Archives: Stories Sorted by  Date

     2004: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

     2005: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

     2006: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

April 30:  'A Most Enjoyable Night Out!'

Nick the Bookman - Freelance concert reviewer.
All photos taken by Bob Davis.

Red Star Rising @ The Island Bar - Sat, April 29 2006

This is the first time I've seen Red Star Rising since their brief and blistering performance at November's DickStock. Kevin has quit (to concentrate on nude?) and his replacement Alex Katsumata is more than capable. There's a new keyboard player, Francisco, while Steve and Hugh on guitar and drums are the mainstays.

Hamada, from Over a Dogma, jams with the band in the first set. Opener "Footsteps on the Stairs" has a slinky world blues feel that gets this party started. About 20 people inside the bar and slightly more outside. Kerry is bopping away, while Kevin and Matt (nude's keyboard player) are in evidence.

Fourth track in, the eponymous "Red Star Rising" heats up the room with blasts of feedback-laden blues riffage as Kumi and Linda join in the dance-floor action. The final track is "Last Ferry To Lamma" in a pleasant country rock style. It's sure improved from the rough video download jam on the last ferry to Lamma last year.

The second set features more of the psychedelic antics that I've grown to love. "Easy Come, Easy Go" opens with a riff that's a kissin'-cousin to "Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix and isn't afraid to funk out a little. Similar to Rare Earth at their extended jam peak. Most of nude appear to be present, grooving away happily. Next song "When Worlds Collide" seems to weld the boogie-choogle of vintage Creedence with the fairground appeal of Jayne County and the Electric Chairs. Francisco is coming to the fore. An irresistibly sleazy organ style, part head-banging, foot-tapping Jerry Lee Lewis with the acid jazz allure of the James Taylor Quartet doing "Mission Impossible" or "The Prisoner". Alex does a passable Jaco Pastorious imitation with some slap-happy bass.

At least 9 lovely ladies are frugging away up front (and I'm sure at least 20 or so of those 9 will be saying "I was there!")

Set 2 winds up with "Escalator Girls" and "Shopping Malls" which is my favourite R.S.R track. I told Steve later I think it's a neo-psychedelic classic. "Escalator Girls" marries Hendrix' wah-wah with what sounds like some Peter Frampton voice-box FX. "Malls" roars along like the Television Personalities in full flight, Francisco's keys are fuzz-buzzing furiously, while Hugh's drums merge Golden Earring with Can. Magnus from Garoupa also plays in this circular style to good effect.

Alex has left for the last ferry FROM Lamma, so Kevin is back on bass for the final set. More thunderous blues rock on "Walking With The Devil" as Squinty John makes a belated appearance. The highlight is a brain-melting cover of "Voodoo Chile" played with the "heaviosity" of Cream or Blue Cheer in full peak mode. Steve says it's their "first-ever cover". The set concludes with the near-original version of "Ferry" and a more funkified, electro-sleazy remix of "Malls".

A most enjoyable night out! Probably equal to the fun factor of Jaggedy Ann at The Edge on Thursday night and way more fun than Simple Minds at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium on Friday night. Now, I'm off home for a nice hot cup of cocoa.

April 29:  Shamrockin'!

After a recent junk trip from the Yung Shue Wan ferry pier with excellent and delicious catering, I've offered to give the catering co., Shamrock, a little free advertorial in this Lamma-zine Blog.

There are just a few local, small  catering options in Yung Shue Wan, for example New Holiday Mood.

Shamrock, a brand-new Blog advertiser, sent me the following company info:

"Shamrock sandwich and catering company has been providing a food and catering delivery service to homes, offices and over 10 International schools since 1992. It currently services over 400 offices daily and operates 2 food Kiosks at International schools.

"The company has expanded from a staff of 10 to over 30. In addition to providing a convenient lunch delivery service to offices, the company has expanded into outside catering for junk, tram, home parties and bbq’s, corporate functions and event catering.

"In 2004 the company under its CRUNCH label set up a bakery and wholesale production facility, manufacturing cakes, bakery and finished food products, for a number of well-known food outlets across the city.

"The company continues to expand and is set to become the preferred caterer for a number of event and public relations companies. For more information visit us at or call 28542180."

Plus a little testimonial from Mr. Pyle:

"Thanks for catering our tram party. The food was great and everybody commented on the assortment of items and sandwiches being unique, high quality, and very tasty. Thanks again for your helpful ideas regarding coffee and beverages. We'll definitely ask you to cater our next junk party as well!"

April 28:  Dolphins on Power Station Beach?

Lee-Ann - HK Dolphin Conservation Society: Tel: 2982 4018, email,  Click for poster and After Party poster.

The Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society (HKDCS) presents campaign Help Us Help Them (HUHT)

The HKDCS is proud to bring you photos, new information, and lots of fun and interesting games in order to promote the conservation of Hong Kong's local dolphin and porpoise species.

Children's games, adult relay races, auctions, treasure hunts, raffles and talent shows will make this event enjoyable for all ages to attend!

Each day begins at 3:00pm

Day one (MAY 5TH) - To know them is to love them. This day provides a photo exhibition, relay races, treasure hunts, and children's games. Register five people per team for your chance to win a free trip to see the dolphins!!

Day two (MAY 6TH) - What threatens them threatens us. This special day gently introduces up to date threats that the animals face and effective solutions to the problem. A lecture from the director of HKDCS educates and informs the public with ways that they can help us help them. Musical entertainment from various local groups begins at 4:30 pm until you decide to go home!

Collect dolphin point cards throughout the day to exchange for auction items on Sunday!

Day three (MAY 7TH) – Celebrate hope with HKDCS.

This day brings back the fun with auctions, raffles, talent shows and prizes!!  All winners will be taken on a day trip to see the pink humpback dolphins!!

If you would like to participate in all of the fun, register or volunteer for the event. Call Lee-Ann at 9647-9505!

Friday May 5th – Relay races, treasure hunt, and children’s activities.

Saturday – Free and fun for all!

Sunday – Talent show, auction and lucky draw

Registration closing date: Thursday, May 4th

Cost: 50 HKD/person/event.

Call 9647-9505 now!!

How you can help from home:

  1. Pick up discarded nets found on the beach and dispose of them in designated trash bins.

  2. Do not dispose of batteries, PCB’s, other toxic items into the drainage systems. Several outflow valves dump directly into the sea. Please keep the animals in mind when dumping waste.

  3. Join our society as a member and/or volunteer. Your ongoing support and commitment is needed.

  4. Encourage others to attend our events. All ages are welcomed!

  5. Join or sponsor community events and dolphin watching trips with HKDCS.


PHONE: 2866 - 2652 FAX: 2802 -1126

ADDRESS: P.O Box 156, Tung Chung Post Office, H.K.



April 27:  Bluelotus Art Cards

3 new paintings from former Lamma Artist of the Month, Carey! Click to enlarge. Her artworks are now available as hand-made cards at very good prices at the Annie H shop vis-à-vis the Bookworm Café. Have a look!

I've also updated Carey's online Art Gallery. I've created it some time ago for free, as I've been doing for many Lamma-based artists since the beginning of this website. If you know a local artist eager for a free web page to showcase and promote their artworks, let me know.

The next Lamma Artist of the Month, Annie Knibb, is almost ready for her big day out in the worldwide, shining limelights of the Internet!

April 26:  'Another Analogue Night of
Music, Mistakes and Merrymaking with Minimal Mayhem'

Lamma's favourite bookman and Gandalf-impersonator has become the regular reviewer of the biweekly Underground HK concerts in town. They're co-organised by's Music forum moderator and musical all-round talent (vox, guitar, organising, promoting, etc.) bbChris. She's just recovering from a serious health scare and we wish her all the very best!

Here are a few short quote extracts from Nick, reviewing the Underground 25 event on April 21 in his very own inimitable style, all posted on the Underground HK website:

Nick Lovatt - Underground Concert Reviewer.

My Stoned Playground: Opening act My Stoned Playground soundcheck noisily. Scratchy beeps and alarms melt into pounding drums, loudish bass and blasts of distorted guitar. The sound is either great or grating, depending on your POV regarding the noise vs melody issue... In some ways, they're the most "out there" band of the night. In other ways, they're fuzzy and un-coordinated, but the drummer rocks...

The Pliable: The Pliable's opening songs are sorta mid-80's Bowie meets Franz Ferdinand choppy chunka chunka bass/drum rhythms... The 2nd guitarist goes for a pee and the other three promptly turn into The Who (well, except for kicking over the drums, breaking the screen, microphone twirling and fisticuffs).

Lazysusans: ...It's more power/punk/pop, some close harmony "lalala" vox, and a Canto-rock ballad. The final tune, dedicated "for our bosses" is a real piss-and-vinegar wake-up call...

Rusty Cross: Rusty Cross bludgeon about 20 or so adoring head-bangers, fingers jabbing skywards, into submission... Good theatrics too. R.C. make a r.s.r. as well, speedslamming through their repertoire as the fans turn the dance floor into mosh pit h.q. The singer exhorts everyone to higher levels of response in what sounds like fluent Goblin...

Willem smiles as he snaps his final pix and promptly removes his earplugs. It's been another analogue night of music, mistakes and merrymaking with minimal mayhem and over 100 people in attendance.

Above photos © Copyright 2006 by Willem Van Der Merwe

April 25:  'Jay's Clockenflap Bitches'

The Clockenflap party up in Po Wah Yuen on Sat, April 15, seems to have been a fun and wild event, judging from the photos on their website. Being slightly over the usual rave party's maximum admission age (25), I didn't even dare trying to enter, imagining them shouting at me "Geezer, go home!" and then clockenflapping me down the Po Wah Yuen hill...

Click here for more of their People-Misbehaving- on-Lamma photo gallery. Click on Photo Gallery at the top and then select "15/04/2006 - Easter Waster - Lamma Island". Then check out how many of those people you know!

According to Jay (who got the "Jay's Clockenflap" T-shirts printed - the ladies adding the word "BITCHES" themselves - there'll be another party on Lamma soon! Jay wrote:

"Cheers for the Clockenflap stuff on your site - like the designs of the last house on the hill image! Yeah, shall defo do another party on Lamma - still recovering from the last one!
As for the deeper meaning of Clockenflap - only the fairies know!"

Jay sent me the poster for their next event on May 6. On it, they're trying hard (and failing spectacularly) to explain the maddeningly intriguing term Clockenflap. Anybody got a clue? Their own origin story goes something like this:

"Once upon a time a pair of legs and a small dog decided to inquire into the true  nature of Clockenflap. Donning silver boots and a safety helmet they left the comfort of their bungalow by the sea and headed into the crazy, vertical city of Hong Kong.

Word about town was that the mysterious Clockenflap appeared only once a month, visible for a few hours, suddenly vanishing amongst a flurry of clicks and clacks...

...and just as suddenly as it had appeared Clockenflap vanished..."  Read more...

April 24:  Free-Wheelin' Mimi the Pomeranian

Sheila - Lamma Animal Protection - Fostering Harmony and Respect for Life - Tel: 2982 4018,, email.

Here is a quick update on how Mimi is doing. I made her an apron from some robust plastic tarpaulin. It protects her legs, tail and back-end while she scoots around the house and garden. It was the work of a few minutes and cost very little ... and has liberated her legs from constant bandages and gives her a wonderful freedom. This is a work-in-progress.

She had her first walk in her prototype wheelchair. It needs some adjustments but she flew like the wind, with her head forward and her ears back, down to the beach today. For a dramatic moment I had to run to keep up with her.

She adores the cats and they adore her - she is a fully fledged member of the cat gang!

She is difficult to photograph because she is so dark, the photos miss the Yippee Happiness of her personality. Still, I think she looks pretty impressive. It is a joy to see how she has taken to the freedom the wheels give her!!

Meantime have a look at the video of her first few seconds in the wheeled cart. It was delightful to see her so liberated and happy!! Today, on the way home, we popped onto the beach. Even after all the interaction she was still happy to play and move around delightedly.

Her wheelchair is covered and ordered, so Mimi rolls her own. She also needs a few other accessories and, of course, she still has running costs!

The immediate response of people was very moving. LAP, on behalf of Mimi, would like to thank all the wonderful people who expressed such generosity, concern and warmth and are actively helping her.

April 23:  Cantonese Opera @ Night

Last night of the Cantonese Opera performances in the Football Pitch today!
Click on first photo above above to view the
entire photo gallery.
Click to enlarge other photos (all photos above by L-G). 
Opera details:

Plus one more Yahoo! Photos gallery from Roz Keep:

Tin Hau temple, lion dance, Dragonboat races,
sampan races and Cantonese opera as well:

Tin Hau Birthday 2006.

April 22:  Tin Hau Festival Photo Gallery

Click above for the best Festival and Dragonboat photos by Streetman.

For more photos from Wingman, click here

It seems to have been a nice QE II-80 bash at the Island Bar last night. Sharon sent me the following on request:

Sharon - Island Bar co-owner and the "heart" of the place:

Since Lamma-Gung has been side-tracked by his new AV acquisition [He's still watching satellite TV much of the day - Deputy Ed], we are offering to help out with the odd bit of interest for his site. Can't wait till he is watching the fourth round of repeats and wants to get back to work again! Anyway, here we go!

Happy Hour all-day Gin & Tonic at the Island Bar on Friday 21 April 2006:

The Island Bar Members celebrated the Queen's birthday amongst some confusion. Some variously thought it was a different day, with the most going for Saturday Well, if you look at the time difference from England through the bottom of a pint glass, I suppose it could be.

Anyway, apparently some thirsty types enjoyed their Happy Hour G&T's although some of those hard and fast beer and wine drinkers could not be swayed. Sorry, without Lamma-Gung to keep us on track we forgot to take any pictures, although here are a couple of items we put up to decorate the windows!

The UK Flag: The Union Jack

The flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is sometimes called the Union Jack. This red, white, and blue flag was first used in 1801.

The Union Jack is a combination of the flags of England (the cross of St. George), Scotland (the cross of St. Andrew), and Ireland (the cross of St. Patrick).

If anyone can tell us where to get an authentic Union Jack from we'd love to hear. I looked on the Net for the measurements but they are so precise and it's so easy to get it wrong it looks like we might need to try in UK.

Thanks for your custom!

Sharon, The Island Bar

April 21:  QE II-80!

Taipengshan - Long-time Lammaite, occasional Blog contributor and Official Correspondent for Tai Peng:

Dear Deputy Editor:

In case you haven't heard, tomday (21 April 2006) is the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. The British Consul-General is hosting a party for Brits and assorted guests on April 22.

Since our Island Bar started as a British creation way back in 1980, any chance of it hosting a special bash for QE II's birthday this weekend, even though the current owners are a Canadian couple and a Brit (Peter Berry)? At least, they might consider flying the Union Jack on this occasion.

Standard Chartered Bank who host so many quiz nights at this speakeasy, surely, should be sponsoring this piss-up.

What do you think?

Maybe you could use this in your blog tomorrow.  [Done - Deputy Ed]

Commentary by Deputy Editor:

Yes, good idea. I've forwarded the suggestion above to the Island Bar. They called this morning that they'll be delighted to take up this idea. For some strange reason, they could NOT find a Union Jack flag yet! So they might have to print their own today and add a googled photo of the queen as well. In celebration, Gin & Tonic (the Queen's favourite drink?) will be at Happy Hour prices ALL DAY!
Happy Birthday, Queen Elizabeth II!

On the left, you can see some of the many souvenirs for this momentous occasion. Unfortunately, all are NOT available via this website, so we can't cash in on this big birthday. {*Big SIGH!*}

Isn't it great that somebody is still upholding the British flag in HK these days, despite the fast dwindling number of Brits living in HK and on Lamma? Did you know there are now more Australians living in HK than Brits? And a lot of other nations have overtaken the sinking number of Brits, there are even a lot more Canadians and Americans living in HK.

Entering some Lamma bars, it's hard to believe, with all these often hard-to-comprehend British accents surrounding and engulfing you...

April 20, Tin Hau Birthday:  Lamma Day Celebrations!

Today, 10am and 2pm: Tin Hau Dragonboat races, public pier in reclamation.

10:30am - 1pm: Lion Dance and Fa Pau Parade, Tin Hau temple, Main Street.

Evening, Apr 19-23: Cantonese Opera, Football pitch. Click for details.

This is part of HK's 18-day Culture and Heritage Celebration;
more details at

Photo Galleries of earlier Tin Hau Festivals:

2005: Sok Kwu Wan Tin Hau Temple Reopening.
2004: Overview, Dragonboats, Chinese Opera, Tin Hau Festival;
2003: Tin Hau Festival;

April 19:  Temple Fair @ Central Ferry Pier

Deputy Editor: From tomorrow, the HK Tourism Board is promoting their Culture & Heritage Celebration - an 18-Day Showcase of Ancient Festivals in HK. This includes the Tin Hau Festival in Yung Shue Wan on Lamma tomorrow, April 20.

The main promotions are staged at the Outlying Ferry Piers in Central which have been decorated all over as a so-called Temple Fair:
"The Fair (Apr 20-23, Apr 28 - May 1, May 5-7) will feature a series of "Pai Lau" (traditional decorative billboards), colourful lanterns and a gigantic bun tower, as well as traditional cultural performances involving Cantonese Opera, Chinese orchestra, Chinese dance and Shaolin kung fu. There’ll also be booths demonstrating arts and crafts where you can learn Chinese grasshopper making, flour doll making and calligraphy. Other features include fortune-tellers and stalls of traditional festive snacks and delicacies."

Here are a few night pictures, I took while walking from the ifc mall to the Lamma ferry pier:

April 18:  Lamma Lacks Its Past Magic?

Jay Scott Kanes - Lamma Author and famous BBQ Chef. His third book will be published soon and his rooftop BBQs have become famous as far as Lantau!

Dear Lamma-Gung,

If new TV-viewing options have endangered Lamma's main media-man, then your 'contributors' must pick up the slack. Hope I can help. Here's something below, with two photos attached. As always, I rely on your assessment of its merit:

Visiting Lamma Island no longer appeals like it did thirty-plus years ago, says Hong Kong's ultimate straight-talker.

"I go there once or twice a year," said Leung Kwok Hung, age 50, an outspoken Legislative Councillor famous as a street-protester nicknamed Long Hair.

"I accompany my friends to play football or to hang out on Lamma, usually for a few hours on a weekend. But Lamma's too crowded. You don't feel relaxed. There's a lot of restaurants and commercial activity. People keep urging you to spend money. It's all about consumerism.

"When I was a schoolboy, the place looked much different. It was more fun and remote, countryside. You felt refreshed, interested."

Long Hair made the remarks at his government office in Central when Lamma author Jay Scott Kanes visited him there on April 12. "We discussed plots to thwart Hong Kong's illegitimate chief executive, the bow-tie boy, Donald Tsang," Kanes said.

"I tell you, Donald Tsang can't afford to debate against anyone with a little political experience or training," said Long Hair. "He's a civil servant, a yes-man, who'll never say 'no' to the Central Government. He lacks the guts for that."

Except for two years in Europe, Long Hair, from Kowloon Bay, has lived his entire life in Hong Kong. When not waving placards or defending principles, he likes to study history, play football or listen to music.

"People deserve to choose their own governments," he said. "The Hong Kong public is mature enough. We could hold real elections tomorrow without violence or corruption. The problem lies in facing the tyranny in China and its regime supported by Hong Kong tycoons to maintain their privileges.

"Without democracy, the lives of ordinary people become harder. Gaining democracy doesn't end all problems, but without it, no structural difficulties can be solved. It's very simple."

Since 2005 when Tsang pushed forward deceitful political proposals aimed to retard people power, rather than to advance it, the goals of meaningful democracy and universal suffrage have appeared remote.

Long Hair shrugs. "I've faced a lot of obstacles before," he said. "Twenty years ago in Eastern Europe, people believed that democracy looked very distant. Yet the Soviet bloc collapsed within a few years.

"In Hong Kong, we're very lucky to stand south of the Shenzhen River. Otherwise, we couldn't speak our minds. Hong Kong's pro-democracy camp has a responsibility to make every effort to support democracy in China."

All photos by Jay Scott Kanes. Captions:

Above: Will the pro-democracy smoke fade? No way, says Long Hair.)
Right: Long Hair ponders a plot for HK's future.

Who'd like to be the next contributor to this blog?

April 17 - Easter Monday:  Video Killed the Blog Star!

Could this be the very last story in this Lamma-zine blog EVER?

We finally got a TV satellite installed. Now we've gone from 2 English & 2 Chinese channels to almost 52 additional ones, most of them in English. It's like going from a severely limited diet to a more-than-you-can-eat buffet. Lamma-Por and I are dazzled and mesmerised by all these new channels, vegging out for hours in front of the tube, clicking away on the channel switchers till our trigger fingers go numb. Multiple movies playing at the same time! CSI every day, all three series! A 24-hour wine channel! Discovery! National Geographic! AXN! Star World! Our favourite channels from our past life on HK Island!

Who's got time left for blogging every day? There's so much to watch, no time for work or play, we've devolved into utter couch potatoes, transfixed to the screen for hours on end, only interrupted by a few hours of sleep and fast food intake.

As there are no other commercially viable TV options on the island, no Broadband TV, no Cable TV, no real Internet TV, the Philippine satellite Dream system is the only real option available to Lammaites to receive more than ATV and TVB's 2 English and 2 Chinese TV channels. Other satellite options, like the Thai satellite and the Cable TV satellite, are way beyond the financial means of most of the population.

While it's theoretically illegal to install a satellite, owners are not prosecuted, so no problem. Most of my neighbours got it long ago. People in the rest of HK got used to Cable TV long ago and have managed to adapt to it, watch it extremely selectively and still have time to have a life besides watching TV. But for Lammaites to go from almost no watchable TV (TVB and ATV) to such a smorgasbord of overwhelming choices... it can be overwhelming and lead to serious couch-potatoism, like in our case...

So, could this be the very last story in this Lamma-zine Blog EVER?

April 16, Easter Sunday:  Happy Easter Bun-ny!

Searching for any symbols of Easter on Lamma, this is best I could come up with, a traditional Easter cross-bun from the Village Bakery. Sitting outside the Bakery - watching the maddening, giant flocks of tourist meandering through Main Street - this cross-bun filled with nuts, raisins and candied orange, enjoyed with a tasty, freshly brewed coffee, is quite a delicious treat, reminding me of Easter in Europe...

The only "Western" holidays really celebrated on Lamma and in HK in general seem to be Christmas, Halloween and Valentine's Day!?

April 15:  Bahouki Live on the Ferry

Returning from Easter shopping on that other, slightly bigger and slightly higher populated island close to Lamma (called HK Island), the passengers got treated to a impromptu concert by ancient Lamma band, Bahouki, with some Irish tunes.

Being seriously sloshed and constantly giggling and guffawing didn't stop John Hutton & Fiddler Dave from belting out a few entertaining tunes to the general approval of the captive crowd.

A friend of theirs went round with baseball cap in hand, collecting donations for, no doubt, a few more beers, to get the merry band members incapacitated completely. It might take a lot, these guys are battle-hardened bar veterans. Well, you've got the entire Easter holidays to recover, guys! Great gig! Make this a regular feature on the evening rush hour ferries, cheering up the office dwellers returning home! A big thank you to the ferry staff for NOT interfering in any way! A little bit of the famous Lamma spirit is still alive, I'm glad to report. I can't imagine this happening, or even being allowed to happen, on the DbAY ferries...

April 14, Good Friday:  Looking for Abandoned Clockenflaps?

Today, another stunning event poster from Lamma's walls. I really love the design of this poster, click here to see the bottom part with all the details of this free party tomorrow, Saturday night, starting late. The organisers write:

"This Saturday night we have a special impromptu event in an abandoned house on a hill on Lamma Island (see flyer details). This is a free party, though expect to see a man with a bucket requesting contributions towards the sound system.

"If you're not sure how to get there, just arrive in Yung Shue Wan and follow anyone wearing tie-dye. See you there!"

Admiring the graphical simplicity and elegance of the poster design above, I couldn't resist once again to play around with it, till it lost all its former simplicity and elegance, messing it up creatively. This might reflect the spirit of the party?

But what the heck is a Clockenflap??? Let's find out tomorrow night!

April 13:  Best (and Only) Turkish Restaurant in YSW

Cook Ahmet, Ms Anonymous and Hayri

The first Turkish restaurant has finally opened in Yung Shue Wan in the location of the former Kiwi Cafe. It already seems to be a smash hit with Chinese and non-Chinese customers alike. They're enjoying their "honeymoon period" of most new restaurants opening locally. In the first few weeks, everybody wants to try a new place, especially if it offers something novel and not available before locally. Word of mouth has been spreading like wildfire, it seems. Their takeaways have become very popular as well, especially the pizzas and Kebabs (see below). I love their juicy Lamma Burger, a meal by itself!

Every restaurant on Lamma gets a free, basic forum on this website where customers can post their reviews and ratings. After I opened the forum, within a few days it attracted the best ratings we've ever seen for any new place: 7 Excellent and 3 Good! ratings (see right), plus a number of all-positive reviews from forum members! Check out the forum! By the way, this story is NOT an advertorial, as "Best Kebab" is not an advertiser on this website. Maybe someday, hopefully.

Turkish Kurd Hayri, the very jovial, personable and outgoing manager, has been working in Kowloon for two years before moving into the flat above that comes with this restaurant's 2-year lease. He worked in London before - note his fluent English - and came to HK "for love". Opening his own place was a personal dream till he found this place. He called his friend, cook Ahmet, to join them and he agreed right away.


From the standards of Turkish cuisine, like Döner Kebab and Chicken Shish Kebab, they've also got real Apple tea and even Turkish Delight. Ahhh, the sweet memories of a great vacation in Istanbul and Turkey...

As a new regular, I'm still waiting for them to offer REAL Turkish coffee (where they boil the coffee grounds, leaving them inside the coffee served!)

April 12:  Boisterous Beauties @ The Island Bar

What is it about The Island Bar that attracts bevies of beauties to their parties, concerts and other events, like watching this year's Rugby Sevens triumph of the English team on Sun, Apr 3? Conveniently, there always seems to be a photographer at hand to capture the assembled beauties - both male and female - at their most silly, boisterous and sometimes even outrageous behaviour.

Here's the latest harvest of boisterously digital pixels from Amanda's Birthday and the Rugby Sevens (click below to view entire photo gallery):

For more Island Bar photos, check out their website:

For more "Lammaites Misbehaving at the Rugby Sevens" photos, especially the hard-working face painters, check out their photo gallery!

Roz Keep writes:

"The Face Painting is organised by Katie Flowers of Lamma Island who is an art teacher at an International School by day. There were three face painting tents this year and our team was made up about 10 people.

"I was lucky on day one to be in a tent near the stadium so was able to see the odd second of a match here and there. The punters were queuing thick and fast on Sunday though and we had to be organised about when we took our breaks so that there were always painters. It must be a record for Hong Kong to have had face painters working for 11 and a half hours non-stop on two consecutive days?

"We painted mostly children at two tents and very fun-loving adults at the south stand tent. One man there was painted pink all over and others had rude words written on their backs and fronts. Mostly though national flags and colours were the most popular. I know for a fact that England won due the huge number of England flags we painted! I am sure I am right.

"At the end of the day the painters took a well earned rest, broke out the vodka and watched the unbelievably exciting final when England scored their winning points in the last second! Following the match we enjoyed a short but spectacular fireworks display and lots of security guards tackling pitch intruders...

"Just hoping for a streaker when we saw him fly down the side of the pitch to hurl himself successfully over the barrier, back into the crowd who then helped him by covering him with an England flag... Well done, mate, maybe you should join the England team, you run fast enough! All in all a very enjoyable two and half days of being part of this great world class event."

And one last item to conclude the extremely popular topic of Rugby Sevens for another year:

Forwarded to me by Mr DickStock, who desperately denies to have originated this video, a musical slideshow of "Best of HK 7s Babes 2006". He claims it was created & distributed by an "anonymous" friend of his! Who'd believe that, knowing about Mr DickStock's well-known, tireless admiration & appreciation of pretty "babes"! Anyway, enjoy this fun & sexy slideshow (no nudity).

P.S. If you don't have QuickTime, you can download if from here:

April 11:  Best of Our Chinese Forums!

Samson - Moderator of All Chinese Forums:

It's already a couple of days later than a week behind schedule, so without further ado, let's get straight to it!

  1. Eating Out… Still…
    The ever-popular topic on restaurants on Lamma continued to discuss the many changes at Blue Bird (Japanese restaurant).
    Meanwhile, new member sochri started an off-shoot topic on vegetarian food outlets on our fair aisle!

    Meaty Eat Out...
      and  Veggie eat-out…

  2. The Only Way is Up?
    With the announcement of another planned ferry fare increase, some heated discussion was sparked on the Chinese forum!
    Read more...  and  Read even more...

  3. Lost:
    DSC06255.JPGAs the renovation of the Yung Shue Wan pier began, the members shared their concerns for the safety of the temporary ferry pontoon, while the Moderator of All Chinese Forums almost got lost inside the pier… (Shhhhhhh! Don't tell anyone!)

  4. Lightning Flashes:
    Emuaisee complained of power interruptions, and the guys from HK Electric Company fixed it all by replacing her electricity meter. Check out the before/after shots!
    Read more... 

  5. It's (almost) Show Time!
    With Tin Hau Festival is looming, the annual Chinese Opera shows are coming on, too! Hey, if you don’t appreciate the music, at least appreciate the actors’ make-up!  Read more...

  6. Out with the Chooks - In with the Bunny:
    Since keeping backyard poultry has been banned across Hong Kong, Herboland became a quieter organic farm – but the new fluffy bunny is now officially the new attraction of the establishment!
    Read more... 

  7. Last Goodbye:
    The Chinese forum paid tribute to the late great Ronnie Norton, who was also known as "Snapper’s Owner". May God hold you safe in the palm of his hands, Ronnie.  Read more...

  8. The Next Station Is…
    In a complete spoof, TomCat wondered the roadwork on the concrete road to the Power Station is related the planned MTR Tai Wan To Extension!?!  Read more...

On that silly note, it’s time to wrap up the Chinese forum summary for March.  Happy Easter, everyone!

April 10:  Lamma Eco-Tours?

More than a hundred "gardeners" comprising volunteers from Hongkong Electric, Lamma residents and students pose in front of Lamma Power Station before departing for their tree-planting mission (click to enlarge).

Sitting in Sampan Restaurant early yesterday - Sunday morning Dim Sum - orange-polo-shirted, yellow-capped tour groups, complete with guides waving flags with group numbers - were coming off the ferry, looking like eco-tourists. A closer look revealed that they were HK Electric's internal private army of volunteers.

They spend their weekends going wherever the company sends them, spreading "community relations" cheers and goodwill to the "overjoyed" population, promoting HK Electric's green credentials to their customers (all of us) and the media alike. Hooray, let's welcome these cheerful ambassadors, eco-warriors, grown-up boy scouts and relentless tree planters to our green isle! (All photos supplied by HK Electric, except above right by L-G).

They hiked uphill to the pavilion on the Lamma Family Trail towards Sok Kwu Wan, where they continued their commendable work on the 3-year "Green Lamma Green" project, the 100 people planting 600 more trees along the Trail, including many local children and adults, plus politicians like Lammadonna and even some HK Electric management.

Click for photo gallery of very first tree planting of the 3-year Green Lamma Green campaign.

Afterwards, HK Electric's tireless PR guys - working 7 days per week, it seems - hurried back to the office and put the press release with brand-new photos (see below) onto their website and emailed it to all their media contacts on Sunday evening. So all of HK will know about their good deeds and environmental engagement and dedication in Monday morning's papers. Or via this blog story, published on Sunday night, way before the newspapers - once again!

I personally welcome transparent, well-meaning, low-cost Public Relations efforts like this "Green Lamma Green" campaign and our cute little windturbine. This is all much preferable to CLP flooding local TV screens with their expensive but stupid commercials trying to convince us how "green" they are, with mere empty words and images, but not with any real action. Invest all that advertising cash into real green and renewable-energy initiatives instead of just clogging up the TV with even more B.S. ads!

HK Electric - Press Release, 9 April 2006  (excerpts, highlights by Editor):

Survey Calls for More Green Educational Facilities for Lamma

A survey conducted earlier by Hongkong Electric and the Conservancy Association (CA) on Lamma Island showed that most visitors saw the Island’s rich potential in developing eco-tours. Respondents agreed that the natural environment and green educational facilities should be enhanced to further promote sustainable development on Lamma.

CA’s Chief Executive Ms. Lister Cheung said, "67% of the 370 respondents said they enjoy hiking along the Lamma Family Trail and 59% agree that more trees should be planted to provide shade for hikers."

"81% reckon that there should be more plants of different species to enrich the natural environment, and that information boards on plants and eco-tour guides should also be put in place to make tours more educational," she continued.

"As 83% of the respondents said they visit Lamma mainly for hiking, visiting historical sites and seafood restaurants, it is obvious that the Island has high potential for organizing eco-tours."...

(From right) Hongkong Electric’s Chief Engineer (Projects) Dr. C.W Tso
joins CA’s Ms. Lister Cheung, Island District Council Member Ms. Yu Lai-fan
and Hongkong Electric’s Mr. Francis Cheng in planting trees along the Family Trail.

... Under the project, about 1,500 trees found their home last year at a hilltop near the popular Lamma Family Trail running between Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan. Another 600 seedlings were planted today by more than a 100 "gardeners" comprising volunteers from Hongkong Electric, students and Lamma residents...

"... So far, we have planted close to 70,000 trees on the Island, including over 2,000 planted under "Green Lamma Green", he said.

"This is already the second year of the project. We will continue to work with CA in enriching the bio-diversity of the Family Trail, and enhancing the educational value and facilities en-route, including the erection of information signages and the training of eco-tour guides."

April 9:  Ronnie Norton's Burial at Sea

Click above for photo gallery by Bob Davis & Lamma-Gung.

April 8:  Mimi Needs Wheels

Sheila - Lamma Animal Protection - Fostering Harmony and Respect for Life - Tel: 2982 4018,, email.

Mimi had an accident when she was about 8 months old which left her paralysed from the waist down.  She is a delightfully good spirited mini-Pomeranian youngster, smaller than all our cats.

She cannot use her back legs, so she drags her body along using her front legs.  She gets sores on the parts which scrape along the ground.  Despite her difficulties, she is well-behaved and gentle.

She needs a custom-built wheel cart to give her freedom to run and play, to protect her skin and to let her go to the toilet. When she has a cart her chances of finding the loving home she deserves, and wants so much, will be much higher.

  Example cart

A cart built by experts for her problem and her body will cost around HK$ 2,500.  Until she has a cart she also needs newborn-size diapers to help keep her clean & dry.

Can you help her with any contributions? 

Donations can be made to:

Lamma Animal Protection, Bank Account Number: 004-161-0-009787 (HSBC).

To meet her or to learn more about her please call and leave a message on 2982 4018.

Thank you for anything you can do to help her:

Wheeled cart: $2,500;  Newborn Diapers: $68/week; Medical costs: $900;
Coban/vet wrap/bandage and gauze to cover her open wounds and protect her skin from scraping: $48/week; Hibiscrub;
Gentle shampoo to keep her comfortable in case she has accidents.

Reply from LAWC (Lamma Animal Welfare Centre), one day later:

We are glad that LAP has taken over Mimi. As explained in a private letter to LAP, we have been following Mimi's case since February and have taken Mimi to the vet when neighbours brought her to us. In the course of these 2 months, we have been urging the owners to help Mimi, hoping that through education, we could get Mimi's owners to treat her well.

We have also committed to pay for her vet bills and Mimi’s wheelchair, all funds of which have already been secured. When we last check on Mimi on 23 March, we gave the owners a deadline of 2 weeks to vaccinate, microchip and put a bandage on Mimi's hind legs, failing which, the owners may face possible prosecution. We are so surprised that just 2 days before the deadline, Mimi came into LAP's foster care for a few months.

It has always been our objective to educate pet owners about responsible pet ownership. Prosecution is only the very last resort. In any case, as we have already secured the necessary funds for Mimi's medical bills and wheelchair, we hope that LAP would answer our request to work together for the welfare of Mimi.

April 7:  Lamma Photo of the Day

You might have noticed a new permanent feature on this site, in the left column, the Lamma Photo of the Day? It'll be changed daily and feature the best of Guy Miller's photography initially, drawn from his "The Weather today..." forum where he has been posting daily pictures for weeks already. They have recently become more diverse and even have amusing captions. They feature other new subjects occasionally - like landscapes and Lammaites - besides his often stunning and professional bird photos.

Find a few samples in this story and click on the Lamma Photo of the Day on the left to see a large picture and all the former Photos of the Day. Enjoy!

If Guy ever gets tired of this daily schedule, the Lamma Photo of the Day will be opened up to anybody else to fill in. So you're welcome to start sending me your very best Lamma/Lammaite photos! I'll find a place to showcase them in the best way on this site, giving you full credits and email/web links, of course!

April 6:  Lantau Arts Festival 2006


Lantau Arts Festival 2006 - Poem Beyond the Door Frame: April 5-23, Mui Wo, Lantau Island: Visual Arts Exhibition, HK Outdoor Film Festival, Live Open Field Concert, Pui O Sand Sculpture Challenge, Holiday Fun, and much more!

For details, click for poster, media release and website slideshow (click [Next] at bottom of screen)

The opening ceremony for the Lantau Arts Festival took place yesterday and it will run from today till April 23. Organised yearly by my friends at the LantauPost bilingual community newspaper, this has become a major event on HK's cultural calendar. The wide diversity of events is amazing and most of them are held outdoors, from movies & concerts to the Sand Sculpture Challenge & children's events.
Check it out, see what our big sister island is up to!

Same question I've asked last year: Why can't we get something like this organised on Lamma, with all the wide variety of artists, events people and many other talents we have living here?

P.S. No, I also don't know what the motto of the festival means: "Poem Beyond the Door Frame".

April 5 - Ching Ming:  'Wandering Trail' Music Video

At first, I was planning to publish a fiery polemic today, "Welcome to Lamma, Firebugs & Arsonists!", about the twice-yearly burning of Lamma's hills by Ching Ming grave sweepers, setting accidentally fire to our hills when burning offerings, burning down acres of bush and trees every year - often recently planted ones - devastating our hillsides and turning them into charred, black wasteland.

But then I had a HK-traditional breakfast at the Lamma beachside with Lamma-Por and I got even more relaxed than usual, losing the fire and passion to write a biting polemic. Then I received an email from "Mad Allig" (Adam Gill backwards) after breakfast. A Lammaite composer & musician, he introduced his new website and Lamma music video, so I gave it preference over my own ranting & raving today. The video shows beautiful scenery of Lamma, rolling, still green hills, set to Adam's serene, beautiful music.

Don't even try to view this w/o a Broadband connection, it's 6 minutes of over 90 MB of streaming video! Here's a compressed, zipped version for download in full first, then play without any interruptions: zipped video.

Adam writes about his new music video "wandering trail":

"The music: composed in 1997 ... originally a piece for piano and sax. ... but later set it to other instruments ... the original inspiration came from when I was traveling in Burma ...

"The video: I have thought about adding video to some of my music for some time ... but I have put it off until some friends, and a couple of professional musicians suggested that I should add video to my music ... after listening to some of my material ... Then one day as I was walking over Lamma recently, on one of my free days ... that composition "wandering trail" came in my mind ...

"The next few days I was out and about on Lamma taking video shots all over the Island ... trying to capture something of the mood, nature and essence of Lamma Island . ... quite a few of the shots you'll see the kite swirling overhead or gliding in the horizon ... I'm sure there's some symbolism there! I was also trying to catch something of a previous era ..."

Adam Gill's website - full of beautiful music to listen to in many styles - has been added to our comprehensive list of Lamma websites and blogs in our "Links" page, just one click away from almost every page of this website ("Links" in upper right corner of every page). I've just completely updated the Links page. If your Lamma/Lammaite website or blog are missing, let me know!

There was a Lamma video in this blog yesterday, another one today, great!
Send me more videos, please, if you'd like a LOT of Lammaites to see your best Lamma-related works! We might have to set up a special "Lamma Videos" list. Would you like to see this happen very soon?

April 4:  'Lamma Idiots' to Enter Amazing Race Asia?

Kookie Katie & Girning Gina, former and current captains of the Lamma Dragon Ladies team have teamed up and are trying to get accepted for AXN TV's Amazing Race Asia, according to the wonderful Lamma Ladies Blog! They write:

"Not satisfied with Pinking, Paddling and Partying in Hong Kong and Boracay (though we love to do so), they are trying to take their show on the road, bringing fame, fun and fashion consciousness to Paddlers and Couch-Potatoes everywhere."

Being the consummate professionals they both are, they even put together a fancy video application, from the front of a Dragonboat at full speed in our harbour to various interviews with Lammaites. Click on my little animation above to play this beautiful & funny video featuring many YSW celebrities, entirely filmed on local locations that all Lammaites know!

"Not only does this fine film represent Katie and Gina at their supernatural best, but it also features a glimpse of the LOVELIEST LAMMA LADIES as they support their captains (new and not-new), through their great team spirit and - ahem - amusing sense of humour.

Left: Blond bombshell Katie. Right: Dark, sneaky Gina. If YOU want to see more of the Lamma Idiots on your TV now, and would like to support Kookie Katie and Girning Gina in their team entry, send an email to AXN!!!

Begin the viral campaign; we could be the next super flu! Gina and Katie for the Amazing Race Asia 2006."

P.S. In case you're wondering what 'Girning' means, this is what I got by typing "define: Girning" into Google: "A gurn is a distorted facial expression, and a verb to describe the process. Sometimes spelled girn, perhaps related to the word grimace. A typical gurn involves projecting the lower jaw as far forward and up as possible, and covering the upper lip with the lower lip."

April 3:  'It's Good to Be Back!'

After the big story and photo gallery yesterday about all these young & handsome Lammaites who have all (?) left Lamma by now, let's focus on some ex-Lammaites COMING BACK to our fair isle. Quite a few have been sighted these days, either returning permanently or visiting frequently; for example very regular Lamma visitors & ex-Lammaites Volley & Frazer (new photo courtesy of the Lamma Dragon Ladies) who can't seem to stay away for more than a few weeks! You might know some or all of these 3 ex-Lammaites below?

Roz Keep - ex-Lammaite, just returned from Chiang Mai with husband & son:

The photo above, taken by L-G, shows Peter & Janet Lightowler visiting HK for three weeks. They lived on Lamma, but left in 2000. Peter ran a little shop, "Smelly Things", selling aromatherapy oils, crafts and paintings by Roz Keep. Janet did Reiki and taught English. They both had lots of friends on Lamma and if anyone wants to contact them, they are on

They are seen here with Roz Keep who, with husband Phil and son Robin, has recently returned from Chiang Mai where they spent 2 and a half years. Walking down the High Street last week, they all met up by chance and had a friendly reunion beer at Ah-Hey's  [Editor: Lung Wah Seafood Restaurant, besides HSBC].

Just after this photo was taken, Roz saw Mika from Pak Kok who now lives in Belgium! While Peter and Janet were having lunch they saw Don Brech who has just returned from Thailand... It's good to be back!

April 2:  The Good Old Days - Lamma in the Handover Years

Caroline Scott - ex-Lammaite, 1997-98:

I remember my very first visit to Lamma. I had been in HK for about 3 days staying with my friends Si & Phil on Hollywood Road. I still wasn't used to HK, which takes some getting used to (just think back to your first day!)  Arriving on Lamma was like stepping through a tardis [Editor: Dr. Who's time-traveling policebox] and entering a completely different country to the one I had been living in for the previous 72 hours.

My memories of the ferry (only slow ones at this time, see right)) are the smell of fuel, the warning message through the speakers (which I could recite by the time I was leaving, even if my words weren’t actually Chinese words, it sounded the same!) and the ferry noodles. Oh, how I looked with disdain at the people eating these at first, especially if they had an egg or sausage in there! Forward 3 months, Friday night, drunk & on the last ferry from Central & I was tucking into them with everyone else (never with an egg or sausage, though!). I actually remember the fast ferries being introduced & still preferred the slow ones, especially with a hangover when the fast ferries were not so great – horrendous, in fact!!

As I soon discovered, all Lammaites gave Main Street a wide berth during the day on the weekends due to the massive influx of tourists (John Cleese was one celebrity spotting!) As the day ended, tourists began to leave the island & head back to HK, the local residents slowly filtered out for drinks at the 'tin Head or food at Deli Lamma – the latter of which became our favourite place to eat.

I moved onto Lamma about 3 weeks later after making friends with people introduced to me in Lan Kwai Fong. When you meet one Lammaite, you meet the rest of their group. The residents of Lamma have their own groups & only mingle by accident at special occasions like big beach parties, junks, drunk on the ferry, etc.

The way of life on Lamma is like no other & no matter how much you fall out with the island during your time there, if you no longer live there, it's hard to look back on the island with anything but very fond memories.

Reasons for me falling out with Lamma:

  1. Missing the last ferry because you stayed for one too many (more than once) & having to get a sampan. Always rubbish, but especially when standing in an inch of fish water in your glad rags at 5am in Aberdeen on a Sunday morning with the fishermen staring with a look of "What the hell!" across their faces.

  2. I was bitten by one of the famous centipedes! The story went like this, "If you are bitten by one, you have only a few hours to get to the hospital or you'll die!" Not good if you feel one on the back of your leg when you are half asleep & then feel it bite you! I ripped back the duvet to confirm my fears & ran into my flatmate's room who promptly burst out crying saying, "They’re poisonous. Oh no!" She gave me a look like she was about to have to witness my death. Thanks for that, Julie!! I did get to ride in a Lamma mini-ambulance though. They arrived & carted me off to the ferry pier only to leave me to get to the hospital on HK Island alone!

  3. One too many experiences with Huntsman spiders – on light switches, in the bathroom, in the lounge, walking through a huge web, etc. I never got used to seeing them & I'm not the only one as I remember Jeff screaming like a 10-year-old girl & chasing one with a can of Baygon (from 15 ft away!!)

  4. Having to witness the butcher at work early in the morning.

  5. The walk of shame – getting the first ferry back from HK on a Sunday morning after partying all night in the clubs. Your choice of attire always seemed so right at 10pm on Saturday night & yet so wrong at 8.30am Sunday morning, surrounded by tourists & HK Island dwellers ready for a day on Lamma. You could see parents physically (& not so subtly) drag their children away from us!

Parties on Lamma were a regular thing. Whether it was a BBQ on a roof or Greg, Shaggy & pals carting amps, speakers, generators etc to a remote location opposite Aberdeen. If you were still there to scare the little old Chinese ladies who appeared at the top of the hill above us ready for a relaxing session of Tai Chi the following morning of this particular party, you'll know the one I mean!!!

Junks were yet another reason to drink loads. Without fail they ended up being messy days out. Whether it be people falling through the hatch leading from the roof to the main deck & cracking their jaw (Zoë, see right) or just completely falling off the junk & landing slap bang in the middle of the shipping lanes (Gary) forcing yet more people to jump in to save him.

Junks were usually for birthdays. I was lucky enough to enjoy my 21st birthday sailing round the Outlying Islands during the day & then up & down the harbour at nighttime with the spectacular skyline as a back drop to my 21st birthday photographs.

The Handover was a time I am glad to have witnessed. We watched the firework displays from the roof of Citibank, courtesy of Paul who worked in there. We got drunk in Lan Kwai Fong along with thousands of other people & in the Globe Bar on Hollywood Road. We partied long & hard at Unity a few nights before with Grace Jones & Boy George spinning the records. It's a landmark in the history books & in my memories, something to tell the grandchildren about. Hong Kong at its best.

I lived in a number of homes on Lamma so feel I got to know the island pretty well. Who went up Tai Peng unless they lived there? The trek up Tai Peng was the making of good friendships - a bonding experience. There was a whole other community up there & I was one of the few people who regularly went up to visit people.

However, that also meant I made a few stumbled treks home down Snake Path, the worse for wear, on my own & the reason I got a cicada stuck in my hair. Horrible experience! Granny Chan overcharged me on a regular basis when I stopped for bread on my way home & yet looked at me like I was in the wrong when I pointed it out to her!

Typhoon season brought its advantages – like lock-ins at the Deli (see right). Some unfortunates missed the last ferry back from HK & with that a brilliant day. The waves were so powerful they were hitting the wall of the bank & the 'tin Head.

Sunday morning was a full breakfast in the Deli, sitting outside if you were there at the right time, followed by beers. Lovely breakfasts & always managed to cure the hangover from the Saturday night rooftop BBQ.

I could go on and on about my memories of Lamma. I spent nineteen months there, loved every minute & made life-long friends. The Lamma Island so many people loved pre- and not long post-Handover, has gone with the Handover. I spent 3 days in HK in March 2005 & the first indication of the changes were in Lan Kwai Fong.

Our favourite Friday night hangout had changed from the loud Yeltsin's to a very sedate La Bodega. In fact, much of Lan Kwai Fong was now geared towards the "suits" because the teachers, construction workers working on the new airport & the Convention Centre, bar workers, waiters & "passers through to make some quick cash" have gone. From what I saw, the vast majority of people working there were now "suits" due to the change in laws after the Handover.

It's still Lamma, but not like we knew it. Lamma still looks exactly the same & has the same feel, I guess it's just that my friends have gone & the community has completely changed. I didn’t see one familiar face, but Lamma is still brilliant & a fabulous place to live! The only thing I would change about my time there is that I would have left England in 1995, when I finished my A' Levels & not in 1997!

[Editor: Emails to Caroline, c/o Lamma-Gung, will be forwarded to her.

Isn't that her in the centre below, the centre of attraction? Click here or below for Caroline's extensive photo gallery, including names & dates!

Click here for our forum discussing Lamma's Handover days]

April 1:  'A Luxury Location Deep in the Lamma Jungle'

The social event of the Lamma spring season is upon us, all ye Lammaites!

THREE Lamma bands playing in one amazing single event! "Gary's Last Dance" or "gary's leaving do" will feature the bass playing mastery of Gary Hill. Gary is leaving HK and Garoupa. He'll be sorely missed.

At the Concerto Inn hotel on Hung Shing Yeh beach from 7 - 12 pm TODAY!
Go to the following link and click on 'From Pier To Concerto Inn' for map and ferry information.

7.30pm: Transnoodle;  8.30pm: Garoupa;  9.30pm: NUDE.

Lamma legend Gary has been featured so many times in this blog - ridiculously overexposed, some might say - our readers must have gotten sick and tired of reading about him and be also mightily glad to see the back of him, eh?

No way, Jose! We'll all turn up in droves, filling the Concerto Inn cafe and the beach to capacity to hear Gary playing bass one last time! In his honour, I've put together a little poster gallery of all Garoupa gig posters I've received and published over the last almost 3 years. Click below:

March 31:  'HK's Fuzziest & Warmest Community'?

Well, Phil Whelan of RTHK's Radio 3 really does have a great sense of humour! He just saw my made-up story about him playing an early April Fool joke on me yesterday. He described it as "actually very funny". He STILL wanted to interview me, instead of never ever talking to me again! Whew! So we finally got the radio interview done this morning at 11:45am, after some seemingly crossed phone wires yesterday - even though it was a wireless mobile on my end. You can listen to the entire 7-minute interview by clicking here (Thanks, Alan!).

Phil announced the interview by saying on air that we'll be talking about this website for 'HK's Fuzziest & Warmest Community'. Fuzzy & Warm? Us? The "Tough & Cool" among us would strongly object to this description! Not me, though, never having been part of the "Tough and Cool" crowd.

So what did we miss in this very short interview? As I've been well-prepared, let me list the topics we didn't have enough time for, but for which I had prepared well in advance. This also serves as the beginnings of a permanent FAQ list (Frequently Answered Questions):

Mission of this website?

The website consists of the non-commercial English and Chinese forums, the ad-supported Blog, the Photo & Art Galleries, tourist & ferry info, free classifieds, a Lamma Events Calendar, Lamma Links, Bar & Restaurant news and customer reviews and ratings, plus the Bilingual Yellow Pages.

As the only local medium on Lamma Island, this website has become a kind of de facto daily Lamma newspaper for many people. The island's population is far too small to support a printed or electronic medium. An Internet medium like this website, with low creation and production costs and no costs at all for printing and distribution, is ideal for Lamma's quite computer-literate population with Broadband in probably most households.

The website is directly targeted at local residents, who are able to read English and/or Chinese, plus ex-Lammaites, tourists, media and people interested in Lamma for whatever reason, logging on from currently 87 countries. It attracts over 1,700 visitors per day and almost 2.5 million hits this month.

We help people find flats on Lamma, publish Lamma-related news, photos and stories, give advice to current and future residents, and forum members like to gossip, of course. In our bilingual, free-speech forums people can chat about anything and won't be censored or deleted. But personal attacks go into a members-only, uncensored Fight Club, where people can slag each other off freely and swear at each other. They can even attack Lamma-Gung freely, which has happened occasionally, but rarely.

How did it get started?

It started 3.5 years ago as a pure hobby of a local Chinese guy, webdog, who set up a standard discussion board, a so-called forum, where people could post messages. I joined in 2 weeks later as a co-administrator/moderator and we started the Lamma-zine together as a newsletter to promote the forums and get the mandatory critical mass of people to post messages and keep it running.

Webdog emigrated about two years ago. I took over and expanded the site, adding photo and art galleries, events calendar, yellow pages and restaurant & bar reviews, finally reshaping the formerly monthly Lamma-zine into the daily Lamma-zine Blog 1.5 years ago.

Who pays for the website?

For the first 1.5 years the site was totally non-commercial. But it grew so successful and website traffic increased so much that it became a viable advertising medium. Nowadays, the site is supported by mostly local sponsors and banner advertisers: a moving company, local restaurants, bars and shops, a bakery, HK Electric, etc. They pay the not insignificant bills to produce and publish this site, making it fully self-supporting. But nobody will ever get rich from this website, which is still mainly just a little labour of love.

Who's behind this website?

Lamma-Gung does the site administration, moderates most forums, does all design, programming and technical webmaster stuff, most of the photo shooting for all sections except the forums and much of the reporting, writing and all editing and proofreading for the daily blog. Almost a full-time job, in fact.

I publish 365 days/year, every single day, the self-pressure is welcome on such a relaxed island and some loyal readers keep me motivated. Basically, I work every day on my little labour of love that's grown into a major website and almost a full-time job. I'm only making less than 10% of my former salary these days, but I'm even happier than before, being grateful for escaping the rat race, the office politics, the back-stabbing, the eternal fights for staff and budgets, the working-late 6 days a week.

There are about a dozen forum moderators, several so-called Laudable Lamma Luminaries, some Lamma Celebrities, a few Court Officials, environmental and political activists, plus special-issue correspondents, local politicians, the police, HK Electric and other businesses, plus numerous regular and occasional unpaid blog contributors who submit or help to create text, photos and videos for the entire website. Everything is handled completely digitally, of course, from writing, emailing to taking/uploading pictures, publishing and administration, all handled on a single iron-age, last-millennium PC. (Hardware donations most welcome!)

What is the Lamma-zine Blog:

I, Lamma-Gung, write, edit, photograph and publish the daily Lamma-zine Blog, about anything related to Lamma and Lammaites. I welcome news, stories, pictures and videos from anybody. This is not just my own soapbox, but a community platform where everybody is welcome to contribute. I edit, format and publish it all as is, without censoring or commenting. But most of the Lamma-zine is still my own stuff, of course. Never too serious, often quite ironic, rarely sarcastic, NO GOSSIP, promoting Lamma as a fun place to visit, live and retire on.

I avoid gossip and extremely contentious issue. Basically, I'm reporting on almost exclusively local affairs, take pictures every day and create a story a day, often with the help of volunteer correspondents and collaborators. Promoting the site via printed handouts, flyers and posters, Cyber PR, selling advertising, creating ads and advertiser web pages is also part of the job.

What does "Lamma-Gung" mean?

Ah-Gung is Cantonese for "grandfather" on the mother's side. As a step-grandfather to the 2 grandchildren of my HK-Chinese wife, "Lamma-Por" (grandmother), I'm their "Lamma Ah-Gung", Lamma-Gung for short.

What is Lamma-Gung's background?

I've studied computer science in Europe, worked in IBM (in a small research lab that won the physics Nobel prize two years in a row while I worked there). I met my future HK-Chinese wife on the Internet over 20 years ago and moved to HK 18 years ago. I worked as a regional IT Manager in an advertising agency and as Regional MIS/Telecom Manager for Reebok, then ran my own computerisation consultancy. I got into the Internet in 1995 full-time and launched and ran numerous websites, including the huge worldwide HK Tourism Board website in 14 languages, winning major, international web awards.

I was headhunted by a subsidiary to launch a major full-service online travel agency, building it with my web team and a web agency in 4 months in 4 Asian languages. But Hutchison shut us down at the end of the dotcom boom and I joined the legions of dotcom dropouts. Going from being chased by several headhunters with $1.5 million confirmed pay offers (turning them down) to become almost unemployable within a few months took some serious down-shifting.

When my golden parachute from Hutchison ran out 1 year later and I was still unemployed, I had to move to cheaper accommodation and chose Lamma Island. A Lamma Dragonboat lady was one of my staff before and she told me great things about Lamma (Thanks, Lennie!)

What makes Lamma such a special place?

Mainly, it's the "live and let live" attitude. Nobody really cares how you dress and behave as long as you don't bother other people. There's no pressure, no high expectations, no need to show off, no pressure to look rich or important, no shame in being poor, old and ugly (like myself).

It's a car-free, green island just 25 minutes from Central HK, a major tourist attraction with beaches, forests, miles of scenic hikes and lots of international restaurants. A relaxed, safe, green place with still acceptable air quality, suitable for young people, families with children & pets, and retirees alike. There's an easy-going, friendly, fun-loving atmosphere and a helpful attitude of most people, plus an amazingly multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic community unique in HK. Low rents and low living costs top off the attraction of Lamma Island to local Chinese, other Asians and expats alike.

All nationalities, religions and races are welcome!



Read more of last month's stories...


Lamma-zine Blog started on Sep 1, 2004, and will be updated frequently with anything related to Lamma Island or its residents, be it news, stories, events or photos.

Contact Lamma-Gung with anything relevant to Lamma that you'd like to see published on this home page!

All text, photos & graphics by Lamma-Gung, if not otherwise credited. Click on button on left for Creative Commons license.

Twice a month, the Lamma-zine Blog will be promoted via an email newsletter to all registered subscribers, currently over 2,500. Free subscriptions!

Posts from all former months are stored in the Blog Archives, see below.

All materials and photos © Lamma-Gung 2006. All rights reserved.

Top | Home | Forums | Lamma-zine | Events | Galleries | Links

About | Contact Us | Poster | Ratecard

Blog Archives 2004: Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

2005: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

2006: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

2007: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

2008: JanFebMarApr