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Z A to
of kidsâ€™ bedrooms
From Mum to Me Again How to survive kids flying the nest
Mummy and Daddy tribes Where to connect with like-minded parents
things to do this month
Hello from the hot desk
Meet this month’s team
Dates for your diary this September
ISSUE 064 Mooncake madness, the best of this year’s offerings. Plus dining news
47 Education Amelia Sewell visits Chinese Academy in Causeway Bay. Plus school news
Big day out
Your monthly local news roundup
Where to go stargazing in Hong Kong
Things you need to know
All your need to know about mooncakes
Are you fit enough to take on the Taiwan KOM Challenge? Plus travel news
September reads and podcasts for the school run
The big expat parent summer quiz
Answers from last month’s quiz revealed inside
Time for a revamp? Read our A-Z of kids’ bedrooms
Me & my big idea
Pork bun in the oven
Becky Love on transitioning from Cat Mum to Human Mum
Rebecca Chung, Founder of Princess Brows
Hong Kong baby
Mums groups to join this September. Plus baby news
Life and style
How to survive when kids fly the nest
Scan and visit our website expat-parent.com
eptember is a time for comings and goings. For many expat parents whose offspring study abroad, the beginning of the month signifies the start of term. This can be a challenging time for parents of first time nest-flyers. We speak with three expat mums on how they survived those initial weeks. On the bright side, it’s the perfect time to re-feather the nest while they’re away. Becky Love puts together a handy A-Z of kids’ bedrooms on page 22. The middle of the month sees Mid-Autumn festivities descend upon Hong Kong. The vibrant centuries-old harvest festival is celebrated with mooncakes, lanterns and parades. We were set the challenge of trying every mooncake our foodobsessed city has to offer, see our pick of the best on page 41. Looking for schooling options closer to home? Amelia Sewell heads to Chinese Academy conveniently located in Causeway Bay to meet the new Chief Principal, Jane Lancaster-Adlam, on page 48. And before we know it, the winds of change will blow again and they’ll be home for half-term. So with that, take some time for yourself and enjoy the peace and quiet while you can.
3 things we love this month...
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S.Pellegrino turns 120
The Italian sparkling water brand has launched one million diamond-inspired bottles to celebrate its 120th anniversary. Perfect since I’m on a detox this month ahead of the fast-approaching festive season. Head to China Club to get your hands on a bottle. sanpellegrino.com
Sephora at IFC
The French beauty retailer is set to return to Hong Kong following a 10 year absence. The brand will open eight stores across the city starting with a flagship store at IFC mall in Central. sephora.com 2 expat-parent.com
Contributing Editor Nicole Slater
The Peninsula mooncakes
The Peninsula’s mini egg custard mooncakes are one of Hong Kong’s most sought-after seasonal delights. This year’s offerings are conceptualised by Michelin-starred Chef Tang Chi Keung who hosted me last month at a fascinating masterclass. $388 for a box of eight. peninsulaboutique.com
Managing Editor Gemma Shaw
Printer Apex Print Limited, 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong
HONG KONG hongkongliving.com Expat Parent 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. Expat Parent cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by advertisers or contributors. The views herein are not necessarily shared by the staff or publishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
Our Education Editor and recent mum of two, barley caught her breath after giving birth before heading over to Causeway Bay to meet Chinese Academyâ€™s new Chief Principal Jane LancasterAdlam. Read all about it on page 48.
Journalist and long-term contributor Adele, was kind enough to share her experience of her boys leaving for boarding school in our feature story about empty nest syndrome over on page 34.
Our summer intern has been exploring her hometown with us this month before she heads back to university in Toronto. She gets the lowdown on microblading with Princess Brows founder, Rebecca Chung on page 29.
Want to write for Expat Parent Magazine? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
IRIS: Your Escape Hong Kongâ€™s largest outdoor fitness festival is back! Sweat your weekend out through 80+ yoga and fitness activities led by star instructors, calm your mind in meditation garden or shop at the market. Saturday 10.30am-9pm, Sunday 9am-6pm. Single day pass $280, weekend pass $380. Central Harbourfront Event Space, Central. irishk.com
what’s on SEPT 1
Back to School Bazaar Get ready for the school year and shop for all things schools whilst kids take part in STEAM and free-play activities organised by Fairfield Kindergarten. 11am-5pm. Free. Fairchild Kindergarten, G/F and 1/F, Kong Chian Tower, Block 1, 351 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun. mumsatplay.com
Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2019 Watch lovers, take note! The Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair will showcase the latest and most exquisite designs from over 140 brands. Expect special promotions, lucky draws and even parades. Open to the public on September 7, 9.30am-5pm. Free. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai. Find out more at hkwatchfair.hktdc.com
SEPT 7 & 8
KidsDressSmart (KiDS) Pop-Up
AUG 31 - SEPT 1 Retykle Pop-Up
Shop preloved and new discounted designer kids items with Retykle at their latest pop-up. Look forward to eco-crafts, seller discounts, exclusive brand previews, Halloween costume swap, model search photos & sign up, book swaps and more! 10am-6pm. 8/F, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Sing Teck Building, Wong Chuk Hang. retykle.com
UNTIL SEPT 9
A History of the World in 100 Objects This exhibition features 100 artefacts on loan from the British Museum, including the first ever human stone tool from Africa and a ship’s chronometer used by Charles Darwin. Adults $10, children $5. Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin. heritagemuseum.gov.hk
Head to the lounge at Dragon-i for designer kids’ clothing at up to 90 percent off. 60 percent of sales will go towards helping Splash teach kids to swim. 10.30am-4.30pm. Free. Dragon-i, 60 Wyndham Street, Central. dragon-i.com.hk
FROM SEPT 1
Horse Racing Season Saddle up – it’s time for a day at the races! The new season begins this month. First race at 1pm, gates open at 11am. $10. Hong Kong Jockey Club Sha Tin Racecourse, Sha Tin and Hong Kong Jockey Club Happy Valley Racecourse, Happy Valley. racing.hkjc.com 8 expat-parent.com
Hong Kong International Laugh Festival Grab a beer and laugh with stand up comedians from all over Asia. Varying times, prices and venues. laughfestival.hk
tell me more
mum about town
GlamFest Kowloon Bazaar 2019 Shop for handmade and designer, fashion and lifestyle products from an array of vendors, while enjoying wine tasting, freebies and testers throughout the day. 11am-8pm. Regal Kowloon Hotel, 71 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. kowloonbazaar.com
Shhh! It’s date night!
Summer is coming to an end (I think? Is it ever Autumn here?), the kids are back at school, and date night is back. We’re kicking off with dinner and a show. Yummy Thai food at Aaharn, with menus inspired by Chef David Thompson, followed by an immersive theatre experience. Secret Theatre London is back in Hong Kong presenting a unique chiller rebus, set at a secret location within historical Tai Kwun. The best bit? We, as the audience, get to decide the outcome. Let’s hope this doesn’t ‘kill’ future date nights!
A tradition not to be missed this autumn, involving over 300 performers, 70,000 incense sticks and too many fireworks to count, this 67-metrelong parade will be winding its way through and lighting up Hong Kong’s streets. 8.15-10.30pm. Free. Tai Hang, Causeway Bay. lcsd.gov.hk
Secret Theatre: September 17-November 9, 6pm for Aaharn pre-theatre dinner; show begins 7.30pm; Aaharn post-theatre dinner at 9.45pm. Early bird $788, dinner and show combination from $1,288. Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central. ticketflap.com
September Discovery Bay Market A craft market showcasing local vendors selling their handmade and selfdesigned goods. 11am-6pm. Free. Discovery Bay Plaza, Lantau Island. handmadehongkong.com
Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance Parade
Mid-Autumn Lantern Carnival Credit: © Photos by Mark Dawson
It’s that time of year again: head to Causeway Bay for a fantastic celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, including dance shows, acrobatics, and kung fu demonstrations alongside brilliant lantern displays and a fire dragon parade. 8-11pm. Free. Victoria Park, Causeway Bay. lcsd.gov.hk
“Move it, move it!” Having watched Madagascar and both sequels countless times, we’re taking the whole family to see Madagascar – The Musical. As with the film, this UK musical follows a range of animals as they escape from New York’s Central Park Zoo and go on an adventure, all along to an upbeat score. As long as I don’t have to get on stage and dance or shout out “he’s behind you”, then I’m sure this will be a fun afternoon out! Madagascar – The Musical: September 12-15, performance times vary. From $395. Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wan Chai. aba-productions.com expat-parent.com 9
what’s on SEPT 21
Mind Over Matter – Hong Kong Inter School Quiz The fifth edition of Mind Over Matter – Hong Kong Inter School Quiz is back for another exciting year. The platform helps students find joy in the quest for learning, develop curious minds and raise their knowledge quotient in the process. 10am. Free. German Swiss International School, 11 Guildford Road, The Peak. tvamevasolutions.com/momsq2019/ index.html
Aberdeen Marina Club, 8 Shum Wan Road, Aberdeen. hongkongdogrescue.com/event/ charityparty
Batman Night Run in Hong Kong Batman turns 80 this year! What better idea than to celebrate and dress up as the Hero, Joker or Harley Quinn, and race in the dark with hundreds of other die hard fans? 6-9pm. Adults $480, children $280. West Kowloon Cultural District. hybridticketing.com
Booze it Up! Pirate’s Beer Fest Don your pirate getup and unleash your wild side in Pirateland! The fun festival features the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, a super Insta-worthy setup on the rooftop of the mall. 2-8pm. Online tickets $120, door tickets $160. Rooftop, 28 Beach Road, The Pulse, Repulse Bay. eventbrite.com
Absolutely Fabulous Children’s Theatre at Lee Gardens Performers Sandra Waters and Michael Sharmon share the story of one of Aesop’s Fables, with fun activities and songs. Great for children aged three to 10 years, parents welcome. 3pm & 4pm. Free. 2/F, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay. aftec.hk
Sake Walk 2019
International Schools Festivals
Hong Kong’s largest sake event will showcase over 80 sakes from 14 breweries across Japan, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy, buy and learn about the incredible and diverse range of sakes. From $100. House 1881, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. jebsenfinewines.com/sake-walk-hk
Featuring more than 60 international schools, this festival is the perfect platform to help parents wrap their heads around their children’s future education. 9.30am. From $25. Island Shangri-La, Supreme Court Road, Central. Register at eventbrite.hk
SEPT 21 Carmen
SEPT 20-OCT 27 Matilda the Musical
Straight from rave reviews at the West End, The Royal Shakespeare Company introduces Hong Kong to the timeless musical based on Roald Dahl’s classic book. Performance times vary. From $445. Lyric Theatre, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wan Chai. hkticketing.com
This production of Bizet’s stunning opera features a world-class and critically acclaimed cast. 5.30pm. Adults $210, students $180. Béthanie Theatre, HKAPA Landmark Heritage Campus, Pok Fu Lam. hkticketing.com
Bohemian Pupsody – An Evening with Teddie Mercury Hong Kong Dog Rescue’s annual charity party is back and you’re invited! Join the Bohemian Pupsody for a fabulous evening of music and dancing. From $1,700.
SEPT 21, 22, 28, 29
APPYSPORT x DECATHLON Mobile Van Pop-up Store expat-parent.com 11
what’s on 7.45pm. From $395. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai. aba-productions.com
Hans Zimmer Live on Tour in Hong Kong
The famous Hollywood composer who scored for movies such as Interstellar, The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception is coming to Hong Kong! 8pm. From $588. Hall 5BC, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai. hkticketing.com
SEPT 27-OCT 6 SEPT 22
Where is Peter Rabbit?
Planning for your big day? Get some inspiration on venues, dresses, decorations and more at the 2019 Wedding Expo. 2-6pm. Free. The Helena May, 35 Garden Road, Central. helenamay.com
Bring your kids to this magical puppet musical from ABA Productions and see your favourite stories comes to life before your eyes. From $215. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wan Chai. hkticketing.com
ABA Productions is back with three famous Shakespeare plays: Pericles, Twelfth Night and The Comedy of Errors. On the opening night, the choice of play will be at your command!
The annual half-marathon over Dragon’s Back and Tai Tam Dam is back! Run 22km cross-country then relax with a hard-earned drink at the finish line in Stanley. 9am-1pm.
Shakespeare’s Globe 2019
$320. Siu Sai Wan Promenade. Register at raceregistration.asia
Hong Kong Living Influencer Awards 2020 Celebrate the city’s most influential people and the launch of our Hong Kong Influencer Awards Guide with an afternoon of drinks, nibbles and fabulous guest speakers at Zuma. 3.30-5.30pm. $380. Zuma, Level 6 Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central. hongkongliving.com/shop
credit: RTSports / Ryan Tan Photography
Celebrating the launch of Hong Kong’s first sports booking platform, Appysport partners with Decathlon to give you a splashing good time with kayak and SUP rental at prices as low as $28, as well as half-priced SUP yoga lessons. Varying times, prices and venues. Book now at watersports.appysport.com
Stepping Workshops Learn fancy footwork in special dance workshops for children aged 12-15. 9.30-11am and 11.30am-1pm. $150. Dance Studio, Youth Square, Chai Wan. For enquiries, contact email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets. Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre Theatre, G/F, 111 Shau Kei Wan Road, Sai Wan Ho. aftec.hk
OCT 8, 12-13
Grimm Adventures - A Reimagination of Grimm's Fairy Tales
We know it’s only September, but have your thought about starting your Christmas shopping? Get a head start at this bazaar featuring over 50 stalls selling handmade crafts, jewellery, accessories and books. 9.30am to 5.30pm. Entry $10. The Helena May, 35 Garden Road, Central. helenamay.com
A fun-filled and imaginative adaptation of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales for curious young audiences. Oct 8, 2pm for individuals with learning difficulties, Oct 12-13, 2.30pm for ages 3+. Contact
Backstreet Boys DNA World Tour Another weekend, another concert – get ready for some 90s nostalgia and head back to Macau to catch the Backstreet Boys, on the road for their largest world tour in 18 years. 8pm. From $688. Cotai Arena, The Venetian, Macau. venetianmacao.com expat-parent.com 13
September brings Sephora 50 years of hungry caterpillars Classic children’s picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by author Eric Carle turns 50 this year. In celebration, Cityplaza in Taikoo is hosting a ‘World of Eric Carle’ event. Visit between 11am and 9pm before September 15 to explore three interactive installations based on stories by the famed
author which also include 10 Little Rubber Ducks and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. There will be family workshops, storytelling sessions, a storytelling competition and even a four metre long inflatable Caterpillar! Cityplaza, 18 Taikoo Shing Road, Taikoo Shing. cityplaza.com
Tick tock, time for Clockenflap Hong Kong’s biggest annual music and arts festival, Clockenflap, has announced an impressive lineup. Back for the 12th year, confirmed artists include London-based indie giants Mumford & Sons, US singersongwriter Halsey, controversial rapper Lil Pump and British band The Kooks, with many 14 expat-parent.com
more names to be announced. This year, the festival will take place from November 22-24 at Central Harbourfront. On the door tickets start from $970 for a one-day pass and $1,640 for three-days while 12’s go free. clockenflap.com
Popular French make-up retailer Sephora is set to return to Hong Kong this month following a 10-year absence from the city. The beauty giant has revealed that it will open eight Hong Kong locations in the coming months. The first is a 4,200 square foot store at IFC mall in Central, the grand opening will take place on September 3. sephora.hk
Disney castle set to tower
The iconic castle at Hong Kong Disneyland has been undergoing a dramatic transformation since January last year. While guests of the beloved theme park have played witness to the ongoing work, Disney has revealed that the towers and spires, representing 13 stories of beloved Disney princesses and heroines have been lifted onto the castle base. Each tower is inspired by the stories of much-loved Disney princesses including Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. The park is yet to announce the official date for the unveiling of the new castle but we already have our cameras ready! Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island. hongkongdisneyland.com
Lantau gets shipshape
Free parking at Stanley Plaza
Formerly Discovery Bay Marina Club, the Lantau Yacht Club has been undergoing major updates and renovations since early 2019. The works are due to be completed in the second half of 2020. During the renovation period, the club evicted more than 150 families living on houseboats and has recently announced 150 slips ranging from 10 to 60 metres, including 13 berths for accommodating superyachts up to 100 metres. The new marina will be the first marina in Hong Kong to cater to superyachts over 80 metres. Membership to the Lantau Yacht Club and Marina is offered by invitation only. lantauyachtclub.com
Hong Kong’s pollution records reached serious levels last month, with the Environmental Protection Department advising residents to reduce or avoid outdoor activities. The city is no stranger to pollution, but with the typhoon season upon us, the levels are set to rise even further, with a percentage of pollution being blown from overseas. Residents can track Hong Kong’s air quality via apps including Air Matter’s and invest in air purifiers to help combat pollution in the home.
Every Monday to Wednesday until September 30, drivers can enjoy special parking promotions at Stanley Plaza, in their flash car parking promotion. Visitors of the popular waterfront location can enjoy four hours free parking and a $100 Shell Gift Voucher when spending $200 or more via electronic payment including credit card, Octopus and EPS at designated shops in Stanley Plaza and Murray House. Drivers can redeem their vouchers and parking discount by presenting a same-day printed receipt at the Customer Service Counter, located on the first floor. Coupons are available on a firstcome, first-served basis while stock lasts. stanleyplaza.com
back to school special offerings
Level 1, On Lan Centre, 11-15 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel: 2382 6886
10% off djeco lovely paper stationary, lego boxes & stationary & greeting cards*
Terms & Conditions: 1) Present this advertisement and receive 10% off DJECO Lovely Paper Stationary range, LEGO Boxes & Stationary range & greeting cards. 2) Discount Offer valid til 30 September 2019 (inclusive). 3) This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or special offers. 4) Simply Toys reserves the right of final decision in case of any dispute arising from this offer.
things to know
Mooncakes are a symbol of family reunion. The first half of the term - “moon” - represents wealth and fortune whilst the roundness of the “cake” signifies the unity and togetherness of a family.
The cakes are eaten during Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the “Mooncake Festival.” These delicacies are normally shared amongst families and friends.
During the Yuan Dynasty, people used mooncakes as a means to deliver secret messages. At the time, Hans secretly coordinated a plan to annihilate the Mongolian Rulers. Therefore, they spread a rumour about a deadly plague and that eating the mooncake was their only option to be immune to the disease. The secret message was imprinted on top of the mooncake and the evidence was devoured by eating.
Things you need to know Mooncakes
Mooncakes became a universal language of showing thanks and acknowledging friendship. They are normally accompanied by tea and are to be enjoyed under the beautiful full moon at night.
The day of the Ming Revolution is known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. This day celebrates the overthrow of Mongolian rulers by the Hans. The revolt occurred on the 15th day of the 8th month.
Mooncakes have evolved from the traditional chinese style over the years, leading to the creation of different flavours and textures. The snow skin mooncakes grew to be popular amongst civilians as it was a supposedly healthier option. Read our guide to the best mooncakes in Hong Kong on page 42.
Popular mooncake fillings Lotus Seed Paste: the original filling and considered the most luxurious. A salted duck yolk evens out the sweet taste of the lotus seed paste.
Sweet Bean Paste: Azuki beans, mung beans and blackbeans are used to make the paste. The taste of the filing is more popular amongst children as it is sweetened with sugar.
Jujube Paste: The fruitier taste of this filing is made by Jujube ripe fruits. The smokey flavour gives a sour aftertaste. Don’t be confused with the sweet bean paste as the colour of the filing looks quite identical.
Five Kernels: The filing contains five types of mixed nuts combined with maltose syrup. People normally use almonds, sesame seeds, walnuts, peanuts and pumpkin seeds when making the paste. expat-parent.com 17
Book review BOOKS
The latest from bestselling author Amitav Ghosh, Gun Island shares the story of rare book dealer Deen as he journeys from India to Los Angeles and Venice. His route tangles with memories and experiences of those he meets, calling his Bengali heritage into question. Weaving through the colourful narrative, Ghosh highlights the issues of climate change and immigration. An enchanting read of heritage, history and hope. Available at Bookazine and online at the Book Depository from $161.
For Jack, his Ma and room are his world. Everything beyond the tiny sky window or inside the TV screen is not real. On Jack’s fifth birthday, his Ma unlied the lie she has been telling him for many years. Jack was forced to embark on a mission to rescue Ma, and fearfully encounters the world for the first time. Room portrays an endearing mother-son relationship and also explores the painful and heartbreaking aftermath of sexual and emotional abuse. Available on Amazon and the Book Depository from $73.
Appearing one day and disappearing soon after, beautiful, strange Roza is one of many mysteries in the isolated rural town of Bone Gap. The townspeople think she’s just moved away. Finn knows she was taken - kidnapped by a dangerous man whose face he can’t remember. Desperate to know the truth, and blamed for her disappearance, Finn sets out to find her in this unsettlingly and gorgeously lyrical story - part thriller, part mystery, part fairytale. Available on Amazon and the Book Depository from $91.
PODCASTS the STORY Podcast
Intrigue: The Ratline
The Totally Football Show
A collection of stories told by artists, creators, entrepreneurs of their path to success, semisuccess or the many tries. This podcast is the TED talk of the creative industry, except not just for the big people with big stories, but for everyone with ideas to share. Each episode lasts for 20 minutes, perfect for killing time on the morning commute and keeping yourself inspired. Available on iTunes.
Otto von Wächter: a family man with a high-powered job is indicted for war crimes. In this podcast, writer and lawyer Philippe Sands journeys back in time to uncover the life and (suspicious) death of Otto, a Nazi on the run from the law post-1945. Over 10 episodes a web of lies and deceit unravels, featuring everything from Nazis and Nazi hunters, spies, murder, and long-lost relatives to Vatican bishops and even the CIA. Available on iTunes or listen on the bbc.co.uk
Believe it or not, the new football season is already a month old! The Totally Football Show is a twice weekly podcast containing reviews, previews and views from a diverse range of journalists and presenters. The show is both informal and informed, and with legendary presenter James Richardson on such excellent form, it is no wonder the team beat off more established competition to win “Best Sport Podcast” at this year’s British Podcast Awards. A must for all football fanatics! Download from iTunes or listen on thetotallyfootballshow.com
Stephen recommends expat-parent.com 19
THE big QUIZ
The Expat Parent BIG SUMMER QUIZ 1. 1888
17. Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia blakeana) 36. Dragon
2. Category 5 18. William Des Voeux 3. Hong Kong Living Baby Guide
37. Equestrian 19. Rat 38. Temple Street 20. 43 years 39. Bank of China
4. Red, Green and Blue
5. Kai Tak International Airport
22. Sir Thomas Jackson
6. Special Administrative Region
23. The Peak Tram
40. Tung Chee-hwa 41. Tsim Sha Tsui 42. Qing
7. Cheung Chau
43. Tai Mo Shan
8. Chinese and English
44. Seven million
9. Xiaolongbao, Chasiubao and Har gow
45. Fragrant Harbour 46. Named after Sir Murray MacLehose, the longest serving governor of Hong Kong
10. 4 11. September 2018
47. Basic Law 12. Dots, Bamboos and Characters
24. Cooked food market 48. SARS outbreak 25. The Dark Knight 49. British Queen Victoria
13. 1986 26. St. Paul’s College
50. Portuguese Explorer, Jorge Álvares
14. Pier 3 27. Lantau Island 15. 1894 28. 1943 29. T3 30. Tuen Ng Festival 31. Possession Point 32. 1851 33. 263 34. Nine 16. The MacLehose Trail
E D I AN SW S ER S to N I SEE LTS U S E R laFOstR month’s quiz
35. Noodles expat-parent.com 21
C ST OV O ER RY
A to Z of kids’ bedrooms Becky Love suggests 26 ways to create a dreamy space for your little ones
is for allergies
Is your little one sniffing and sneezing? Their room could be a hotbed of allergens. Dr. Adrian Wu of the Hong Kong Centre for Allergy and Asthma Care tells us how to clean up.
Advice from Dr. Adrian Wu of the Hong Kong Centre for Allergy and Asthma Care 1.
Dust mites thrive in moist environments. Keep humidity levels below 50 percent by running your A/C or dehumidifier for at least eight hours a day.
Protect mattresses and pillows with anti-allergen barrier covers. The best are made from microfibre. Make sure they are washable, breathable and chemicalfree.
Use hot water (above 55°C) to wash barrier covers every two to four weeks and bedding every week. Items that can’t be washed can be tumble dried at a high temperature for at least 10 minutes. Put soft toys in the freezer for at least 24 hours, and then wash in cold water to kill bugs.
Buy a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter - they can retain particles one-tenth of the size that ordinary vacuum bags can.
Swap fabric-upholstered furniture for wood, metal or leather. Carpets and rugs can harbour large quantities of dust mites, so limit their use and if you must have carpets, choose short piles.
is for bamboo bedsheets
Bamboo has a natural resistance to pest and fungi infestation and is also hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and antibacterial - perfect for the most sensitive skin. The all-natural bamboo fibre also wicks away moisture and keeps you dry, cool and comfortable. Try the Heveya bamboo sheet set from europeanbedding.hk 22 expat-parent.com
is for cot bed
is for desk
Pick a cot that will grow with your little one. The Stokke Sleepi from Mothercare is an evolving bed that grows with your child from newborn to approximately three years and with the additional Junior Extension Kit it can last your child until the age of 10. mothercare.com.hk
Children are constantly growing, so it’s important that their desk/chair setup grows with them. Ergonomic and height adjustable Moll desks and chairs are designed to fit children aged four all the way up to fully grown adults. Available at Nerd Kids for Living, Room 1916-17, 19/F Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau. nerdkidsforliving.com
is for electricity
Let there be light! With an adjustable shade to provide either focused or ambient light close by. Easy access allows for late night toilet runs without worry. Anglepoise Type 1228 Metallic Wall Light, $1,700 from Homeless. homeless.hk
is for fan
Keep little fingers safe with this bladeless Dyson Pure Cool Tower Fan, $5,480 available from Lane Crawford. lanecrawford.com.hk
R VE Y O R C TO S
is for “get back in bed!”
Got a kid who keeps getting up in the evening? The genius “Bedtime Pass Program” from kids’ health website Dr. Greene is a brilliant solution. At bedtime, you give your child a card that allows them one free pass to get a glass of water, a short story, whatever. Once they’ve used that card they’re marched back to bed with no talking and no eye contact. After a couple of nights of being frog marched back to bed, you’ll find them fast asleep, holding onto their card in case they need it later - or so the theory goes anyway! drgreene.com/bedtime-pass-program
is for junior version
Mini Egg Chair, $2,390 from SofaSale. sofasale.com.hk
is for kids’ choice
Mini egg chair from SofaSale
Kids have great imaginations! When it comes to their bedroom, sit down with them and decide on a theme together. It’s their living space after all!
Save any mix-ups when it comes to your child’s belongings and make them stand out with VeryVerySticky’s customisable labels. Choose from a range of designs and colours online and receive them within a few days. All labels are washing machine and dishwasher friendly. veryverysticky.com
is for Hong Kong art prints Hong Kong Nathan Road Cushion Cover (80x80cm) $478 from Goods of Desire. god.com.hk
is for Ikea
This Scandinavian furniture behemoth is a treasure trove of kids’ stuff, kid-friendly furniture, fun room accessories and traditional wooden toys. We love this MINNEN yellow bed frame, $1,450. ikea.com.hk
is for mattress
Children will spend roughly 12 hours a night in bed, so it’s well worth investing in a good mattress. Try the Indigo Junior Mattress for a medium firmness with foam and latex for added comfort. From $3,690. indigo-living.com
is for nightlight
is for ouch!
Skip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Nightlight Soother Owl, $475 from Baby Central. babycentral. com.hk
Got a curious toddler running about? Don’t forget to baby-proof!
is for personalised toys
Buy a personalised Jellycat Bunny for your child (or as a gift for a new baby), it will make for a great sleep companion. giftslessordinary.com/hk
is for quilt
150 thread count cotton Vegetable Car Print Kids Duvet Cover, from $189, depending on size. zarahome.com/hk
is for Rentokil Are your little ones getting bitten during the night? Zap
R VE Y O R C TO S
mosquitos with the eco-friendly Rentokil, it’s guaranteed to be safe around infants, pregnant women and elderly and is perfect for indoor and outdoor use. And bonus - its silent operation means kids will sleep soundly. rentokil.com.hk
is for sleepovers
Hosting a slumber party? Here are five ideas to keep your event from being a snoozefest.
Slumber party ideas 1.
Buy matching PJs. Head to Cotton On for cute coordinated tees and shorts.
Set up an epic snack station. Pop up a huge bowl of popcorn and lay out a buffet of gummy candy, chocolate, marshmallows, skittles and sprinkles.
Give out goodie bags. Hit up Sasa for lip balms, nail polishes, mini manicure sets, and single-use face masks. Include a toothbrush for extra parent points.
Get crafty. Buy a few pairs of cheap flipflops and get your tweens to decorate them with beads, buttons, ribbons and more.
Don’t forget breakfast! Send them home with happy tummies by putting on an easy buffet of fresh fruit, single-serve cereal boxes, muffins and juice.
is for Taobao
Taobao, China’s Amazon-esque online marketplace is a treasure trove of cheap furniture and homewares, sourced straight from the country’s factories. If you can’t read Chinese, harness the services of a Taobao shopping concierge such as Yi Li Pan from Taobao Panpan Buy. Join her Facebook group, tell her what you’re looking for and she’ll come up with the goods. Facebook: Taobao PanPanBuy (HK)
is for utterly disgusting
is for VOC-free paint
Dealing with a less than hygienic teen? Try these tips: 1.
Set some ground rules. Reasonable requests, with a fair rationale behind them, are a good first step on the path towards a somewhat tidier room.
Prepare to compromise. If the room is a biohazard, then that needs to be addressed, but perhaps you can let the clutter slide.
Think of it as a teachable moment. Sure, you could go in and clean it yourself, but this is an opportunity to get your teen to take responsibility for their own space, especially in the runup to university.
Wait it out. You may find that the problem magically resolves itself once a boyfriend or girlfriend appears on the scene.
If all else fails, change the wifi password, and don’t let them have it until they’ve cleaned up.
Got a teen with a gross bedroom? We’ve got coping strategies:
VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are chemicals such as formaldehyde, xylene and benzene. Often found in paint, fumes from a freshly painted house can cause symptoms such as eye irritation, dizziness and headaches. Opt instead for non-toxic boutique paints from 513 Paint Shop. Unit S513, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central. 513paintshop.com
is for wall stickers Dress up the bedroom walls
with some wall stickers from popular and convenient online website Etsy. Simply search the type of stickers you are after and you’re away! etsy.com/hk-en
is for x-tra bed
Short on space? Make room for guests by getting a custom-made single bed with a second trundle bed concealed underneath. From Takad, Shop 16, G/F, Top Hit Plaza, 363 Des Voeux Road West, Shek Tong Tsui. takad.com.hk.
is for yawn
Kids having trouble dropping off? Get in a sleepy frame of mind with these tips: 1. Tone down the colours. Ditch the rainbow bedsheets and curtains for more soothing neutral shades. 2. Turn up the A/C. A cool room signals to the body that it’s time for sleep. 3. Check for monsters. Under the bed and in the wardrobe are common hiding places.
is for Zzzz...
Now pop downstairs and enjoy the peace while it lasts! expat-parent.com 25
C ST OV O ER RY
Redecorating kids bedrooms - made easy
Stokke Sleepi Bed $7,990 from Mothercare mothercare.com.hk
Vitra Eames Elephant Mini Sculpture $940 from Lane Crawford lanecrawford.com.hk
Lifetime NamePlate - Themed $960 from Lifetime Kidsroom tavolokidsliving.com
Kawaii Rabbit Wall Clock $648 from Decoylab etsy.com
Smila Blomma $99 from IKEA ikea.com.hk
Donna Wilson Bear Throw $3,500 from Lane Crawford lanecrawford.com.hk
R VE Y O R C TO S
Bus Bunk Bed $14,000 from kidniture kidniture.com
Lorena Canals Puffy Dream Blue $2090 from Baby Central babycentral.com.hk
Signed Art Print from Hong Kong from A to Z $450 by Assia Bennani minifab.com.hk
Ugo Desk $9680 from Okamura tavolokidsliving.com
Babyletto Spruce Tree Bookcase $1,950 by Babyletto babycentral.com.hk
Label multipack $299 from Veryverysticky veryverysticky.com
me & my big idea
Me and my big idea Rebecca Chung, Founder of Princess Brows talks all things beauty with Kimberley Chan So what’s your big idea? At Princess Brows, we offer semi-permanent and permanent beauty treatments. We are best known for our brow and hairline microblading treatment. I created my own microblading technique which combines the best of different treatments out there. I also own an international brand called G.E.L. Lashes which specialises in lash lifting.
How did the idea come about? It came from a tragic personal experience with eyeliner tattoos in South Korea. I was very disappointed with the outcome and decided to take the matter into my own hands. I started by taking courses in permanent beauty treatments, then practising on friends. By word of mouth, news of my treatments grew and in 2011 I founded my first salon, Princess Brows.
What happens during the procedure? Microblading is a very fine and careful procedure. Think of it as a ‘half-done’ tattoo. In a standard tattoo, the pigment and colour goes deep under the dermis. However, with the microblade technique, the pigment stays in the upper dermis and fades out after five to six years. Since the pigments don’t go as deep, there is less risk of scarring. The procedure is very safe. All the materials used are approved by German Standards. Customers are also given a patch test prior to the treatment to ensure that allergic reactions do not occur.
What do clients in Hong Kong usually look for? People in Hong Kong care a lot about how they look. Right now, the trend is mostly Korean and North American fashion. Usually, clients want everything to be slim and healthy-looking. Some clients prefer to look tanned, others opt for a skin whitening treatment. Because Hong Kong is such a busy city, people want makeup that is convenient and efficient. That’s one of the reason why microblading has become so popular - you don’t have to worry about doing your brows or lashes every morning. Wearing less makeup also reduces the intake of toxins and chemicals absorbed by the body.
What are the challenges of running your business? I need to be constantly aware of the latest trends. Beauty is forever evolving, just 20 or even 10 years ago, ‘IT girls’ had colourful eyebrows, now people gravitate towards a natural, make up free look. Compared to the rest of the world, Hong Kong is advanced in the beauty treatments it offers; we have the latest equipment and materials.
What is the next trend in beauty technology?
microblading technology. It is hard to say what the next trend will be but my team and I are constantly educating ourselves on new techniques and trends. We go to exhibitions and schools to learn and observe the latest techniques.
Princess Brows is located at Unit 16041605, Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central. princessbrows.com
It took around 12 years of research to perfect expat-parent.com 29
HK Baby News Silver Cross pushes on
New baby must-haves Editor and first time mum-to-be Becky Love prepares for her new arrival We’re quickly coming up to d-day aka the due date and I really don’t know where the time has gone. As baby should be arriving any time now, I may have started to panic buy as a distraction from what’s to come. Thankfully, Mothercare in Prince’s Building in Central is nice and close to us, so I can waddle there or order online if I’m not feeling up to it. We also still have a few things on our wish list that we can pick up from the Not Too Big Mega Baby Expo later this year.
The British nursery brand, Silver Cross, is set to open a flagship store at K11 Musea. The 1,200 square foot site will be the brand’s second location in Hong Kong, in addition to premises in Mong Kok. Silver Cross was founded in Yorkshire in 1877 by William Wilson, inventor of the very first pram and is still a trusted household name today. Shop B233A, Level B2, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. silvercrossbaby.com
Kitting out the kids Retykle will host a pop-up from September 2 to 7. Hundreds of preloved and new discounted designer kids items will be for sale at their 5,000 square foot studio in Wong Chuk Hang. All online items will be available to view and visitors will have the chance to take part in eco-crafts, seller discounts, brand previews, Halloween costume swap, model search photos and sign up, book swaps and more. Sept 2-7, 10am-6pm. 8/F, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Sing Teck Building, Wong Chuk Hang. retykle.com
Making a splash Dragon-i are working with KidsDressSmart (KiDS) to host a pop-up in aid of Splash Foundation. Until September 8, for every lunch package ordered, Dragon-i will donate 10 percent of proceeds to Splash Foundation. Lunch packages include all you can eat dim sum with Chinese tea starting from $238 and a children’s package from $138. They will also be hosting a pop-up in their exclusive lounge on September 7 and 8, featuring designer kids’ clothing including Armani, Bonpoint, Jacadi and Petit Bateau at up to 90 percent off. Parents can also bring along good clothes that their kids no longer need. 60 percent of sales will benefit Splash Foundation, Hong Kong’s only charitable organisation that teaches kids from low-income families how to swim. September 7 and 8, 10.30am-4.30pm. Dragon-i, 60 Wyndham Street, Central. dragon-i.com.hk
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Feeding Bottle has been made with little mouths in mind. Regardless if breastfeeding works out, it’s good to be prepared and Daddy can get involved in feeding too. It comes in a smaller 150ml size and the teat has been specifically designed with soft, natural feeling silicone and a super-sensitive valve, making feeding easier for the little one. I may be getting ahead of the game here, but The Little Freddie Simply Baby Rice is a simple first food, great for little tummies. It’s made from organic rice flour and has other necessary vitamins and minerals, whilst being smooth with a gentle flavour.
Not Too Big Mega Baby Expo Wish List Our hard floor will be needing the Momomi Soft Touch Tatami Mat before we know it. Ideal for playing, rolling, crawling, and potentially even napping on (that will be me!).
Groups to join Nicole Cooley rounds up the best groups for new (and existing!) mums in Hong Kong St John’s Playgroup
This friendly, informal group newcomers meet at St John’s Cathedral in Central every Thursday from 2.30-4.30pm. Great for newcomers to Hong Kong, as parents can socialise over cake whilst the little ones can interact and enjoy the large space. Children from birth to two years old are welcome and a range of toys are provided. For first-time attendees, contact Mrs Vanda Cole on 2855 7074. stjohnscathedral.org.hk
Play Days Parent and Toddler Group
This playgroup for under techno-phobe 4s runs every Wednesday from 9.30-11am at Wesleyan House in Wan Chai. Families can join in the fun for $80 or your caregiver and toddler can join the Friday morning group. Playgroup begins with 45 minutes of free play, followed by a healthy snack, story and music time. michk.com
Maggie & Rose
A family members’ club which began in London in 2007, it now has locations in Repulse Bay and Causeway Bay and provides a uniquely creative and fun space
for children as well as a beautiful dining area for adults to enjoy. hk.maggieandrose.com
For For parents that miss app lovers swiping, this Tinder-like app helps you find your tribe. Scroll through the app to make friends with Mumz (or Dadz) in your area. You can create your own
playdates based on interests and best times to meet whilst connecting with others in the same boat. Created by Ekta Tejwani who also runs a Facebook group Meet Mumz - Let’s build it together, which hosts regular events. meetmumz.com
St Stephen’s Playgroup
This popular parents and toddlers group meets every Monday and Thursday from 9.15-11.15am. The session for up to threeyear-olds consists of indoor and outdoor play, arts and crafts, snack time and songs. Members of the group are invited to attend Family Services at 9.30am on the first Sunday of every month. Contact email@example.com for more details. ststephen.org.hk
Mum and Baby Clinic at Annerley
For medical advice
For mums, and babies from birth to one year. Meet a nurse, midwife or lactation consultant to chat about your baby’s progress whilst getting to know other mums over tea or coffee. Wednesday’s 10am-12 noon for $400 32 expat-parent.com
hk baby at their Central location in OT&P Family Clinic. annerley.com.hk
Watch on with a coffee as your kids play. Look out for half price Mummy Mondays! Open daily, Harbour City 9.30am6.30pm & Wan Chai 9am-6pm. $100 per child plus $60 per additional sibling. baumhaus. com.hk
There’s ample space for burning cooped-up kids to run, jump, energy clamber and slide. You’ll also find dedicated toddler zones and on-site cafés. Open from 10am daily, closing times and prices vary by location. Located in Kennedy Town, Ma On Sha and North Point. funzone.com.hk
Bebegarten Education Centre
For activity areas
Bebegarten’s playgroups range from crawlers (6-11 months), movers (11-16 months), toddlers (16-24 months) and transitioners (24-36 months). With plenty of learning opportunities for the little ones to develop to their fullest potential, it’s a great place to meet other caregivers too! Monthly tuition starts from $1,800 per month for 11 months. Open 8am-5pm Monday to Friday in Wong Chuk Hang. bebegarten.com
Mum on a mission Hannah McLeod, Sai Kung resident, mother and one of the brains behind Bubs in Pubs Tell us about Bubs in Pubs? Bubs in Pubs is a community-inspired initiative in Sai Kung where (to date), three establishments have responded to parents and caregiver’s needs by providing a drop in soft play area and child appropriate menu at different times of the day throughout the week.
What was your inspiration behind the project? Sai Kung is quite unique in that there aren’t many complexes which have facilities for little ones. While we have great outdoor facilities (pool, park etc.), we lack restaurants and pubs with soft play areas. My friend and fellow mum Katie (Larson) and I were fed up of walking around Sai Kung in either the blazing sun or pouring rain looking for somewhere to drink good coffee and let our babies crawl around. We put out a survey on the Sai Kung Mummies Facebook page and quickly learnt that 125 others agreed with us! Once we had that data, we took it to the establishments and things grew quickly from there.
You now have three locations, what’s different about each?
How has Bubs in Pubs changed your life?
Each establishment runs their own area so the soft plays are as different as their own spaces. Momentai is al fresco with views
It’s great to have somewhere to go each day and meet with other parents in the community.
BUBS IN PUBS Facebook Groups Facebook has a plethora of For the support and information such Facebooker as groups on breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, mum fitness, buying and selling baby things, working parents and groups by Hong Kong location. Our favourites are Hong Kong Breastfeeding for truly helpful advice in those first few weeks, Hong Kong Moms for random nuggets of advice (and general lurking, it’s a thing), and British Mums in HK for your comforting tea chat.
of the pier, while Piccolo’s use their mezzanine space right on the square and The Picture House open especially at 9am to run the session, much to the amusement of the regulars who turn up as we are leaving! The owners and wonderful staff have truly embraced it and there has been lots of positive feedback so far.
Grab a coffee, tea or snack whilst the kids make the most of the play corner at the following locations around Sai Kung:
Bubs in Pubs@The Picture House Monday-Friday, 9-11am. Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung. enotecagroup.com
Bubs in Pubs@Momentai Tuesday-Friday, 12 noon-3pm. Kiosk 1 Waterfront, Wai Man Rd, Sai Kung. momentai-la.com
Bubs in Pubs@Piccolo’s Monday-Friday, 3-5pm. 20 Wan King Path, Sai Kung. casteloconcepts.com
life & style
Three Hong Kong empty nesters share their stories on life after children leave home. By Becky Love and Nicole Cooley
ne day you’re holding them in your arms, feeding and bathing them, the next they are waving goodbye as they begin their journey into adulthood. Empty Nest Syndrome is known as a strong feeling of loneliness or loss of identity that parents can experience after their children leave home (the nest) for the first time. It’s not uncommon and is something that many parents’ deal with in their own way, just like Adele, Julie and Sarah, it’s not just parents that are faced with being apart, children, like Florence, have to learn how to readjust too. These are their stories.
life & style Sarah Clifford Sarah moved to Hong Kong in 2002 when her daughter, Florence was all but 10 weeks old. She also has a son, at aged 16 her daughter moved to the UK for boarding school. I was bereft when she left. It was all a bit surreal; for years we’d been flying as a family of four to and from the UK and then I found myself all alone at Heathrow Airport crying into my gin and tonic having just left Florence at boarding school. Waiting until she was 16 before she moved schools made a big difference because she was ready to go and we’d known that she had wanted to go for several years; it didn’t come as a complete surprise and gave us time to get used to the idea. Being a typical teenager, she spent lots of
time in her room. We felt as though we didn’t see that much of her other than briefly after school and at mealtimes, but when she left, we all felt her absence enormously. I was able to fly to the UK for Florence’s first exeat weekend which was only three weeks into the first term. That helped ease the initial feeling of separation. We’ve been quite fortunate in that Florence flies home for all the holidays and half terms, so the longest she’s away is seven weeks. We also established a FaceTime routine so that we speak regularly. I still have my 15-year-old boy here in Hong Kong so he keeps me busy!
Sarah Cliffo rd
Florence Clifford Florence was at Kellett in Kowloon Bay for five years until she finished her GCSEs. She moved to a boarding school in the UK and has been there for a year now. I had lived in Hong Kong my entire life and never boarded before, so I knew it would definitely be a shock to the system to move away. I thought I was prepared, but the first few weeks were harder than I thought! It was difficult to adjust at first, although my mum was in the UK at the time so I saw her frequently at the start of the first term. I’m not really the type to get homesick, although I did miss living in Hong Kong - I’d say living in essentially a completely new country was a harder adjustment to make than living with new people. Being able to communicate with my parents whenever I need to has made the move easier - going to boarding school even 20 years ago would have been a much harder experience. I think it’s been good for me; even though it’s only been a year I feel a lot more independent and able to look after myself without relying on other people. More like an adult.
The time difference is probably the most difficult thing to manage - by the time my lessons are over in the evenings, my parents are already asleep. I text them but it’s hard to have a proper conversation in the two minutes between classes, which is always when my mum decides she has something important to say! On Sundays, I’ll FaceTime them to properly catch up on everything that’s happened during the week. As time passes, you get used to things and it becomes the new ‘normal’. Having a close group of friends around is one of the main things that has helped me feel more settled; as long as you have support of some kind, whether that be friends or family, it helps to fill the gap. I’m lucky that my school is in Oxford and we’re allowed out after class, so being responsible for myself, for example getting myself to doctors’ appointments rather than
Florence Clifford relying on my parents to do everything for me, has made me feel a lot more confident looking after myself. expat-parent.com 35 expat-parent.com 35
life & style Julie Slater Julie has two children, a son aged 27 and a daughter aged 23. Her son moved to the UK for work, whilst her daughter left home to go to university but has recently returned. Once the kids first left, the house was so quiet. Everything was where I left it and my day to day regime was planned and organised. It certainly felt empty and you think things will never be as they once were. It is very worrying when the first child leaves, you feel so guilty sending them off into the big bad world, so far away, however when the last leaves it is extremely quiet. Cooking for two, no worrying when they will be home, no drama to deal with and mum’s taxi is redundant. I did miss the daily gossip and drama, although we had weekly Skype sessions to keep me up-to-date! To combat that sad, empty feeling we adopted two very young puppies from Sai Kung Stray Friends. We had never had a dog before and now we had twins! Life became busy again and there was always a university holiday on the horizon to look forward to.
We thought this was the way it would stay. Three years later, my daughter decided to come home for six months to sort out her direction… three years later she is still here! Suddenly, you realise just how much you had adjusted to your new life and forgotten freedoms. From having two young dogs used to being spoilt and adored to suddenly having a 21-year-old who is used to living independently with “no house rules”. It certainly takes some adjusting to! Now, it’s great, she has a full-time job and sometimes prepares meals, even surprising me with flowers and afternoon teas. The tension has gone and even the dogs don’t bark when she comes in at some unearthly hour! My best advice would be, when your last child leaves, try to take on a new interest (or pets). You will find lots of quiet times and you will have a lot of energy which will need a new focus, rather than reflecting on the past. However daunting it seems, the time will pass quickly and the holidays come up rapidly:
Julie Slater Christmas, Easter and a four month summer break in most cases! If you’re lucky they may decide to come home “just for a while….”!
Adele Brunner Adele has lived in Hong Kong for 20 years and has three children (Felix, 16, Jake, 14, and Claudia, 12). Her two sons recently moved to boarding school in the UK whilst her youngest is still at home in Hong Kong. I was distraught when the boys first left. My husband and I both went with them for the start of the school year. I managed not to cry when saying goodbye but was in bits when we got to our hotel. I had this irrational bee in my bonnet that I hadn’t seen them in their new uniforms, so the next morning I made my husband drive past the school. We effectively “stalked” our own children and amazingly we saw them! It did make me feel much better as they were both surrounded by groups of other students so were obviously starting to make friends. What I hadn’t prepared for was going home without them. Although thankfully Claudia was still there, I found the boys’
too-tidy bedrooms the worst – especially at night when their beds were empty too. I had to semi-close their bedroom doors for a few weeks. Without wanting to sound like a drama queen, it felt a bit like a bereavement although of course it wasn’t. I tried to mentally prepare before they went, but it didn’t really work. The slightest thing that went wrong would set me off and I’d blame my poor husband. I wasn’t a very nice person to live with and probably should have talked to a professional counsellor. However, I tried hard not to let the children see me upset because I didn’t want them to feel guilty about leaving. The best thing I did was to have a long weekend in Ibiza with my sister and two close friends for my 50th birthday, immediately after I’d dropped off the boys. It was relaxing, huge fun and took my mind off the whole boarding school situation for a while. Luckily, Claudia is still at home to keep me busy and I work as a freelance journalist. It has definitely got easier with time – what has been
Adele Brunner good is to have one child to taxi around rather than rushing around with three and the weeks seem to go so quickly that before I know it, the boys are back again and we have a noisy, messy house. It also really helps knowing that they are very happy. expat-parent.com 37
life & style How to survive empty nest syndromee Tips from Tim Hoffman of Hoffman Psychological Counselling wefwefw Spend one on one time with your spouse. Nudge the conversation to more emotional issues. That means avoiding talking about other people including the kids, and instead focusing on what’s going on between the two of you, and what’s going on inside each of you. Use tools to deepen intimacy with your spouse. You both may be out of practice when it comes to disclosing your innermost thoughts and feelings, and so you and your partner may not know each other as well as you once did. Consider couples counselling. Many people only seek help with their relationship when the situation is dire: someone has cheated, or the fighting is out of control, or it’s the last stop before divorce court.
But counselling can deepen intimacy and affection for any couple, even those whose marriage is solid. For anyone feeling the pangs of an empty nest, finding renewed closeness to their spouse can be exciting and uplifting. Refocus on friendships and other family members. While these relationships are rarely as close as the parent-child bond, deepening them can be something of a salve. Find a new way to be useful in society. After about two decades of being a caregiver, it can be hard to restart a career. But research shows that it’s important for our mental and physical health to be useful to others, whether through paid or volunteer work. Raising a child is arguably the most important and useful job society has to offer: going from that to unemployed is unlikely to make anyone feel good. One final thought: When your child leaves
home, think of this not as a loss, but rather as the start of a new relationship — one in which your child is your peer and your friend. The freedom from the need to manage your child’s behaviour can open the door to a relationship of mutual caring, love and respect. And that’s more than enough compensation for the empty nest. Tim Hoffman is the founder of Hoffman Psychological Counselling. hoffman-counselling.com
Dining news Dine with the fishes at Ocean Park Ocean Park’s Neptune’s Restaurant is an iconic dining spot where guests can dine in the company of over 100 marine species in the aquarium. The restaurant recently underwent a revamp and has reopened with a new theme and tasting menu which combines nature and fine dining, using sustainable seafood in accordance with the Park’s vision for ecological conservation and promotion of sustainable dining. Ocean Park, Aberdeen. oceanpark.com.hk
New flavours at Shangri-La Authentic Italian restaurant, Angelini at the Kowloon Shangri-La has a new à la carte menu from Chef Andrea Burzio. The Italian chef has experience working in Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy and his cooking is rooted in the philosophy of food being instrumental in creating relationships. His new menu is representative of this with the inclusion of familystyle favourites. On September 18, Angelini will host a Castell’in Villa Wine Dinner, four courses and seven glasses of wine for under $1,000 per person. shangri-la.com
La Vie En Rose at Sheraton Hotel This summer, Sheraton Hotel’s Sky Lounge partnered up with CANVAS, the Australian Skincare Brand to launch the Rosy Garden Afternoon Tea Set. Located in Tsim Sha Tsui’s prime location, the Hotel Sky Lounge gets a first-class view of Victoria Harbour. For one afternoon, immerse yourself in Hong Kong’s renowned skyline and savour the pinkish delights. Chef Oscar Chow and Andy Yeung have created a fairytale-themed afternoon tea which includes rose cupcakes with raspberry jam and vanilla, Calamansi Macarons and Bottega Moscato Pink sparkling wine. Take home a complimentary Rose Otto Intense Hydration Set and coupons to an aromatherapy hand treatment and workshop - talk about that life in pink! The tea set is $338 per person and runs until the end of September. sheraton.marriot.com
Pirata Group celebrates 5th New meat(ing) spot opens in Repulse Bay anniversary A new butchers, Heritage Meats has joined the Southside scene, serving up a selection of rare and wild meats, bone broths and artisanal cheeses. All meats are stored in a dry ageing fridge, where shoppers can store their purchases until they’re ready to cook. Don’t leave your furry friends out of the fun, they also supply Heritage Meats for pets! Shop 102/103, The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Road. heritagemeats.com.hk
Since opening their first restaurant Pirata in 2014, the Pirata Group has become a prominent name in Hong Kong’s dining scene, boasting 15 restaurants including Chaiwala and The Optimist. The restaurant group will celebrate their fifth anniversary this September with an exclusive anniversary party invitation for all guests who dine at participating restaurants. The party will be held at Chaiwala on 28 September from 10.30pm until 3am and will feature a live DJ. Pirata Group says, “We would like to thank each guest and fan who has dined, celebrated and supported our restaurants.” piratagroup.hk expat-parent.com 41
ICHK KINDERGARTEN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
Thursday 26th September 9.00am - 11.30am
Tuesday 24th September 10.00am - 2.00pm
3, Twentieth Street, Hong Lok Yuen, Tai Po Tel: 3955 3000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
60 Sha Tau Kok Road Sha Tau Kok New Territories Tel: 2655 9018 Email: email@example.com
Kindergarten and Primary Campus
Shoot for the moon
Craving something different? Charmaine Ng offers a taster of this year’s mooncake offerings The Peninsula
For the egg The Peninsula’s mini egg custard mooncakes are one of custard lover Hong Kong’s most sought-after seasonal delights. This year’s mooncakes, conceptualised by Michelin-starred Chef Tang Chi Keung, features two new mini egg custard flavours – walnut and dried longan – presented in the keepsake Star Chef Moon Gazing Gift Box. Take your pick from 12 selections of gift boxes that highlight Chef Tang’s new creations plus a range of alluring options from speciality tea-flavoured editions to chocolate mooncakes this autumn. $388 for a box of eight mini mooncakes. peninsulaboutique.com
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental
For the This autumn, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental is offering environment- an innovative take on the traditional mooncake to alist
celebrate the upcoming holiday. The mooncakes will be infused with delicate vanilla custard and packaged with an intricately custom-designed gift box inspired by the hotel’s Michelinstarred restaurant, Amber. The gift box, characterised by a strikingly refined gold design, is made using eco-friendly material and can become an ideal storage space for other items such as fine jewellery after the holiday. $398 for a box of six mini mooncakes. mandarinoriental.com
Langham Hospitality Group
This September sees the debut of Ming Mooncakes, an exclusively curated selection of delicacies crafted by Langham Hospitality Group’s Michelin-starred Chinese restaurants. Ming Mooncakes will feature the Mini Custard with Egg Yolk Mooncake and the new, slightly more tart Mini Custard with Egg Yolk and Kumquat Mooncake presented in a vibrant collector’s box with illustrations by Hong Kong artist Vivian Ho. The artwork on the box presents scenes of happy family gatherings with accents of traditional festive elements, which the artist hopes will encourage more exchanges of stories between the young and old. The beautiful drawings are sure to reignite and bring to life childhood stories of Mid-Autumn Festival. $388 for a box of six mini mooncakes. mingmooncake.com
Fortnum & Mason
For the Sold exclusively at Lane Crawford, Fortnum & Mason’s traditionalist debut mooncake gift box is sure to be a delight. The
For a bit of everything
This season, The Mira’s Michelin-recommended contemporary Chinese restaurant, Cuisine Cuisine, introduces two new enticing mooncake selections: the first, a deluxe set of traditional white lotus seed mooncakes produced in limited quantities; and the second, a new collection of mini mooncakes infused with four modern flavours. Choose from the Rose Purée and Roselle Egg Custard Mini Mooncake, the Cumquat Purée and Mandarin Peel Mini Mooncake, the Black Sesame Purée Mini Mooncake and the highly popular Egg Custard Mini Mooncake. $468 for a box of eight mini mooncakes. themirahotel.com
upmarket department store in London is the ultimate destination for unique gifts such as hampers, elegant wines and spirits, famous teas and coffees – and now, as Hong Kong prepares to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, Fortnum’s is proud to introduce its first limited edition mooncake. Made with premium top grade lotus seeds, pure peanut oil and two golden salted egg yolks, then sealed inside a jade green celadon packaging design, Fortnum’s Traditional Mooncake will impress even the toughest of critics. $520 for a box of four mooncakes. Available at all Lane Crawford locations across Hong Kong. lanecrawford.com expat-parent.com 43
dining For the kid in you
A-1 Bakery x PEANUTS
For a playful take on Mid-Autumn Festival, check out this year’s mooncake collaboration between A1 Bakery and PEANUTS. The packaging has been transformed into an illuminating lantern that projects Snoopy’s face – hours of fun for the kids! Inside, you’ll find four innovative flavours: black sesame, purple potato, earl grey and tiramisu. The mooncake collection also comes with a ‘Snoopy Membership Card’ that will give you year-round exclusive discounts and benefits for A1 Bakery’s delicious products. $210 for a box of four mooncakes. vip.a-1bakery.com.hk
For The Ice Cream Enthusiast
Autumn in Hong Kong is only called autumn – in reality, it still feels like summer, with the heat and humidity remaining at an all-time high. If you find yourself perpetually covered in sweat, make a pit stop at any of Cafe Deco Group’s restaurants and grab a bite of their gelato mooncakes. This year, the group is offering six flavours of (literal) melt-in-your-mouth cake treats, all encrusted in sumptuous 64% Belgian dark chocolate. It’s a cream come true. $328 for a box of six mooncakes. Order at designated Cafe Deco Group restaurants. facebook.com/2thirddolci
For the dim sum fanatic
With it’s oozing, sweet egg custard filling, the lava custard bun is hands down the best thing on the menu at a dim sum restaurant. Commemorate your love for dim sum this year and celebrate the season with the Joyous Discovery Assorted Mooncake Gift Box by The Chinese Restaurant at Hyatt Regency. The two-tier designer gift box includes the Mini Red Bean Paste Mooncake with Rose, a customer favourite with an elegant floral hint, and the Mini Lava Custard Mooncake, a perfectly harmonised combination of premium French butter crust and delicate custard filling – the spotlight landing on the silky and luscious egg yolk bursting out from within. Mmmm… $398 for a box of eight mini mooncakes.
The St. Regis Hong Kong For a luxury touch
For a Cantonese touch
Known for its classic Cantonese cuisine with innovative flourishes, Dynasty Garden uses only premium produce and serves seasonal specialities, with more than 600 wines to pair. This autumn, the restaurant is offering a limited-edition collection of three signature mooncake flavours in an elegant gift box crafted by Hong Kong designer Alan Chan. The gift box comprises two traditional mooncakes using white lotus seed paste from Hunan, each embellished with double egg yolks; and four mini mooncakes, featuring tempting alternative fillings of egg custard. $398 for a box of two mooncakes and four mini mooncakes. dining.gfgc.com.hk
For the perfect Mid-Autumn Festival gift, recently opened St. Regis Hong Kong celebrates its first annual mooncake launch with three limited edition mooncake boxes. Classic mooncakes are presented in the Full Moon Box featuring white lotus seed paste and golden salty duck egg yolks and the Pearl Moon Box containing mini aromatic sweet red beans and tangerine peel. For an alternative to the traditional mooncake, mini mooncakes encasing a smooth custard filling are presented in the Bright Moon Box. True festive delights. $518 for a box of four mooncakes. stregis.com
SPCA Who says pets can’t join in on the mooncake fun? This year, SPCA has partnered with Petisserie Bakery to create a range of flavours for both cats and dogs. Choices include free-range chicken with goat cheese, wild-caught salmon with sweet potato and French duck breast with pumpkin. All proceeds go to SPCA. If you’re feeling extra generous this holiday season, you can even order mooncakes that are donated straight to SPCA homing animals. $98 for a box of two pet mooncakes. spcahk.org expat-parent.com 45
For your furry friend
School news A class of stars
Year 11 students at the French International School (FIS) achieved outstanding results in the IGCSE examinations this year. Half of FIS students achieved nine A*/A grades or better with a quarter awarded 10 or more A*/A grades in the Cambridge IGCSE programme; three students in particular stood out, achieving nine A* grades. Of all IGCSE examinations taken, over one third were awarded at A*, almost 70% were awarded at A*/A and 93% were awarded at A*- C. “Congratulations to alI our 2019 IGCSE graduates! Their dedication and hard work over the last two years, along with support provided by their teachers and parents have led them to achieve their own personal best. We are looking forward to welcoming them into Year 12,” said Ian Clayton, Head of the International Stream. fis.edu.hk
Je voudrais parler Français
The Hong Kong Institute of Languages have developed a new French Language Foundation course specifically designed for children aged four to six and seven to 12. The Hong Kong Institute of Languages has been teaching languages to students across Hong Kong for 34 years. Their new programme teaches children basic French through fundamental aspects of French culture, such as festivals, cuisine, iconic places and famous artists. Students can complete either a twomodule programme (two month’s duration) or the full four-module programme (four month’s duration); four 1.5 hour-long lessons make up a single module. The school also provides English, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese language courses. Enrol now to receive 20 percent off with their back to school promotion offer. hklanguages.com
Splashing around Montessori Academy, Mid-Levels is the biggest of the Woodland Pre-Schools and it has got to be in the running for the most impressive. After a recent refurbishment of Splash, the waterpark, it could not be looking in better condition. With the help of some specially installed underground plumbing, the children can now put on their rash vests and indulge in water games with levers and spouts, spurting fountains and misters, all without leaving the school perimeters. Catering for children from six months to six years, classes are taught either in English, bilingual or pure Mandarin from 18 months and from two years, children can be unaccompanied. woodlandschools.com expat-parent.com 47
A different breed of school With a new Chief Principal joining this month, Amelia Sewell discovers an integrated approach at Chinese Academy
hile many feel that Hong Kong’s education options can be split cleanly into either ‘international’ or ‘local’, there are in fact quite a few schools that do not technically fall into either of these categories; and the Chinese Academy is one of these, coming instead under the classification of ‘private’ school. The key aspects of Chinese Academy Primary School (CAPS) are that it is a bilingual Mandarin and English immersion curriculum. Starting at Grade 1 (aged six) children learn 60 percent of the time in English and 40 percent of the time in Putonghua, with written Chinese taught as traditional characters rather than simplified. The teaching ethos focuses around inquirybased learning, interactive engagement and creativity. Currently going up to Grade 4, the school will grow organically, with the opening of a secondary school in the near future. It is a joint venture between Confucius Hall and the International Chinese Academy Education Foundation (ICAEF), in which the aim is to provide a school with the best of eastern and western traditions, integrating “traditional Chinese culture and global perspectives”. CAPS’ strategy of bilingual immersion means that both Chinese and English are used fluidly across the curriculum by both staff and students.
It’s all Chinese to me When I met the Chief Principal, Jane Lancaster-Adlam, one of the things we discussed was whether children are able to settle into a learning environment such as this - one with such a strong Mandarin emphasis - if they do not have any Chinese language support at home. “The majority of our families are Hong Kong Chinese,” she said, “but we have started to welcome families from other International backgrounds. They’re 48 expat-parent.com
interested in the language and the culture and want their children to develop an appreciation of the place that they are living in.” The school ensures that all children as they enter Grade 1 are given the appropriate support through a tailor made language programme to support them with their language development in either Chinese or English if required. For those who come in later than Grade 1, the school will give individual support, tailoring a programme in certain weaker areas that will bring them up to the level required for normal class participation, whilst also keeping them with their peers as much as possible. “For children it only takes about two months to be very comfortable following instructions and conversing and then a bit longer for the reading and writing.”
Success stories They are seeing great results from this approach. One girl arrived from London with
a basic understanding of spoken Mandarin but almost no reading or writing skills. Within three months, she was up to the standard of her classmates’ reading level after going through a bespoke programme that focused on her weaknesses whilst still supporting her everyday learning. Another boy arrived last year from the States, from a family with no Chinese at all. The school created a plan specifically for him that was adapted from the Grade 1 transition programme. “What we needed to do was increase the interest appropriate for his age level but maintain it at a basic vocabulary so he could catch up with his peers. So for him, for verbal skills he would be with the class but for reading and writing he had his own programme,” Lancaster-Adlam explained. This individualised approach - which balances ability with age but also makes sure that students are part of the classroom as much as possible - is very unique; so often, schools can and will only provide a cookie cutter approach to each child, no
matter their specific requirements. So the CAPS attitude is refreshing.
Leading by example But then after meeting Jane LancasterAdlam, it perhaps shouldn’t be such a surprise that Chinese Academy is carving out its own path and doing it so well. Lancaster-Adlam is clearly a purebred educationalist, and curriculum development has become her specialty, particularly on effective bilingual immersion. After speaking with her, you can’t help but have great faith that she knows exactly what she’s doing.
Green and pleasant land And what of the campus? CAPS is in Causeway Bay, a stone’s throw from Hong Kong Stadium. The school’s sponsoring body is Confucius Hall, which influences the overall ethos and has provided the location; the school classrooms stand in the shadows of the imposing Confucius Hall, a grand historical building which used to be Hong Kong’s City Hall. expat-parent.com 49
education Aside from the history, here are some unusually wonderful words to write about a school in Hong Kong– the playground is enormous! And surrounded by greenery! Both of which help to make the campus a small haven away from the chaos of island life. CAPS is just finishing its second year since opening. There are plans already in place for a grand site with all the bells and whistles, which will ultimately include the through train to secondary school. In the meantime, the interim plan will see the current classroom provisions extended by a further five in the near future. Chinese Academy is an interesting option for those parents wanting to embrace the fusion of living in such a diverse place. Hong Kong is the city where east famously meets west and this is a school that acknowledges that relationship, offering an education to compliment both cultures. Chinese Academy is located at 77 Caroline Hill Rd, Causeway Bay. caps.edu.hk
PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE Jane Lancaster-Adlam Chief Principal of Chinese Academy Tell us about your teaching background I’ve been working in the field of education for the past 28 years. I started out as a Primary teacher in Cambridgeshire, England and went on to establish a kindergarten which focused on a childcentered learning approach. I have also inspected Early Years provision and worked in therapeutically informed schools. I look forward to working at the Chinese Academy and experiencing more of Hong Kong.
What do you feel are the benefits of a bilingual education? I feel that the benefits of a bilingual education are enormous, being immersed in two languages from an early age opens up so many opportunities in later life from the perspective of working in a global market. It also enables children to understand and respect different cultures; developing their personal, social and
Can you tell us a little about the curriculum? We aim to offer a broad and balanced curriculum which ensures that the whole child is developed, enabling them to reach their full potential whatever that may be to ensure that they develop self-confidence and a love for learning. Teaching in a multisensory way to meet the needs of all learners with an equal focus on both English and Chinese Language with subjects taught by qualified staff in both languages. We also ensure that the fundamental values of Chinese culture are an integral part of the curriculum. We greatly value our families and work in collaboration with them.
to research and investigate topics in a wider global forum. We also ensure that all pupils understand the importance of internet safety. Technology also opens up the opportunities for both reading, literacy and numeracy.
What role does technology play in the curriculum?
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Technology is an integrated part of the curriculum used by staff to share information about specific subject areas but more importantly to enable the children to develop their ability
When I am not working, I enjoy swimming, singing, walking my two Maltese Terriers, walking Rosie my Hong Kong-rescued Chihuahua, and travelling with family. expat-parent.com 51
big day out
credit: Kelvin Yuen
Where to go stargazing this Mid-Autumn Festival. By Jeramy Lee
High Island Reservoir
ong Kong is famous for its cityscape, but it’s starscape is equally as beautiful. While many believe Hong Kong is lacking in stars, we believe you’ve just got to know where to look. Midautumn is the perfect time to marvel at these diamonds in the sky. Here are some of the best spots.
High Island Reservoir Lie on soft sand, listen to the soothing sounds of the water lapping the shore and enjoy a panoramic view of the Milky Way above. Yes, this is as romantic as it sounds! The High Island Reservoir in Sai Kung is a great spot for an unobstructed view of the stars. Pack a beach 52 expat-parent.com
mat and a cooler bag for drinks to keep you refreshed. How to get there: From Sai Kung Town, take a green taxi to the East Dam (around $130), or if the timing is right, hop on the 94 bus to Pak Tam Chung. Alight and walk to Sai Kung Man Yee Road. From here, the walk down to the dam is around two hours.
The Astropark For avid stargazers the Astropark, located in Sai Kung East Country Park, is well worth the journey. Open 24 hours, the park is just a 10-minute walk from Chong Hing Water Sports Centre. Telescopes, binoculars and star dials
are available. If you’d like to bring your own telescope, you can apply in advance for a power supply. You can also stay the night at the sports centre – book ahead and borrow camping equipment for free. How to get there: From Sai Kung Town, take a taxi or KMB bus 94 to the Astropark. Register as a camper with the sports centre beforehand to take the free shuttle bus from Sai Kung Tang Shiu Kin Sports Ground. lcsd.gov.hk
The Hong Kong Space Museum The stars still shine, even when it rains. If the weather isn’t on your side head to the Hong
big day out Kong Space Museum for an indoor extraterrestrial experience. In addition to exhibitions, the museum will host astrophotography lectures and astronomy observation sessions until September 15. How to get there: From Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit J, walk towards Salisbury Road. The museum is opposite the Peninsula Hotel. Closed on Tuesdays. 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. lcsd.gov.hk
How to get there: From Shau Kei Wan MTR station, take exit A3 and follow the signs for bus number 9 via via Cape D’Aguilar.
Sai Yuen Camping Adventure Park
Sai Yuen Camping Adventure Park
Hong Kong’s outlying islands are the perfect place to escape from the bustling city and enjoy peace, quiet and significantly reduced light pollution. Cheung Chau’s Sai Yuen Farm offers a range of accommodation including stargazing geodesic domes, which allow guests to sleep under the stars. How to get there: Hop aboard the ferry to Cheung Chau at Central Pier 5, the journey takes around 30 minutes on the fast ferry and slightly longer on the slow ferry. 4 Tsan Tuen Road, Cheung Chau. saiyuen.com
Night photography tips Kowloon Tong resident and photographer, Kelvin Yuen won first prize in the National Geographic International Photo Contest, Taiwan Section’s Youth Division in 2015. He works with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and has collaborated with Green Power, WWF and DJI. Bring the right equipment – a tripod to stabilise the camera for a long exposure, and a lens with an ultra-wide angle (>16mm) and a big aperture (< f/1.8). Set your camera manually – vary the setting according to the situation, but generally use an ISO of 1,600-6,400, a shutter speed of 15-30 seconds and maximum aperture. Do your research – visit the Hong Kong Observatory’s website for weather updates. It’s best to go when the sky is clear, so check the phases of the moon and pick days when moonlight won’t interfere.
credit: Eddie Yip flickr
Located on the southeastern tip of Hong Kong Island, overlooking the ocean and away from the city lights, Cape D-Aguliar is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and map out the stars. Grab a head torch and hike up during the night for undisturbed views of the sky. Camp overnight and awake to a magnificent sunrise when the day breaks.
HERITAGE HOTEL RETURNS
Iconic Raffles Singapore officially reopened at the beginning of August, after two and a half years of meticulous restoration. February 2017 saw the beginning of a careful and sensitive three-phased restoration project to the flagship property, led by acclaimed interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud and supported by leading global architecture and design firm Aedas. Guests can expect new suite categories, new levels of comfort, exclusive dining concepts and of course, the fabled Raffles butler service. “The newly restored Raffles will provide an experience like no other,” said Christian Westbeld, General Manager, Raffles Singapore. “It is our wish and desire that our guests will continue to create treasured memories at the hotel, while rediscovering what makes it so special – the distinctive architecture, heritage and legendary service.” Raffles Singapore set the standard for luxury hospitality on its opening in 1887 and remains one of the few remaining 19th century hotels in the world. rafflessingapore.com expat-parent.com 55
Travel news arrival. This staycation package is available until December 31. 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. hyatt.com
48 HOURS IN ABU DHABI
HIDEAWAY IN THE HEART OF ULUWATU Boutique hotel The Clubhouse at Ulu is M.Group’s latest project in Bali. Sitting atop Uluwatu’s dramatic cliffs above the Indian Ocean, the hotel is a collection of seven stunning suites, each named and inspired by the seven legendary surf breaks surrounding the property. The suites offer uniquely designed spaces incorporating the likes of nomadinspired artwork and 1950s Californian-style furnishings. Guests will also have exclusive access to a members’ lounge, a clubhouse bar and spa treatments, as well as the island’s very own premier beach club, Ulu Cliffhouse. To celebrate the launch, M. Group is offering a special lunch at The Clubhouse. Available for stays from September 2 to December 15, 2019. Find out more at theclubhouseatulu.com
GRAND HYATT ESCAPE 24 STAYCATION PACKAGE Rise above the hustle and bustle of the city with The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s Escape 24 staycation package. Guests can enjoy 24 56 expat-parent.com
hours of luxury in the city without the worry of travelling and flights, with a one night stay and use of the hotel’s gym and outdoor swimming pool facilities. The package also includes two of four promotional options including; $1,000 dining credit, buffet breakfast for two at the Grand Café, buy-one-get-one Plateau spa treatments or champagne and strawberries on
Etihad Airways freshly announced an extension of its free Abu Dhabi stopover campaign, allowing travellers flying to or from any Etihad destinations via the UAE Capitol to enjoy a free two-night hotel stay to experience the city’s vibrant colours. The challenge is open to anyone from solo travellers to families hoping for an extraordinary travel experience. Tourists can visit cultural landmarks such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Louvre Abu Dhabi, or experience natural wonders of the Arabian Desert. Guests can also choose from a list of upscale hotels from the Riz-Carlton Grand Canal to Le Meridien Abu Dhabi. Interested parties can book their trip via a travel agent or via the Etihad website before December 1 for flights throughout December. etihad.com
travel ROSEWOOD SPREADS ITS WINGS Spot the masterpieces at Hong Kong luxury hotel Rosewood. A spectacular statue from late British sculptor Henry Moore welcomes guests into the Rosewood Lobby. The bronze sculpture Three Piece Reclining Figure, Draped 1975 explores the beauty behind the human
figure. Other art pieces can be found around the hotel, including in the Butterfly Room which exhibits a well-known series of six Zodiac paintings from famed artist Damien Hirst, symbolising life and death through butterflies. Through this selection of art pieces, Rosewood continues to achieve their philosophy of the Sense of Place, representing the diverse characteristics of their Hong Kong hotel. rosewoodhotels.com
PERKS OF OZ At the end of July, Qantas announced new perks for customers travelling to Australia in partnership with Australia’s state tourism organisations. Eligible customers can unlock a range of special offers to experience nature, wildlife and culture, including 30 percent off a surf lesson at Bondi Beach, offers at the D’Arenberg Winery in South Australia, and snorkelling with turtles in the Gold Coast. Qantas Chief Marketing Officer, Stephanie Tully, explains, “We’ve selected some of the most truly Australian experiences for our customers to access at a special rate when they book their flights with Qantas, catering to all different types of travellers.” To book Qantas Passenger Perks, customers with international flight bookings can visit qantas.com
Travel shifts up a gear Gemma Shaw heads to Taiwan as the country prepares to host one of the world’s most challenging cycle races
ver the coming weeks, cyclists across the world are gearing up to take part in what has become arguably the most challenging cycling race in Asia. The Taiwan KOM Challenge takes place annually on the last Friday of October. A gruelling 105km route sees riders climb from the seaside town of Hualien Qixingtan on Taiwan’s east coast up through Taroko National Park to the finishing point at Wuling Pass, the 3,275m summit of the highest passable road in Taiwan.
Amateurs and professionals align at the start point to tackle one of the toughest mountains on the planet. This route has all the elements to test the most experienced of riders, if the heat doesn’t get you the humidity will, if not the humidity, the altitude, or the gradient. Those who complete the climb join a list of cycling elite. Former participants include Tour de France winners Cadel Evans and Vincenzo Nibali, Olympic silver medalist Emma Pooley and former World Tour rider and media star
Phil Gaimon. Entry requirements are simple: Be 16 years old or above, and be capable of finishing the route in 6.5 hours from the official start point (the latter perhaps not so simple for us mere mortals.) This year, Taiwan KOM Challenge will take place on October 25. Former Hong Kong expat and current General Manager of Grand Hyatt Taipei, Jan-Hendrik Meidinger is an amateur cyclist who has been in training for the race over the past few months.
travel We call ourselves “Taiwan Sapiens”. Riding together gives you a sense of belonging. Hong Kong is Taipei on steroids. I want to promote Taiwan as a holiday destination. All the great things Hong Kong has, Taipei has too. Pollution, traffic and overcrowding in Taipei are not as bad as in Hong Kong. From a life, quality point of view, I enjoy living in Taiwan.
some fantastic routes in Ma On Shan and Tung Chung. Lantau Peak is commonly referred to as “the beast” in the cycling world. It’s the perfect training ground for Taiwan KOM Challenge if you fancy competing next year. When I lived at The Excelsior I would cycle a 50 km route to Sai Kung and back. Taiwan KOM is one of the most challenging rides in the world. It’s 105km long, the first 20km are flat, the rest is just uphill, until 3,275 metres. When you get to the last 2km you can see the end, that’s always the hardest part. Sign up starts in July for next year’s KOM Challenge. Look at the website for the requirements, there are different qualifications for foreigners. There are around 3,000 slots and they fill up very fast. Qualifier rides for Taiwan KOM Challenge take place in April and June. To prepare I start picking routes that resemble the competition. In this case, just pure climbing, in Taiwan you have mountains everywhere. You meet other cyclists out on the road. You get together and keep riding. We formed a group in Taipei, there are 14 of us.
Taiwan is perfect for a cycling holiday. You can base yourself in Taipei and spend the week exploring the surrounding mountains. Or, you can start here and ride to Kaohsiung. There are cycling operators here in Taipei who will help you get sorted. Come between April and September. Usually from October to January it gets wet, and wetter when you’re up in the mountains, in the cloud. I’ve taken a few of our guests at Grand Hyatt Taipei out cycling, they had a great time. We’ve lived as expats in Asia for many years. In Saigon, Hong Kong, Guam and Taiwan. We travel back to Hong Kong often so the children can visit their friends. There are a number of Asian races on my bucket list. I’m planning to conquer Alishan in Taiwan. ‘Tour of Petang’ is another great race, located off Singapore, near Indonesia. There is also a really tough five day ride in Chiang Mai. You don’t have to be a professional cyclist to take part. To find out more about entering for next year’s race visit taiwankom.org
Reaching new heights in Taiwan
Get into training Jan-Hendrik Meidinger, General Manager of Grand Hyatt Taipei is training to compete in this year’s KOM Challenge I was the General Manager of The Excelsior in Hong Kong. Cycling became a means to escape the bustle of Causeway Bay and reconnect with nature. Hong Kong is great for cycling. There are
Sun Moon Lake
travel WHILE IN TAIPEI… STAY Grand Hyatt Taipei The Grand Hyatt Taipei is the city’s first 5-star hotel, built in 1990 and fully renovated in 2014, the hotel is popular with businesstypes due to its location in the heart of the business district. However, as a weekend base from which to explore the city, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better location. The hotel adjoins to the Taipei 101 mall via a connecting walkway and a metro station just three minutes away provides direct access to the city’s underground train system via the Xinyi MRT line. 850 rooms, of which 94 are suites, offer a refreshing mix of contemporary and oriental elements and many boast impressive views on three sides, including an unbeatable view of the Taipei 101 landmark. King-sized beds and generous bathrooms featuring Ferragamo products are standard, as are an in-room Nespresso machine and complimentary water which is generously restocked. Guests staying in Club Rooms have access to the Grand Club Lounge, which offers complimentary buffet-style breakfast and ambient nightly cocktails and canapes. While residential, apartment-style suites on the top floor provide exclusive accommodation and stunning views over the city.
Grand Hyatt stands next to Taipei101
General Manager, Jan-Hendrik Meidinger has overseen the hotel since August 2017. The atmosphere he has created is warm, friendly and personal, an impressive feat for such a large Hyatt property. As a keen cyclist, he has even been known to take guests who show an interest out cycling across the mountainous terrain which surrounds the city. Taipei’s drier climate is quite literally a breath of fresh air for Hong Kongers. Lower humidity
levels provide perfect conditions to enjoy the hotel’s resort-style outdoor heated swimming pool. Club Oasis is an urban fitness centre and exclusive club which offers guests a calming environment in which to relax after a busy day exploring the city. The large gym opens 24-hours catering to those with the urge for a midnight workout. The spa opens daily until 11pm and boasts hot tubs, a cold plunge pool and sauna, steam and relaxation rooms - what better way to wind down for a restful night’s sleep. grandhyatttaipei.com
Why we’d go back • It’s about as close as you can get to Taipei 101 so you can beat the queues and head up to the observation deck on the 89th floor to enjoy virtually undisturbed views while the rest of the city is still stirring. • The resort-style heated swimming pool, cabanas, pool bar and thermal baths offer a relaxing escape from the bustle of city life that many other hotels in the city simply do not have. • The thoughtful touches. Each day we returned to the hotel to find gifts from the in-house bakery, wine and an endless supply of drinking water.
Premier Suite living room
• Stunning Views. Did we mention the views? Again, the proximity to Taipei 101 means an incredible nightscape. The hotel also overlooks a lush green park which contributes to a New York-esque vibe.
travel WHILE IN TAIPEI… DO
Jiufen This mountain town was built by the Japanese and was said to be the inspiration behind the animated film Spirited Away. Now, it’s a maze of lanes and alleyways, the centre of which can become very crowded as busloads of visitors arrive. It’s about a 1.5hour bus ride away from the centre of Taipei.
Taipei 101 Head up to the 89th floor of this architectural landmark for great views, via what was once the Guinness World Record holder for fastest elevator in the world-37 seconds to be precise. taipei-101.com.tw Ximen
Elephant Mountain, Xiangshan The hiking trail is steep with lots of steps, but the short route (take a left at the fork) is only 20 minutes of climbing and offers great views of the city, especially at sunset.
Raohe Night Market Much better than your average night market. This one is packed with fantastic food— each stall specialises in something different so ordering is easy and there is lots of variety. Think pork buns, fried squid, spicy sweetcorn, Japanese omelettes, stinky tofu fries, and much more. My favourite were the black pepper pork buns. There’s also a night market at Shilin, though it’s more touristy. Nearest MRT is Songshan Station (both the MRT Green Line 3 and train) - you can get taxis but the MRT is a great, easy-to-
use way to get around. Buses are trickier.
Ximen A really busy area, with lots of lights and people around in the evenings. Plenty of fashion shops (local and international brands) and its own night market—plus some nice bars. Exit 5 or 6 at Ximen MRT Station.
Beitou This thermal hot spring area was developed into a resort under the Japanese. The area around Xinbeitou station is filled with public and private baths, but each may have different rules on etiquette so check before entering. Book a private room in advance to avoid disappointment. We were recommended Beitou Spring City Resort by a friend—take a cab there from Xinbeitou Station.
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pork bun in the oven
With Love, Mum xo First time mum-to-be Becky Love goes woo-woo over her soon-to-be baby ga-ga
eek 37 of pregnancy and it is well and truly sinking in that in a matter of weeks… could be days… possibly even hours… I will be a mother for the first time. Well, a first time mum of a human child, that is. You see, for eight years I was the very proud mumma of our ginger cat, Fergus, which is sort of the way things go after you have been with your partner for some time. Getting a pet together is a good way to test the waters and make sure you both have what it takes to look after another living thing. And we did well. We fed the little guy, loved him, cuddled him, took selfies with him and even bought him bow ties to wear. He was our fur child. This one day in particular when we were living in Perth, I was stuck at work. My husband had the day off and it was pouring with rain - but Fergus was nowhere to be found. Being the anxious, scared cat Fergus was, it was odd that the little guy wasn’t snuggled up on the couch, hiding from the heavy rain and thunder. My husband messaged me telling me he had searched high and low, inside and out and hadn’t seen Fergus for over three hours. This was probably the first time in my life I could somewhat relate to how a mother might feel when a child lets go of her hand in the supermarket and ever so briefly moves out of sight. I panicked. All I could do was sit at work and wait to hear. Or was it? Now, I am not heavily ‘woo-woo’. I don’t often call on spirits or Gods or the universe. But I was desperate. So I opened up a new pack of post-its and wrote him a short note. It read as follows:
rgus, Dear Fe
r me. You ome ho c e e s v a lo le P dy and dad mummy ou very y s is m you and oon. ee you s much. S xo ve, Mum With Lo
Dear Son, Hi. How you doing in there buddy? This is your mum by the way, writing to you from the outside world. I hope that you’re comfy and healthy and happy. If not - kick twice really fast and I’ll see what I can do. I wanted to write to you to let you know a few things, just so you’re a bit more prepared when you enter the world. Your new room, or perhaps your new ‘womb’ is all set up and ready for your arrival. I hope you like giraffes, because I bought you a lifesize one from AliExpress which was mailed to our doorstep via Hong Kong Post. You won’t be delivered that way of course, although it would be much more convenient and hurt a lot less, if I’m being honest. You would also arrive on the date requested as from my experience, Hong Kong Post are very reliable.
Our columnist is a nervous first time mum-to-be whose hobbies have recently shifted from writing and relaxing to snacking, complaining and crying uncontrollably. I stuck the note to my computer and I waited… and I kid you not, five minutes later my husband called me to say that Fergus had wandered in through the cat door, soaking wet and scared - but he was home. Which got me thinking, could writing a letter to my unborn child somehow connect with him in the womb and let him know what I’m thinking? I had already done everything possible to prepare for his arrival. I’d set up his nursery, spoke to him and played him Clair de Lune every night since finding out he existed. So - why not take it one step further and prepare him for his own arrival? Call me crazy / hormonal / emotional - but it’s worth a shot, so here goes.
I am not sure what date we will meet in real life, but I have a feeling it will be very soon. Please don’t be alarmed when you see your dad and I for the first time as we will most likely be a blubbering mess - but do not take this as a sign of weakness. We are both strong and filled with love and will protect you as best we can forever and ever. We both also have very basic karate skills, if that helps. Lastly, if you make your entrance quick and painless, I will give you one ‘free pass’ the first time that you draw on the walls. But just once, because our home is very white and we would like our deposit back in full when we have to move. Hong Kong is very expensive, you see. We can’t wait to meet you. See you very soon. With Love, Mum xo