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FAMILY | FOOD | BEACHES | FUN | PANDAS

April 2018

The best bits You voted, we counted

results inside!


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The really useful magazine April 2018

2 EDITORS LETTER & CONTRIBUTORS

40 DINING

Southsider out and about

Check out what's on

What's going on in your backyard

Fab things to win

Tommy Fung

Rental hike in Shouson Hill

22 READERS CHOICE AWARD

Find out who the winners are

24

Q&A

54 BOOK REVIEW

New books to discover

54 MRS BACKFIRE

36 CHINESE ACADEMY

Rugby 7’s

56 PETS

20 LOCAL

Tara Smyth heads out to Cheung Chau

54 SPORTS

18 FIVE MINUTES WITH...

Stuff for kids on a rainy day

50 BIG DAY OUT

16 GIVEAWAYS

S is for Sustainability

48 MUST HAVE THIS MONTH

14 NEWS

What's new!

42 HOME & LIVING

6 THE PLANNER

28

41 NIBBLES

4 SNAPPED

44

Sunday brunches

Poker face. Are you?

Bilingual Immersion – is it for you?

40 18

54 “BUY LESS, CHOOSE WELL.” - VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

SOUTHSIDE.HK | 1


editor’s letter

H

appy Easter Everyone! Easter is family time, so we have a list of recommendations to go to for Sunday bunches. It’s another busy month and we have lots in store for you. The month starts off with Hong Kong Rugby Seven, one of the biggest events to mark in your calendar. That’s all you need to know before you plan your weekend.Then, for starters, we have picked goodies for a rainy day with kids in our Must Haves. Cheung Chau is our Big Day Out destination which is indeed a big island to explore. So gear up for another fun day. Talking about exploring, Chinese Academy offers bilingual immersion programs, and the idea of bilingual intrigues me, so I met up with the school’s Principal, Ramida Din. Go to our Open Day page to find out more. Some ups and some downs in the news column this month. Southsiders, head to page 22 to see who won the Reader’s Choice Award this year or to see if you are the winner of the $10,000 voucher! And without further ado, I would like you to read the 5-minute interview with our cover illustrator, a surrealist digital artist. I love the cover, hope you all do too!

Editorial Editor Vasavi Seethepali, vasavi@hongkongliving.com Contributing editor Carolynne Dear, carolynne@hongkongliving.com Managing editor Gemma Shaw, gemma@hongkongliving.com Media trainee Julianne Dionisio, julianne@hongkongliving.com Nicole Slater, nicole@hongkongliving.com

Design

Design manager Cindy Suen, cindy@hongkongliving.com Graphic designer Anna Schulteisz, anna@hongkongliving.com Sonia Khatwani, sonia@hongkongliving.com

Sales & Marketing

Sales director Hilda Chan, hilda@hongkongliving.com Sales & Marketing executive Isamonia Chui, isamonia@hongkongliving.com Corrie Tang, corrie@hongkongliving.com Johnny Wong, johnny@hongkongliving.com

Accounting

Management trainee Charles Lau, charles@hongkongliving.com

contributors

Digital

Digital co-ordinator Cora Chan, cora@hongkongliving.com

Publisher

Tom Hilditch, tom@hongkongliving.com

Contact us Admin: 3568 3722 | Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772

Tommy Fung

Maxine Yao

Ophelia Giles

...After years living in Venezuela, Tommy Fung moved back to Hong Kong in 2016. He had the impression that Hong Kong was a very rich and developed city but the people did not seem to be happy. So he wanted to do something to cheer people up and make them laugh. So in 2017, he began the photographic project called “My Surreal Life in Hong Kong”

...Maxine Yao is a Chairlady of Stanley and Shek O Society for Community Organizations and Stanley Caritas Consultation Committee. She has lived in Stanley for over 18 years and she also ran 2015 District Council election for Stanley & Shek O. She got 752 votes and now she persists to serve this community continuously.

...moved to Hong Kong a month ago after travelling around Australia. She was born in the UK and was raised in spain, so she has always travelled around! Her passion is writing and outside of this she loves to practice pilates, read, and sip the occasional glass of wine in the evenings. Follow her blog at pheerose.com

Want to write for Southside Magazine? Contact editorial@hongkongliving.com 2 | SOUTHSIDE.HK

Published by Hong Kong Living Ltd, L1 Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222 Queens Road Central, Hong Kong Printer Apex Print Limited, 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong

HONG KONG hongkongliving.com 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.


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people Snaps from Southside

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say cheese

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planner

APR 5

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens

Rugby madness descends on Hong Kong for three days of tries, tackles and copious amounts of beer. Gather up your mates and get your fancy dress costume ironed out. Hong Kong Stadium, 55 Eastern Hospital Road, So Kon Po, hksevens.com

UNTIL APR 5

UNTIL APR 15

UNTIL APR 15

Screening over 250 titles from more than 55 countries in over 11 major cultural venues, the Hong Kong International Film Festival is one of the city’s major cultural events. Various times. Various Venues. Tickets available at URBTIX. 2970 3300, hkiff.org.h

Accomplished artist Keita Sagaki holds his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong . Gallery opening hours Monday - Friday, 10am - 6pm; Saturday & Sunday by appointment. Fabrik Gallery, 1102 Nam Wo Hong Building, 148 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. 2525 4911, fabrik-gallery.com

Now it’s 14th edition. The expo will bring together film, TV, digital entertainment and music under one roof. Attracting international celebrities, directors and industry members. Various times. Various venues. 2584 4352, eexpohk.com

The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival

Hong Kong’s first sculpture park opens at Central Harbourfront Harbour Arts Sculpture Park transforms Hong Kong’s iconic harbourfront with artworks by local and international contemporary artists. Free Admission. Central and Western District Promenade, The Hong Kong Arts Centre, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Western Garden, Edinburgh Place. For more information 2582 0200, harbourarts.hk

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Baroque Deconstruction

UN APRT1IL 1

Entertainment Expo Hong Kong 2018


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planner Eggsentially art junior rugby clinics

APR 2

Junior Rugby clinics will be available for the Kids this Easter weekend. Appearances by rugby legends, this year’s players for autographs and interaction with fans, kids activities, cultural performances and an egglette and milk tea festival. March 30 - April 2. Free admission. 10am Lee Gardens at G/F Pavement Driveway, Lee Garden One and 4/F Sky Garden, Hysan Place Causeway Bay hksevens.com

UNTIL APR 18

Interactive Exhibition “Wonder Materials - Graphene & Beyond” Learn everything from graphene’s very discovery to revolutionary new products that use it and could easily make our lives easier and safer. Kids can make their own atomic models, inspect real 2D materials. 10am-7pm. $30 for standard tickets and $5 for students. Hong Kong Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. 2732 3232, hk.science.museum.

UNTIL APR 29

APR 2

Easter Monday

APR 3

Mime workshop for beginners Fringe Mime And Movement Laboratory will be hosting beginner 2-hour workshop every Tuesday of the month. Eventually choreographed performances by the students will be showcased on May 8. 7.45pm. April 3, 10 & 17 $1,200 Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central facebook.com/hkfringemime

APR 5

Ching Ming Festival Public holiday for the tomb-sweeping festival.

Queen Elizabeth II Cup Race Meeting

APR 8

A sought after social racing events in Hong Kong, with prize money totalling $58M, the race will not only attract some of the finest horses in the world, but also draw supporters from across the globe. Public enclosure $10. Noon-6pm. Sha Tin, Racecourse, 1817, hkjc.com

Inviting all standing up paddlers of all ages, Sai Kung Hong Kong SUP League is back with distance range of 200m Sprint Race to Elite Distance Race 10km. Application fee ranges from $150 to $1,700. VRC Sai Kung and VRC Deep Water Bay. hksupba.com

Hong Kong SUP League 2018

Strawberry picking Enjoy the great outdoors this spring with the family at Tai Tong Organic Ecopark. Besides fruit picking, the park is packed with other activities ranging from barbeques to pony rides, petting zoos, and even war games. 9am-6pm. Admission is $130 and ages below 3 are free. Tai Tong Organic Ecopark, 11 Tai Tong Shan Road, Yuen Long. 2470 2201, yl.hk/taitong

Don’t get fooled people!

Dee and Nadine, accredited ASI instructors, are hosting their weekly SUP Yoga in April. Private group $450 each person 90min class includes board rental. April 2, 8, 14, 22 and 28 Stanley Beach, Hong Kong. Book at SUPYogahongkong@gmail.com

First swim 6am

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APR 11-14

Startup Launchpad This is the perfect playground between startups and investors. If you are neither of those, a must-visit convention for those who wants to keep up with the hardware technology. April 11-14. Tickets range between $525–$2,380. AsiaWorld Expo, Hong Kong. 2555 4828, launchpadhk.com

APR 12-14

Live Stand Up Comedy with Tom Rhodes

Book for Love @ 10

APR 8

Public pools open

Han Academy will be hosting a school tour. Interested parents will get a chance to know the schools curriculum, textbooks and teachers. There will also be a sharing between the current students and parents. There are talks on 18 and 25. 8-10am. 33 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen 3998 6315, hanacademy.edu.hk

APR 12-15

APR 1 APR 1

Han Academy Introductory Meeting

Making his debut at Take Out Comedy in the US. Tom has performed on Comedy Central, The Tonight Show and The Daily Show. April 12, 8pm, $300, Champs, 209 Wan Chai Road. April 13-14, 9pm $350, Take Out Comedy Club, 34 Elgin Street, 6220 4436, takeoutcomedy.com

UNTIL APR 30

April Fool’s Day

APR 11

SUP Yoga

Donate your books at numerous book collection points to Jockey club Southern district youth and integrated services centre. All books collected from the book drive campaign will be sorted by volunteers and put on sale for $10 each at ArtisTree, Taikoo Place, with all proceeds goes to charity. 12-8pm. Artistree Taikoo Place. 2844 3888, facebook. com/booksforlove


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planner APR 14

HKIS World’s Fair The annual HKIS World’s Fair is back, celebrating cultural diversity in Hong Kong with international food, shopping and entertainment. 11am-3pm, No entrance fee, HKIS High School, 1 Red Hill Road, Tai Tam, hkis.edu.hk

APR 14

Sparta Race Hong Kong

Get down and get ready to push your limits with the biggest obstacle course race in Hong Kong. Athletes of all levels and ages are invited. Adults admission fee range between $860 to $1190. Kids Competitive heat $580 and non-competitive at $480 Spectator admission fee $50, Ha Pak Nai, Lau Fau Shan, Yuen Long 2659 7268, spartanrace.hk

APR 14

Grow for good Plants and seedling cups to bring down to Momentai bar in Sai Kung. Pot will be on sale for $10 per pot . There will be some good varieties there including: Tomatoes, chilli, okra, Roselle, aloe vera, squash, spider plant, eggplant. All monies will go to help homeless people get back on their feet through the charity, Impact Hong Kong. 10am-2pm. For more info join the Sai Kung Green Fingers Facebook group.

APR 14

Calligraphy Workshop Are you looking for a new hobby to fill your weekends? Try the art form of writing with calligraphy workshops. Choose between dip pen, brush pen to watercolour painting available in different levels. $950 per person or

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invite a friend for “Two-Gather Offer” $1,600 with a set of calligraphy starter kit. Various times. Room 201, Ivy House, 18-20 Wyndham Street, Central shop.kalomakeart.com

APR 14-15

Wall Rope Yoga A form of yoga that will help you enhance traction and extend your body in different yoga poses. Open to non-cardholders, regular practisers of wall rope yoga can enjoy workshops hosted by Pure. From $880 for Pure members, $990 for non members. Pure Yoga, Asia Standard Tower, 59-65 Queen’s Road Central pure-yoga.com.

APR 15

Bonaqua C3fit Action Sprint Trail Series Running for good 13 years, the Sprint series is back again. Tie up your shoelace and sign up for the challenge. 12km entry fee is $280 9am. Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung actionasiaevents.com

APR 16

Eggs Benedict Day

APR 19-21

Servant of Two Masters Actors aged 15 to 18 from the Faust International Youth Theatre will be performing a vibrant commedia dell’arte play set in the 80s. 7.30pm from Thursday to Friday; matinee showings at 2.30pm and 7.30pm for Saturday. $220 for standard tickets, $180 for children. urbtix.hk McAulay Studio, Hong Kong Arts Centre 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai 2547 9114, faustworld.com.hk

APR 21

Spring Fling and Mother’s Day Shopping Spree To celebrate the awakening of Spring and upcoming Mother’s Day in style, Shopping Hong Kong has put together another exclusive shopping event on the 21st of April, at the American Club in Tai Tam. RSVP to shoppinghongkong@gmail.com. Exclusive to only members and their guests 10 am-6 pm The American Club Tai Tam, 28 Tai Tam Road.

APR 22

Aqua Terra Terramar upgraded their route this year with extra 4km seeing aquathon runners and swimmer are getting stronger. Price starts at $280 Start time is at 8.45am at South Bay Beach S Bay Rd, Repulse Bay and end time 1pm finishing at Hong Kong Park View, BBQ site 88 Tai Tam Reservoir Rd, Tai Tam 6139 8179, terramar.hk

Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA Acrobatic performances and the art of clowning highlighting the physical demands of human performance in all its splendour and fragility, presented in a colourful mélange that emphasises bold slapstick humour. Tickets start at $488 to $1,888. Central Harbourfront Event Space. Tickets available on asiaboxoffice.com

APR -JUNE19 3


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planner 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

Women’s Five 5km Run

APR 28

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 $5801,280 on hkticketing.com.hk

Live Stand Up Comedy with Ollie Horn British born, Japan based comedian comes to Hong Kong. $250, 9pm, Take Out Comedy Club, 34 Elgin Street, 6220 4436, takeoutcomedy.com

APR 28

Phenomenal Woman When was the last time you made something about you for you? Join the tribe for a day and immerse yourself in a reflective and therapeutic art workshop with Katie Flowers. The workshop is $1,500 payable upon registration. 9am, Wild art studio Tai Tam Secret Garden. wildatartstudio.blogspot.hk

An intense fitness program for women in Hong Kong capped off 5km run. The Women’s Five event $390, $780 for two, full-program $800 and $1600 which includes yoga videos and meetups. 8.30am Aberdeen Country Park womensfive.com

APR 23 TO MAY 5 2018 Ice Hockey 5’s

With nearly 80 teams participating, The Hockey 5’s will be running its tournament for 12-days. It consists of a youth division (aged 5–16) and an adult division (aged 17 and above), with contests held from 23–28 April and 30 April to 5 May respectively. All games will be open to the public, and admission is free. Mega Ice, L10 Mega Box, Kowloon Bay 2709 4073, megaice.com.hk

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APR 27-28

APR 28

Rising Goddess KIDS DayFest Date day for the parents? Keep your kids busy for a day featuring 7 fabulous classes: Living Yoga, DrumJam Fun, Creative Drama & Play, to Healthy Cooking & Nutrition. Girls & Boys aged 8-12, $1,400, 9.30am-5.30pm, Platform Co-Working Space 1/F 120 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun registration michelle@purepotentialworldwide.com purepotentialworldwide.com


happening in April

BOOK NOW UNTIL APR 30

MAY 11 TO 12

Get their early bird offer 25% off for Mulberry House summer camp. Their 8-week Mandarin immersion will be on July 3-Aug 25. Children will have fun learning indoors and outdoors in Mandarin, experiencing an unforgettable summer! Contact hello@mulberryhouseasia. com for more details. 5598 0509, mulberryhouseasia.com

Led by Gerard Salonga HK Phil will be accompanying acrobats, contortionists and jugglers with Western Orchestral Music. Tickets range between $120-$680. Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall hkphil.org

Early bird offer for summer camp

MAY 5

Harry Styles Live On Tour With the success of his tour in Southeast Asia, Styles is coming back to Hong Kong to perform his self-titled debut album released globally in May has hit number one on the Billboard, UK Albums and ARIA (Australia) charts. 8pm. VIP Package starts at $2,888. Standard tickets range from $488 to $1,288 Hall 5BC, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai.

Swire Denim: Cirque de la Symphonie

MAY 12

Mother’s day workshop Make a range of customised gifts that can be used on Mother’s Day with your little ones. Kids 6-10 years old. 9am, 11.30am or 2pm. Tickets are early bird rate of $300 per child and are available via ti.to/ child-org/get-ready-for-mothers-dayworkshop-2018 The Woodland Beachside Pre-School, The Dairy Farm Beach Shopping Mall, 35 Beach Rd, Repulse Bay 2812 0274, woodlandschools.com

Come and say hi to Harry, May 5

Got an event? We can publish the details for free. Email editorial@hongkongliving.com.

SOUTHSIDE.HK | 13


news

PLASTIC REDUCTION CHALLENGE

Plastic Reduction Challange in collaboration with Green Dragon & Jane Goodall Institute

• School students to take part in the challenge to win HKD 20,000 to implement plastic reduction in their community The event was organized by the Jane Goodall Foundation and the Green Dragon, Hong Kong. It is a three-part initiative that involves learning and creating awareness amongst communities on plastic reduction. The first part is the challenge-in-education program organized by The Jane Goodall Institute to involve several schools in Hong Kong to take part in the challenge. The institute will educate the schools about plastic waste, and the schools in return will design, create, market, and implement their strategy within schools. After they have

evaluated and reported their findings the students will then submit the results to the judges. And the best initiative will be rewarded HKD 20,000 to implement their plastic reduction program in their local communities. Susanne Younan, the founder of Green Dragon had started the initiative by approaching the organizers of the Dragon Boat Festival to take steps towards plastic reduction. Traditionally, the Dragon Boat organisers hand between three and five thousand bottles of water to the participant per day. To implement measures like, “bring your own food and bring your own water bottle”, during the festival can create awareness in the community and help bring down plastic waste.

And finally the third part of the program involves engaging the restaurants in Southside to sign a pledge that they will start a committee and work towards plastic reduction. After they have signed the Green pledge they will then carry a sticker from Green Dragon and Jane Goodall Foundation which will be used as a tracking device on a digital map that can help people locate environmentally friendly restaurants in the Southside. Beef and Liberty, Calimex, Pizza Express in Stanley have taken a pledge to continue their efforts in plastic reduction, educating their staff, and most importantly creating awareness among their customers. facebook.com/GreenDragonsHK

HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN STANLEY • Not many are happy with building a Hotel in Stanley • Eton Properties have applied for the sixth time Stanley is a busy tourist destination. For years tourists have scurried past the area leaving little room for the local and expats residing there. Now Eton Properties have applied to build an eight-storey hotel at No. 78 and 79 Stanley market street. Maxine Yao, Chairlady

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of Stanley and Shek O Society for Community Organizations explained,”Although the number of rooms has decreased from 30 to 24, it is still not acceptable due to the crowd created by tourists and heavy traffic flow to Stanley Market Street”. Though the small business would do well, it would create heavy traffic and an overflow of tourists. Now the residents of Stanley have signed a petition to be handed to the Town Planning Board to cease any further actions from taking place.

Stanley main street


in your backyard

PETITION TO REINSTATE LIU’S BBQ • Shek O beach is a popular weekend destination • A petition is under way in hopes to reinstating the BBQ stalls Shek O beach is a popular destination over the weekend not only for the Southside residents but also for people all over Hong Kong. With the closure of the 4 barbeque stalls, the place looks deserted. When asked the Leisure and Culture Service Department (LCSD) replied, “The concerned barbecue stalls at the eastern side of Shek O Beach involves unauthorised structures erected on government land without the approval of relevant government departments”. So, in the plight of the events, BBQ lovers have made a joint effort to sign

Shek O beach

a petition to help stall owners like Lui’s. The petition requests the LCSD to reconsider and reinstate the barbeque stalls as the beach area is owned and governed by the Hong Kong government. “The only possible way is

to discuss with Lands Dept for a short-term waiver,” said Maxine Yao, the Chairlady of Stanley and Shek O Society for Community Organizations.

GREENER HONG KONG • Hong Kong government taking initiative for a greener Hong Kong • In collaboration between The Urban Development Bureau and Earth Asia Group

Hong Kong country side

BUMP TO BABES:

To get away from the notion that Hong Kong is a concrete jungle, the Hong Kong government is taking initiative to make Hong Kong green again. The government plans to make Hong Kong pedestrian-friendly by planting trees and shrubs that best suit the location. They hope to infuse 120 varieties plants and shrubs to the city landscape.The Urban Development Bureau are reviewing the prospects with Urban Landscape architect Earth Asia Group for a greener future.

KIDS FRIENDLY CINEMA

• As of March 2 Bumps to Babes is shut down • Both Online and retail outlets in Hong Kong have been affected due to liquidation

• Think of birthday parties for little ones in a fun atmosphere • Pre-Show entertainment before the movie • Comfortable lounge seats for children of all ages

Bump to Babes has closed all their retail outlets and online store as of March 2 after the commencement of Liquidation. The one-stopshop for all baby products and accessories ran out of business as they weren’t generating enough revenue to sustain the expenses incurred by rentals.

bumps to babes, Sai Kung

Cinema city at D Park, Tsuen Wan now has a child-friendly cinema theatre called the Candy City. This is Hong Kong’s first, one of kind movie theatre that opened this year that is perfect for family fun or celebrations. From long lounge chairs to comfy seats for three or more the theatre also host private birthday parties.

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win at hongkongliving.com

GIVEAWAYS

enter to win!

Grand Prize - Two-night stay at Angsana Lang Co, Vietnam With summer fast approaching, we’re treating one lucky couple to a two-night stay at Angsana Lang Co, Vietnam. Relax and enjoy your stay at this beachside resort with complimentary daily breakfast and airport shuttle services. No seaside vacation is complete without great beach accessories - so we’re also giving away two beautiful beach bags by Makaron. Enter now to win both prizes, worth of total of $7,000!

FAUST International Suitable for children aged 3 to 14, Faust International’s week long Summer Theatre programme empowers children through drama and performance skills. While their Creative Writing programme sees kids, aged 6 to 13 years develop their writing skills and creativity in a fun, relaxed environment. faustworld. com/prog_summer.asp We are giving one reader a place at either the Summer Theatre or Creative Writing programme. This prize is valued at $2,980, valid between June 25 and August 24.

The Script

Plastic-free HK

Woodland’s Summer Programmes

After seven years since their Hong Kong debut, soft rock trio The Script will be back in town with their new album Freedom Child on April 24 . Known for hits such as Hall of Fame, Breakeven, the Irish band has topped the UK charts with three multi-platinum albums. Tickets are available at hkticketing.com We are giving away two pairs of tickets, valued at $2,320 in total.

Founded in 2016, Plastic-free HK aims to provide an eco-friendly shopping alternative in Hong Kong. All products are either items that you can keep reusing or are made of, and packaged with organic materials that would degrade naturally. Find out more at plasticfreehk.com We are happy to give away a zero-waste bathroom kit and a zero-waste shaving kit, valued at $765 in total.

Woodland Pre-Schools’ new summer programme encourage our little ones to discover a wide range of interests including drama, music, science, cooking and design. Summer Sports and Games Programme are also on offer from July 3 to August 10. Open to children aged 6 months to 7 years. woodlandschools. com We are giving away three Summer Programmes, valued from $3,350 each.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to get all our giveaways delivered straight to your inbox: southside.hk/subscribe

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five minutes with

TOMMY FUNG

The surrealist photographer talks to Yasmin Hingun about art, society, and Instagram fame Why be normal when you can be different? What is normal, anyway? Maybe it means being too safe! No one will follow you if you are mediocre. I try to make all my photos as realistic as possible. They take many hours to edit, but time is not the problem. Only the outcome matters. And this applies to everything. You have to get better. You have to set your standards very high. I grew up in Venezuela. Locals there tend to be easygoing - not like Hong Kongers who are more distant, and seem very stressed out. The difference is striking because Venezuela has people who are starving, who lack access to education, but Hong Kong is a good city that doesn’t have those problems. So when I returned here two years ago I had to ask myself: what is going on? The way you face your problems determines whether you are happy or not. People in Hong Kong are feeling pretty negative at the moment. Many don’t have decent homes to live in, the working hours are endless, the political situation isn’t that good. I thought, “Why not do something to make people feel more positive?” So I started my Instagram account, SurrealHK. Nothing happened during my first two months on Instagram; I got one or two or ten likes. When a post reached 100 likes, I’d think, “Wow that’s awesome!” I kept doing my work and creating different things. Then somehow, people started paying attention. Now I have almost 25,000 followers - I still don’t know how to respond to that. When I returned from Venezuela I started from nothing. I used to be a photographer there, and people knew my work. But in Hong Kong people didn’t know me. I saw my situation as an opportunity to do something different. I’m living my dream. A lot of people don’t have the opportunity or determination to pursue their dream. But if you have the chance, and you don’t do it, maybe one day you’ll regret it. I tried and hopefully this can be my full time job now. It’s tough work, but who said it was going to be easy? I don’t like the idea of “influencers.” It’s ridiculous. If you are a famous Youtuber or

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Instagrammer, be an example for young people. Send a message to society instead of only taking selfies and acting like you’re a king or queen. Everyone has the right to say whatever they want. I take advantage of my work and all the followers to express my point of view on societal problems. One of my recent posts was about the housing problem, how Hong Kong homes are getting smaller and smaller. I really like it when people start discussing the perspectives or social issues that my pictures bring up. The only way this city can improve is when we focus on serving the people around us, instead of only serving ourselves. It all starts with the individual. I hope the new generation of Hong Kong can steer the city in a better direction. Follow Fung’s Instagram account, surrealhk, where most of his work is featured.


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local

Shouson Hill overlooking Wong Chuk Hang

RENTAL HIKE IN SHOUSON HILL

Can the residents expect a descend anytime soon? Vasavi Seethepalli reports

T

he South Island line has benefited the Southerners immensely due to the accessibility to the MTR and the convenience that it provides. From its inception in December 2016, the commuters are enjoying a quick ride to Admiralty and Kowloon within minutes. With the MTR, it has brought gentrification in and around the neighbourhood, especially in Wong Chuk Hang area where old industrial buildings are converted to restaurants, coffee shops, and art galleries. Shouson Hill is a quiet residential area overlooking Ocean Park, and now the new Marriott hotel that’s due to open in June. It is

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in close proximity to the Aberdeen tunnel that leads up to the hustle bustle of Wan Chai and Central consecutively. In January this year, ECA International, a data, research, and software company published a research article stating that Hong Kong is the most expensive location in Asia. It further states that Hong Konger’s on average pay more rent than their counterparts in Tokyo, the next most expensive city in the world. The survey was based on unfurnished, three-bedroom apartments in the mid-range expatriate market. So, it comes as no surprise, seeing as the rents here has increased in the first quarter

of 2018 by 5-8% from last year. A resident of Shouson Hill said “my neighbour is moving out after living here for 4 years, the landlord was not willing to renegotiate the rent”. When you look at the housing index chart, it shows that there has been an incremental rise. The other most important factors for the increase in rents in the Shouson Hill is the accessibility to country parks, great beaches, international schools and laid back atmosphere. When asking Leena Ngai, a property agent from Oasis property, why there has been an incremental rise in rents in Shouson Hill, she stated, “the properties available for rent are limited, there is limited


Shouson Hill road

supply, and the rents keep increasing, currently it is at HKD 45-50 per square foot.� The question now is, will there be a rental drop in Shouson Hill soon? Probably. With the approval of new housing development around Wong Chuk Hang there could be a drop. Recently, there has been a bid to build a residential complex around the South Island line which is expected to be completed in 2022. They are estimated to build 4,700 flats above the Wong Chuk Hang’s MTR station. But one can only predict that the rental price will descend due to the increase in land supply. Got a local story? Have your say by emailing editorial@hongkongliving.com

SOUTHSIDE.HK | 21


cover story

2018 Readers’ Choice Awards

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winners

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Best restaurant and favourite dish

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Best fine dining

Limewood, 48 HR Charred Beef Ribs

The Verandah

Opened in 2014, Limewood became an instant hit. With cool rustic ambience that opens out to the Repulse Bay beach, Limewood topped the charts this year as the best restaurant once again. Influenced by South East Asian, Hawaiian, South American and Caribbean recipes that is centered around barbecued seafood and meats, accompanied with refreshing cocktails – the restaurant is sure to tantalize your taste buds. “We are absolutely blown away to receive this award again and we are grateful for every one of our customers who voted for us!”, said Malcolm Wood, Maximal Concept’s Founder & Group Managing Director. Shop 103 & 104, G/F, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay. 2866 8668, limewood.com.hk

For sophistication and exquisite taste, look no further than The Verandah which has been voted as Best Fine Dining for the second year in a row by our southsiders! The restaurant offers stunning views across Repulse Bay beach, and elegant furnishings such as wooden ceiling fans, and a grand piano at the entrance.

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Enjoy an intimate dining experience and feast upon delicious Asian and Western-style salads, starters and mains; have a browse through the generous wine list which offers french, italian and other world-wide vintages. 109 Repulse Bay Road. 2292 2922, therepulsebay.com


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Best coffee shop

The Coffee Academics Voted again by southsiders, The Coffee Academics offers rich and flavoursome coffee, a relaxing and delightful atmosphere, and dazzling views of the beach. It’s the perfect place for chilling out! Shop 108, Level 1, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay.

Best places to take guests? • • • • •

Limewood Stanley market Shek O Jumbo Restaurant Junk ride with a great picnic

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Best bar or pub

With beautiful views and friendly atmosphere, the Smugglers Inn is a local pub at Stanley. The pub truly stands up to its name as the interiors of the pub are covered with banknotes (fake of course) and the furniture is made from old barrels. A popular place for expats and the community around Southside at large, it hosts dart game and foot race for a free drink. G/F, 90A, Stanley main street, Stanley. 2813 8852

“Thank you to all our customers for voting The Smuggler’s Inn as the best pub in the Southside,” - Bryan, manager

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winners h sout

Best hair salon

Capelli

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Cappelli is a friendly and family-orientated salon offering a wide range of products and services, including hair spa, professional makeup and Spa treatments. Bring your kids along and they will be provided with children’s entertainment while you get your hair done, or even while they get theirs done! They also offer a VIP membership with exclusive offers, free hair diagnosis and so much more. G211, 1/F, The Repulse Bay Arcade, 109 Repulse Bay Road, Hong Kong. 2592 9559, capelli.com.hk

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Best day spa

Sense of Touch

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Thank you so much for this accolade, great honour to be chosen as SouthSide Magazine’s favorite salon. We strive to deliver excellence in our services and pick the best hair and salon products produced in the market.Our warm customer service is also our pride. Thank you for this special award.

Best hike Dragon’s Back

Southside’s best kept secret? Photo by Alfred Chung

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This multi-award winning spa has once again won the hearts of southsiders as the best pampering experience. G211, 1/F, The Repulse Bay Arcade, 109 Repulse Bay Road. 2592 9668, senseoftouch.com.hk

• • •

Ap Lei Pei hike (the lighthouse) Turtle Cove Beach South Bay

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Best fitness studio or gym

Flex Studio

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Best lifestyle and interiors store

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Located in Wong Chuk Hang, this premium fitness studio has everything you need to begin your fitness transformation. Catering to the needs of any fitness level and any age, Flex studio has something for everyone and offers motivation to work hard and see results! 308- 310, One Island South. 2813 2212, flex.hk.com

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Best local sports team

Indigo Living

Valley Fort Rugby Football Club

A one stop shop for home interiors, Indigo Living was set up 39 years ago in Hong Kong. They have seven stores all over Hong Kong of which two are in the Southside. They believe in durability, sustainability and strive to create practical design that works well in limited space. Their flagship store in Horizon Plaza also provides free consultation services. The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Road. 2592 8721, indigo-living.com

One of the most family and community centred rugby clubs in Hong Kong. Valley Fort Rugby Football Club is wholly running through active volunteer team made up of mums and dads of children playing the game. With U5 - U19 classes children can progress in this club throughout the years. This volunteer run minirugby club is one of the largest clubs in Hong Kong, and has teams of players of all age groups from under 5s to under 18s. valleyfort.com/index.aspx

Flex Studio is truly honoured to be awarded Best Fitness Studio or Gym and would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the readers who voted for us. Providing professional, intelligent training for better movement (with plenty of variety) is our main goal and one we strive to continue offering to our valued clients.

Best places to take the kids? • • •

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Ocean Park Azzita Hoverland Repulse Bay Beach


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Best residential complex

The Repulse Bay complex The Repulse Bay complex proudly sits along the repulse bay road overlooking the Repulse Bay beach, and the South China Sea. It is famously called as the building with a hole, as it was built with Chinese feng shui to bring in good luck. The eight tower residential building also accommodates shopping arcade, a day spa, ATM, a physiotherapy centre, and medical clinics. 109 Repulse Bay Road. 2292 2878 (Apartment leasing) 2292 2829 (Club enquiries) therepulsebay.com

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Cinema Family-friendly restaurants Water park for the kids A better delicatessen

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What would you like to see come to The Pulse?


Best school

Canadian International School of Hong Kong Canadian International School is one of the most popular International schools in Hong Kong. Located at Aberdeen, CDNIS was established in 1991 and hosts 1780 students.

“We are delighted to be named Best School in the Reader’s Choice Awards, thank you to all the readers who voted for us.” - David Baird, Interim Head of School

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Best art gallery

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Best Vet

Blindspot Gallery

Stanley Veterinary Centre

Third time in a row, Blindspot has been voted as the reader’s favourite art gallery! Located in Wong Chuk Hang, the gallery offers contemporary and photo-based masterpieces, as-well as diverse media in contemporary art. For nearly 20 years they have been representing emerging and established artists, and provide the public with a fantastic viewing experience. 15/F, Po Chai Industrial Building, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Road. 2517 6238 blindspotgallery.com

Everybody wants to see their beloved pets in safe hands, and there’s no better pace to take them than Stanley Veterinary Centre, which has been voted the best vet again by southsiders. This friendly, caring and professional clinic meets all your pets needs, and with house calls also available you can always rely on them to help out your furry friends! LG/F 10-12 Wong Ma Kok Road. 2813 2030, stanleyvetcentre.com

“Many thanks to our wonderful clients and their pets for their ongoing support!” - Michael, Stanley Veterinary Centre

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Favourite annual Southside event

Beach 5s

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A carnival like atmosphere engulfs Repulse Bay beach which is decked with activities, food stalls, and amusement throughout the weekend. Since its inaugural debut in 2011 it has grown manifold. The games played now are Netball, Rugby, Football, Dodgeball and Volleyball. The Repulse Bay Beach, beach5s.com

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Best private members club

The American club The American Club is nearly a century old and remains to be a Southside family favorite. Established in 1925, the club provides permanent individual membership for U.S. Citizens residing in Hong Kong. There are also membership options for non-US citizen, patrons can visit two clubhouses, one in

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Central and one in Tai Tam both providing luxurious dining, fitness centres and country store with products imported from America. The Member, their spouse and children up to 21 years can use facilities at both Town & Country Clubs with a prevailing entrance fee of $438,000 plus prevailing monthly subscription fee of $2,650 per month. One-year temporary membership $45,600 annual fee, plus $1,500 Wong Chuk Hang, Shum Wan Road. 2555 8321, aberdeenmarinaclub.com


winners It wouldn’t be Southside without… • • •

The Dragon boat festival The people The dogs

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The winners

Flex Studio

The Repulse Bay

$10,000 worth of dining vouchers therepulsebay.com Winner: Law Tsz Him

$1,400 package of five FLEXtreme Classes flexhk.com Winners: Ann Lai, Craig Florence & Renae

Style by Asia

2 x Panboo bamboo bedsheet sets from Style by Asia ($1,850 King Size set; $1,650 Queen size set) stylebyasia.com Winners: Cheris Yuen & Kieran Childs

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Sense of Touch

$4,580 Caviar facial with eye treatment and couple’s treatment senseoftouch.com.hk Winner: Mirna Pathammavong


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education

CHINESE ACADEMY PROMISES TO OFFER A BILINGUAL IMMERSION Is it plausible? Vasavi Seethepalli finds out more 36 | SOUTHSIDE.HK


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new school

hinese Academy (CA) is a new private school founded in 2017 sponsored by the International Chinese Academy Education Foundation (ICAEF) and the Confucius Hall (CH) of Hong Kong, aiming to provide premium education. The school is based on the principles of Confucius, a revered scholar of China and is considered as the teacher of all teachers. The historical Confucius Hall is a nonreligious scholastic organization will be a part of the school’s campus.

The Campus The on-site campus is a renovated school building located at Caroline Hill, a stone’s throw-away from the Hong Kong stadium. They share the same entrance with the Confucius Hall Secondary School temporarily. But the actual foundation for the new school building will start very soon, and they hope to open the new Chinese Academy Primary School (CAPS) campus in 2020. The new primary school campus will host 4 classes for each grade level up to grade 6. The model for the school campus looks promising. There will be three areas to the campus: the first two being the primary and secondary school buildings and the third will house the interactive multimedia library, gymnasium, cafeteria, SEM Lab and swimming pool. On completion of the primary school, the secondary school building construction will begin in 2021-2022, just as the current students graduate. Overall they hope to have four classes of 23-25 children for each grade level until 12th grade, which is a total of 1200 pupils.

Bilingual Immersion The school prides itself as one of the few schools in Hong Kong to offer a bilingual immersion curriculum. “When we talk of bilingual immersion really there needs to be a balanced percentage of curriculum time and instruction time in both languages for students to be able to become proficient in both languages”, says the school principal Ramida Din. “We believe that the language must be used in all subjects, in different situations, and in various activities in order to achieve full immersion”. Most of the subjects are taught in both languages. In CAPS, each subject is taught at 60:40 ratio, where 60% is in English and the rest of the time in Chinese. This the school believes, will enhance and develop an appreciation for Chinese language and go deeper to understand the culture. “We don’t stop at comprehension, but students are challenged to analyze, critique and create”, said Ramida

Global Citizens With the help of the school’s advisory board who are faculty members at Cambridge, Oxford, and Hong Kong University they hope to bring in international and global perspective into

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education their teachings. They offer Student Exchange Programs for the upper primary students which can help foster an independent frame of mind. The school believes that their new campus will be an ideal environment for students to evolve into 21st-century thoughtful citizens.

Scolarships programme The school also provides fee remission irrespective of the student’s financial background. The ICAEF offers scholarships and sponsorships to successful students in order to provide opportunities for talented young individuals.

Curriculum The school’s curriculum is based on an Inquiry approach, developed by the school’s in-house program. Each subject will be explored in depth and allow students to engage, investigate, and think outside the box. Apart from the regular English, Chinese, Maths, they developed what’s called the Integrated Inquiry Studies (IIS) which will give the students the opportunity to explore science, and social studies through multiple perspectives, and develop the mind to become inquisitive. Students are taught core values of humanity, traditional Chinese values based on Confucian philosophy, and a knowledge-oriented attitude.

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Ramida Din - Principal


new school Ramida Din further states that “In our Humanities class, which is taught in Putonghua, the students learn about art, history, festivals around the world, a special unit on China and their inventions and how they influenced the world, and Chinese myths and legends – how fun!”. The school promises to offer IB and PYP at the secondary level. The current students will graduate to secondary school in parallel with the inauguration of the secondary campus.

Technology Information Technology plays an important role to impart interactive learning. “We are keen to develop ebooks for the pinyin and the phonics program. Ebooks help the students to revisit their lessons at home”, explains the principal Ramida. IT and computer literacy do carry a few setbacks when not addressed properly. “This subject is explicitly taught through Values Education, where the students learn to be supportive to one another and to surf smartly. IT is a tool to learn like any other subject ” adds Ramida to my inquisition. The school’s optimistic attitude does convey a message to a wider audience and hopes to usher in new students to further their interest in community enrichment.

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dining

Getting stuck in at Jamie’s Italian

Everything’s magic at FRITES

LUNCHING WITH LOVE Julianne Dionisio rounds up a lucky seven of Hong Kong’s best family brunches this Easter Jamie’s Italian Hong Kong

Clipper Lounge

Jamie Oliver’s much loved family-style sharing menu will be adding some Easter specials to its repertoire this month, including poached salmon and a carvery. Children’s specials include a cupcake corner and Easter egg hunt. If you’re after a laidback, fun venue for family gatherings, Jamie’s is hard to beat. The venues also have kids play areas to keep tots busy while you enjoy your meal. Adults $320 kids aged 4-11 years old $220 (plus 10 per cent service). March 30 - April 2, Shop 412, Level 4 Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui 3758 3333, 2/F, Soundwill Plaza IIMidtown 1, Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay. 3958 2222, jamieoliver.com

Mandarin Oriental’s Clipper Lounge Sunday Brunch has legendary status in Hong Kong and with good reason. In addition to its extravagant brunch, children will be entertained with eggpainting and photos with the Easter bunny. The dessert buffet comprises hot and cold dishes, pastries and ice cream with cheese platters to finish everything off. Adults $688, add $300 to include free flow Moët & Chandon Brut or Moët & Chandon Brut Rosé Champagne and selected fruit juices, kids $418. 11.30am-3pm, April 1, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road, Central. 2522 0111, mandarinoriental.com

Frites Spacious Frites is perfect for letting the little ones run around this Easter. The Belgian beerhouse will be hosting a festive party with an egg hunt followed by a magic show. Mini diners are invited to dress up and a Best Costume Award will earn you a Frites dinner voucher. Along with the fun games, kids will love the mini portions of fish ‘n’ chips, schnits ‘n’ strips and mini burgers. 11.45am & 1:30pm, March 30 - April 1, The Wellington, 1/F 198 Wellington Street, Central. 2217 6671, frites.hk

Lily & Bloom Expect a semi-buffet setting, with healthy salads, a seafood bar, a made-to-order omelette station and a carvery. Easter fun includes an egg hunt with prizes including brunch vouchers for two and a $1000 dining voucher with a complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot. There will also be a dedicated Kids Corner and the obligatory freeflow cocktails and drinks for adults. Adults $595, kids aged 4-11 years old $155 (plus 10 per cent service), free for under fours. Additional $100 for free flow Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut. April 1416, 33 Wyndham St, Central. 2810 6166, lily-bloom.com.

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Beautiful brunches at Lily & Bloom


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home & living

S IS FOR SUSTAINABILITY Vasavi Seethepalli finds some inspiring interiors this spring/summer

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new collection

Indigo living

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home & living

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very year top designers come up with some amazing, well thought designs that go hand in hand with homeowners eager to create a comfy abode for themselves. This year in Hong Kong – Indigo Living, Tree, and Bowerbird have launched new inspiring, refreshing designs to tantalize your taste for new, durable and sustainable design for the interior. Early this year, Indigo Living launched their new Spring/Summer collection. From blue inspired cushion covers, to Bohemian style fixtures, to oversized plush rugs, this years Spring collection brings a wide range of home furnishings. When asked, Tracy Fitzpatrick, the CEO of Indigo Living, said “we generally work 18 months ahead of launching new products, our chairman John creates a report on new trends in homeware, and what’s going on around the world and puts together a team. It is quite a long process. We offer affordable luxury, but the important factor is durability which is part of sustainability, and we are only one’s in the market that provide full range of furniture and home accessories apart from Tequila Kola, Tree and Bo Concepts.” Space is big factor in Hong Kong, and with the help of functional and practical furniture the problem can be solved. Tracy

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Indigo living

affirmed, “As apartments get smaller in Hong Kong the ability to design and make it livable is quite a challenge ...anything we can do from a design point of view to make it aesthetically beautiful and also functional, like we have extra storage under the bed and ways that you can make it user friendly”.

Roxy bar cabinet gilues metal

Roxy bar cabinet gilues metal


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home & living

Bowerbird Home Beaufort chair

TREE Circa 17

TREE was first initiated in Hong Kong in 2005 with the aim to bring contemporary design and traditional handicraft to create exceptional eco-friendly furniture. At TREE, they strongly believe in sustainability. With wood as their focal point, they use other materials like ceramic, certified kraft paper, bamboo, seagrass, glossy fiberglass and shiny copper to add aesthetics to their Monaco design. This year TREE launched their Chest new Circa17 collection and Mother’s day pink ceramics. TREE is known for creating furniture with reclaimed, recycled material that manifests sustainable living. Circa17 embodies minimalism with natural woods like oak and walnut. Bowerbird Home’s new Spring collection is a range of furniture and homeware products that energise this spring. Elegance, and chic design is their forte, yet providing sustainability for everyday furniture that brings inspiration from around the world. From bar cabinets to love seat chairs and Mother of Pearl inlay consoles, all are designed for visual aesthetics.

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Bowerbird Home love seat graphite grey

4 new distinct themes at Indigo Living True Blue Shorecliff Steel Gaze Bohemian Rhapsody

TREE Circa 17


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must have this month

Bamboo Sheep hoodie set $380 from Bamboa Shop S304, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central bamboahome.com

Zoobug Kids Sunglasses  TBC from miniFab $ 2803 0134 minifab.com.hk

Alaya cheongsam $338 from Mirth m/f, BT Centre, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Road, 25539811 mirthhome.com

Create your own Bunny Mask $219 online at Seedling 2803 0134 seedling.com.hk QToys wooden hollow block set $420 from Little Beans Toy Chest 6310 6329 littlebeanstoychest.com

Hubble & Duke gumboots yellow $360 from Mirth m/f, BT Centre, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Road, 25539811 mirthhome.com

RAINY SEASON’S AROUND THE CORNER Stay dry and have fun

Little Bean’s Toy Chest Activity book: “I Love Hong Kong” $390 from Little Beans Toy Chest 6310 6329 littlebeanstoychest.com

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Parker the Bear $498 online at Seedling 2803 0134 seedling.com.hk


rain rain go away

Tegu The Classroom Kit 130 Magnetic Wooden Blocks $3,999 from Petit Bazaar 9 Gough Street, Central, 2544 2255 petit-bazaar.com BabyBites Bordeaux Star Sleeping Bag $660 winter version $630 summer version from Kyle and Vivian 5531 8597 kyleandvivian.com

Holly and Beau raincoat  488 from Kyle and Vivian $ 5531 8597 kyleandvivian.com

Oskar and Ellen Soft World Wall Map $189 from Petit Bazaar 9 Gough Street, Central, 2544 2255 petit-bazaar.com

Large garage shaped toy basket $588 from Mirth m/f, BT Centre, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Road, 25539811 mirthhome.com

Holly and Beau umbrella $198 from Kyle and Vivian 5531 8597 kyleandvivian.com

Top Loading Backpack  329 from Stuck on You $ 2803 0134 stuckonyou.hk

Bambini storage  520 from Bamboa $ Shop S304, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central bamboahome.com

Personalised Bento  349 from Stuck on You $ 2803 0134 stuckonyou.hk

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big day out

CHEUNG CHAU Tara Smyth explores another beautiful island

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long island

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big day out

Cheung Po Tsai Cave

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his month’s “Big Day Out” is certainly that. A truly, super-sized BIG day out! I almost guarantee when you board the ferry to leave Cheung Chau you’ll be reaching for your diaries to book your next visit. You absolutely can’t do everything in one day on this vibrant, buzzing, fascinating and colourful island. You will be promising yourself a return visit. Whether your thing is walking, shopping, lying on the beach, drinking coffee, visiting temples, sampling varied cuisines, swimming, playing tennis, roller skating, running around a track, painting, picnicking, photographing, architecture or just taking the littl’uns to the playground, this island has something for everyone. Cheung Chau, meaning “Long Island” in Cantonese, is dumb-bell shaped, made up of two headlands with a narrow strip in the middle. It is here in the middle that most of the bustling nature of Cheung Chau life takes place. As you disembark your ferry on the western side of the

Tara Smyth with her troop

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strip, you will be immediately thrown into the chaos. Drying fish, gambling grannies, locals on bicycles, handicraft stalls, dogs, fishermen, restaurant owners, and tourists are all vying for space on this tiny piece of land. Do not be put off by this, embrace all things Hong Kong and soak it up! Ignore the MacDonalds directly in front of you when you first arrive – there are a plethora of finer dining options on offer. With so much to do, it is very hard to portray in one article how your day should go. However, for virgins to this island, I suggest you do the following. After that, you are at the mercy of your own abilities, interests and available time as to what you do next. On leaving the ferry terminal turn right, heading South, and walk to the end of the narrow strip. The path will continue along the waterfront (with the sea on your right) for a further 1.5km. Once you reach the end you should take the steps on your left, where you see the signpost for Cheung Po Tsai Cave. Continue up this attractive path, following signs

Drying fish, Cheung Chau

to the cave the whole way. You will pass a gorgeous temple with enviable views across the water. It’s worth taking a moment here. Continue on until you reach the Cheung Po Tsai Cave. Actually, we did not find the cave to be overly impressive in itself, but the short walk down to it, past the fantastic rock formations, was worth the 50m detour. Back to the path and take the steps down to the “balancing rock”. The steps pass through some rocks and at first glance look impassable, but they are not. There is a sign telling you there is no access, across the bay, to the balancing rock, but if the tide is out and with a little bit of an adventurous spirit, you can actually cross over to the other side of the bay using the steel chains and some careful footing. This really is doable – do not be put off. If, however, you decide it is not for you, head back to the main path and continue that way. Presuming you have made the clamber over to the other side of the bay, pass the impressive balancing rock on your right and continue along the path until you reach the beach (Pak Tso Wan). Turn left here and walk a short distance and you will reach the main ‘street’ once again – named Peak Road West. At this junction, turn right and you will pass a picturesque cemetery. After this, you need to continue along Peak Road West and eventually, you will head back to the busy populated part of this headland. Try to stay ‘right’ and get yourself to Afternoon Beach. Impossible for me to tell you how to do this, I seem to take a different route through the


narrow little streets every time I do it. This area is reminiscent of being in Europe with steep, narrow alleyways, gated villas and interesting architecture reminding us Hong Kong was once colonized. Once at Afternoon Beach you can relax back with a beer or hire some windsurfs. That done, head over to the main beach, past the Stall selling fish balls dominating Warwick Hotel, and you can either swim or sunbathe. If you don’t fancy either of those activities, head into the main throng of the central strip once again and just explore! Here you will find artisan coffee shops, varied eateries, quaint handicraft shops, shrines, temples, and places of worship, as well as a couple of art jam establishments. This area is a feast for the eyes and you will be blown away by the variety of places of interest. Head to the northernmost part of the central strip and find the pièce de résistance, the Yuk Hui (Pak Tai) Temple. Take the time to go inside and you will not be disappointed. Unique wall murals and exquisite doors are worth getting the camera out for. The temple staff are super friendly and allowed me to snap away. By now you’ll be in need of a break – time to hit the waterfront and choose a restaurant of your pleasing. Order your food, order that beer, and get the diary out. You’ll be itching to come back – did you notice, we haven’t even made a start on the northern headland?!

Tara Smyth runs photography company Nitty Gritty Images. For details, visit facebook.com/NittyGrittyImages

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sports

RUGBY FIESTA All you need to know about Hong Kong Sevens 2018

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he Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is one of Asia’s major sporting events, now in its 43rd year. The Hong Kong stadium is filled with rugby fans from all over the world. It is fast-paced and exciting with a champion crowned after the worldwide tournament. This year the Sevens games take place from April 6-8 with the festivities continuing throughout April 3-9. The official charity this year for the Seven’s is the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, their goal is to use sport to help end violence and discrimination.

What to expect at the Stadium: The rugby Sevens opens with a spectacular ceremony featuring traditional dragon dances and KungFu performances. It is also renowned for an unofficial fancy dress parade at the notorious South stand. Kick-Off concert: Legendary English reggae band, UB40, famous their 1980’s hit “Red Red Wine”, will perform on April 5 at Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Wan Chai. A stone's throw away from the Hong Kong stadium. The concert will begin at 8pm.

Festival at Lee Garden:The Lee Gardens will extend its arms to experience the rugby fun with live streaming, music, street performances, street food, and drinks. Watch the junior rugby games, unwind with drinks of your choice at the Seasons restaurant, and enjoy E-Sports with state-of-the-art games at Hysan Place throughout the 16 day festival starting from March 24.

Ambassadors 2018 This year there are 9 Rugby ambassadors hosting the events. John Smit Mills Muliana Stephen Donald Shane Horgan Jim Hamilton Andy Goode Catherine Spencer David Campese David Lyons

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rugby seven's

The teams this year Argentina England Canada Australia Fiji France Kenya New Zealand

Village Affair: Situated across from the Hong Kong Rugby stadium, the HSBC-sponsored village like atmosphere is free to atend throughout the weekend. Non-ticket holders can relax and watch the games live on giant screens at the village. Also on offer are food and drink stalls, and other rugby-themed entertainment. 63 Caroline Hill Road, So Kon Po, Causeway Bay. Christina Noble Children’s Foundation Ladies Long Lunch: The 9th CNCF Ladies’ Long

Lunch is on April 6 at the Hong Kong Jockey Club. It is a flagship fundraising event to kick off the Rugby Sevens weekend. Last year this event raised a staggering $1.1million to help support underprivileged children. Valley Sevens Long Lunch: In its 21st year, the Long Lunch will be hosted at the Conrad Hotel on April 6. On a more serious note, the lunch is organised to help raise funds in supports of children’s charities.

Russia Samoa Scotland South Africa South Korea Spain United States Wales

The Official Rugby Sevens After Party: The rugby fever cascades down to the streets of Lan Kwai Fong with a marching band, in-house DJ, photo pops, and street food. The after party will extend to a full seven days event starting from April 3, 9:30pm until late. Hong Kong 10’s: The two-day event at Hong Kong Football Club will precede the Hong Kong Sevens. The games will be played by top players from around the world, competing for the Bill Burgess Cup. April 4-5.

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woof

Ask a vet... Dr. Pauline Pets Central veterinarian Dr. Pauline Taylor answers your questions. “How do you tell if your dog is overweight?” Obesity has become an extremely important health problem not just for humans but for dogs and cats as well. Obesity in pets is associated with joint problems, diabetes mellitus, respiratory compromise, and decreased life span. Sometimes it is hard to recognize that your pet is overweight or it is hard to actually accept that your pet is more than just a little chubby or obese! To assist in this evaluation, “body condition scoring” has been developed by experts and is fairly easy to accomplish by a lay person. There are two scoring systems: a five-point system (where three out of five is considered optimal) and a nine-point system (where four to five out of nine is considered optimal). To evaluate your pet, feel for a small amount of “padding” over the ribs. It should be possible to feel the ribs and there should be a small fat tuck in the belly where the hind legs meet the body. I saw my cat eating a dead cockroach, what should I do? Cockroaches can contaminate food, silverware, plates, cooking surfaces, etc. with their waste and saliva which contains bacteria that can cause food poisoning, diarrhea, and other infections. Although they are associated with, and thrive in conditions of poor sanitation, they can also invade even the best-kept homes. Cockroaches can come into your home on food, packages, used furniture and appliances, or can migrate from adjoining apartments or buildings. If your cat has already eaten a cockroach it’s probably too late to help. The good news is that acids in your cat’s digestive system will hopefully kill pathogenic bacteria that get swallowed. The bad news is that you probably have more cockroaches around for your cat to eat. Stalking these scurrying creatures is a lot of fun for your cat and brings out its natural hunter instincts. My advice is plan to eliminate cockroaches from your cats’ environment. I am thinking of relocating away from Hong Kong, what are some necessary steps I need to take to bring my dog with me? The first thing to do is check import rules for dogs with the Government of the country of your future abode. This can usually be done by consulting an official website or I suggest you contact a local Import/Export company. Some countries require repeated blood tests for different diseases up to six months before import. You also have to satisfy the export criteria for leaving Hong Kong with your pet & have appropriate paperwork ready for entry into a new country. Countries not only differ they can also change their rules depending on current trends/disease status globally, make the right checks and get professional advice in good time so your pet can be prepared to emigrate with you. You will need to check that the airline will transport your pet as there are many airline rules too and not every breed of dog is allowed on board some airlines.

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book club

OUT THIS MONTH

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The Heart Is A Burial Ground

The Family Next Door

Tamara Colchester

Sally Hepworth

The story of Caresse Crosby, wife of American poet Harry Crosby, retold by her great-granddaughter. The novel opens in 1970 and Caresse’s daughter, Diana, arrives at her sprawling Italian castle to take care of her as she nears the end of her life. Now a widow, Caresse Crosby was once one half of literature’s most scandalous couple in 1920s Paris. Her husband, Harry Crosby, the American heir, poet, publisher and bon vivant, epitomized for many the ‘lost generation’ in American literature.

If you were a fan of Big Little Lies, this novel is for you. The suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name - everyone knows their neighbours and the kids play happily in the street. But Isabelle Heatherington doesn’t fit into this picture perfect family paradise. She is single and childless and soon catches the attention of the Pleasant Court mothers. But Ange, Fran and Essie all have their own secrets. A gripping page-turner full of shocking revelations.

Last Letter Home

Tangerine

Rachel Hore

Christine Mangan

A gripping novel from the bestselling author of A Week in Paris and A Place of Secrets. Hore’s latest tale is set in Italy and Norfolk, spanning a 70 year period. On holiday with friends, Briony Andrews becomes fascinated with a wartime story of a ruined villa in the hills around Naples. Handed a bundle of letters discovered after the war, She sets off to trace the fate of their sender, Sarah Bailey, a British expat who returned to Britain from India in 1939. She uncovers Sarah’s wartime story, along with resentments and secrets still tightly guarded.

A gripping psychological thriller set in 1950s Morocco. The last person Alice Shipley expects to see on arriving in Tangier with her new husband is Lucy Mason. Following an horrific accident, the once inseparable friends haven’t spoken for over a year. But Lucy wants to straighten things out. Nervous in her new North African home, Alice lets adventurous Lucy help her find her feet. But she soon begins to feel controlled and events culminate when Alice’s husband, John, goes missing…


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column

POKER FACES

Opinions, rants and random outbursts. By Mrs Backfire

I

f stereotyping were a poker game, who would hold the strongest cards? That is, who faces the toughest labels and categorizing? Who has to work the hardest to resist the pigeonholes society pushes them into? It’s a useful exercise to consider. I mean, we’re all trying to break down barriers these days, aren’t we? Resist labels. Abolish clichés. Fight the power. We hope our children are learning to look at each and every person as an individual, not just a color, race, gender or sexual orientation. But certain stereotypes persist, as stubborn and pernicious as the Spring mold on our bathroom ceilings. When I go back to the U.S. and meet up with conservative family members, I quickly realize that there are many seats at the poker table for the stereotyped, underestimated and ridiculed. Young black men are ‘thugs’. Muslim women in headscarves are ‘oppressed’. Older, liberal women are ‘shrill man-haters’. Outspoken college students are ‘snowflakes’. And anyone who doesn’t honor the flag and supports the American military unreservedly is a socialist traitor to the cause. It’s exhausting. And I’m not even the one being stereotyped! All I have to do is remind them every now and again that I live in Hong Kong, which is not a part of Japan. My experiences back home got me wondering how stereotypes work here in the territory. What Southside-specific labels do we tend to affix to our neighbors, colleagues and random passers-by? Who has it good? Who has it bad? And am I being racist if I assume most Filipinos are good singers?

If stereotyping were a poker game, who would hold the strongest cards

When I first moved to Hong Kong, my boss was a Scottish woman – let’s call her Shona. Shona was a long-term expat and Pokfulam resident, and according to office gossip, she refused to hire anyone who… lived on Lamma. Pot-smoking hippies, the lot of them! When Shona looked across the channel from her

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Sha Wan Drive balcony, she saw nothing but crunchy granolas, unstylish and undependable, especially when the ferries weren’t running. My apologies Lamma-ites, but I’ve walked past your coffee shops, used book stores and handmade jewelry stands. You’re holding a pretty strong hand here. The long-standing stereotype of the drunken expat is also a sure winner. Like a full house, there are many variations: BYM (Brawling Young Men) in Lan Kwai Fong, PSDs (Pub-Song Denizens) in their Rugby 7s shirts, WWDS (White Women Drinking Shots), and one of my favorites: the Hardcore-It’s-4pm-OnA-Monday-Time-For-A-Bottle-Of-Sauv-Blanc drinkers. Talk about pervasive and enduring! I saw one just this week.

the game with this hand, but it’s the one we’re stuck with, almost our national identity. I’m talking, dear reader, about the Slow Walker. Here is one of the globe’s fastest cities, we do not move quickly enough to escape the label. Oh, the profiling! You’re from Hong Kong? What is up with your Pedestrians? Hey, world, I can take the HK-is-rude label, the more-than-social expat drinker tag, even the very shallow assumption that because I don’t go to an office I must be lunching all day – tai-tai-style - with the ladies. But, as God and Goddess of Tin Hau are my witnesses, I will not be defamed by this narrow view of Hong Kong’ers. #NotAllWalkers

The long-standing stereotype of the drunken expat is also a sure winner.

Now Mrs. Backfire won’t say no to a nicelymixed cocktail, but I do resent the looks I got when I showed up at the Canossa late one night with food poisoning. A bad piece of sea bass sent me to the A&E for help and relief, but I’m certain the attending thought I was just weakwilled and sozzled. Another drunk expat. It’s food poisoning, I wanted to say, honest. And then, as I exposed my butt cheek for that shot of Buscopan, I thought: damn you, stereotypes, my dignity is at stake here! But forget the hippies and the drinkers, our feckless youth, and hard-charging bankers. Put aside our high-profile tai-tai’s and those ‘crazy rich Asians’ from across the border. After a wholly unscientific poll about stereotypes in HK, I’ve come up with the royal flush. This is the winning hand, folks. Omnipresent and annoying, extensive and irritating. You can spot this type all over the territory: from the promenades of Repulse Bay to the walkways of Kowloon to the narrow lanes of Stanley market. The irony of this stereotype is that it’s not as rare as four-of-a-kind. In fact, it’s more like your garden-variety pair of tens. You’d hardly stay in

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 ;)


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