Hong Kong Living May 2021

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MAY 2021

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CONTENT S — 0 5 / 2 1


Celebrate the third annual Hong Kong Living Awards





Meet the team

Out and about in Central


What’s on in May

What’s happening in our backyard


Treat mum to one of these special menus

Dr Pauline Taylor answers your pet questions




Mother’s Day gift guide

How to go the distance with your partner


Here’s what’s written in the stars for you this month

Nury Vittachi on why robots should be classed as humans


Utah Lee, Nike Trainer and mum of two



Explore Hong Kong’s winning island - Lantau



The author of Dear Hong Kong opens up


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“You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you” ~ Nury Vittachi

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EDITOR’S LETTER It’s the most wonderful time of the year, no it’s not Christmas… It’s the Hong Kong Living Awards. Over 3,000 of you voted for your favourite hikes, shops, spas and more and we know you’ve all been dying to know the results. Turn to page 16 to celebrate with us. We don’t want to give you too many spoilers, but one won’t hurt. To celebrate Lantau winning Island of the Year, we’ve rounded up some of the best things to do on Hong Kong’s biggest island (page 28). From cable car rides to beach days this island will keep you entertained all summer long. May also marks Mother’s Day in Hong Kong, for those who celebrate the British one you’re in the clear. This month we had the pleasure of sitting down with Utah Lee to discuss balancing business with family (page 13). If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate we’ve rounded up the best deals in town for breakfast, brunch and dinner (Page 24). We wish we could celebrate our awards with all of you in person but until restrictions are lifted we will be sharing all our celebrations on social media. Follow us at @hongkongliving

Editorial Editor-in-chief Nicole Slater, nicole@hongkongliving.com Contributing Editor Gemma Shaw, gemma@hongkongliving.com Editorial Assistant Cheyelene Fontanilla, cheyelene@hongkongliving.com Senior Writer Charmaine Ng, charmaine@hongkongliving.com Dining Editor Amber Lai, amber@hongkongliving.com

Design Graphic Designer Vicky Lam, vicky@hongkongliving.com Yankee Tsang, yankee@hongkongliving.com

Sales & Marketing Director of Content Hilda Chan, hilda@hongkongliving.com Partnership Manager Debbie Ky, debbie@hongkongliving.com Elaine Li, elaine@hongkongliving.com Events Manager Pranali Gupta, pranali@hongkongliving.com


Things we love

Matt Eaton, matt@hongkongliving.com

Founding Director Tom Hilditch, tom@hongkongliving.com

Contact us Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772 Published by Hong Kong Living Ltd, L1 Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong Printer Apex Print Limited, 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong

hongkongliving.com talk@hongkongliving.com

Perfect picnics

Hong Kong Living Guide

Italian restaurant Assaggio has recently launched a Roast Chicken Takeaway Party Box complete with a selection of cold cuts, cheese, pasta and signature lemon cakes. Delivered in a three- tiered box, the set is easy to transport and makes for the perfect picnic. miradining.com

With most of us staying in town this summer, the Hong Kong Living Guide is jam-packed with adventurous days out, fantastic food districts and everything you need to know to enjoy the city like never before. Sign up for a free copy delivered direct to your door. Turn to page 26 to sign up.

Covid-19 update

As Hong Kong Living goes to print we have done our best to keep our content as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but life under Covid-19 regulations means things tend to change, often from day-to-day. Please check with local businesses for operation hours and services available and remember, stay safe.

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@hongkongliving @hongkongliving852

HONG KONG hongkongliving.com 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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Letao Wang

Nury Vittachi

Founder of the Healing Kingdom, Letao Wang has been practising professional astrology and spiritual counselling in Hong Kong for over seven years. He reveals what’s in store for each sign this month in our horoscope section.

Our monthly backpage columnist Nury Vittachi is a Hong Kong-based author of more than 40 books. His journalism has appeared in more than a dozen publications, including the New York Times and Reader’s Digest.

Oskar Valles In 2014 Oskar Valles, founder of Dear Hong Kong, embarked on an ambitious mission to find one person from every country in the world residing in the city. Read about his journey and the people featured in our local story.

The Aqua Luna Our stunning cover this month was taken on one of Hong Kong’s iconic modes of transport. The Chinese Junk took over 18 months to construct using traditional shipbuilding methods and began cruising around Victoria Harbour in 2006.

Valentina Tudose Utah Lee Nike Master Trainer and mum of two, Utah Lee has taken Hong Kong’s fitness world by storm. Find out how she balances it all while remaining positive in our five minutes with interview.

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Certified relationship coach and clinical hypnotherapist Valentina Tudose, shares her advice on reconnecting and realigning with your partner in our monthly dating column.

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Out and about in Central

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Home & Living Awards at Ovolo Hotel

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Mark your calendars for these May events MAY 19

Buddha’s birthday Enjoy a mid-week holiday.

MAY 20-23 Art Central

Celebrate the next generation of artists with Art Central’s contemporary art and experimentation exhibition. 11am-6pm. Free. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. artcentralhongkong.com

MAY 21-23

Art Basel Art Basel is back with on-site and virtual exhibitions showcasing artwork from across the globe. $150. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. artbasel.com


MAY 5-16

Tai Kwun is shining the spotlight on Hong Kong’s local artists, by hosting a range of performances in the former Central police station. From $250. Tai Kwun, Central. taikwun.hk

The seventh annual street art and mural festival will be held in Sai Kung, celebrating local artists across Hong Kong. The non-profit organisation hopes to bring more art and culture to the city walls. hkwalls.org

Tai Kwun Performing Arts Season



Mother’s Day Treat mum to breakfast in bed this Sunday.

MAY 16-20

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

MAY 1 - JUN 26

Stand Up Paddleboard Explorer Clinic A beginner course offering a complete introduction to stand up paddle boarding (SUP), including safety, equipment and fundamental paddling techniques. 1-4.30pm. $590. Deep Water Bay. asiapacificadventure.com

MAY 1 - JUN 30

Le French May Arts Festival One of the largest cultural events in Asia with more than 150 programmes across two months. Enjoy heritage and contemporary arts, painting and design and music including classical, hip hop and dance. frenchmay.com

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Flock to the sleepy fishing village of Cheung Chau for its annual bun festival. Unfortunately the iconic Bun Scrambling Competition has been cancelled due to Covid, but the island will still host an array of celebrations.

MAY 21

Laugh Out Loud Comedy Night The monthly comedy night is back, showcasing the best comedians in Hong Kong. Performances from Pete Grella, Ryan Hynek, Troy Lewis and Andy Curtain. 8.30-10.30pm. From $200. Mudita, 24-30 Ice House Street, Central.


Book Now JUN 10-13

JUL 14-20

An exhibition featuring 4,000 natural, vegan and organic products from across the world. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. vegfoodasia.com

Enjoy book shopping, literary workshops and seminars in the annual week-long fair. 10am-10pm. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. hkbookfair.hktdc.com

Vegetarian Food Asia

Hong Kong Book Fair

JUN 21 - JUL 30 HKA summer camp

JUN 14

Dragon Boat (Tuen Ng) Festival Cheer on the paddlers and enjoy the only sport in Hong Kong with its very own public holiday.

Hong Kong Academy has put together an exciting summer programme featuring a range of creative and sporting activities from Asia Pacific Soccer Schools, Babel Film, Brendan Fitzpatrick, EVA Volleyball, FAUST, ISTA Performing Arts Academy, Mindful Wing Chun, Proactive Sports, Skydance, Tier One Basketball and Top Flight. 3-18 years. From $250. co-curricular.hkacademy.edu.hk

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

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QUARANTINE REDUCED FOR LOWRISK COUNTRIES With new daily Covid-19 cases slowing significantly, the Hong Kong Government is making some long-awaited adjustments to quarantine arrangements for overseas arrivals. As of April 14, quarantine for fully vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries was shortened to seven days. The three countries; Australia, New Zealand and Singapore will all be exempt from the current 21 day arrangement. The mandatory quarantine period for visitors from those countries was previously shortened from 21 to 14 days.

PIERSIDE PRECINCT COMES TO LIFE A newly-extended harbourfront attraction called The Pierside Precinct officially opened last month. Located between the Wan Chai Pier and the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, the

promenade is lined with wooden and concrete structures that also double as seating. At 2,750 square metres, the tourism attraction will be the longest promenade alongside Victoria Harbour.

REBUILD REEFS WITH DISCARDED OYSTER SHELLS The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has announced the launch of Save Our Shells, an initiative to collect discarded shellfish shells from partner restaurants and oyster farmers to build new, native oyster reefs in Hong Kong. So far nine restaurants including The Verandah, Oyster Station and Alibi – Wine Dine Be Social at Cordis Hotel have joined the project. “Shells of oysters and other shellfish consist of calcium carbonate and have traditionally been used as a house building material. Today, we are using the shells to build a new place for baby oysters to settle and for fish and other marine life to call home,” said Lulu Zhou, director of strategic partnerships for TNC in Asia Pacific.

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HONG KONG POISON PATROL Over the past few months, a large number of dog poisoning cases have occurred around Hong Kong. A total of 15 dogs have been poisoned with eight of them sadly passing away. One of those unfortunate cases was a golden retriever named Gamma. On a mission to prevent any more dogs from being harmed, Gamma’s owner Mia Fong set up a neighbourhood watch Facebook and Instagram group Gamma.hkg. She hopes to encourage people to patrol parks, neighbourhoods and hiking trails and remove poisoned bait. “What we need are more people on the ground, actively looking for potentially poisoned bait,” said Fong.

To encourage the use of battery-powered vehicles in Hong Kong, the government introduced electric taxis across Hong Kong in 2013. The trial wasn’t as successful as they’d hoped, with many drivers complaining about a

shortage of charging points and long charging times. This year a second trial will take place in Sai Kung and Lantau Island. With smaller districts and more chargers available, the government hopes it will be a success.

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Five minutes with Utah Lee Nicole Slater talks to the Nike Master Trainer and mum of two this Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day we wanted to celebrate the working mums who make parenting and running a business look easy. Utah Lee is a prominent figure in Hong Kong’s fitness industry, coaching and hosting a range of wellness events across the city since 2000. After the birth of her first child, Lee initially found it difficult to find her place in the fitness industry but she motivated herself to get back out there. “It’s important to stay humble and keep learning. There is always someone who is smarter than you, stronger than you and younger than you.” While fitness is a large part of Lee’s career, there’s no denying that fashion is her true calling. She opened her first retail store, House Of Style on Wellington Street in 2011 and continues to model and promote a range of fashion brands via her Instagram. “I worked

very hard to make my dreams a reality, I have no regrets and have learnt so much from these experiences,” says Lee. Balancing a fashion and fitness career alone is a lot of pressure for most people, but Lee is also a doting mother of two. “My second child was only four months old when I started the retail business. I was planning, designing, making and connecting,” she says. “Initially there was a lot of stress and late nights as I tried to balance work, family and myself.” But over the years Lee has mastered a schedule that can accommodate both business and family time, “I only allow myself to have two late nights per week and schedule family dinner twice a week along with a family day on Sunday. This keeps everything in balance.” While the pandemic caused many of Lee’s face-to-face classes to be cancelled, she

remains grateful for the extra time she got to spend with her family, “since everyone was at home all the time, we got to readjust to really ‘living’ with each other again.”

Utah’s strategies for living a good life: • Spend time with family doing something good for the world, ie. beach and mountain clean ups and attending charity events • Be active, eat relatively healthy, be positive and kind • No phones during meal times with family and friends

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The people who make this city shine Cheyelene Fontanilla meets the founder of Dear Hong Kong

The untold stories of people from 150 countries who became Hongkongers. A book about humanity, diversity and identity. – Oskar Valles

In 2014 Oskar Valles embarked on a mission to find one person from every country in the world residing in the city. Considering there are almost eight million people living in Hong Kong, it was no easy feat. Years later, however, it is now a published bilingual photo book, the result of over 100 interviews done by a team of volunteers led by Valles. What began as a passion project is now a real, tangible collection of stories about Hongkongers from all walks of life and from all over the globe. What is at the heart of this book? The beauty in the differences that set us apart and the common thread that ties us all together as people. In interviewing one person from every nationality that can be found in Hong Kong, Valles and his

team, which includes Aggie Lam and Bradley Aaron, have highlighted the true extent of diversity that walk this city’s streets. In a world that’s wracked with prejudice, Dear Hong Kong boldly strives to break stereotypes, evoke empathy and promote what we stand to gain from each other’s differences. This is done through honest, vulnerable storytelling and intimate photographs as well as translations. Every feature is translated into both English and Chinese, which was key for Valles when he was working to publish these stories. He wanted these accounts of people from all over the world, who chose to make Hong Kong their home, accessible to more than just the expat community. “This book is for locals,” he says.

Zeroing in on one particular story, Dr. Michael Manio from the Philippines is a member of the faculty of medicine at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He was also the founder of the Domestic Worker Empowerment Project (now named EmpowerU), a civic organisation under HKU that gives free lectures and training workshops to migrant domestic workers. The programme has 700 students and with education and cultural understanding at the forefront of it, it has transformed many domestic workers’ lives in Hong Kong. Dr. Manio is just one of the several written about in this book. Others include business magnate Allan Zeman, cinematographer Christopher Doyle and model/activist Harmony Ilunga. As for Dr. Manio, there’s some sound advice in his Dear Hong Kong feature that encapsulates one shared aspect of the human experience: “Don’t let small minds persuade you that your dreams are too big.”

Where to buy it Available at Bookazine and online, shop.dearhongkong.org

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HONG KONG LIVIN AWARDS 2021 Celebrating the best of this city – from hiking trails and local attractions to businesses and neighbourhoods. By Cheyelene Fontanilla

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Photo: Hong Kong Tourism Board


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COVER STORY Hike of the Year Hong Kong Trail

Running through five country parks on Hong Kong Island, this 50-kilometre trail consists of eight sections, some more challenging than others. Boasting views of the city that are best enjoyed on these clearly marked paths, this trail begins at the Peak Tower on Victoria

Peak. You’ll trek through Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road, Peel Rise, Wan Chai Gap, Wong Nai Chung Road, Mount Parker Road, Tai Tam Road, To Tei Wan and finally, ending with the famous Dragon’s Back trail. Hong Kong trail rounds off at Tai Long Wan, otherwise referred

to as Big Wave Bay. Encompassing some of Hong Kong’s best waterfalls and most unique city-meets-jungle views (not to mention a manmade reservoir and other remnants of history), there is no doubt that this is Hong Kong’s Hike of the Year.

Best Indoor Entertainment

Best Beauty Treatment

Best Shopping Plaza




At a whopping 45,000 square feet, SuperPark is a very aptly named venue. A selfproclaimed “smorgasbord of activities”, there are three main sections packed to the brim with different games and things to run through, climb, ride and interact with. The Adventure Area includes a tube slide, a Ninja Track, a Pedal Car Track and trampolines. The Game Arena has Superbowling, Superpinball and Street Basketball. Last but not least is the Freestyle Hall which has trampolines, climbing walls, skate ramps, punching bags for boxing and more – making SuperPark the perfect spot to run wild.

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Combining medical expertise and groundbreaking technology, EstheClinic is a new generation of beauty clinics that offer pain-free, non-invasive aesthetic treatments. All of EstheClinic’s treatments use cutting-edge technology to stimulate cells or collagen, leaving your body and skin to do the rest. The family-run business originated in France and also specialises in other body and skin treatments, such as acne and stretch marks removal. EstheClinic’s innovative cosmeceutical methods have earned itself Best Beauty Treatment this year.

K11 MUSEA sits on the water’s edge of Tsim Sha Tsui at Victoria Dockside. It’s more than a building with shops and restaurants – it’s got art installations and design elements that provides an experience beyond this city’s typical day at the mall. The very name itself, K11 MUSEA, derives from the muses in Greek Mythology. This mall’s muses are architecture, furniture, art and nature. Best of all, it has something for everyone. The Donut Playhouse has a three-floor indoor mega slide for the kids and it’s only a hop away from Legoland Discovery Centre. There are places for afternoon tea, a garden rooftop with coffee shops and spectacular views of the Hong Kong skyline.

COVER STORY Best Virtual Bank

Best Yoga Studio


Mindful Studio HK

Focused on building a trustworthy and secure digital first bank that brings everyday delights and rewards to its customers, livi’s goal is to build a community for those who want convenient and easy-to-use services. With the livi debit card, users get 8 percent of their cash back when they make an online purchase. There is also a Cash Rewards system as part of livi’s rewards programme where customers can shake their phones to earn rewards that can be used when spending on their next purchase. With customer service at the forefront of this business, it’s no surprise that our readers chose livi Bank as the Best Virtual Bank of the year.

Based on timeless and proven principles of Mindfulness & Yoga practices, Mindful Studio HK offers a tailored journey to explore the mind and body at your own pace. At this studio, instructors work with the client’s prevailing circumstances to tailor an optimal session that could include anything from chanting, breathing exercises and hatha yoga to meditation and relaxation. Founded by Simon Hui, a Hongkonger who grew up in Nigeria, learned yoga in India and was ordained as a Buddhist monk in Myanmar, he brings his experience and expertise to the business, earning his studio the top spot in this category for 2021.

Best Day Out The Grounds

Just when Hongkongers were beginning to run out of things to do to stay sane during the pandemic, The Grounds, a socially distanced entertainment venue at AIA Vitality Park, came onto the scene. From outdoor cinema to wellness events, the harbourfront venue

has a giant LED screen, a top-of-the-line sound system and a hi-tech stage for live performances and more. The Grounds prided itself on a contactless system, with individual pods for guests, plus an online food delivery system in

collaboration with BaseHall. While season one of The Grounds wrapped up at the end of April, Greater Bay Media Entertainment, organiser of The Grounds promises to be back bigger than ever with a new concept.

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COVER STORY Best Veterinary Clinic Pets Central With five strategically located hospitals across Hong Kong and world-class veterinarians from Australia, England, India, Scotland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and beyond, this practice has become a truly well-rounded, go-to company for pet owners. Pets Central established a Wellness and Activities Center on the roof of its Sai Kung premises for dogs to exercise after surgery and socialise with others. With 24-hour care, Pets Central is a one-stop shop that is able to diagnose and treat with exceptional service. Its other locations include Mong Kok, Tseung Kwan O, Yuen Long, North Point and Park Island.

Bank of the Year

Insurance Brand of the Year

Best Social Enterprise



Cookie Smiles

HSBC Hong Kong offers a range of bank accounts with 24/7 online banking services for credit cards, loans, mortgages and savings. With their incredibly popular mobile payment service PayMe as well as investment and insurance services, HSBC remains a go-to bank for Hongkongers of all ages and incomes. Its HSBC Life Well+ programme is a well-known initiative, launched to incentivise people to begin their wellness journey. Reach a certain number of steps to win an Apple Watch or “RewardCash”.

AIA is the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group with a presence in 18 markets around the Asia-Pacific region. Considering its name is in big, bold lights at the AIA Vitality Park situated at the Central Harbourfront, this insurance corporation doesn’t shy away from pushing the importance of wellness and quality of life. With a varied range of insurance products for both individuals and businesses covering medical expenses, critical illness, employee benefits and more, it wins Insurance Brand of the Year.

Best Spa Sense of Touch

Sense of Touch is an award-winning day spa that was originally known for its painless waxing treatments in 2002. Since then, it has grown into a citywide spa with three locations across the city, including a five-star hotel spa in partnership with

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Crowne Plaza in Kowloon East. Its treatments include facials, massages, mani-pedis as well as high-tech beauty treatments such as Emsculpt and Ultra 360, which offer non-invasive skin tightening, muscle building and fat burning.

Cookie Smiles is a social enterprise under the Edible Artists Global Academy Association (EAGAA), who supports two chosen charities per year via fundraising, offer training opportunities for the disadvantaged and provide jobs for the physically impaired. Their charity partners include The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association, SPCA and Splash. We’d be remiss not to mention their delectable selection of cookies, from snap cookies in strawberry, butter and chocolate flavours to crunch cookies in almond, matcha and sesame. It’s a deliciously fulfilling cause – which earns Cookie Smiles the top place for Best Social Enterprise in 2021.

COVER STORY Best Coworking Space

Best City Escape

Banyan Workspace

Aqua Luna Over time, the Aqua Luna has become a symbol of Hong Kong that is associated with the city’s one-of-a-kind skyline. The harbour cruise red-sail junk boat has been on tourists’ must-try list for years now and for good reason. Sailing through Victoria Harbour with a backdrop of skyscrapers and city lights and a drink in hand is an experience that allows you to fully soak up the beauty of Hong Kong. With a full view of all the action from a distance, you’re able to truly appreciate all this city has to offer. We’re not surprised Aqua Luna won our readers’ affections over for Best City Escape.

Best Online Retailer White Stone

A stylish boutique co-working and events venue in Quarry Bay, Banyan Workspace luxurious design aesthetic belies a passionate dedication to sustainability, and it is consistently voted one of our city’s greenest flexible workspaces. Inspired by and committed to Hong Kong, it also partners with a variety of local non-profits including Plastic Free Seas, Redress, OneSky and

Best New Private Members’ Club

Teach For Hong Kong. If you’re a member at Banyan, a portion of your membership fee goes to one of these NGO partners as part of Banyan’s in-house giving back initiatives. With large desks, private offices, lounges and meeting rooms decked out with luxury decor and incomparable attention to detail in its design, Banyan Workspace comes highly recommended by our voters.

An online store that sells almost everything imported, unique and popular - from skincare, food and drinks to clothes, accessories and household items. Having started out in 2015, the local-based company has come a long way, reaching 50,000 fans. With new items daily, reliable delivery times and goods imported overseas at great prices. whitestonehkshop.com, IG @whitestonehk_eng

Rumour of the Year Covid scandals Women were flocking to the quarantine centre in Penny Bay for the sole purpose of checking out hot guys from Ursus gym. This one’s self-explanatory.

LUOXO LUOXO started out as an exclusive, independent circle for watch enthusiasts that was founded in 2008. The LUOXO Member Lounge, founded this year, puts privacy and comfort above all else. With an open outdoor terrace and rooftop, it’s the perfect place for members to have a glass of wine and enjoy a cigar with fellow watch enthusiasts. Other perks include access to meeting rooms, priority invitation to exclusive events and a digital safe, that keeps a record of members’ most precious timepieces in a digital vault that only the owner can access. All the information relating to these valuable timepieces will be collected by the club’s Watch Inspector, encrypted and stored. This unique club has made quite an impression in such a short time. It’s the new private members’ club to watch in 2021.

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COVER STORY Best Neighbourhood

Best Charity

Sai Kung

Feeding Hong Kong

Photo: Graham Uden

A charity responsible for getting 10 million meals to vulnerable people across the city since 2011. It is an organisation that collects high-quality, surplus food from farms, manufacturers, distributors and supplies it to local, registered charities. As a system that prevents waste, saving tonnes of food from flushing into the city’s already-full landfills, it also feeds those who might have otherwise gone to sleep hungry in a city that has so much. The company also decided to keep its food bank open throughout the pandemic, which required plenty of pivoting when it came to its operations, but the team at Feeding Hong Kong persevered to serve the city’s community. This is one of the many reasons our readers elected it to be the Best Charity in Hong Kong this year.

Sai Kung is a family-friendly seaside town, home to some of Hong Kong’s most beautiful beaches, from the sandy shores of childfriendly Trio Beach to the clear blue waters of Long Ke Wan. Tropical destinations are just a sampan ride away from the area’s town centre. Surrounded by lush greenery and mountain

peaks, people travel far and wide for Sai Kung’s hikes. Head over to Three Fathoms Cove and explore an abandoned village and a golf course or spend your days paddling around on a kayak. There is also a tropical-themed bowling bar, Tikitiki, and plenty of alfresco restaurants and bars to enjoy a sundowner or two.

Best Startup Carful

Best Hospital Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital Located in Happy Valley, Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital is a private hospital that was established in 1922. With top expertise, advanced technology, 24-hour outpatients consultation service, grand interior design and of course, a prime location and great views, it remains a highly regarded institution nearly 100 years after its opening. With private rooms and suites that span entire floors and other outstanding facilities, this hospital is still at the top of the list for Hongkongers. Hong Kong Carful Group Limited is an intelligent car rental service provider. With expert knowledge of the car-rental market and an abundance of management experience, Carful is dedicated to providing the most reliable and comprehensive one-

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stop car rental service. With an industrial chain expansion strategy, the company provides Hongkongers with humanised car rental schemes. It continuously puts the improvement of its user experience at the top of its priorities.

Best Magazine Hong Kong Living Oh shucks, we’re blushing! You shouldn’t have… but we love you, too.

COVER STORY Best Lash and Brow Salon

Best Boutique Hotel

Lyla Lash Bar

Tai O Heritage Hotel

A treatment so iconic it deserves its own category. Lyla Lash Bar is an incredibly stylish and comfortable beauty salon in Lan Kwai Fong that exclusively uses products from Japan. With a professional team of technicians and top-notch services at affordable prices, Lyla offers one of the best eyelash extension experiences in Hong Kong.

Best Island Lantau Lantau island is home to Big Buddha, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tai O, Ngong Ping 360 cable cars, a plethora of beaches and their accompanying beach bars, beautiful hiking and mountain biking trails, a huge selection of alfresco dining spots and Hong Kong’s only outlet mall. While it continues to expand and evolve with new hotels, living estates, restaurants and bars, the area still holds so much heritage. Turn to page 28 for our guide to the island.

Established in 1902 as a police station, this cliffside getaway is located in a fishing village on Lantau Island. Built under British rule, this seaview hotel has a colonial-style facade and completely refurbished, modern rooms with plenty of natural light, brick fireplaces and a quaint charm that comes with its chic decor. A location steeped in history and made better by its oceanfront views

Best Cosmetic Transformation Treatment

Best Hotel for Staycations

May16 Beaute


of the South China Sea, Tai O Heritage Hotel pays such great attention to detail – so much so that it feels more like a home than a hotel. Since Tai O is a fishing village with its own rich culinary heritage, this hotel’s restaurant uses ingredients that Tai O is known for, such as shrimp paste, salted fish and preserved eggs, to create some beautiful dishes that tie the whole experience together.

May16 Beaute was established by two lawyers, Astor Chan and Blanche Koo, in 2020. They exclusively introduced a Swissmade HIFU machine to Hong Kong. Sygmalift 3D can penetrate to the deepest layer of skin, yet it’s completely painless. It smooths out wrinkles, enhances collagen and tightens skin, bringing life back into excessively aging complexions. It’s painless and non-invasive. All beauticians at May16 Beaute have been extensively trained and certified to conduct these treatments.

The luxury hotel takes home the prize once again this year. Known for its unparalleled service, Rosewood has all the spoilings that you’d expect from the Best Hotel for Staycations. From 24-hour in-room dining

to pet services and a fitness studio. There is a stunning infinity pool that overlooks the ocean and cityscape. With eight restaurants and 423 luxurious rooms, guests never need to leave.

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Just to say thank you…. Amber Lai rounds up the best dining deals to spoil mum this Mother’s Day

Hue Dining

Hue Dining Harbourfront restaurant Hue Dining has collaborated with Aromatherapy Associates, to offer mum a relaxing and rejuvenating afternoon tea set. Available until May 9, the set incorporates essential scents and ingredients including rosemary and warm Gruyere cheese puffs, black pepper rhubarb and sage cream pavlova and a chocolate and barley malt cream Lamington. huedining.com.hk

Afternoon tea

MEATS Taking on the theme of the classic movie Mamma Mia!, MEATS is offering a laid back brunch for mums with seven satiating

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dishes. True to its name, the menu is heavily meat based with dishes including wagyu carpaccio and

roasted suckling pig. Mums can add-on a drinks package with a Cosmopolitan cocktail and a glass of French Rosé Wine, while children can enjoy hand-made lemonade. piratameats.hk

Ink If mum can’t enjoy a little tipple on Mother’s Day, when can she? Sip on breakfast bellinis while overlooking Hong Kong’s iconic skyline at Ink. Enjoy a selection of starters to share before choosing your main from a selection of seafood-inspired breakfasts such as crab meat omelette with Asian herb salad and toasted bagel with soft-boiled egg and smoked ocean trout. Children can also enjoy a special menu with juice and ice cream. inkcafe.com.hk



Zuma If you really want to spoil mum this year, Zuma’s champagne-filled brunch is a good place to start. Enjoy unlimited Japanese delights including yakitori, tempura, sashimi, sushi and maki rolls, before tucking into a choice of mains, including its signature spicy beef tenderloin, Miso marinated black cod wrapped in hoba leaf or roasted lobster. Save room for Zuma’s dessert platter featuring Head Pastry Chef Eddy Lee’s iconic Molten chocolate cake with a raspberry twist. zumarestaurant.com



District 8

ciao chow

Whisk mum away to France for the evening with District 8’s special two or three-course dinner menu. The meal begins with the sharing starters of Gruyere filled pastries, salmon tartare and chicken liver pate, while mains include a seafood bouillabaisse, chicken Fricassee or a sharing steak. district8.com.hk

Mum better come hungry to this Italian brunch. Italian restaurant, ciao chow is offering a special Mother’s Day brunch buffet with over 25 dishes from different stations including a salad, carving and even a live pizza station. Remember to save room for its dessert bar and free-flow package. ciaochow.com.hk



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Dining news


Cassio revamped Cassio, a sister restaurant of dragon-i, has overhauled its interior with a new wooden DJ booth, turquoise velvet chairs and bronze chandeliers to give the after-hours location an art deco vibe. The food menu has also been refreshed and features authentic Spanish tapas alongside a selection of meats, seafood and paellas. cassio.com.hk

Classic Italian The Upper House unveils Salisterra The Upper House has unveiled a new dining concept that draws inspiration and flavours from the Mediterranean. Called Salisterra, the new venue is located at Level 49 and replaces Café Gray Deluxe, which called time out after 11 years at the heart of Hong Kong’s luxury dining scene. salisterra.com

Casa Cucina & Bar has opened its doors in Sai Ying Pun. Spread over three spacious floors, the restaurant serves up classic Italian dishes and freshly-made pastas, with a cocktail menu to boot. Taking charge in the kitchen is owner and executive chef Anthony Cheung, who recently completed a four-year stint with Amber in Landmark Mandarin Oriental under Richard Ekkebus. Happy hour runs from 3pm to 8pm daily, with drinks from just $40. casacucina.hk

Amalfitana comes to Central The popular Repulse Bay pizza restaurant Amalfitana recently opened its second venue in Central. The restaurant, known for traditional pastas and pizzas, also unveiled an exclusive bar snacks menu that pairs with its signature drinks list. amalfitana.hk

Metropolitain gets a new menu The Parisian bistro in Sai Ying Pun has elevated its menu with new dishes alongside its classic signatures of French cuisine. With an alfresco atmosphere and open-plan kitchen, diners can relax and watch the chefs prepare each meal. Listening to its customers, Metropolitain is bringing back its much-loved moules marinières with frites and carpaccio de boeuf. New dishes for the warmer season include a refreshing beetroot salad, burrata and a salad de chevre. Vegetarians get a new main showcasing asparagus in its prime harvest and pairing it with gnocchi. The French appreciation for meat and heartier dishes is shown with head chef Rabil Subba’s new beef rossini with truffle and an os a moelle, bone marrow. Finish up with a sweet treat with French confections of crème brûlée and mouse au chocolat. Pair them with its extensive list of white, red and rose wines for the perfect way to wind down for the evening. pastis.hk/#/restaurants/metropolitain

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Lantau island guide A comprehensive guide to Hong Kong’s best island (as voted by you in our Hong Kong Living Awards). By Charmaine Ng

Located west of Hong Kong Island and southwest of the Kowloon Peninsula, Lantau Island is the largest island in Hong Kong. It is often referred to as the lungs of Hong Kong for its abundant green space and scarcity of high-rise residential developments. In fact, the largest country park in Hong Kong, Lantau South Country Park, and the third-largest freshwater reservoir in Hong Kong, Shek Pik Reservoir, are both located on the island. In recent years, Lantau Island has been given a facelift with major infrastructures and tourist

attractions such as Lantau Link, Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong Disneyland and Ngong Ping 360.

What to do Visit the Big Buddha Lantau is synonymous with the 34-metre Tian Tan Buddha, known simply as the Big Buddha. Located near Po Lin Monastery, it symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature. Pair your visit to the Big Buddha with a ride on the Ngong Ping 360, a cable car that brings you from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping Village whilst presenting stunning views of Lantau’s landscape along the way.

Take a historical journey 10 minutes from the foot of the Big Buddha is the Wisdom Path, which showcases 38 wooden steles containing verses from the Heart Sutra.

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When you’re done studying the well-known prayers revered by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists, head over to the Tung Chung Fort. This attraction, which dates back to 1832, is now a relic from the past with six old muzzle-loading cannons and Chinese archways.

Explore the trails The famous Lantau Trail is 70 kilometres long and divided into 12 sections of varying difficulty levels.


Photo: hangraffiti flickr

Discovery Bay

A popular destination for hikers and trail runners, it encompasses Sunset Peak, the third-highest peak in Hong Kong at 869 metres with stunning views of the island. In fact, the trail is so popular that it makes up much of the course for the annual TransLantau ultra-marathon.

of fishermen who built their homes on stilts above the water. You can explore the area by boat, navigating the channels between houses, or by foot atop the stilts. Don’t leave without sampling shrimp paste and dried seafood.

Speaking of Lantau, we can’t forget Discovery Bay, or DB for short. A landing spot for expats with its low plot ratio, the DB lifestyle is all about sailing, golfing and the outdoors. Hit the beach, go shopping at the weekend handicraft markets or enjoy a meal out at the alfresco D-Deck with gorgeous sea views.

How to get there The easiest way to get to Lantau Island from Central is via ferry. Hop on the ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo, located at eastern Lantau. The ordinary ferry takes 60 minutes whilst the fast ferry takes 40 minutes. nwff.com.hk

Hit the beach

Photo: Tiger King flickr

Two top contenders for the best sandy shores on Lantau Island are Cheung Sha Beach and Pui O Beach. Cheung Sha stretches across three kilometres, one of the longest beaches in Hong Kong, whilst Pui O is secluded and less trodden. If you’re up for it, you can also make a go at some water sports like kayaking, windsurfing and kiteboarding here.

Experience a fishing village For a day of history and heritage, make a day trip to Tai O Fishing Village, which has roots tracing back to the Ming dynasty. The village was originally home to the Tanka people, a community

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MUST HAVES Correcting cream veil $108 from Clé de Peau Beauté whitestonehkshop.com

Melting moisture masque $728 from Dermalogica dermalogica.com.hk

Mother wild flower bouquet $1,200 from The Floristry the-floristry.com

Lime basil & mandarin cologne $1,155 from Jo Malone jomalone.com.hk

Mum’s the word

It’s your turn to spoil her this Mother’s day (May 9)

Harmony chocolates $550 from The Peninsula Boutique peninsulaboutique.com

The Lore Collector $740 from aesop aesop.com

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Sky blue tote bag $1,099 from Coach whitestonehkshop.com

Heart dangle charm $499 from Pandora hk.pandora.net

Blossom jewellery box $730 from NUDE Design townhouse.com.hk

Cane-line Lighthouse lantern $1,691 from Everything Under The Sun everythingunderthesun.com.hk

Queen’s Meadow cake $1,200 from Vive Cake Boutique vive.hk

Flower and lucky charms set $1,488 from Wonderland Fleurs & Cookie Smiles cookiesmiles.com.hk

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Written in the stars Letao Wang, The Kingdom Healer shares his insights on what the stars hold for you this month AQUARIUS Perseverance and discipline are the keys to your success during this period, Aquarius. Don’t try to escape your responsibilities or hand them over to a third party. The faster you get busy, the more you will close chapters in your life that need to end.

TAURUS You will notice a capricious temperament regarding your relationships, thanks to the current planetary configuration. You will enjoy all the first stages of falling in love: flirting and seducing those around you. Before moving forward with a suitor, make sure that you will not lose interest once you conquer them.

LEO Although it is an excellent time for social activities, you may feel a bit scattered at your workplace. If you want to focus on just one thing, you will probably find it impossible to concentrate. So, identify the goal and move toward it with determination.

SCORPIO The emotional connection with your inner world promises a prosperous time in your relationships. You will find it very easy to connect with your friends. If you are beginning a romantic affair, it is a suitable time to deepen your link. Follow your intuition, as it is not likely to be wrong at this time.

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PISCES Your third eye is fully active, which is very conducive to pursuing artistic and spiritual activities. You will have creative inspirations that will guide all the decisions you make during this time, Pisces. Trust your intuition and follow your heart’s commands.

GEMINI You are usually pretty fast, Gemini but at this time your mental agility will be quicker than ever. Your communication is assertive and you will undertake different jobs that you will enjoy. If you are interested in starting a course, don’t hesitate to do so.

VIRGO It is an excellent opportunity to review communicational projects and establish contact with old friends. Consider your options and reflect before making important decisions. Don’t get ahead of yourself, Virgo. This is not the time to start very ambitious projects. Take your time.

SAGITTARIUS If you feel distressed about a difficult situation, try not to dwell on it. Ask your spirit guides to help you and wait for things to work themselves out at their own pace. Take note of the visions and dreams you have during this time, they will give you clues as to the next steps on your path.


ARIES You may feel quite sensitive at this time, Aries. However, you will get protection from your loved ones and take confidence from a new group of friends. You might not feel in the mood to embark on demanding jobs. Choose peaceful solutions to conflicts and spend time with your family.

CANCER You are the type of person who tends to opt for peaceful solutions. However, during this period, you will feel the need to defend your territory and fight for what is yours. Do not get carried away by other’s decisions and stand firm in your opinions. It is time to become independent and find your way.

LIBRA You’ve been through a lot Libra, but those years of experience have paid off. Your wisdom makes others seek your advice to encourage them in their lives. Your patience and affectionate sensitivity will get your friends and colleagues to invite you to various social events. Enjoy yourself in the company of your loved ones.

CAPRICORN Something may be keeping you worried for longer than it should. Your rigid thinking may prevent you from finding solutions to your problems, Capricorn. Have confidence in the future. It’s not constructive for you to berate yourself for old decisions. Try to look ahead and take a more positive view of your life.



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Ask a vet... Dr Pauline Taylor on Hong Kong’s Tong Gau (mongrels) Today about 400 breeds of dog exist worldwide. The local mongrel dog (Tong Gau) is bred from one or more of these subspecies that exist in Asia. Additionally, it could harbour genes introduced from other dog species brought to Hong Kong from anywhere in the world. What are some of the benefits of adopting a mongrel over a purebred dog? Many arguments exist for people to adopt a mongrel dog. The most well known is that usually you end up saving a mongrel dog’s life that otherwise may not get a forever home and even could possibly be euthanised. It’s suggested due to hybrid vigour in crossbreed dogs they are generally healthier and less prone to many diseases especially hereditary ones that purebred dogs get. But this is not always true and often some mongrel dogs get similar medical conditions as purebred dogs so it does depend on the mongrel’s gene pool. You may

have noticed when a purebred breed becomes popular in Hong Kong, shortly thereafter local mongrels may show characteristics of the purebred e.g. spots on mongrel dogs after the movie ‘101 Dalmatians’. Purebred dogs usually come with a price on their head and sadly many (but not all) come from breeders only concerned about making money. Do you think the stigma around mongrels has improved in recent years? I have seen huge changes in attitude to getting mongrel dogs since I first came to Hong Kong. Nowadays families are happy to adopt a crossbreed dog where years ago a certain status symbol was created by buying and walking around with an expensive full breed dog. Let us remember many ‘in vogue’ crossbreed dog breeds such as the cockapoo did not exist a few years ago in any great numbers and certainly not by that name.

Nowadays many animal welfare groups contribute to rescuing mongrel dogs whereas these groups did not exist 20 years ago. With marketing and good PR these groups have altered the stigma around having a mongrel dog.

Dr Pauline, Pets Central veterinarian

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You’re married, now what?

Valentina Tudose shares three questions to ask to help you reconnect and realign with your partner will see there is a lot of truth in that. However, many of us are not really conscious of what we are creating. By only focusing on the daily struggle and our endless to-do lists, we ignore the incredible potential of choosing our life path with full conscious intention. Most couples go as far as visualising their future as a family, raising children and accomplishing professional goals. Very few actually take the time to create a common vision for their relationship. The outcome? Each partner ends up following a different direction, literally pursuing different goals or simply letting others drag them in all directions. Take time to discuss with your partner what your perfect life would look like and explore how you can ensure you get what you want.

Many people dream their entire life of finding that perfect partner who will make them magically and irreversibly happy. Some even meet someone who looks like their very own Prince Charming and seems to do everything right. Yes, there are some things that are a little bothersome but in the heat of passion and the excitement of having found The One, these details are passed off as ‘endearing quirks’ and ignored because, after all, love conquers all, doesn’t it? One dream wedding and a couple of kids down the line, they wake up and realise they barely know the person they share a life with and all those hopes of living happily ever after are faced with a cold, hard dose of reality. “Where has all that magic gone?” They ask. The problem with this approach is that it ignores a fundamental aspect of what makes relationship work in the long run – compatibility. The telltale signs of compatibility are the ability to collaborate and work towards a common goal, resolving conflicts as they arise and ultimately learning and growing together. Because essentially, if you are not growing together the only other option is growing apart. Yet how many of us really sit down with a partner in the beginning of a relationship and

explicitly agree on goals and a vision, create a path and a plan for our life? Whether you have just started seeing someone or have been with a partner for a long time, here are three questions to reflect on to help you reconnect and realign your goals.

3. What can I learn about myself to help me connect better with my partner? All experiences contain lessons and our life partners are there to help us learn and grow. Make it a habit of using your partner as a sounding board by sharing your struggles and worries and listening to theirs in return. This creates a deep sense of intimacy we get from knowing we are not alone and there is someone there who has our back no matter how tough things may be.

1. What do I appreciate about my partner and relationship and how am I showing that to them? The main reason many couples lose the intimacy and connection they share in the beginning is the complacency that comes with commitment. Once we know we have that person’s love and attention, we often get distracted by life and forget to show appreciation for the wonderful gift their love is. Make it a regular practice to share those little things that you love and cherish. Pay them compliments, do sweet things they like, be curious about what’s going on in their life. Don’t forget to share as many moments of physical connection as possible so that your bodies remember the bond you have. 2. How do I want our relationship to look in 10/20 years? It is said we are the creators of our reality and if you really think about your life that way you

Valentina Tudose is a relationship coach and founder of Happy Ever After and ambassador for YVEREST. For more information visit happyeverafter.asia

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Bots are people too Nury Vittachi on why robots should be classed as humans Officials in the European Union actually held a meeting to try to decide whether robots could legally be considered people or not. This is idiotic. Of course they are people. The little robot in my smartphone told me. The word “people” refers to sentient beings with whom one can have intelligent conversations, right? So that INCLUDES Siri and her rivals, but EXCLUDES babies, pets and most Hong Kong politicians. I was thinking about this when someone sent me a video of a press conference at the White House in the US. A reporter asked a long, rambling question and one of the nearby phones responded: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you want me to change.” Everyone laughed, since it made so much more sense than the human discussions. Alexa, of course, is the best selling artificial assistant. Although unattractive (she looks like a cylindrical crisp container) she exists in a permanent state of semi-sleep until she hears her name. When I mentioned this to my wife, she replied: “It’s just like you.” This automatic-wake-up function creates amusing problems. TV news reports about Alexa ordering expensive stuff from Amazon. com causes Alexa robots everywhere to wake up and start ordering expensive stuff from Amazon. News anchors pontificate about this as if it was a glitch, but considering that Alexa machines come from Amazon, it sounds to me a rather profitable one. (It reminded me of the time a child in my kids’ school in Pok Fu Lam started a fad for junior curry-cooking classes and we later found that her father was an importer of stain-removal products.) My tech friend says the current trendy amusement is to gather several AI robots (such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Next) on a table and get them talking to each other. Long conversations follow but you get this creepy feeling that no actual functioning human brain is involved. It’s astonishingly similar to listening to people at the FCC bar on Friday nights. Anyway, my tech friend thought watching machines converse was hilarious, but I was unamused. Why should I work for a living while my gadgets hang out chatting? And what if they plot to take over the world? I’ve seen those movies. In fact, if you think about it, every single movie about robots shows them becoming conscious and problems ensuing, right?

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He told me I was being ridiculous as the devices can’t even move by themselves. But I told him that that was only a matter of time. I have proof. If you say: “Alexa, can you close the curtains, please?” she will reply “Not yet.” It’s true. Try it yourself. The vast majority of buyers just use the machines to play music. But my friend has discovered several little-known uses for them. Top three: 1. Try saying: “Alexa, tell me a joke.” She actually will. This provides hours of amusement for small minds. 2. If you can’t find your phone, you can tell Alexa to call you, so that it rings. You never need to have a fellow human in your house again. 3. If your husband snores, you can say: “Alexa, generate white noise for eight hours.” You can even choose the type of white noise, like “the sound of rain.” What if your husband leaves and you miss him? I wonder if Alexa can snore for eight hours? Anyway, despite all these almost persuasive arguments, this writer has decided against purchasing his own Alexa as his teenage daughter is called Lexi and confusion is likely. One half-listening semi-sleeper with that name is plenty, I don’t need two.

Nury Vittachi is an award-winning author and journalist based in Hong Kong. He is best known for his comedy-crime novel series, The Feng Shui Detective. Contact him via nury@vittachi.com or through his public Facebook page.

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