Hong Kong Living May 2020

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MAY 2020

your votes are in!

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CONTENTS — 0 5/ 2 0


COVER STORY The votes are in! We asked - and you replied by the sackload

2 Contributors Meet our team

6 Snapped Life on Hong Kong Island

8 THE PLANNER What’s NOT cancelled in May

10 HK educator Life aboard: Sailing on the world’s mostunique boarding school

11 Must haves Our picks for Mother’s Day

13 News

26 Dining

33 Books & podcasts

Restaurants in a post-Covid world. Plus, food for thought from Jonathan Zeman

28 outdoors

Social distancing.. these reads should keep you entertained

35 Pets & gardening

HK’s top yogis share their favourite hikes

31 Zim City

Monthly news on homely matters

36 Backpage

Paul Zimmerman walks the circumference of Hong Kong Island

Nury Vittachi lightens the mood


32 Horoscopes What’s in store for Hongkongers this month?

Truly local news




16 33 “Hong Kong is a wonderful, mixed-up town where you’ve got great food and adventure” - Anthony Bourdain

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hongkongliving.com talk@hongkongliving.com @hongkongliving facebook.com/hongkongliving852

Editorial Managing Editor Gemma Shaw, gemma@hongkongliving.com Editor Melanie Cox, melanie@hongkongliving.com

To say 2020 is full of changes would be an understatement. It’s human nature, that we adapt, survive and thrive but not all of us shift with grace. That being said; it is an honour and a privilege to take on the role as editor of Hong Kong Living Magazine from our managing editor Gemma Shaw as she prepares to have her first baby in the coming weeks. So here I am, writing my first ever editor’s letter in the age of a pandemic. As a print magazine it’s tough thinking what we say today could be outdated by tomorrow. Many local businesses are closing up or dramatically scaling back operations to stop the spread and those deemed essential by the government, continue to serve our city creatively and heroically. Now is the time to support our local businesses as best we can. And that’s what this issue is about; a shift to focus on the positives. 2020 may be on pause, but we can still celebrate businesses who dedicate their time and energy to make Hong Kong a world-class city in our annual Hong Kong Living Awards 2020 on page 16. We also shine a light on those who are brave enough to take opportunities. Business magnate Jonathan Zeman shares forward-planning strategies on page 27 while yogi’s Victor, Siena and Luke share how hiking outdoors compliments inner peace on page 28. We’ve got your back Hong Kong. Stay strong — we’ll see you next month!

Contributing Editor Nicole Slater, nicole@hongkongliving.com Editorial Assistant Charmaine Ng, charmaineng@hongkongliving.com Design Graphic Designers Alvin Cheng, alvin@hongkongliving.com Vicky Lam, vicky@hongkongliving.com Sales & Marketing Director of Content Hilda Chan, hilda@hongkongliving.com Head of Digital Content Isamonia Chui, isamonia@hongkongliving.com Partnership Managers Chrissie Ip, chrissie@hongkongliving.com Elaine Li, elaine@hongkongliving.com Digital Digital Editor Apple Lee, apple@hongkongliving.com Publisher Tom Hilditch, tom@hongkongliving.com Thanks to Yankee Leung Paul Zimmerman Graham Uden Contact us Admin: 3568 3722 | Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772

Stay strong Hong Kong

You may have noticed that we’re at a reduced number of pages. These are tough times for everyone and just like other small businesses in Hong Kong, we are rationing. Hopefully things will return to normal soon. For now, we’ve squeezed the same great content into this slightly smaller issue. We hope it fills you with positivity for this great city in which we live.

Want to write for Hong Kong Living Magazine? Contact editorial@hongkongliving.com 2 | hongkongliving.com

Published by Hong Kong Living Ltd, Room 2B, LG1 floor, Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222-226 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong Printer Apex Print Limited, TPTL 13 Dai Kwai St, Tai Po Ind Estate, Tai Po, Nt Hong Kong Living Magazine is published by Hong Kong Living Ltd.This magazine is published on the understanding that the publishers, advertisers, contributors and their employees are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors and omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication. The publisher, advertisers, contributors and their employees expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, whether a reader of this publication or not, in respect of any action or omission by this publication. Hong Kong Living Ltd 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 in any way, part or format without written permission from the publisher.

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Alvin Cheng

Jonathan Zeman

Alvin is an experienced graphic designer who has worked on Hong Kong publications including HK Magazine, New Travel Magazine and Kee Magazine. He is also heavily involved in the fitness scene and is a NASM certified trainer. Using both sides of his brain helps Alvin maintain a balanced lifestyle.

Jonathan Zeman is the Chief Executive Officer of Lan Kwai Fong Group leading various property development and redevelopment projects in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chengdu and other parts of China as well as award winning projects in Phuket Thailand. Zeman shares positivity and wisdom on how The group is steering LKF through tougher times on page 26. lankwaifong.com

Luke Graebar

You will recognise former accountant Luke Graebar’s eye-catching and mind boggling backbending yoga photos on Instagram. Specialising in all things balance including AcroYoga, backbends and handstands, check out Luke’s personal insight into living mindfully on and off the mat on page 28. @lukegraeber

Victor Chau

Siena Tsang

Known as “Siena T”, this pilates, yoga instructor and reiki practitioner is on the rise across the yoga and wellness scene. Having only relocated to Hong Kong a few years ago from Canada, Siena attributes how nature compliments yoga and mindfulness to stay balanced amidst the hustle and bustle on page 28. @siiiena 4 | hongkongliving.com

Victor is the Programme co-Director of IRIS: Your Escape and founder of the Mentorship Group. With nearly 5,000 hours of yoga teaching under his belt, Victor has run over 50 yoga workshops, retreats and teacher training courses as well as conferences in over 20 cities worldwide. It’s no wonder Victor finds downtime by rising up high with hiking on page 28. @victorchauyoga

Nury Vittachi

Nury Vittachi is the award-winning Hong Kong-based author of more than 40 books, several of which have been published internationally in multiple languages. His journalism has appeared in more than a dozen publications, including The New York Times and Reader’s Digest. He shares his latest musings on page 36. nury@vittachi.com

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PEOPLE Snapped this month

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Hong Kong Living team out and about this month

We’re on Facebook

Scan here to view the full photo album hongkongliving.com | 7


Events still going ahead in May MAY 1

Labour Day Let’s kick off the month with a public holiday!

MAY 6, 13, 20, 27

Night Tamar Meow Yoga Unwind with a midweek outdoor yoga class overlooking Hong Kong’s iconic harbour. 7.30pm8.30pm. $180. Tamar Park, Harcourt Road, Admiralty. Facebook: meowyogahk

MAY 11, 17

Lululemon Yoga Immersion

PIX CREDIT: Graham Uden

An upside-down journey of transforming yoga practices with Victor Chau at Fivelements Habitat and The Yoga Room. From $100. victorchauyoga.com

MAY 16

Pottinger GreenRace 2020 Choose from a 15k, 7k or 4k trail at The 5th annual Pottinger GreenRace. 8am-1pm. From $200. Pottinger Gap, Shek O. runnerreg.com

MAY 10

Mother’s Day Don’t forget to buy a gift - see page 11 for ideas.


Roganic’s Baking Classes Bake soda bread and apple tarts at this Michelinstarred restaurant’s first-ever baking workshop series led by Executive Chef Oli Marlow. $1,000. Shop 8, UG/F, Sino Plaza, 255 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay. roganic.com.hk


MAY 31

A Finnish patisserie pop-up by Chef Eric Räty and his wife Can Räty serving freshly baked creations. Shop 3, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun. testkitchen.com.hk

Race around Hong Kong Island and enjoy spectacular views of Victoria Harbour and the iconic skyline. 7.30am-7.30pm. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Sports Centre. allevents.in

Mr. & Mrs. Marshmallow

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Round the Island 60


Spartan Virtual Race Beta Join the 5km obstacle sprint – social distancing style. The race features over 10 courses across Hong Kong for you to complete at your own pace. Free. bit.ly/spartanvrbetahk over until social distancing ends. facebook.com/ islandshangrila


MAY 9, 23

The Oriental Spa Live Wellness Class

Virtual Pizza-making Party

Led by The Oriental Spa’s expert trainers, the classes include energising HIIT sessions and yang to yin yoga practice. Free. facebook.com/ thelandmarkmandarinoriental


Live stream classes with Twinkle Dance Company Twinkle Dance Company is now hosting free weekday online dance classes. Adult dance classes are also available on their Facebook page. Free. twinkledance.com

MAY 1, 8

The Hive x Belvedere Vodka presents: Online Cocktail Workshop Create perfect cocktails with different recipes each class. thehive.com.hk


Black Sheep Restaurants’ popular pizza parlour Motorino is taking classes online. Pre-order your pizza making kit and cook along with Chef Luca Marinelli. $208. motorinohongkong.com

MAY 6-11

Hong Kong’s Ballet: Barre Classes Online Take ballet classes at home using only a chair! Expert dancers have put together a barre series to help others develop the grace for ballet. hkballet.com


#ShangriLaAtHome Bob’s Cocktail Session Beef up your cocktail-making skills to tide you


Floral Naked Cake for Mother’s Day Tune in for a live baking session hosted by Baking Maniac’s founder Ankrish Gidwani and bake a cake for your mum this Mother’s Day. 12 noon. instagram. com/bakingmaniachk

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

OCT 16-18

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Postponed from the original March date, this year’s tournament is set to be bigger and better than ever! 55 Eastern Hospital Road, Causeway Bay. hksevens.com

SEPT 26-27

IRIS: Your Escape This is the largest outdoor health and fitness festival in Hong Kong offering over 80 yoga and fitness activities led by famed instructors. Central Harbourfront Event Space. irishkg.com

OCT 30

DEC 12-13

A three-day music and arts festival hosted by Hong Kong creative agency, FuFu in the serene surroundings of Cheung Chau. Sai Yuen Farm, Cheung Chau. shifumiz.com

The Hong Kong version of electronic music festival, Creamfields. From 1pm. Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District. livenationelectronic.asia

Shi Fu Miz Festival 2020

Creamfields Hong Kong

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Trip of a lifetime

activities include student-led clubs such as baking, yoga, music, fitness, arts & crafts and poetry.

Matthieu Aemisegger discusses life aboard one of the world’s most unique international boarding schools. By Melanie Cox

On the Sørlandet we have a tradition called watch wars. Each watch consists of ten students competing against other watches in karaoke, a spelling bee, trivia, maritime events, and best of all tug of war.

A+ World Academy is owned by the Sørlandet Foundation which operates the 90 year old Norweigen ship Sørlande. Our campus is the oldest active fully rigged tall ship in the world. A+ World Academy is a high school and gap year program that sails to 20 cities in 14 countries on four different continents. The education program entails attending one year or graduating the A+ World Academy in two years with the AP Capstone Diploma. The Sørlandet Boarding School experience is like no other because students develop life skills such as leadership, resilience, grit, accountability, and teamwork…characteristics that will lead them to success in both university and in life.

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An education at sea offers the opportunity to be part of a close-knit community with a role as a team player. This involves taking part in ship “watches” as part of the mariner crew and participating in scrubbing, cleaning, and sharing the duties on board.

The graduates of A+ World Academy are outstanding because they have completed a rigorous and unique program at sea on the oldest active fully rigged tall ship in the world!

Our students don’t just worry about getting to class on time, they deal with real issues such as monitoring water consumption, environmental impacts and living in a socially conscious way to reduce pollution. A+ World Academy students are pushed to their limits in every aspect including intellectual, social, physical, and cultural while learning to be proactive problem solvers with practical experience and developing a global perspective. It’s not all work and study, favourite

Curious to know more about A+ World Academy students program and the Sørlande Boarding School experience? Get on board at aplusworldacademy.org


Yummy mummies

Mrs Elegant vase arrangement

Gorgeous gifts for Mother’s Day. By Nicole Slater

$1,580 from M Florist mflorist.hk

The ritual of Sakura renewing collection $390 from Rituals rituals.com

Fruit acid peel $660 from Vinoble Cosmetics vinoble-cosmetics.asia

Miscoso primo ecoffee cup $160 from LiveZero livezero.hk

Mother and daughter heart split dangle charm $699 from Pandora hk.pandora.net

Chloé l’eau eau de toilette $780 from Lane Crawford lanecrawford.com.hk

Eternal flower smartphone case $379 from Swarovski swarovski.com

Shangri La crystal vase Perrier Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé 2006 Champagne $1,798 from Vinoble vinoble.hk

$2,500 from Katharine Pooley Boutique katharinepooley.com

Rose garden gift box $310 from La Maison du Chocolat lamaisonduchocolat.hk

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VISITOR ARRIVALS DROP BY 99% The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced 82,000 visitor arrivals to Hong Kong in March, a drop of nearly 99% from the same time last year. Before mid-March, the number of arrivals in Hong Kong was around 3,000 to 4,000 per day. However, from March 19 onwards, nonHong Kong residents arriving in the city were requested to undergo compulsory quarantine, and subsequently, average daily visitors fell to about 1,000. March 25 saw a further dip as

non-Hong Kong residents coming from overseas were banned outright from entering Hong Kong. At the beginning of April, average daily visitors dropped to below 100. Whilst tourism may not be top on the priority list right now, the HKTB is working on several initiatives for Hong Kong’s tourism industry to take place after the pandemic abates. Plans include collaborating with retail and dining sectors to roll out promotional campaigns and more.

HOME DELIVERY SUPPORT FOR ISOLATING ELDERLY More than 40 percent of Hong Kong’s elderly live in poverty and are struggling to make ends meet. These elderly are more in need now than ever as they practise selfisolation and stay at home. Elderly centres, which stay in constant contact with these individuals to assess their needs, are usually a life-line for these vulnerable individuals. However, they are currently operating with dramatically reduced staff and struggling to provide the degree of support needed. To help, local charity HandsOn Hong Kong is seeking volunteers to deliver Covid-19 relief packages to the city’s low-income elderly. These packages include necessity food items, as well as masks and hand sanitiser. Teams

Interior and furniture store Indigo Living has just launched their newest seasonal looks. For spring and summer 2020, botanical florals, art deco and warm neutrals are in. Make the most of your time at home and give your abode a makeover with Indigo Living’s new collection. Some standout pieces they have introduced include the Botanical Cabinet from the Botanical Home line; the Perry Chair from the Miami Chic line; and the Cooper Armchair from the Organic Luxe line. indigo-living.com


of two volunteers each will assemble Care Packages before delivering them to elderly households. HandsOn Hong Kong has taken all safety precautions and each volunteer will receive their own protective items. To volunteer, visit handsonhongkong.org With the coronavirus wreaking havoc on travel plans, Cathay Pacific is offering customers the flexibility to make free and unlimited changes to all new tickets issued before June 30, up to one year after the initial purchase. The airline’s usual fees will be waived and customers can alter their travel dates or pick a new destination as many times as they like. For more information, visit cathaypacific.com

POSTCARDS FOR A PLASTIC FREE WORLD Working with design house Paper-Roses, Hong Kong-based environmental charity Plastic Free Seas has launched Postcards for a Plastic Free World. Three stunning wildlife artworks, which highlight the impact of Hong Kong’s plastic pollution crisis on our green sea turtles, whale sharks and Chinese white dolphins, can be purchased to help fund the work of the charity. Paper-Roses will be

donating a portion of the sales of each set of postcards to support the Plastic Free Seas education programme in Hong Kong schools which teaches the next generation about the plastic-waste crisis. The postcards are professionally printed on recycled paper and are a great way to connect with loved ones during this time of crisis. To purchase, visit plasticfreeseas.org

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With the easy access to cocktails and known to be one of Hong Kong’s most famous beaches, it’s no wonder these sandy shores were voted Hong Kong’s best beach!

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Who says you can’t win big in 2020? 2020 may be on hiatus, but that doesn’t mean we can’t shine a spotlight on the achievements of businesses who dedicate their time and energy to make Hong Kong a world-class city.


THE PURE GROUP The Pure Group is the leading lifestyle brand in Asia comprising of five core businesses: Pure Yoga, Pure Fitness, Pure Apparel and nood food. Based in Hong Kong, the group has gone from a single yoga studio with just two teachers in 2002 to over 20 distinctive facilities in prime locations across Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei and New York. pure-fitness.com / pure-yoga.com

Our core value is to help people lead healthier, happier lives, what an honour to be recognised by the readers! Gary Wise, Regional Marketing Director, the Pure Group hongkongliving.com | 17




Thank you for this honour – arriving just as we celebrate 15 years of Pilates, Barre and Yoga!



Multi-award winning and leading day spa Sense of Touch takes home our best beauty salon award once again, and it’s no surprise. With premium spa and beauty services across Hong Kong, being pampered couldn’t be any more convenient. Treat yourself to one of their many traditional treatments, or something that will give you long-lasting results. Either way, you will walk away feeling relaxed and spoilt. senseoftouch.com.hk

Award winning PRIVATE i SALON is the designated premier salon for Hong Kong’s upscale clientele, tourists and celebrities worldwide. When it comes to investing in worthy self-care, our readers selected this stylish salon thanks to locations across Hong Kong offering a wide range of services including hair, make-up, manicure, pedicure, professional hair products, with comfortable VIP rooms and make-up rooms. privateisalon.com

We are thrilled to receive your support for Sense of Touch. Our spas will continue to strive for excellence in pampering and beautifying treatments. 18 | hongkongliving.com



Mind and movement lie at the heart of what Flex is about. This premium, boutique fitness studio is recognised as Hong Kong’s home of Classical Pilates. With branches in Southside and Central, Flex caters to the needs of individuals across all fitness levels through a highly flexible and personalised range of small group classes, workshops, retreats, corporate packages and instructor training. flexhk.com

Thank you to our clients and loyal followers who have continuously supported our brand since 1996 as we continue to drive beauty and style.


Facemask and Hand Santiser


Tiger King Joe Exotic



Better Air Quality Excess Toiler Paper

Work From Home



For the second year running, our readers choose Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong located in Wong Chuk Hang on Island South, thanks to their state-of-the-art, multi-specialty private tertiary hospital designed to provide Hongkongers with high quality and accessible healthcare services. Gleneagles also contributes to the training and development of healthcare professionals and advancement of clinical research. gleneagles.hk




Local heroes shoutout To the healthcare workers fighting coronavirus: This one goes out to all the brave doctors, nurses and more who are working to fight the Covid-19 pandemic to keep our city safe by saving lives while risking their own.

We truly appreciate the continued support from Hong Kong Living readers for the second consecutive year! This accolade recognises our dedicated effort to achieve excellence.


With one restaurant, two bars and ten bowling lanes, Tikitiki Bowling Bar is a favourite amongst those living not only in Sai Kung but across Hong Kong. An entertainment venue perfect for a family day out, couples date night or a friendly catch-up, it’s no wonder Tikitiki has been voted a favourite amongst our readers! With a live band on weekends and creative cocktails that will hit your sweet spot, Tikitiki is the ultimate rainy day activity. tikitiki.hk

We are delighted and proud to accept such an accolade from a publication that rates experiences first-hand according to their readers opinions.




We only want the best for our furry friends - they’re family after all! Pets Central is the leading veterinary and animal care hospital in Hong Kong, and a favourite amongst our readers. Two of their hospitals are set to operate on a 24/7 basis, so you have peace of mind that they are there for you, any time of the day. petscentral.com

Our staff are thrilled to be recognised as the leading veterinary care and animal hospital in Hong Kong! Peter de Krassel, Chairman, Pets Central hongkongliving.com | 19



WOODLAND PRE-SCHOOLS For over 40 years, Woodland Pre-Schools has set the standard in Hong Kong for quality early years education, ensuring the best start and easy transition into primary years. Both parents and children will find that Woodland boasts a wide variety of advantages, ensuring a wonderful, convenient and comprehensive pre-school experience for every family. woodlandschools.com


DRAGON’S BACK In 2019, the Dragon’s Back Trail was selected by CNN as one of the world’s 23 best trails. Easy to see why! Simple to get to, and a fairly easy hike with scenic views, Dragon’s Back is a hit amongst our readers, locals and out-of-towners.



With a world-class, purpose-built Primary School and Pre-school facility in Tseung Kwan O, Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong was built with an ambitious and singular focus: to provide the very best international primary school education in Hong Kong. The votes reflect their hard work winning “Best Primary School”. shrewsbury.edu.hk

As one of the leading International Schools in Hong Kong - it comes as no surprise that Nord Anglia have been awarded the ‘Best Secondary School’ trophy. They believe that there is no limit to what their students can achieve and encourage them to be ambitious, whilst offering a supportive and premium education with high-quality learning. nordangliaeducation.com

As an ambitious community committed to the delivery of the highest possible standards, we feel extremely proud to have been named Best Primary School by Hong Kong Living! 20 | hongkongliving.com



We are honoured to be recognised once again as the best pre-school in Hong Kong. We look forward to welcoming more children to our Woodland Journey. Rae Lang, Director of Teaching and Learning

We are sincerely grateful for this nomination and appreciate the support of the readers and parents who acknowledge our efforts to develop a stimulating learning environment.



MALVERN COLLEGE HONG KONG WIth an impressive 150-year history, Malvern College Hong Kong seeks to develop forward-thinking, independent individuals who demonstrate strength of character, confidence, responsibility and compassion. Their rich and varied learning environment encourages inquisitive and critical learning, preparing students to face life and the challenges that lie ahead following graduation. malverncollege.org.hk



Minisport Hong Kong proudly teaches a variety of sports to over 400 children per week through school programmes, holiday camps, private classes, events and birthday parties. Their mature and professional team pride themselves on offering a bright and fun environment for kids so that they can benefit physically and mentally and also learn to work solo or as a team. sportsclassesforkidshk.com

Competition for a seat in Hong Kong’s schools has spiked along with its notoriously difficult school entrance exam systems. Parents are often pressured to find the right tools to give their kids an advantage over others. With too many tutoring centers to count, our readers chose The Edge as their top pick for helping children achieve their very best. theedge.com.hk

Thank you from all of our team at Minisport, it’s an honour to work with your children!



For the second year in a row, this award bears testament to the passion of all members of the school community - pupils, staff and parents - and their commitment to a genuinely holistic education.

We are committed to providing the best educational services to reach your academic goals General Manager, Henry Wong hongkongliving.com | 21





With more attention turning to high quality tailored dwellings, it is no wonder that our readers chose Haven Design as a favourite interior designer in Hong Kong. Haven Design’s aesthetic style is versatile and flexible, concentrating on providing a personalized solution for its clients. havendesign.com.hk

This prestigious property is located on Old Peak Road in Mid-Levels offering quality living and elegant lifestyle.The panoramic views of Victoria Harbour are undoubtedly some of the best in Hong Kong and the open-air sky garden on the 23rd floor is the perfect place to catch the Chinese New Year fireworks. With health, fitness and wellness facilities and equipment at the gym and spa complex, the living is easy. queensgarden.com

Thank you for honoring us with your vote, Haven Design will continue to create amazing interiors! Mary Wong, Designer and founder, Haven Design





When it comes to personal or gifts for loved ones, G.O.D is the quintessential Hong Kong lifestyle brand, featuring homeware, fashion and premium gifts with a distinct Hong Kong flair. Its tongue-incheek interpretation of Hong Kong design and culture is a hit for our readers, locals and outof-towners alike! god.com.hk

Labelled the “epitome of gracious and sophisticated living”, it comes as no surprise that The Repulse Bay is this year’s winner. With luxury seaview serviced and unfurnished apartments for short and long term We are delighted to win this award for the lease connected to its modern seventh year in a row. It is shopping arcade, restaurants wonderful to be recognised and a superb clubhouse within as Hong Kong’s ultimate walking distance, The Repulse Bay oceanfront residential continues to provide an unrivalled complex, offering quality service and professional relaxing environment like no other in management. Hong Kong. therepulsebay.com

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What an honour! We are so grateful to our customers for more than 20 years of support and will continue to champion Hong Kong culture through homes and overseas. Douglas Young, CEO and Co-founder, G.O.D




As the most anticipated building and hotel opening in 2019; it should be no surprise that our readers voted Rosewood as the best hotel in the city with its exceptional world-class hospitality. Soaring over the harbour, the 5-star Hong Kong luxury hotel is often hailed as the crown jewel of the Victoria Dockside arts/ design district. rosewoodhotels.com



Offering everything you need to design that dream space with in-house furniture design, styling teams and a dedicated interior design team, it is no surprise that our readers head to Indigo Living when furnishing the most important room of one’s apartment - the bedroom. indigo-living.com/hk

Relocating is a team effort, and Crown Relocations have been voted the best relocation service due to their outstanding team. With over 50 years experience, you’re guaranteed they will get the job done, hassle-free. crownrelo.com

Thank you to everyone for their support over the past 40 years and especially during these trying times - we know you have many choices out there. We are proud to be a HK home-grown company. John McLennan, Founder and Executive Chairman, Indigo Living




As a boutique sleepshop, we are grateful to win the best mattress in Hong Kong knowing sustainability has found its way into Hong Kong’s homes and bedrooms!


With sustainability being a key trend this 2020; eco-friendly Okooko by European Bedding is the people’s choice when it comes to premium bedding catering to all bed sizes including baby cots and children sizes alongside custom sizing in Hong Kong and Singapore. Organic latex mattresses which are naturally anti-dustmite & hypoallergenic can be complimented with their organic latex pillows, ergonomic wood bed base and bamboo sheets. europeanbedding.hk

GATEWAY APARTMENTS When thinking of an ideal “home away from home” our readers chose Gateway Apartments located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui. Boasting sweeping views of the iconic skyline and Kowloon with prestigious harbourfront lifestyle on Hong Kong’s famous Kowloon Peninsula, Gateway Apartments provide a wide variety of apartment types, ranging from studios to 3-bedroom penthouses. gatewayapartments.com.hk

Gateway Apartments is honored to be awarded as “Best Serviced Apartment”, demonstrating our excellent service and high recognition from the readers.



If it’s good enough for Kate Middleton to use the Sleepover Elegance stroller for Prince George, it’s good enough for our kids, said Hong Kong Living readers! It’s no wonder that this British brand is the leader of the stroller market having pioneered ultrastyle babycare since 1877. silvercrossbaby.com

Our readers know they’ll be in great hands with OKAY.com (“Home” in Cantonese) – which is why they were voted as Hong Kong’s best real estate agents. OKAY.com has the most up-to-date listings and responsive property agents to help you find your next home or property investment. With a website complete with insights, analysis and property news, you can be sure you’re getting the right information from agents in-the-know. OKAY.com

Silver Cross has been loved and trusted by families for over 140 years. This award will be proudly displayed in our flagship store in K11 Musea. David Abbott, Global Head of Brand, Silver Cross





We are honored and privileged to be recognized from the industry and our customers as the Best Relocation Company. Hazel Chan, Regional Marketing Manager for Greater China

Thank you, HK Living readers! We love what we do and are grateful to have wonderful clients. CEO Joshua Miller hongkongliving.com | 23









We’re resilient

Food paradise

The best of the East & West

Energy of this city



As the world’s biggest and most trusted retail specialist in newborn and parenting products, our readers voted Mothercare as their reliable source to find everything needed for mothers, mothers-to-be, babies and young children under one roof. mothercare.com.hk

Our readers have a taste for the better things in life! This Michelin-starred restaurant needs no introduction to fine diners and wine aficionados. Caprice is the pinnacle of nouvelle cuisine thanks to spacious interiors matched with A-grade exemplary service. With its extensive selection of wines and Chef Guillaume Galliot’s inventive take on a classic French savoir-faire, it is the perfect setting for special occasions, family milestones, and power lunches. fourseasons.com



Besides Bruce Lee, dim sum, daredevil construction with bamboo and a skyline like no other, one precedent which separates Hong Kong from the rest of the metropolitan city pack is its efficiency. Public transport is one example, notorious for being affordable, clean and on time. So convenient that often travelling in other parts of the world can feel slow and outdated.


Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is honoured to receive this award. It is a testament to the art and craftsmanship of Guillaume Gaillot and his dedicated team. 24 | hongkongliving.com


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Restaurants in a post-Covid world

Will our F&B scene ever be the same again? Apple Lee asks

Hong Kong, like many cities around the world, is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Since late March, the city’s restaurants have been implementing social distancing measures including allowing no more than four people at each table, keeping 1.5 metres apart between each table and requiring guests to wear face masks when they are not eating. These measures mean that many restaurants are rethinking the way they operate to keep their doors open amid the ongoing pandemic.

Malcolm Wood

When looking ahead to the rest of 2020, the future remains unclear. Under this climate of uncertainty, restaurants are facing immense pressure to act quickly and put together various contingency plans.

Founder of Ask for Alonzo

We ask three Hong Kong restaurateurs to share insights on their outlook for the rocky months ahead.

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Co-Founder and Group Managing Director of Maximal Concepts Hong Kong is highly unlikely to see a return of international tourism within 2020, so we need to look towards our local community for domestic business and see better regulations and better support from our own government. Without these two things, the future of the industry is uncertain.

Bart Szyniec It will be no surprise that 2020 will be very hard for the F&B industry. With high rents, low margins and declining revenue, not many operators will survive. The coronavirus will last for at least six to 12 months, which will change the dining scene completely. Malcolm Wood

F&B REBIRTH It is maybe finally the time to look into lease laws and rent ratios across Hong Kong, it has been unreasonable for a very long time compared to the rest of the world, and we have a chance to change the market for the better for years to come.

Battle-Ready Leadership Business magnate Jonathan Zeman sheds light on Lan Kwai Fong’s darker times

Jonathan Zeman CEO, Lan Kwai Fong Group

Manuel Palacio

Manuel Palacio Co-Founder of Pirata Group 2020 is a big year for reset, reflection and change. There will always be new opportunities once things calm down, a lot of opportunities that we don’t know of at the moment. We all have to start from zero and that’s where creativity comes into play. Creating great guest experiences will continue to be at the top of our priorities. We will all have to become more guest-centric than ever. There is a high chance that casual dining and great value for money will be the way forward, but we can’t anticipate at this moment. I think that those who listen and adapt will do well, perhaps not in a few months’ time but in 12 to 18 months’ time. Resilience and long term thought will be paramount in running a strong future business. There are very interesting times ahead, shall we make it to the end of this all, and if not, we will do it again with a bright smile.

What are your priorities to ensure the safety of your staff and your guests during these tricky times? We have instituted a range of strict hygiene and safety practices. Our policy relies on minimising contact between staff and customers, including reducing the number of touch points in restaurants as well as monitoring staff and customers for symptoms. Promoting the use of masks and hand sanitiser is very important to us. We have also arranged for a regular testing program by a registered doctor of our frontline F&B staff to ensure that there are no infections. Lastly, we request contact details for customers so that any contact tracing can be done, if necessary. What proactive measures have you put in place in your restaurants to minimise the impact of Covid-19? The main ways have been to increase delivery business with new high quality, well-priced delivery menus for all of our outlets. It’s a fine balance as we want to have customers, but at the same time, we don’t want to create a situation where there are too many people in close contact with each other. We have a 2-for-1 promotion on all kinds of items which has been popular as it really delivers great value.

As a landlord to many businesses in LKF, what has been the impact on your properties and tenants? Over the past month, business at restaurants and bars in Lan Kwai Fong has been hit very hard. Yes, there were some cases reported of people who were infected overseas visiting F&B outlets in Lan Kwai Fong, however, these same people visited many places in Hong Kong and were not, in fact, infected in the Lan Kwai Fong area. There was a cluster of cases of infection within bars that covered three different districts in Hong Kong – one of which was in Lan Kwai Fong – but this was not necessarily a “Lan Kwai Fong” problem. Unfortunately, the misreporting has caused an overwhelming number of people to believe that Lan Kwai Fong itself is an “infected area”. Are there any positives you would like to share with Hongkongers in a post Covid-19 world? I think everyone in the world has learnt that we need to slow down a bit. We need to take care of and invest in our health. We need to spend more quality time with our loved ones. We need to treat the Earth with the respect and reverence that it deserves. We need to make sure that our businesses are sustainable. And we need to be ready to help others in need – and that can be with anything: kindness, face masks, understanding or just donating our time!

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Nature calls:

get out to go within Hong Kong’s top yogis share their favourite hikes out of the city to find peace within. By Melanie Cox Getting into a meditative state to cultivate inner peace doesn’t require a yoga mat. Put on your hiking boots and head on one of these recommended hikes for a completely zen, moving meditation.

Luke Graeber Yoga Teacher & Photography @lukegraeber Where is your favourite hike in Hong Kong to cultivate inner peace? Long Ke Wan Beach in Sai Kung District. I love water, especially being by the ocean. When I go hiking I don’t bring my phone with me, so it’s a chance to shut off from the many distractions I have and enjoy being fully absorbed in life. The beauty of being out in nature is that it is easy to acquire a feeling that everything in existence is inherently interconnected, from us humans to the trees, we are all just small parts that make up the whole. Does hiking compliment yoga and mindfulness? Yoga is a system to connect with the all encompassing underlying reality, to eradicate the boundaries of individuality and flow with existence, hiking in nature can assist in the feeling of boundlessness. Hiking is a very

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enjoyable and interesting activity, there are many beautiful things to pay attention to and stay focused in the present moment. Do you feel the need to “escape” the city? Yes definitely, I feel too much time in the city without any access to some form of nature can cause extra stress and anxiety, being in nature is very healing for my body and mind.

Since Covid-19, do you feel the need to get out more often? The current situation definitely makes me feel confined but I have my morning practices to deal with feelings that arise. Additionally, meditation, pranayama, asana and studying yoga philosophy are my daily practices that give me all the inner peace I need, plus so much more.

OUTDOOR ZEN Is hiking a form of meditation and mindfulness to you? Yes, definitely. There is a form of meditation or therapy called forest bathing where one can surround themselves in nature, stimulate the senses to revitalise the mind, body and spirit within us.

Siena T Yoga and Pilates Teacher, Reiki Practitioner @siiiena Where is your favourite hike to cultivate inner peace? My ultimate favorite would be Lantau’s Sunset Peak. This hike in particular, is deeper into the green of Hong Kong with panoramic views. Whether it’s to catch a sunrise or a sunset every time I go, I’m always taken away by the beauty of it.

Yoga practices mindfulness and my take on this is being grateful for the present moment. When I immerse myself in such breathtaking surroundings, it is hard not to appreciate the nature that this hike embodies within me. This is a friendly reminder and a treat for myself to take those deeper breaths of gratitude, particularly when feeling overwhelmed by city life.

Where is your favourite hike to cultivate inner peace? Violet Hills and the Twins. It is easy to get to, relatively physically challenging, beautiful scenery and I can always end up on a beach or have fish and chips and a beer in Stanley. When I climb up those 1,000 plus steps on the Twins, one has to go into a trance, count the steps and breaths in order to endure the steps. When you count your steps, it’s

For those that cannot easily access nature, what tools do you use to be mindful during Covid-19? The one thing I have learned from isolation and social distancing is to feel okay with doing nothing. To appreciate slowing down and taking the time to do things that I normally wouldn’t have time to do if I were on my usual packed schedule. Me time.

What is your favourite thing about being out in nature? Disconnecting with the convenience of technology and our modern world. To take a break from the norms and routines of everyday life and just breathe. Hiking and nature are always available to us. It’s us, who are often too busy and distracted with our everyday lives to appreciate it’s offering. By recognising that we need to get some fresh air or exercise, we are taking

the equivalent of counting your breath. This promotes a meditative state and ultimately inner peace.

Victor Chau Yoga Teacher, IRIS: Your Escape Programme co-director

our first steps of mindfulness in our own wellbeing.

How does hiking compliment yoga and mindfulness? I’ve climbed mountains all over the world and there’s an element of appreciation of nature wherever I go. Sometimes when people go hiking, they listen to music on their bluetooth speaker, chat loudly, or take a selfie. Yes, this can satisfy our socialising needs. But it is really worthwhile to stay quiet, notice our surroundings. Be aware of the number of steps you take, notice the plants and birds chirping around you. See the change in the colour of the bushes. All these can help you be more aware of nature, and your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Gradually you will notice things you have never noticed before, about the hike or better still, about yourself.

Is hiking a form of meditation to you? Most definitely. One form of meditation is counting one’s breath. Meditation by definition is bringing your focus onto one thing, not to empty the mind. And breathing is one of the easier focal points to rest on. Especially when hiking at a steady pace, knowing that you’re not in a rush, you can count your breath, or your steps (think of the 1,000 plus steps!). You will finish the hike with a clearer mind and two sore legs.

Do you feel the need to “escape” the city? Yes and no. Thanks to yoga, I have learnt how to stay calm and positive in almost every situation. I have this unwritten rule that when the sun’s out, I will go out a little - take a walk, do yoga or go for jog. I think if we keep a curious mind, there’s much to explore in Hong Kong’s countryside and even different neighbourhoods.

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Hong Kong Island coastal trail Paul Zimmerman’s cancelled Easter getaway leads him to scale Hong Kong Island What did you do with a long ‘corona’ Easter break? Having cancelled plans to look up friends at the Byron Bay Bluesfest I decided on a hike around Hong Kong Island, keeping as close as possible to the coast. With the dry weather and excellent vistas it turned into a great experience. All I needed was water, a hat and extra battery packs. Taking pictures of the details and surveying ‘missing links’ the route took three days.

Stop 2: Big Wave bay

18 South Bay Road, I walked up a proper trail over to Stanley. I went on to South Bay and walked the pig’s trail over and along Chung Hom Wan. After enjoying the local delights, I found the Stanley East Catch Water by going up the stairs at the Stanley Mound Fresh Water Pumping Station and down to Tai Tam. Down along the bottom of the Tai Tam dam and up Hong Kong Trail Section 7 it is a flat stretch and one long set of stairs to the start of Dragon’s Back. Once there, I headed up to Shek O. There is also the option of taking a bus, or walking to Cape D’Aguilar and bouldering down the rock stream onto Shek O beach and enjoying sumptuous refreshments.

Stop 1: Hong Kong Observation Wheel

Leaving from the Hong Kong Observation Wheel in Central, I went west along the busy ferry piers, through Shun Tak along the shore to Instagram Pier. Up along Victoria Road and down into Sandy Bay rocky beach and the promenade along the HKU sports pitches. Here it was necessary to backtrack to the road as the link to Cyberport Waterfront Park has yet to be agreed on.

From there the Quarry Bay park and promenade took me to North Point where we are awaiting the construction of a board walk under the highway and completion of the massive waterfront park at the entrance of the Central Wanchai Bypass. Following the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter I passed the ongoing works shaping the Wan chai waterfront. I headed along the promenade from the Convention Centre and returned to my starting point at the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. Looking back, I realised what a fantastic asset we can create by connecting all these waterfront parks, promenades and trails into a 65km Hong Kong Island Coastal Trail.

Along to Big Wave Bay, then I took the welltrodden route over Cape Collinson to Siu Sai Wan promenade. After the industrial waterfront of Chai Wan I reached Heng Fa Chuen’s tree lined waterfront. I headed up Shing Tai Road and found the informal trail along the south of the highway to get to Shau Kei Wan (we are waiting for the LCSD to open the Museum of Coastal Defence for hikers).

Fired up by the lunch it was over Waterfall Bay down along the 1,000 statues of Wah Kwai. After industrial Tin Wan I took a wander through the Aberdeen Fish Market and followed the promenade along Aberdeen’s colourful harbour. I took the route along Heung Yip Road, past Wong Chuk Hang Station and Ocean Park, then onto Mills & Chung Path to the beaches of Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay. Opposite

Paul Zimmerman is the CEO of Designing Hong Kong, a Southern District Councillor and the co-convenor of Save Our Country Parks alliance. Stop 3: Wan Chai North

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Written in the stars

Our mystical soothsayer reveals what’s in store for you in May

Apr 21 – May 21

Aug 23 – Sep 23

Dec 22 – Jan 20

Freddy the Weatherman has been a fixture on our TV screens for at least three decades. TVB’s animated prognosticator is known for his “ahhs” and “awws” depending on the weather. It’s good to boil down our emotions to basics. Are you feeling ahh or aww right now?

Steady sailing is a wonderful state of affairs. When the seas are calm, it’s easy to be lulled to sleep. But what if you’re sailing in the wrong direction? Sure, you may have boarded the fast ferry to Lamma, but maybe it’s 2am and you’ve jumped on the slow boat to Zhuhai. Check just to make sure.

When Hong Kong airport was based at Kai Tak, the approach was one of the most hair raising in the world. I think we’ve lost the thrill of air travel, so it’s time for you to rediscover it as you fly out… as soon as the virus goes away, I mean. For now, take thrill in planning and anticipating a trip.

May 22 – Jun 21

Sep 24 – Oct 23

Jan 21 – Feb 19

Skin whitening cream is big business in Hong Kong. As are Europeans wanting to look darker. It’s a sad irony that we always want what we don’t have. I’m not going to tell you to jettison your desires, but you should evaluate. You’ll be surprised to learn you already have everything you need.

When I’m feeling aimless, I’ll take a walk through Wan Chai, a wonderfully dense area with hidden secrets in every corner. You may not be able to stroll through the crowds right now, but you can do the same online and take a walk through the many virtual tours available. Tokyo? Italy? Paris? You can go wherever you want – is there anything more wonderful?

Confucius says: “There is no better thing than faith in one’s own dreams.” Not really – I made that one up. But he did say, “Don’t look to others for your wisdom: make your own instead.” Nope – he didn’t say that either. Be sure to verify what you hear this month. After all, it could be total rubbish.

Jun 22 – Jul 22

Oct 24 – Nov 22

Feb 20 – Mar 20

Spring has well and truly set in, and humidity has become a constant damp companion. Most of us scuttle from air-con to air-con. I say: embrace it. A wet Hong Kong spring is something to cherish. Don’t cut yourself off from life’s rich tapestry – even if that tapestry’s gone a bit mouldy.

Consider the humble wonton. A mix of shrimp and pork wrapped in dumpling skin. It’s not fine dining, but I’d choose it over a Michelinstarred molecular seafood foam. Why? Because to me, a simple thing done well far outweighs any complex concoction. Extend that rule to your life, Scorpio. Become the wonton.

If you’re social distancing, that’s great news. However, if you’re just letting life pass you by during this time, you might want to reevaluate. Quarantine is a time to be alone and yes, relax, but there’s no better time to start a hobby, open a business, donate to charity. Something small you do now might just change your life forever.

Jul 23 – Aug 22

Nov 23 – Dec 21

Mar 21 – Apr 20

You’re a chatty kind of person, but which kind? Are you the good-natured wet market stall owner, ready with a kind word? Or are you like my former neighbours, constantly yelling at each other after 20 years of marriage? Try the former if you can. And if it’s the latter – please don’t move in next to me.

Have you been lucky lately? Perhaps you won a lil’ something on Mark Six? If so, take half and spend it on something special for yourself. Then take the other half and spend it on something or someone that matters. Keep it all in balance and it’s not just you who wins.

What a good month it will be! Riches upon riches will be heaped upon you. It might not be in terms of Chow Sang Sang golden piglet necklaces, however. You might have to look elsewhere. Is someone new entering your life? Maybe you met someone on Tinder during the quarantine period? My guess is, you’ll know when you feel it.

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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Nikita Agrawal suggests inspirational reads to keep you company during quarantine

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Grit, according to psychologist Angela Duckworth, is what it takes to stand out from the crowd and succeed in any endeavour. This book tells you what grit is composed of, how to cultivate it and how to parent it in another. Read through countless examples of success stories, find out what sets them apart and learn how to measure how much grit you have yourself. Available for $90 from bookdepository.com

Probably one of the best known self-help books of the 20th century, now is a great time to revisit this classic. Serving as a gentle (and timely) reminder that the smallest habits can make the biggest difference, the book shares lessons in personal change and inspires us all to make positive changes to our perception of life. The author’s son, Sean Covey, recently came out with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens as a followup to this best seller. Available for $84 from bookdepository.com

With so much time spent at home recently you may be itching to declutter. This is the book that gave organisation expert Marie Kondo her Netflix hit show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese author takes the acts of cleaning and organising as a means to physically and mentally declutter our life. This is more than just a book about cleaning, it deciphers how we dispose of things and decide where to keep them in our homes and minds. Available for $231 from bookdepository.com

For dreamers

For go-getters


For those stuck at home

Listen to these podcasts for alternative perspectives on the global virus outbreak

Not Overthinking

This Hong Kong Life

On Purpose with Jay Shetty

If there’s one piece of advice we could all use living in these strange times of ours, this is it. In this podcast, Ali and Taimur Abdaal adapt a light-hearted approach to examine and talk about weightier subjects, like social interaction and the human condition. Every week, the Irish twins from East London engage in productive, open-minded discussions about different aspects of social life – without overthinking or being too serious. Listen now at notoverthinking.com

Tune in for candid conversations with Hong Kong’s youths as they share their unique stories and experiences living in this dynamic city – including how they are adjusting to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. This podcast is hosted by KELY Support Group, a Hong Kong-based non-profit organisation that empowers young people to reach their full potential through workshops about mental health and positivity. Listen now on Spotify.

Gain new perspective on the current coronavirus situation with Jay Shetty’s inspirational podcast. Shetty’s weekly episodes bring you wisdom from doctors, CEOs and writers on how to better understand the global pandemic we are facing now. These fascinating conversations are sure to give you a boost in your efforts to make the most of this unpredictable journey. Listen at jayshetty.me/podcast

For creatives

For little learners

For deep-thinkers hongkongliving.com | 33



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Ask a vet... Dr Pauline Taylor answers your pet questions My puppy doesn’t seem interested in food. Why might this be? Have you tried changing his dry food to another brand? Or flavour? Some pups just don’t like some brands. Or he may simply not like dry food. I have just experienced a similar problem with my own pup and as soon as I changed the brand he wolfed it all down. I feed him dry food mixed with some wet foods, usually from a can but often home cooked. My cats will only eat fish flavored foods. They walk away from chicken. I certainly didn’t train them that way. However there could be a variety of medical reasons why your pup isn’t eating well. Teething, digestive problems, parasites to name a few so if the food changes don’t help please have your pup checked by your vet. Keeping a record of your pup’s weight is also helpful. If he is gaining weight it may be that you are simply feeding him too much! We are planning on relocating to Europe which brings with it the possibility of a garden, will my ‘indoor cat’ be able to adapt to life outdoors? All cats are different and no one rule fits all cat “characters and personality” types. Age comes into this too with middle to senior cats usually happier near the home nest than following their innate hunting instincts and/or going for a wander. Some countries ban outdoor pet cats in an effort to protect their wildlife and thus limit cat movements so cats avoid hazards like poisons, road traffic accidents, and abuse from humans or worse being attacked and killed by cat predators. To my horror, my own beautiful eight year old indoor/out cat was recently mauled by totally out of control unleashed large dogs on our property. So to answer your question there are many things to consider. Your cat may make that decision easy and be happy to lie around sunbathing inside your home. If your cat is inclined to wander then you will have to weigh up the good/bad of allowing her outside. Cats do get on quite well being ‘indoors only’ pets especially if that’s how they have been brought up from kittens. How often do you recommend that I wash my dog?   I commonly get asked this question. Wash your dog only as often as your dog needs to be washed. This varies a lot between dogs and their lifestyles, habits, skin and hair types, exercise, veterinarian advice and other ad hoc things going on in their lives. A dog’s skin and hair is naturally coated in oils and washing with shampoo can remove these natural oils that act as barriers to protect the skin. So you need to weigh up many factors when deciding when to or not wash your dog. Daily grooming to remove dead hairs and a wipe down with towels after a walk may be all your dog’s skin type needs. However, if you walk your dog every day on mountain hikes or beaches and they like to roll in delicious smells you may need to wash your dog more often. If you do, always use a conditioner after the shampoo so these oils get replaced.

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

What to plant in


Weather facts: - Average high temperature: 28.4°C - Average low temperature: 24.1°C - Average rainfall: 304.7mm (12”) - Average rainfall days: 14.7 days - Average sunshine hours: 4.5 hours When May comes along, we know that Hong Kong is really starting to warm up. May also marks the beginning of typhoon season, so we can expect plenty of rainfall and humidity. Get comfortable with having wet dirt in your garden, it will prove to be a cool sanctuary for your plants throughout the summer. This warm season provides the perfect opportunity for sowing the seeds of Chinese Balsam, Sunflower, Amaranthus globosus, Ipomoea Quamoclit, Cocksombs, Torenia Fournieri, Clitoria Ternatea, and Gynandropsis pentaphylla. If you’re looking to add pops of colour to your garden, these flowers will bloom and do just that. Take a good look at your previously sown seeds which have now bloomed and get ready to move things around. Annuals sown in March will now be ready for potting or planting in beds. Allamandas and Buddleias should be repotted and Poinsettias should be safely nestled into flowering pots. Pay attention to the following plants that need to be shielded from the wet May weather. Freesias will have grown to maturity and should be kept dry. Geraniums and Heliotropes will keep better through the summer if protected from the heavy rain. Consider that verandahs provide suitable shelter. Stay a little on your toes to prevent the rain and heat getting the better of you. Draw in the summer air and embark upon this month of protecting and caring for your plants.

By William James Tutcher F.L.S. (1867-1920) Superintendent of Hong Kong Botanical Gardens. Paraphrased from his seminal 1906 work Gardening for Hong Kong.

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WhyI’m happy not to travel

Nury Vittachi can be contacted at nury@vittachi. com or through his Facebook page

Award-winning author Nury Vittachi looks back on the month At the time of writing this, no one is allowed to travel. As an extreme miser (“a dad”) this is not entirely bad news. Travelling is expensive and stressful. I vividly remember first going to the UK as a child. In those days, the main currency was the pound. A “cluster” or “herd” of pounds was pronounced “sterling”, which was shortened to GBH. A pound could be divided into 240 pennies or 20 shillings or 10 florins or eight half-crowns or (and this was really confusing) 16 ounces. The system made no sense.

complex. In Asia, we knew about the US dollar, but in the US it was known as the “buck”. My research at the time revealed that the buck (which seemed to be short for “greenbuck”) was divided into dimes, nickels, quarters, eighths, sixteenths, pieces of eight, semi-colons, jots, tittles, and iotas. The most common coin was the quarter, colloquially known as “two bits”, despite the fact that the phrase applied to only one of them. When I asked locals to show me “one bit” they looked at me as if I was mad. “Why is dollar abbreviated to ‘S’?” I asked. “Shouldn’t it be ‘D’?”

When I complained, the locals said it used to be worse. They used to use penny-farthings, coins which were so large they were used in Britain as bicycle wheels. The British also had a huge variety of coins, such as guineas, half-crowns, ha’pennies, grands, optics, drams and snifters. If you spoke colloquial English, you didn’t use the word “pound” but the word “squid”. So if someone won the lottery, they’d say “He’s squids in.” Even more confusingly, everything in the grocery stores was labeled in L.B.s. “I would like to buy one ‘L.B.’ of apples,” I told the fruit shop man. “Wot?” he said, baffled. ‘I pointed to the sign right in front of him, which clearly said: “Apples: 10d a LB.”

“It’s not ‘S’,” a New York child (named Wayne) explained. “It’s ‘S’ with an ‘I’ on top.” I thought about pointing out that the word “dollar” did not include the letters “S” or “I” but I said nothing. By that time I had given up expecting any sort of logic in Western civilization. Pundits are forecasting “a vicious cycle of competing currency depreciations” (Fortune magazine) following the coronavirus crisis. Currency exchange is a fascinating topic. Thousands of years ago at the dawn of recorded history, when the Rolling Stones had just released their 20th album, the Phoenicians invented travel, and the practice of changing one form of money to another began.

an airport money-changer. We got a handful of dirt. And those were the GOOD days. Other times we just got a laugh. Today, everything has changed. The various brands of rupee are still worthless, but thanks to financial terminology, the situation is expressed far more elegantly. We now say 0.9897 rupees equals 0.9897 specks of dirt or 1.075 seconds of laughter, which I think you’ll agree sounds better. That reminds me of the first transaction I ever had on a visit to London, at Heathrow Airport, which went something like this: Me: How much is that? Airport shopkeeper: Two grand, a guinea-halfcrown, half a snifter and tuppeny-ha’pencefarthing. Me: Oh. Do you accept rupees? Airport shopkeeper: Yes sir. That’ll be forty googillion rupees, but I will have to give you the change in dirt and sneers. Anyway, what do the pundits mean when they say that they expect the currencies to depreciate? Well, it means that their value will go down in relation to one another. But if they all go down, what they are going down in relation to? This makes no sense at all. Naturally.

‘“Oh,” he said. “LB stands for pound.” Naturally, I said. It made no sense. Neither did the fact that D stood for “penny”. Later, I visited my brother in New York and found the United States currency system equally

This was particularly bad news for people living in South Asia. The currency where I lived was set at a very low exchange rate: one rupee was equal to one speck of dirt.

*** Send ideas to our columnist via his Facebook page or that of Hong Kong Living.

I recall my father’s long face every time we used

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