Soundpocket press release:
AROUND is a month-long
sound art festival about listening. Internationally
renowned artists stay in Hong Kong on a 10-day
residency, developing original live performances and
installations at the tranquil Tung O Beach in the
south of Lamma Island and in old Chinese brick houses in
Motat village nearby. Sound objects and audio
works are concurrently presented in multiple venues in
the city. Public talks and workshops on sound in
different cultural contexts take place throughout the
AROUND is grounded on the
place-making potential of the aesthetics of sound. The
unprecedented festival brings visitors out of the
routines of urban space and back, enabling
extra-ordinary and lasting listening experiences.
AROUND is a direct and
positive response to the domination of visual culture
and noise pollution in the city, the numbing of our
sense of hearing as a result, and the growing interest
of artists working with sound. AROUND is an occasion for
ear cleansing and deep listening.
international A-list artists and emerging sound art
talents from Hong Kong. They are:
Mike Cooper (UK), Kawai
Shiu (USA/ Singapore/ HK) with Hong Kong New Music
Ensemble (HK), Phoebe Hui (HK), Jerome Joy (France),
Jaffa Lam (HK), John Lee (HK), Jason Lim (Singapore),
Simone Merli (Italy/USA), Donna Ong (Singapore), Beatrix
Pang (HK), Kacey Wong (HK), Patrick Shek (HK), Su Hei
(HK), Akio Suzuki (Japan), Anthony Yeung (HK), Yan Jun (PRC),
Miki Yui (Japan/ Germany)
Presented by soundpocket,
curated by Yeung
Yang. Co-organizers SEE Network, The Bookshop by MCCM
Creations, aco_books, kapok, hulahoop, Hong Kong
Architecture Centre, Friends of the Earth.
Hong Kong Arts Development
Council, Le French May, Consulate General of
France, Dawei Charitable Foundation Limited, alive not
dead, San Miguel.
Donna ONG - Project Waterfall 1
Akio SUZUKI performance
(photo by Catherine Grout)
Anthony Yeung -
Jason LIM - Last Drop
There's already been another
Tung O Beach cleaning by HK Electric
Volunteers, GreenLammaGroup and the festival
organisers on March 26:
see our forum and
Facebook photo gallery.
Program & timetable at a glance
below, click for
more details, plus the complete A5-size
AROUND booklet (pdf, 3.5MB) which you
can also pick up at the YSW ferry pier kiosk.
South Lamma events on May
1, 2, 9.
The May 1, 6-7pm, Tung O beach
concert will feature Lammaite viola
player William Lane (HK Philharmonic
"Join Kawai Shiu and
performers from the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble
for an outdoor musical performance on Lamma
Island at sunset this Labor Day, May 1. Kawai
Shiu has composed a work called 'Tung O
Processional' especially for this event.
Members of HKNME (viola, cello, two french horns
and trombone) visit the beach, paths, rocks,
pier, temple, and deserted houses in this remote
fishing village. The audience follows the music
and listens to the murmurings of the wind and
This performance is part of the 2009 Around
Festival, affiliated with Le French May Arts
Festival. Cost: $150."
HOW TO GET
By ferry (May 1/2 are
holidays, click below for schedules):
Aberdeen to Sok Kwu Wan
ferry (get out in Mo Tat Wan),
or take the
Central - Sok Kwu Wan HKKF ferry, then switch
Sok Kwu Wan - Aberdeen Chuen Kee ferry (get out at
Mo Tat Wan);
then walk from Mo Tat Wan ferry pier to Tung O beach (30 mins).
or bike/hike from Sok Kwu Wan to
Mo Tat Wan (15/30 minutes) and Tung O Wan (30
mins/1 hour) - I'll be biking, the fastest way
to get from event to event;
or take the very scenic walk over the 150-metre
tall hill from the Sok Kwu Wan Tin Hau Temple to Tung
O Wan (the saddle in-between Mt Stenhouse and
Ling Kok Shan, via Balcony Rock), about 45 mins;
or hire your own
junk/sampan/speedboat to Tung O beach with
Refreshments will be available on Tung O beach
and there's always the fine
The Bay Rest. on Mo Tat Wan beach, my
own stop-over when biking in South Lamma.
Just received - after my urgent request to the
organisers - a detailed map (click to enlarge).
For any questions, email or call me (see top of
my weekly weigh-in this morning, I discovered
that I have lost exactly 150 pounds since
starting my personal "Weight Loss Journey" a
little over 1 year ago. Another little milestone
- the biggest weight loss of my life - getting
me closer to my mid-term dream of shrinking to
Onederland (weight loss support forum
term for the Wonderland dream/goal/ aspiration
of weighing below 200 pounds, 1xx, Onederland.)
panoramic view from top of the highest hill
above the Lamma Quarry,
April 28, 2009 (click to enlarge)
Do these 150 pounds qualify me as
The Biggest Loser of Lamma, like the
Survivors-style TV show of competing "morbidly
obese" teams, where "The Biggest Loser" will
actual show winner. Well, from being
probably The Biggest Lammaite before I might
have progressed to become maybe "The Biggest Loser"
(in terms of weight)? It really sounds bad,
doesn't it, like my entire life is
heading in the wrong direction!?
I'm power-hiking, eh,
Stumbling Randomly Through the Hills of
Lamma like a madman possessed these days, almost
every day for as long as the hiking weather
still holds up so beautifully. It's great cardio
to get the metabolism going and lose weight
faster, overcoming the dreaded "plateau phases"
(see Weight Chart above.) In the meantime, I'm
surviving on small portions of still delicious
salads, soups, fruits, veggies, dairy, seafood (and occasional unhealthy
I might have climbed all major
hills of Lamma by now, at least once, always
preferring dirt paths to concrete. The so-called
Snake Trail - Lamma Winds to Youth
Hostel - has remained my firm favourite. Snake
What snakes? Just stories to frighten island
visitors, methinks! Occasionally, maybe once per
hike on a weekday, you might even meet a lone
jogger or mountain-biker up there, but they
(usually) don't bite. The photo
below shows my first-ever OK photo of most of
the Snake Trail, seen yesterday from atop the
highest hill (140m) above the Lamma Quarry; from
top left to top right:
Trig Point, Mt. Panorama, Lamma
Winds, Pak Kok Shan, Green Island, HK Island:
Biking to enjoy and cover the
AROUND Sound Festival in South Lamma (Tung O
Wan, Mo Tat Wan) on May 1, 2 and 9
will be great exercise as well. See tomorrow's
Lamma-zine story and see some of you there, I
Water Pump For
Tai Peng Community Garden
(Photos & captions
click to enlarge)
Eco-Adventures of the Valiant Eco-Warriors
Growing the Tai Peng
the bits and pieces.
Start with the cylinder...
...input pipe in the water.
Point the output pipe towards the garden.
Tighten the pipe.
Bring on the bike.
the cylinder shaft to a pedal.
Anchor the back wheel...
does actually pump water.
connect the hose &
better way to spend
Are you eager to see (or even participate in) some more
Angela Leary & Bernadette Carney -
(Photos by Angela)
Lamma (formerly Munchkin)
You'll remember "David" the sun bear
rescued by Animals Asia from a bile farm in Vietnam and
named by Barbara Kerr after her brother long-time
Lamma resident, David Kerr. David, who died in
2006, had left instructions for a generous donation to
be made to Animals Asia.
I thought your readers might like to
read this lovely update about David meeting his new
girlfriend, another sun bear whom we've named "Lamma"
because of David Kerr's love of his island home. This
was written by Animals Asia's Bernadette Carney
(also a long-time Lamma resident):
Our big sun bear David arrived at the
rescue centre in Vietnam in September 2008, one of the
first sun bears to join our family. Soon afterwards,
Lamma, a small, angry little sun bear arrived. Long
alone and trapped in a double cage, Lamma was suspicious
and defensive, lashing out at all who came near. David
on the other hand, has never been anything but relaxed
and gentle since his arrival, and in size and
temperament these two bears couldn't be more different.
Recently housed next door to each other,
the preliminary interaction between these bears has been
a pleasant surprise, with David keen to connect from the
first moment he saw Lamma. He often waited at the top of
his hanging basket for her to join him on the other
side, where he would gently paw, sniff, lick and play
through the separating bars. David has never had any
aggressive vocals or behaviours towards Lamma during the
eight weeks they have lived side by side, and was often
seen taking enrichment toys full of fruit and placing
them against the bars for Lamma to help herself to.
David (left) and Lamma
Lamma (left) and David
A little slide show about David & Lamma cavorting, from
Lamma wasn't quite so keen at the
beginning, and was nervous when David moved into the den
next to her. Previously having a neighbour who avoided
contact, it came as quite a surprise to suddenly have
this great, lumbering male come straight to the bars
keen to get to know her, and Lamma avoided him for the
first day. Her first contact with him was swiping and
growling, and she kept a very close eye on him wherever
he moved, but David was oblivious to her defensiveness,
and continued to pursue his new friend. By day two,
Lamma was much more relaxed and did not show any
aggression but continued to watch David closely. Finally
she began to play and was very soon happy to flirt,
nibble, paw, and even steal his food through the bars.
After the development of such a
successful new friendship, the bear managers and vet
team in Vietnam decided the time had come this week to
do a full integration and no longer keep these two bears
separated. David's calm, almost dopey, demeanour was
predicted to be a good match for Lamma, who is feistier
and a little nervous about new people and situations.
And the outcome of the integration?
Senior Bear Manager, Bec reports, "Both bears were
walking on their hind legs before meeting, then
instantly wrapped their arms around each other, with not
a moment of aggression. There was no hesitation from
either bear to engage in play, bear hugging one another
and play biting. David had never been in this den
before, so he wandered in to check it out, interested in
sniffing and exploring, only to be wrestled by Munchkin
[Lamma's nickname before receiving her official name]
every step of the way. He is very gentle with her, which
is comforting to watch, as he is much larger, although a
lot of him is excess skin, with Munchkin is using to
play-bite and pull! The first hour was non-stop
wrestling, with no aggressive behaviours or
Throughout the day, their obvious joy
continued, with even a lot of enrichment items ignored
in the pursuit of cementing their friendship. David and
Lamma did however, share a large fruit ice-block,
pawing, biting and licking at it without any aggression
shown towards each other. With all this play tiring them
out, they retired together to one basket later in the
afternoon to rest up before carrying on the game.
Sharing enrichment again later in the
day and eating close to each other, David ventured over
to Lamma once he had finished his own food, where he
casually joined her to eat. Lamma allowed him to eat her
food, but very slightly raised the corner of her mouth,
which David saw and took to mean "back off", which he
did. "It was a very cute, and very tiny, display of
aggression over the evening food" said Bec. "David's
reaction definitely suggests that Munchy [Lamma] wears
the pants in this relationship!"
With release into the great outdoor
enclosures planned for the future, David and Lamma look
set for a lifetime of friendship together.
Dan & Sharon -
Island Bar - 25 April 2009:
(Photos by Dan Peterson, click to enlarge)
El Destroyo builds on previous
By an amateur reviewer (in the absence of resident
sage and scribe Nick the Book)
The Lamma music scene was once again enlivened with
another rip-roaring Friday night session at the Island
Bar. Lamma's own The Curs (formerly YSWankers)
opened the show with their typically crowd-pleasing
performance, this time accompanied by drummer
Babatunji Heath from El Destroyo. The Curs performed
their usual fantastic job on a number of great tunes
with vocals mostly by lead singer John Hutton,
more than ably accompanied by Harry Harrison.
With Ollie on banjo, Roy on slide guitar
and Gareth on bass, they closed off to great
acclaim with a U2 hit favourite 'Still haven't found
what I'm looking for'.
Feature band El Destroyo then played a return
engagement to a very appreciative and enthusiastic
crowd. Dean, Maggie and Tunji, who play
together often and wonderfully well, were great as
always with a tight routine executed smoothly and
professionally. Despite some early glitches with the
vocals caused by the equipment gremlins, El Destroyo
performed to their full capability and to the delight of
all in attendance.
El Destroyo are billed as a rockabilly band but they
have a wide range of musical genres and certainly have
the talent to make it all sound great. At one point they
even branched into some country music to the delight of
the crowd and the amazement of John Hutton, who
later joined in vocals for a couple of numbers.
The whole evening got off to a rocking good start
with early dancing by a few people and as the collective
enthusiasm and numbers grew the Island Bar staff cleared
away the alcove table and chairs to let some of the more
boisterous party-goers let rip.
After El Destroyo finished to boisterous applause and
then departed as planned on the infamous 11:30pm ferry,
the evening mellowed into a friendly jam session with
the addition of some big bass accompaniment, keeping the
mood in place and the audience satisfied.
The renovation works, which were supposed to have
been started on the garden area opposite the IB,
dampened the atmosphere to a minor degree since those
people who would have liked to have sat outside could
not. But generally the audience were in such a good mood
they just worked around it. During the latter part of
the evening several people spilled over into the
neighbouring restaurant area and we all thank the folks
at the Man Fung hugely for their patience and
So all in all, another fun evening at the Island Bar
with big thanks to The Curs and El Destroyo for making
it possible and to the customers who made it all so
worthwhile. THANK YOU.
An important footnote:
Since the garden area is
closed, this did create a bottleneck when the ferry
crowds were coming in, mixed with customers spilling out
from the Bar. This will be an ongoing problem until the
work is finished and if we're not careful could mean the
end of live music at the IB until the work is concluded.
We must urge customers to
leave a walkway space for commuters when it is required,
and also to refrain from using the neighbouring property
as a sitting/ spreading out area since it does cause a
disturbance to the family who live there and to their
Sorry to end on this
note, but it is quite important for community relations
between the IB, commuters, the neighbourhood and the
police. Thank you again from the management of the
"This is one of the reason I
love living here in Lamma. There are so many
cats and cat-loving people!"
Today's photo feature is a catty mosaic created
by Kayoko from her beautiful portraits of Lamma
cats. Click to enlarge. Wallpaper sizes are
available on request.
cat TORA (2-1), AMOR (2-2), Library Cat (1-3),
model for LAWC banner (1-4), Big Fat Lamma
Welfare Cat (3-4),...
"Others are mostly strays and
pet cat walking around in Lamma. If you know the
names of these, please let me know!"
For many more amazing portraits of Lamma cats,
or to post your very own:
Pet pictures forum.
Forum moderator Leggova got a brand-new fisheye
lens and she loves it, rarely ever taking it off
her dSLR camera these days! Here are some of the
eye-warping results taken inside the Fisherman
Village behind the Library at the YSW ferry
Click to see the full poster.
Click for L-G's photo gallery
Facebook group --
Story on HolisticAsia
Promotional video --
Internet TV interview with Bobsy
Lisa Stella - Lamma Ladies:
(Photos by Lamma-Gung, click to enlarge. Click above
An excellent start to the 2009
dragonboat race season saw the Lamma Ladies take
Silver at the Sha Tin Hong Kong Club Championships,
with nearly half the boat new paddlers! Well done, guys!
Our next race is Boracay in the Philippines. Then
we fall off the plane and compete in the
Lamma 500. This is one fast, furious,
action-packed race schedule.
$30,000 was raised at
Cirque Du Soleil Du Lamma on Apr 4 for Lamma
Dragons Dragon Boat Club.
As the pictures shows, tremendous effort
was put into costumes by the party-goers and The Island
Bar was transformed into a miraculous Cirque du Soleil
The Beer Garden, decorated for the first
time, was festooned with coloured lights and sprinkled
with hand-decorated umbrellas - a ubiquitous feature of
a Cirque Show.
With the last partygoers closing the
Island Bar at 4am, we think we can tick this one a very,
very, very successful fundraiser.
The Grand Door Prize - a return
trip for 2 to Macau, a nights stay for 2 in a Venetian
Suite and tickets to the Cirque Du Soleil show Zaia was
won by Anthony Ha.
We gave out over 30 prizes on the night
and this could not be done without the generous
donations of our sponsors and contributors. Many
businesses in the village give every year and we could
not raise the kind of money we do without their help. We
would like to take this opportunity to say
a special thank you to:
The Island Bar, Hipfish, Dymocks, Beer & Babble, New
Holiday Mood Rest., Diesel's,
Lamcombe Seafood Rest.,
Deli Lamma, Banyan Bay Cafe, The Amber Shop, Best
Kebab, Pizza Milano, Forget Me Knot, Emily's Ice Cream
Parlor, Sun Salon.
For a list of
Door Prize winners,
This has been a fantastic season so far with great
attendance at practices which bodes well for the
competitions. The men are doing really well, having a
solid core of experienced paddlers as well as keen
newbies. We have more team members this year than ever
before - between the two teams, we have 70+ paddlers
all hailing from Lamma!
For more photos, see
L-G's & Julian's photo gallery.
Coming races confirmed:
1 & 2nd May - Boracay
International Dragonboat Competition: men's team, mixed
10th May - our very own
LAMMA 500: nearly certain we will be able to field 2
women's teams, men's and mixed!
24th May - Men's and
mixed only, fishermen's race at Green Island.
28th May - Tuen Ng Day -
Disco Bay - women defending champs, but also hoping to
do well in men's and mixed.
30 & 31st May - Hong Kong
Internationals - women, mixed, men.
(text & all photos by Katie Flowers)
Eco Arts Are the Way Forward
Cutting edge Eco Art teachers Katie Flowers and
Claire Kirk have developed an innovative new approach to
educating young minds on how human activity impacts on
our local Hong Kong Oceans. Their latest creation at
Hong Kong International School lower primary school is
Operation Pinky, named after the Gavin Coates novel
about Hong Kong's Pink Dolphins. The story was used as
basis for creating a giant installation, which spans
four floors of the Lower Primary school to express the
images of Hong Kong Oceans rich past and the sad plight
of oceans present.
Through the creation of artworks, students have
learned about the richness of local seas in the 1950's,
the abundance of life and diversity of species that used
to flourish here and the current state of play for those
creatures who still do inhabit our seas, and the impact
of man and pollution on the marine habitat.
Katie and Claire have worked on various projects
alongside the local WWF group and this time they have
used the WWF Oceans 10 list to show the most endangered
marine species in our sea. Which of course includes our
very own Green Turtles, which have not been seen on Sham
Wan South Lamma for 3 years.
The project not only raises awareness for the 180
students grade 2 (7-8 years old) who worked for 4
months on the creation, but also for the whole of the
rest of the HKIS students from 4 years to 18 years who
visit the installation.
The project is pertinent, crucial and cutting edge
and has already been visited by various local
conservationist groups, such as the Hong Kong Living
Seas group, Ark Eden group and Project Kaisei. It will
feature on the Living seas website as a flagship
Katie Flowers has been studying an Ma Ed in
Environmental Education for 3 years, stimulated by her
years of leading the Lamma Island Earthkeepers groups.
She is PASSIONATE about the need to educate young people
of all ages about every aspect of our beautiful natural
world in Hong Kong.
As Katie states, The urban environment in which we
live has made it difficult to learn about or appreciate
how to just 'be' in the countryside, so taking to caring
steps towards environmental nurture may not seem
obvious. Believe it or not Green environmental attitudes
are not built into our hard drive...we need to learn
how to load those in!
Having intimate and exciting encounters with nature
in large and tiny ways needs to come first.
It is vital to feel powerful
& excited & even
intrigued about our wonderful world!!!
There is so much out there right now concerning
Environmental Problems both locally and globally. It can
be hard to know how to act and respond. In Hong Kong, we
are being told daily that our planet is heading quickly
into crisis; films like the Inconvenient Truth tell us
what lies up ahead if we don't make some right choices.
It's easy to feel over whelmed and uncertain as to
how we can help. The news can be very negative, but we
have to balance that with some kind of affirmative
action. We have to help ourselves and our kids look for
the positives and the possibilities. If we and our
children realise that we can each be part of the
solution then the problem becomes way more realistic!
- We can celebrate our "Place".
- We can help our children learn to develop
connection with the natural world inside the city
and out beyond the housing estate and therefore
develop a sense of care for that.
- We can foster a better understanding of the
world around us.
- We can contribute to the voice for sustainable
- We can protect and restore the environment
We need to be as feisty and
tenacious as nature
teaches us to be!!
Operation Pinky Displays:
the recent Ching Ming holiday and graves all over Lamma still
covered with candles, joss sticks, half-eaten buns, rotting
fruits and open rice boxes from the holiday picnics, I paid a
return visit to the Lamma Garden of Remembrance columbarium up
just beyond the Youth Hostel on the path to Luk Chau. See our
is still one of the most exclusive places in all of HK to get
buried and only a few people/year, only Lamma residents of at
least 5 (?) years are granted this privilege upon special
request in a very pretty, secluded columbarium which definitely
cost quite a few millions to build.
Here's a picture from Dec 13, 2004 (above) and a picture from
April 14 (below). This means that only 17 people have been laid
to rest there in the last 4.33 years, meaning only approx.
four people/year! In the first approx. 15 years before 2004
it was only 19 people in total. So it's really, really
exclusive! Where do I sign up?
At the current rate and with Lamma's population actually
shrinking a bit in the last 5 years (-300), this Lammaites-only
columbarium will be spacious enough for about the next 120 years
(504 niches/4). The 4 empty blocks are actually double-sided, so
this looks like real long-long-term planning by our govt.,
appropriate for such a place of eternal rest?
Click above for Lamma-Gung's photo gallery
More of Lamma-Gung's photos
above in the
Tin Hau Festival 2009 gallery.
By the way, I'm always available for paid photo
Plus some mighty fine photos in
Lamma Day 2009 photo gallery.
Email me your own Lamma Day 2009 photos
or link to
be added here!
the hot and controversial topic in Feb 2008 when HK Electric was
occasionally running diesel-powered vehicles for some of their
corporate visitors to Lamma Winds from their Power Station? See
Light buses to Windturbine? forum.
I've just received the
announcement below from them today, specifically written for
Lammaites and for publication in the Lamma-zine. HK Electric is
applying for an "emission-free, 4-person, electric cart" for
this occasional, on-demand-only route. Sounds great! If this really good example works
out, can we start pushing the local VV drivers to switch over to
electric carts as well?
be on the lookout for these electric vehicles while trying to
bike to Lamma Winds myself very frequently, using human power
only. So far, for a third of the route I'm still pushing my bike
uphill instead of riding it all the way which is my goal. The
fun downhill ride from Lamma Winds afterwards makes it all
worthwhile. Maybe HK Electric could rent bikes to some of their
corporate Lamma Winds visitors for free?
Public Affairs Dept., HK Electric:
(Photos by Lamma-Gung)
Emission-free vehicle to be used to Lamma Winds
HK Electric has taken on board Lamma residents'
suggestion to use an emission-free electric cart to
provide, on a need basis, special transport trips for
visitors to Lamma Winds.
application has recently been filed to Lands Department
for permission to use a 4-seater electric cart to take
visitors from Lamma Power Station to Lamma Winds in the
event that transportation is required. This electric
cart will only be used when special arrangements have to
be made for visitors who may not be able to travel on
foot, in particular the elderly and
physically-challenged. All other visitors will be asked
to walk up.
When HK Electric applied for the same service with a
minibus with Euro IV emissions standards back in
February 2008, Lamma residents expressed concerns even
though it was the cleanest available diesel vehicle on
the market at the time. We have since explored the
feasibility of using an emission-free electric cart for
We believe the proposed arrangement represents a
balance in respecting the environment on Lamma while at
the same time, allowing visitors with special needs to
travel to Hong Kong's only wind power station.
We will exercise extreme care and prudence in the
event that the vehicle has to be used. Support by Lamma
residents is highly appreciated.
Lamma Winds hikers
Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Correspondent
(Story & photos by Jay)
Rubbing sticks together starts fires.
Hitting people with sticks constitutes assault. And by a
special brand of building magic, tying sticks together
means it's time for Chinese opera here.
Each year, workers on Lamma Island bind
together thousands of bamboo poles to create an
impressive, but temporary, opera house bigger than some
sports stadiums. Again this year, the bamboo opera house
rose like a mythical phoenix, "setting the stage" for
popular Cantonese-opera shows.
The Celebrate Tin Hau (Goddess of the
Sea) Festival runs from
April 16-20. As the main attraction, the
"HK-renowned" Hing Fung Ming Cantonese Opera Troupe
Starting in late March, piles of bamboo
poles arrived at a village soccer pitch. Agile and
skillful, busy builders added one pole at a time to
create a large stage, partial walls and a sloped roof.
Now, the "culture palace" dwarfs nearly
every other building on the island. Colorful flags
flutter outside. Rows of chairs wait on the surface
where soccer balls usually bounce.
Despite such elaborate preparations, the
bamboo opera house operates for less than a week. Once
the final costumed performer sings, the workers return,
cut loose the bamboo poles and carry them away. Within a
few days, the huge structure vanishes until next year.
This unusual opera house lacks the
grandeur and permanence of the famous Sydney Opera
House. But it's even more fascinating.
For a lot more of Jay's photos,
Despite using a second-hand mountain-bike almost
every day as part of my ongoing quest for health
& fitness, I hadn't dared to leave the safety
and comfort of Lamma's concrete paths until
Biking to remote areas and then hiking on dirt
paths are among my favourite pastimes, as long
as the weather is still pleasant and cool enough
for sweaty outdoors activities. But my trademark
Stumbling Randomly Through the Hills
without a map gets me into trouble sometimes.
I rode my bike past the wind turbine and down
the other side to Lo Tik Wan, then trying to
continue to the Youth Hostel via Luk Chau,
following the nice, big metal signs. But
suddenly I found myself on a totally overgrown,
washed-out, drippingly-wet, mosquito-infested,
spider-webs-in-your-face forest mud path, being
forced to turn back or carry my bike up an
extremely steep and rocky slope.
Reaching the top after a lot of swearing and
cursing, I still couldn't locate the existing
concreted path from Luk Chau to the Youth
Hostel, but found myself in the middle of my
favourite hiking trail, the so-called
Trail from Lamma Winds to the Youth Hostel
(see the trail below, viewed from Trig Point,
the highest spot on North Lamma.)
met Lamma's intrepid and often victorious
mountain-bikers up there a few times
(Congrats to local TV celebrity Siuyu for
race win on the Project X trail on March
1). So I really didn't have much choice but
to actually attempt mountain-biking for the very
first time in my life.
Lamma-Gung as a mountain-biker? Who'd ever have thought about that,
after seeing me wadding along Main Street just
one year ago, never having ridden a bicycle in 35
Well, trying to mountain-bike to the Youth Hostel
on the Snake Trail, not just watching the
Lamma Enduro race, made me finally experience
first-hand why it's such a physically tough and
demanding sport and why even young, fit and
experienced Lammaite bikers wear elbow casts
sometimes (Hi Andy!)
Balance seems to be the absolutely paramount
concern and one little mistake could send you
rolling down a very steep and long slope full of
sharp rocks and thorny branches. Balance is
definitely something I need to work on a lot
more, as my Personal Trainer and Fitness Guru
Fred keeps telling me during our weekly
workouts. Riding along those steep hillsides is
definitely an adrenaline-pumping balancing act
between abject fear and great exhilaration....
A few crucial questions come to mind:
to choose a dusty day for riding, not a
muddy one after a rainy night?
How to avoid hitting these big rocks on the very narrow
trails with your bike pedals?
How to prevent the
brushes from scratching your hands clenching
the handle bars?
How to avoid flipping over the
handle bars while braking hard on a steep
Maybe someone in Lamma's friendly
would advise a complete beginner?
Fortunately, the day before I'd bought a soft-gel
bike-seat cover at a yard sale (another Lamma
family leaving Hong Kong due to job loss). So my tender
behind was well protected from the very bouncy,
rocky trail. I was far too pre-occupied with my
own safety and survival during this ride to take
pictures, so all the photos within this story
come from my former Snake Trail hikes.
Finally, I reached the Youth Hostel, having taken
much longer than on my usual "power hiking"
and actually pushing my bike uphill instead of
riding it. Then, in true "Stumbling Randomly"
style, I decided spontaneously NOT to return to
Yung Shue Wan via the Family Trail, but to
continue the off-road adventure by exploring the
entire huge area of the Lamma Quarry.
that's a future story....
So, how did I like my first "real" mountain-biking experience? Despite getting aching knees,
blistered hands, tired legs and sun-burnt arms, I'm eager for more!
Will you see me
biking through the hills again soon? Well, maybe....
Should I have to get myself and my ride pimped
out first, especially removing the very uncool shopping-
basket from my cool, bright green mountain-bike?
Should I replace my soft, floppy, sweat-absorbing sunhat
with a fancy, streamlined, ridged, multi- coloured
Should I dress up in ultra-hip, metallic-neon attire and
the coolest sunglasses, plus a fanny pack and
black spandex shorts?
Scary thoughts, I know! L-G as a "real" mountain- biker? Well, at least
the Lammaites and visitors usually staying on
our concrete paths should feel safer again.
I'll keep you posted on my progress (or lack thereof).
Cantonese Opera by Hing Fung Ming Troupe:
YSW Football Pitch: Click for
programme page 1 &
Lamma Day/ Tin Hau Festival/ Dragonboat races:
Sat, Apr 18, 10am-3pm:
Reclamation area in front of Football Pitch: Click for
programme 1 &
Photo galleries of Tin
2004 (Canto Opera),
2006 (Canto Opera),
Plus another 49 references you'll
find when searching this website only by typing
"tin hau festival" into the Search box at the top of
this page, or
Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Correspondent
(Story, photos & captions by Jay. Ferry pier
photo below left by L-G)
by Force of Numbers
When too many thousands of big-city folks arrive on
an outlying island like Lamma, the place deteriorates
lickety-split. That happened on the Easter weekend.
As a sparsely populated place without
motor vehicles, Lamma usually offers quiet serenity, a
welcome refuge from the crowded, tumultuous urban
districts a short ferry ride away. Not at Easter.
On those few days, long queues formed at
the Lamma Pier in the Central Business District. There,
city-dwellers jostled for places on the Lamma ferries.
Some prospective day-trippers saw the backlog of fellow
travelers and turned away. Any Lamma Islanders reaching
the city gawked in amazement at the unusual sight of
such queues. Then they wondered how best to battle
through the masses on the way home.
Ferries filled to capacity brought
thousands of extra visitors pouring into Yung Shue Wan,
Lamma's largest village. They clogged the narrow Main
Street and streamed along the popular hiking trail.
Leisurely strolls or vigorous hikes amid
nature's splendor, the prospects for which attracted
many of the visitors, turned problematic. Human chatter
drowned out singing birds. Time spent waiting for gaps
in the crowd caused delays and frayed tempers. Lineups
to buy popular snacks nullified the pleasures of eating.
The outlying paradise descended into aggravating
congestion, no better than urban areas.
Why did so many people visit Lamma on
the same few days? One theory is that the global
recession has taken a terrible toll. People wanted to
enjoy the holiday weekend, but no longer could afford
trips to Beijing, Bangkok or Singapore. So Lamma became
a cheap local alternative.
Another theory blames a popular Chinese
TV show that recently interviewed a few leading Lamma
Islanders about why they love the place. One big reason
cited was the island's friendliness and how its
residents routinely greet each other on the street.
Hopelessly outnumbered, Lamma's
5,000-plus residents spent much of Easter hiding,
avoiding the marauding hordes by ducking down
side-streets and along back-alleys. There, they met
friends and neighbors doing the same.
When day-visitors invade in such large
numbers, Lamma Islanders react with mixed emotions. Most
mutter, moan and curse, resentful that "city influences"
sully their home turf. But those with shops or
restaurants sniff gold in the flood of traffic.
If the sun shines next weekend too, city
dwellers will invade Lamma again, but hopefully in
lesser force. Too many more days like those on the
Easter weekend may erode the island's friendly
Thousands too many city folks clog Lamma's narrow
Waiting for gaps in the crowd delays strolls and frays
Do most visitors find space to even notice the greenery
they came to enjoy?
For restaurants and shops, the influx means potential
A few photos from the yearly Easter event
organised by the evangelical Lamma Church,
attracting over 100 primary school children from
all over HK for an Easter Sunday afternoon of
fun and games on Power Station Beach. Main
event: digging for styrofoam Easter eggs in the
sand, to be exchanged for participating in ring
and basketball throwing games with big prizes
donated by a toy manufacturer.
volunteers from the Lamma Church & friends look
very happy about another yearly Easter Eggs
Digging event completed very successfully!
P.S. Photo gallery from
Sendya just in:
Easter photo gallery.
P.S. II from the Lamma Church:
"On 12th of
April 2009, a sunny Sunday afternoon, 250 children joined
digging for Easter eggs on the Power Station Beach, Lamma
Island. 100 adults also swept the sand pool for Styrofoam eggs
with their kids. We could see smiles and happiness on all faces,
children and adults alike.
for Easter Eggs' event has been organized annually by the Lamma
Church, the Churches of Christ in China for 30 years since 1979.
The number of participants increased each year. Many of them
came from all over Hong Kong. It was the highest number of
attendants in record this year.
digging for Easter eggs, children also took part in singing,
story telling and fun games. They won small toys upon completing
each activity. Through the activities, children learned the
story about Jesus Christ who had died on the cross to pay the
penalty for our sins and rose from the grave to purchase a place
for us in heaven.
for Easter Eggs' activity was a great success. It has become one
of the popular events in Easter Holiday amongst Hong Kong people
with young kids. The Lamma Church is considering co-organizing
the Event with the Islands District Board. Hopefully, more
children can come digging eggs next year."
Look what I've just found on Facebook where big
virtual crowds of Lammaites are gathering and
socialising these days. It's a most unusual but
perfectly timed photo gallery named Excavate
Lamma, by Rambo Lai (who recently got
married to my Friend Lorraine, as I found out only
from Facebook ;-).
With so many Lamma streets being dug up right
now - or soon to be dug up for the Lamma-wide
sewerage project worth several hundred million
HK dollars - we'll be seeing a lot more of these
excavators outside our homes soon.
And where does much of this huge amount of
construction waste from the dug-up streets and
the recently demolished Nam Wah Yuen Rest. (see
Rambo's photos below) go? Yes, into the Yung Shue Long valley,
and the Lily Pond...
And what will happen to many of these little
excavators after construction has finally ended?
For an all too typical and frequent example, see
my own photo taken in my own neighbourhood:
The SCM Post sent a photographer today for a
story (maybe on Easter Sunday) about the recent
near-destruction of the beloved Lily Pond and
the construction waste dumping in the beautiful,
wildlife-rich Yung Shue Long valley. About 50
people showed up to have their picture taken;
see my own pictures (click to enlarge) of this
cheerful but passionate event.
Afterwards, a lobbying group was organised and
we'll hear a lot more from them very soon. The
very active debate continues in our
P.S. The SCMP story has been published on
Easter Sunday, April 12,
Plus an SCMP cartoon (Easter Saturday) from
Lamma's very own Harry Harrison:
Tavis - Co-moderator of
Environment, Politics & Development forum:
(Copyrights: all photos by Cindy Poon, except
giant turnip by Jayne.
Click any photo to enlarge.)
What's the Tai Peng Community Garden
You might think it's all about growing juicy and
delicious fresh organic veg. Yes and no John
has enjoyed a constant supply of greens to supply his
healthy raw food diet. Geoff has had a tremendous
crop of cherry tomatoes that never seems to stop giving.
Jayne and her son Tai grew a turnip large
enough to require VV truck assistance at harvest time.
But on the other hand there are many of us who remain
undaunted by sparse harvests. Nancy's Mexican
food fetish has prompted her to become our bean expert.
But, her enthusiasm for bean growing seems to be growing
faster than the beans themselves. She proudly informed
me the other day that her efforts so far have yielded a
small tin of beans I forget the exact number something
like 57 beans and counting! She's not alone in her story
of somewhat modest vegetable gardening success. So, why
do some of us vegetatively impaired gardeners keep
coming back when the veg lure itself seems as small as a
protected Roemer's Tree Frog and nearly as hard to find?
For one thing there are always the flowers; the
path-side portion of the garden is just for flowers. You
eat first with your eyes as you pass through it toward
the vegetable gardens at the back. And for some, the
flower garden fills their appetite enough. Skye
is our Flora, our Goddess of Flowers, and she, along
with a few others, has made the garden delightfully
beautiful this year. I have heard local people passing
by refer to our garden as the 'Tai Peng Fa Yuen' or Tai
Peng Flower Garden.
For some, the garden is a great photo opportunity.
Sendya has used her photographic magic to transform
our few humble flowers, vegetables, and old furniture
salvaged from the bins into an outdoor cathedral
colourful stain glass scenes depicting life, joy and
laughter. For some the garden provides a much needed
spiritual respite a quiet place to meditate a place
to gaze up at the night sky and wonder at the falling of
If you ask the children what the garden's all about,
they'll tell you about the tadpoles and the catfish in
the pond (and, unfortunately, exactly how best to catch
them). They'll expound the delights of mud pies and
birthday cake. (Last Sunday, Tristan, Avi,
Jette, and Younas all had birthdays so we
had a communal cake-making effort.) They'll tell you
about blind snakes they'll explain that bananas are
actually plants and not trees, but mostly they'll tell
you that the garden's a great place to play with their
And I think that's perhaps the most important part of
the garden; meeting friends,
working together, learning how to make our differences
more of a strength than an obstacle.
It is after all, not just a garden, but a community
garden. In this way it's a laboratory, a playground -
it's more than metaphor but a focused point of
connection and learning that speaks to the bigger issues
and the life of community that extends beyond that
garden and through the busy streets of Lamma
communities. It speaks to the community that includes
not only human kind, but plants, trees, insects,
amphibians, water and sky. It's a place to build and
strengthen relationship among people and with nature.
This garden is a place where we can learn what
'community' really means.
NOW - April 8,
(Photos by Lamma-Gung, Greenman and Grahame)
Discuss this very heated topic in our
Yung Shue Long Valley Development forum
A bit of history and background in former Lily
Pond Lamma-zine stories:
Pier - Po Wah Yuen - Pak Kok Village - Tai Peng
- Lamma Winds (via Snake Tail and Back
Passage trails) - Trig Point - Cable Route 2
back to YSW.
Photo gallery in progress...
Click for Lamma-Gung's photo gallery
Plus some more photos in Julian's photo
View from the top of Ling Kok Shan
(Click to enlarge)
I've taken this on an unusually clear day,
May 30, lying on a huge rock at the top of Ling
Kok Shan, the 250-metre hill (2nd-highest on
Lamma) - right above Sok Kwu Wan with the TV
antennas for South HK. Quite a tough but
beautiful little walk all the way from YSW via
Lamma Winds and the Youth Hostel and back.
Bens71 created an an entire series of
panoramic shots of the same views throughout the
different seasons and weather conditions. Click
below to see them all in full size:
Plus a few fantastic panoramic photos from
GreenLammaGroup's Siuyu, from our
Long Photo forum:
Photos taken on the path from Tai Peng Village to Kindergarten & Basketball
Court, probably the most romantic path in North Lamma, especially at night.
(all photos shot hand-held only, please forgive the "romantic
Exploring some of my favourite areas of Lamma by
bike, this is what I came across in the former
temporary helipad at the end of the harbour
reclamation, just behind the new helipad and the
collection refuse collection area. This area has
been going through several complete makeovers in
the last few years (see my
Reclamation Photo History). This will
completely transform once again into our future
sewage treatment plant for Lamma North; almost
all our homes will be connected to it once they
finish the sewage piping works in the next 1-2
Formerly locked behind a tall wire fence, this
old helipad is currently open and accessible.
Have a look yourself, fine views with unusual
angles of the bay, ferry pier and most of Yung
Shue Wan, before this typical Lamma furniture
and graffiti vanish in this ever-changing area.
Let me document it here for posterity:
"I'll Make The Same Mistake Until I Get It
Right" - on the Helipad circle marking
- the life motto of many Lammaites?
This year's Lamma Dragons fundraiser is
happening on the grave-sweeping Ching Ming
Festival holiday, this Sat, April 4. The
potential connections and overlaps boggle the
mind, inspired by the ghastly, ghostly masks in
Cirque's famous fire breathing performances
during this grave- and hillside-burning holiday?
Party revelers dressing up as ghosts dancing on
graves? Macau's Zaia show visiting Lamma's Gaia
Valley, Zaia @ Gaia? A dragonboating-inspired,
Cirque-like performance in the Island Bar,
paddles chasing the ghosts away? Maybe even
trapeze and high-wire acts happening above the
Let's join in the fun, be surprised and
contribute generously to the fundraising!
Lisa Dragon writes:
"This Saturday, Lamma Dragons host their
annual Fundraiser. Kicking off at 8pm with
Games, Jelly Shots and Door Prizes, it is set to
be an event to remember. This year, our Theme is
Cirque Du Soleil, so come on down in your best
circus costume and take your best circus turn.
Starting at eight and finishing late, excellent
music and cheap drinks - come, party and
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