terrace, 2921 2986

Xmastreeonline Real Douglas firs are the only trees available this season. Prices start at $1,088.

Caballo Living


With a company mission to preserve a green environment, Caballo Living is stocking European Christmas trees that can be replanted in your garden after the festive season. Choose from three types of Picea trees (60–150cm). Prices range from $300 to $1,500 with a pot included. Unit 1903, 19/F, Block A, New Trade Plaza, 6, On Ping Street, Sha Tin, 2363 1925,

Order a real fir tree, grown in a sustainable ecoenvironment. Prices are $599 for a 150cm tree and $699 for a 200cm tree, with orders open until December 18. Last delivery on December 22. Available to order at any of the IKEA stores. Locations include Upper Basement, Parklane Hotel, 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, 10:30am-10:30pm.

Sophie’s Christmas Trees Prices vary according to tree type: Douglas($735–$3,070); Noble ($780–$2,650); Fraser ($820–$2,780). Poinsettias are available for $60–$200 42E HA Pun Shan, Ma On Shan Tsuen, Ma On Shan, 2649 6280,


Oliver’s American Noble trees from $1,198. Available for order until December 3 201-205, 2/F Landmark Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, 2810 7710


Faux fir

Prices for artificial trees range from $399 (155cm)–$499 (180cm). Artificial wreaths and other decorations are also available to order online or pick up in store. Locations include Upper Basement, Parklane Hotel, 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, 10:30am-10:30pm.

Maven Simply Posh Collection 6ft. Christmas tree, $5,088 with pot/ $4,880 with metal stand Available to order online at, or in store G/F, 37 See Cheung Street, Sai Kung

Franc Franc The Japanese home furnishing store is stocking several tree sizes in traditional green and pale pink. Prices range from from $500 (90cm) to $1,700 (180cm). For a hassle free option, go for the Christmas Starter Set which includes a tree (150cm), decorations and lights for $990. 173 Des Voeux Road Central, 11am-8pm, 3425 4728,

city’ super Premium supermarket city’ super’s fibreoptic Christmas trees start at $1,380 (120cm). The widest range is available online; only one model is selling in store. Ifc mall, Shops 1041-9, Central


home & living

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Put on some Christmas tunes and deck the halls with our favourite festive ornaments. By Catharina Cheung Librarian Moose Hanging Decoration $115 from Citta Design

Pine cone-shaped glitter candles $129 for set of 6 from Zara Home Stores in Festival Walk and Harbour City

Hong Kong Transport hanging decorations $350 (set of four) from The Lion Rock Press and selected retailers, including all Bookazine stores

Simply Posh Christmas Collection wreath $1,200 from Maven, Available instore at G/F, 37 See Cheung Street, Sai Kung or

FEERIQUE fragrance gel $220 from Francfranc, Locations across Hong Kong including Cityplaza and Causeway Bay Fashion Walk

Cinnamon houses $145 from TREE, two versions available Stores in Horizon Plaza, Sha Tin HomeSquare, and Sai Kung

Wooden music box $520 from kikki.K Four locations across Hong Kong including Times Square and Prince’s Building

Glass ornament dome tree $80 from Francfranc Locations across Hong Kong including Cityplaza and Causeway Bay Fashion Walk

Box of hanging doll ornaments $199 from Zara Home Stores in Festival Walk and Harbour City


Silver Baubles Pack $298 from Lane Crawford, Online and instore locations across Hong Kong including IFC and Pacific Place Reindeer tin decoration $145 from TREE Stores in Sai Kung and Sha Tin HomeSquare

Porcelain ornament (copper) $95 from Mirth 66 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung, 2750 4800


big day out

Sharp Island

Tara Smyth escapes Christmas fever by heading to the hills


t’s December! The festive season is upon us. The shops are bulging with Christmas shoppers and the restaurants are busy throwing Christmas parties. Not to mention, the kids are off school and grandma is on her way. Time to escape the city, and hit some trails. This walk is perfect for small children, the dog and moderately fit septuagenarians. I would even go so far as to say that, if you have a hunk of a hubby, he could probably manage the baby buggy on this trail, provided it has all-terrain wheels. This Big Day Out starts at Sai Kung waterfront. Here, sampan and kaito companies vie for your business, offering trips to the many outlying islands. We used “Kitty’s” service to Sharp Island, but there are others. Prices are roughly $30-$40 per person for a round trip. Kaitos and sampans run regularly from 9am to 6pm—I imagine the frequency depends upon high season versus low season and weekdays versus weekends.


Once aboard, the journey takes about 10-15 minutes. You will first arrive at Kiu Tsui Beach pier where you should disembark. If you are lucky enough to catch the low tide you will be able to see the ‘tombolo’ which connects Sharp Island to the nearby Kiu Tau islet. A tombolo is a naturallyformed sand and pebble “bridge” that links two land masses, due to the waves coming and going over time. It’s absolutely worth walking across the tombolo (even if the tide is starting to come in and you have to get your feet a little wet, like we did!) as the rock formations are fascinating. Pebbles of rich varying colours catch the eye as the clear waters wash over them. You will also see the aptly nick-named “pineapple bun” boulders that are in fact a result of volcanic activity some 140 million years ago. Once across the other side you can follow the short path to the hilltop lookout and look back over Sharp Island. We did not do this, however, as the tide was coming in and we did not wish to become stranded. Do be careful! After exploring the tombolo (and the islet of Kiu Tau if the tide allows), return to the beach from which you came and head right. Here you will see a concrete path leading to some steps heading up into the jungle. The steps go on for a while, but are not too bad. Take snacks to help the little ones along and hopefully hunky hubby with the allterrain buggy won’t lose the will to live too quickly.

Eventually, the steps will give way to a dirt path with interesting flora on either side. Look over the top of the ferns and grasses and you’ll start to see the sweeping views of Sai Kung to your right and the golf course on Kau Sai Chau to your left. Continue along for a further 750 metres before reaching the high point. There is a small pagoda here where you can rest, take in the views and look down on the crystal clear waters of Hap Mun Bay, before commencing the final descent to sea level. As you approach Hap Mun Bay you will see a plethora of BBQ pits set in a grassy area. It’s almost characteristic of a campsite in the South of

fix up, look sharp

France, and you may wish to stop here and tuck into your picnic. There are toilets just up to the left of these BBQ pits, but note there is no running water in the vicinity. Instead, head to the beach on your right and you will be rewarded with clean facilities both for relieving oneself and washing one’s hands. Now it’s time to enjoy the pristine beach that is Hap Mun Bay. Kick off your shoes—even in December—and enjoy the fine white sand between your toes. Clamber amongst the volcanic rocks and if December treats us kindly

this year, maybe even take a dip. Should you choose to visit in the summer, lifeguards will be on duty and a refreshment kiosk will be open. During the winter the beach is quiet and no lifeguards are present, but there were some cheerful lap sap ladies on hand keeping the beach and BBQ pits pristine. Once you are done with the beach you have two choices. Either retrace your steps all the way back to Kiu Tsui or head to the pier on Hap Mun Bay itself and await a sampan or kaito to pick you up and take you back to Sai Kung.

This is a perfect day out for the festive season and once back in the Kung, hunky hubby can reward himself with an ice cold beer, the kids can run amok in Sai Kung Square and mummy and grandma can deliberate over whether to go for the Chardonnay or the Sauvignon Blanc! Tara Smyth runs photography company Nitty Gritty Images. For details, visit




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

“As a pet owner, what should I be careful of during this festive season?”


aven’t got time for a long hike, but want to see breathtaking views? This is one of my favourite short circular hikes to go on during the cooler weather with my two dogs, Monty and Sherlock Bones. It’s a blast going uphill to the top, pausing for a moment to look back over Sai Kung, before a meander back down. Make your way to Pak Kong Au Road either via Minibus 3A, by car or taxi, or on foot. You will find the start of this hike nestled between some bins, very close to Greenpeak Villas. Take the concrete stairs ahead which guide you on a steep climb up. After a short while, the steps become a natural path, here things start to get challenging. After passing by grave stones and bamboo forests, eventually you will break out of the trees to reveal the most breathtaking views of Sai Kung. Follow this path a little further until you reach a T-junction, with Ngong Ping to your right. There you need to take a left joining Stage 4 of the MacLehose Trail for a while, which will be signposted Mau Ping. Now you can enjoy the fruits of your labour as it’s all downhill from here with more stunning views. You will eventually reach a pagoda and it’s here that you leave the MacLehose Trail. Take a left to turn downhill over a small stream. My dogs always enjoy playing in the water here. Shortly after you will come to a fork in the path. Take the left hand fork - the right takes you to Pak Kong. This lovely path takes you over another stream and past a beautiful temple that is always colourfully decorated. Then, you will pass through an enchanting bamboo section and it’s here that you find yourself back at the steps where you started. The hike runs a little under five kilometres, takes one to two hours depending on your pace and is a good, challenging walk. I would recommend plenty of water and walking poles with you - and of course, your most comfortable hiking shoes.

Sai Kung residents share their favourite dog walks 46 | SAIKUNG.COM

Pak Kong Au Road

Festive periods present many potential hazards for our pets. Most visits to emergency veterinary treatment clinics are caused by things dogs or cats eat. • GOODIES Holiday goodies include foods with high fat content, excellent at causing upset tummies. Raisins, grapes and onions are toxic to our small pets leading to blood abnormalities and renal failure. Sweet items that contain artificial sweeteners can be toxic, and chocolate leads to seizures and heart problems. • DECORATIONS Flowers and plants are also dangerous to our pets. Lilies—all parts of them—are fatal to cats, causing renal failure; mistletoe causes diarrhoea; and the poinsettia—often in abundance around this time—can cause mild irritation to lips and mucous membranes in addition to gastroenteritis. Anxious animals upset by the “going-ons” around them may turn to objects to chew to release their stress. These objects can include cables and cords of festive lights or lanterns, paper and candles. • VISITORS When strangers come around, and in particular if your dog or cat isn’t used to visitors, it is a good idea to shut your pet away in a safe room, cage or basket. They will be much happier and you can relax too. • CLIMATE And remember, as the weather gets colder our pets feel the difference in temperature too. They can get hypothermia so they need warm shelters at all times and fresh clean water every day. Finally, be sensible letting pets access other potential poisons, cleaning detergents and chemicals you may use. The classic one—uncommon, I’m pleased to say, in Hong Kong— is anti-freeze, which attracts animals to lick it leading again to renal failure. Hopefully, if you keep these hazards in mind and away from your pets, you will all have a great holiday.

Got a question for Dr. Pauline? Email


hong kong horoscopes

AQUARIUS Jan 21 – Feb 19

PISCES Feb 20 – Mar 20

ARIES Mar 21 – Apr 20

TAURUS Apr 21 – May 21

Tiger Balm Garden in Tai Hang was once a place of wonders. It was a landscaped garden full of weird and wonderful statues, from frolicking mermaids to vast Buddhist dioramas. It was a place of imagination and adventure, but tragically it was demolished in 2004. Aquarius, think of yourself as a Tiger Balm Garden: entertaining, a little weird, and continually full of surprises.

Possession Street in Sheung Wan marks the former location of Possession Point—the spit of land on which Commodore James Bremer took formal possession of Hong Kong in 1841. The harbour has long since been filled in, but the street exists to remind us of this historic spot. Where would you stake your claim, Pisces? Maybe it’s time you did so, before someone else gets there first.

Sham Shui Po is crammed full of textile shops offering bolts of cloth from all around the world. There’s so much choice, but it can be disorienting to a newcomer. So bear in mind that fabrics, like humans, come in all shapes and sizes. It’s OK to ask for advice. Hint: I’m not necessarily talking about textiles any more. Hint #2: I’m talking about love.

Ocean Park and Disneyland both put on a nightly fireworks show as the parks close for the night. The lights arc into the sky, bringing a little extra joy into the hearts of the kids headed home. Think of those nightly fireworks, Taurus. Think of all that brilliance in the sky, and all the people it’s making happy. That’s the power of light.

LEO Jul 23 – Aug 22

VIRGO Aug 23 – Sep 23

LIBRA Sep 24 – Oct 23

SCORPIO Oct 24 – Nov 22

What kind of Hong Kong bruncher are you? Are you the all-in $700 champagneand-lobster sort? A $168 eggs Benedict kind of person? Or will a few baskets of dim sum suit you just fine? No matter how you choose to eat, make sure that you’re surrounded by good food and good company. Everything else is immaterial, although I have to admit that a glass of bubbles makes even chicken feet taste better.

At the Wishing Trees of Lam Tsuen village, near Tai Po, visitors throw wishes tied to oranges into the branches of the trees. If a wish hangs on a branch, then it’ll come true. But you don’t need to go out to Tai Po to make a wish, Virgo. I’ll let you make one in the pages of this very magazine. I hope it comes true, Virgo. What can you do to help it along?

The little island of Yim Tin Tsai in Sai Kung was settled by the Hakka people in the 19th century. At one point it housed 500 people, a school and a chapel. The chapel still stands, but over time the population dwindled—and for years the island was abandoned. But now the island is bustling again as a heritage and ecotourism destination. Time and change are difficult things, but if Yim Tin Tsai can weather it, so can you.

The weather’s lovely! It’s time to call up the boat boy, get the cruiser ready, and set a course for the open sea. Wait, you don’t own a superyacht? Oh, sorry. No problem, though—just jump on the Star Ferry to feel the wind in your hair. After all, there’s a solution for every price point in Hong Kong. Stay flexible enough to find it, and you’ll fare all the better.

As transmitted to Adam White, writer, editor and occasional soothsayer. 48 | SAIKUNG.COM

GEMINI May 22 – Jun 21

CANCER Jun 22 – Jul 22

Hong Kong is a place of specialization. Especially when it comes to tech, there’s a special mall for everything: cameras, computers, phones, video games… you name it, there’s a mall for it. You should take inspiration from them, Gemini. Find your own specialization, the thing that makes you unique. Soon enough you’ll have more attention than the Wan Chai Computer Centre.

Had a few heavy nights out, huh? Well, this is Hong Kong, what did you expect? But it’s how you deal with it afterwards that’s key. My tried-and-tested remedy: Water, painkillers, apologies, usually in that order. Then think about this: what was the best bit of your night out, before it got messy? That’s what to recapture. Throw everything else by the wayside. Oh, and stop ordering Jägerbombs.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 – Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 – Jan 20

Tsat Tsz Mui Road— “Seven Sisters Road”—in North Point takes its name from a tragic story. Seven girls in a village of Hakka people pledged to be virginal sisters forever, never to marry. When one of the sisters was forced into marriage, all seven sisters drowned themselves in the sea. The next day, seven rocks appeared off the coast. It’s a sad tale, but isn’t the loyalty on show something we can all take to heart?

Last month my ID card of 10 years snapped in two, so I had to go to the Immigration Department to get a new one. Handing me my new card, the immigration department official said to me: “wahh, you’re a lot more handsome now!” An ego boost with an ID card? Now that’s service. And it’s a lesson that your identity is what you make of it: change it if you’d like.


What’s my job?

zim city

“What do you do as a District Councillor?” Paul Zimmerman answers


The latest green issues affecting our city. 50 | SAIKUNG.COM

hat do you do as a District Councillor?” Well, there are the fun things—influencing the planning for the district. Sometimes that is easy—with submissions and comments in the District Council and the Town Planning Board. When it is not, more creative means are needed. For example, take the Tai Tam Reservoir Dam. For years we have asked for a simple solution to the traffic problem: traffic lights. But risk of unintended consequences paralyses bureaucrats. To break such a mould you either need a bad accident, or great publicity. Enter Scott Myklebust. He rendered stunning visuals of a second bridge which were picked up by the media. And a drone pilot recorded some bad traffic jams with a Tesla driver unable to pass a bus. This combination got us to the stage where a set of traffic lights was tested last month, in advance of permanent installation next year. Another example is the clean-up of Aberdeen Harbour. A group came together via emails and Facebook and by reaching out to interested parties. We agreed on a name, created a banner, a Facebook page, and met five times over a year to ‘fish trash’. In response, the government is now devoting more resources into keeping the harbour clean itself. If all goes well, we will not have to fish again. Which is a pity, because cruising around in all manner of boats, meeting new friends, was a lot of fun. And then there is the hard work—dealing with reports of traffic problems, transport deficiencies, leaking trucks, fly-tipping, poorly managed refuse collection points, overpopulation of wild boars, illegal parking causing road safety issues, land filling, cutting trees, illegal road building, etc... Reports come not only from residents in my own district, but also others looking for advice. Let me use this

Paul at a charity collection last month in Cyberport

column to provide some tips on self-help. First of all, government hotline is very efficient in trafficking complaints. Most importantly, it keeps a record and monitors the response rate of departments. The best way to get help is to send photographs as attachments. Instead of a thousand words, simply provide the time, date, and location (street name, and house or lamp post number) and a simple description of the issue. Specify the department to forward the report to if you know. Some useful tools: allows you to find lamp post and house numbers. helps you find out about land use zoning. hk gives clear information on slope responsibilities and lot boundaries. And map/ helps to identify village boundaries. Of course, you can always email me at paul@designinghongkong. com or connect via Facebook at P.S. Best wishes for the festive season ahead.

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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In the garden


hile our British counterparts prepare for a cold harsh winter, us Hong Kong gardeners can finally look forward to the city’s blooming season. The lovely dry and clear weather continues into the month of December with average low and high temperatures of 16 °C (61 °F) and 20 °C (68 °F). Lay out a loosely-fitted flannel shirt and high-waisted cotton trousers add a quilted gilet if it starts to get chilly. Right, off to work we go. The month of December is a difficult one for flower seeds, only the Sunflower may be sown. Narcissus, second batch, may be potted while the cuttings of Verbenas, Violets, Heliotropes and Geraniums may be put in. Geraniums are by no means so easy to grow in Hong Kong as they are in England. It is a very difficult matter sometimes to keep them through the summer months - that’s why we gardeners must seize the opportunity during the winter. As soon as the seedlings of Gloxinias are big enough to handle, prick them off singly into pans, and pot them on as soon as ready. Never allow the plants to get dry, and take care never to have them soddened; both conditions will mar success. The vegetables have better luck in December, the seeds of the following may be sown:- Mustard and Cress, Lettuce, Radish, Cabbage, Celery, Turnip, Peas and French Beans. For French Beans, get the best results by sowing in ground which has been manured for a previous crop. The ground, however, should be dug over before sowing the seeds. They should be sown in drills eighteen inches or two feet apart, and two inches deep. Care must be taken that they are sown on well drained land, as they do not like a cold, wet soil. There are many dwarf varieties which have been grown with success in Hong Kong, such as Canadian Wonder, Ne Plus Ultra and Sion House. Plant out seedlings of Celery, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Lettuce. Keep the soil well stirred in the beds and see that everything is watered sufficiently to survive through to the new year. Finally, remember to dig up those potatoes you planted back in October. These will make for some lovely roast potatoes to go with your Christmas turkey this year. By William James Tutcher F.L.S (1867-1920) Superintendent of Hong Kong Botanical Gardens. Paraphrased from his seminal 1906 work Gardening for Hong Kong.

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Worse than worst

stephen says...

Sai Kung musings by Stephen Vines 56 | SAIKUNG.COM

Actually worse than PCCW – no kidding They said it could not possibly happen however I have discovered a Sai Kung service provider that is actually worse than PCCW. Local residents hardly need reminding about the dismally poor quality of PCCW in this area but the local branch of the courier delivery service SF Express has managed to make the telecoms service provider look somehow not quite so bad. SF Express, one of Hong Kong’s biggest courier and parcel delivery services, has an outlet in Yi Chun Street, more or less opposite the wet market. It is the only private courier service with a Sai Kung base, however when it came to delivering a small package to me from Amazon, it declared that I was living in a ‘remote area’ and therefore had to pay an additional charge or go to the depot and pick it up myself. Having checked with Amazon it was confirmed that I had already paid the full delivery charge and therefore no additional payment was required – what followed was a fortnight of SF claiming the package had not arrived, that my address was not findable on a map, that the package had gone to another branch, that it was company policy to charge extra regardless of pre-payment and, well more or less anything else they could think of. Finally I conceded defeat and went along to the Sai Kung depot to pick up the parcel myself. Unsurprisingly the assistant told me it was not there; this is despite the fact that I had phoned beforehand to ensure that it was on the premises. However I saw a box with an Amazon label on a shelf sitting right behind her and insisted that she looked at the package to check whether it was mine – it was. I was now tantalizingly close to securing my goods however she had a trump card, which was to state the depot was not open for business (the time of day was 11am) and that I would therefore need to come back and get the package. At this point I simply seized it from her hands as she started yelling – I had no idea what – and I hoofed it out of the door, parcel in hand. This saga involved countless telephone calls and emails, all of which were met by total obstruction from SF Express and total exasperation from Amazon.

So, if by any a chance you are even vaguely thinking of using SF Express to deliver anything, think again. It’s not as if there is no alternative in Sai Kung, it is called the Post Office and provides an excellent and not costly courier service that actually delivers to your door without a single quibble. In case anyone thinks I am going soft on PCCW, as I write I’m dealing with yet another line problem but this is now so routine that I have been bludgeoned into acceptance. Clean up or littering hell? I have mixed feelings over the government’s plans to remove all rubbish bins from country parks by the end of the year, especially as Leung Siu-fai, the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has made it clear that even if this adds to litter in the parks, the bins will not be reinstalled. The idea here, and it is a good one, is to encourage people to take their rubbish home and not expect to be able to dump it in hardto-collect litter bins, that are often overflowing with trash. A pilot scheme, started in September 2015, is claimed to have seen the amount of trash reduced by 70 per cent. As the bins were, presumably, removed it is hard to understand how the department reached this conclusion but it may just be correct. Moreover it maybe the case that this will work but I am far from convinced as I know from the area where I live that people just dump their litter regardless of whether or not bins are available. It is to be hoped that the ‘Take Your Litter Home’ campaign will be vigorous and will work – if it does not the results could really be pretty awful.

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


Sai Kung Dec 2017  
Sai Kung Dec 2017