Southside Mar 2018

Page 1


March 2018 ’s Reader rds Awa Choice o Vote t Win t ou

hs ide



WE are spartan Getting your kids into Hong Kong’s best obstacle race


The really useful magazine March 2018




Southsider out and about

Easter camps for teens and kids



Check out what’s on

A chat with Emma Pike



What’s going on in your backyard

Online groceries



Fab things to win

Clifton Leung’s Design Workshop



Laura Eckerman Egloff

Cycling to Plover Cove



The rise of the wild boars

Ask Dr. Pauline



This is Sparta(n Race)



New books to discover


Vote to win

Hong Kong’s obsession with street lights


Beautiful bedroom products

55 48



editor’s letter


ope you all had a wonderful CNY and welcome back if you’ve been travelling. March is a great month to debut as an editor as there’s so many events happening throughout this month, it will be exciting to watch it all unfold. In this month’s issue – Clifton Leung’s new project in Repulse Bay is worth a read as you can find tips to incorporate into your own home. Our interview with fashion designer Laura Egloff will make you realise Hong Kong is a dynamic city where you can dare to dream, and think beyond your limited space. Speaking of dreams, pop into our Big Day Out and enjoy the ride. Just a few minutes away from the city you can tailor your journey on a two wheeler for some fun and adventure. And don’t forget to swing by one of your favourite beaches for the Beach 5’s this March. Loads of activities planned throughout the weekend of the 17th. Finally, I wish you all a warm and sunny March!

Editorial Editor Vasavi Seethepali, Contributing editor Carolynne Dear, Eric Ho, Rebecca Simpson, Media trainee Gemma Shaw,


Design manager Cindy Suen, Graphic designer Anna Schulteisz,

Sales & Marketing

Sales director Hilda Chan, Sales & Marketing executive Isamonia Chui, Corrie Tang, Johnny Wong,


Management trainee Charles Lau,


Digital co-ordinator Cora Chan,



Tom Hilditch,

Contact us Admin: 3568 3722 | Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772 Published by Hong Kong Living Ltd, L1 Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222 Queens Road Central, Hong Kong

Joni Chan

Anna Schulteisz

Tara Smyth

...took this month’s People photos. She has a passion for Art and Design and enjoys photography. She draws and paints in her spare time. In her art, she tries to capture beauty in mundane objects and places. At the weekends, she loves strolling around Flower Market Road in Mong Kok for fresh cut flowers. our graphic designer. She moved to Hong Kong four years ago and has been loving the city ever since. Anna loves exploring the hills and beaches for inspiration. Besides art and travelling she is passionate about animals and is learning to play the ukulele.

...started hiking in 2011 when she, and three friends, signed up for Oxfam Trailwalker. Not even owning a pair of trainers at that time, she hit the hiking shops, got kitted out and hit the trails. Since then, Tara has covered hundreds and hundreds of kilometres on the trails in Hong Kong, UK, Italy and Nepal.

Want to write for Southside Magazine? Contact 2 | SOUTHSIDE.HK

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

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


people Snaps from Southside


say cheese Snaps from Southside

25th Green Power Hike



MAR 3-4


Hong Kong’s Largest Health & Wellness Festival returns for its sixth instalment. Nourish yourself with two days of yoga, meditation, food and live performances. $250 per person. Nursery park West Kowloon. Get your tickets at



Every weekend throughout the month, Stanley Plaza are hosting a Bazaar to showcase a wide variety of arts and craft, F&B, and chic accessories. Noon-8pm Murray House, Stanley.

Transport yourself back to Central and Sheung Wan during the 1950’s and 60’s at this interactive exhibition. The Old Town Walkabout is a free exhibition, and will be open 7am to 11pm daily. PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central.

Stanley Plaza Bazaar


Hong Kong Arts Festival Tap your inner creative and join for 30 days of dance, music, drama across the city. Visit for more information.


Glitter, Glitz and Glamour Local illustrator Yuen Tai-yung, also known as the godfather of Hong Kong movie posters, unveils 24 of his signature celebrity caricatures. Enjoy his artwork of Bruce Lee, Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung at Tsim Sha Tsui’s Garden of Stars. Visit for more information.


Old Town Walkabout

MAR 3-23 Urban Tails

Find artistic inspiration at HK ILLO’s very first illustration event, showcasing over 40 pieces of art from six Hong Kong-based illustrators. HK ILLO is an art meetup group. Wednesday to Friday 3-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 2-8pm. Swing A Cat, G/F, 241 To Kwa Wan Road, Kowloon, 9378 8614. Visit




Aerial yoga on the beach (experienced)

Women’s Adventure Film Tour In celebration of women doing extraordinary things, Womens Five will show series of inspiring short films with a focus on adventure, the environment and heart warming stories. Tickets start at $127. Doors open 4:45pm. Leo Lee Arts Theatre, 36 Nam Long Shan Road, Aberdeen. Visit for more information.

Tired of indoor Yoga? Bamboo Yoga is organising a hike to Tai Long Wan before a session of aerial yoga on bamboo tripods on the beach and over the water. For experienced arial yogis who are tired of being indoors. Tickets are at $560. 12:30-4:30pm. Sai Wan Beach, New Territories. Visit

MAR 7-10

The Hong Kong French Theatre Festival Now in its third year, Hong Kong French Theatre Festival will have five excellent theater performances played in French with English subtitles. Prices range from $120 to $300. French International School Auditorium or Sheung Wan Civic Centre. Visit


International Women’s Day Network Event A one-off networking event designed to celebrate International Women’s Day. Inspirational speakers on the day include Nicole Denholder from Next Chapter, Bowie Lam from Teen’s Key and Joanna Bowers creator of The Helper Documentary. Tickets priced at $250 per person. 6:30-8:30pm, Lori’s Cafe, 226 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan,


MAR 10


Magners International Comedy Festival Biggest comedy festival in Asia is coming to Hong Kong with international comedian Doug Stanhope. Laugh out loud with this dark superstar. Prices start from $488. Doors open at 6:30pm. Grappa’s Cellar Jardine House, Basement 1, Connaught Place. comedyfest. asia/event/doug-hk



Above Hebe Haven


MAR 10-11

Hebe Haven Yacht Club will hold their inaugural Sailors Awards Night to celebrate and honour the achievements of sailors. Expect welcome drinks and canapes with an international buffet served from 6:309:30pm. $238 for adults, $138 for kids. Free entry after 7pm. Hebe Haven Yacht Club. For more information visit or email

CentreStage Studios HK is bringing the much loved British musical, Oliver!, to Hong Kong. Performed by the CentreStage Academy students as well as guest performers. Tickets priced at $60. Two shows daily, 2:30pm and 7:30pm. Leo Lee Arts Center, 38 Nam Long Shan Road, Wong Chuk Hang.

Sailors Awards Night 2018

MAR 10

St. Patrick’s Society Annual Ball An evening of Irish-themed entertainment from food to music. Dance along with Traditional Irish music performed by Dargle band. Gourmet four course dinner comes with free flow of wine and Guinness. $2,000 for members and $2,300 for non members. 7pm til late. Ballroom Grand Hyatt. For more information visit

MAR 10

Malvern College Creative Arts Workshop Stir up your child’s creativity at Malvern College’s workshop. The sessions will last 75 minutes and will accommodate children aged 4-7 or 8-11. Admission is free but first-come first-serve. Core Building 1E, Science Park, Sha Tin. Visit to RSVP.



Ocean Park Drink’N Music Fest 2018 Chill out and enjoy some live music at Ocean Park this month, performers include local pop singers and bands. Performances will be held on weekends and public holiday nights. 6:30-11pm. Prices range from $180-$280. For information visit

MAR - APR10 2



MAR 10 & 17

Garage Sale at HKUST Over 200 vendors will be selling new and second hand goods for all ages at this biannual garage sale. Admission for buyers is free, and food and drinks are available to purchase. 9am-2:30pm. LG3 Car park, HKUST, Clearwater Bay. Garage-Sale-at-HKUST

MAR 11

Mother’s Day (UK) Don’t forget to send some flowers.

MAR 17 Sónar

Sónar Hong Kong returns for the second edition of the festival featuring Mouse on the Keys, The Black Madonna, Squarepusher, Floating Points and Fotan Laiki. Tickets at $880. 11am-3am of March 18. Hong Kong Science Park. Get your tickets at

MAR 18

HKFC Mini Rugby Festival HKFC Mini Rugby teams participate in Festivals of Mini Rugby with other Mini Rugby clubs across Hong Kong. Mini’s (U5-U12) HKFC Members $2,000 Non-members $2,400. HKFC & Happy Valley. Register your team at


Sónar Hong Kong

Hong Kong Beach 5’s 2018 The Beach 5’s offer Rugby, Netball, Football, Dodgeball and Volleyball played by teams from countries in and around South-East Asia. Free admission on first come first serve basis. 8am-7pm. Repulse Bay Beach.

MA 17-1R8



BOOK NOW APR 24 The Script Live Soft rock trio The Script will be returning to Hong Kong for the first time since 2011 with the release of their album Freedom Child. Known for hits such as Hall of Fame, Breakeven and The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, the Irish band reached the top of the UK charts with three of multi-platinum albums. The first single from Freedom Child, Rain has

nearly 30 million views, suggesting that The Script has lots of new material for fans to enjoy this year. Catch them in KITEC Star Hall at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $580-$1,280 on

MAY 1-6 The St Petersburg Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake This world-class ballet company has toured internationally since its conception in 1994, and will finally make its debut in Hong Kong this

spring. This production promises the full Swan Lake experience, renowned for its dazzling sets and exquisite costumes. The 60 member company comprises of dancers trained under the Vaganova method, a particularly rigorous Russian ballet training system. Catch the show at Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Standard tickets from $445 to $995 at

MAY 11-JUN 3 Evita

CATS may be ending its run this month, but luckily for musical lovers, another Andrew Lloyd Webber classic is coming this summer. Evita tells the tale of Argentina’s iconic first lady, Eva Perón, starting from her roots as the child of an impoverished family, to her rise to power as Argentina’s nationally adored first lady. The show includes all-time favourite Don’t Cry For Me Argentina and is performed by a talented touring cast. Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Tickets from $445-$1,045 on

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



2018 HONG KONG RACE WEEK • Hong Kong Race Week returns for its 6th year • 249 sailors from 11 countries compete The Hong Kong Race event, one of the biggest sailing events in Asia, returns for its sixth year. Co-organized by the Hong Kong Sailing Federation and the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, this year saw 249 sailors and from 11

25TH GREEN POWER HIKE • 3,000 participants joined the annual event • The winners completeled in four hours and three minutes On February 3, 3,000 participants decended onto the Hong Kong Trail as the 25th Green Power Hike took place. Participants could choose to take on the 10, 25 or 50 kilometre hike, starting from The Peak and ending at Big Wave Bay. The Green Power’s main motto is to encourage participants to practice green sentiments and appreciate the natural beauty of Hong Kong. Funds raised through the event will be used towards promoting environmental education. The first achievers for the 50 kilometre hike this year finished in four hours, three three minutes and 28 seconds. For more information visit


countries compete it out between February 20-25. The race was held in various categories with Hong Kong’s Duncan Gregor winning the Optimist fleet, Indonesia’s Roger Wardojo taking the champion’s trophy for the Laser 4.7 class while Hong Kong’s Emily Wong took the third place. For more information visit

Photos by Guy Nowell and courtesy of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club


in your backyard


• A 15,000 square foot space for artists, filmmakers, writers, and musicians • The Hive Spring will offer sponsorship for selected artists, and non-profit organizations The Hive is announcing the opening of yet another space, Hive Spring. Its aim is to create a hub for artists and creative entrepreneurs in Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong’s most up-andcoming neighbourhood. The Hive Spring plans to host interactive theatre, open air cinema, and art jams to further enhance the community at large. What started as a single coworking space in 2012, has rapidly expanded at various locations in Hong Kong and overseas including

Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The founder of the Hive, Constant Tedder, regards the new Hive Spring as a perfect extension of the Hive’s on-going mission in creating inspiring environments which foster success for all its members. The 15,000 square foot space is located on the 3/F of Remex Centre; a 2-minute walk from Wong Chuk Hang MTR station. Formely occupied by Spring Workshop, the space now features flexible working desks, private offices, indoor gallery and a spacious outdoor space. With generous support from Spring Workshop, the Hive Spring will offer sponsorship for selected artists and non-profit organizations. Visit for more information.

BUMPS TO BABES LAUNCHES FREE PERSONAL SHOPPING SERVICE • Trained staff available weekday or weekend • No minimum spending required If you are a new mum, or looking to buy a gift for a newborn, and wondering what to buy, don’t fret! Bumps to Babes have launched their Personal Shopping services to offer parents a relaxed, convenient and enjoyable experience, tailored to suit the customer’s needs. Book an hour or 30 minute slot to review

pushchairs, car seats and baby cots with the help of a trained professional. Available at Horizon Plaza Store, Ap Lei Chau 2552 5000


• The online platform connects homeowners, friends, and friends of friends • All properties are hand-picked by the team Former Hongkonger Thomas Bennett and colleague Jorge Munozlaunch founded Stay One Degree, a social network for luxury holiday home rentals. The online platform connects homeowners with friends and friends of friends around the world. Bennett says the idea sprang from their own rental experiences, which frequently left them frustrated and disappointed with uninspiring homes at over-inflated prices while beautiful homes within their social network lay empty. Word spread, and today Stay One Degree has a plethora of villas, townhouses, apartments and ski chalets in over 40 countries. Prices start at a very friendly ‘mates rates’ of $1,000 per night. All properties are hand-picked by the team, based on “outstanding locations and unique elements”. Think cliff-top infinity pools in Bali to villas with vineyards in Tuscany. The social network allows members to grow connections and relationships so owners have the option of renting to like-minded guests or choosing to market to a wider pool of clients. “We’re finding that owners who would never have considered renting out their holiday homes are now choosing to do so on this exclusive basis,” says Munoz. “Members therefore have access to special homes which are impossible to find anywhere else.” Sign up at


win at


enter to win!

Younibody Younibody is a one-stop holistic health lab that provides Bioresonance health assessment and therapy that regulate and detox your body. Bioresonance therapy is recommended in particular for children and people suffering from allergies, eczema and attention deficit disorders (ADD). We are giving away a free kids’ allergy assessment program which includes one assessment plus two therapy sessions, valued at $3,280.

Taste of Hong Kong Attention foodies - Taste of Hong Kong is back from March 22-25. Featuring 20 local and international restaurants, participants can sample over 60 signature and Tasteexclusive dishes from the city’s hottest new restaurants and long time favourites. Find out more at We have five pairs of passes, valued at $1,500 in total, to give away. Entry deadline: March 16

Hong Kong Rugby Union Rugby fans rejoice! The Cathay Pacific /HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is returning, April 6-8. What better way to show your support for our Hong Kong 7s team than donning the team jersey. We’re giving away one home and one away exclusive jerseys, signed by the Hong Kong team, valued at $1,100 in total.

Spa treatment from MindBeauty Did somebody say spa day? With the MindBeauty app, you can book services at a range of quality beauty, fitness and wellness outlets with a click of a button. It’s all about keeping your booking process flexible, hassle-free and simple. Visit for more. MindBeauty has teamed up with Doctor Li Beauty Lounge to give away two luxurious Rock Spa, Rose Facial and massage treatments, valued at $2,500 each.

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



five minutes with

LAURA ECKERMAN EGLOFF Vasavi Seethepalli talks to the award-winning children’s wear fashion designer laid back feeling that feels like home to us and the kids love Sunday lunch barbecues on the beach. Velveteen’s motto is to empower children to embrace life and to engage with the world around them. I try to accomplish my goals by seeking out partners that are on the same page as me. Although I started with womenswear, I choose to design children’s clothing as it gives me the freedom to express my admiration of their self-discovery and empower them in a positive way. I keep myself updated on the latest trends and fashion news. But the days of flipping through the pages of Elle and Vogue are long behind me, now I get the digital fix equivalent by downloading the Vogue Runway app to stay updated on every ready-to-wear, and couture show around the world. I also follow a handful of bloggers for latest street fashion news.

I moved to Hong Kong in early 2006. I had been travelling here for work for several years prior to that. My role at that time was based in London, acting as a liaison to the Asia-Pac operations and regional headquarters in Hong Kong. I planned to return to London after six months but I met my husband within the first few months and, like most expats, found Hong Kong to be too exciting and dynamic to leave behind. The pace at which Hong Kong business happens is unparalleled. I love the access we have to China’s products and services and that people here are really interested in doing business whether it is family-owned or closing a deal. Personally, I love that world travel is just something that is accepted as normal here. Our children are growing up without the idea that their world sits within a set of borders, which is a blessing in disguise. Hong Kong is a perfect storm for accomplishment – the sheer amount of talent, ambition, and intelligence that this city attracts through local and expats alike, creates a very unique environment that encourages success at whatever level you set your mind. I was 12 or 13 years of age when I decided I was going to be a fashion designer. I became


obsessed with designers like Thierry Mugler and Azzedine Alaia and started sketching in the back of math class and pouring over my tattered copies of Vogue and Elle on the weekend. I don’t see many obstacles to being an expat parent living in Hong Kong. We’re afforded so many luxuries that parents “back home” would kill for – such as the full time support we have from domestic helpers. The rush to get back to work in order to justify the additional help we have at home is sort of unspoken but very present. Sometimes I really wish I’d given myself the luxury of just being a mother for a bit longer. South Bay and Shek O Beach are my favourite weekend destinations. They have a very

I attend shows in Europe and New York twice a year. I’m also lucky enough to catch Delhi Fashion Week when I’m in India. There is nothing more inspiring than a big production fashion show, they truly are my favourite part of the job. Sitting behind the scenes as the models walk out wearing your collection is an indescribable feeling and I hope to bring some of these amazing events to Hong Kong this year. My personal goal this year is to be more organised with my time. Carving out time to get to the gym or meet up with friends for a drink is as important as working late or reading bedtime stories. Visit Velveteen at Lee Gardens Two, Shop 214, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay. 2505 8100 velveteenclothing. com



Wild boars down South Bay Road


Vasavi Seethepalli finds out if Southside’s wild boar issue can be resolved


he recent surge in wild boar incidents around Southside suggests the problem may be getting out of hand. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) reported they received 176 complaints from the Southern district in 2017. Residents are not just concerned for their own safety but also for the wild boars themselves. Over on social

Solutions proposed by AFCD The AFCD have taken extensive measures to help solve the problem and they have come up with a few preventive measures: • Do not feed any wild or stray animals • Manage outdoor rubbish bins properly or use animal-proof rubbish bins • Erect sturdy fences to protect crops or use infrared auto-trigger lightings to deter wild pigs


The government to step-up patrols and issue tickets to the offenders

media, Hong Kong residents have been posting images of injured or dead wild boars, many of which have been injured by vehicles. The Bay Area District Councilor Fergus Fung has recently put up banners asking the public to come together and help tackle the problem. Fung suggests, “In order to curtail the wild boars from scavenging the neighbourhood, residents must stop feeding them”. Alice Lee, a Jardine Lookout resident is a regular hiker who has witnessed many wild boars while out around Southside. “The wild

Mess made by boars

boars don’t bother us, in fact, they are scared of humans. But people should avoid feeding them because by feeding them we interrupt their natural process. Also, the wild boars have proliferated.” A resident from Repulse Bay told us that she too often sees the wild animals being fed near the Lily, “I see people feeding them

boar trouble

Animal-proof bins are needed against the boars

around South Bay road and also on Headland Road.” When asked what actions have already been put in place, Fung stated, “We have contacted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) for help and requested a change in the design of rubbish-bins that would prevent the boars from scrabbling about. It is illegal to feed the wild, so we have also asked the government to stepup patrols and issue tickets to offenders.” Despite the alarming number of cases, AFCD would like to reasure residents that it is still safe to be outside. Of the 176 reports made in 2017, none involved aggression from the boars. AFCD have recently launched a pilot scheme of the “Capture, Contraception and Relocation/Release Programme” and will continue to monitor the situation. An AFCD spokesperson said, “We will evaluate the effectiviness of using contraceptive treatment as a non-lethal measure to control the population of wild pigs regularly fed by the public in urban areas.” Acting on the recent large number of complaints, FEHD have now introduced new rubbish bins in South Bay Road and Nam Fung Path first as a trial. AFCD are also taking extra measures upon receiving wild boar reports in urban areas, “We will conduct an investigation to locate the food sources attracting wild pigs and advise relevant parties to remove the food sources as it is the most effective measure to avoid wild pig nuisance” said the spokesperson.

What to do if you encounter a wild boar? The AFCD recommends the public to follow few simple steps: • Keep calm, stay away and leave the wild pigs undisturbed • Do not approach any wild pigs, including piglets • Do not attempt to drive the wild pigs away as it is dangerous to provoke them • And most importantly, contact AFCD at 1823 if you come across an injured, trapped, or straying boars in urban areas

Got a local story? Have your say by emailing


cover story


Yasmin Hingun gets the low down from last year’s Spartan Kids Race winners on how to conquer this famed obstacle race.


tough kids


cover story What the parents say Justin’s dad and Charlie’s mum chip in on the Spartan Kids’ Race

What’s in it for kids? Michael Eden: “When [Justin] saw the course, his first reaction was ‘oh, this isn’t so difficult’. But when he finished it he was like ‘oh that was quite a lot of work!’ So the race was a good challenge for him.”

Is the Spartan Race dangerous for kids?


he legendary Spartans began their military training from childhood, so it makes sense that Hong Kong’s biannual Spartan Race, referred to as the “world’s best obstacle race”, is open for children as young as 4. Despite taking its name from ancient Greek warriors, Spartan Racing has little to do with military training. On the contrary, the organisers emphasise the importance of having fun and accommodating athletes of all ages. Throughout the day on April 14, over a dozen age-specific race heats will be held for children ranging from 4 to 13 years old, with only one competitive heat. The rest of the children’s heats are non-competitive, with the objective being to provide racers an active learning experience. We spoke to two winners of last year’s competitive kids’ heat, who shared their tips on how to get the most out of Spartan racing.

Foster a Spartan spirit Justin Eden, the male winner of last November’s competitive heat, is an avid rugby player and motocross biker. However, Eden stresses that impeccable athletic prowess is far from a requirement. “You don’t have to be there to win, nor do you need a really high fitness level to finish jog it if you have to!” says the Year 9 Sha Tin College student. “Spartan racing is all about having fun and doing it however you want.” Last year’s female winner, Charlie Peters, has a similar take to Eden’s on the spirit of Spartan Racing. “It’s tough, but it’s fun,” states Peters, a Year 8 student at French International School. “The main thing is just trying your best.”


Spartan Kids Race is open for to kids as young as 4

Pick up new skills If your child is worried about coming across a seemingly impossible task mid-race, don’t worry - the course is open from 7-9:30am for the day’s racers to scout around and try out the obstacles. For Eden, the pre-race period was a blessing, since he tried out and picked up a new skill before his heat began. “My friend and I scouted the track to see how we could complete it faster. During that time I learned how to climb a rope - I had no idea before that.” This pre-race practice enabled Eden to successfully overcome the Rope Climb obstacle, giving him a good lead. More importantly, Eden is happy with his new ability, “Learning to climb the rope was my favourite part of the race. I loved how that was new and I learned something I’d never done before.” For the two teens, Spartan racing is indeed about embracing new experiences, “The race widens up what you can do because there are lots of different activities within the course,” says Peters. “Other races I’ve done in Hong Kong don’t really have obstacles,” adds Eden.

Janey Peters: “Not at all. It’s also more of a sprint than an arduous long distance race. I think it’s very doable for most. The main thing is that it’s great fun.” The kids’ edition is indeed designed to comfortably match the abilities of children. It is shorter, lasting anywhere from half to two kilometres (depending on the heat’s age range) and involves fewer obstacles than its adult counterpart. Some of the obstacles are also altered for safety; for example the kids’ “barbed wire” obstacle uses ropes.

What’s in it for parents? Janey Peters: “Charlie had a lot of friends join in as well - it’s surprising how many people we saw there whom we know. Which means it’s actually very nice to attend as a parent too.”

Rope c li obstaclemb Justin Eden on the right


cover story

Refueling after the race

Prepare well For Peters, the perfect pre-race day formula is simple. “Have a good dinner and go to bed early,” she recommends - straightforward, but crucial for having enough energy for the action-packed event. In line with the mindset of a competitive racer, Eden takes his preparations a step further by getting himself “in the zone” for a great race day. “I always spend some time to think about what I want from the next day, to say, ‘Okay, tomorrow you’re gonna run, you’re gonna be ready, and you’re gonna have fun.’” Making sure your children are physically and mentally prepared the day before the race is a great way to ensure they have lots of energy and excitement to complete the course.

Don’t fear Racing against older children may be daunting for your child, especially if he or she is on the younger end of the heat’s age range. The trick, according to Peters and Eden, is to just focus on what you’re doing, instead of worrying about other racers.


Leaping to glory

“I was probably intimidated by some other racers since I’m not such a long distance runner I thought my friend would win,” admits Eden. “But I didn’t focus on other racers, I was thinking more about myself and my run.” “Some of the boys and girls were really tall when I did my first Spartan race,” remembers Peters. “But during the actual race you won’t think about how old they are or how tall they are. You just think about your race.” When asked what she would tell any peers hesitant on joining the race, Peters says, “If you don’t win you’ll lose nothing - the only thing that can happen is you gain something from doing the race.”


cover story

Contenders posing with their medals

“There’s nothing to be nervous about,” assures Eden. “Just have fun when you’re running, pace yourself if you don’t want to tire out, and go out there and enjoy the experience.” The first Spartan Kids Race of 2018 will take place on Saturday April 14, with over a dozen heats for children aged 4 to 13. Registering for any non-competitive

heat costs $380 per child; partaking in the competitive heat, where winners will receive a prize basket including book vouchers, sports apparel and more, costs $480. Note that only 11 to 13 year olds can register for the competitive heat. To sign your child up or learn more about Spartan Racing, visit

A MINI GUIDE TO SPARTAN OBSTACLES Although the order of obstacles for every Spartan course is undisclosed, it’s not against the rules to know the nature of the tasks in store for you. Peters and Eden share what they know about the toughest Spartan Race obstacles:


Barbed Wire Crawl The Barbed Wire Crawl requires racers to hurry under a low strung tarpaulin, which is where Eden says he made a mistake: “My friend and I were in the lead, soldier crawling through, then all of a sudden we see these little kids just bending down and running past us - we were really confused!” Eden explains that your best bet for the Barbed Wire Crawl is to bend down and run, or - if you’re too tall - to move on your hands and knees which is faster than a soldier crawl.



Sandbag Carry When you’ve been pelting across an obstacle course for a kilometre, hoisting a sandbag over your shoulders for even a short distance can be a trying task. The Spartan Sandbag Carry requires you to transport your burden for several metres. Peters says this obstacle is where endurance wins out. “I could have pushed myself harder for this task,” she recalls. She also reminds us to ensure you’re running in the right direction before starting the task otherwise you’ll have to retrace your steps, meaning carrying the sandbag for longer!

Leaping to glory


The Spiderweb The Spiderweb is a densely packed criss-cross of ropes tied between trees which racers have to run through. “Your shoes always get stuck in the ropes, and it’s really chaotic trying to do it as fast as possible,” explains Eden. Peters observed that many racers were attempting the Spiderweb slowly in a bid not to get entangled, but that may not be the most successful strategy. “Actually if you go faster and run straight through it you’re more likely not to get caught,” she shares.


si de

Vote to Win

h sout

2018 Readers’ Choice Awards The Southside Readers’ Choice Awards returns for 2018, vote for your favourite Southside places to dine shop and play! You might win a prize from one of our sponsors.

Scan to vote or visit

The Repulse Bay

$10,000 worth of dining vouchers


Entry Deadline: 10 March, 2018

Flex Studio

3 x $1,400 Package of five FLEXtreme Classes

Sense of Touch

Style by Asia

Caviar facial with eye treatment and couple’s treatment $4,580

Panboo bamboo bedsheets set Queen size $1,650; King size $1,850 More prizes online... SOUTHSIDE.HK | 33

must have this month Mini cabinet As a bedside cabinet $7,765 from Organic Modernism Unit 803-804, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing St, Ap Lei Chau, 2556 9499

Spiral pendant $9,699 from BoConcept Shop 118, Lvl 1, HomeSquare, 138 Shatin Rural Committee Road, Sha Tin

BeautyrestÂŽ Blissful Relax Pillow $950 from Simmons Shop 109, 1/F, PopWalk 2, 3620 3043

BEAUTIFUL BEDROOM Give your bedroom a spring makeover

LANA chest $3800 from Francfranc Shop 110-112, Level 1, HomeSquare, 138 Shatin Rural Committee Road, Sha Tin


Strand 4-poster bed in French Oak From $27,365 Queen & King from Atelier Lane 20/F, Central Tower, 28 Queen's Road Central, Central

cozy bedroom Burger bedside table with one drawer $5,950 from Tree 116 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung

Beautyrest BlackÂŽ Radiance Mattress (Super King) $143,000 from Simmons Shop 109, 1/F, PopWalk 2, 3620 3043

Eclectic royalty diffuser (500 ml) $850 from Tom Dixon 52 Hollywood Road, Central

Velvet cushion $51-$745 from Organic Modernism Unit 803-804, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing St, Ap Lei Chau, 2556 9499

Chunky Knit Throw $6,610 from Atelier Lane 20/F, Central Tower, 28 Queen's Road Central, Central

Oxidized vase $1,169 from BoConcept Shop 118, Lvl 1, HomeSquare, 138 Shatin Rural Committee Road, Sha Tin

Sakka rug $15,590 from BoConcept Shop 118, Lvl 1, HomeSquare, 138 Shatin Rural Committee Road, Sha Tin

Natural lighting wood and stone table lamp $1,750 from Tree 116 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung





Eric Ho rounds up the best camps for kids and teens this spring break ACADEMIC Mulberry House Hong Kong’s first Reggio Emilia inspired Mandarin immersion school will wisk children on a fun filled Easter learning experience. Open to ages 2 to 7 years old, children can enjoy storytelling, music and dance, Easter themed arts and crafts, magical science and an Easter egg hunt. Priced $600 for 2 to 3 years and $1,066 for 3 to 7. Camp dates: April 3-6, April 9-13 and April 16-20. Register before March 16 to enjoy a 20 per cent discount. Easter camps will be held at both their Central and One Island South campus. 5598 0509,,



ESF Language & Learning

An indoor, age-specific Easter camp designed to encourage a productive and enjoyable learning experience for kids, from newborns to 6-yearolds. It’s a flexible programme, starting at $300 for one day playroom access plus one class. Priced $570 for unlimited playroom access plus two classes and $840 for those who want three classes. The camps will run April 3-6. Available at both Wan Chai and Harbour City locations.

Join ESF for an exciting week of fun and adventure as they explore a variety of super stories. Also back by popular demand, Upper Primary Author Writing Workshop - taught by award-winning author K. T. Durham - will be returning for one class only during Spring Camp, April 9-13. Spring camps available at ESF Language & Learning Centre, Kowloon Junior School, Renaissance College, and their Tsing Yi and Wu Kai Sha Kindergartens.

easter fun

Maggie & Rose The kids will have an egg-cellent time this Easter at Maggie & Rose Beach Club. Nonmembers can join in the three-hour drop off camps for 4 to 8 year olds, where they will create their own funky Faberge Eggs, make delicious Easter treats or get messy in Balloon Bonanza Art Factory. All camps include snacks, drinks and a full meal. Camps cost $810. April 2-6. 2638 7191,,

First Code Academy Get your geek on and find your inner computer whiz with one of First Code Academy’s Easter camps. The camps offer kids aged 4-18 years old the opportunity to turn their computer ideas into reality; from building apps, website, games and hardware projects. Camps are suitable for both beginner and intermediate leveled coders. Running from April 4-13. Easter camps will be available across their Sheung Wan, Kowloon and new Causeway Bay location. Starts at

$2,250. Special bundle offers available when you sign up to more than one camp at a time. Those who enroll before March 13 will also receive up to $280 off. 2772 2108,,

HK Kidz HK Kidz is running a selection of fun and activitypacked camps in English, French, German, Spanish and Mandarin. If you’re looking to spark your child’s creativity and imagination, don’t miss their culture and enrichment programmes: Language & Art, Drama & Music, Science & Discovery, Language and Cooking, Lego and Robotics and more. Running April 3-21. Easter camps will be available at both Central and Wong Chuk Hang locations. 2877 6160,,

YWCA Challenge the mind, brain and body in one of YWCA’s camps for little ones. Opportunities range from tennis to playing junior scientist. With hundreds of options to choose from YWCA has one of the most comprehensive lists around. Camps include the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy Easter Camp for 4 to 7 year olds ($2,080 for five sessions), Robotic Workshops for 4.5 to 6 year olds ($1,570 for two sessions), Gymnatics & Trampoline Day Camp for 4.5 to 6 year olds ($460 per session), Kids Can Cook for 3-10 year olds ($400 per session), and the ever popular Little Scientists for 3 to 11 year olds ($640 per session). Dates vary according to camps.

Southside Mandarin A fusion of intensive Putonghua training with playtime, these Easter programs teach by doing. Children will learn all about Easter - bunnies, eggs, and chocolate. Easter activities such as Easter egg making and Easter egg hunt will be mixed in with Chinese culture fun and STEM activities for Primary children. Programmes run April 3-7, 9:15-11:45am. For children aged 2.5-12 years old. 3427 9619,,


education CREATIVE ARTS Faust International Be inspired by the wonderful world of theatre and performing arts with Faust International’s Holiday programs. This year, Faust will offer a Holiday Theatre (open to ages 4 to 12), and Creative Writing (open to ages 6 to 13) programmes. The former invites budding actors to explore a selection of stories inspired by the wonders of nature and about protecting the environment. All Easter programmes will be held at their Sheung Wan studio this year. Both programmes run for four days and is $2,370 per person. March 26-29, April 3-6 and April 10-13. A further one day workshop ($890) which includes a final performance will be held April 9, participants can invite two guests to watch the show at the end of the day. 2547 9114,,


easter fun

Elephant Community Press

Elephant Community Press Shaping budding authors and avid young readers, these Easter workshops aim to instil the foundations of good storytelling and creative writing. Running from March 26-29 and April 3, 4 and 6. Camps on offer include the Eggstraordinary Hunt for ages 6 to 8; Eggstein’s Eggcellent Inventors workshop is for ages 10-12 and many more. Early bird

Hong Kong Ballet discount (10 per cent off) is available for enrollments received on or before Feb 23. Prices start from $960. 3487 3153,,

Put on your dancing shoes and leap down the rabbit hole with Alice (in wonderland). Hong Kong Ballet are holding a three day theatre camp which will take children aged 4 to 10 on a magical journey of theatrical ballet. March 30 to April 1. Prices start at $1,300. 2105 9743,,



A Team Edventure

OUTDOORS & SPORTS Treasure Island

A Team Edventures

ESF Sports

Treasure Island will have children embark on an epic adventure around Pui O Beach this Easter. Kayaking, gorging, raft building and hiking are just some of the exciting activities on offer. Running April 2-6 and April 9-13. This year, their annual treasure hunt will be held on April 2, 3-5pm, giving kids the chance to find chocolate plus the awesome prices from Mavericks, Vans, 852Shop, Colcom, Float Captain and more. 2546 3543,,

Unleash your wild side with A Team Edventure’s action-packed Easter camp. The outdoor education organisation teaches children sports and leadership skills, both crucial later on life. Camps last three days and two nights out at Tai Long Sai Wan and sees adventurers take on Stand-Up Paddleboarding, kayaking, surfing, canyoning, stream trekking, slacklining plus many other team games. Priced at $3,250. April 2-4, April 4-6, April 6-8 and April 9-11. 2560 8838 ,,

ESF Sports Spring Camps are offering a stimulating power packed programme filled with active games and engaging activities for children aged 2 to 7. Children will be grouped by age in developing their skills whilst playing and making new friends in an inclusive and nurturing environment. Spring Camps will be running at Kowloon Junior School, Renaissance College and West Island School.

Ark Eden Awaken the adventurous and curious side of your child with Ark Eden’s Easter camp. This camp is set in the beautiful Mui Wo valley of Lantau Island where children get to learn in the natural playground and outdoor classroom. Expect nature exploration, problem solving, bush crafts, imaginative games, overnight camping and more. Running from April 2-6 and April 9-13, starting at $670 (multi-day package discount available). Children aged 5 to 11 are welcome to join the adventure. 2988 5355,,


easter fun

Treasure Island

Sports4Kids Hong Kong Academy (HKA) and Sports4Kids team up this Easter holiday to offer an action packed multi-sport camp. Kids aged 4 to 12 will have the opportunity to play a range of sports such as football, rugby, gymnastics and swimming. The Easter camp will also involve arts and craft activities. Priced at $3,200, HKA will also run free pick up and drop off bus services to Admiralty Kowloon Tong and Tai Wai MTR stations for those who enroll. April 2-7, 9am-2pm. 2773 1650,,

Hong Kong Basketball Academy Get your head in the game with Hong Kong Basketball Academy’s (HKBA) Easter camps for boys and girls. HKBA’s camps are renowned for their high intensity, fun-filled learning environment, with campers developing fundamentals and basketball IQ, improving strength and conditioning, and being more successful on the court. 10am-noon, running April 3-4 and 6-7. Priced at $500 per day.

Minisport A great way to get the children active this spring break. Minisports coaching style at camps ensures that children are engaged in dynamic activities that develop skills and build confidence across basketball, football, tennis and athletics. Camps held at Victoria Park and West Island School. Open to ages 1.5 to 7 years old. April 3-12. Price starting at $600. Early bird discounts available for bookings made before March 19.



DELIVERING SUCCESS Julianne Dionisio chats with Emma Pike of Farmer’s Market about becoming a succesful entrepreneur

Meat products imported from Australia

Tell me about yourself. I am a mother of two and have been living in Hong Kong for 12 years. I also own Farmer’s Market and we import meat from Australia and deliver farm fresh products straight to homes.

How do you find Hong Kong as a female entrepreneur? I think for some it can be challenging but I love it. It can be a bit male dominated country but if you go in with confidence and a strong mind you can achieve anything.

Why did you move to Hong Kong? My husband got offered a transfer 12 years ago. We just thought, why not? We had no kids and nothing tying us to Sydney so we packed up and moved over.

What gave you the idea to start an online butcher? I saw a need in the market, like I did for my other business’ and just went with it.

What were the ups and lows of starting Farmer’s Market? The worst times were probably when I would look at the bank account after continually putting money into the business. However, that is slowly changing. The best times have come from the events we do and meeting people. I love putting events on for others, helping charities, talking at events and helping other small business’ get well connected to the right individuals.


What does International Women’s Day mean to you? I’m not all-for-women or all-for-men. I think in the world we live in everyone is equal BUT sometimes women do get looked at in a lesser way especially in the business I’m currently in. I think it’s a great day to celebrate success and show support for other women in business, who are either on their own or working for someone else.

Has learning Cantonese been important in developing your career here? It wasn’t important when I moved to Hong Kong in 2005, everyone spoke English. However, I felt that if I’m going to live in someone else’ country I should try and make an attempt to speak the local language. Being able to speak a little Cantonese goes a long way. When meeting people for work on an executive or warehouse level they appreciate the effort. Emma Pike

Farmer’s market in Discovery Bay

farm to door Is being an entrepreneur innate for you? Yes, for sure! I remember when I was around 9 years old growing up at Bondi Beach trying to sell sand to tourists...until my parents found out and put it to an end.

Who inspires you? I was a bit of a ratbag in school and didn’t really like going. I had a teacher in Year 9 called Ms Robinson. One day, she sat me down and told me about her hard times. I will always remember how this conversation set me on

the right track. She taught me that if I want something, I need to go work at it, get it and don’t let people put you down.

Best piece of advice you have for aspiring entrepreneurs? Meet as many people as you can and be an expert when it comes to your field.

Are there plans to expand the business? I hope to open a branch office in another country across Asia in the next 2-3 years.

Young Emma visiting Victoria Peak

Emma’s Timeline Emma is born

First business selling sand to tourists on Bondi Beach

Emma eats her first steak

Emma drops out of school after Year 10

Opens her first official business “Emma’s Typing Services”

Emma joins the army reserve and is awarded “Best Shooter”

Ranked 96 in the world for squash

Marries Steven Pike









Moved to Hong Kong

Emma’s son, Charlie, is born

Emma works as the squash coach for HK Football Club




Emma’s daughter, Molly, is born

Opens Up N Go Design, a website development company



Opens High Tide, swimwear company


High Tide closes six months after opening


Opens Farmer’s Market


Farmer’s Market launches in Singapore




ONLINE GROCERIES Click through your grocery list. By Julianne Dionisio Honest Bee Honest Bee is a delivery and concierge service specific for groceries. Customers can choose from up to 50,000 online products available across multiple supermarkets.

Farmer’s Market Haggling in a wet market isn’t for everyone, so Farmer’s Market has taken out the hassle in buying meat from traceable and sustainable sources. They guarantee 100 per cent plantbased beef free of antibiotics and hormones, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and with less calories. Ordering from their website is easy as pie, with next day delivery for weekday orders placed before noon. 9556 0070,

Market Place by Jason’s This popular lifestyle supermarket surely needs no introduction. They have a large range of organic products, including rice and grainsbased foods, dairy, drinks, fresh produce, meats, condiments, and baby food. Market Place also stock a range of Sainsbury’s products, including their organic range – comforting if you’re missing a taste of home. 2299 3988,

Jou Sun Jou Sun, online farmer’s market, champions local food producers who practice organic and responsible farming, helping them sell directly to end-customers. Jou Sun works with 40 vendors, offering more than 1,000 products, using chilled boxes to keep your groceries at safe temperatures during transport. And if you’re not home, select their ‘doorstop’ delivery


and vendors will make sure your products are packed with ice-packs.

Green Concept A wide variety of health and green products to champion a healthy lifestyle. Offerings include foodstuff, organic sprouting seeds, green drinks, organic coffee and substitutes, and healthy snacks. Aside from stuff for your weekly shop, they’ve also got gluten free options,

supplements, natural body care products, and homeopathic medicinal remedies. 2882 4848,

South Stream Seafoods Despite its name, South Stream doesn’t just deal in seafood. They’ve got pretty much everything you need to whip up a healthy home-cooked meal, products like gluten-free spaghetti, organic ribeye steaks to organic mushroom broth. South Stream sources their meat from Australia and New Zealand, and you can get it cut to your liking. 2555 6200,


home & living


natural light

A new light Vasavi Seethepalli visits a beautifully renovated Repluse Bay apartment


atural light and simplicity is the motto behind Clifton Leung’s interior design concepts. The Hong Kong born and Canadian raised designer creates award-winning designs with a twist. While using natural elements and neutral tones he infuses the space with paintings, carpets, and other urban decor and fixtures to create an element of fun. Leung believes his minimalistic approach enhances the aesthetics, yet creates an environment-friendly space.

What led you to design this home? The client found us on the Internet and felt our minimal, modern and practical style is what they were looking for.

The brief given by the client was to create ‘something different’


home & living

Open plan dining room

What hurdles did you face on this project? Not much, but the brief given by the client was to create “something different”, as they were moving from a flat of the same building with the same layout. They wanted a fresh start in a familiar surrounding. We listened to what they needed and played around with the space – it was quite a big change from the original layout. The conventional threebedroom layout gave way to a series of flowing spaces featuring architectural curves and copious amounts of smart hidden storage. Reconfiguring the space has produced an extra bathroom, huge walk-in closets and a multi-purpose activity room.

Do you have a favourite room for this project and why? People actually spend a lot of time in bathrooms so I think it’s important to put some effort into making them comfortable. A special feature in the master bathroom is a Japanese style sit-down tub, off the shower area. I think these are very suitable in Hong Kong homes. They offer the luxury of a spa bath without using too much water but they are also very compact and easy to fit in. I chose irregularly faced mosaic tiles for the bathroom. I like the natural, almost rustic look. Lots of natural stone in different textures transcends the surroundings into a sanctuary you can relax in. It’s therapeutic. I also love the balcony of the apartment where outdoor lanterns are suspended from the ceiling by wire creating a unique character for the space.


Family room

Furniture tips and tricks. By Leung

Colours from the artworks and furniture give a vibrant feeling

Why does colour and light play an important role? Colours from the artworks and furniture give a vibrant feeling and also reflects the character

• Having a bi-functional door can work both as a cabinet and a door that divides the space. • A full length blackboard adds an element of fun. • Use of built-in furniture can maximise space. • Open Kitchen or semi-open kitchen is functional and allows fluidity. • Keeping huge windows open with curtains can create a sense of space visually.

natural light

Apartment balcony with suspended outdoor lanterns

of the home-owner. For instance, the paintings of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, one of the most popular pop art pieces, can add a fun element to a kitchen. Lighting is of course important. Making the most of natural lighting is a great way to make the space brighter and more comfortable. For example, in this project the dining area was near the entrance which made the area dimmer than it should be. Dining is an important space where families bond, so in order to achieve the required lighting, I chose to demolish one of

the bedroom walls to create the desired space and to usher in some natural light. Where needed, I used a lot of warm indirect lighting through track lights that are hidden underneath, above floating cabinets, or at beams.

What is the most crucial element every home should have? A welcoming and functional layout that caters to the needs of the whole family.

Modern minimalistic styled kitchen

Leung’s five favourite places for interior shopping • Lane Crawford • B&B Italia • Shanghai Tang • Gurus • Chen Mi Ji See more of Leung’s work over at

Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans


big day out

CYCLING TO PLOVER COVE Tara Smyth heads out on a pedal adventure around the New Territories


wheelie good time


big day out


or this month’s Big Day Out, we swap the hiking trails for the cycle tracks. The idea is to cycle all the way to Tai Mei Tuk, some 25 kilometre away, from our starting point on Sai Sha Road, near Ma On Shan. Those who don’t own a mountain bike, racer, tandem or trike need not worry. With some straightforward planning, we managed to hire nearly-new mountain bikes from Lung Kee Cycle shop - the bikes and gear were all delivered straight to our starting point. We convened at Sai O Car Park, opposite the Thai restaurant, Country Inn. Bus 86P, 87E, 99, 99R and 299X all stop here while the closest MTR station is Wu Kai Sha. I arranged for the bikes to be delivered at 8am. This wasn’t a problem for the lovely ‘bike man’ who was very accommodating of our early start. On arrival he helped us adjust the bikes to suit our various heights and fitted us all with safety helmets. Once we’d had a few laps around the car park and time to familiarise


ourselves with our two-wheeled friends, we were all set to go. The route follows well-marked, highly maintained cycle tracks and finishes at the same bike shop we rented our gear from. To begin, head behind the toilets at the far western end of the car park to locate the cycle track. The route is mostly simple to follow, with the sea on your right the entire time. However, there is one section, before you get to Ma On Shan Park, that requires some attention. Cycling with Sai Sha Road on your left, you will need to take the underpass to ‘cross’ this road - this means you’ll be cycling with Sai Sha Road on your right for a short while. At first this will seem counterintuitive as you cycle away from the waterfront. But bear with it, as you will go under a second underpass, taking you back towards the seafront and Ma On Shan Park. If you are unsure or get a little lost, do ask fellow cyclists or pedestrians walking alongside the cycle track for help. We found the cycling community to be extremely friendly and helpful overall, one even stopping to help us with an errant chain. Once past Ma On Shan Park, you will need to cross over the river – there are no special instructions or negotiations required – just follow the track the entire time and it will take you safely across the pedestrian/cycle bridge, away from any traffic. You can now stay on the same track, with the sea on your right, all the way to Tai Po Waterfront Park. There are many places to stop along the way

for snacks and refreshments, all of which enjoy remarkable views of the New Territories’ mountain ranges all around you. There are also public conveniences dotted along the way, you should have no reason to get caught short. Once you reach Tai Wong Yeh Temple (15

How to rent a bike We used Lung Kee Cycle shop and arranged the bike delivery on Sai Sha Road, by emailing or call 2662 5266

wheelie good time

kilometres in), you will see signposts for Tai Po Waterfront Park as well as Tai Mei Tuk. The latter will be your finish point, however, it is well worth detouring to Tai Po Waterfront Park and having some snacks and a toilet break. There is much to do and see in Tai Po Waterfront Park, it could almost lend itself to a Big Day Out in its own right. Please note, once off the tracks and in the park itself, you will need to dismount from your bikes. Signs will tell you where you can and cannot cycle. Tai Po Waterfront Park explored, head back to the Temple and continue along the original cycle track, sign posted to Tai Mei Tuk. You will now find yourself skirting Ting Kok Road all the way to Plover Cove Reservoir at the end. Before giving your bikes back to the

bike shop, take yourselves over the reservoir, as the views are spectacular. Cycle all the way to the end and look back across toward Pat Sin Leng. You can also see Ma On Shan in the distance, where your journey first began. Once back in Tai Mei Tuk, return the bikes and head to one of the many Thai restaurants for some spring rolls and a Tsing Tao beer! How to get home from here? We just called an Uber.

Tara Smyth runs photography company Nitty Gritty Image. For details, visit





ASK A VET... Dr. Pauline Pets Central veterinarian Dr. Pauline Taylor answers your questions. “Treats: how much is too much for my dog?” You don’t state what you mean by a treat but I assume you mean food. Food treats are excellent rewards when used correctly in training, to reward good and appropriate behaviour and to let your dog know you are pleased with him. “Too much” is when you give food every time your dog looks at you, barks or whines. Too many treats can cause upset tummies, lead to obesity and cause friction and fighting in multi-animal households. My advice is to use treats wisely and your dog will appreciate them, and you, even more. Don’t forget non-food treats like toys, play, walks and cuddles. It’s not only food your dog needs. “My dog’s breath stinks but I can’t brush his teeth as he will bite, what can I do?” It sounds like brushing your dog’s teeth isn’t likely to make a difference at this time, so I wouldn’t recommend you dodge a bite to try. It is best to arrange a dental check up with your vet. I suggest you let the vet know in advance what the problems are so that they can get prepared as it is unlikely that your vet will be able to get a good safe look in your dog’s mouth without sedation or even anaesthetic. Smelly breath can arise from the teeth but it can also come from any part of the mouth or upper gastrointestinal tract. If the teeth are the problem, dental X-rays and perhaps extractions and a clean-up will be required. As far as the toothbrush goes, introducing one to a pup at a young age and linking it to some positive reinforcers like treats is the way to start. Special dental toys and foods are available to assist and are often your only choice in a mouth shy adult dog. “Is it ok for my rabbit to eat it’s own poo?” In one word yes! This is called caecotrophy or coprophagy. In fact if they do not they can be subject to life threatening problems involving the working of their digestive system (DS). Rabbits have a very interesting, highly complex DS that processes and digests food largely with the help of a huge population of bacteria. If it isn’t functioning as normal it can affect your rabbit’s health. Rabbits have adapted to digesting a high fibre diet consisting mainly of grass. Three to eight hours after eating (usually at night), soft, mucus-covered caecal pellets are expelled and eaten directly from the anus, swallowed whole and not chewed. These caecal pellets remain in the stomach for up to six hours and this process of caecotrophy allows absorption of nutrients and bacterial fermentation products (amino acids, volatile fatty acids and vitamins B and K), and the digestion of previously undigested food. A food item can thus pass twice through a rabbit’s DS.

Got a question for Dr. Pauline? Email 56 | SOUTHSIDE.HK


book club


Surprise Me

How Hard Can It Be

Still Me

Sophie Kinsella

Allison Pearson

Jojo Moyes

Another light-hearted read, Surprise Me follows Sylvie and Dan, a couple who are ticking all of life’s boxes - comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, happy marriage. But when it’s casually suggested that after ten years together they could be looking at another 68, panic sets in. The pair decide to surprise each other to keep the relationship fresh and fun. But a past scandal in unexpectedly uncovered and suddenly their oncesolid future starts to look shaky.

The original struggling mummy, Kate Reddy, is back. But she and her children are older now and this time she’s faced with teens, ageing parents and the menopause. The follow-up to the international bestseller I Don’t Know How She Does It, this time Pearson gives a much welcome voice to the 50+ woman. And quite frankly, the more airtime that can be given to this tricky time of life, the better. A light-hearted novel that hits the nail on the head for middle-aged mums everywhere.

Perhaps stretching the Louisa Clark story a step too far, Still Me is nevertheless an enjoyable sun lounger/ longhaul flight novel that doesn’t require too much depth of thought. Following on from Me Before You and After You, Still Me finds Clark in New York with her boyfriend, Ambulance Sam, back in London. And then she meets a someone who will turn her life upside down. An easy read, although the bumble bee tights are starting to grate slightly - will this woman ever grow up?!


The Woman In The Window AJ Finn It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home and, engulfed by memories, she’s too terrified to step outside. Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers. But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see.




To advertise, email or call 2776 2772.

To advertise, email or call 2776 2772




To advertise, email or call 2776 2772


GET LISTED! 2776 2772 To advertise, email or call 2776 2772



WHO’S AFRAID OF THE DARK? HONG KONG’S LIGHT POLLUTION PROBLEM Opinions, rants and random outbursts. By Mrs Backfire


id you happen to see that super blue blood moon a month ago? Me neither! Admittedly, I would’ve had a better chance to admire this unique lunar occurrence if I’d been in the middle of a Sai Kung Country Park. Instead I was out to dinner in Wan Chai, home to neon and skyscrapers, where night is day and the day never ends. A clear-eyed view of celestial bodies, as most Hongkongers know by now, is a rare occurrence in our light-polluted urban environment. That night, my odds of witnessing a luminous ‘moon’ of the drunken human variety were much higher. I’ve often wondered why Hong Kong is so brightly-lit, even in neighborhoods far from the nightlife districts. Several years ago, we lived down the hill from a huge building site at the end of Conduit Road. We were a few hundred meters from the Morning Trail, a fairly quiet part of Midlevels. And yet, at night when I’d walk the dog before bed, that building site was lit up like Christmas. Safety beams every meter along the site hoarding and a 24-7 flashing red and yellow sign at the entrance to direct the cement trucks (in case one showed up at midnight I guess). This was in addition to the public streetlamps installed every 20 meters or so along the footpath.

Our urban sky has been measured as 1,000 times brighter

Late at night, the OTT illuminance gave this corner of Hong Kong an odd gleam of paranoia. Night lights for monsters that never materialized. It won’t surprise you to know that, according to a Hong Kong University study, the territory’s light pollution is the ‘worst in the world’. Our urban sky has been measured as 1,000 times brighter than international norms. When the HKU findings were released in 2013, study leader Jason Chun-Shing Pun said part of the problem lay with the government’s overzealous fixation on public safety. Which kind of makes our troublesome skyglow a chicken-


Without light, would monsters run amok?

egg problem: without light, would monsters run amok? Yes, no, maybe. We all feel more secure on a well-lit street, but what price do we pay for the constant gleam of vigilance? The Hong Kong Night Sky Brightness Monitoring Network (NSN), which was established after a comprehensive academic survey of light pollution in Hong Kong, says that outdoor-dwellers i.e. animals suffer the most from light pollution. Birds, insects, turtles – whether nocturnal or diurnal – experience severe difficulties while migrating, foraging and laying eggs due to lights at night. Humans, too, struggle to get a good night’s sleep without complete darkness. The bedtime blackout being the trigger for the hormones that facilitate sleep. So, we’re protected in our low-crime city but absolutely exhausted! What to do? The NSN recommends three strategies: 1. reducing as many useless outdoor lights as possible (whereby the definition of ‘useless’ may vary, depending on if you’re a nearsighted granny, club kid or opportunistic burglar!); 2. modifying or redesigning existing lights to make them more dark-sky friendly; and 3. choosing, from the get-go, lighting sources that the NSN classifies as ‘astronomicalfriendly’. Isn’t that an intriguing hyphenated phrase to ponder? Astronomical-friendly. Could it mean both cosmic and planetary as well as excessive and exorbitant? Sky-high in so many senses of the word and a perfect phrase for Hong Kong. I mean, property prices here are ‘astronomical-friendly’. As are most bottles on a Southside cafe wine menu. Also, a la carte items at Japanese restaurants and the French cheese at CitySuper, which Mrs Backfire indulges in whenever the freelance cheques clear. I propose we market complete darkness as an ‘astronomical-friendly’ experience.

Stargazing and saving birds as 2018’s Must Do Experiences. We can encourage people to demand a full night’s sleep too – total slumber immersion – in much the same way that Russian place near the escalator used to let us drink vodka in a freezer while wearing fur. Da! We’ll overcome Hong Kong’s fear of the dark with another phrase we love: it’s trendy! One glance at The New York Times’ article – Sleep Is the New Status Symbol – and I’m sure we’ll have everyone hooked. ‘Sleep is the new sex,’ says the article, and ‘sleep is a Human Potential Enhancer’. A sign of success! (Did you know that?) But most importantly, like any on-point trend, good sleep requires lots of expensive gadgets. I think this blackout thing could really catch on here, don’t you?

Mrs Backfire is - in the words of John Hughes - a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal (well, just that one time and I do regret it). You can see me as you want to see me ;)