Page 1


Mid-levels hongkongliving.com


May 2018

bonnae gokson how to have

Om sweet Om Where to meditate in Mid-levels

your cake and eat it

376 things to do in May

2 | hongkongliving.com

Mid-levels The really useful magazine


May 2018



Mid-levels snaps



A round-up of happenings in May


Spoil your Mum this Mother’s Day with these glorious gifts

Mindy Tagliente of Yoga for Life on meditation basics and finding calm in this hectic city



Really local news

Mandarin and Cantonese classes for adults in Hong Kong



Nick and Bex Gaunt talk about artists becoming art entrepreneurs



The best private clubs in Hong Kong


Fab things to win


Bonnae Gokson: How to have your cake and eat it

The guide to Sheung Luk Stream trail

44 PETS Pet eccentricities explained. Plus Walkies

Julianne Dionisio rounds up the best French restaurants in Central

48 ZIM CITY Reducing waste. Waking up to the threat of plastic pollution






hongkongliving.com | 1

editor’s letter

Mid-levels magazine


Managing editor Gemma Shaw, gemma@hongkongliving.com Contributing editor Vasavi Seethepalli, vasavi@hongkongliving.com Media trainee Nicole Slater, nicole@hongkongliving.com Media management trainee Julianne Dionisio, julianne@hongkongliving.com


Charlotte Johnson

Mindy Tagliente

Dr Pauline Taylor

…moved from the U.S. in 2009 and has taught yoga full time ever since. Qualified in multiple practices, Charlotte teaches all levels of experience from prenatal yoga to Kids Yoga. In her free time, she loves taking her two dogs all around Central. Read all about it on page 44. charlottejohnsonyoga.com

…..runs Yoga for Life and lives in Clearwater Bay. She offers mindfulness and yoga workshops and retreats in Hong Kong and overseas as well as meditation programmes for schools and corporations around the city. For more information email mindy@yogaforlife.com.hk

….graduated as a vet in Scotland. She moved to Hong Kong “last century” with her various furry fourlegged family members. In Dr Pauline’s free time, you’ll find her swimming, watching a movie or keeping up to date with global affairs. She answers your pet questions on page 44.

Want to write for Mid-levels Magazine? Contact editorial@hongkongliving.com

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


Management trainee Charles Lau, charles@hongkongliving.com


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


Tom Hilditch, tom@hongkongliving.com

Thanks to

Ophelia Giles Mindy Tagliente Dr. Pauline Taylor Paul Zimmerman

Mid-levels needs YOU The Job: •Part-time editor of Mid-levels Magazine • Plan, write, commission and edit stories • Interview interesting people • Grow your personal network

Part-time Good money Fun job Great networking

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

• Represent the magazine at events • Manage an editorial budget • Explore Hong Kong • Suits mums seeking part-time work


Please send your CV, and an email to gemma@hongkongliving.com You must be:

a native English speaker/ a Hong Kong resident/ available immediately

2 | hongkongliving.com

hongkongliving.com Mid-levels 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. Mid-levels 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.

hongkongliving.com | 3

people Mid-levels snaps

4 | hongkongliving.com

have your say Rugby Sevens

QUESTION OF THE MONTH “What’s missing from Mid levels?”

More cafes with personality. No Starbucks, no Pacific Coffee.

- Maritza

A tennis court. Also, one or two sky bars in the area.

- RG

Places with a nice terrace or rooftop where people can hang out.

- Jose

Spaces where dogs can run around.

- Irene hongkongliving.com | 5

6 | hongkongliving.com

what's on

y r a Di s e dat

MAY 13 District Race Explore Hong Kong like never before in an urban exploration race, with 80 virtual checkpoints and challenges across the city. The race is 2 hours with start and finish times from 7am–3pm. Tickets to join start at $500. All participants will receive instructions and race pack a week before the race. Central Harbourfront Event Space 9 Lung Wo Road, Central. districtrace.com/en/events/hong-kong

hongkongliving.com | 7

what's on UNTIL MAY 6

The Conscious Collective This event teaches people how to add mindfulness and sustainability to their lives through workshops, discussions and further activities. Free Entry. From 6.30pm. Lighstage Gallery, 214-218 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 9176 1096. consciouscollective.co


Cirque du Soleil presents: Kooza Brave tightrope walkers, the intense wheel of death and a crazy dark choreographed ‘skeleton dance’ (don’t worry, they’re only costumes!) Kooza is considered a return to Cirque du Soleil origins .Tickets $488 to $1888. Central Harbourfront Event Space, 3929 9500. asiaboxoffice.com

$270. 7:30pm, Matinee at 2:30pm on May 5. McAulay Studio, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, 2582 0200. urbtix.hk

knowledge and amazing food. 1pm-6pm. 33-35 Hillier Street, HIllier Building, 3460 561, thehivesheungwan.com.hk



Two British DJ brothers take Mong Kok by storm. Tickets from $688. 7pm-11pm. Macpherson Stadium, Mong Kok, 2314 4228. cityline.com

Sound healing with Tibetan singing bowls. Benefits include relaxation and relief from physical and emotional pain. Singing Bowls (60 minutes) including 3-course dinner $698

Disclosure DJ Set


Open Mic at Poetry Out Loud If you are a poet and you know it. Free Entry. 7pm-9pm. Colette’s (Room B), Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, 2521 7251. poetryoutloud.org



Workers of the world… sleep in.

For a sophisticated pub quiz experience, this one is held monthly, prizes include free shots and dining vouchers. 8pm. 2/F, The Luxe Manor, 39 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3763 8778. dadalounge.com.hk

May Day

MAY 1-5

25th Annual Putnam’s Spelling Bee Wit and humour with The Hong Kong Singers’ new show, The Spelling Bee. Tickets for the preview night May 1 $180. May 2-5 at

Dada Bar & Lounge Pub Quiz


Camerata Strings: Bach Before and Beyond This classical music concert is brought to you by Jeremy Williams, one of Hong Kong’s renowned music educators. Free Entry with ticket registration. 7.30pm-9pm. Church of all nations, 23 South Bay Close, Repulse Bay, 2812 5151. eventbrite.hk


Urban farm and feast The Hive CoFarm are hosting a healthy eating event where local vendors provide workshops,

8 | hongkongliving.com

Ancient Tibetan Singing Bowls

Serve-a-thon Hong Kong

MAY 5-13

A week-long volunteering ‘marathon’ to help Hong Kong’s most in need. Roll up your sleeves and get involved. Events happening daily across the city, 2613 9070. serveathonhk.org.hk

what's on per person. 7pm. Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy 81 Tai Chung Hau, Sai Kung, 3187 8900. facebook.com/ FivelementsRetreats

Tin Hau Festival Listen to Cantonese opera as worshippers express gratitude to Tin Hau, Goddess of the Sea. Tin Hau temples across Hong Kong.

MAY 13


Bats & Fireflies watching A nighttime adventure consisting of a 2 hour (7km) walk taking you to prime habitats of bats and fireflies. Adults $150 , Children $110. 7.30pm-11pm. Fanling Station, New Territories, 6053 6076. adventuretours.hk


Express crash course in wine This is Hong Kong’s most entertaining and effective introduction to wine led by experienced instructors who have all made wine first hand. $1,100. 2pm-5pm. The Flying Winemaker Tasting Room, 6/F, Yu Yuet Lai building, 43-45 Wyndham Street, Central, 2522 2187. flyingwinemaker.com


Wings for life World Run This charity race helps to raise money for spinal injury research. Sign up online. 6pm10pm. Hong Kong Jockey Club Happy Valley Racecourse, Wong Nai Chung Road, 2895 1523. wingsforlifeworldrun.com/int/en/ app-run-happy-valley


Mr & Mrs Fox Pub Quiz Held on the second Tuesday of every month, this two hour quiz has a trophy at stake, as-well as a bar tab of $1,000. Happy hour, 5-8pm. G/F, Mr & Mrs Fox, 23 Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay, 2697 8500. Submit your team name to dine@mrmrsfox.com

MAY 12

Mother’s day workshop Littles ones can make customised gifts perfect for Mother’s Day. 6-10 years. 9am, 11.30am or 2pm. $380 per child with all proceeds going to child.org. The Woodland Beachside Pre-School, The Dairy Farm Beach Shopping Mall, 35 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2812 0274. woodlandschools.com

hongkongliving.com | 9

what's on Editor's pick

MAY 13

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Don’t forget - Mum’s the word! See page 12 for our our pick of the best gifts for Mum.

It’s that time of year again, head to Cheung Chau to see brightly-clad children on sticks and bamboo mountains covered in buns. Pak Tai Temple, Cheung Chau. cheungchau.org

Mothers Day

MAY 18

MA 19-2Y3

International Museum Day Hong Kong Museums across Hong Kong will host events and activities. This years theme is “Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new public”. Across Hong Kong. network.icom.museum

MAY 18-20

Stingrays Home Invitational Swim Meet Over 400 swimmers compete in this short, fast-paced competition. Free Entry. Friday 4.45pm-7pm, Saturday 8.30am-6pm, Sunday 9am-1.30pm. HKIS High School Swimming Pool, 1 Redhill Road, Tai Tam, 9104 7413. hkstingrays.com

MAY 18-20

MAY 19

Over 115 galleries and solo artists exhibit a large variety of art to buy with nothing priced over $100,000. Early bird $120, Pre-fair $150. Friday 12pm-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am-7pm. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 3DE, 1 Expo Dr, Wan Chai, 2582 8888. affordableartfair.com

Conrad Pool Party French May Edition Fancy a relaxing day by the pool? Conrad hotel & restaurant are hosting a poolside ‘chill’ party which includes alfresco Italian and South East Asian food with free flow rose wine.Tickets at $598. 12pm-3pm. Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Central, 2521 3838. conradhotels.com

Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong

MAY 22

Buddha’s birthday Happy Birthday Buddha from the Hong Kong Living team!

MAY 24

Sleep better, live longer Inspire Wellness Seminars are hosting a series of workshops on health and well being. $250. 10am-12pm and 6.30pm-8.30pm. Alive Wellness, 43-55 Wyndham Street, Central, 2541 8600. alivewellness.hk

MAY 26

Tai Po Historical Tour This tour introduces you to the rich history of Tai Po, a village in the New Territories which used to be a small market town. Adults $150, children $110. 2pm-5.30pm. Tai Po MTR station, New Territories, 6053 6076. adventuretours.hk

10 | hongkongliving.com

what's on


Cricket Experience Day A great opportunity for children to learn the importance of teamwork and experience one of the traditional sports for which Malvern is renowned. Free Entry. Po Kong Village Road Park. 3898 4699. malverncollege.org.hk

JUN 30-JUL 1

Mongolia bike ride An annual bike ride across Mongolia to raise money for charitable kindergarten, Tsolmon Ireedui Foundation. Prepare for a weekend to remember in the stunning Mongolian countryside. Registration $4,700 per person. June 30-July 1. tifcharity.org

NOV 9-11

Clockenflap 2018 Yes, November feels so far away, but earlybird tickets have been released for this notto-be-missed music and arts festival which

is celebrating it’s 11th edition! Tickets $890$1,410. Opens Friday November 9 at 5pm. Central Harbourfront. clockenflap.com


Malvern Little Star Summer Camp

3 can learn the basics of drama and stage performance concepts and develop performance skills. $3,900 per week. 9am12pm 1pm-4pm. G09-G12, Coronation Circle, 1 Yau Cheung Road, Yau Ma Tei, 3898 4660. malvernpreschool.hk

Children from pre-nursery to Kindergarten

Want to share your event with our readers? Email editorial@hongkongliving.com.


win at hongkongliving.com

Treasure Island

ABA Production

Catch the waves at Treasure Island Surf Camp! For nine weeks, from June 18 to August 17, young surfers will be learning surf skills, ocean safety, joining in other fun activities and making new friends on Pui O Beach, Lantau. Choose from three camps designed to suit different age groups, abilities and interests. Suitable for children ages 5-16 with daily pick up and drop off at Central pier. Learn more about the programmes at treasureislandhk.com/surf-camp-registration. We have four places at any Treasure Island Surf Camp to gove away, valued at $4,200 each!

The purr-fect family treat - Tabby McTat and Fred the guitar-playing busker’s cat are coming to Hong Kong! No cat can sing like Tabby McTat, Fred the guitar-playing busker’s cat. He loves to sing as people throw coins into Fred’s hat! But one terrible day, the two are separated. Will they ever sing songs together again? From the greatest picture book team in the world comes this delightful rhyming story of music, friendship, loyalty – and cats! Visit aba-productions.com for more details. Entry deadline: May 25. We’re giving away a family set of four tickets, worth $1,540 in total, to the show at 11am on June 2.

Mini Gifts in a Tin


Keep those little fingers busy with cool kids toys from the Mini Gifts in a Tin range. Choose from ‘Mini Mini Mechanic’ to build a mini digger with moveable parts, ‘Mini Racing Cars’ complete with three cars and racing signs or ‘Mini Sock Owl’ to transform a stripy sock into a cheeky owl. All priced at $98, and available from eek.com.hk Great for birthday gifts or party bags. We have 15 Mini Gifts in a Tin to giveaway, remember to let us know which Mini Gift you would prefer to win!

Get your wardrobe ready for summer! Launched by Hong Kong mum Mehroo Turel, SUMMER is a collection of fashionable smart casuals for women and girls. Each apparel is designed to make you and your little ones feel stylish and comfortable. Perfect for Hong Kong’s fast-approaching hot and humid weather, SUMMER clothes are made of high quality, breathable fabric with dual benefits of comfort and style. Visit styleatsummer. com for more. We’re happy to give away three $300 vouchers, valued at $900 in total.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to get all our giveaways delivered straight to your inbox: hongkongliving.com hongkongliving.com | 11

must have this month

Ikigai Clutch $10,000 from Niin, 2878 8811 niinstyle.com Philippe V’s WN7 in Gold Champagne US$400 at T Galleria by DFS, Lippo Sun Plaza, 28 Canton Rd, Kowloon, 2302 6888 philippev.com

Mamma Mia!

Spoil your Mum this Mother’s Day with these glorious gifts.

Triple Wrap Skinny Bead Bracelet with Pyrite Blue Hawks Eye $1,800 from Niin, 2878 8811 niinstyle.com

Philippe V’s Koni ring US$695 from Philippe V philippev.com

 espresso Lattissima N One coffee machine $2,688 from Nespresso boutique, Lane Crawford - IFC mall, 8 Finance St, Central, 2118 2288 lanecrawford.com.hk

Silver Metallic Flat Ballerina shoes $270 from Simply Shoes, 3709 9359 simplyshoes.com

12 | hongkongliving.com

must have this month

“Marcel” open derby handmade leather shoes $2,480 from La French Cut Lafrenchcut.com

Triomphe Silver Bicolour Mesh Watch $1,090 online from CLUSE cluse.com

Macaron gift box $380 from La Maison du Chocolat Prince’s Building, Shop 114, 10 Chater Road, Central, 2801 4122 lamaisonduchocolat.hk

Gratitude Journal $260 from Kikki.K Prince’s Building, Shop 220, 2/F, Prince’s Building, Central, 2116 0870 kikki-k.com

Terracota Vases $75 from TREE 28/f Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau, 2870 1582 tree.com.hk Food, Health and Happiness by Oprah Winfrey $320 from Bookazine, 2555 0431 bookazine.com.hk

hongkongliving.com | 13


Pick up your sh!t

Popular Mid-level locations, including the Waterfront Promenade, are spoilt by the daily abundance of canine waste. This affects Hong Kong’s image for tourists and local residents who want to enjoy a pleasant stroll. The last few years have seen an increase in dog adoptions, especially with this year being the Year of the

Rise in building of luxury flats upset Kennedy town residents

Dog, but owners are not taking responsibility for their canine friend’s toilet habits. The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority stated that more education was needed for dog owners and domestic helpers, after receiving an increase in complaints on the issue.

Kennedy Town is suffering a loss of urban neighbourhoods due to a rise in expensive luxury homes. Anti-gentrification has caused a number of riots across the world, including huge disputes all over America, parts of the UK and Berlin. It isn’t expected that such riots will happen in Hong Kong, but it is just as big of an issue here as anywhere else. For local Kennedy town residents, property prices, which were already on the rise since the MTR expansion in 2014 are now getting too high for them to afford. The other concern is the loss in local shops to the new buildings. Residents believe the homes will attract a larger population of people, causing a drop in their quality of life. But it isn’t just Kennedy town which is suffering, one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest men and property developer Edwin Siu-Hung has recently acquired six adjoining properties around Sai Ying Pun. His plan is to build a new sea-view office block or complex offering office space and a hotel.

Away With Words by Henrik Hoeg

Peel Street poetry performance

Henrik Redbeard Hoeg, the author behind witty and mercilessly self aware poems of ‘Irreverent Poems for Pretentious People’, is back with his second book titled ‘Away With Words’. The 74 poems cover serious, sarcastic, thoughtful and outright weird genres. The launch event was

14 | hongkongliving.com

hosted by Peel Street Poetry on 18 April, and included performances by several local poets and an open mic. Emceed by Akinsola Jeje, author of ‘Smoked Pearl’ and the forthcoming ‘Never Land’. His book is m available on amazon for US$12.99.


Black Sheep Restaurants opening Fukuro in May

Christopher Mark and Syed Asim Hussain owners of Black Sheep

Central based restaurant group whose portfolio include Ho Lee Fuk and Carbone, this month open their eighteenth restaurant – Fukuro, a Japanese eatery on Elgin Street. The concept was inspired by the owners’ recent trip to

Tokyo. Listen to Christopher Mark and Syed Asim Hussain, founders of Black Sheep discuss their success on our new podcast Hong Kong Dining, downloadable free at all good podcast stores or at hongkongdining.com

Property Madness Update

Sai Ying Pun is now Hong Kong’s most expensive area to buy a studio flat. A record $8.82million was paid last month for a 209-square foot studio flat in 63 Pok Fu Lam, making it an all time, citywide record of $42,238 per square foot. Promotional video’s for the 320-unit project (due late 2018) do not show the flat. Instead, they montage a handsome Hong Kong man and his Eurasian girlfriend driving around the countryside in a Porsche, dancing on a roof, and shopping for brand name products. Given that the flats come without a bedroom, have an open kitchen, and are smaller than the average British living room, we hope they don’t buy any bulky items.

hongkongliving.com | 15



The Gaunts who are exhibiting at this year’s fair

Representing Hong Kong Local artist trio selected within three per cent of solo artists to exhibit at Affordable Art Fair

he Affordable Art Fair is one the biggest (and most fun) exhibitions of the year. Over a thousand artists take part, but only a small handful are solo artists from outside the gallery system. Just three of these artists are from Hong Kong. The three artists – all local expats – have been selected to exhibit together under the name of The Fellowship Studio. They are at the forefront of a change in how artists market their work. Sai Ying Pun resident, Nic Gaunt, is a fine art photographer well known for his creative, edgy, strong and often controversial images. He works very closely with his wife, Bex Gaunt who handles the logistics, management, and lighting. Sai Kung based artist Sue Perks, creates mixed-media art exploring colours, patterns and textures found in local urban environments. Finally Gail Deayton is a sculptor and long-time resident, whose work is highly collectable. Deayton introduced The Gaunts and Sue Perks in December 2017. “We all got on immediately,” says Deayton. “Each of us has a strong individual style”. Exhibiting without a gallery representation, made financial sense. “Most galleries take a sixty per cent cut of anything sold” says Bex Gaunt. “When you take into account the work, time, materials and studio rental costs it becomes nearly impossible to survive as an artist in Hong Kong.” In a further bid to cut out traditional galleries, The Gaunts are experimenting with a Pottinger Street studio space, using it to support emerging artists and taking just ten percent of anything sold to cover the costs. Stephanie Kelly, Director of Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong, agrees that the traditional gallery model is being upended. “There has been a dramatic growth in artist groups like The Fellowship Studio experimenting with pop ups and focusing on a digital rather than physical footprint. Artists are becoming art entrepreneurs”. M

Affordable Art Fair 101 What? The Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong is the perfect event to pick up fab wall art at a reasonable price. Children are welcome so it’s a fun family day out. (Under 16s are free). It showcases a diverse range of artwork handpicked by more than 110 exceptional local and overseas galleries. (And of course The Gaunts!) Where? Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, next to the Grand Hyatt, Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

16 | hongkongliving.com

When? What not to do? Friday May 18 12pm to 6pm, #ForArtsSake Take a sly photo and get it copied in Da Fen. Friday May 18, 6pm to 10pm, Saturday May 19, 11am to 7pm, Sunday May 20, 11am to 7pm. How much? Regular tickets are $120 for early bird and $165 on the door. The art ranges from a $100 to $100,000. What to do? Dress up, have a few glasses of wine, talk loudly about the Mid Levels Movement, buy a Gaunt.

hongkongliving.com | 17


Time for tea

Nicole and her Mum at The Intercontinental

Treat mum to pretty little cakes and finger sandwiches this mother’s day

The Intercontinental The Intercontinental offer a beautiful afternoon tea paired with a complementing skincare brand. Throughout May and June enjoy “Rosy Love” afternoon tea - inspired by SABON. Tea and beauty products - who’s Mum wouldn’t love this combination? Enjoy savoury and sweet treats including Gin Fizz Gravlax Salmon on Buckwheat Pancakes and Pink Rose Petal Cream and Raspberry Napoleon. $468 for one and $668 for two, they are big enough to share if you order an extra tea or champagne. Weekdays 2:30–6:00pm and weekends 1:30–6:00pm. Lobby Lounge, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2313 2323, hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com Mum will love: The stunning views of Hong Kong’s skyline and the free samples of beauty and bath products to take home.

The Langham Hotel The marble-clad lobby of The Langham hotel feels worlds away from the hectic Tsim Sha Tsui streets outside. Settle into a cushy sofa in the opulent Palm Court Lobby Lounge and prepare to be spoiled with classic Wedgwood china, creative presentations and plenty of Perrier-Jouë Rose champagne.

18 | hongkongliving.com

A special Sweet Blossom Afternoon Tea in partnership with luxury fragrance brand Cochine Saigon is this month’s special as the scents and tastes of Saigon are transformed into bite-sized afternoon tea pastries. Indulge with Vietnamese Cassava coconut, canelé (small French pastries) with hints of orange blossom and coated in pink chocolate, and savoury mini “Bánh Mì” brioches drizzled with lime juice and Thai basil. Every afternoon tea-for-two from Friday to Sunday will receive an Cochine gift set. $348 for one; $598 for two; additional for Perrier-Jouet rose Champagne. Available 3pm-5.30pm daily until May 13, 2375 1133, langhamhotels.com Mum will love: The elegant Wedgewood table settings elevate this experience to another level, while live entertainment enhances regal moods with harp, piano and vocal performances.

Sevva Celebrated for its views, Sevva serves a signature afternoon tea spread. With gorgeous harbour views, enjoy a culturally inspired platter from Lemon Meringue to vegetarian spring rolls and other mouth-watering sweets. It all starts from $720 for two Prince’s Building, Central 2537 1388 Mum will love: The exceptional harbour views.

A tea for every time of day • Morning: English Breakfast Tea For a little caffeine boost to help you out of bed, black tea has less caffeine than a coffee, but enough to wake you up. • Lunch: Green Tea Green tea is a great way to keep hydrated and is the perfect accompaniment to most food options. • Afternoon: Earl Grey Tea To help get you through the last few hours of your workday another black tea will go great with your afternoon treat. • Evening: Peppermint Tea Wind down for the evening and aid your digestion with a hot delicious cup of peppermint tea. • Bedtime: Chamomile Tea Ease your stresses and detox from the day with Chamomile tea’s antiinflammatory properties, to help you fall asleep.


hongkongliving.com | 19

dining The Peninsula There’s no better place in Hong Kong to sip afternoon tea in your best frock than the Lobby of The Peninsula. From the soaring ceilings to the classical music, the white-gloved service and the silver teapots, everything oozes old-world British elegance. Sticking to tradition, the tea set includes three tiers of finger sandwiches, homemade pastries, and buttery scones – complete with homemade jams and clotted cream. The tea is fantastic too, with a choice of Peninsula-branded loose-leaf brews, such as Rose and Ti Guan Yin (a type of oolong tea). Afternoon tea in The Lobby costs $388 per person; $688 for two; $220 for a glass of Deutz Peninsula Brut Champagne. Available daily from 2-6pm on first-come, first-served basis, 2920 2888, hongkong.peninsula.com Mum will love: The excellent service! She’ll feel like British royalty all afternoon.

Clipper Lounge at the Mandarin The Annoushka Afternoon tea has an exclusively themed Mother’s Day afternoon tea. Scrumptious finger sandwiches and delicious scones served with The Mandarin’s signature rose-petal jam and Devon clotted cream are a perfect complement to the hotel’s seasonal themed teas. Available weekdays from 2:306pm. The set costs $298 per person but if you fancy some bubbles you can add in a glass of Champagne or Rosé Champagne for $478. 5 Connaught Rd Central, Central, 2825 4007, mandarinoriental.com Mum will love: Pampering herself at the lovely spa in the Mandarin.

it enjoyable whatever the weather! The set is offered on weekdays 3.30-5:30pm and costs $596 for two. 1 Harbour road, Wan Chai, 2588 1234 Mum will love: All you can eat ice- cream.

The Murray Hotel The brand new Murray Hotel on Cotton Tree Drive is now welcoming afternoon tea diners to its Garden Lounge. Conveniently located next to Hong Kong Park for a postprandial wander, the hotel’s Signature Afternoon Tea menu groans with sweet treats and fancy savouries. The smoked salmon and caper, organic egg and cress, chicken and honey mustard and cucumber and yogurt sandwich fillings are delightfully presented between a colourful array of breads. The fresh raisin and plain scones are bought temptingly warm to your table, with a selection of jams and of course plenty of clotted cream. The cake stand is filled with treats including sweet blueberry and mascarpone creme vernis, raspberry and valrhona cake, blackcurrant and quince tart and citron tea cake. Wash it all down with Illy coffee or a selection of Jing teas. Every weekday, 2-6pm, $295/person, niccolohotels.com Mum will love: The gorgeous floor-to-ceiling glass looking across to St John’s cathedral.

Cafe Grey

Sonia indulging at Mandarin Oriental

Tiffin, Grand Hyatt For a truly memorable High Tea experience, the Grand Hyatt offers a three-tier tea set that promises to make your mum feel like a queen. Sweet delicacies with original French flavours such as canelés, éclairs, sables and verrines. It is complemented by the live dessert stations and ice-cream counter. Including live music, making

20 | hongkongliving.com

The gorgeous Victoria harbour views from the ambiance of the inside at Cafe Grey at Upper House will have you mesmerised. The elegant dining area on the 49th floor is decked with modern European flare. Your choice of coffee and tea to go with savouries and sweet treats are laid out impeccably - it will keep you wanting for more. $250 a person to $425 for two, add $150 for Champagne or Rose. 49th Flr, Upper House, Admiralty 3968 1106 Mum will love: The sophisticated interior and stunning views.

Why do Chinese tourists love afternoon tea? • Strike a pose - it’s the perfect social media photo opportunity #foodporn • Through a long-established fascination with the British monarchy, afternoon tea is typically British and regal • A perfect excuse to relax and catch up on the weekly gossip with friends • Who doesn’t love tea and cake?

hongkongliving.com | 21

cover story

22 | hongkongliving.com

cover story

Bonnae Gokson

The Hong Kong icon shares on success, style, and spirituality Image is everything. The way you present yourself is your story to the world. What is my magic? I look at things from outside of the box. God is in the details and my eyes are well trained for the smallest touches. The New York Times named me the Queen of Cakes. I actually don’t bake at all, I once made a banana cake, it was awful! What I do is edit. I have always been able edit with my eyes - I know what looks good and how things should be. I combine talent with my chefs who have skills but may not have extensive exposure. We work together as a team. I know about how things should be. I am insistent on quality. I was fortunate enough to be born into a very well-established family. My daddy spoiled me - I could twist him around my little finger - and my sister (Joyce Ma, founder of Joyce Boutique) is like my “Auntie Mame”, my best friend and my mommy. Sure, I was spoiled, but I never felt like I was a princess. Although, when I took my classmates home some would say “Wow.” Since I was a little girl I was exposed to stylish and interesting travels. I am fortunate to have had a pampered life. My family threw large parties so I have always known what to do. Things don’t always have to be the most expensive or the best. It’s about cohesion, heart and vision. I am spiritual and very holistic. In business I am always true to myself. Everything is a cycle. I believe in God. I went through a Kabbalah formation a few years ago. That was when changed my name from Bonnie to Bonnae. Take some time for yourself; learn how to listen to silence. Nature cleans out your negative thoughts. Luxury is time, not a handbag.

Business I love what I do. Even when I am travelling I get inspired with things that will enhance my business. It’s not really work for me as it’s my pleasure to seek for what is nice and new. I’m a tough boss, but I’ve got a soft heart.

hongkongliving.com | 23

cover story

How a style icon was made  1907: Bonnae’s grandfather from Shanghai founded Wing On department stores. 1  931: Bonnae’s family found the Wing On Bank  1950s: Bonnae’s auntie Daphne is Hong Kong’s version of Coco Chanel (she dates Cary Grant, loves big chandeliers, hosts the era’s greatest parties). She is an early influence on Bonnae 1  970’s Joyce Ma, Bonnae’s older sister, launches JOYCE Boutique at their family department store, Wing On and at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel thereafter 1  980’s Bonnae joins JOYCE and was mentored by her sister in luxury retail. She became buyer and visual merchandiser of many luxury fashion and lifestyle brands 1  990’s: Bonnae was asked to conceptualise for JOYCE Cafes. She opened five restaurants in Hong Kong, Taipei and Bangkok 1  992: Launches Bonnae Gokson Productions. Brings top acts to Hong Kong, including Natalie Cole and Kenny G. Throughout the 90’s Bonnie is a star of Hong Kong’s social world 1  993: Launches Bonnae Gokson Creative Concepts. Opens (at last count) 45 fashion, lifestyle and homeware stores for the group Bonnae Gokson is Hong Kong’s Coco Chanel

Organising men? I’d like to be sweet and coy the whole time but I can’t. Most of my team are men, and sometimes they can be tricky. I am very stern when I need to be. I was brought up with the British government. All the puddings, manners and tradition – I am not intimidated by any of that. Initially I was going to bring Ladurée, the French patisserie to Hong Kong. But friends said ‘why do all this work to build someone else’s brand?’ One door closes, another opens. As soon as I let the Ladurée plan go and allowed myself some time to meditate a new path appeared for me. It is so interesting how opportunites come about in life, I have one of the greatest honours in my life, to be invited by the central government of China to work on a very exciting project. You just never know...

24 | hongkongliving.com

I am very hands on and I need to know EVERYTHING. Every single thing – from food, staffing issues, the manners and attire. I design the uniforms as everything has to be the correct image for the company. There is never a dull moment and that’s how I choose to run my business. Being hands on with passion is surely the way to go for me... I have a big personality, I love life and I love discovering new things. Never stop learning, no matter how old you get.

1  997: CHANEL ASIA PACIFIC announces Bonnae Gokson to be their Regional Chief of Image and Communications for their brand 2  000’s: Became the creative ‘eye’ and Director of Design and Arts for W and Ritz-Carlton 2  004 Bonnae decides on a break and quits Chanel  2005-2007 Bonnae took a sabbatical with more exciting travels  2007 Bonnae secures the penthouse of Prince’s Building and worked on the decor of the future SEVVA  2011: launches Ms B Bakery of Gough Street

My work and my life are the same. I love what I do, even when I am travelling I think about my business. What’s happening? Would this idea work? I’m excited to channel new ideas?

 2012: SCMP names Bonnae The Woman of our TIme

The only thing I hate – and it comes once a month – is signing cheques. I hate it. I get a whole suitcase stack of cheques I have to sign every month. The big costs - rent, staff, ingredients - I have no problem with. But how do we spend so much on the maintainence of

 2016: Debrett’s 100 Most Influential

 2014: Her first coffee table book Butterflies and all things Sweet” wins three international awards

 2017 ELLE LEGEND AWARD  2018 (Autumn): Publishes her new coffee table book

hongkongliving.com | 25

cover story @bonnaeg - 98K follower Entrepreneur....Think Tank & Creative Visionary / Producer /Award-Winning Author/ Owner / Founder - SEVVA / Ms B’s CAKERY/C’est La B Cafes Queen of cakes and queen of Instagram, follow Bonnae Gokson to keep up with her fabulous life.

our fresh vertical garden walls? It amazes me. But then, guess what? We do it again next month.

should be no shortcuts in fine dining. Even the most ordinary of dishes must involve the finest ingredients.

How old am I? I always say, forever 29. (Laughs)

George and Amal Clooney’s wedding was a beautiful event but I thought ‘Oh I could have designed a better cake than that’.

I love Hong Kong. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world. If you want to get something done here, you can do it fast.

Fashion When I went into Coco Chanel’s apartment in Paris, it reminded me of going up to see Auntie Daphne’s penthouse flat in our home in Stanley. Chanel was a Leo, I myself am a Leo; her lucky number was five, my multiples of lucky numbers include five. I said to Joyce, ‘Hey, it’s like I’m living in her spirit, whatever’.’

Dining All kinds of people come to SEVVA. Not just rich, we have artists, nomads, whatever. This is something I am very proud of. Seva is Sanskrit for “selfless service”. At Ashrams I do seva in the kitchens. It is living a life that is a benefit to others. I added another “v” to my restaurant’s name SEVVA because our tag line is “savour the moment”. Pronounce it “savour” Royalty have been coming to SEVVA for many years but we keep them anonymous. Even so, bodyguards search the entire building before they come. JLo came for dinner with her family after her concert at the arena. We all loved her. There

26 | hongkongliving.com

Tiny details go a long way. Small example: The red color you see in our cakes comes from beetroot. Other bakeries would simply use food coloring.

Books To win so many awards with my first book (Butterflies and Sweet Things) was an honour. You can imagine how many coffee table books they had to look at to pick one. But to me this is more than a book, it’s a piece of art which took two years. I executed every single page. A butterfly has a very short life - our cakes are like that, we don’t use any preservatives so they last around two days. Oprah Winfrey congratulated me. My books are playful. With all the bad news in the world, wouldn’t you rather spend your time looking at something happy?

Life Timing is the most important thing in life. Everything relies on timing. You may meet the most amazing person, but if the timing is wrong, nothing will work. My motto in life is to have respect for others and be thankful. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Freedom to do what you like is a luxury.

hongkongliving.com | 27

Photo by Graham Uden


Royal Yatch Club in Deep Water Bay

Join the Club

Hong Kong’s best private members clubs and how to join them


embership clubs have existed in Hong Kong since colonial times, and many are still alive and kicking today. Whether you’re into sport, sailing or wining and dining, you’re sure to find one to suit. A lot of the larger, more popular clubs have attractive recreational facilities but they also tend to be accompanied by a lengthy waiting list and come at a price. Alternatively, there are smaller ones with fewer facilities which offer a host of activities and the opportunity to network and meet like-minded people. Here’s our roundup:

and country store with products straight from America. A member, their spouse and children up to 21 years can use facilities with an entrance fee of $438,000 and a prevailing monthly subscription fee of $2,650 per month.

Options that won’t break the bank Helena May “A welcoming club for women (and associate males) of all nationalities and walks of life, the Helena May offers accommodation, dining facilities, a large English-language library, social and cultural activities.” 35 Garden Road, Central, 2522 6766, helenamay.com

Victoria Recreation Club “With two clubhouses set against beautiful natural backdrops in Deep Water Bay and Tai Mong Tsai in Sai Kung, the VRC focuses on boating of all descriptions and open-water swimming.” victoriarecreationclub.com.hk

The American Club Founded in 1925, this member-owned club offers a small taste of home to Americans (apparently the burgers are particularly good), though there are membership options for non-US citizens as well. Patrons can visit two clubhouses, one in Central and one in Tai Tam, both providing luxurious dining, fitness centres

28 | hongkongliving.com

Facilities: restaurants, tennis courts, squash courts, indoor/outdoor multi-purpose courts, rock-climbing wall, swimming pool, playzone and teen hangout, spa and ballroom; private box at Happy Valley racecourse. Floor 48-49, Two Exchange Square, Central 2842 7400 americanclubhk.com

clubs with diving boards, library, fitness centre, fivestar spa, food and beverage outlets, and tenpin bowling. 10 Old Peak Road, Hong Kong, 3199 3500, irc.com.hk

Hong Kong Football Club Sports and recreation are the lifeblood of the HKFC, with fantastic facilities making it one of the best sports clubs in the region. While football and rugby continue to be core sports, other sports include netball, field hockey, tennis, lawn bowls and squash. The club also offers a good range of leisure facilities. It presently has approximately 3,300 members with sports membership open to individuals who are able to play sport at a team level. Junior membership also available. Facilities: Rugby/football pitch, indoor/outdoor lawn bowls, tennis and squash courts, sports hall, snooker, tenpin bowling alley, swimming pool, golf simulator, fitness centre, bars and restaurants, a library, meeting rooms and children’s playrooms. 3 Sports Rd, Happy Valley, 2830 9500, hkfc.com.hk

Hong Kong Country Club Opened in 1962 to break down social barriers between residents of all nationalities and races, the Hong Kong Country Club’s membership system still reflects this cosmopolitan approach, with applications dependant on openings in the relevant nationality quota. Facilities: A lawn, swimming pool, putting green, health club, basketball, tennis, squash, snooker, bowling alley, golf simulator, teens’ room and jungle gym as well as six F&B outlets. 188 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Deep Water Bay, 2870 6500, countryclub.hk

on prime real estate too. Membership is also open to men and children of all nationalities with benefits extending far beyond Hong Kong, with reciprocal rights to over 40 clubs around the world. Facilities: Tennis, badminton and squash courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools

Foreign Correspondents’ Club Cited as the most famous press club in the world, FCC Hong Kong has a rich past, dating back to 1943. It is housed in a beautiful, colonial building in Central and is still an important media hub that provides a neutral platform for an impressive selection of local and international

Hong Kong Golf Club

Ladies Recreation Club When Louisa Coxon and friends wrote a letter to the acting colonial secretary asking “for a small piece of land for the purpose of health and recreation” in 1883, little did they know it would become one of the most sought-after sports and recreation clubs in Hong Kong, and

Photo by Graham Uden

Established in Happy Valley in 1889 by “13 golfing enthusiasts”, the Hong Kong Golf Club dropped the “Royal” from its name in 1996, ahead of the handover. Home of the Hong Kong Open since 1959, the waiting list for this exclusive golf club is said to be about 20 years. The club prides itself as having the largest ladies section in any clubs in Hong Kong with over 500 women playing. Facilities: Nine-hole golf course (Deep Water Bay), three 18-hole golf courses (Fanling), coaching, pro shop, practice range, gym, pool, sauna and mahjong room. 19 Island Rd, Deep Water Bay, 2812 7070, hkgolfclub.org

hongkongliving.com | 29

clubs speakers across a range of topics. Bona fide correspondents and journalists can join at the rate of $3,000, with a monthly subscription fee of $1,100. Those working outside the media industry can join the club for $35,000 although the waiting list is currently a few years. Facilities: Main bar, lounge, verandah restaurant, jazz bar, Chinese restaurant, private dining rooms, health club, quiet workroom. 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, 2521 1511, fcchk.org

Hong Kong Cricket Club Established in 1851, the HKCC is the oldest cricket club in Asia. It had a pitch in Chater Gardens until 40 years ago, when it moved to Wong Nai Chung Gap. The club hosts its biggest event of the year, the Annual Garden Party which this year will be held on May 6. Entrance Fee for Subscriber Membership is $288,000 with a monthly subscription of $1,660 per month. Facilities: Cricket, rugby, lawn bowls, tennis and squash, netball, spa, snooker, tenpin bowling alley, pool, golf simulator, gym, bridge, dance classes (from ballet to Scottish country), and dodgeball as well as boxes at Happy Valley and Sha Tin race courses. 137 Wong Nai Chung Gap Rd, Tai Tam, 3511 8678, hkcc.org

The Hong Kong Club Established in 1846, the Hong Kong Club was set up by British merchants and civil servants as an exclusive gentlemen’s club. Its members were, and are still to this day, among the most influential people in the city including government officials and senior local businessmen. Facilities: A bowling alley bar, extensive library, cards room, billiards room, fitness centre, squash courts, function rooms, restaurants including a grill and a garden lounge, a barber’s shop and race box. 1 Jackson Rd, Central, 2978 9500, thehongkongclub.hk

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Founded in 1890, this is one of the largest yacht clubs in the world. It was the only Hong Kong club that kept the “Royal” in its title post-handover. Unsurprisingly, membership is contingent on an interest in rowing or sailing. Current entrance fee for ordinary married couple starts at $137,700 with monthly subscription of $1,420. Facilities: Sailing, rowing, dragonboating, moorings, berths (Shelter Cove), restaurants; Kellett Island has four restaurants, a swimming pool, bowling alley, squash courts and hardstands. Hung Hing Road, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay, 2832 2817, rhkyc.org.hk

30 | hongkongliving.com

hongkongliving.com | 31

body & soul

Meditation 101 Mindy Tagliente on meditation basics and finding calm in this hectic city

32 | hongkongliving.com

body & soul What is meditation?

How do you meditate?

Meditation is the ability to focus your mind on a single act or thought. People think that to be a successful “meditator” you have to have no thoughts or an empty mind, but this is not the case. Our minds are made to think and have thoughts, so how can anyone expect to have no thoughts? Meditation is the ability to stay present with those thoughts in that moment. That’s basically what mindfulness is - being able to analyse your thoughts and feelings objectively at every moment.

Meditation is not about the stereotypical image of sitting in lotus pose with thumbs and forefingers touching - getting into that pose is hard enough for most people! You can meditate lying down (although there’s always the danger of falling asleep with this one!), sitting in a chair, walking (by being mindful of each step you take) - one of my personal favourites - and even while shopping.

What are the benefits? Meditation is beneficial on so many levels, especially in a place as hectic as Hong Kong. Of course it helps to calm the mind and relieve stress. The ability to be present with your thoughts and not let them wander creates a wonderful mental balance. Space in your mind allows you to create space in your life. You are able to see situations and challenges more objectively, thus you can choose a more favourable response, rather than allowing you emotions to react to them. This is so empowering. It feels great when you are in control of your life!

For beginners, focus on a single thing in the present, such as your breath. When you notice your mind wandering to other thoughts, refocus. In doing this your ability to concentrate will increase. Meditation is a state of mind, which can be applied to anything you do. I know people who meditate while sitting alone at lunch, with a glass of wine. So, no excuses, really.

How do you encourage children to meditate? Children respond really well to visualisations, colours and images. Young children often struggle with attention span, so having something to focus on visually is a great way to encourage a stiller mind. Everyone is different though, some children respond better to sounds, or even smells.

Meditation classes in Mid-levels Journey Within Caron teaches Journey within (meditation) classes on Wednesday mornings 9:15-10:15 am. She also teaches Yoga for the Soul which practises meditative asana (postures) on Thursday mornings 10:45-12pm. Classes cost $300 per person. Fivelements, 81 Tai Chung Hau Road, Sai Kung, 3959 0000, hk.fivelements.org Kadampa Meditation Centre The Kadampa Meditation Centre offers “Introduction to Buddhism” classes every Tuesday 11am– 12:15pm and an “In Depth Meditation Course” with Gen Kelsang Tonglam on Wednesday evenings 7.30 – 9.00pm. Classes are taught in Cantonese with English translation Classes are free of charge; suggested donations of $50-$100 are welcome. 1 Causeway Tower, 16-22 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay. 2507 2237, meditation.hk 53 Hoi Ha Retreat A relaxing day retreat located in the depths of Sai Kung Country Park, run by Derek Hinden, the retreat offers yoga, meditation and watersports in an effort to help you to disconnect from the outside world. Day retreats from $1,500 (minimum of four people) which includes transportation from the Star Ferry (Pier 9) Central. 53 Hoi Ha Rd, Sai Kung East Country Park, Sai Kung 9163 9563, 53hoiha.com The Art of Living The Art of Living Foundation was founded in 1981, it is an international nonprofit, charitable, and humanitarian organization, dedicated to serving the community. Advance Art of Meditation classes are available at various locations. 2-12 Arion Commercial Center, Sheung Wan, Queen’s Rd West, artofliving.org The Sanctuary Phil Davies offers guided meditation aimed at achieving deep relaxation and release negative emotions. Classes every Wednesday evening from 7:15-8:45 pm. Unit 902, 99 Wellington Street, Central, 2537 1373, thesanctuary.com.hk

Kadampa Meditation Centre

hongkongliving.com | 33

body & soul

What are the specific benefits of meditation for children? If I start on the benefits of meditation for children and teenagers, I won’t stop! Briefly though, meditation can help with exams, homework, pressures of school life, bullying, alienation, peer pressure...the list goes on.... It can provide children and teenagers with the tools to have balanced minds, be in charge of their thoughts and feelings and know how to recognise and respond to them. This is essential, as far as I am concerned. If meditation was taught as a subject at school, what great world leaders we would have in the future! Mindy runs Yoga for Life, as well as personal meditation classes, she offers mindfulness and yoga workshops and retreats both in Hong Kong and overseas. Recently she has developed wellness, mindfulness and meditation programmes for schools and corporations. Mindy will hold a “Strong Body, Powerful Mind” retreat at The Layer villas in Seminyak, Bali from 27-31 May. The weekend combines yoga, bootcamp, meditation and neuro linguistic programming as well as plenty of opportunities to relax. For more information whatsapp 9748 4567 or email mindy@yogaforlife.com.hk M

34 | hongkongliving.com

Apps and podcasts to help you meditate Headspace For a range of meditation podcasts from motivation to exercise and happiness. Headspace has you covered. headspace.com Waking up podcast Neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author, Sam Harris talks about the human mind, society and current events. samharris.org/podcast Meditation Minis Too busy to mediate? This podcast guides you through quick 10 minute meditations. Listen on iTunes and AudioBoom. Calm Choose from guided meditations or help get to sleep with sleep stories and soothing sounds. Available on iPhone and Android.

hongkongliving.com | 35


Chinese Academy offers the perfect balance between East and West

Vassavi Seethepalli visits the brand new primary school in Causeway Bay 36 | hongkongliving.com


Enrolling now? What to expect Chinese Academy opened in September 2017 and is currently accepting primary aged students. The campus is located at 77 Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay. While the permanent campus is being built the first intake of children are being taught onsite in a bright, airy building which adjoins Confucius Hall Secondary School. The school shares the same playground and facilities with Confucius Hall. Principal Ramida Din emphasises how much the students are “thoroughly enjoying their experience� and excited to be among the first students to be accepted into the school. The ratio of Mandarin to English makes Chinese Academy an excellent option for post-millennial children who are predominantly Chinese, returning from abroad and looking to be immersed into Mandarin culture while keeping a developing grasp on their Western roots. With the battle for school places reaching astounding new heights, the school offers an exciting opportunity for parents who are looking to get their foot in the door at this unique and groundbreaking school. Application for 2018-19 primary school admissions is now open, entrance acceptance fee for 2018-2019 is $900. To sign up for school tour, contact the Admissions Office on 2499 8000 or for more information visit caps.edu.hk

Ramida Din - Principal

hongkongliving.com | 37



hinese Academy (CAPS) is a new private school in Causeway Bay which opened in September 2017. In a crowded private school market Chinese Academy aims to set itself apart by fusing the traditional Chinese education principles with Western values. The school is a result of a partnership between Confucius Hall of Hong Kong and the International Chinese Academy Education Foundation. Teachings are based on the principles of Confucius where emphasis is put on strong family values, humaneness and an awareness of traditions.

The Campus The campus, located on Caroline Hill Road, is currently under construction with an expected completion date in 2022. When fully complete, the 120,000 square foot campus will cater to both primary and secondary school students. Construction of the primary school campus will be complete in 2020, at which point construction of the secondary school campus will begin. The secondary school campus will be completed in 2022, just as the first intake of students are ready to graduate through to secondary. Principal, Ramida Din was kind enough to

38 | hongkongliving.com

Prototype of future campus in Causeway Bay

take me on a quick tour around the temporary campus, while explaining exciting plans for how things will develop. She says, “We are very optimistic about the layout of the future campus and excited to see the next batch of students arrive for the coming academic year”. By 2027 the school aims to have four classes per grade (with 23-25 children per class), a total of 1,200 pupils, after adding a secondary school and kindergarten. Meanwhile, plans for the primary campus include an interactive multimedia library, a gymnasium, an eat smart cafeteria, SEM Lab, Chinese music rehearsal hall and a swimming pool.

Bilingual Immersion Chinese Academy prides itself as being one of the few schools in Hong Kong to offer a bilingual immersion curriculum with most subjects being

taught in both English and Mandarin. Din says, “When we talk of bilingual immersion there needs to be a balance for students to be able to become proficient in both languages. We believe that in order to learn a language proficiently, it must be used in all subjects - in different situations, and in various activities”. Each subject is taught with a 60:40 ratio, English to Mandarin. The school believes that teaching in this way will enhance and develop an appreciation for Mandarin and help students further understand the culture. When asked “Why would parents prefer Chinese Academy over other schools?” Din replied, “We live in Hong Kong, many of us have Chinese origins or friends who are Chinese. China will be an influential country, so to learn Chinese and immerse in Chinese culture is beneficial to us all”.

Global Citizens Chinese Academy advisory board consists of faculty members of Cambridge, Oxford, and Hong Kong University which has helped them to make worldwide connections. A Student Exchange Program is offered to upper primary students, with the aim to give students an international and global perspective and further develop them into modern, forward-thinking and thoughtful citizens.

sponsored coloumn

Fast Pass Access to Hong Kong International Schools by Anne Murphy, Education Consultant for ITS In Hong Kong, it is common for children to start school as young as two years old with some infants attending playgroup at just 8 months. The sooner your child begins his or her educational pathway, the easier it is to gain access to his or her preferred schooling choice so this is the reason for children starting at such a young age. Applications for some schools including Discovery Bay International, Kellett School, German Swiss, French International School and playgroups including ITT, Artplus, Pebbles and Victoria Playgroup are accepted as soon as your child is issued a birth certificate. Check your preferred school’s application period - for some schools, applications can be submitted one to two years ahead of the deadline. Applications submitted after the deadline, or less than a year in advance are usually considered late. It is worth checking out the application

process of some popular kindergartens, more information is available on individual kindergarten websites. For example see the application processes of some popular schools as below: Victoria Educational Organisation: victoria.edu.hk/en/admission-how-toapply.php Learning Habitat Kindergarten and Bilingual Nursery: learninghabitat.org/web/ index.php?id=18 Aim to apply as soon as you can, as early as when your child is a few months old. For older children, apply when your child is 4 years old to enter the school system when he or she is 5 or 6 respectively. If you haven’t yet had your child assessed at any schools in Hong Kong and you are not sure how they will be assessed or even how they will cope, please contact us for further information on our interview preparation classes: itseducation.asia/ interview.php.

ITS Education Asia provides an education consulting service that works with families and employers to find the right schools for individual children in Hong Kong, from nursery to secondary schools. ITS also offers research, policy and advisory services for corporations. For more details, contact es@itseducation.asia, 3188 3940 oritseducation.asia.

School fees


The school offers a fee remission scheme irrespective of the student’s financial background. $10 million has been allocated for scholarships and sponsorships to further develop the specific talents of promising students. The school will not charge for debentures, which guarantee admission, usually at a very high cost. Annual tuition fees are $112,000 with an annual capital levy of $36,000.

Din stresses that “IT is a tool to learn like any other subject ” and is keen to develop ebooks for the pinyin and the phonics program. “Ebooks help the students to revisit their lessons at home” she explains. “ IT and computer literacy are taught explicitly through values education, where the students learn to be supportive to one another and to surf smartly.

Curriculum The curriculum is based on an inquiry-approach, which involves stimulating students learning with a question or an issue in order to develop understanding and encourage objective thinking. In keeping with Chinese Academy’s Confucian principles the school emphasises a values learning approach. Integrated Inquiry Studies (IIS) gives students the opportunity to explore science and social studies through multiple perspectives, and develop a more inquisitive mind. Humanities class is taught in Mandarin, “the students learn about art, history, festivals around the world with a special unit on China and their inventions and influences on the world, and Chinese myths and legends – how fun!” adds Din. The Humanities studies will be taught in Chinese, which will draw attention towards Confucianism and Chinese culture. At the secondary level the school will follow the IB and PYP curriculum.

School Report

Established: 2017 Class size: 23-25 Curriculum: IB, PYP Fees 2017/2018: $128,800 Non refundable capital levy: $43,200 Address: Chinese Academy, 77 Caroline Hill road, Causeway Bay Tel: 2499 8000 Website: caps.edu.hk

hongkongliving.com | 39

big day out

Hiking to Paradise Explore one of Hong Kong’s best kept secrets

40 | hongkongliving.com

big day out

Sheung Luk Stream

hongkongliving.com | 41

big day out


ong Kong’s back garden is full of hidden gems including unspoilt beaches and roaring waterfalls. We take a trip to Sheung Luk Stream trail, which consists of three pools and breathtaking views.

Sheung Luk Stream trail If you’re into adrenaline and off roading, this hike takes walkers off the concrete paths and up a river course. Sheung Luk stream runs into the sea at Sai Wan in the Sai Kung East Country Park, offering hikers a combination of waterfalls, clear rock pools and cliffs for jumping off. Before embarking however, you should know this hike is moderately strenuous, involving some rock hopping and scrambling up the streambed. Those with a fear of heights might want to sit this one out as it involves climbing the 25-metre Thousand Silk Falls. There are obvious hazards with hiking up a watercourse and over wet rocks, and is probably unsuitable for younger children. Check the weather before setting out. On rainy days, the rocks may be slippery and unsafe as sections of the trail may flood. If you get caught in the rain, try to reach higher ground and wait it out to avoid being caught in a flash flood.

Careful of the wet moss

Climb drier rocks on the left side of the waterfall

42 | hongkongliving.com

big day out Starting at Sai Wan Pavilion First get to Sai Kung, the quickest route by public transport is usually by MTR to Hang Hau and then by 101 green minibus to Sai Kung. From here take bus 29R from Chan Man Street, near the Wilsons car park, or take a 25-minute taxi ride to Sai Wan Pavilion. The bus runs a few times a day during the week and more frequently at weekends and on public holidays. Call 9325 6310 for an up-to- date timetable.

High Island Reservoir

The Hike

Head down the clearly marked concrete path

Sai Wan village houses

From the pavilion, head down the clearly marked concrete path. It winds gently downhill, with views over High Island Reservoir, which is spectacularly blue even on cloudy days. A dip and short climb leads to the crossroads at Chui Tung Au, where the path connects with the MacLehose Trail. Go straight ahead, ignoring the paths on either side and make the steep descent to Sai Wan Tsuen, where you can get a drink and a simple meal. Just ahead lies beautiful Sai Wan beach, a popular campsite at weekends, not least because the sea here often contains bioluminescent plankton at night, lighting up as the waves lap the shore and surrounding nighttime swimmers with magical twinkles. Take the sandy path beside the helipad to a junction with a concrete bridge over Sheung Luk stream on the right. Before the bridge, leave the track and head through the bushes, over rocks and emerge into a clearing above the stream. Descend the narrow path to reach the rest of the stream’s famous emerald pools. On hot days, crowds of people line the poolside, queuing up to launch themselves off the cliffs. Jumping off cliffs is dangerous and the rock can be slippery when wet. Always check the water is at least two metres deep and that no one is below you before jumping. Don’t be pressured into taking the plunge if you’re not ready. Alternatively, take a dip and watch the action from the cool water before continuing upstream. The easiest path around the first pool is to keep to the left and climb higher up the bank onto flatter rocks for a better footing. Some of the rocks are mossy and may be slippery. Climb the cliff face to the left to reach the top of the waterfall. Take the path heading left into the bushes. It is initially quite narrow and sectioned off by pipes. Duck under or climb

over the pipes to progress further along the river. Depending on the water level, some sections of the stream may be inaccessible. Typically, there are pathways marked by ribbons on each bank, although you may have to hop along the rocks in some places. Make your way 600 metres upstream to the 25-metre cliff face known as Thousand Silk Falls. It usually has only a trickle of water down the left hand side thanks to a dam constructed at the top. Climbing the cliff is easier than it first appears. Stick to the dry rock on the righthand side. It is weathered, however, and may be loose or crumbly so proceed with caution. There’s a great view downstream from the top. Continue around the pool behind the dam and head up the steep bank to the right. Once again, the going is a combination of track and rock hopping. Soon the path crosses the well-maintained Luk Wu trail. Head left, across the stream and past a red notice and walk up a set of steps. In early spring, look out for flashes of pink against the green as the wild Chinese New Year flower comes into bloom. From the top, enjoy clear views of Sharp Peak, Tai Mun Shan, Tung Wan Shan and Tai Long Wan, which now seem far off in the distance. The trail finishes with a flight of steps back down onto Sai Wan pavilion.

hongkongliving.com | 43


Ask a vet... Pet eccentricities and abnormalities. Dr Pauline answers your questions “Is it safe to give my dogs Benadryl?” Benadryl is the tradename for an anti-histamine drug called diphenhydramine. In most countries it is an “over the counter” product that comes in many forms including liquids, pills, lotion and as an injectable. It is used to treat several common conditions that involve the release of histamine in the body. These include allergies (where it dries up the mucous secretions and decreases coughing), nausea and itchy skin. It has, in addition to helpful effects, actions in other areas that can lead to unwanted side effects. I always advise caution in giving any medication to a pet. Although it is generally a safe drug when given at an appropriate dose, I would never advise this be given to a young pup and suggest a word with your vet before using on any dog. “Why have my dog’s eyes turned bloodshot red?” There are many causes of “red eyes” (the whites of the eyes turning red due to swollen blood vessels on the surface). However, should this be accompanied by any signs of pain, tears or discharge, half closed eyelids or swelling you must see a vet as soon as you can as it could be an ocular emergency and your

dog’s eyesight could be at risk. Red eyes can affect one or both eyes and common causes include allergies and mild infections when the eye will tend to have a pink/red appearance rather than blood red. More serious conditions include glaucoma, infections, damage to the cornea (the surface of the eye), other traumas and some viral diseases. While there are many home remedies for mild eye problems including using cucumber slices or tea bags to soothe pink eyes, with bloodshot red eyes my advice is to get your dog to a vet as soon as you can. “Do cats feel cold and should I be worried about this when I’m not at home?” Adult cats are very smart animals and good at keeping their body temperature in a normal range which is between 100 - 102.5°F (37.7 – 39.1°C). This control is regulated by a number of factors that includes external and internal ways. In a home situation most healthy cats, if they feel cold, will move to a place where they can warm up. This could be a move to a sunny window sill or a sleeping place on/in a bed. Other “internal“ ways that cats regulate their temperature include physiological changes that alter the flow of blood throughout the body,

Got a question for Dr. Pauline? Email editorial@hongkongliving.com

trap warm air around their hair to insulate the skin and even cause shivering which produces warmth. Take care however as shivering can also be seen when your cat has a fever. Keeping cats in a small cage at home isn’t what I would recommend but if you must then access to either hot or cold resting areas is important. Kittens however are unable to maintain their body temperature and they need special care to stop them getting cold.

Dr. Pauline Pets Central veterinarian Dr. Pauline Taylor answers your questions.

Walkies Walkies with Mid levels resident Charlotte Johnson

44 | hongkongliving.com

running into the bushes and chasing squirrels, birds and the occasional wild boar! I’m usually out for between an hour and a half to two hours and I always bring poop bags, water, sunnies a small towel, bug spray and sunscreen. I walk back or sometimes jump in a cab if I’m running late. If I have less time I love to walk locally around the quieter streets of Sheung Wan, just behind Hollywood Road.

Hatton Road

© OpenStreetMap contributors


have two dogs named Murphy and Ruby. I adopted them eight years ago from “Kirsten’s Zoo”. We have been living in Sheung Wan ever since we’ve had the dogs so we know our ‘hood’ very well. We go for walks about four to five times a week. Depending on my schedule it’s either a local walk around Sheung Wan or a hike up to the Peak. My favourite route up to the Peak takes in the Morning Trail and Pinewood Battery Park. From Sheung Wan I climb the stairs passing the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences to the right. Then I head up Kotewall Road, onto Hatton Road and reach the start of the Morning trail, this takes us around half an hour. After hiking up the Morning Trail for around 20 minutes we reach Pinewood Battery Park. Here the dogs love being let off their leads,

Charlotte with Ruby and Murphy



To advertise, email talk@hongkongliving.com or call 2776 2772.

To advertise, email talk@hongkongliving.com or call 2776 2772

hongkongliving.com | 45


46 | hongkongliving.com

To advertise, email talk@hongkongliving.com or call 2776 2772


GET LISTED! 2776 2772 talk@hongkongliving.com To advertise, email talk@hongkongliving.com or call 2776 2772

hongkongliving.com | 47


Put down the plastic

Businesses and NGOs Unite to Help Hong Kong reduce waste


ountries and municipalities around the world are waking up to the threat of plastic pollution and are taking action to reduce the production, consumption and waste of a material that takes just seconds to make and may be used for mere minutes before lingering in our environment for upwards of five centuries. The price of our plastic addiction is becoming clearer by the day. According to UN estimates, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, and 60 to 90 percent of marine litter is composed of different plastic polymers. Bans or surcharges for plastic bags have won acceptance the world over, including in Hong Kong, but this is just the beginning. It has been estimated that by 2021, humans will annually use as many as half a trillion plastic bottles—most of which will end up in landfills or choking the marine environment. Every day, Hongkongers throw away 136 tonnes of plastic bottles, 91 tonnes of cardboard drink cartons, 41 tonnes of aluminium cans and 275 tonnes of glass bottles. While the recycling rate for

48 | hongkongliving.com

aluminium cans is high and the government has mandated a producer responsibility scheme for glass, huge amounts of waste from our consumption of drinks is simply being dumped. With China’s crackdown on imports of plastic trash, there has never been a more pressing time to rethink how we design, use and dispose of beverage packaging. To quote Allen Li, President, The Hong Kong Beverage Association Limited: “Something is remiss with almost all singleuse beverage containers going into Hong Kong’s landfills today.” That’s why in December last year, key players from the city’s beverage, retail and waste industries announced they were partnering with NGOs and academics to form the “Single-Use Beverage Packaging Working Group”. Participants include Swire Beverages, Vitasoy, Dairy Farm, Designing Hong Kong, Plastic Free Seas, WWF and Ocean Recovery Alliance. I have been asked to chair the Working Group and our “Drink Without Waste” campaign aims to recommend actions required from industry, government and

other stakeholders for reducing waste from beverage consumption in Hong Kong. We have recruited Deloitte Advisory and local consultancy Waters Economics to identify viable scenarios covering packaging, distribution, refilling, rebates, deposits, taxation, infrastructure, waste handling, recycling, education and regulations. Later this year, the working group will deliver a report with an analysis of the economic, social, environmental cost and benefits of each scenario for consideration by stakeholders and the public. Drink Without Waste is dovetailing with the government’s study of the feasibility of a Producer Responsibility Scheme for plastic bottles, and its plans to subsidise and invest in collection and recycling of plastic bottles. Paul Zimmerman is the CEO of Designing Hong Kong, a Southern District Councillor and the co-convenor of Save Our Country Parks alliance.


2 | hongkongliving.com

Profile for Hong Kong Living Ltd

Mid-levels May 2018  

Mid-levels May 2018  

Profile for saikung