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May 2018

Junk Fun

How to plan your ultimate summer junk


inn guide ers medi to tation


The really useful magazine May 2018


Southsider out and about

Check out what’s on in May

In your backyard

Free stuff

Gaud Pariset


The Splash Foundation


All About Junk Boats


The right lighting



High Tea



All Voice Talent



All you need to know





Mother’s Day is around the corner



Extreme Sports




Meditation 101






Paul Zimmerman

New books to discover

New neighbour

Tour de Force

55 48



editor’s letter


rom junk guide to meditation, we have it all covered in this issue of Southside magazine. To help you kick-start your plans for Junk trip adventures, we have a useful guide that can help you through. In my view, now is the best time to enjoy the warm sea breeze and the perfect water temperatures. And for those who love extreme sports, we have an amazing array for tips and tricks of the trade. If you are like me, hoping for peace and calm, get in line. Meditation is something that is yet to be discovered and is underestimated. We have places you can head to. But home is where it all starts and the right light can create a calming mood. And yes, Mother’s day is around the corner. Afternoon tea or High Tea, whatever you wish to call it, is an indulgence. Our favourite picks are listed for your convenience. If you are on a flight with your mum or your beloved, don’t fret - we have it covered for you. Our cover for this month is all about guiltless fun in the sun. It’s bright, colourful, and gorgeous just like it should be synchronous to Hong Kong!

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

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

Sylvie Lopardi

Miranda Sheppard

Nimmi Malhotra

...has a passion for lighting design and how it can transform a home to impact people in a positive way. From modern Hong Kong design to more traditional design, she finds the right style to customise the lighting experience for each client and creates lighting changes that make an immediate difference. Sl-lighting.com

...is an Australian born artist, with over 15 years of experience as an Art Director, Designer and Illustrator for major publications. Miranda has worked in the fashion industry in New York City. Now living in Hong Kong, Her personal style shows a cheeky sense of humor and wit. Mirandasheppard.com Instagram: @mazzyshepps

...moved to Hong Kong four years ago and dived straight into the world of wine. Now finishing up her two-year long diploma in wine studies, she can tell her Barolos from her Brunellos and much else besides. When she’s not studying or sipping, she’s on school runs, fixing her friends’ cellars and discovering Hong Kong’s wine scene.

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

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.


people Snaps from Southside


say cheese Spartan Race



MAY 19-23

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

This lively one-of-a-kind festival is a traditional event in Hong Kong, with bamboo mountains covered in buns, sporting events and fun for the entire family. Make sure you don’t miss the festival’s colourful parade! Pak Tai Temple, Cheung Chau. cheungchau.org


Hong Kong Week @HKBU This is a week-long event, featuring film screenings, panel discussions, a book launch, and the “Backreading Hong Kong” symposium. Free Entry. Baptist University Road, 22100 Kowloon, Hong Kong. hkbuenglish.com


Intimacy of creativity festival This arts and culture event is brought to you by HKUST (Hong Kong University of arts and Technology) and explores the creative process after public, in-depth Open Discussions on the campus, followed by innovative musical performances. Free Entry. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, 2358 8025. Ic.shss.ust.hk


The Conscious Collective This arts event gives people a focussed and conscious experience. With shopping, workshops and loads more which helps people make good lifestyle decisions, you will soon learn how to work towards a goal. Free Entry . From 6.30pm. Lighstage Gallery,


214-218 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. 9176 1096. consciouscollective.co


Samson Young: Songs for disaster relief world tour This aspiring artist brings people a unique exhibition which gives on-lookers and audiovisual experience which draws upon charity singles from the 1980s. Free Entry. 11am-6pm. West Kowloon Cultural District, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2200 0217. Westkowloon.hk


Contamination by Antoine d’Agata A show paying tribute to 20 years of unique work of the acclaimed French artist and film director Antoine D’Agata. Free entry. 1pm-7pm. Sing Teck Factory Building, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Rd, 6906 2330.


Cirque du Soleil presents: Kooza Acrobatic performances and the art of clowning highlighting the physical demands of human performance in all its splendour and


planner MAY 1

‘May’ we have a day off work?

Agenda, 1F, Commercial Accommodation, Ocean One, 6 Shung Shun Street. 2584 48888. Ticketflap.com

MAY 1-5


Enjoy a night of effortless wit and humour with The Hong Kong Singers’ musical show: The Spelling Bee. Tickets for the preview night May 1 $180. May 2-5 at $270. Everynight 7.30pm, May 5 2.30pm, 7.30pm. Hong Kong Arts Centre McAulay Studio. urbtix.hk

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



May Day

25th Annual Putnam County

Disclosure at Macpherson Stadium This british DJing duo bring a whole new meaning to the word House Music. Tickets from $688. 7pm-11pm. Macpherson Stadium, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, 2314 4228. Cityline.com fragility, presented in a colourful mélange that emphasises bold slapstick humour. Considered as a return to their origins, Cirque Du Soleil are very proud to present eager spectators with their marvelous show Kooza. Acts include twin highwires sporting brave tightrope walkers, a crazy dark choreographed ‘skeleton dance’ (don’t worry, they’re only costumes!) and the intense wheel of death. Be sure not to miss out, it’s definitely a must-see of the year! Tickets start at $488 to $1888. Central Harbourfront Event Space. Tickets available on asiaboxoffice.com


Open Mic at Poetry Outloud Calling all you keen poets to head on down and show off your amazing skills. Free Entry. 7pm-9pm. Colette’s (Room B), Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, 2521 7251. Poetryoutloud.org


At The Gates - Live in Hong Kong If you’re into death metal bands, check out these guys who are doing an Asia tour! Tickets at $480. 8pm-10.30pm. Hidden

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. 7.30pm9pm. Church of all nations, 23 South Bay Close, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong. eventbrite.hk


Jake Bugg Solo Acoustic Tour Live in Hong Kong This critically acclaimed British singer and songwriter is coming to Wan Chai this year to perform his solo tour. Tickets at $440 . 8pm11pm. 6/F Hopewell Centre, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. 2989 9239. Universe.com

Joe Hisaishi in concert

MAY 4-6

Known as one of the greatest movie composers of all time, this japanese genius is returning to Hong Kong after eight years to perform a live concert. Tickets at $480 and $1,080. Fri 8pm, Sat 3pm & 8pm, Sun 3pm. Hong Kong Cultural Centre , Tsim Sha Tsui. 2734 2009. lcsd. gov.hk/

25th Annual Putnam County



planner MAY 5

MAY 13

This is a fun one to take the kids to. This nighttime adventure consists of a 2 hour, 7km walk which takes you to prime habitats of bats, teaching you all you need to know and spotting all the active fireflies. Tickets at $150 (adults) $110 (children) . 7.30pm-11pm. Fanling Station, Hong Kong. 6053 6076. adventuretours.hk

Time to spoil your mother’s!

Bats & Fireflies watching


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. Tickets at $1,100. 2pm-5pm. The Flying Winemaker Tasting Room, 6/F, Yu Yuet Lai building, 43-45 Wyndham Street, Central. 25222187. flyingwinemaker.com


Wings for life World Run This suitable-for-all charity race helps to raise money for spinal injury research! Sign up at: wingsforlifeworldrun.com/int/ en/app-run-happy-valley 6pm-10pm. Hong Kong Jockey Club Happy Valley Racecourse, Wong Nai Chung Rd. 2895 1523.


Mr & Mrs Fox Pub Quiz A recurring event 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. Held within 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 8-10

Odysseia: Fabrice Michel

Mothers Day

MAY 18

International Museum Day Hong Kong 2018 A great family day out where all of the museums host events and activities for the public to participate in. This years theme will be “Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new public”. Find out more at network.icom. museum

MAY 18

Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation (HKAHF)

Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong 2018



Exhibiting over 115 galleries and showcasing a large variety of art priced between $1,000 and $100,000, this fun art fair is something interesting to add to the calendar. Their friday charity event (#ForArt’sSake) offers a lot of fun with interactive activities and live art and dance performances.

Tickets at $120 (early bird) and $150 (prefair). Friday daytime session 12pm-6pm, Friday charity event 6pm-10pm. Sat & Sun 11am-7pm. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 3DE, 1 Expo Dr, Wan Chai. 2582 8888

Women of Hope Fundraising Lunch is hosted by HKAHF at the JW Marriot Ballroom. Established in 2014, the event hopes to raise funds to support the HKAHF’s cancer wing. For more information visit hkahf.org.hk/event/women-of-hope-2018

MAY 18-20

Stingrays Home Invitational Swim Meet Over 400 swimmers representing local and overseas swim clubs will compete against Stingrays’ finest swimmers at this short course fast-paced age group competition. Free Entry. Fri 4.45pm-7pm, Sat 8.30am6pm, Sun 9am-1.30pm. HKIS High School Swimming Pool, 1 Redhill Road, Tai Tam. hkstingrays.com.

MAY 19

Conrad Pool Party French May Edition Fancy a relaxing day out? Conrad hotel & restaurant are hosting a poolside ‘chill’ party which includes al fresco italian and South East

Asian food, and free flow rose wine. Tickets at $598. 12pm-3pm. Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Central. 25213838. conradhotels.com

Everyone’s seen an art exhibition but have you seen a live art performance before? This incredible show features texts by acclaimed french photographer and filmmaker Antoine d’Agata and should make for an eye-opening experience. Tickets at $200. 8pm-9pm. 8/F, Sing Tek Factory, 44 Wong Chuk Hang street, Aberdeen. 6906 2330. Charbonartspace.com

MAY 12

Children’s Bookfest This family fun day will be filled with entertaining story tellers, arts & crafts activities, meet the authors, a relaxing outdoor library, some hilarious games, and lots more. Free admission. 11am-4pm. Bookazine, Repulse Bay Plaza, Stingrays home invitational swim meet



planner MAY 19

CCSC Campus Carnival Open to the public for a limited time, this fun family event is being hosted in celebration of the campus’ 50th anniversary! Free Entry. 1pm-5pm. Cheung Chuk Shan College, 11 Cloud View Road, North Point. 2570 6665. ccsc.edu.hk

Tasting Room, 6th Floor, Yu Yuet Lai Building, 43-55 Wyndham Street, Central, 2522 2187. flyingwinemaker.com.hk

PME Professional Diploma Course Sugarpaste Module

MAY 26

Tai Po Historical Tour

Buddha’s birthday

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. Tickets from $150 (adult) and $110 (children). 2pm-5.30pm. Tai Po MTR station, Hong Kong. 6053 6076 adventuretours.hk

The eighth day of the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

MAY 26

MAY 22

MAY 24

Chardonnay Celebration The flying winemaker is hosting a day to celebrate chardonnay wine in true fashion by opening your eyes (and mouths) further into it’s marvellous world. The Flying Winemaker


MAY 27

This class includes power, speed, unilateral training and a deep core workout which is fun and lead by an experienced and motivation coach. The class is held on the last Sunday of every month. Free if a Decathlon member. 9.30am11.30am. AIA Vitality park, Central Harbourfront.

MAY 20

This course will teach you everything you need to know about designing the perfect instagramworthy cake. Tickets at $5,200. 10.30am5.30pm. 15th Floor, Morecrown Commercial Building, 108 Electric Road, Causeway Bay. 2566 0207. Blossomcakes.com.hk

Cardio fitness & Suspension Training

“Eat-Pray-Art” immerce day This three-hour experience goes around Hong Kong, discovering hidden art galleries, tasting amazing food and drinking tea. Tickets at $750. 3pm-6pm. Amanda Wei Gallery, 19-27 Wyndham Street, Hong Kong. 2656 2908. facebook.com/amandaweigallery

happening in may


Road to Ultra Make sure you register for ticket notification for this insane electronic music festival! Since 2012, RTU have been providing one-of-a-kind events to electronic music fan in around six continents across the world! Ticket registration now open! Register at hongkong.roadtoultra.com.

JUN 30-JUL 1

Mongolia bike ride TIF is a charitable kindergarten which provides children with daycare, warmth and three meals a day. They hold this annual event to help raise money and give people a weekend away in Mongolia they will never forget! Become immersed in its stunning countryside through hikes, bike rides and horse riding. Registration at $4,700 per person. tifcharity.org

NOV 9-11

Clockenflap 2018 Yes, I know it’s still a long way away, but early-

bird tickets have now been released for this not-to-be-missed music and arts festival which is celebrating it’s 11th edition! It is renowned for being an incredible weekend full of food,

drinking and dancing. Tickets from $890$1,410. Friday 5pm-Sunday 11pm. Central Harbourfront, Hong Kong. clokenflap.com

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




THE SHOPPING SPIES ARE OUT The 2018 Mystery Smiling Report was compiled by mystery shoppers in 50 different countries around Asia, Europe and North & South America. The Hong Kong mission was carried out by the Hong Kong Mystery Shopper Service Association. The job of the mystery shopper is to anonymously evaluate the services provided by various industries. The score was calculated by the welcoming smiles in the service industry. It also provides feedback to business owners who wish to improve their services. While Britain won the first runner up award, Hong Kong has some way to go coming in 25th position. However, compared to previous years, Hong Kong’s booming economy has gone some way to help increase its ranking slightly.

Driving past the Hong Kong tennis centre, you see that it is running in full capacity. Juniors from various schools compete amongst each other, or have practise rounds every day of the

week. This year the Nissin Junior Tennis Series will take place from May 5-21, 2018. The series will kick-off for juniors under 12 to under 18 at 4 different locations.


RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN WONG CHUK HANG MTR’s property director has released details about the third phase of the residential development atop Wong Chuk Hang station. With several residential towers and a 450,000 sq feet shopping mall already in development, the third phase will be released later on in the year. This unfortunately means that home prices within the region will be rising over the next 12 months and there is a high demand for luxury flats worth $12m each.


The beloved Hong Kong Space museum closed its doors to visitors back in 2015, due to major renovations. The museum has announced it’s big reopening on the 25 of April. The updated version of the museum will have around 100 brand new exhibits, better quality displays and a fabulously refurbished


interior. The museum is a piece of Hong Kong history, having been open since 1980. It is famous for its egg-shaped dome and has always been a much-loved place to visit with plenty of activities and events to go along to.

As the summer months approach, Southside is getting busier with tourists and visitors eager to visit surrounding beaches. However, new developments are threatening to bring in even more people. The narrow roads already become highly congested with traffic around this time, and the fear is that it will get progressively worse as things proceed. Southern District Councillor and planning expert, Paul Zimmerman has launched an online petition to raise awareness of the damage the traffic is having on Southside’s quality of life. The issues Zimmerman is hoping to tackle are to stop any new developments, widen the roads and perform traffic management.

in your backyard

BRUNCH IN WONG CHUK HANG! Already becoming a popular spot amongst visitors and residents, Komune restaurant and bar, owned by Ovolo hotel offers people a number of exquisite dishes from various cuisines. Their restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating areas, with a cosy and comforting decor and relaxing atmosphere. The great news is they have just released a brand new brunch menu! Curated by Michelin experienced chef El Palanca (Alvaro Ramos), the menu will feature fresh additions as well as some of the restaurant’s best sellers. Avocado, salmon and slow cooked eggs on toast and chorizo and manchego burgers are some popular choices on offer. They also offer a buffet with bread, salad, cold meats, cheeses and tacos. From Saturday May 17, the menu will be available at weekends and has separate add on options for free-flow booze. Then, if you’re not ready to go home you can ‘top up your allowance’ for an extra two hours of drinking in the Komune bar! 12pm-3pm. $268 per person, add $240 for a standard drinks package or $458 for a premium drinks package. 64 Wong Chuk Hang Rd, Aberdeen, 3460 8157. komune.com.hk



Aberdeen is a busy place with an efficient public transport network. The many bus routes that pass through Aberdeen Centre and the terminus causes traffic congestion while long vehicles manoeuvring the narrow roads can be a hazard for pedestrians. Ho Wang SPB Ltd who have been commissioned as the traffic consultant have recently sent a proposal to change the routes of specific bus routes in relation to the heavy traffic situation. CTB No. 7, 98, 95C, NWFB No. 94A, 595, and GMB 58 & 58A are the bus routes that will be affected. Members of the public are invited to comment on the proposal. Taxi drivers in Hong Kong are becoming furious at the lack of action taken to stop Uber. While already kicking up a fuss and explaining how the transportation network company has been affecting their own business, drivers feel their words have fallen upon deaf ears. Their new plan of action is to hold a protest whereby they will surround the Central district,

block the roads and causing mass disruption and inconvenience. There is no set date for the protest as yet. In an effort to work with the taxi companies, the government have proposed a new scheme for a premium taxi service, however this will only benefit the taxi companies, not the drivers.


win at hongkongliving.com


enter to win!

Treasure Island 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/surfcamp-registration. We have four places at any Treasure Island Surf Camp to give away, valued at $4,200 each!

Mini Gifts in a Tin


ABA Production

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.

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.

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



five minutes with

SOUTHSIDE SCULPTOR, GAUD PARISET Vasavi Seethepalli heads to Gaud’s studio for a chat Since my childhood I have been drawing and painting, and later attended classes at the French National Art School of Fine Arts. I chose to study in a more career promising field and ended up working in Human Resources as becoming an artist wasn’t considered the best route to a sustainable living. What’s bred in the bone comes back in the flesh! After a few years in HR, I realised that creativity was what I really needed. So, after I had my first child, I studied Interior Design and worked for a while, whilst simultaneously pursuing my first love: painting and sculpting. It took me a few years before deciding to become a full-time artist. Being an interior designer was the first step to gaining creativity before taking the leap to sculpture and painting. I mainly sculpt, but I also draw and paint. I’m also a photographer and I create videos. An

opportunity came knocking in 2013 and I had my first solo show in Turin in Italy, which encouraged me to continue. Being a sculptor means needing some space and lot of time! Finding a space is quite challenging in Hong Kong! Making a clay sculpture can easily take 4 weeks. And it doesn’t dry quickly with Hong Kong’s humidity so the drying process is often much longer! And finding a high-quality art foundry in Asia is not an easy task. Once you find it, you have to go three times to the foundry to follow and work on the bronze process. All this requires a big budget, so the financial part is also a challenge for a sculptor. I have been living in Hong Kong for almost 4 years. The city has given me opportunities for my career that I wasn’t expecting. I have exhibited many times since I moved here, and I feel that Hong Kong makes things happen. I have met

wonderful people in the art field, as well as international collectors, who have taken my artworks to different countries in Asia, Europe, and America. I really enjoy Big Wave Bay beach as it is surrounded by mountains and it’s very peaceful. It is very convenient for families as you can picnic or grab some food at the friendly beach bar, it also reminds me of Brittany’s beaches in France, where I am from. I am also quite fond of the Wong Chuk Hang arty area, where you can find unusual and innovative galleries like Charbon. Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun are also some of my favorite places in Hong Kong island. When I arrived in Hong Kong in 2014, it took me months before finding a studio to rent. It’s much easier to find a place to work in France. But thanks to a group of sculptors I met in Fo Tan, I finally found a place at the Kong Kong Visual Arts Centre where I have been hiring a studio for more than 3 years now. Hong Kong is a place where lots can happen very quickly. I am very happy to be an artist living in Hong Kong. I am attracted to artworks and projects that are sensitive, deep in thought, intimate and that talk about the roots of human beings. There are so many artists that I admire, but to name a few - French artist Sophie Calle, Japanese photographer Masao Yamamoto, Hong Kong artist who does poetic metal sculptures, Joe Li. I am preparing for the exhibition “Resonances”, part of Le French May Arts festival, which will be held at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre from May 2-7. It is a collaboration between a French photographer, where sculptures and photographs will echo each other. I am also preparing for the Affordable Art Fair at the end of May. This year, I will be represented by Rouge Éphémère Gallery. I have also taken part in different auctions for charities amongst which, the American Women Association, H Gallery’s HeArt Walk in Sai Kung, and consecutively at the Gala for the French Chamber of Commerce’s foundation. I am also hoping to take part in the Lumières Festival held every November in Hong Kong’s public places: the project is a collaboration between sculpture and digital light art. I am super excited with what’s to come in 2018!





Simon swimming the HK360

Swimming with no reservations


plash foundation was founded by Simon Holliday and Libby Alexander at the end of 2013. They wanted to educate people about water safely and the importance of knowing how to swim. The idea came to Simon while walking from his apartment on Robinson road to the bus terminus on the weekends, to head to Repulse Bay beach for a swim. He would walk past the domestic helpers sitting around on pieces of cardboard, playing cards, some looked bored or frustrated. “Most of the domestic helpers are from underdeveloped countries where learning to swim is a luxury”. That’s when it occurred to him to start a swimming school. He sent a proposal to various organisations that provided pool facilities but many were concerned of the risks involved. Subsequently, Hong Kong International school agreed to host their first swimming session. With the help of friends and volunteers, Simon and Libby embarked on initiating the


Splash Foundation. “Our main mission at Splash is to treat people with respect and as equals. That allows people to grow their confidence and self esteem, becoming part of this amazing community and identifying themselves as swimmers” says Holiday. “It means a lot to us to see some of the women take part in various challenges, like open water swimming. It’s been wonderful to see them being accepted within our communities.” he adds. In March 2015, the Splash Foundation held their first swimming session for underprivileged adults, mainly domestic helpers. An 8-week programme that allows participants enough time to learn basic skills. So far the foundation has taught 1,200 domestic helpers across 3 years, and they are hoping to teach swimming to 5,000 participants by 2020. The programme initially started off with domestic helpers as participants but now extends to refugees as well. With the help of a local organisation called “Free to Run”

Splash hopes to bring in children from underresourced communities which means zero swimming facilities, to teach them how to swim. Simon explained, “our vision is to create an oasis where they can flourish and create space and respect, and we help them develop a skill. Hong Kong can be a harsh place for anyone especially for people from marginalised communities and this programme provides them with the opportunity” adds Holiday. After completing his biggest challenge ever, a 35 kilometer swim from Hong Kong to Macau in 2014, and having completed the English channel swim in 2011, Simon Holliday decided to conquer yet another endurance feat. This time for an incredible cause. To achieve their goals, Simon embarked on a HK360 swim on Nov 11, 2017 to raise funds for the foundation. A lawyer by profession, the 39-year old took it upon himself to swim around Hong Kong island, a circumference of 45 kilometers. Simon

swim to success

Simon with his students

circumnavigated Hong Kong island, unassisted and without stopping. He completed the swim in 12 hours and 31 minutes.The idea behind the HK360 was to help support what he strongly believed in, and ultimately raised over HKD 1,000,000. “We need to make sure Splash is sustainable, it will help to build structure and we hope to continue. We are providing educational opportunities, learning opportunities, building a community and encouraging people to build self esteem. We see ourselves as a charity that promotes healthy living, to exercise, and to physiologically master one’s skills and overcome fear. Now we have classes at Canadian International school, and Chinese International school as well.” interjected Simon. Another event that took place recently was a Splash Day Relay, held on March 18, 2018 and was hosted at the Canadian International school. Nearly 300 swimmers took part in the race against the clock to swim as many laps they could in 30 minutes. Another outstanding achievement for the Splash team, as they were able to spread the word and raised around HKD 500,000 with the help of enthusiastic participants. When asked what was the best piece of advice he was given, he replied, “I stand by ‘holding things lightly’, it’s a biblical reference – If you try take things too seriously and you try too hard, then things will get away from you. You need the right mindset in order to step back and

Libby with her students

see a broader perspective of things.” Having received so many accolades, Simon’s already looking into the horizon for new challenges. “I think, I would like to do something crazy, like swim from china to Taiwan, and from Taiwan to the Philippines. That’s about a 100 miles to Taiwan and from Taiwan to the Philippines it about 125 miles. What I would do is

swim to Taiwan and have a couple of weeks off to recover and then swim to Philippines, that’s on the edge to what’s possible …I don’t know if it’s feasible as the weather conditions are bad at Taiwan straits, so I don’t know. But that would be pretty cool.” added Simon with a smile. splashfoundation.org


cover story

How to plan the


ULTIMATE junk trip

junks galore


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What type of trip do you want? CLASSIC JUNK Hong Kong Yachting For a classic junk experience Hong Kong Yachting are a great option. Junk boat hire starts from $8,000 and boats can accommodate 30-40 people. Choose from four traditional junks, six sailing boats and six Western-style cruisers including Jungle Jane and Tarzan, the later has even roughed the seas sailing between Australia and Hong Kong. Hire Jungle Jane for $25,000 per day and enjoy her 22-foot wide swimming platform, when moored together with Tarzan boat, the boat duo cover 2,000 square feet and can host up to 145 people. Various catering options are available upon request. Add on an extra cost for speedboats, water slides and waiters. 2526 0151, hongkongyachting.com

MINI JUNKING Breakaway Company Are you planning your kid’s birthday party or a


unique playdate with family friends? Consider Breakaway’s mini boat trip. This junk lasts 4 hours, which is shorter than a normal trip but a perfect amount of time for the little ones to enjoy some time at sea. Kids will love to noodle fight on the inflatable island or in the inflatable pool. There is a net underneath the pool so toddlers can soak in the sea water safely. Children and infants are supplied with life jackets upon request. Packages include a kayak perfect for exploring nearby shores. Fixed rate packages

Who to invite First you need to decide how many people to invite. You should aim to ask more people than you need - as with busy Hong Kong lifestyles, people are bound to drop out last minute.

start at $12,450 for 15 people. Additional adults cost $830 per person and additional kids at $450 per person. The price includes kids friendly catering options such as mac and cheese or meatballs with gravy, adults are also well catered for and the package includes five bottles of wine or sparkling wine plus free flow of soft drinks. 6180 5059, breakawayhk.com

SPA ON THE SEA Lazy Days Cruise in style with one of Lazy Days’ luxury junks. Equipped with loungers, sound systems, water inflatables, books and magazines, guests can customise their experience by adding on spa and nail treatments, massages and even wakeboarding lessons. Catering packages start at $940 per person. Boat-only hire starts at

junks galore stylish Michelangelo. The Michelangelo can accommodate up to 59 guests in total and is furnished with mahogany wood panelling, large sunbeds and several guest cabins. With 30 years experience, Captain A On knows the boating hotspots in Sai Kung, South Bay and Lamma, with a pick up point of your choice. On board buffet, cocktail party menus and beverages available. Hire starts at $32,000 to sail around Sai Kung and $24,000 for four hours in Central. Prices vary during peak season. 6621 1691, luxuryjunk.com.hk


$15,000 for a maximum of 32 guests. 3488 1534, lazydays.com.hk

DADDY’S DAY OUT HK deep sea fishing This is boating with a difference. HK Deep Sea Fishing offers fixed and tailored day charters on their two boats, ‘Thai Lady’ and ‘Fortuna’ for deep sea fishing adventures. The smaller boat travels out to Sai Kung and the surrounding

islands, while the larger boat ventures further our into the South China Sea. Day trips start from $1,000 per person. Pick up at Clearwater Bay Golf Club Marina. At this time of the year enjoy special offshore oil rig trips. 8192 7092, hkdeepseafishing.com

LUXURY & SPLURGING Michelangelo Cruise Hop aboard the 80 foot, sleek and super-

Sail across Victoria Harbour in one of Hong Kong’s most iconic and rare red-sailed Chinese junk boats. Aqua Luna’s 45-minute evening cruise starts from $195 and takes you across Hong Kong Harbour where guests can watch the Symphony of Lights and enjoy a complimentary drink. Alternatively, enjoy a 90-minute Stanley Cruise which takes you around the Southside of Hong Kong island. For parties and corporate events, private charters can accommodate up to 80 people and starts at $10,000 per hour (excluding service charge). Departure points in Central Pier 9, TST and Stanley. 2116 8821, aqualuna.com.hk


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FOR AN EXOTIC TWIST Koh Thai Koh Thai provides one of the best services on the sea, not to mention the food, an impressive, colourful Thai buffet. Cruise around Sai Kung and Hong Kong Island in one of their seven boats. Add on services include water sport activities such as banana boating, wakeboarding, water skiing and extreme body surfing. Prices start at $680 per person for a Saturday booking with a minimum of 25 people. No need to fuss about hosting yourself, Koh Thai’s friendly staff are able to coordinate. 2668 1468, kohthai.com

When to go May is the last official month of Spring so if you want to take advantage of the mild humidity and comfortable warmth, now is the time to book a junk! May is not shy to a shower or two so do check the weather the day before your trip. Some junk companies are willing to reschedule if the weather doesn’t cooperate with your plans.

What to munch on? Most junk packages have catering included, but you can also opt for boat-alone options and source catering separately. Here’s our pick of the best junk boat catering companies.

Chicken on the Run Chicken on the Run is an Australian-style takeaway restaurant which offers hearty and healthy dishes including beef, fish, salads, sides and of course, freshly roasted Australian chickens. Junk sets range from $116 to $140, be sure to end the feat on a sweet note with delicious and chocolatey brownie bites. 2537 8285, chickenontherun.com

Cali-Mex For a Mexican twist order a fresh, delicious platter from Cali-Mex. Choices include crunchy nachos, stuffed burritos and cheesy quesadillas delivered straight to your boat, all go down a treat with a margarita or two in hand. Catering from 10 to 15 guests from $88 - $168 per person. 2904 7698, cali-mex.com

TaKorea This restaurant offers a fusion of Korean and


Mexican, on offer are sweet spices and unique combinations, such as TaKorea’s famous K-pop chicken and eggplant burritos. Perfect for an energy boost while out at sea. TaKorea offers four junk catering sets ranging from light snacks to the Ultra feast package, prices range from $600 to $2,000 depending on how many people are onboard and how hungry you are! 2488 8024, facebook.com/TaKoreaHK/

Invisible Kitchen For the health-conscious, Invisible Kitchen are well-known for providing high quality food made from natural ingredients. Three different junk sets are on offer, Essentials, Classic and Deluxe which include a variety of salads, pastas and sandwiches as well as some tasty treats for dessert. Prices range from $200 to $350 per person with a minimum of 15 people. Honour Industrial Centre, 6 Sun Yip St, Chai Wan, 2711 5788, invisiblekitchen.com

il Bel Paese

Escape to the Mediterranean for the day! For a true Italian experience, il Bel Paese offers a special junk package which includes Italian

junks galore classics such as bruschetta, cherry mozzarella and tomato and pesto pasta salads. A fresh fruit platter is on offer to keep you hydrated. Junk sets range from $280 to $400 per person, add on wine and beer packages from $430. 2868 1300, ilbelpaese.com.hk

Monsieur Chatté A sophisticated French dining experience which includes homemade French dishes such as Quiche Lorraine, roast chicken and exquisite cheese platters. This one is for those who are feeling indulgent. Junk catering packages range from $150 to $350 per person and in typical French style, all sets including fresh bread. 3105 8077, mrchatte.com.hk

Things to carry Motion Sickness Pills Sunscreen Bathing suit Towels

Where to anchor? OUTLYING ISLANDS Cheung Chau A popular island retreat with a traditional village lifestyle, and also famous for an abundance of good quality seafood. Take a dip in one of the island’s golden sandy beaches such as Tung Wan Beach and Kwun Yam Wan Beach.

New Territories

Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island A pleasant spot to drift. This destination is situated on the east coast of Lamma Island and is renowned for its seafood strip near the ferry pier.

SOUTHSIDE South Bay This boat ride from Aberdeen is stable and enjoyable, so the kids won’t get seasick. The trip also offers fabulous views. The Southern coast of Hong Kong includes the more secluded, peaceful and accessible South Bay, located within walking distance of Repulse Bay and unreachable by public transport. South Bay Beach is family-friendly and the kids will be ready to jump into the water once they arrive at the destination. A great place to catch the sunset, and parents can also head ashore with kids on kayaks.

South Bay Po Toi Island Located approximately 30 minutes from Stanley and known as ‘the South Pole of Hong Kong’, Po Toi Island has stunning coastal scenery and is known as a great hiking hotspot.

NEW TERRITORIES Ninepin group (Kwo Chau Islands) Located 15 km southeast of Sai Kung Town Centre, the Ninepin group consists of 29

islands - South, North and East Ninepin Island and other islets. The trip is considered relatively safe, however as the islands are situated outside of sheltered waters, it is exposed to intense winds and big waves. Boat tours only, no land excursions. Expect to see steep cliffs, sea arches and oddly-shaped rocks. Long Ke Wan Serene beaches and peaceful surroundings make Long Ke Wan a popular pit stop for boat tours. Situated in Sai Kung East Country Park, travellers can try the MacLehose Trail or stay at the nearby campsite. Enjoy the crystal clear waters. Tai Long Wan One of the most untouched and less visited bays are Sai Wan (West Bay), Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan (Big Bay) and Tung Wan (East Bay). Nam Fung Wan (Millionaire’s Beach) Millionaire’s Beach in Sai Kung Country Park draws in big crowds and has become a popular junk destination. The area is ideal for snorkeling and exploring lagoons and coves.




Local runners David Gething and Mayank Vaid tell Carolynne Dear how they’re hoping to run, swim and cycle 288 miles from London to Paris


he last time I caught up with David Gething was in 2015 shortly after he’d won the World Marathon Challenge title - seven marathons, in seven days, on seven continents. It’s the stuff of legend. Since then he has gone on to complete a number of equally gruelling events - ‘highlights’ include marathons in North Korea and swimming alligator-infested waters in Florida. His most recent challenge was running four marathons back-to-back on the Indian/Pakistani border (“we were approached late at night by fully armed border patrol guards wanting to know if we were smuggling drugs - fortunately my run buddy speaks Hindi”). But Gething and run partner Mayank Vaid are now heading towards what Gething describes as potentially their toughest gig to date - the ‘Arch to Arc’, an event that involves running, swimming and cycling 288 miles from Marble Arch in London to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. This is the first time the event has been undertaken by Hong Kongers. Buoyed by the reception he received for past events, Gething figured this time he could use the publicity to raise awareness - and cash - for two local charities, Outward Bound Hong


Mayank Vaid and David Gething hope to raise $1 million for two Hong Kong charities

Kong and The Zubin Foundation. “The media coverage I received after completing the World Marathon Challenge was fantastic, and flattering as it was to have lots written about me, this time I’d like to try and channel some of that goodwill towards these two worthy causes.” The Zubin Foundation is a social policy think tank and charity supporting ethnic minority welfare in Hong Kong. Ethnic minorities, excluding domestic helpers, make up 3% of Hong Kong’s population, yet face considerable barriers. Ethnic minority children are among the most marginalised groups in the SAR, with a third in poverty. And non-Chinese speaking ethnic minorities with special education needs (SEN) form a minority group within a minority group. They have historically been ignored by the Hong Kong education system and consequently a massive 57% drop out of school between primary and secondary. It is this group that Gething and Vaid are particularly trying to support. Outward Bound Hong Kong is committed to developing Hong Kongers through learning experiences in the outdoors. Their programmes are open to all, without regard to race, social

class, occupation, gender or nationality, and Gething and Vaid are hoping that the money they raise will enable disadvantaged SEN ethnic minorities to access an Outward Bound personal development programme. “It’s tough enough when a child is diagnosed with something like ADHD,” says Gething’s wife, Trilby, who is project managing the challenge as well as the fundraising. “But now imagine you have no money and your family doesn’t speak the language of instruction at your child’s school. It’s an astonishingly impossible situation. We’re hoping that being able to access an Outward Bound programme will give these children a sense of confidence and a real boost. We’re trying to reach $1million and we’re hoping to sponsor a child a mile, or 288 children in total. We have a donation page for individual donations at simplygiving.com/ every-mile-matters-288 - $3,000 will sponsor one child, or one mile. Training is continuing apace, with the pair clocking up around 150kms of running and 200kms of cycling a week, mostly through Sai Kung Country Park, around Tseung Kwan O and over and around Fei Nga Shan, as well as three to four hours of open-water swimming. And it’s



interview the swim that has Gething most worried. “Actually, I’m pretty terrified,” he admits as we meet for coffee at Clearwater Bay’s St Barts restaurant post-training. “It’s not my strongest discipline and I’m frankly very concerned. We’ll be swimming in the summer but we have been told to expect temperatures of around 12 degrees, which is colder than the ocean here in winter.” The pair has been training at Clearwater Bay Beach 2, completing laps of the bay, but notching up the hours has been tough given that both have full-time jobs. The pair will attempt the 21 mile sea crossing in wetsuits, starting between Dover and Folkstone on England’s south coast and finishing near Cap Griz Nez between Calais and Boulogne. The Channel is considered by many to be the ultimate long distance swim challenge. Weather conditions are variable and can include winds of up to force six and waves up to two metres. And with a strong tide, most crossings are considerably longer than 21kms. Added to that, it’s one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with over 600 tankers and up to 200 ferries ploughing the waters daily. And then there are the jellyfish. “Maybe they’ll be out of season when we swim?” Gething suggests hopefully. Gething and Vaid will be attempting the



FR finish swim as a relay, each of them swimming for around half-an-hour before switching into the boat. All Channel swims must be accompanied by a safety vessel and pilot. “Having done a lot of research, it seems that most competitors in this particular challenge seem to hit problems transitioning from the run to the swim,” says Gething. “Having completed over 130kms it’s a lot to ask your body to suddenly be dealing with a tough swim in cold temperatures. This is not a race or a time challenge, we just want to complete, so we’ll be staying overnight in Dover after the run to recuperate and give ourselves the best chance.” Once they’ve hit land in France, the pair will

switch straight to bikes for the final 300km. “I’m much more comfortable on a bike and I’m looking forward to seeing the countryside, it’s an area of the world I’m not familiar with,” says Australian-born Gething. “We’re also hoping to celebrate with a week in the south of France afterwards.” And what do Gething’s own children think about the challenge? “Oh, they’re pretty blase,” laughs Gething. “When I complete an event they mostly want to know if I’ve won, and when I say well no, actually it was more the taking part, they sort of lose interest and say, oh well, better luck next time, dad!” Trilby, Gething’s wife is supported by event management on the UK-side but the nuts and bolts, such as organising pitt-stops and refreshments, are down to her. “I’ll have a mixture of gels, salty and sweet snacks, energy drinks and water on hand at pre-agreed points on the route,” she says. But for now it’s up to Gething and Vaid to get the training miles under their belts, not to mention conquering that jellyfish fear. The Arch to Arc challenge starts on June 12. Donations can be made at simplygiving.com/ every-mile-matters-288. There will be a fundraising dinner on May 10 at Bombay Dreams. trilbypda@gmail.com



Photo by Graham Uden


Middle Island


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 who offer a host of activities and opportunities to network and meet like-minded people. Here’s our roundup:

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 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. Facilities: restaurants, tennis courts, squash

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

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

leisure Hong Kong Golf Club Established in 1889 by “13 golfing enthusiasts”. 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 of 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

Ladies Recreation Club

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

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


clubs Hong Kong Football Club Sports and recreation are the lifeblood of the HKFC, fantastic facilities make 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, and also offers a good range of leisure facilities. The Club has approximately 3,300 members and memberships are 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

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 for 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

leisure 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




Effective communication is becoming increasingly important for students. Voice coach David Pope explains how to get yourself heard 36 | SOUTHSIDE.HK

loud & clear




’m no stranger to the sound of my own voice, but when it comes to addressing a room full of people, I’m quite the shrinking violet. Being able to confidently project your voice and hold the attention of an audience will have the most self-assured of people nervously shaking in the wings. But forget the corporate world, these days our children are increasingly being asked to get up and present, whether they’re compering a school assembly, presenting a project they’ve been working on in class or to an audience of parents as head boy or girl, these days the ability to communicate is skill vital to school success. So what to do when the mic is definitely not your best mate? David Pope is founder of All Voice Talent, Hong Kong’s only studiobased voice coaching organisation. And he has


In the studio

recently launched Speak Up, a series of voice coaching programmes for 13-19 year olds. As a coach, Pope has taught many senior level executives who suddenly find themselves in a position where they are centre stage and need to work on their vocal skills. “Taking to the limelight is not everyone’s cup of tea,” he says. “We work on volume, pace, projection, vocal tone, articulation, gravitas and so forth to enhance ‘presence’. A lot about a successful presentation is not what you say, but how you deliver it. How do you make your speech ‘pop’?” His Speak Up programme delivers the same skill set, but to a younger audience. “Maybe students have an oral exam, maybe they’ve got school or university interviews lined up. Whatever the case, the ability to present yourself confidently to adults is vital,” he says.

As well as voice projection, Pope also looks at body language, dealing with nerves and organising what you’re going to say in the first place. And of course the skills students take away are for life, not just for that college interview. The sessions take place in Pope’s voice recording studio in Yau Ma Tei, and each threehour workshop focuses on specific vocal skills. Record and playback facilities mean students can quickly pinpoint what they’re doing right and what needs more work. In a highly competitive world, of course the big focus for most students is on academic skills and exam results. But being able to get up in front of a group of adults and speak in a confident, polished manner is something that is sure to set them apart from the crowd. When asked David, what they were looking forward to this year, he added, “look out for Speak Up! in schools this year. We’re rolling out our 1-hour Voice and Confidence workshop in secondary/high schools – a fun and dynamic way to make teenagers aware of the impact of their voices. The workshop, delivered to 13-19 year old children in schools across Hong Kong, we will demonstrate the importance of vocal skills and posture to effective communication.” For more information, visit allvoicetalent.com

sponsored column

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 and some infants attend playgroup at just 8 months. Why? The logic is that the sooner your child begins his or her educational pathway, the easier it is to gain access to his or her preferred schooling choice. 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-to-apply.php • Learning Habitat Kindergarten and Bilingual Nursery: learninghabitat.org/web/index. php?id=18 Tips 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 school 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.



AFTERNOON TEA Treat mum with pretty little cakes and finger sandwiches this mother’s day 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 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

Clipper Lounge at the Mandarin The Annoushka afternoon tea has an exclusive themed Mother’s day this year. With scrumptious finger sandwiches to the best original scones served with signature rose-petal jam and devon clotted cream, and seasonal themed teas. All offered at the Clipper Lounge for $488 for two.5 Connaught Rd Central, Central, 2825 4007 Mum will love: Pampering to a lovely spa at the Mandarin.

The Verandah The airy atmosphere of Veranda is a perfect setup for a long lazy afternoon tea. Overlooking the Lamma Channel past the beautiful Repulse Bay beach is a tea lovers delight. From homemade scones to signature panni, and all the desserts you can think of, Verandah has some in store for everyone this Mother’s day. At $288 minimum spend per person on weekdays and $308 per person on weekends. Repulse Bay Plaza, 2292 2822 Mum will Love: The soothing sea breeze

Mandarin Oriental

The Peninsula Lobby There’s no better place in Hong Kong to sip tea in your Sunday best than the Lobby of The Peninsula. Between the soaring ceilings, classical music, white-gloved service and silver teapots, everything about the atmosphere oozes old-world British elegance. The tea set includes finger sandwiches, homemade pastries, and buttery scones – complete with homemade jams and fluffy clotted cream. The tea is fantastic too, with a choice of Peninsulabranded 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. The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, 2920 2888, hongkong. peninsula.com Mum will love: The excellent service! She’ll feel like British royalty all afternoon.

Cafe Grey 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


mum’s treat 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.

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 mouthwatering sweets. It all starts from $720 for two. Prince’s Building, Central 2537 1388 Mum will love: The exceptional harbour views

Dr Fern’s Gin Parlour Hidden in the basement of LANDMARK mall, Dr Fern’s Gin Parlour has an exclusive feel to it. The servers wear lab coats in keeping with the theme. The bar made it onto Asia’s 50 Best Bars list in 2017. There are 250 gins on the menu, as well as cocktails such as the

Blind Tiger Gin and Tonic and the “Doctor’s Prescription” mystery drink. But let’s not get distracted, this time, we’re here for the afternoon tea. From Tuesday to Sunday, the bar serves up a Mad Hatter-inspired afternoon tea that’s heaving with delicacies, such as the TickTock Roll Lobster on fried bread, the Queen of Tarts matcha green tea tarts, and the Cheshire carrot cake with tea or coffee is included.

$498 for two, includes coffee or tea. Add $50 to upgrade to a gin and tonic. Available Tuesday to Sunday, starting at 2pm. Shop B31A, First Basement Floor, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Rd Central, Central, 2111 9449, drfernshk.com Mum will love: The underground setting will make gin-loving mums feel totally on the pulse.

Wines while aboard Cathay

Nimmi Malhotra guides us through a brief indulgence What I enjoy most on board Cathay is a cheeky glass of wine! I’ve always been curious why inflight wines tasted so bold and expressive. Turns out, it’s all to do with cabin pressure and dry air. The air doesn’t just dry our skin, but also dulls our olfactory senses - a big word for our smell receptors- so the wines appear different. The aromas are just a little muted in air. It is a known fact that airline food has more salt and sugar to compensate for the loss of flavour perception. In the same vein, the wines chosen are usually aromatic and bold, packed with aromas which will make an impression at 35,000 feet! This month, I spent my extra-long flight to Tokyo to good use and tasted every wine on offer. I fielded some curious looks, but hey, this was research! In economy, I tried a vivacious crisp Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blend: Lorimer from De Bortoli Australia. An easy drinking, light fruity wine, it went down very well with the chicken and fish options. The red a Vinologist Syrah 2016, from the fashionable Swartland region of South Africa, and made for a very pleasant drink with beef. Swartland is a new region an hour away from Cape Town producing some of South Africa’s most admired wines. The choice is more varied in business class with a stunning Piper Heidsieck Cuvée Brut champagne, two whites and

two reds and a delectable dessert wine. The bubbles were delicious- creamy, savoury and elegant. The choice of whites was between a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc, both with a strong home ground advantage. Macon-Lugny “Les Genievres” 2016 is a Chardonnay from Burgundy. I wish the French labels mentioned that but it’s just not their way. The wine has a lovely roundness to it with aromas of lemons, apples and pear. A quintessential Burgundy! The second wine, Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2016 was a sunny aromatic number that had me smacking my lips. Wairau River comes from the sprawling vineyards in Marlborough, New Zealand. It was fresh, vibrant, zingy, redolent of passion fruits limes and green apples. It finished beautifully leaving my tongue buzzing with mineral and citrus yumminess. The next pair was a Beaujolais Chateau de Briante Brouilly 2016 from France and Ingoldby Shiraz 2016 from Barossa Valley, Australia. The Beaujolais is an easy drinking wine, young, appealing and pairs well with food. The Shiraz on the other hand had a strong personality, soft tannins and very pleasant. A lovely wine that pairs well with the beef and lamb on offer. Last but not least, the Chateau Lapinesse Sauternes 2016. Sauternes makes luscious dessert wines and went

down a treat with brie and aged cheddar. Contrary to popular belief, this wine does not have any added sugar. The sweetness comes from the grapes and reminds you of dried apricot and luscious honey. I am glad there was no competition here. In a few months, the wines selection will change I look forward to tasting and trying the next round.


home & living



ENHANCE YOUR HOME The importance of lighting in any space


home & living


ight is as important as oxygen. But unlike oxygen, natural light is not available to us at all times, hence the need for various artificial light sources. Light creates ambience, mood, and a sense of comfort in our day to day life. The right light makes a huge difference. A lighting consultant, Sylvie Lopardi is passionate about the practicality of lighting and how it transforms a space. Growing up in Italy, Sylvie learned earlier about the importance of design, material and lighting needs.

Why is the right lighting for any space important? In Hong Kong, very often, people move into apartments with light bulbs stuck to the ceiling as the only fixture. In most cases this does not provide enough light for the whole room, and nothing makes a room feel dull and unwelcoming like dull ambience. We all have a strong need for light and, wherever we go, it has a profound impact on our wellbeing and determines how we respond emotionally to a place. Lighting is the essential tool to bring a house to life, to create a wonderful sense of space and dynamic shadows to highlight points of interest. When decorating or refurbishing a house, too often light comes at the end of the list. It is only when the house is finished that it is clear that this


does not work. Our brain seems to be working with a “daylight mindset�, and we are not used to how a space would feel or work in the dark. When planning a lighting scheme it is important to have an appreciation for the dark and decide at an earlier stage how to use space, where to put furniture, paintings, and what we want to illuminate. The right lighting should suit different needs and purposes of a room for luminance but also create comfort, interest, drama or contrast. To ensure that each room has the best solution, a professional understanding of the technical specifications of each light fitting is required. For instance, you need to know if a lamp having 1250 lumen is bright enough for the intended use, if the lamps are dimmable especially if you want to achieve a much softer atmosphere, or if the lamps have the right colour temperature. The right design scheme should achieve the effect of emphasising the beauty of the interiors and create a feeling of comfort, warmth and intimacy.

What are the best ways to light up your study? Once the general interior of the study has been planned, it is important that proper task lighting is considered for the practical purpose of the room. Table or floor lamps provide sufficient directional light and can be used for desk

work or reading when placed by an armchair. There are many designs for these types. Some are adjustable in height, have arms that can be swung to focus light where needed. Once the functional task lighting has been decided, the next thing to think about is how to create some interest or contrast within the room. This could be a picture light over a painting or an uplight illuminating a sculpture. It is important to choose only one or just a few key elements to highlight a room (depending on its size) and be selective. Only in this way, the focus will remain interesting. If a study has bookcases, these can be lit using frontlighting or backlighting. A study may be a place to grow ideas for some, to work for others or to relax and enjoy some time alone reading or thinking.These things can all be done in a better way with more welcoming light.

Show us some of the best ways to light a dining room. Dining rooms can be relaxed or formal. It is the place where your family gathers around meals or your guests are entertained. In both cases, the table becomes the focal point. It


home & living is important to make sure that pendants or chandeliers work properly, especially when they are the only source of light in the room. The shape, size and material of pendant lights (or chandeliers) play an important role. Some have a more diffused light while others, a more directional light. In each case, the effect is different. When diffused through a fabric or translucent shade the luminous intensity over the table is softer. In that case extra layers of light may be added with floor or table lamps to create a more exciting and dynamic ambience. If using a solid shade that sends the light down, the table stands out, and the surface becomes the focal point. If it is glossy or shiny the light will reflect off the surface, and if the bulbs are visible or exposed, the effect might not be as inviting. A matt surface would be preferable. Pendants with directional light are an ideal solution when the dining room is also used for other purposes, like a study for children or home office, as they also work as task lighting. The distance of the pendant (or chandelier) from the dining table also needs to be taken into account as it can define the intimacy of the space.

How is colour affected? The colour and the reflectance of the walls and ceilings play an important part in how light is affected. White spaces require less luminance compared to dark or coloured painted rooms in which light is absorbed and less reflected. If the ceiling is the only pale colour in the room, this area ensures that a greater amount of natural brightness is achieved. Lighting can also affect the way we see colours. When using LED bulbs, it is important to ensure that the lighting does not change the perception of the colour and allows the colours to appear the same as they would under natural sun. This is reached when the CRI (Colour Rendering Index) is greater than 80. If lower, the colour scheme in your house may look completely different at night!

List of places to buy your lighting. Some furniture design shops, or the lighting shops in Morrison Hills Road are well known for selling all styles of lights. However, these shops do not offer any customised advice and this can sometimes be frustrating, especially if you need to increase the amount of general light or want to create a more interesting scheme. As a lighting consultant I prefer dealing directly with manufacturing companies, and have the fittings shipped has been the easiest and most convenient solution for my clients.

Can you give us some tips on how to use light efficiently in a living room? The creative possibilities to enhance the brightness in your living room are endless. First thing, it’s better to start from what you think is


the focal point and features of your home that are interesting and define your identity. Using a variety of effects and playing with different sources of light (table lamps, floor lamps, spotlights) is key in creating a visual interest. Pendant lights can be dramatically suspended in a corner or dropped low over a coffee table or between two armchairs. If the room

has interesting architectural features of art, highlighting them can create a stunning effect, and it can become the focus of the room. Just remember to check if the lights have the right colour temperature and are dimmable for a warmer atmosphere. Sl-lightingdesign.com, 5125 8127. slyvie@sllighting.com


must have this month

MOTHERS DAY Gift ideas for someone special La Garçonne Rose Gold White Watch $890 from CLUSE, 0031 88 - 7780236 cluse.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

White furis cushion cover $230.90 from Franc Franc Des Voeux Rd Central, 173, F/1 West Nan Fung Tower, 3425 4728 francfranc.com

Philippe V’s Koni ring US$695 from Philippe V philippev.com Elements Candle Gift Set $1,780 from Tom Dixon, 2882 2068 tomdixon.net

RUMI T-LINK Shoulder bag $1,980 from Rabeanco, 6999 7223 hk.rabeanco.com

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


love for mum

Mothers day Gift Box  735 from Lush, $ 2423 3833 hk.lush.com

Ikigai Clutch $10,000 from Niin, 2878 8811 niinstyle.com

Bi-fold Key Holder Wallet $580 from Rabeanco, 6999 7223 hk.rabeanco.com

Food, Health and Happiness by Oprah Winfrey $320 from Bookazine, 2555 0431 bookazine.com.hk

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


big day out

TAKING IT TO THE EXTREME From rock climbing to teetering on a slackline, Julianne Dionisio explores extreme sports in Hong Kong


extreme sports Rock climbing Hong Kong is a paradise for rock climbers offering more than a thousand climbing routes and over 30 crags (steep or rugged cliffs). Gordon Hon founded Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventure and has been an instructor since 2003. His company provides group tours to islands for rock climbers of all level. He runs indoor climbing group lessons, $60 per person, once a week from 7pm-10pm. Outdoor cliff and crag private tour days from $2,200 per person or a group of four for $3,520. What do I need for a gear? Non-restrictive clothing! Don’t wear anything that will get tangled with the ropes! Where can I climb? Tung Lung Chau and Central crags. For more information visit hkrca.com

Flyboarding One for fans of Back to the Future. It’s not quite a hoverboard, but pretty close. Ivan Lee, instructor at Flyboard HK, explains all. The flyboard, much like a snowboard or a wakeboard, is connected to a jet ski by a long hose. The water propulsion that usually powers the jet ski is diverted through the hose to the flyboard, lifting the rider out of the water. You can “steer” the board with your feet and by shifting your weight. With experience, you can do fun maneuvers. The flyboard “captain” (on the jet ski) controls the propulsion, which controls your height. Professional flyboarders can fly over 40 feet above the water. Flyboard HK has a team of qualified instructors and offers introductory piloting courses for beginners as well as intermediate and advanced level training. A 60-minute session ranges from $1,300 depending on your choice

Gordon’s top five tips for rock climbing 1. Change your mindset, instead of focusing on your strength learn to focus on smarter and more strategic movements. 2. Trust and use your feet. Beginners focus too much on their hands. Always look for foothold, step on both feet securely before you stand up. Use your toe to step on a smaller foothold. 3. Keep your arms straight. If you bend your arms you will end up flexing them and using more energy than needed. Climbing should be done using your legs. 4. Overcome your fear, learn how to fall and how to deal with the gears. Talk to yourself in a positive and encouraging manner. 5. Pair up with a buddy. Find someone on the same experience level as you so you can support and learn from each other.


big day out Ivan’s top five tips for flyboarding 1. ALWAYS listen to your instructor and follow their instructions. 2. Make sure your body and mind are relaxed. 3. Maintain the right posture to help you keep your balance. 4. Make slow adjustments with your feet and then wait for the board to move. 5. Little movements are exaggerated by the board, so move slowly into the turns. 6. Don’t look down. Look to the horizon. Looking down will often mess up your balance.

of experience flyboard, jetblade and hoverboard, for beginners we recommend using flyboard. 4 people can share an hour of lesson, 10 years old as the youngest flyboarders allowed. What do I need for a Gear? Everything is provided by your instructor! Where can I go for Flyboard? Lessons take place in Deep Water Bay. 9761 1232, flyboard.com.hk

P2 (flying solo) and costs around $12,000 and can take anywhere from three months to a year to complete. A P4 licence allows you to compete in Hong Kong. For more information call Kit on 9183 1885 or visit hongkongpilot.com


Mountain Biking

Yuen Kit is a policeman by day and has been paragliding since 2000. Over the years he has been tangled up with an eagle, injured his hip and broken his foot. He teaches lessons throughout Hong Kong. What do I need for a gear? The instructors provide everything; from helmet to GPS. If you are taking your paragliding commitment to the next level, Kit suggests investing in a good pair of boots that offer ankle support for both hiking and landing. Where do you like to fly? On any given day, choosing the location depends on the flying conditions. In the New Territories, Ma On Shan is a popular spot to practice your take off. While Shek O and Lantau offer fantastic views. The full course with Kit includes P1 (flying under the supervision of experienced flyers) and

There’s a huge mountain biking community in Hong Kong which cover a diverse range of biking from cross country racing and trail riding to downhill. Owner of Crosscountry HK, Steve Coward has been living and mountain biking in Hong Kong for 22 years. What gear do I need? A helmet that fits correctly is a must. Gloves will protect your hands. Leg and elbow pads are optional in entry level trails but should be worn when tackling faster downhill trails. Stores that offer the gear include Friendly Bicycle Shop (Mui Wo Waterfront), Sky Blue Bikes (Sheung Wan) and Flying Ball (Lai Chi Kok). Where are the best trails? Beginner: Tai Lam Chung Reservoir trail. A 13 kilometre loop starting at Tai Lam Correctional Institution, this trail gets more difficult towards the end, but you can leave at around the 10 kilometre mark and head to the Gold Coast for lunch. Intermediate: High Junk Peak in Sai Kung is a worthy trail. Most riders living in and around Sai

Kit’s top five tips for paragliding 1. Have a flight plan. 2. Check your equipment before flying: the essentials are a compass (GPS is better), helmet, gloves, harness and elbow protection. 3. Before you fly, learn how to control the wing above your head on the ground. 4. Don’t be a hero: judge carefully whether to fly and where to land. Don’t take risks. 5. If you are in any doubt about flying, pick up your wing and walk back.


Kung usually head out to Tai Lam Country Park which is home to the largest range of mountain biking trails in the territory. Start in the same park up the hill at the Route Twisk entrance, either taking the Ho Pui Trail or the fast track option: MacLehose Road Stage Nine. Expert: Chi Ma Wan Peninsula on Lantau Island. Barely any of the 20 kilometres from Mui Wo is flat but this route has some great coastal views. For experienced riders looking to hook up with like minded riders check out the Hong Kong Mountain Biking Association Facebook page who organise trail building and maintenance days as well as social rides. For Downhillers Tai Mo Shan at the Route Twisk top bus stop is heaving with riders of a weekend in the dry season.

Steve’s top five tips for mountain biking 1. Build your fitness, on quiet roads if necessary. The fitter you are, the faster you can respond to changing terrain on trails. 2. Look ahead, between three metres and as far down the trail as you can see. This will give you more time to respond to hazards. 3. Be prepared, it is not ideal to ride alone. Tell someone your route and how long you’ll be gone. Know the basics, like how to fix a flat tyre and mend a broken chain. 4. Check your bike before every ride, covering essentials like tyres, brakes and steering. 5. A bike is only as good as its operator. Work on your skills and fitness long before upgrading. Nothing is more satisfying than passing a rider on a $70,000+ bike when you’re on a $2,000 secondhand steed!

extreme sports Cross-country HK offers skills training and guided rides using its own fleet of bikes. Prices typically start at $1,150 for the first rider with additional riders coming in at $600. mtbhk.co Call 6300 1980 or email steve@mtbhk.com

Highlining and Slacklining Although Slacklining itself is very basic, simply balancing on a flat strap tensioned between two anchors, it has evolved into insane variations like highlining. Suspended at deadly elevation, the first highline in Hong Kong was setup in 2014, by a Chinese guy and two Australians visitors. Ricardo Iriarte, the sport’s trendsetter in Hong Kong, scavenged their highlining gears and started investing on more gears. What gear do I need? On your first year you can just borrow a line, slackliners are willing to share and teach others that are new to the sport. After a year practicing you can buy your own slackline online that are as cheap as $150. But investing on a quality one can cost you around $600. As for the highlining, everyone relies on Ricardo for the gear. Where do you slackline or highline? The group meets up every Tuesday night 8pm in Central Piers between Pier 9 and 10 in front of the Hong Kong Ferris wheel for training. As for highline, Ricardo and his gang usually goes to Lion Rock, Beacon Hill and Tung Lung setting up a 50 meters slackline which can be easily crossed in 2 minutes. The community around the sport is tight, with only less than 50 serious individuals who can walk a line. To follow the group, head to facebook.com/SlackliningHongKong

5 tips from a couple of Slackliners at Central Pier: 1. Just start it, don’t think about it too much. You can easily find our group on facebook, if you would like to learn from others. But you can also learn by yourself. 2. There are plenty of information online. Instructions are available from ground level, how you rig up a line. 3. Be patient and dedicated. Practice, practice and practice. Learning something new can be tough and frustrating but you just have to be patient with the process. 4. Consider every little progress as a victory. Take it step by step and celebrate everything because it always need hard work behind. 5. Keep it fun and challenging. We do this thing where we place a bottle beneath the middle part of the rope and two people race from the end of each line.


body & soul


Mindy Tagliente of Yoga for Life on meditation basics and finding calm in this hectic city What is meditation? 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, 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 the present moment. That’s basically what mindfulness is - being able to analyse your thoughts and feelings objectively at every moment.

How do you meditate? 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. 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


Apps and podcasts to help you meditate Headspace For a range of podcasts from motivation to exercise to happiness mediations. headspace.com

Waking up podcast Neuroscientist, philosopher, Sam Harris talks about the human mind, society and current events. samharris.org/podcast

Calm Choose from a range of guided meditations or help get to sleep with from 20 sleep stories and soothing sounds. Available for download on iPhone and Android.

The Mindfulness App The ultimate meditation app that includes a five-day guided meditation practice and reminders to keep you on track. Available for download on iPhone and Android.

OM Kong Meditation classes • The Art of Living  n international nonprofit, charitable, A and humanitarian organization, dedicated to serving the community. From beginners to Advance classes are available at various locations. 2-12 Arion Commercial Center, Sheung Wan, Queen’s Rd West. 3101 2331, artofliving.org

• Kadampa Meditation Centre T  he 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

• The Sanctuary alone at lunch, with a glass of wine. So, no excuses, really.

What are the benefits? It’s so 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!

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

Phil Davies offers guided meditation classes every Wednesday evening 7:15 - 8:45pm. His classes help one to achieve deep relaxation and release negative emotions. thesanctuary.com.hk, Unit 902, 99 Wellington Street, Central, 2537 1373.

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. For more information whatsapp 9748 4567 or email mindy@ yogaforlife.com.hk

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.

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,



MONGOLIA BIKE RIDE A three day adventure across Mongolian countryside in support of local children in poverty by Gemma Shaw


pedal to adventure

Traditional Mongolian Yurt in Tetelj Natural Park




s a long weekend destination, Mongolia may not be the first country that comes to mind. But perhaps it should be, the country commonly referred to as the “Land of eternal blue sky” on account of its 250 sunny days a year, offers some of the most unique and stunning terrain in the world. At a flight time of around four and a half hours, Ulaanbaatar, the capital, is easily accessible with direct flights departing Hong Kong regularly. It is possible to leave Friday evening and be back in time for work on Monday morning. Just one of the many reasons why this travel destination deserves a place on your 2018 bucket list. Sandwiched between Russia and China, Mongolia is the 18th largest sovereign country in the world. It is also the most sparsely populated with just three million people occupying its 1,564,116 square kilometres. Mongolia is a much sought after destination for tourists seeking adventure. Rolling hills, vast lands and dense forests provide some of the most unique landscapes on the planet. English is not commonly spoken here and without a knowledgeable local by your side, navigating the country can be difficult and, at times, dangerous. One opportunity to experience this incredible country is offered by French-born, Hong Kong resident Marc-Henry Lebrun and his wife Tsolmon, who grew up in Mongolia.


The couple met and married in Hong Kong. On a visit to Tsolmon’s home country over 10 years ago, they felt compelled to do something to help Ulaanbaatar's poorest families, 21.6 per cent of the population currently live below the poverty line. The couple established the Tsolmon Ireedui Foundation (“TIF”) in 2009, a charitable kindergarten which provides warmth, food and shelter during the daytime for Ulaanbaatar’s

poorest children who would otherwise be left at home, alone and without heating, while their parents are out working. TIF, which is run by Tsolmon’s mother, provides the children with three hot meals a day. Tsolmon says “For breakfast the children have hot cereal which some sugar which they love, for lunch it is usually a soup made with vegetables and potatoes and before they go home we provide a meal with lots of meat,

Getting to know the locals

pedal to adventure

Starting the day with some cycling

they need protein to keep them full overnight as we know they won’t get anything else to eat until they come back the next morning”. To support the charity, the couple organise annual trips to visit Ulaanbaatar and Tetelj Natural Park, around an hour and a half drive from the capital. “TIF Mongolia Bike Ride is a long weekend of in-depth immersion built around a two day discovery of Mongolia’s nature”, explains Lebrun. The next trip will take place from June 30 to July 1, 2018 and will offer guests opportunities to go cycling, horse riding, hiking and visit some temples. “In past years, we focused on cycling but we feel that this could be restrictive for people who want to experience Mongolia’s countryside but who are intimidated by cycling so this year we are also offering other opportunities such as horse riding”. He adds, “There are no prerequisites and you do not have to be a good cyclist to come, I want to open up the possibilities of exploring this stunning countryside to as many people as possible - if someone wants to come and bring a book and immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature, of course they can do this too, whatever is right for them”. Guests will begin the weekend with a visit to TIF’s kindergarten in Ulaanbaatar where they will meet some of the 50 children the charity currently looks after. After this, the guests will be transported to Tetelj Natural Park and treated to a Mongolian lunch which will include local and traditional dishes such as soups, stews and dumplings with vegan and vegetarian options available. After lunch guests can take the opportunity to explore their new surroundings on either the easy or expert bicycle trail. “The event caters for all,” says Lebrun. “Cyclists have the option to choose the easy trail, a gentle stroll that takes in Mongolia's vast and stunning scenery or the expert trail which covers more than 50 kilometres on each of the two days”. Dinner will be followed by a traditional Mongolian show. After Sunday breakfast, guests will be offered a selection of cycling routes. A traditional countryside Mongolian lunch will be served enroute and dinner and entertainment back at the resort in the evening.


travel Itinerary Friday 29 June • Arrival of guests at Ulaanbaatar airport and transfer to a hotel in the city • Free evening

Saturday 30 June • TIF kindergarten early morning visit • 10:30am Transfer from kindergarten to resort in Tetelj Natural Park • 12pm Lunch and safety briefing at the resort • 2pm Bike ride on easy or expert trail • Mid afternoon - Free time - hikes, horse riding and temple visit (extra $) • 7:30pm Diner and debriefing at resort • 9pm Traditional Mongolian show Mongolian nomadic children

Sunday 1 July • 9:30am Safety briefing and presentation of the routes • 10am Bike ride on easy or expert trail • 12pm Lunch in countryside • 7pm Debriefing and closing speech • 8pm Dinner • 9pm Entertainment / free time • Transfer of guests to airport Sunday evening/Monday morning


Friendly local offering flowers to the guests

Photo by C8X Photography

Transfers to the airport can be arranged for that evening or the following morning. “Of course guests do not have to return to Hong Kong at that point,” adds Lebrun, “some may want to spend a few more days in Mongolia to do horse riding, trekking or discover another region before heading back home and TIF will be on hand to assist with reputable and cost effective options”. Deborah Papworth, a lawyer from New York, attended a previous TIF ride, she said, "The bike ride through Mongolia organised by Tsolmon, Marc-Henry and their team is unique and rewarding in every sense. We were given the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the magnificent Mongolian culture and countryside, and to see first hand the life-changing work of the TIF kindergarten. A truly wonderful experience."

Hong Kong-based photographer Paul Cox accompanied the couple on the first TIF Bike Ride in 2015 and fell in love with the country and its people, he now visits Mongolia several times a year. Another source of income for the charity comes from the ongoing Red Hero Charity Auction, an ongoing online sale of intimate and striking photographs taken by the photographer on his trips to Mongolia. “Red hero is the direct translation of Ulaanbaatar,” says Cox. His signed prints are unique, intimate and rare, “it takes a lot of trust for these people to allow me to take their picture, over a two week trip I aim to get 10 photographs that I am happy to put into the auction”. Of the scenery Cox adds, “it's like nothing you will have seen before, it’s breathtaking and completely different to the world we are familiar with, I would encourage everyone to go”. Registration is HKD$4,700 (US$600) per person, including transport, insurance, food, accommodation, bicycle and safety equipment rental, excluding airfare. In addition, participants will be expected to raise donations, 100 per cent of which will be used to fund the TIF kindergarten for Ulaanbaatar’s poorest children. For more information or to make a donation visit tifcharity.org. To view photographs currently on display at Red Hero Charity Auction visit c8x-photography.com


zim city


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. They 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 up to 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. 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. Bans or surcharges for plastic bags have won acceptance across the world, including in Hong Kong, but this is just the beginning. 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 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 single-use 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 coconvenor of Save Our Country Parks alliance.



Ask a vet... Dr. Pauline Pets Central veterinarian Dr. Pauline Taylor answers your questions. “Is it safe to give my dogs Benadryl?” Benadryl is the trade name 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 including allergies (where it dries up the mucous secretions and decreases coughing), nausea and itchy skin. It has, in addition to helpful effects, actions 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,but not to be given to a young pup without consultation. “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 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. Other “internal“ ways that cats regulate their temperature include physiological changes that alter the flow of blood throughout the body, trap warm air around their hair to insulate the skin and even cause shivering which produces warmth. However, 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.

Got a question for Dr. Pauline? Email editorial@hongkongliving.com 64 | SOUTHSIDE.HK


book club


Why Mummy Drinks Gill Sims Blogger Gill Sims was thrust into the spotlight in 2017 with her first novel, Why Mummy Drinks. The relatable story follows the exploits of a middle-aged mother, her ‘gadgettwat’ husband and her two ‘precious moppets’, Peter and Jane. But behind the veneer of middle-class sophistication is a mummy-duck frantically paddling to keep up with family life. And when her new-age sister-in-law from hell descends with her brood of six free-range, vegan, gluten-free children for Christmas, all chaos is let loose. As the promotional blurb says, it’s honest, it’s funny - and it’s just a little bit sweary.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club

Gail Honeyman

Helen McGinn

Out this year is the multi-award winning novel from first time writer Gail Honeyman. Perceptive and touching, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is hard not to gobble up in one sitting. It follows the story of Eleanor and the far-reaching effects of her emotionally-damaged relationship with an abusive mother. Honeyman admits the idea for the story was triggered when she read about the epidemic of loneliness in today’s society Eleanor thinks she is perfectly happy with her solitary weekends and her regimented weekdays as an office administrator but realises that maybe there is more to life.

If you’re guilty of panic in the wine aisle, picking the bottle with the prettiest label or regularly defaulting to a ‘nice Savvy B’, maybe it’s time to extend your wine horizons? The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club by Helen McGinn will help you make the right wine choice for a plethora of social occasions - from kids’ birthday party (after all, fizzy drinks shouldn’t just be for the children), planning a girls’ night in or just matching wine with food. Because life’s too short for bad wine.

To The Lighthouse Virginia Woolf If you’re looking for a classic, To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf espouses the sentiment behind Mother’s Day, centering around Mrs Ramsay, a kind, warmhearted, traditional mother who is the foundation stone of the entire Ramsay family. Her sudden death in childbirth rips the family apart. The novel is considered to be the most autobiographical of Woolf’s works, based on her own early experiences and touching on children’s perceptions and desires, as well as exploring the larger themes of adult relationships and changing classstructures during the Great War.

All books are available from Book Depository, bookdepository.com, with free shipping to Hong Kong.

To mummy with love Gift ideas for book-loving mamas

The Night Before Mother’s Day

What Not to Give Your Five Forget Mother’s Mom on Mother’s Day Day

How It Works, The Mum

Natasha Wing

Martha Simpson

Enid Blyton

A Ladybird Book

Dad and the kids whip up a bunch of special treats for the lovely lady in their life. A sweet story and a great way to introduce littlies to the idea behind Mother’s Day.

Don’t give mum a rotting log unless she’s a salamander, or a bunch of flies unless she’s a spider. Top tips for Mother’s Day gift-buying from one little boy.

Based on Enid Blyton’s beloved Famous Five books, this new, tonguein-cheek series for grown-ups see George, Dick, Anne, Julian and Timmy show Aunt Fanny just how much she means to them.

A mum has two very important jobs. One, to look after the children. Two, to do everything else as well. A laugh-out-loud coping with the world mechanism for adults.





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


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


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




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


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




Opinions, rants and random outbursts. By Mrs Backfire


magine my surprise when, the other night before bed, I encountered a boar in my building. I was on my way to the stairwell to throw out our family’s rubbish, and the boar, not surprisingly, was on his way to inspect the day’s trash. Usually it’s pretty obvious when someone moves in. The protective blankets go up in the lift and the boards go down across the lobby stairs to allow for wheeled bins and furniture. But that week I couldn’t remember seeing movers going in and out of the empty flat across the hall. Yet here was my new neighbor, asking me in a gruff but polite voice, if there were any bones or corn cobs in my trash. I said no, but there was some week-old rice in there, most likely coated with a bit of blueberry yogurt and cereal milk. Knock yourself out. When I joked how there’s always some old, dry, clumpy rice in a plastic container in our fridge the boar did not look amused. How obvious my faux pas. Boars never have leftovers. I had so many questions for Mr. Boar, I didn’t know where to start. Was that you running around the car park of #10 Crown Terrace the other day? Do you eat cats? When your wife/partner/significant-other births a new litter do you kick the old litter out of the house? And do your kids (aka ‘sub-adults’ in the boar world) ever boomerang back home, asking for your Netflix password and help with grad school?

I had so many questions for Mr. Boar, I didn’t know where to start

Of course, what I really wanted to ask was: what kind of rent did you manage to negotiate? Over the next couple of days, as our paths crossed, I got to know a little more about Mr. Boar. He was friendly enough, said he worked in logistics and preferred red to white. He was a Man City fan – ecstatic but not obnoxious


about their league title. He confessed that he and his brood like to keep a low profile in case the Ag and Fish guys come snooping around. He never knows when neighbors are going to go all Nimby (Not In My Backyard) on him and ‘squeal to the pigs’. I had to pause at his choice of words. A boar calling the authorities pigs. I don’t think he noticed the irony. He lamented the fact that their good friends – a family of five from Sassoon Road - had been captured and forcibly removed to the New Territories. You know how it goes in Hong Kong, Mr. Boar said, people move out to Sai Kung and you never see them again. Suddenly lunch at The Pulse is just too far to travel.

avoided, unwanted? All because you have four legs instead of two and your coat’s a bit coarse, your voice low and snorty. Some think we should celebrate our boar population as a sign of Hong Kong’s unique biodiversity. Others are adamant that they’re nothing but pests, or worse. I have to admit that I do get a kick out of boar sightings. But then again, so does my friend’s toddler, who on her daily walks continually asks when are they going to see ‘the big pig’. Nature’s fun! Though I do have some advice: when you invite boars over for cocktails, secure the trash and hide the cats!

we should celebrate our boar population as a sign of Hong Kong’s unique biodiversity

What we really bonded over was our kids. His oldest sub-adult was often out at night, knocking over trash bins and running with a bad crowd from Mt. Davis. Mr. Boar said he’s told his son repeatedly that boars are supposed to attack wild dogs, not drink beer with them down at Cyberport park. I could feel his pain. Just when we feel assured that our kids will look both ways before crossing the street (not that young boars always do that), we have to start worrying about their social life, test scores, emotional issues, drugs, alcohol and… sex. Look on the bright side, I said to Mr. Boar, at least the government is forcing a contraception vaccine on your lot. That must give you some piece of mind. Once again, Mr. Boar was not amused. In fact, he looked quite pained at my misguided joke. It was then I started to assess the situation from his eyes, and I realized it can’t feel very good to be constantly harassed by ‘Don’t Feed the Boars’ signs in your own neighborhood. What’s it like to be feared,

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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