traffic on this website surpassed 3 million hits again last month, 3,057,803
hits, to be exact! It hasn't been that long ago that we broke through the 2
million barrier. 58,000 visitors downloaded an all-time record of 55 GBytes
in web pages, pictures and a few videos last month. These visitors came
mostly from HK, but also from a total of 96 different countries:
Sorted by number of hits from outside HK: US, Australia,
United Kingdom, Canada, United Arab Emirates, China, Japan, France,
Singapore, Germany, New Zealand.
The number of website visitors has doubled within the last
year. But the low advertising rates have remained stable, making this
website one of the best bargains and best values for money for online
advertisers wanting to reach a very wide and affluent audience all over HK.
It's also become the #1 in Google for all searches for "Lamma" and "Lamma
Island". So we'll be increasing the advertising rates after the summer
holidays, reflecting the huge, continued traffic growth of this site.
Advertising is the only thing keeping this website alive
financially - everything else is free, even the Classifieds, Events Calendar
and Yellow Pages. We hope that you can help to attract a few more
advertisers. We still offer 33% commission
for any new advertiser that you can introduce to us. Easy and quick money!
To sweeten the deal, we even offer complete,
free web sites
and advertorials for one-year advertisers and we'll do everything for them,
even create and update the ad banners and the free website as often as they
like. Get these ads and freebies for the old rate till end of July!
Check out our
advertising ratecards for details. Call us!
Submitted by Senior Inspector Woooo-Woooo:
June 23, 2007
(all shot from L-G's rooftop):
June 24, 2007
What's that big black shadow?
Imagine having no mobile phone, no email account, no permanent address and
no way of being contacted by anybody. Imagine being totally independent, no
job, no responsibilities, no commitments, no appointments, but being able to
travel the world wherever and whenever you like without a worry, stay for as
long as you like, leave anytime and continue your travels, making new
friends wherever you go, free like a bird. It sounds like a dream to someone
like me who cannot afford to travel anymore.
There's one man-about-the-village who lives like this on a permanent, long-time
basis, a frequent, long-term Lamma visitor, well-known in Lamma pubs and as
the late Pinky Chan's longtime boyfriend. Let me call him Ian the Wanderer.
He actually likes this new nickname.
Happy and content with his lifestyle and station in life
Having known Ian as an acquaintance for a few years, Lamma-Por and I settled down with
him a few
weeks ago for a little interview and a fine Chinese dinner in Lamcombe
Seafood Restaurant. It strikes you immediately how relaxed, low-key,
friendly, unassuming and easy-going Ian is, always dressed in his trademark
blue jeans, jeans jacket and baseball cap. We can't be sure if it's always
the same ones or if he's got a suitcase full of identical outfits.
At age 48, 11 years ago, he retired and started his full-time wanderings
around the world. He's still keeping his home base near Vancouver, a loyal housekeeper
taking care of it and trusted hands who take care of his business interests
As a landlord, he's in a very similar situation to
Pinky Chan, his long-term companion whom he loved dearly and is still in
mourning for. Both independent landlords, they traveled the world together.
He met Pinky in Spicy Island, of course. She came in, threw some shopping
bags on the seat besides his at the bar and told him, "Watch these!", before
leaving again. On her return, he chatted her up and they've been together
much of the time till her untimely, tragic death 1 year ago. It was
obviously a sometimes stormy relationship, where Ian acted as the gentle,
understanding, always supportive partner, easing Pinky's emotional
is making a point forcefully
Canadian Ian started his travels seriously already before University,
traversing Europe for one month with an antique Volkswagen car he bought in
Frankfurt, Germany. Studying in Canada and the US, he got a Civil
Engineering degree and worked in the field till his retirement at 48 years
of age. With an engineer's income, he saved up parts of his salary and
invested in the booming property market around Vancouver, finding it quite
easy to turn tidy profits and grow his portfolio.
He has been married for a long time, but his wife left him, getting tired of
his more and more frequent wanderings. He was already a restless spirit back
then and just vanished for months at the time, often without telling his
family. But they're still good friends and their two children are his pride
and joy, both of them having attended university with excellent grades.
Having left Lamma once again a few weeks ago,
Ian is wandering through Australia these days, visiting his daughter,
staying for a few weeks or a few months. Then he'll be traveling on, maybe stopping
over on Lamma again for an undetermined time, then maybe Brazil next or
anywhere else his fancy might take take this free spirit. He usually travels
solo, declaring himself race-blind and easily makes new friends of any
nationality wherever he goes. He says that there are kind and fun people
everywhere he goes and he's got a real knack of making new friends.
Good luck in your wanderings, Ian, and we hope to see you again soon on
Lamma and hear about your new travels and adventures!
Guess which of these pretty ladies shows Pinky Chan in her heyday?
Yes, she's the one on the left, shot when she was Regional Advertising Sales
Manager for Asiaweek magazine. (Photo courtesy of Edwin, click to
It's been exactly 1 year since Pinky Chan's tragic death, burning to death
in her bed during a visit in Mainland China. She was only in her fifties and
a true Lamma Legend, known to almost every current or former Lammaite. Her
death was announced in our
forums and the Lamma-zine
and many people posted their personal memories.
As it took a long time to confirm her death and getting her affairs sorted
out, it took her huge number of friends also a long time to come to terms
with their loss and collect their memories. Many of them wrote heart-felt
tributes for their friend in the months afterwards, submitting them to the
Lamma-zine for publication, on my request. I've collected all of them and
now seems to be the best time to finally publish them, on the first
anniversary of her death. Here they are, sadly mourning Pinky's death, but
even more they're joyfully celebrating her extraordinary life that made a
deep impression in so many ways on so many people. RIP, my friend.
in progress... check back here on July 22 evening...
One more ship-related story in our trio of ship stories these
last three days:
These photos of a Marine Police boat off Pak Kok Village was
taken on June 15, 6:30am by early bird, alert Lamma-zine reader and regular
contributor, Tracey the Pak-Kokian.
Why is this boat police smoking so heavily when people aren't
even allowed anymore to smoke a cigarette on the outside deck of a ferry?
Has the captain of this police launch been fined with the maximum
smoking penalty allowed under Hong Kong's new anti-smoking legislation?
Or has the police launch been hijacked by an angry
protest mob of Lamma's die-hard smokers? They seem to be all puffing away at
the maximum of their remaining lung capacity, generating these clouds of
tobacco smoke in the photos?
Or are they training for a high-speed police boat drag
race down the Lamma East Channel, one of the hundreds of planned events to
celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Happy-oh-so-happy Reunification with
the Dearly Beloved Motherland?
Or is this simply the boat engine's after-burner during a
high-speed pursuit of an outlaw speedboat smuggling "Made in China" cans of
spam directly to Lamma?
Or is the boat, its engines overheating, on the run
from an angry revenge mob of mainland gang members, friends of the infamous
Pak Kok burglar arrested quite a while ago?
Or did the boat's crew lose a gun-blazing standoff with a
tree-smuggler's well-armed boat?
Or, even worse, did they lose a Pirates of the
Caribbean-style sea battle with cannons ablazing against modern-day Chinese
pirates invading to pillage and plunder our peaceful island (No, I'm
not talking about the weekend hordes of tourists, some of them wearing
Pirates of the Caribbean tees!)
Tracey explained the smoke in much simpler terms:
"They clearly show a Marine Police boat spewing the most
awful pollution I've seen in a long time - no wind this morning so
wonderfully captured - but horrific whichever way you look at it."
This utterly fearless lady dared to contact the Marine Police
directly to complain and find out what happened. This is the short and
concise reply she received.
Subject : Re : Marine Launch 630am 15th June 2007
Thank you for your e-mail message in relation to the captioned subject.
Please be informed that the police launch in question experienced mechanical
problem on that day which caused the engine to emit excessive smoke.
The commander of the police launch immediately took actions to rectify the
situation and engineers repaired the engine afterwards.
You can be assured that the police will take all necessary actions to avoid
the emission of excessive smoke from police launches.
In case you need any further information, please contact me, Senior
Inspector Anthony LAM Kwok-chu at 2555 4438.
But this polite explanation sounds way too rational, simple and logical, not
strange and imaginative enough! Who can shout
COVER-UP! the loudest? Will the true story of this mysterious
incident ever be revealed and THE TRUTH be known?
Tracey's home, phone, email and whereabouts might be under intense scrutiny
and 24-hour police surveillance from now on, maybe, perhaps, mayhaps...
A bit of hard-hitting, under-cover, investigative journalism might be called
for. If it just wouldn't be way too hot and humid to leave my cozy'n'cooool
Some of you might remember the famous movie
so ye dinnae know the "Trainspotting" flick, aye? Take the loupin Wikipedia
tae find oot, likesay. Nae git ootay here, ye plukey-faced wanker!"
Well, not many trains to spot in HK and especially not on Lamma Island with
neither private nor public transport. We've got other little obsessions of
our own, for example shipspotting on the ferry to and from HK Island. Well,
I'm not exactly sure if anybody else shares my hobby, but there are so many
ships, boats, yachts, cruiseliners, even sailboats to be seen and admired in
Hong Kong's waters.
I'd like to show off a few photos from one recent single ferry
trip from Yung Shue Wan to Central, May 16. Try to identify as many
ships as possible! Most are easy, but some are pretty tough to identify...
Click below for my
photo gallery full of HK ships:
I'm sure you can do a lot better! Send your photos over and I might (no promises) publish them.
Nae git ootay here, ye plukey-faced wan...! Oooops, sorry...
P.S. Prof Red Star seems to be a big fan of shipspotting as
well. He wrote:
"Ship spotting plus a few sky scrapers???? Mate, you must be able to do
better than that. It's worse than a newspaper in a silly season on tranquiillisers!!!!
It's just so . . . like . . . nothing!!!"
Thank you for your honest feedback, Prof! ANY feedback is always most
welcome and from the negative feedback I usually learn the most! We aim to
But next time I'll meet Prof Red Star on Main Street, I might have my very
own "tranquiillisers" ready for him...
P.S. II: Donna sent in this ship photo showing a non-anally-retentive
freighter. Read the name out aloud...
Titan Uranus = Tighten Your Anus...
Don't be such a tight-ass!
Freelancer - Rush-Hour Ferry Passenger:
A Kind of Magic
I'm fairly new to Lamma, but I've long been aware of
its rep as a magical sort of place. What did surprise me though,
were the hyper-levels of magical realism to be found on the 8:15
morning ferry - when some Lamma residents take their imaginary
friends to work.
I'll set you the scene - always the same. Girl -
alone - with or without coffee, boards morning ferry. Usually two or
three seconds before it leaves. She surveys the scene - almost
Forrest-Gumpian to a newcomer - and tries to gauge the faces. But
that's the problem with imaginary friendships - hard to spot. You
never know what you're gonna get.
For example last week it was a nice-looking older
woman I asked to sit next to. She looked up, incredulous, then
realising that this wasn't an elaborate case of the high-jinks,
picked up all her things and moved to another row - where she
muttered and laughed to herself. At least I thought it was to
herself. Now I know differently.
A few days later it was a younger man near the
front. When I asked the offending question he did an excellent
impression of a gazelle in the path of a careening four-by-four
before gesturing at an approaching woman with a faint 'she's
coming'. But there are three seats, I pointed out. 'She's coming,
she's coming.' he said, shaking his head. I took pity, moved on.
Yesterday it was a harassed-looking Chinese lady who
hissed a low 'cheeeseeen' to her fantasy boat buddy as she moved her
handbag (I envision him as a cross between Fabio and Andy Lau, with
a little Bus Uncle Chan thrown in).
More adventures on the 8:15 are no doubt ahead, and
I can only conclude that it's one of the more harmless side effects
of living in such a magical place. Better this, than getting my head
around the notion that these people have old school bus scores to
settle from the 60s. Or that I smell.
P.S. To read more about this topic from other rush hour ferry
passengers, see our
Lamma Ferries forum.
Realistic Lamma-Por, who's often taking the same 8:15am ferry, advises
Freelancer to arrive early when there are still enough free seats
available, avoiding the seating problems above. But then her creative rant
above might never have been
Lamma-created and -produced HK Copy News has made another
great leap in quality, just getting better and better. For the first time
this week, Daniel MomentEye is combining the deadpan, straight-faced,
delivery of his bubble-headed, helium-voiced pipsqueak newsreader with his
own wild-eyed antics and physical comedy. Lamma's very own standup
This provides a wonderful, satirical contrast, kind of like
the difference between official government spokespeople and the
fear-mongering, sensationalistic HK tabloids. A contrast that works here to great
effect and impact, making HK Copy News even better. Check it out for yourself,
while I go back to laughing out loud while watching it again and again!
Official Court Glutton:
Ok... it is a little late for a food review of
my Easter meal, but I did not get the pictures into a usable
format until last night. What's a food review without pictures,
Our group of 5 consisted of 3 Canadians, 1
Spaniard and a HK Chinese lady. I am the only Lamma resident so
I had some influence in food selection.
Normal Canadian Easter meals would have lamb or
ham as the main dish. But, being on Lamma, and somewhat
adventurous, seafood extravaganza was the plan.
My suggestion of lobster sashimi as the main
dish was met with initial silence as the idea sunk in. Then all
Obviously they never read, or forgot, the part
in the travel books that said you should never eat raw
As far as Yung Shue Wan is concerned, Man Fung
restaurant (first one from the ferry with the nice fish tanks)
has a license to prepare and serve lobster sashimi. It seems
that it is a regulated dish due to sanitary requirements and
training. Other restaurants are not allowed to
prepare and serve lobster sashimi.
So we sat ourselves down at a table and asked
for the lobster sashimi. Prices vary due
to market pricing, around $500.
A suitable candidate was brought forth and
looked to be a lively and healthy fellow, suitably dubbed "Louie
the Lobster" by one of our table. I am not sure if there was a
reference to an uncle named Louie that bore a resemblance.
After the photo op, Louie was taken off to the
kitchen to get ready to join us.
Then a discussion took place about where his
claws are... Canadian/American lobsters have claws. Louie is not
defective, just a different passport.
Not that long later, a reconstructed Louie
arrived at our table. Very nice presentation. Thin strips of
lobster tail, laid down on ice covered with plastic cling film.
A nice soy sauce for dipping was strategically placed around the
Fresh and alive from
Lobster Sashimi on ice
Delicious up to the
You ask, "And how was Louie?" Delicious!
Smooth texture, very gentle flavour enhanced by
the chill of the ice, excellent mouth feel. No problems with
being overly chewy like squid or jelly fish.
I had to exercise substantial self control not
to gobble it up making me look like, well, a glutton.
Writer's note: Vegans should skip this
My previous lobster sashimi was in Hangzhou
quite a few years ago. Very memorable meal also.
The lobster was dark brown in colour, and quite
large. Memory that sticks with me is that halfway though the
meal, the front part (torso, head, legs) got up and started to
walk in my direction.
The lobster (un-named), actually got onto my
plate before one of the staff scooped him and placed him atop
the ice boat.
Fortunately, Louie had better table manners
than the Hangzhou lobster, and kept his station.
When we finished the sashimi, what was left
of Louie was taken to the kitchen to make a soup while we had
other dishes of steamed veggies, fried rice, black bean sauce
clams and fried tofu cubes with chili peppers.
When Louie returned, he was in bits and pieces,
fully cooked and still very tasty in a rice soup. Yes, he gave
us "his all", and we enjoyed every bit of it!
Certainly a very memorable Easter meal that will
not be forgotten very soon. I definitely would recommend it for
a special occasion, tasty and memorable!
Scott Kanes - Official Court Pet Correspondent:
Lamma-Gung and others chatter about trying to
establish a Guinness World Record to gain fame for Lamma Island as
"the most cosmopolitan village in the world", a small place that's
home to people of the most nationalities [Editor: 60 so far...].
Some of Lamma's best known dogs may yip and yap in
amusement. Many of the pooches can match the people
home-city-for-home-city, country-for-country. If Lamma dogs did much
more flying, they might sprout wings.
Former Lamma Islander Amanda Veitch, an IT manager
in the finance industry, discussed pet travel when visiting Lamma on
June 17. Four months ago, she moved to London, together with a human
partner, Julie Bell, three dogs, Laura, Sasha and Sammi, and two
cats. She returned to Hong Kong on a business trip.
"Our dogs miss playing on Power Station Beach and
seeing their Lamma friends like Eric, Gail and Mika," said Amanda,
but they've adapted to British life and found new doggie friends
named Ruby, Dora, Jerry and Robbie.
"Strangely enough, our dogs love the UK," Amanda
said. "They prefer not being hot all day, all night. As an
alternative to playing on the beach, they have fox-chasing. They're
good at challenging foxes, but not at catching them. They like
squirrels too, but those go up trees, and the dogs can't get near
them. We have yet to come across rabbits. It's a big worry what
Dogs often travel between Lamma and overseas. For
example, a popular beagle named Eric arrived from Berlin. He left
behind a girlfriend and disliked the trip, but enjoys Lamma.
A small dog named Freddie jetted to the United Arab
Emirates. Lamma dogs Rita and Sadie returned after stints together
in England and Spain. Two others, Lucky and Hebe, moved to Slovenia.
Shadow, an amiable black dog, arrived from Ottawa.
Mika, a long-time regular in the canine crowd at
Power Station Beach, once tested life in Vancouver. Tolly, a
familiar, four-legged stroller along Main Street, may move to
Australia and reunite with Mojo, a poodle-pal who left earlier.
For Laura, Sasha and Sammi, daily life has changed.
"They adjusted well to the cars and other traffic, although Laura
did hide behind Julie the first time a big bus roared by," Amanda
She and Julie escort the dogs on long walks. "With
three dogs in London, you need two people to manage them. We take
them on picnics every Sunday."
Unlike on Lamma, the dogs stay on leashes when
walking. They're unleashed at home and in a nearby park.
The Lamma trio encounters mostly pedigree animals,
not mongrels like themselves. "The UK is full of pedigree animals,"
Amanda said. "People take an interest in our dogs because they're
not recognizable breeds. It's a big conversation point. There are
lots of greyhounds, chocolate labs, this, that and the other. We
enjoy having very different dogs."
On Lamma, Laura was considered "the fastest creature
on four legs". She could sprint along Power Station Beach within
seconds. "Our neighborhood has a lot of retired greyhounds," Amanda
said. "Laura sees them in the park, but they're a bit mellow and
don't go in for big races anymore. Of course, our three dogs still
have their own races."
Immigrating with pets can be a hassle. Amanda and
Julie express gratitude to veterinarian Hans de Vries, Lamma
residents Mayette, Mario and Richmond, Sai Kung-based Ferndale
Kennels, London-resident James Cargo and others who helped.
Canine shipping documents and health papers, the
latter reflecting checkups and injections including blood tests and
rabies shots, must be in order. Normally, the dogs ride in crates or
plastic boxes in an aircraft's pressurized cargo hold.
From planning and preparation to reality, moving to
Britain with pets takes six to seven months, even with advice and
co-ordination by a pet-transport company.
"We worried about the dogs being upset on the
journey. They didn't like riding on the ferry to Central. They
weren't used to it. Laura gets all shaky on ferries. She's a big dog
who can go 'ruff, ruff' at anyone, but the moment you put her on a
ferry, she's like jelly."
Laura, Sasha and Sammi traveled for about 24 hours.
"We don't know how they did once in the hands of the shippers and
British Airways," Amanda said.
Relocating the animals cost considerably more (about
HK$10,000 per critter) than moving all of Amanda and Julie's
personal possessions. "We had made-to-measure crates built after
trying to measure the dogs. It's hard for them to stand still, but
the crates saved us money because they occupied only the necessary
"By the time the dogs reunited with us, they were
angry. Due to delays with our house, they had to stay in kennels. A
few days passed before they saw us and knew they weren't abandoned.
When they spotted us, they went mad, as they always do. They were
very happy and relieved. Until then, I'm sure they wondered: Why are
we in this cold country? Where's Mummy? Where's the beach?"
Despite the stress and expense, pet-owners should
relocate with their animals. "You have to take them," Amanda said.
"You can't keep pets for a few years and then get rid of them just
because you're moving. That's unfair. You wouldn't do that to a
child. Why would you do it to animals?"
So a better Lamma world-record bid might be for "the
most cosmopolitan canines". Everyone in favor, say "Woof".
Amanda Veitch renews old friendships at the Green Cottage.
Blurry-fast, Laura, Sasha and Sammi hit stride in a British park.
(Photo courtesy of Julie Bell)
Showing a taste for travel, Eric poses with the box he rode in from
Labels like this "give wings" to Lamma dogs.
Freddie, a little guy, jetted to Dubai.
Lucky settles into an easy chair in Slovenia.
(Photo by John Newson)
After trying Vancouver, Mika prefers Lamma.
Sadie reflects on her European past.
The very first action shots from the Stanley Dragon Boat
races, fresh from Prof Red Star's camera, published here at 8pm today! His
recent promotion to EEE (Excellent Education Editor) of the SCMP hasn't lulled him into
complacency, it seems, and his photos are as great as ever.
See his action shots below and a close-up of one of the cutest Lamma Ladies
on the right. Just look at that winning smile! Soooo pink! For an email from
the captain to the winning team, scroll down.
Click on the photos to enlarge them.
P.S. I got this reply from
the Lamma Ladies the next morning, June 20:
Gina Meana -
Lamma Ladies captain, addressing the team by
What a wonderful performance in the boats
yesterday! And look at the results:
TWO STANLEY GOLD CUPS in a row!!
Here is a short history (that we can
remember) of the Lamma Ladies at Stanley: We've won the gold
in 1997, 1999, 2001, (we were in Penang in 2002), 2003, (we
took silver in 2004 and 2005), 2006 and now: 2007!!! The
How brilliant is that?? 1997 and 2007! And -
just to count (as Penny told me last night), we have won
6 gold cups from a total of 9 years
entered. Those are damned good statistics by my
And I am very, very relieved that I get to
email this morning because my voice is shot from roaring in
our first final and screaming through the street party.
(Having set my own personal best record for losing my voice
in the 20 seconds it took to scream my tonsils out during a
And what an excellent race it was; the Lamma
Ladies were in 4th or 5th place after the long start, and we
began to claw our way up the course during the 10 strong,
took approximately 5 long strokes again and they advanced
and blasted to first place (decisively!) at the finish! I
would love to see a video of that someday.
Yesterday was, possibly, the toughest
competition we've ever faced at Stanley across the board.
The IPC, Stormy Ladies and Boracay were all there; the
X-women have generally performed extremely well at Stanley,
and Buzz is often a power team.
Special thanks to
Ivan for steering us through the race again! Two
years in a row he's helmed us to victory. Thank you, Ivan!!!
What more can be said? It has been a
l-o-n-g, rough year, and it was not easy to for anyone to
have a real sense of how we were doing based on the delays
between races and the months in between, when we sat about
gazing deep into our navels wondering about advanced
physics, the hull shear of the boat, whether paddling
backwards might be faster than forwards and other boat
mysteries, but sheer energy, strong
training and PINK POWER pulled us through!
Thank you everyone for being such a
fantastic team, and thank you to all the ladies who came and
supported the race! And finally:
PHOTOS. We NEED photos!
(Except yours, Georgie. I will never forgive
you if I see that disgusting photo of me again. No offense,
but I hope your camera was eaten by sharks!)
Speaking of which: How come nobody told us
there had been shark sightings at
Stanley yesterday? Hung Hom is directly across
the bay... good thing there were no real boat swampings.
As for the street party afterwards, I think
the Lamma Ladies have proved again that we
OUT PINK, OUT PADDLE and OUT PARTY
So, now that THAT is out of the way,
bring on Singapore!
Well done and
CONGRATULATIONS to everyone. It was a brilliant team victory
and a wonderful way to end the season in Hong Kong.
P.S. Here's a nice
Stanley Races video from
www.HipHongKong.com. It has a little footage of the Lamma Ladies on
the podium receiving their trophy.
We have (almost) daily Lamma Photos/Wildlife/Artworks.
We've had Lammaites of the Day, even daily birds, sunsets and
Why not have a Cloud of the Day for a change?
That's the kind of place Lamma still is, a refuge, a safe
haven, a place where you can find time and peace of mind while watching
birds, sunsets... and clouds!
Shot from Lamma-Gung's rooftop, today, 12:12pm.
(Click to enlarge)
6 minutes later and then 40 minutes later, the cloud had changed shape
dramatically already. So fleeting yet so beautiful...
Elizabeth Briel - Lamma Artist of the Month - June 2007.
more of her
Photos on Flickr.
Did You Ever Make Sun Prints?
They're a common craft activity for children in
schools. It's a simple process: take a piece of pre-coated paper,
place leaves, flowers or a favorite toy on it, then expose to the
sun. Afterwards, blueish-white silhouettes appear on the paper,
surrounded by a field of darker blue. As with any photo process,
it's resistance to light that creates these images.
Sun Prints were once used by architects to
duplicate their drawings; they called them Blueprints. Photographers
and artists call them Cyanotypes. When I discovered cyanotypes, I
began making art again.
During university I explored a dozen different
drawing, painting and printing media, and received a grant to study
the ancient art of encaustic. I worked nights to afford summers
spent studying sculpture in Italy and public art services in the UK.
Shortly after graduation I joined the Di Stilo
collective of artists and artisans. We created a gallery in our
warehouse space, and shared work as scenic painters and sculptors.
During the next few years I moved from state to state, from country
to country, and made no space in apartments or workdays for making
artwork. I'd painted myself into a corner.
In 2005 I moved to Cambodia with a bagful of
cyanotype chemicals for myself and cameras for local kids. Soon
afterwards I began teaching street kids with the Angkor Photo
Festival, and printing cyanotypes on silk and paper during the
hottest midday sun. I produced scarves, silk hangings, and a series
of photos of Bokor Hill Station - an abandoned French resort from
the early 20th century that had seen more than its share
of Khmer Rouge violence.
In other work, I printed local flora and
imagery on hand-woven Khmer silk. My work is primarily about place;
it's a reflection of the region in which I make it, both in the
imagery and materials used.
Since moving to Hong Kong I've been hunting
export stores for clothing, and using the silk and linen for
cyanotype photograms and photographs. The varied fabrics give
infinite possibilities and surprises, like the city itself. The
series I'm currently working on is a newcomer's impressions of Hong
One striking trait I've noticed is how many Hongkongers' formative years are spent abroad, and many others claim
dual citizenship. How do they resolve being from many places? What
is home when you have more than one? How do any of us define our
allegiances in this shrinking world?
While artists and photographers occasionally
experiment with this 19th-century photo process, I have
concentrated on it for several years. During this time I have
employed a wide variety of printmaking techniques and surfaces,
combining this traditional medium with modern technology.
My work is in private collections in Kuwait,
England, France, Korea, various parts of the US, and Norway.
Elizabeth enjoying a "Cyanotype Cocktail" during the opening of her
new Cyan Studio/gallery on Yung Shue Wan's Back Street
Elizabeth's new Cyan Studio (2/F, 21C Back Street, vis-a-vis Thai
Thai Rest., see her great map below) is open every 2nd Sunday afternoon of the month for visitors,
displaying her own artworks, but also works by other Lamma artists. Next
time: July 8.
her to attend and/or exhibit!
Our ferry driver on the way from Yung Shue Wan to
Aberdeen, safe and reliable.
We took a minibus from the bus stop outside Aberdeen fish market to
Will the "Lammarina" ever be completed,
after ten years in the making already?
It's been announced that "Lamma-1" will get an
on-demand, 24-hour private boat to Cyberport. From their
website: "Less than
10 minutes from Cyberport = Bliss!
"We designed and built 11 one-of-a-kind,
luxury homes for families...
The location, size and facilities of Lamma-1 homes are unparalleled in Hong
Kong, making this one of the top locations for family living in the SAR."
We'll see if they'll find enough buyers
willing to spend $15-25 millions on these standard-sized Village Houses with
17.5m swimming pool, gym, spa and security.
The so-called "Lamma Forest" seen from Yung
Shue Wan side, top half of the hill.
The Lamma Forest , seen from the Pak Kok-side,
top of the hill.
Pok Fu Lam outdoor
market between Cyberport and the new
Le Meridien Cyberport hotel. Quite a few Lammaites are visiting the
market and the hotel today, especially Pak-Kokians.
Ordering a "Lamma-zine" T-shirt from
ex-Lammaite Arthur of
Looks like a lot of families having fun
Yes, it's "Lamma Legend" (SCMP) Kumi
holding yet another free
Never too young to learn drumming - Lamma-Por found something to her liking
An RTHK video camera in the Cyberport shopping mall?
Main Hall of Cyberport, looking appropriately
A lion dance to open the "Robocon", a
robotics contest, promoting the Cyberport.
RTHK was out in full force filming the event.
The fancy Broadway Cyberport multiplex
cinema, usually empty except Sundays.
The New York Times wrote:
"'Rise of the Silver Surfer' is an existentially
and aesthetically unnecessary sequel to the equally irrelevant if
depressingly successful 'Fantastic Four.'"
I liked this phrase so much that it made me
go see and enjoy the movie!
I might well be an existentially and aesthetically unnecessary and
irrelevant guy myself, but I'm not "depressingly successful" yet,
Lamma-Por, not given to philosophisin',
simply liked the "heroic"
The detailed tables of the 2006 by-census have just become
available on the
govt. website. Very interesting statistics, but I had to sift
through a 517-page online document to find them:
Lamma's population has further shrunk to 5,158 residents,
from 5,550 in the 2001 main census. Lamma still has the smallest population
of any of the Constituency Areas in the Island District. But, surprisingly,
Lamma has the 3rd-highest monthly household income of $16,500 (down from
$20,000 and No. 2 position in 2001) and the 3rd-highest education level,
plus claiming the highest school attendance rate of 99.7%. The median age
has increased from 34 to 39 - in only 5 years! - same as for all of Hong
Kong. A quarter of men (down from almost 40% in 2001?) and a full
third of women have never been married. Click below to have a closer look:
2006 Population By-census - Summary Statistics of Island District,
comparing Lamma Island to the other Outlying Islands (click to
2006 Population By-census - Detailed Statistics for Lamma & Po Toi
(click to enlarge)
Torrential rain and dangerous sea conditions eventually forced the
of the HeliAds Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival 2007 after the first
of heats. (Photo by Laurent Fievet, with HeliAds promotional umbrella)
Gavin - Director of
the title sponsor of the
HeliAds Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival 2007.
(Photos below by Laurent Fievet)
Dear Mr. Gung et al,
A spectacular event was witnessed at Tai Wan To
yesterday and everyone was a winner. Awesome grit, teamwork,
determination, community spirit and camaraderie stretched
the full length of the beach. Only when lightning posed a threat
to safety did our contenders decide to continue the games in the
pubs and restaurants of Yung Shue Wan.
A massive thank you to the organisers and their
helpers, spectators and contenders, the Lads & Lasses who
sweated to clean and rake the beach the day before, the
fishermen that braved the five feet waves to return the dragon
boats to safety, the caterers that fueled the paddlers, the
first-aiders that patched us up, the police that kept us safe,
the press that kept their equipment dry and the rain that
prevented heat stroke.
The Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival is
now on the map, 2007 was most certainly an unforgettable event
and HeliAds look forward to supporting next year.
Things are looking up.
Mark Burns - Co-organiser and
Photos below by
Click on their names or their photos to view their photo galleries.
More photos by
Grahame Collins and
Siuyu, linked from the
Official Festival Photo Gallery.
Dragon spirit, Tiger strength
in abundance at the
1st HeliAds Lamma International
Dragon Boat Festival 2007
Despite heroic efforts throughout the day from the teams, the
organisers, the sponsors, and supporting bodies the race organisers finally
and reluctantly had to pull the plug on the HeliAds Lamma
International Dragon Boat Festival 2007 after the 10th race as a
fresh downpour of torrential rain hid the starting line from view,
lightning threatened and the sea became too choppy to allow racing
to continue safely.
Earlier in the day, an Amber warning rainstorm had done nothing to
dampen the abundant enthusiasm and good humour. And the appearance
of the addled & bedraggled remnants of an all night beach party from
Saturday night, looking vaguely like extras from 'Lost' before
they drifted away, added to the amusement!
Sunday's race format provided a good deal of flexibility to catch up
any time lost to bad weather, and the organiser's decision to press
on with the event unless conditions became dangerous was taken early
and proved correct, as the starting horn blew to get the first race
underway at 10am, just an hour behind schedule.
For posterity's sake the race winners of the first Lamma Festival
were (in order of the events):
IPC Mixed Team
AIA Southside Massive
Royal X Mixed Team
BGC Stormy Ladies
Dubai Flying Dragons (Mixed)
Hong Kong Freedom Dragons
Full race details can be found
Following months of planning, 55 dragon boat teams had made their
way to Tai Wan To beach, Lamma Island, early on the morning of the
10th June to compete in the Festival in Men's, Women's and Mixed
Divisions. Four Dubai Flying Dragons teams had flown into Hong Kong
especially for this tournament and, coming from a desert
kingdom, hadn't seen rainfall for over five months.
Nevertheless it was a wonderful and memorable sight to see the
normally peaceful Tai Wan To beach packed with more than 1,100
enthusiastic and colourful dragon boat paddlers and supporters, and
the sea sporting several junks and pleasure cruisers anchored along
the length of the 500 metre course. Sponsor Heliads had made a
brilliant contribution to the event, by handing out more than 500
personal umbrellas to competitors and boat handlers alike, which
indicated their rain-or-shine, weather-savvy know-how.
Heroism was the word of the day as organisers and teams fought the elements. The Lamma Fishermen had battled the early morning
storm and rough seas to deliver the race boats from Chai Wan and
Aberdeen in time to begin the events. Later in the day, they
performed greater feats by returning the boats safely in
considerably worse conditions.
Members of the Lamma Dragons, Lamma Fishermen and boys from the Hong
Kong Sea School worked wonders in choppy conditions keeping the race
boats in order, and helping paddlers in and out of the vessels.
Race officials and support volunteers, despite the deluge, managed
to keep a firm grip on the vital tasks of organising the races and
getting the beach ready for action.
The Island Bar and Shamrocks got their stalls up and running
in dreadful conditions, and cheerily kept everyone supplied with
'fuel' throughout the day.
And the teams were magnificent, as enthusiasm and good
nature outpoured in far greater quantities than the rain, which was
torrential for much of the day.
the water, racing was fiercely contested. In Race 3, a Women's
Division heat, IPC Ladies just edged Lamma Ladies by 0.4 of a second
to win the race. The IPC, always powerful contenders on the water,
also won Mixed and Men's heats.
Race 5 threw up another incredibly tight finish as winners, Hongkong
Electric just pipped the North Lamma Fishermen by four tenths of a
The sleeper team
favourite of the year, the Lamma Dragons (Men), have clawed their
way back to fighting strength and proved their chops with a
three-second lead over their competitors to take first place in Race
The guest Dubai Flying Dragons – accustomed to glassy-smooth seas –
proved their metal as they convincingly took first place in Race 8
in the Mixed Division.
Despite the excitement of these races, by noon the weather gods had
the upper hand. The second round of heats were delayed to await more
favourable conditions. Competitors for Race 11 started up the course and had made their way
to the start line as an enormous curtain of rain hid the boats from
view, thunder boomed and the sea grew choppier. With the fresh, wild
conditions, and reports from the observatory of no foreseeable
break, organisers decided to cancel the rest of the Festival for
was a great shame to have to end the first HeliAds Lamma
International Dragon Boat Festival 2007 prematurely, but the safety
of participants was of greater importance.
Despite suffering some of the worst rain and wind of the year, the
Festival was a great success and demonstrated that Lamma can
successfully stage a major annual dragon boat race meeting.
The staging of the event also raised HK$10,000 for the Make A Wish
children's charity, an incredible achievement under the
circumstances and something that everyone who participated in the
Festival can be proud of.
And everyone is now asking, given reasonable weather just
how fantastic is the 2008 Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival
going to be?!
Well, with the return of the caterers, beer tents, fresh-water
showers, 16 remarkably clean toilets, soft sand, and brilliant
competition in deep, fast water: come back next year to Tai Wan To
beach, Lamma Island to find out....!
Photos by Donna,
click to enlarge:
Photos by Desmond,
click to enlarge:
Photos by Leggova,
click to enlarge:
P.S. Here's a short
Internet TV article about the event.
P.S. II Any company or
individual who would like to find out more about sponsoring the
International Dragon Boat Festival (yes, they're already looking at
it!) can contact
Brad Tarr or
HK Electric volunteers prepare about 1,000 Chinese rice dumplings for senior
citizens living alone in Eastern District of Hong Kong Island.
Volunteers happily trying out their skills although most of them are making
rice dumplings for the first time.
From a recent press release of the Lamma-zine's main sponsor,
"HK Electric continued to extend its caring spirit this year, bringing a
touch of love to members of the Hong Kong Society for the Aged for an early
celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival."
There's really nothing more that a sometimes cynical gwailo like myself
should say about an event as sweet, caring and "touched by love" like this.
full press release.
HEC volunteers above are really special, caring, wonderful people. They are
the same ones who give their off-duty time to plant trees on Lamma (Green
Lamma Green campaign), help to prevent hillfires on Lamma during the two
grave-sweeping festivals and perform many other volunteer and charity
activities all over Hong Kong. Fantastic work, ladies & gentlemen! Many
thanks to all and every one of you from the Lamma-zine and Lammaites in
BUT: Where are the rice dumplings for Lamma-Por and myself?
Someday - much too soon - the two of us might also become aged "elderlies".
Can we please get free dumplings now as well - as kind of an "advance
payment" for our future senior citizen status? We both like rice dumplings a
lot, especially around Dragon Boat Festival time!
online again, after the thunderstorm on Sat night took out my Broadband
Internet connection, the first-time ever in almost 6 years on Lamma. Always
having been careful to switch off my PC and modems, I did it too late as I
was backing up the entire 132MB website of Hélène (see below) to my own
multi-backup system. Hosted in Europe, it took hours, well into the
thunderstorm. When it was done, my Broadband died soon afterwards.
The lightning-induced power surge through the phone line took out the router
and the LAN card, but strangely not the modem. This is actually a common
occurrence on Lamma, especially if you live up on a hill. This thunderstorm
on Sat/Sun night took out Broadband connections and computer power supplies,
even a few TVs, fridges and Hifi systems.
There's a guy on Lamma who must be rubbing his hands in glee whenever a
thunderstorm is breaking loose over Lamma: "Ahh, business, more
Andy the "All-round IT consultant on Lamma". He's also the supplier
and master technician of Lamma-zine HQ's main computer, the
"Green Mean Machine" (see above, my name).
It's a low-cost PC clone, custom-built and -configured by Andy to be the
best, biggest and fastest (Intel Core 2 Duo, 3 GHz, 2 GB Ram, 2*200GB hard
disks, DVD-writer, scanner, LCD screen) that my tiny budget could afford
last year, when I finally upgraded from my
7-year old PC, a still-working, museum-worthy antique running
Andy replaced my fried LAN card and router, we finally upgraded to a
wireless router (see above), connecting my former ancient PC and Lamma-Por's
Chinese PC (exclusively used for simple computer games) into a Local Area
Network. Now, if I could just afford an old wireless laptop for our future
rooftop garden, publishing from my rocking chair...
It's also a fine setup for a near-future, wireless webcam on my rooftop.
It'll show YSW valley, a bit of the harbour, the ferry pier and the sunset
live on this website. Some of our many "homesick" ex-Lammaite readers might
really like that, no?
In general, surge protectors for the power lines and especially the
phone/Broadband lines are highly recommended. Otherwise, in case of a
lightning storm you'll best disconnect the phone line plug from the modem
and switch off all sensitive electronic appliances, avoiding them from
getting fried to a golden crisp with the ugly smell of a short circuit.
While being offline for an agonising three days, separated from my umbilical
cord, my Broadband lifeline, I still wrote and edited all the daily stories
below, not missing a single day, ready for upload as soon as I was
reconnected! That's how committed to our readers we are here at Lamma-zine
Some Lammaites lead very quiet, reclusive, almost invisible lives.
It was by sheer coincidence that I met Hélène, the artist who did all the
above extraordinary "soul portraits" while living in Yung Shue Wan the last
number of years. Introduced to me by her neighbour Nancy the Frog Expert,
Hélène was looking for a "Photoshop expert" to retouch some digital photos
of her paintings (see above).
This small job for me quickly expanded to include some of the
other digital services I offer to clients: photo shoot of more paintings,
digital retouching, photo printing, website update in English and French and
website maintenance, plus loads of free consulting over meals on Main Street and visits to
my home office for approvals because Frenchwoman Hélène is one of those TV-
and computer- less people - who are actually quite numerous on Lamma!
Hélène's self-portrait, 1994
Hélène believes -like many artists - that the creator should vanish behind
the artwork, that it's not important to know anything about the creator to
appreciate the artwork which should speak for itself. She prefers not to
tell our readers more about herself and her quiet, dedicated life as a
Oil-painting some of the
disciples and family of her tai chi master (above top left) she also does
soul portraits and free-wheeling, colourful abstracts, for example her
Lamma Island series. Multi-talented, she's also into
Fu Family) and
sculpture, even painting
Cretan chairs recently.
Sunrise on the Garden of Hélène - Lamma Island series
(click for more)
View from Hélène's rooftop flat in Yung Shue Long New Village
She's leaving Lamma today for a new life somewhere in Europe, not knowing
yet where she'll settle next. She remains a creative and fertile free spirit
who's documented the many countries she's lived in and the people she's met
paintings. They are mostly available on her English/French website
(now updated and maintained by Yours Truly) at
Bienvenue, farewell, chère Hélène, all the best
wherever you're going!
Co-Moderator of the Chinese Forum:
below by nicole_kam, L-G, Ansye,
nicole_kam and L-G)
Chinese Forum Summary Update - April 2007
To cope with
the increasing traffic on the Chinese forum, a new
co-moderator was appointed by Lamma-Gung. On accepting her new role,
nicole_ kam said:
"Oh, no! I can't think of anything
special to say. Being a moderator sounds like a lot of work,
but at the same time, it doesn't seem like much work. Should
I say something like 'I love Lamma!'"
[Editor: We're always looking for more moderators
of our English forums as well. If you have a special
expertise (Lamma nature, people, photography, music, art,
parties, environmental issues,...) or a fun hobby or any
sport, moderate one of the existing forums or start your
own! Little work and loads of glory and recognition from the
forum members (sometimes)!
Email L-G for more details]
- Save Our Sumo…
and Peggy as Well!
celebrity pet pigs, Sumo and Peggy, are apparently illegal…
greyhair came up with some joke PR campaigns to keep
(1) Disguise Sumo and Peggy as wild boars by getting them
false teeth. There are no regulations for keeping wild
(2) Do a high-profile campaign and donate the piggies to
General discussion -
News on Apple Daily
All About Swimming
summer is here, and the Chinese forum members discuss some
of the best beaches on our fair isle, from Hung Shing Ye to
Power Station Beach and Lo So Shing…
Mossie Screens for
forum newbie, spicejen asked where she could buy
detachable/ add-on mosquito screens to put on her windows at
home. In quite a few places, including selected general
stores on Lamma, the $10 shops in town and The Hong Kong
Federation of Trade Unions office in Aberdeen!
extraordinary photos from nicole_kam and Bobby!
Can We Fix It? – An
In the topic
for reporting broken-down public facilities, Miu
reported that one of the streetlights on the road from Po
Wah Yuen to Tai Peng (near PCCW distributor) is not working.
greyhair suggested a more direct way of sorting it
out – by writing down the number on the streetlight and
reporting it to 2388 9765.
Mortgaging Lamma Properties
Want to buy
a Lamma home and finance it with a mortgage? Suggestions in
the topic are the smaller banks in Hong Kong. Those
interested might want to check out an ad banner on
the way to the pier, near Democracy Wall.
Walking the Walk
sought a new tenant for a Wang Long flat, advertised as
"8 mins walk" from the ferry, the other members discussed how
much time is usually needed to get to the pier. Ex-Sha-Po-po,
bunnyrabbit was the quickest, needing just 4.5
minutes to walk from his former residence to the pier!
Bobsy - Single-named Chairman of ABLE Charity
(A Better Living Environment)
(Photos by Bobsy and SheiLAP, Click above for
(Click for former tree planting days:
Tree Planting Day 2003,
THE LAMMA FOREST
A brief history
The first seedlings were planted, in the area now
known as the Lamma Forest, on the barren Northern hills of the
island in April 1997. The initiative was undertaken by a handful of
volunteers working with ABLE Charity, a Lamma-based grassroots
organization set up to make an ecological difference on this small
At first, the idea was to just plant trees to combat
the extensive deforestation on the island, as well as be part of the
greening of Hong Kong. Soon after the first seedlings were embedded
in the dry soil of the hills the idea of planting a forest that
covered the entire northern parts of the island was born.
It was a "Eureka!" moment, an idea whose time had
come. Why not a forest? Why not work towards creating a mass of land
that can one day become eligible for conservation status, Lamma had
none anyways. Why not create a beautiful green and pleasant land for
future generations to appreciate?
So with great enthusiasm the local community was
motivated to partake in the next tree planting the following year,
where 2,000 seedlings were planted over an entire weekend in the
same area. The results of the first plantings had by now started to
appear somewhat and that gave hope and further inspiration, as well
as confirming that we were planting in the right area. Other members
wanted to plant in different parts by now, but I reasoned that if we
stick to one area we can start seeing results and make a noticeable
Planting 2,000 trees in one weekend is no easy task.
Looking back at the photos taken I can see the fatigue on the faces
of the three main organizers, but I can also see the passion and the
The exercise was a success thanks to our
enthusiastic local community that came out in big numbers to
support. We had spent the previous weekend and the ensuing evenings
leading up to the event camped out in Yung Shue Wan Main Street
raising awareness and drumming up support.
A few weeks later - as if to support our efforts -
the government-hired contractors came and planted thousands of trees
up on the same hills over a period of a week or so and suddenly the
beginnings of a forest was starting to appear as if by magic. That
was a huge bonus that felt like a gift from the heavens. I no longer
had any doubt that we were on to the right thing.
The following October during the Chung Yeung
Festival disaster struck our island. There were over 20 fires that
day, started by careless people who had come to clear and clean
their ancestral graves.
The Lamma Forest did not escape, one particular
grave site started a huge fire that swept across the dry hills all
the way down to Pak Kok Village, burning most of the trees we and
the government had planted earlier in April and May. Gone up in the
blink of an eye. That was very painful indeed.
That day we were combating fire with our beating
sticks and taking big risks getting in close to the burning bush and
trees. We were up there helping the firemen and the odd police
officer covered in black soot, dehydrated and over-heating as we
watched the folly of humans unwittingly destroying the source of
that which nourishes them.
Luckily, the wisdom of nature has her ways and since
then many trees have regenerated back at a more evenly spaced
distance, and today there is a remarkable difference between both
sides of the same slope which is noticeable from the ferry as it
goes round and past Pak Kok. In fact, one of the best places to see
the extent of the Lamma Forest is from the ferry by looking up at
the hills between Po Wah Yuen and Pak Kok Tsuen.
Able Charity has since planted trees most years with
the help of corporations, schools (notably KG5) and the local
community. Our efforts have been funded by the generous green fund
from our local HK Electric company and in recent years the generous
support of the KFBG who supply the expertise as well as the local
indigenous seedlings to plant.
Fast forward to May 2007 and this year's tree
planting weekend. The mission was 500 indigenous trees specifically
selected for this stage of the forest. The seedlings included two
endangered species listed under class 2 act of China & Hong Kong.
(for example, the Panda Bear is class 1).
The way we normally work is on the Saturday all the
500 holes are dug, the trees are transported up to the site and from
there taken up to the base camp which is then readied for the next
day's planting. Out of both days perhaps Saturday is more physically
challenging, but the Sunday is always more mentally challenging as
it involves dealing with a lot more people, jobs and tasks.
Most tiring of all is the clean-up afterwards, when
you have already done two days of intense work and everybody just
wants to go home, but all the tools have to be put away, the rubbish
cleared, the base camp dismantled and the task completed.
The weather this year seemed to be testing us.
Saturday we had the hottest day of the year so far at a scorching 35
degrees Celsius and Sunday we had the wettest day so far with wild
thunder and lightning storms and heavy monsoon rains.
We were not deterred, in fact we found it quite
amusing and just enjoyed the ride. Once you are wet to the bone
there is just no way to get any wetter, so you just plough on and
get on with the job at hand. Although, I must admit I was a little
apprehensive when those lightning bolts were exploding above and all
All in all, approximately 60 people showed up to
help plant trees and the vibes were good. People genuinely seemed to
be excited and eager to make a difference. Every tree planting event
there are always a handful of knights in shining armour who just
seem to show up and make all the difference.
This is always a pleasant surprise to me as I never
know who is going to turn up on the day. Often, the people you
depend on the most never seem to make it for one reason or the
other. These people know who they are and to them future generations
will be thankful.
Now, after 10 years of tree-planting, the hills of
North Lamma have transformed from slopes with trees sticking out of
them into a vibrant ecosystem.
This transformation I only really noticed in the
last few months. Suddenly, there is water running down, various
edible berries - including an abundance of the medicinal Chinese
gooseberry (amla) - colourful flowers that are attracting an
increasing number of butterflies and bees, diverse bird species,
over 20 different species of trees and just a vibrancy and a healthy
energy that somehow wasn't there until recently.
This is truly a revelation to me, to see such a
transformation in my lifetime, in just 10 years to witness life
return to the land has filled me with hope that, yes, we can change
Somebody just told me about an idea for a Guinness World
Lamma as the most cosmopolitan village in the world,
with the most nationalities of any village.
He counted all his friends' and ac2u12ntances' nationalities
and claimed to get up to 49! Pretty impressive, but he's a popular guy.
Nancy the Frog Lady, just mentioned that in the Waterfront Restaurant,
"one night there were 5 Filipinas, 1 Indonesian, 1 American, 1 Malaysian,
1 Singaporean, 3 Chinese, 2 English, 1 Australian, and 1 German."
We set a few ground rules like the person has to have a
passport from that country and Lamma being their main residence. We started
doing this as an informal count in our forum:
How many nationalities on Lamma?
We've got up to 49 so far. As this might not be enough for a Guinness world
record attempt, the forum members came up with additional fine ideas:
Alan: Most nationalities in a sauna.
Most nude nationalities dancing round a May Pole.
Lamma-Gung: Most nationalities in a bar, all drunk above the legal
Most nationalities on a 700 sqft Village House rooftop.
Foxy: Most nationalities on a village vehicle.
How many people of different nationalities do YOU know living
here? This might also make a great party and BBQ game. Add new
nationalities to the informal list below by
me! No need for names and proof, I'll trust
Nationalities Living on Lamma
(as of June 2007)
P.S. More nationalities keep coming in, almost within minutes of
publishing this story: Greek, Serbian, Mauritian, Bangladeshi. More, more!
P.S. June 14: Emails have come in, adding Qatari, Jamaican, Zambian,
Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Maldivian, Croatian.
Arja, Sara, Gina, Josefina, Katie of the Lamma Dragons pose with the event
and the Women's Cup they hope to win on Sunday!
HeliAds Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival teams
(men, women, fishermen) are a familiar sight in the Yung Shue Wan harbour these
practicing hard and diligently for their numerous races all over HK and even
internationally in Singapore.
The first-ever Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival is
coming up this Sunday, so the event's title sponsor
Dragons Ladies team flying high over HK and Lamma to launch the
Festival. Let's hope that they come back down to Earth after this
high-flying experience and actually win that Cup they're clutching so
eagerly in the photos above! If you can hear their trademark
Big Tamasha and Shouting-Shouting in the harbour, then you know
they're getting hard and all ready for Sunday!
a smart and perfectly-timed stroke of marketing genius Gavin had 400
HeliAds-themed umbrellas made- we might get a few showers on Sunday -
promising to give them away for free on Sunday to spectators and
participants, first come first served. Then he sent me an email about it
today and got even more free publicity in the Lamma-zine! Clever!
But, honestly, I was expecting something a bit more of a fancy design, like
helicopter blades printed on the brolly, a printed picture of Lamma and
Power Station Beach from above, a dragon boat dragon atop the spike of the
brolly, or at least a heli-propeller-shaped beanie!
Gavin, HeliAds' MD, replied:
"I dare not steal the glory of the
[Lamma Ladies'] pink "fancy designs" on Power Station Beach tomorrow."
Mark Burns - Co-organiser and Managing Director of
dragon boat teams from Hong Kong and overseas will compete in
this first ever international dragon boat race to be held on
Lamma Island, being staged on a full international 500-metre
course at Tai Wan To (Power Station) Beach, Yung Shue Wan.
"We're looking forward to welcoming over
1,000 competitors to the Lamma Festival, making it one of the
largest dragon boat races in Hong Kong in only its first year!"
said Tournament Director, Brad Tarr of promoters, Thirsty
The Lamma Festival has attracted a number of
and title sponsors
"The HeliAds Lamma International Dragon Boat
Festival has attracted racers from across the Hong Kong
community, from students to managing directors, housewives to
pilots. HeliAds is proud to support this wonderful new sports
tournament which we're sure will grow in popularity into the
future," said Mr Gavin Neale, Director of HeliAds.
Racing gets underway on Tai Wan To Beach, Yung
Shue Wan, Lamma Island from 9am on Sunday 10th June.
Additional ferries have been arranged from Central Ferry Pier 4
to cater for paddlers and spectators.
In addition to Hong Kong dragon boat teams,
several teams from the Dubai Flying Dragons club are
flying into Hong Kong especially for the Festival.
The community spirit of the Festival 2007 will
benefit the fundraising of children's charity, the
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Hong Kong, one of the key
organisers of the Festival and the Official Charity.
welcome to come and enjoy the day on the scenic beach on Lamma
and entry is free.
Removing a Space Invaders Machine from YSW Harbour on Tue, June 5.
Someone threw it in along with several beer barrels and CO2 canisters.
(Photos by Donna)
Scum floating in YSW harbour on June 5, 2007.
go for a swim?
(Photos above by L-G, right/below by Ian Watson)
Red tides have been spotted on on Power Station beach and in the Sok Kwu Wan
harbour, where they endanger the many fish farms there by using up much of
the water's oxygen, suffocating marine life. Maybe the worst red tide since
Lamma's swimmers are worried about the toxicity of this algae bloom and have
been discussing its origins in our forum
Red tide comes to Power Station Beach. These pictures, according to
our resident experts, actually show some form of water pollution, not red
tide. Pictures pending...
Wow, 24 issues already of Lamma's 2nd (more or less) weekly,
locally produced news media, besides the daily Lamma-zine!
Let's call for a BIG PARTY as soon as #25 will be out! Daniel, how about it?
Lamma Dragon Boat Festival co-organiser and promoter:
We're looking for some decent photographers
who'd be interested in taking some shots at the Lamma Dragon
Boat Festival on this Sunday, June 10. Of course, anyone's
welcome to come along to take photos, but in particular,
I'm looking for decent sports
We could give them special access to the
officials/marshals' speed boats so they can get close to the
We have no budget to pay them,
unfortunately, but I'm sure there would be photographers on the
island who would be keen for an opportunity to take some good
action shots for their own portfolio. They would be welcome to
use all the photos for their own use, as long as we can have
copies of the best for our website and publicity, credited
accordingly, of course.
Are you able to put me in touch with any?
Contact me directly at
Yes, it's very hard to believe, with all the usual $50+ drinks in LKF!
The Deli Lamma, a loyal Lamma-zine advertiser, is introducing a new Happy
Hour, starting today, every day except Sunday, in the Deli Lamma Lan Kwai
Fong. Unlimited standard drinks, plus nice, savoury snacks and munchies,
from 5-9pm, all for just $150!
This would be a great opportunity to have a close look at the new LKF sister
restaurant of one of Yung Shue Wan's longtime favourite hangouts and
fine-dining spots. The menu is very similar between the two places, so
you'll find your familiar YSW favourites readily available in the Deli Lamma
LKF, even the chef and several staff have moved over from YSW.
(Photos below by Lammaite André, click to enlarge)
to find the Deli Lamma LKF? There's no signage outside at this moment:
Go almost to the top of D'Aguilar Street, No 37,
Winner Building - in-between Al's Diner and Hardy's Club, opposite La Bodega
Go into the open Winner Building, take the stairs
or the elevator to the 1/F.
Follow the big Deli Lamma sign. See map below:
Al's Diner | Deli Lamma, 1/F, Winner
Building | Hardy's Club
37 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong
Still being an insider tip, it means you'll never have to wait for a table,
even at lunchtime. Whenever I'm in Lan Kwai Fong at lunchtime, I visit the
Deli Lamma as they offer such a fantastic deal of a lunch menu. Only $70 for
a choice of daily changing five main courses, plus drink and soup or salad,
and no service charge from Monday to Friday! Check it out and say hello to
your friends from the Deli Lamma YSW. Take along your colleagues and
friends, if you're working in Central.
ATV presenter Lee Ho Ying and Peggy the Piggy -
filming a TV appearance on ATV Home.
After several interviews for Chinese newspaper, Lamma's famous and beloved
couple of pet pigs will be making a TV appearance. Following up on a recent
major story in the best-selling
Apple Daily, ATV Home filmed an
"infotainment" story yesterday, to be broadcast between 10:30 and 11pm soon.
They interviewed Keren, owner of Lamma's very own "celebrity couple" Sumo
& Peggy, and Jenny from the Lamma Animal Welfare Centre who have
adopted this issue with their usual passion, dedication and professionalism.
govt. is insisting on seizing and killing Keren's pigs, considering them
illegal livestock - not beloved pets! Keeping pigs has been declared illegal
on Lamma not so long ago, closing down all the former numerous pig farms all
over the island. Keren has been fighting to get an exhibition license or an
exemption through all the relevant govt. channels for 1.5 years now, to no
avail. The Environmental Protection Dept. decided to sue Keren instead of
issuing a license.
Walking to the ATV interview, I noticed three govt. guys close to Keren's
former Tai Peng home. They were probably here trying to take the pigs away
and get them slaughtered, but couldn't find them anymore, after their move
to a secret, temporary location. But it's probably just a matter of time
till they'll locate them. The govt. seems to rally their full forces in
persecuting Keren and her "family". Public pressure seems to be the last
resort now to save the lives of this piggy couple. The ATV interviews will
help, we hope.
The Lamma-zine has been writing about this issue before, most recently on
May 13 and in the
Hog Heaven photo gallery. "Sumo the Vegetarian Pig" (as we dubbed
him years ago, being fed by vegetable kitchen scraps from local restaurants
and his many friends) has been
on TV before. Here's a photo I took several years back, Sumo and
Nick the Bookman (on the left, not the right), close to "Nick's Corner".
Below, a few more of my photos from the ATV interview, photographing often
over the shoulder of the videographer ("No flash, please!"). I'll keep you
posted as soon as we'll know the interview's airing date and time!
Waiting for the camera to roll and the interview to begin. Keren's
LAWC's Jennie is a really experienced interviewee.
Dr John, her boyfriend watches in admiration.
Feeding time! Ho Yin and Peggy hit it off right away.
Peggy just loves water-cooling and Ho Yin loves providing it.
My favourite photo in the middle (click to enlarge):
Even a cute local girl can learn to love a big pig (Lamma-Por might
Grooming lessons for pigs: a first on ATV?
Sumo and Peggy, the affectionate couple "hamming it up" for TV.
Why does the govt. want to break up this happy family?
Give Keren a license!
the June issue of the very informative and excellent website/email
Holistic Hong Kong by Lammaite Peter Lloyd, Laurence James Lucas
"As I sit in my living room on Lamma Island in the early morning I am
immersed in the earthly orchestra of birds and insects. It sounds to me like
a celebration of life and the symphony of the day. Music is vibration; all
of life is singing. All of your actions, thoughts and feelings are
transmissions of vibratory energy that is music, sometimes discordant,
sometimes cohesive and harmonious."
Laurence is running the new Enchantments Institute in Yung Shue Wan,
together with his partner, artist Carey Vail, a former Lamma-zine Artist of
the Month. Today, a new series of workshops is kicking off, an 8-week course
about the Enchantments of Life: the Holosphere, about "Your life
purpose and the nature of the world you inhabit," every Saturday to 21
July, 2:30 - 6pm. The very well-chosen, intriguing, New-Age-style, poetic
titles of these weekly workshops are:
The Holosphere, Cosmic Mapping, Your Enchanting Life, The Dance of
Passion and Grace, The Emperor's Striptease, Babylon Sings, The Realm of the
Ring Lords, The Matrix of the Mystics.
For more info or to attend any or all of these workshops ($350/afternoon),
or call 2982-6123. For more info,
By the way, this story is NOT an advertorial, just another friendly welcome
to a new addition to Lamma's active and prospering spiritual/holistic scene.
This scene has been a fertile and inspiring source for quite a few
Lamma-zine stories over the last almost five years. But after debating some
of these topics with Laurence and Carey over dinner in Lambcombe and even
attending an earlier workshop - out of sheer intellectual curiosity - I can
I am not worthy, Sifu! Being stuck in a materialistic, scientific,
non-religious interpretation of reality (based on a relativistic-agnostic
philosophy), much of what Laurence is teaching is just way above my thick
head. Promises of teaching me about "your life purpose and the nature of
the world you inhabit" trigger my rolling-eyes reflex instantly and get
my BS-meter spinning. Promises like these have a most difficult time to
penetrate my mental defenses developed over a lifetime of carefully
fostering a critical, ironical attitude to life, people and the universe in
But maybe I'm all wrong and I merely haven't "seen the light" of
enchantments yet? I know that I know (almost) nothing about life, people and
the universe. Maybe I never will... but that's not a problem at all. It's
definitely no obstacle to my happiness and keeps me tolerant of most belief
systems and religions.
But I recommend to all of you spiritual seekers out there to check out these
low-cost workshops of
The Enchantments of Life: the Holosphere with an open mind and form
your own opinions. What Laurence is teaching is a really fascinating world
view and much of it makes a lot more good sense than most of those
self-proclaimed, money-grabbing "masters" out there. His clear,
non-dogmatic, open-for-discussion and entertaining teaching style is
definitely most refreshing. It's a fine way of spending a Sat afternoon on
Lamma in the company of like-minded spiritual seekers, frequently very
intelligent and attractive females...
Eileen - ex-Pak
Kok Village resident:
At last, 16-inch walls and peace and quiet!! Gone
are the sleepless nights, nights of torment as we lay in bed
listening to the howls and cackles of the local banshees.
We have now got a nice little cottage on the edge of
the North Yorkshire Moors, one that is hundreds of years old and has
16-inch walls. So it's very quiet, a bit "cozy" in the degrees, but
most of all peaceful.
I do have the odd twinge of longing to see the
lovely sunsets and scenery of the beloved Isle of Lush, Bangs,
Tweets and Loving that is known to most as Lamma.
Just to lay in bed and only hear the sound of the
cat purring is such a heavenly thing after the 6 weeks of almost
living hell we endured while having to stay in a harbour view room
in Yung Shue Wan, very close to some restaurants and bars.
I remember one night in particular. It was shortly
after some Big Bear Hunter had gotten married and was obviously
still in party mood with his new wife, family and friends.
The party was very lengthy and very noisy.
As we try to put up with it by watching movies till
around 1:30am, thinking things would slow down!! We were wrong!
Until 2:30, we had to suffer the very loud bar music as well as the
drunken rantings of a guest who was then leaving and screaming off
at around 3:30 into the night.
This only made the other guests more determined to
stay and have more of the demon drink.
He and his sidekick then went on a blinder until it
all got too much for them. The sight of the table with no drink on
it made them so angry that the table and the empty chairs were
promptly thrown into the sea.
Music was still blasting out as they left, but not
before turning on all the water taps and leaving them running.
All was still apart from Petula Clark belting out
"Downtown". I could take no more and put on my dressing gown and
went down to see what was going on.
I was all set to give the bar minder an earful, but when I got down
the bar was all locked up, shuttered and no bar staff. Tables were
upside down and the place was flooded. The music was still belting
out, so I unplugged all the plugs I could find and turned off the
I went back to the room where my husband - who had
to be up for the 6am ferry - was trying to get some rest. It was now
A few hours later, there was a lot of police around
and a very angry man showing them the table thrown into the sea.
Lots of arm-waving and pointing going on.
I don't think the police believed it was a table
until the angry man got into his boat and went to get it from the
I was called upon to give an account to the police
of the goings-on of the night before.
It turned out that the bar minder had gone off duty
around 2am and shut up the bar. These drinkers must have bought Jim
Beam from somewhere and stayed on the premises unbeknownst to the
It was not until later that day, when the sea
receded, that the missing chairs came into sight.
We put up with one or two more nights of loud bar
music. Finally, my husband went to have a talk with the bar owner.
All credit to him, we were able to sleep soundly there afterwards,
as all the music was kept down to a reasonable level and turned off
This was great, as the rooms in this place are very
nice with a lovely balcony and the best harbour views. We did enjoy
the stay very much after this night of torture.
I would highly recommend
the place to anyone. The bar staff are very attentive and friendly,
the cleaner is very good and will attend to your cleaning upon
But most of all, it is
on Lamma Island where - as we all know - anything goes and usually
Read and discuss more about this topic in our forum
When the night has come.
Ed Banger commented in this forum on Eileen's dire plight:
"Ayaaaa, Eileen, Eileen!! You should never have forsaken the quiet
backwaters of Pak Kok for the bright lights of Yung Shue Wan. You're not the
first Pak Kokker to be lured by the neon, and doubtlessly not the last.
You should return to the house on the cliffs before these lost souls drag
you deeper into the swamps and sewers of the Banyan Bay metro!"
Read last month's stories...