Southside April 2020

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FAMILY | EDUCATION | EASTER | WORK FROM HOME

APRIL 2020

Explore Cheung Chau Hello spring! Cheer up with these Easter brunches

Meet Hong Kong’s charity pioneers


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The really useful magazine April 2020

2 CONTRIBUTORS Meet the team

28 BIG DAY OUT Tara Smyth explores Cheung Chau

6 PEOPLE

16

32 PETS

Southsiders out and about

8 THE PLANNER What’s still on in April

Dr Pauline answers your pet questions. Plus walkies

34 SOUTHSIDE SECRETS Pok Fu Lam's Waterfall Bay

12 NEWS What’s happening in our backyard

36 ZIM CITY Paul Zimmerman on keeping Jumbo Floating Restaurant afloat

14 LOCAL Jumbo Floating Restaurant closes its doors, for now

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15 FIVE MINUTES WITH… Tracy Fitzpatrick, founder of Indigo Living

16 MUST HAVES THIS MONTH Work from home essentials

18 COVER STORY Meet the people behind Hong Kong’s charities

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22 DINING Easter brunching. Plus nibbles

26 EDUCATION Easter camps for kids

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22 06 28

LIFE IS, AT TIMES, TOUGH. AND ALL WE NEED TO DO IS TO PROVE THAT WE ARE TOUGHER THAN IT SANHITA BARUAH

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editor’s letter

Happy April!

Whether you’re waiting for quarantine to be over or just want to see the city back on track, we hope this issue can give you some comfort and entertainment. It’s important to show kindness and compassion in everything we do, especially at a time like this. This month, Charmaine Ng met some of Hong Kong’s leading philanthropists from non-profit organisations across the city in our cover story on page 18. Spring brings with it sunnier days and plenty of alfresco dining opportunities, we’ve rounded up the best Easter brunches to get you in the spirit on page 22. If wanderlust is setting in, take a trip to one of Hong Kong’s many outlying islands. Our Big Day Out this month (page 28) guides you around Cheung Chau, with beaches, hikes and even a pirate cave, there is plenty to do. Happy Easter everyone and remember better days are on the horizon,

Editorial Managing Editor Gemma Shaw, gemma@hongkongliving.com Editor Nicole Slater, nicole@hongkongliving.com Editorial Assistant Charmaine Ng, charmaineng@hongkongliving.com

Design Graphic Designer 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 Manager Joey Ho, joey@hongkongliving.com Elaine Li, elaine@hongkongliving.com

Digital Digital Editor Apple Lee, apple@hongkongliving.com

Publisher Tom Hilditch, tom@hongkongliving.com

3 things we love this month... Eggcellent eggs To get in the Easter mood, La Maison Du Chocolat has released three adorable and delicious chocolate treats. Follow three chicks on their journey to the Island of Grenada, Ghana and Vietnam, with three unique flavours to match. lamaisonduchocolat.hk

Thanks to Paul Zimmerman Yankee Tsang Nikita Agrawal Denis Leung

Contact us Admin: 3568 3722 | Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772 Published by Hong Kong Living Ltd, L1 Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong

Seafood & steak Jam to DJ Surge while tucking into The Grill’s new set lunch. With Atlantic lobster and a wide variety of meat cuts you’ll be transported to a tropical paradise without having to worry about travelling! 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. hongkong.grand. hyattrestaurants.com

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.

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HONG KONG hongkongliving.com

credit: Lucky Fish Photography

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

Southside Magazine is published by Hong Kong Living Ltd. This magazine is published on the understanding that the publishers, advertisers, contributors and their employees are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors and omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication. The publisher, advertisers, contributors and their employees expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, whether a reader of this publication or not, in respect of any action or omission by this publication. Southside Magazine cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by advertisers or contributors. The views herein are not necessarily shared by the staff or publishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.


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contributors

Paul Zimmerman

Alvin Cheng

Dr Pauline Taylor

Paul Zimmerman is the CEO of Designing Hong Kong, the co-convenor of Save Our Country Parks and Southern District Councillor of Pok Fu Lam. In his column this month, Paul shares his thoughts on the Jumbo Floating Restaurant closure on page 36.

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.

Pauline is a senior vet at Pets Central and specialises in small animal medicine. She graduated in Scotland and spent 10 years practicing in New Zealand before moving to Hong Kong with her various four-legged family members. Pauline answers readers pet peeves in our monthly pet column on page 32. pets-central.com

Tara Smyth

Nabdeep Gill

Charmaine Ng

Avid hiker and photographer Tara runs photography company Nitty Gritty Images. This month she ventured over to one of Hong Kong’s most popular outlying islands, Cheung Chau. Explore all this island has to offer on page 28. facebook.com/NittyGrittyImages

Hong Kong born and bred, Nabdeep is always on a hunt for new restaurants and coffee houses in quaint districts. This month she ventured to Repulse Bay to snap all your smiling faces! Check out her pictures on page 6.

Our editorial assistant, Charmaine went through the international school system before going on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s degree in journalism. This month, she meets the people behind some of Hong Kong’s leading charities in our cover story on page 18.

Want to write for Southside Magazine? Contact editorial@hongkongliving.com hongkongliving.com | 5


people Snaps from Southside

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say cheese

Hong Kong Living Tram Party 2020

We’re on Facebook

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


planner

APR 18

Kayak & Run Deep Water Bay Kayak through Middle Island and run over the hilltops in this multi sport race. 7.30am. Deep Water Bay. actionasiaevents.com

APR 1

April Fool’s Day Pinch punch first of the month. Don’t get fooled!

APR 3

Women’s Wild Swim Connect with the earth in one of Hong Kong’s secluded rock pools with Kembali. 9.30am-

12.35pm. $150. Tai Po Market Station, Tai Po. kembali.org

APR 4

Women’s Five Women have the option of running either a 5km or 10km race. womensfive.com

APR 4

Ching Ming Festival Also referred to as Tomb Sweeping Day, the traditional Chinese festival celebrates ancestors.

FROM APR 5

The Great Carnival Fair A family-friendly event featuring yoga, games and healthy cooking workshops. Every Sunday throughout April. 10am-8pm. Free. Central Harbourfront Event Space. Facebook: The Great Carnival Fair

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what’s on APR 13

Easter Monday Enjoy the egg-tra long weekend!

APR 25

16th Year Anniversary Party Has it really been that long? Celebrate 16 years of The Underground with seven hours of live music. 7pm-1am. $200. Rula Live, G/F, 58-62 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong. undergroundhk.com

APR 25

3 Islands GreenRace Race across Lamma, Hong Kong Island and Lantau. Those wanting more can incorporate Tung Lung Chau island. 7.30am-6pm. $1,700. Pier 4 Central Ferry. tgr.run

APR 6-10 & 13-17

Easter watersports and sailing camps Hebe Haven Yacht Club courses include race training for beginners, adventure watersports and HKSF levels 1-3. Members and non-members welcome. Prices vary. Pak Sha Wan, Sai Kung. hhyc.org.hk

APR 6-10 & APR 13-17 Spring Adventure Camps

A week-long camp for adventurers in the city. Campers must be capable and confident swimmers with good fitness and stamina. $4,480. Treasure Island, Lantau. treasureislandhk.com

APR 8

Brush and Barrel An evening of painting, sipping and socialising at ABOVE. 7pm. $450. ABOVE at Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang. ticketflap.com/brushnbarrelxabove

APR 10

Good Friday Let the four day weekend commence!

APR 10 & 11

Easter Egg Hunt & Buffet Lunch Kids can enjoy an Easter egg hunt on the beach followed by lunch at Bathers. 11am-2pm and 5-8pm. Adults, $395, kids, $290. Lower Cheung Sha Beach, South Lantau. bathers.com.hk

APR 11-12

APR 26

Earth Day Cleanup Hike A clean up with a view at Kam Shan Country Park. 11am-3pm. Free. Shek Lei Pui Reservoir Bus Stop. Facebook: GreenHourHK

Galo x Taipa Village Easter Festive Fun Celebrate Easter at our sister SAR with face painting, egg hunting, painting, orienteering and more. Price varies. taipavillagemacau.com

APR 11

Urban Agriculture with Coffee Ground Composting Kids can learn the basic concepts of urban agriculture and gain hands-on farming experience. 2.30-5pm, $460, tools & equipment included. k11musea.com/happenings

APR 27

Tin Hau Festival A celebration of the birthday of The Chinese Goddess of the Sea.

APR 10

Easter Trail Race A 14km race starting and ending at Aberdeen Barbecue Site. $200. xterace.com

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book now

BOOK NOW JUN 19

Big Band Night Enjoy a night of life music, performed by Hong Kong’s very own jazz band, Basic Notes. 8.30pm-10.30pm. Hong Kong Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central. Facebook: Basic Notes

MAY 9

HHYC Open Day Enjoy free sailing and watersports trials, activities and food stalls at Hebe Haven Yacht Club. Free. 10am-5pm. hhyc.org.hk

viewers for the races, followed by a beachside afterparty. Tai Wan To Beach, Lamma Island. lamma500.com

MAY 24

MAY 17

Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water World Tour

The Lamma Dragons and Thirsty Horse host

She was a Sk8er girl…. and she’s in Hong Kong for one night only. 8pm. $488. AsiaWorld-Expo, Lantau. hkticketing.com

The Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival

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

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news

THE METROPOLIS MUSEUM LAUNCHES NEW MONET EXHIBITION

RECYCLE YOUR LEGGINGS Activewear producer Sweaty Betty has introduced its leggings take-back recycling scheme as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability. The company has partnered with global textile recycler SOEX, allowing customers to return their unwanted leggings of any brand to Sweaty Betty’s IFC store in exchange for a reward voucher which can be redeemed against their next Sweaty Betty purchase. Leggings in good condition will be rehomed, but if they are unwearable, the leggings will be recycled or broken down to raw materials for use in new products. Sweaty Betty hopes that this recycling scheme will make it easier to give garments a second life. Shop 1028, Podium Level One, IFC Mall, Central. sweatybetty.com

A-first-of-its kind Monet exhibition opened its doors in Wong Chuk Hang’s Metropolis museum last month. The exhibition showcases masterpieces from Impressionist artist Claude Monet, including A Stormy Sea and Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet on the Banks of

the Epte, which were lent to the museum by the National Gallery of Canada to be specially scanned and 3D printed. The exhibition is open until September 5. 17/F, Genesis, 33-35 Wong Chuk Hang Road. metropolismuseum.com

TRAFFIC TICKETS GO ELECTRONIC THE PEAK TRAM IS BACK The refurbishment of the Peak Tram has been completed and our favourite mode of transport is back. To start this new chapter off with a bang, the Peak Tram has two special offers exclusively for Hong Kong citizens until April 19. The packages include buy-one-get-one

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tickets for adults, children and senior citizens, with additional privileges in designated shops, restaurants and entertainment venues at The Peak Tower. All the more reason to take a ride on the city’s iconic red train! For more information, visit ticketing.thepeak.com.hk

Electronically printed traffic penalty tickets were introduced in mid-March on a three-month trial scheme to eliminate human error. According to the police, up to 9,000 tickets are ruled invalid every year due to human factors. Officers testing out the scheme are equipped with a mobile phone and a portable printer to be used when issuing a ticket at the scene. The scheme costs an anticipated $8 million, which includes the costs of mobile phones, portable printers, data transfer and a back-end system.


in your backyard

POISONED PORPOISES

credit: Flickr: kuribo

A recent study has found concentrations of the organic tin compound triphenyltin (TPT), a dangerous toxin banned in 2008, at recordhigh levels in local Chinese white dolphins and finless porpoises. One finless porpoise reportedly harboured ten times the level of TPT compared to a sample of the species tested in 2003. The data has raised concerns that local seafood prepared for human consumption may be contaminated as well. HKU professor Kenneth Leung warns that high concentrations of TPT will have a negative health impact in humans and urges people to avoid bottomdwelling fish, which may have more exposure to the chemical.

PUBLIC HOUSING FOR ALL COUPLES Same-sex married couples looking for a place to live in Hong Kong are now able to apply for public housing. At the beginning of March, the High Court stated that a Housing Authority policy that prevents married same-sex couples from applying for public housing violated the Basic Law. The judicial review was brought up in 2018 by Nick Infinger and his husband, both permanent residents of Hong Kong. Their application for public housing as a family was

rejected by the Housing Authority, who stated that the couple did not meet its definition of husband and wife, as defined under the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, ‘husband’ means ‘a married man’ and ‘wife’ means ‘a married woman’. Infinger’s application will now be reconsidered following the judgement – a triumph for equality and a step against discrimination.

BORDERS CLOSING ART ATTACK

Start saving up, because the new date for the Affordable Art Fair has been announced. The eighth edition of the annual fair is now set to take place from August 20 to 23 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Along with most events originally scheduled for February and March, the fair was postponed due to the current coronavirus outbreak. For the latest updates, visit affordableartfair.com

At the end of the month, Hong Kong saw an alarming surge in coronavirus infections, both imported and spread locally. In response, as of March 24, the city has closed its borders to all international arrivals, following Singapore and Taiwan’s examples. Non-residents would not be allowed into the city, transit passengers

included, for a two-week period. Arrivals from mainland China, Macau or Taiwan will be allowed in, according to Carrie Lam in a press conference, provided they had not travelled anywhere else in the past 14 days and are subject to quarantine orders.

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local

Goodbye to a legend The famous floating restaurant shuts its doors. By Charmaine Ng

J

umbo Kingdom, located in Aberdeen Harbour, has long been one of the most iconic structures in Hong Kong. The sprawling floating eatery, decked with traditional decor, serves Cantonese cuisine with a seafood focus and requires a short boat ride to get to. It has hosted many famous celebrities, including Chow Yun-Fat, Queen Elizabeth and Tom Cruise, and appeared in many films, like The God of Cookery, Godzilla vs Destroyah and Infernal Affairs II. Jumbo Floating Restaurant was opened in 1976 by Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho and is run under Melco’s subsidiary Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises. 11 years later, in 1987, it acquired the Tai-Pak Floating Restaurant. Both restaurants are collectively known as Jumbo Kingdom. It underwent a $35 million renovation in

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2003, transforming into a modern complex with shops, bars, food stalls and a fishing village museum. In 2017, Melco International Development, Jumbo Kingdom’s owner and operator, announced plans for a total revitalisation and sold a 509-space car park that was used for guests to pay for the revamp. One of my earliest memories as a child was taking the shuttle boat from Aberdeen Promenade to Jumbo Kingdom for lunch with my family. Dining at the floating restaurant was reserved for special occasions. A visit to Jumbo Kingdom felt like an adventure, a day out in itself, so different from eating at any other yum cha places in Hong Kong. But visiting the famed seafood restaurant will forever become another memory. On March 3, Jumbo Kingdom shut its doors and suspended all business, citing the impact of

The restaurant in its glory days

the coronavirus outbreak as the cause of its closure. The floating restaurant had been dealing with financial difficulties for a few months now. The long-running protests meant a dramatic reduction in tourists visiting the city and consequently the restaurant, a popular tourist destination. The coronavirus appeared to be the final straw. According to a report from January, the restaurant had to lay off about 70 of its 130 employees. It also began closing on Mondays, reduced its opening hours and removed a good number of dim sum options on the menu in an effort to stay afloat (pun intended). Lawrence Ho, chairman of Melco International Development, stated that the company will “monitor the commercial outlook for Jumbo and provide any relevant updates in due course,” according to the SCMP. Will Jumbo Kingdom sink or swim? Only time will tell.

Got a local story? Have your say by emailing editorial@hongkongliving.com


credit: venture studios

five minutes with

Five minutes with

Tracy Fitzpatrick

Nicole Slater visits the CEO of Indigo Living in her new Shek O home

I originally transferred to Hong Kong with a shipping company in 1996. I was tasked with setting up a Global Account management programme for the Asia Pacific region. My friend, John Mclennan (now my business partner at Indigo) was about to embark on new opportunities in the Middle East, so I joined him on this venture. When I first started out, admittedly it was an ‘all boys club’. I had to push through that barrier, focus on my career, as well as balance my life back then as a single mum was challenging and tough at times.

At Indigo Living, we are experts at small apartment living. As apartments get smaller, people are opting for sustainable, minimalist home furnishings where every object has multiple functionalities. Life in Shek O is blissful. It’s a place to relax and wind down away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The city is dynamic, fun and easily accessible, but I find myself relaxing into the beachside lifestyle, it compliments my style and values.

on our rooftop al fresco, hang out on the beach or grab a coffee or drink at the Back Beach Bar. The children are finally flying the coop, so downsizing seemed appropriate. In small apartment living, less is more. We opted for a lighter colour palette and multifunctional furniture to make the space feel larger. I used Pinterest and looked through magazines to get inspiration. I also recommend people take the free Indigo Style Quiz, which helps identify your style - and Indigo Living also offer a free design consultancy. JOMO – the Joy of Missing out is the trend of 2020! It’s all about wellness in the home, and if staying in is the new going out then why not make your home the best place it can be? Tracy Fitzpatrick is CEO of interior furnishing company, Indigo Living. Stores are located across Southside including in Repulse Bay, Cyberport and at Horizon Plaza in Ap Lei Chau. indigo-living.com

We love having friends over. We can entertain

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must haves this month

Step file large gold $185 from Kikki.K kikki-k.com

Work From Home

Be your most productive self with these desk accessories, snacks and more. By Nicole Slater

Big Boss SOHO $19,980 from Tequila Kola tequilakola.com

Pistachio and Clotted Cream biscuits $198 from Fortnum & Mason fortnumandmason.com

Aair Lite air purifier - quartz pink Sidus Desk Bureau $3,290 from Indigo Living Indigo-living.com

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$4,800 from Lane Crawford lanecrawford.com.hk


work from home

A6 Stitch notebook 5 pack $115 from Kikki.K kikki-k.com

Metal retractable ballpoint pen 3 pack poppy red $115 from Kikki.K kikki-k.com

Wild Fig Fragrance Sticks $440 from Rituals rituals.com

HK Skyline Elastic Band Notebook $128 from MoMA design school momastore.hk

Image Desk with 2 Drawers $8,990 from Indigo Living indigo-living.com

Royal Blend Tea $198 from Fortnum & Mason fortnumandmason.com

Essenza Plus $1,788 from Nespresso nespresso.com

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cover story

A moment of charity Non-profit organisations that are transforming the city. By Charmaine Ng

I

f you have a roof over your head and food on the table, chances are you’re a lot luckier than many in Hong Kong and around the world. Whilst some of us shy away from situations that make us uncomfortable, some extend a hand to make a positive change. This month, we talk to six philanthropists who go above and beyond to help those in need.

Jo Soo-Tang

Advisory Board Member and Strategic Advisor, Food Made Good Hong Kong Philanthropist Jo Soo-Tang has long been a supporter of many NGOs. She has volunteered with Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation (HKAHF, Stubbs Road), Make-a-Wish Foundation and SPCA, amongst many others. Today, she is heavily involved as an Advisory Board Member and Strategic Advisor of Food Made Good Hong Kong. On the side, she is also the Honorary Chairman, Board of Governors - HKAHF (Stubbs Road), sits on the Advisory Board of Splash Foundation and supports both WWF-HK and Hong Kong Tennis Association as a committee member. Facebook: foodmadegoodhk What are the aims of Food Made Good and what programmes do you run in Hong Kong? Our mission is to support restaurants in operating more sustainably and with a rating system, we can scale a more sustainable food system. The ratings are completed online by members of the charity. It captures business activity across three pillars: Sourcing, Society, and Environment. Big projects this year include decarbonising menus, food waste management and alternative packaging. Our Monthly Sustainability Breakfast Series Meet-ups are a great way for our members to gather over a sustainability topic, with the aim of educating and empowering them to take action. What are some of the most challenging aspects of your mission? We do come across those who find it hard to prioritise sustainability. Even the most outwardly sustainable restaurants will find it tricky to find the time to work on some of these issues. We remind members we are here to support, not be a cumbersome load – that’s why identifying champions within organisations

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is so important. They are ones who drive change from within. What help do you need and how can people get involved? People who eat out frequently and want their favourite eateries to start operating more sustainably can refer them to us via a letter we have on the bottom of our website. Alternatively, they contact us at hello@ foodmadegood.hk and we will do the rest.

Catherine Gurtin CEO, PathFinders

Catherine Gurtin has lived in Asia for more than 10 years, initially in Singapore and now in Hong Kong for over six years. She started her career in public relations and spent the first decade of her career in the private sector, before stepping over to the NGO sector. Prior to PathFinders, she worked at Save the Children, initially at the Asia Regional Office in Singapore before joining Save the Children Hong Kong to support their operations and

strategy development. She was eventually headhunted for her role at PathFinders, where she works today alongside an incredible and passionate team to ensure all children in Hong Kong receive a fair start in life. Facebook: pathfindershk


charity pioneers What help do you need and how can people get involved? For Children’s Day on 4th April, we are organising a colouring contest in collaboration with Dumo. In addition, we absolutely need help to raise awareness – about PathFinders, the importance of maternity rights for all women in Hong Kong and what we do to assist and support all stakeholders. Like all NGOs, we simply can’t do what we do without the generous support of our donors. Readers could also consider becoming a monthly donor for $200. These regular donations with a relatively low administrative burden are incredibly helpful and valuable in enabling us to continue our work. What kind of services does PathFinders offer? At PathFinders we believe that every child deserves a fair start in life and the opportunity to reach their full potential. Currently, no clear government guidelines or policies exist on how to successfully manage a Foreign Domestic Workers (FDW) pregnancy in the best interest of all involved: the employer, the FDW and most importantly the unborn child. As a result, once a pregnancy is announced or discovered, many of these expectant mothers are unlawfully fired, pressured to leave or resign. Since 2008, PathFinders has supported over 7,000 babies, children and women who were not fully, or inadequately, supported by Hong Kong’s public services, with advice and counselling, access to healthcare, emergency shelter, essential supplies and legal support. What are some of the most challenging aspects of your mission? I’m not a social worker by training. While many of our cases have a happy ending, some are simply heartbreaking. Working at PathFinders has given me a renewed admiration for the incredible people who work in the social worker profession. You have to be an incredibly strong, resilient, compassionate and emotionally disciplined individual to give so much, without allowing the needs and issues of your clients to totally consume and break you.

Tell us about a memorable moment while working for LAP? Most of the dogs and cats that come to us are in very bad condition. Skin problems, malnutrition and even death of these poor animals are some of the images in my head I will never forget. But with the hard work of all the volunteers and support from our LAP adopters, many of them have transformed. Seeing them get a second chance to live is such a memorable moment for me.

Yvonne Hung

Company Secretary, LAP Yvonne Hung is a mother of two, an animal lover and the Executive Director of a confessionary company based in Hong Kong and China. Six years ago, she walked past a café in Central where LAP was hosting an adoption day for puppies. Curious, she joined in on the event and found herself unable to forget the charity afterwards. Inspired by the passion that Founder Sheila McClelland exuded, Yvonne applied to become a volunteer at LAP. Facebook: lap.org.hk

What help do you need and how can people get involved? Apart from general expenses to care for the animals, our vet bills and transportation fees for taking the animals to and from the vet also require a large amount of money. LAP has no other source of income besides adoption fees, so monetary donations are helpful for the running and renovation of our centre. People can also support us through adopting, fostering or sponsoring a dog or cat.

How are animals treated in Hong Kong compared to other parts of the world? This is a difficult question to answer, it depends on who we are held in comparison to. If we compare ourselves to Finland, for example, we still have a long way to go. There is growing respect for animal rights and welfare among Hongkongers, but it is often not matched with improvements in government policies and practices. That, I think, is ultimately what needs work.

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cover story inspired me to act. I started the Hong Kong Cancer Fund with a few friends in 1987, in a doctor’s dining room. What kind of services does Hong Kong Cancer Fund offer? Our mission is to ensure “no one faces cancer alone”. All of our services are free. Cancer Fund complements the medical care, providing the missing link that ensures cancer survivors are well-supported both during and after treatment. Last year, our four Cancer Support Centres had over 47,000 attendances at our programmes. That’s around 163 visits a day. We cover all age groups and extend to all those affected by cancer, including family members, carers and children.

Sally Lo

Founder, Hong Kong Cancer Fund Growing up in a family with a strong tradition in philanthropy, Sally Lo has had a long history of working for the community. She worked as a volunteer and board member at the Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital at Sandy Bay for 25 years, and also helped start many projects including the NGO TREATS. Facebook: hongkongcancerfund How did you come to be involved with the Hong Kong Cancer Fund? In 1986, my friend Nicky was diagnosed with stomach cancer and given three months to live. She lived seven months and in that time, I was inspired by her courage, positive thinking and coping skills. More than thirty years ago, cancer was largely a taboo subject in Hong Kong. My experience with Nicky

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What are some of the most challenging aspects of your mission? Fundraising has been extremely challenging especially lately as we need to raise $100 million each year to fund our free services. We have had to cancel all of our events in the last seven months due to the social unrest and the public health concern. The only regular income we get is from our monthly donors. If you would like to help, a monthly gift of just $150 can make a huge impact. Another challenge as an NGO is finding affordable venues for our community support centres – this is always a problem. Tell us about a memorable moment Princess Diana made a special visit to Hong Kong for us at Pamela Youde Hospital and met with representatives from our network of support groups. I was also privileged to receive an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen for my work for the Cancer Fund.

Jill Robinson

Founder and CEO, Animals Asia Foundation Born in the UK, Jill Robinson became an animal lover before she could even say the word “animal”. Eventually, Jill moved to Hong Kong and was offered a job at the International Fund for Animal Welfare. For 12 years, she worked as an undercover investigator, carrying out research into Asia’s live animal markets, the dog and cat meat trade and the use of animals in traditional medicine. She started Animals Asia Foundation following a chance visit to a bear bile farm in China. Facebook: animalsasia


charity pioneers parks suffer a range of abuse and we conduct investigations across the country to identify and report animal welfare concerns. Tell us about a memorable moment Undoubtedly the rescue of Oliver, an elderly 30 year old bear that we rescued from an illegal bear bile farm in Shandong in 2010. Oliver had been caged for 30 years – all of his life – and was in a dreadful condition, wearing a full metal jacket around his body with a painful latex catheter embedded into his gallbladder that was used to extract his bile. On the way back to our sanctuary in Chengdu, Oliver began panting and our vets Monica and Heather decided that he needed life saving surgery right there in the back of the truck. We were stuck in traffic and saw the immediate help of the police and highway patrol who guided us to a local hospital, where the doctors helped us with a tank of oxygen and other supplies, and the surgery commenced. After four hours a hideous metal coil was removed, along with his gallbladder, and Oliver’s life was saved. What inspired you to start the Animals Asia Foundation? In 1993, I joined a tour group of Japanese and Taiwanese tourists in an undercover investigation to go and visit a bear bile farm in southern China. A two-hour journey to Zhuhai took me to the basement of the farm, where I was met with the sight of terrified and suffering moon bears who were caged and being extracted of their bile. I suddenly felt something touch my shoulder and jumped around to see a female moon bear with her paw reaching out of the cage and, without thinking, I did the most stupid thing of my life and reached out to hold her paw. Instead of hurting me, she gently squeezed my fingers for several seconds, as we looked into each other’s eyes. The message at that moment was clear and, while I never saw her again, that one bear began the dream and vision of ending bear bile farming and rescuing the bears.

Geetha Murali

What kind of services does the Animals Asia Foundation offer? We have three major campaigns. The first: Ending Bear Bile Farming; a quest to rescue more than 10,000 bears that are kept on bile farms in China and around 600 in Vietnam. Animals Asia operates sanctuaries for rescued bears, works to reduce demand for bear bile and monitors the changing trends in bile trade. The second: Cat and Dog Welfare; we provide funding and training to over 150 animal welfare groups in China to help abandoned and snatched animals in the country. The third: Captive Animal Welfare; animals in China’s zoos and safari

Before joining Room to Read, Geetha Murali was a statistician. As she was completing her dissertation for her degree, the organisations that most inspired her were community organisations that were directly working to help strengthen and uplift society. With this, she dove into the nonprofit world, starting with a job in education programmes in India. Years later, as Room to Read was building out a corporate partnerships team, Geetha joined the organisation. Today, she continues to lead Room to Read to not only change millions of lives in India, but also around the world. Facebook: RtRHongKong

What kind of services does Room to Read offer? We are on a mission to end global illiteracy and gender inequality. What drives us is the belief that education is the most effective tool for solving the world’s great challenges, from poverty to climate change. Through education, young people have the opportunity to gain the skills they need to become changemakers for themselves, their families and communities. Since 2000, Room to Read has helped more than 18 million children in 16 countries around the world to unlock their full potential. How important is reading for underprivileged children? Today, there are over 700 million people in the world who are illiterate, two thirds of whom are women. For many, a lack of literacy skills will hold them back in life both economically and socially. Literacy is the foundation for all future learning. By teaching children at a young age to read, their lives can be transformed, making them less likely to suffer from poverty and discrimination.

CEO, Room to Read

Tell us about a memorable moment At the end of last year, I was fortunate enough to host the Obama Foundation at one of our schools in Vietnam. We are so grateful to have partnered with the Girls Opportunity Alliance on this visit. As well as hosting Michelle Obama herself, we were thrilled that she also invited along an influential delegation, including Julia Roberts, Liza Koshy, Veronica Ngo, Jenna Bush-Hager and Landa Condor to learn more about our work. It was inspiring to see participants of our Girls’ Education Program meet these world-famous female role models and participate in a life skills session on confidence and self-worth. The young women on our programme were able to inspire some of the most influential women in the world.

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Photo credit@Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

dining

Easter brunches Hop on down to these fantastic brunch spots. By Apple Lee Limewood

Photo credit@Little Islanders

Southside’s easy breezy beachside favourite is serving two special dishes available exclusively over the Easter weekend. Don’t miss the smoked salmon waffle, a brunch classic updated with cured New Zealand salmon and perfectly ripe avocados. For dessert, the Easter sundae, topped with cutesy bunny ears and M&M’s, is set to be a hit among the little ones. Shop 103/104, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay. limewood.hk

Sip Song Next door to Limewood, Thai hot spot Sip Song is a fun and colourful family hangout. From April 10 to 13, the restaurant is offering two limited time dishes including crispy fried chicken. Double down on desserts with the Easter sundae and banana roti pancake. As a bonus, the little

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easter brunch

Pizza project

Pirata

ones will love the kids’ menu and play area. Shop 114/115, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay. sip-song.com

The Pizza Project Pirata Group’s newest darling has all things great for a vibey, no-frills Easter brunch without breaking the bank. The three-course brunch set includes an antipasti, metre-long pizza and a dessert and will set you back just $158. Available throughout the Easter long weekend, try the Pizza Pasqualina with creamy spinach and runny quail eggs. G/F, 26 Peel Street, Central. thepizzaproject.hk

The lively Italian restaurant is hosting a pasta masterclass for little ones this Easter. Taking place over brunch, children ages four and above will learn how to knead, shape and create pasta dough with executive chef Stefano Rossi. After brunch, head up with the whole crew to the restaurant’s rooftop for an exciting Easter egg hunt. 29 & 30/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai. pirata.hk

La Rambla La Rambla’s iconic Sunday Market Brunch is taking on a new format this month, just in time for Easter. All dishes that were previously available as a buffet, including tapas and charcuterie, will be served directly to the table. Kids under 10 eat free while adults can idle the afternoon away on the harbour-facing terrace. 3071-73, Level 3, IFC Mall, Central. larambla.hk

The Grill, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Make your way to The Grill for a fabulous outdoor brunch by the pool. Sustainable seafood and chargrilled steak are the name of the game here. Available every weekend, the menu features an impressive array of cooked seafood on ice including Atalantic lobster, snow crab leg,

line-caught tuna tataki and more. Plus DJ Surge will be spinning the decks to set the vibe right. 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. hongkong.grand. hyattrestaurants.com

Zuma Famed for contemporary twists on classic Japanese izakaya, Zuma Hong Kong continues to be the perfect place to relax throughout the Easter long weekend. Alongside the legendary Easter Baikingu Brunch ($548 for food only), the restaurant is offering an Easter Daikoku Tasting Menu priced at $1,180 per person with a range of scrumptious new dishes to indulge your taste buds. Easter brunch will be served from April 10-13 while the Easter Daikoku Tasting Menu will run from April 6-15. zumarestaurant.com

Bathers The balmy beach restaurant is bringing back its annual Easter buffet brunch and egg hunt. Grab a bucket and get ready to scavenge for hidden eggs on the sand. There will also be fun family games and special souvenirs for the kids. Egg hunting spots are limited, so make sure to RSVP in advance. 32 Lower Cheung Sha Village, South Lantau. bathers.com.hk

Outdoor area of La Rambla

Sip Song

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nibbles Eat pizza, support Italy

Dining News

The DiVino Group, known for their authentic Italian fare, is donating 10% of all proceeds from their pizza sales to Crema Hospital in Milan to support the fight against the coronavirus. Visit their restaurants DiVino, DiVino Patio or Spasso for some mouthwatering pizzas and to support the good cause. divinogroup.com

United we dine To encourage Hongkongers to dine out again, restaurants across the city including Aqua, Duddell’s and Beef & Liberty will be offering exclusive menus, and a chance to win fabulous prizes until April 30. For the full list of restaurants and menus visit unitedwedine.hk

Limewood

Dine and ride Enjoy dinner at The Pulse, plus a free Uber ride home! Guests who spend over $300 at any of The Pulse’s beachside restaurants and bars will receive a free Uber ride home (up to a limit

Kids eat free on Children’s Day Dining Concepts is celebrating Children’s Day with a special family lunch. On April 4, head to any of the restaurant group’s selected venues, including Alto, Bizou and Spiga, where your kids can dine free of charge. The offer is valid for a maximum of two kids under the age of 12, when accompanied by two paying adults. diningconcepts.com

depending on how much you spend). Simply take your receipt to the concierge to redeem your ride. For more information visit thepulse. com.hk/promotion

Duddell’s garden terrace

Spring lunch at The Verandah Tuck into fresh flavours this spring at The Verandah. Their new set lunch every Wednesday to Saturday Includes a healthy salad platter with wild herbs and seasonal ingredients, a main course and delicate dessert selection. Priced from $478. The Verandah, 109 Repulse Bay Road. therepulsebay.com

Shoku goes green Going on a health kick? Beachside Japanese grill Shoku is introducing a range of healthy green eats this month. Menu highlights include the rainbow quinoa donburi and sashimi salad with quinoa and mixed greens. G/F, Shop 109, The Pulse, 26-30 Beach Road, Repulse Bay. Facebook: shokuhongkong

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education

Easter camps These camps for kids and teens are still going ahead this spring break. By Charmaine Ng Ark Eden Awaken the adventurous and curious side of your child with Ark Eden’s Easter camp. This camp is set in the beautiful Mui Wo valley of Lantau Island where children get to learn in the natural playground and outdoor classroom. Expect nature exploration, problem-solving, bush crafts, imaginative games, overnight camping and more. Children aged five to 11 are welcome to join the adventure. arkedenonlantau.org

Minisport A great way to get the children active this spring, Minisport’s coaching style at camps encourages children to engage in dynamic activities that develop skills and build confidence across basketball, football, tennis, rugby and team-building games. Open to ages one-and-a-half to seven years old, groups are capped at 10 students per coach to ensure that each child receives close attention. Camps are held at West Island School, Tseung Kwan O, Victoria Park and KGV Memorial Park. minisport.hk

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Hong Kong Institute of Languages This Easter, catch up on your child or teen’s schoolwork or learn a new language with the Hong Kong Institute of Languages’ flexible learning modes: private lessons, semi-private lessons, home tutoring classes and online lessons. The Institute has been teaching languages to families for 35 years and aims to improve children’s’ language skills in a safe, fun, engaging and effective way through stimulating learning activities.

Mini Mandarins Every Easter, Mini Mandarins provides educational camps designed for children to participate in fun activities and discover their interest in the Mandarin language in the process. Children are exposed to Mandarin immersed role-play at the centre’s Causeway Bay and Central campuses. Through cooking, arts and crafts, storytelling and science, Mini Mandarins ensures that children will enjoy learning and improving their language skills! minimandarins.com


easter camps

Treasure Island ActiveKids Welcoming children aged three to 17, ActiveKids has a variety of scientific camps to choose from and is a great choice for children who love to solve puzzles. The school has been suspended until April 20 in light of recent health events, so ActiveKids has decided to do run camps online and for science and chess only. activekidshk.com

YWCA Centre of Learning and Life Enhancement Challenge the mind, brain and body in one of the 100 Easter camps available from the YWCA International Kids Club. Opportunities range from learning tennis to playing junior scientist. With hundreds of options to choose from, YWCA has one of the most

comprehensive lists around. This year, the centre has cancelled their camps but will hold a series of activities online on their Facebook Page and Instagram. Look out for a variety of fun games for children to beat the boredom and keep learning at home! clle.ywca.org.hk

Baumhaus Baumhaus offers an indoor, age-specific Easter camp designed to encourage a productive and enjoyable learning experience for kids, from newborns to six year olds. It’s a flexible programme, starting at $800 for 30-day playroom access plus four Kindermusik classes. The camps are available at Baumhaus’ Wan Chai location. baumhaus.com.hk

At Treasure Island children can embark on an epic adventure around Pui O Beach this Easter. Kids will develop outdoor leadership skills such as trip preparation, equipment and material checks and group organisation. Kayaking, gorging, raft building and hiking are just some of the exciting activities on offer. treasureislandhk.com

FloatPlus This Easter, FloatPlus is encouraging children to get out of the house and into the pool for a swim session. Weekly swim camps are available for ages three to 15 at the heated Repulse Bay Club pool. They offer small class sizes run by friendly coaches and guests are welcome to join in the afternoons on weekdays and Saturday mornings. floatplus.hk

Flex Studio From April to June, Flex Studio is offering a variety of programmes for children and teens at its One Island South location. Aerial fitness and teen pilates classes focus on helping children stay active in a safe environment and are suitable for both beginner and advanced students as they are split according to skill level. flexhk.com

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big day out

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cheung chau

Tara Smyth pays a visit to one of Hong Kong’s most popular outlying islands hongkongliving.com | 29


credit: Flickr: Eddie Yip

big day out

F

or a truly, super-sized BIG day out, Cheung Chau is the place to go! You absolutely can’t do everything in one day on this vibrant, buzzing, fascinating and colourful island. By the time you board the ferry to leave Cheung Chau, you’ll be planning your trip back. Be it walking, shopping, lying on the beach, drinking coffee, visiting temples, sampling new cuisines, swimming, playing tennis, roller

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skating, running around a track, painting, picnicking, photographing, architecture or just taking the little ones to the playground, this island has something for everyone. Cheung Chau is a long dumbbell-shaped island, made up of two headlands with a narrow strip in the middle, its name translates from Cantonese to mean “Long Island”. Along the narrow strip is where most of the bustling nature of Cheung Chau life takes place. As

you disembark the ferry on the western side of the strip, you are immediately immersed into chaos. Drying fish, gambling grannies, locals on bicycles, handicraft stalls, dogs, fishermen, restaurant owners and tourists are all vying for space on this tiny piece of land. Do not be put off by this, embrace all things Hong Kong and soak it up! Ignore the McDonald’s directly in front of you when you first arrive – there are a plethora of finer dining options on offer. With so much to do, it is very hard to portray in one article how your day should go. However, for virgins to this island, I suggest you do the following. After that, it is up to you, you are at the mercy of your own abilities, interests and the amount of time you have. Upon leaving the ferry terminal turn right, head south towards the end of the narrow strip. The path will continue along the waterfront (with the sea on your right) for a further 1.5km. Once you reach the end you should take the steps on your left, where you see the signpost for Cheung Po Tsai Cave. Continue up this attractive path, following the signs towards the cave the whole way. You will pass a gorgeous temple with enviable views across the water. It is worth taking a moment here. Continue on until you reach Cheung Po Tsai cave. Actually we did not find the


cheung chau

Catch of the day

cave to be overly impressive in itself, but the short walk down to it, past the fantastic rock formations was worth the 50 metre detour. Back to the path and take the steps down to the “balancing rock”. The steps pass through some rocks and at first glance look impassable, but they are not. There is a sign telling you there is no access, across the bay, to the balancing rock, but if the tide is out and with a little bit of an adventurous spirit, you can actually cross over to the other side of the bay using the steel chains and some careful footing. This really is doable – do not be put off. If, however, you decide it is not for you, head back to the main path and continue that way. Presuming you have made the clamber

over to the other side of the bay, pass the impressive balancing rock on your right and continue along the path until you reach Pak Tso Wan beach. Turn left here and continue for a short distance, you will reach the main ‘street’ once again – named Peak Road West. At this junction, turn right and you will pass a picturesque cemetery. After this, you need to continue along Peak Road West and eventually you will head back into the busy populated part of this headland. Try to stay ‘right’ and you will arrive at Afternoon Beach. Impossible for me to tell you how to do this, I seem to take a different route through the narrow little streets every time I do it. This area is reminiscent of being in Europe with steep, narrow alleyways, gated villas and interesting

architecture reminding us that Hong Kong was once colonised. Take this opportunity to relax back with a beer or hire some windsurfs at Afternoon Beach. That done, head over to the main beach, past the dominating Warwick Hotel, this beach provides a great opportunity to swim or sunbathe. If you don’t fancy either of those activities, head into the main throng of the central strip once again and just explore! Here you will find artisan coffee shops, varied eateries, quaint handicraft shops, shrines, temples and places of worship, as well as a couple of art jam establishments. This area is a feast for the eyes and you will be blown away by the variety of places of interest. Head to the northernmost part of the central strip and find the pièce de résistance, Yuk Hui (Pak Tai) temple. Take the time to go inside and explore, the unique wall murals and exquisite doors are worth getting the camera out for. The temple staff are super friendly and allowed me to snap away. By now you’ll be in need of a break – time to hit the waterfront and choose a restaurant of your choice. Order your food, and get the diary out. You’ll be itching to come back – did you notice, we haven’t even made a start on the northern headland?! Tara Smyth runs photography company Nitty Gritty Images. For details, visit facebook.com/ NittyGrittyImages

Strolling past balancing rock

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pets

Ask a vet... Dr. Pauline Pets Central veterinarian Dr. Pauline Taylor answers your questions.

Dr Pauline Taylor answers your pet questions during COVID 19 Can my dog become infected with COVID-19? Pet parents, and the public in general, are concerned about the involvement of pets with COVID-19. At the time of writing, several pets of COVID-19 positive humans are now under quarantine and testing at AFCD. However, so far scientists have found no evidence that mammalian pet animals (including dogs and cats) could become a source of infection to other animals or humans. My advice is to remain calm and follow good hygiene practices in your home. Change your pet’s bedding more often, wipe leads and accessories with a disinfectant daily and use an antiseptic wipe on your dog’s paws and coat after a walk. Brush your pet more often to remove loose hairs and other debris and disinfect the grooming tools and floor brushes afterwards. If you feel your pet is ‘off colour’, call your vet for advice. Since working from home, I’ve noticed that my dog sleeps a lot. Is this normal? Yes, adult dogs sleep or nap between 12 and 14 hours a day on average and pups up to 18 hours a day. Dogs are only ‘active’ for about 20 percent of their day. Boredom and lack of environmental enrichment will lead dogs to sleep more. In your case, you probably haven’t had the opportunity to spend as much time with your dog up until now which is why you are only just noticing. If your dog is still keen to go walkies, play with a toy, interact with you and jumps up for feeding time then they are probably behaving in a normal fashion. Can you recommend some pet-friendly home cleaning products? The simplest and easiest disinfectant is a bleach solution. Concentrated bleach that you buy in the supermarket or pharmacy is diluted with water. This can be liberally used around the home on floors and hard surfaces. It dries quickly and applications can be repeated regularly using floor mops or cloths. Carefully read the content ingredients on the label of the disinfectant brands you purchase. Common sense should be used at all times. Do not let your pet lick or drink these solutions nor walk over the floors when they are wet. A good resource to check is the American government website; Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]. epa.gov

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woof

Walkies Rex the dog hops aboard a ferry to Lamma Treat your dog to a full day out with a trip to Lamma Island. The Lamma Island Family Trail offers a tour around the island complete with serene views and plenty of rest stops for you and your furry friend. From Sok Kwu Wan, follow the signs for the trail, where you’ll hike across the mountains and end

up at Hung Shing Ye Beach. The trail takes around 45 minutes and can also be done in the opposite direction depending on which ferry port you alight at. If a day trip is not quite long enough, you and your pooch can stay overnight at the dog-friendly Concerto Inn. Dogs are allowed in the ordinary class

First Ferries at an extra cost providing they are wearing a leash and muzzle. How to get there: Take a ferry from Central Pier 4 to either Sok Kwu Wan or Yung Shue Wan. The journey takes around 45 minutes.

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southside secrets The first images of the waterfall appeared in 1816, the year of Lord Amherst’s (failed) diplomatic mission to China aboard the Alceste. He used the bay as the rendezvous point for his ships. Sailing with the mission, British surgeon and naturalist Clarke Abel wrote of Hong Kong Island in his account of the trip, Narrative of a Journey in the Interior of China, and of a Voyage to and from that Country in the Years 1816 and 1817, “As seen from the ship, this island was chiefly remarkable for its high conical mountains, rising in the centre, and for a beautiful cascade which rolled over a fine blue rock into the sea. I took advantage of the first watering boat to visit the shore, and make one of these mountains and the waterfall the principal objects of my visit.” Much of the landscape has changed since Abel’s visit: most noticeably, a Bel-Air apartment block now towers above the falls. The intensity of the waterfall is also greatly reduced: after British colonisation of Hong Kong, many of the streams that once led to the waterfall were diverted to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir - the first key water storage facility in the colony. Next to the waterfalls are the ruins of a pillbox and a Lyon searchlight dating back to World War II, when the area was used as a bunker by British troops to defend the colony from the Japanese.

credit: Jaylie Wong

For something more surreal, head further along the coast, to the other end of the park. Here lie hundreds of porcelain figurines of (mostly) Chinese deities, stuck on top the rocks and looking out towards the sea. Many consider it unlucky to discard a statue of a god; instead they bring them here for a seaside retirement of sorts. Retired locals also gather here on weekends to play cards and Chinese chess.

Chasing waterfalls Nicole Slater takes a trip to Waterfall Bay in Pok Fu Lam

N

estled in a park along the coast of Wah Fu Estate, Waterfall Bay is no Niagara Falls, but it is of historic importance.

The sport was marked on Admiralty survey charts as far back as the late 1740s and became well-known among British and European sailors in the nineteenth century as a course of freshwater. In fact, Hong Kong’s reputation as one of the few places on the

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coast of China with an abundant supply of potable water is what first attracted British attention. The story goes that when visiting sailing companies asked the name of the area, local fishermen replied, “Heung Gong” - literally, “fragrant harbour” - in reference to nearby Aberdeen Harbour which exported incense. The British pronounced this “Hong Kong” and the name was eventually used to refer to the entire island.

Porcelain figurines

How to get there Head to Wah Fu via taxi or bus. Once there, head northwest along Wah Fu Road, then left onto Waterfall Bay Road. The park is just down the road to your right.


marketplace

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credit: Graham Uden

zim city

Keep Jumbo Kingdom afloat With demolition plans afoot, Paul Zimmerman weighs in

A

n image of a half-submerged ‘Jumbo Restaurant’ went viral after Melco International Development Limited announced it would suspend operations. It became symbolic for our economic challenges and changing social environment. With the tourists gone the business was no longer viable. And the restaurant on top of several barges had unfortunately long forgotten the local market with its single-minded focus on the tourist dollars. Floating restaurants appeared in the typhoon shelter shortly after World War II. The first Sea Palace (海角皇宮) was sold and towed to Australia. The Tai Pak Floating Restaurant was established in 1952. In 2000, another restaurant was taken to Manila Bay. The recent iteration of floating restaurants in Aberdeen Harbour, the Jumbo Kingdom, was established after the devastating fire in 1971. It became operational in October 1976 and was renovated in 2003. The sinking image and lack of local patronage does not reflect local sentiments though. To have the colourful float disappear is a loss, not just as a tourist attraction. The residents of Ap Lei Chau, Tin Wan and Aberdeen are

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dependent on Aberdeen Harbour and the jobs it has provided for many generations. The floating restaurant is a character defining structure, an icon. The district council is keen to see it kept afloat and functioning whether as a restaurant or museum telling the story of Aberdeen (in Cantonese “Old Hong Kong”). There is not just the restaurant. Other key elements are at Shum Wan Pier Drive: The three floating piers, a park and a ‘themed’ shelter over the taxi stand. The first responses from the government were disappointing: It is not a heritage building, it is not older than 50 years, it is a commercial enterprise. They showed their lack of interest by replying to the District Council in writing only without attending the meeting to discuss the opportunity to salvage some or all. Although the taxi stand was already removed – a condition from the lands department when returning a piece of land - Councillors are reaching out directly to Melco urging them to hold all demolition for six months. We have asked the Lands Department to withdraw their requirement on Melco to demolish the structures at the pier side. We hope this time can be used to form a rescue team between the government and others to explore what can be saved and reused.

Aberdeen Harbour has been a busy destination with lots of colour for well over 150 years. Floating restaurants have dominated the views of the harbour for half of that time. The local economy is taking a serious bruising. Shall we let the restaurant sink? Can we use the barges as a museum? Can we reuse the piers and park for boats to land and take people to other destinations? How do we pay for the upkeep and management? All ideas are welcome. info@paulzimmerman.hk

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


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