Click above for photo gallery
Fiona Mathews - CEO and Founder,
Society of HK Earth Champions:
(Photos by Lamma-Gung)
Dear Earth Champions,...
We are delighted to invite you to join
us on a:
An Earth Champions Tree Planting
expedition on Lamma Island this weekend.
An expedition lead by Bobsy of ABLE
Charity, in conjunction with The Earth Champions
Foundation and Youth Outreach [Editor: street kids
from the streets of HK whom have been rescued by the
For the last 15 years ABLE Charity
have planted trees on Lamma Island. Tree planting
happens once a year in late May. Up to now ABLE Charity
have planted 15,500 trees in the Lamma Forest.
All trees planted are native to Hong
Kong and rich in seeds, flowers and fruits. They are
indigenous species that will attract birds and other
wild life in the coming years. The trees will be brought
from the Kadoorie farm to Lamma the day before
[Editor: 208 endangered incense trees
So if you're free on Saturday and
looking to be outdoors come and join us. It will be a
wonderful hands-on day of being in nature, learning
about the local ecology, the history of the forest and
its importance to HK's environment, planting and meeting
Date: Saturday 30th May 2009,
Venue: Lamma Forest base camp (BBQ site above Pak
Kok Village, coming from Po Wah Yuen, past GAIA Valley.)
Dress code: sturdy shoes, trousers, hat, sunglasses,
sun cream and lots of water.
Yes, I'm an "Earth Champion"
A tree planter or a zombie slayer
from "Isle Be Damned"?
"I just killed a fucking
"Send in the nukes, Lamma's gone!"
Nick the Bookman - Official Court Correspondent
(Screenshots from the movie, captured by L-G)
It's coming up to 2200
hours and there's a buzz of feverish anticipation
building outside Diesel's. Normally, a crowd like this
is here for the footy, but this is a very different
occasion, yes indeedy. It's the local premiere of the
Lamma Zombie Movie
"Isle Be Damned" filmed earlier this year. It's
been entered in the upcoming I Shot Hong Kong
Festival and everyone is deadly curious as to what
mayhem will ensue. Diesel's has entered into the spirit
of things with a Zombie Cocktail Special and a blood-red
paper carpet on the street and up the stairs. I'm sure
that the missing offal and bone shards to adorn said
carpet were an oversight. Parksy and Dave are fiddling
with the projector and adjusting the screen on the
There are about 80 or so
people here. A good mix of locals and townies, most of
whom have collaborated on various aspects of this
production. Some are cast, some backstage crew. Jay and
Mike from Clockenflap are present. Hannah and Awon are
the Mistresses of Ceremony. Josh, the Director and
Editor, is unfortunately in Tokyo. The music soundtrack
composer Quan Yeomans is sitting on the wall a few feet
away. Veterans of the first two Rock-It Festivals (in
2003/2004) should remember Quan's band The Regurgitators
whipping the crowd into a frenzy with their warped
space-blues-grunge. He enjoyed being in Hong Kong so
much that he relocated here from Australia about two
years ago. Now, he's exploring new musical terrain and
slowly building a reputation on the local scene.
A three-minute music video
called "Into the Night" precedes the film. It
features Quan and others under the moniker "Lamborghini
Montage" and cuts performance shots into teaser footage
of the film. Sounds a bit like Icehouse or David Bowie
in his "China Girl" phase. Has a cool New Romantic synth
sound and beefed up beats. You can see it for yourself
on YouTube. Now Hannah and Awon are front-and-centre.
"We'd like to thank the
people of Lamma for making this possible. It started as
a drunken dream, but we did it! We're amazed you all
came!" Hannah also says she and Awon are emigrating to
the big city quite soon and this film is sort of a
tribute. As she says this, I'm flashing back to her
performance at Clockenflap 2008 where she recited her
poem, entitled "Lamma Til I Die". Anyway, it's showtime.
I've been wondering what
the film is called. My private title was "Yung Shu Wan
of the Dead". A sort of tribute to the Frost/Pegg/Wright
homage to the George A. Romero canon. Be that as it may,
the film is called "Isle be Damned" which is an
equally-nifty title. It's nearly 15 minutes long.
There's a brief prologue during which the title comes up
in vintage Hammer horror dripping blood style.
There are ten live actors
and 16 undead ones. There's plenty of blood and gutsy
action. It riffs on plot points from "Night/Dawn of the
Dead", "Return of the Living Dead" and "Zombie Flesh
Eaters" among others. There's also a sly nod to the
D-Day carnage in "Saving Private Ryan" when blod smears
and stains the camera lens. Half the fun of this film is
spotting the references.
The music and sound effects
are mixed very well. Most of the splatter is live on
set, so to speak, with a few post-production touch-ups.
The opening music is cannibal-kin to Ennio Morricone's
"Harmonica Man" cross-bred with mutant lashings of Zep's
"Kashmir". There are some fine orchestral bits and
pieces strewn here and there. To say more would spoil
the fun for all you splat-packers and gorehounds. Enjoy
it for yourselves on YouTube, standard or HD:
Part 1 (7:23min) &
Part 2 (7.28 min).
I have fond memories of my
day on location. I was asked to do a cameo. Didn't know
what they wanted, so I brought a bag of DVDs with me.
(They were "Brain Dead", "Evil Dead", "Dawn of the
Dead", "Shaun of the Dead" and "Zombie Flesh Eaters".) I
thought maybe they could film me walking home with the
bag, completely oblivious to everything around me, to
enjoy a good night in. Quick cutaway of the DVD's for
that post "Scream" post-irony style. But, they wanted to
go in a different direction. Which they did. It's
memorable and way cool. I did about 5 takes and hung
around to watch some of the other scenes. Everyone was
laid-back, but focused. Josh shot about 8-9 set ups with
one camera. He was very clear in his vision. It was a
pleasure and a privilege to be invited to participate.
It's been fun getting back
into filmland. My first taste was working as an extra on
the BBC Series "Tom Brown's Schooldays" during
Easter, 1971. My school, Milton Abbey, near Dorchester,
was chosen because of it's resemblance to Rugby in the
mid-19th Century. Lots of running around, playing rugby
in period costume. Chatting with the crew about their
experiences working on "Monty Python's Flying Circus". I
think I got paid about ten quid for three days work.
After returning to HK, I did about six years in ATV's
News Department. Preferred to cover sports and
entertainment. Got to interview Pele and Muhammad Ali
More recently, there was
another cameo in Alba Rayton's film "Masks" -
more details available elsewhere on the Lamma-zine,
[Editor: premiere May 30/31 in Elements cinema]
- and a part in a five minute ad for a new camera
system called Red. That was shot by Noel and his mates
in October 2008 on Power Station Beach. The ad was
called "Fluid" and shows the system off to
stunning effect. It's a dreamy ad, reminiscent of some
of Sir Ridley Scott's early work crossed with bits of
"Blade Runner". I think Lamma-Gung has a copy, so it
might be posted somewhere. Again, both of those gigs
were a pleasure to do. A little bit of Hurry Up And Wait
is inevitable, but it was good fun. Not like working for
James Cameron or Michael Bay, say.
And then there was the
visit of "Miami Ink" to Lamma on Monday,
11-5-2009. They are part of Worldwide Tribe Productions,
shooting a reality travel show for The Discovery
Channel. This could have been a chance for some more
fun, but things went awry.
Maybe they succumbed to
Lamma's Legendary Lotusland Lifestyle. Maybe someone put
Baldrick in overall charge of The Inky Twinkies and
their troupe. The guys I chatted to were affable enough
and I enjoyed our meeting of minds. But, down where the
kernel dwells, they didn't allot enough time for filming
and a couple of interviews (like mine) never got done...
Anyway, 'nuff said.
Let me present 8*8 reasons why I still love living in our island community,
via 8*8 recent, daily Lamma-zine stories. Click on any icon below to read
the full story; or access our
Lamma-zine archive of
almost 2,000 Lamma-related stories.
What are YOUR reasons? Let us know in our
Ascent to the
highest hill of North Lamma, the Trig Point
(140+ metres) above left,
via the wind turbine. It's just a nice little cardio
workout away from YSW on this clearest day in a
long time, after days of almost non-stop rain.
Panoramic pictures from atop the Trig Point -
180 & 360 degrees
(Click to enlarge any picture in this story)
Looking over to
Mt. Panorama, the hill in front of Lamma Winds,
zooming in on a descending hiker.
P.S. More Lammaites
noticed this clearest day in a long time and
homeslice's photos of today.
Continuing our series of little-known Yung Shue
Wan restaurants which most of us residents might
never have visited so far, let's feature the
Jade Chief's Bar at "Nick's Corner" in the very
centre of the village, opposite always popular
hangout "Banyan Bay Cafe":
"Traditional Cantonese home-style cooking" was how it was
described to me by other guests. Seeing it full on the weekend
with young island visitors also demonstrates their low prices,
almost every dish advertised on the walls is below $50, with a
lot even below $30. On weekdays, it's visited by a lot of local
regulars. We spotted fishermen, middle-aged Chinese ladies and a
table full of HK Electric blue-collar staff in there when we
finally revisited. Lamma-Por had resisted going back there ever
after a not-so-positive experience over two years ago.
This time she loved it! A really delicious fried pigeon;
tastier, juicier and cheaper at $48 than in ANY other Lamma
restaurant we've tried this dish (and yes, this includes the
Pigeon Rest. above Hung Shing Yeh). Half a succulent pigeon for
me, together with my customary single spoonful of boiled rice
and I was satiated and happy.
The second dish, Lamma-Por's choice, were amazingly fat
(50+%), thick bacon squares with quickly stir-fried cabbage,
still dripping with oil. Absolutely unsuitable for my low-fat
diet, I only nibbled on that dish, but Lamma-Por loved it and
even took the left-overs home! Other tables were tucking into
various Cantonese staples and a big plate piled high with large,
It's a really small place, only about 5 tables,
with basically one cook and one waitress. But it has a
family-style feel with soft benches all round, mostly real
chairs, not just stools; plus some really gaudy decorations,
like so many of these local places. The huge, embroidered
stickers of English football clubs above the former bar counter
(now the kitchen access) might be a heritage from when this
place really was a bar for many years under changing
owners/managers, but now it's a bar in name only.
They also have a lot of unusual Cantonese dishes at really
reasonable prices, many of them not available in other local
restaurants at all or only on weekends. Lamma-Por & I will
certainly be back soon, without me having to try convincing her
for years first.
Now on to some of the few other places we haven't visited in
a little while. We'll try every local restaurant at least once.
Let us read your own little review in our
Jade Chief's Bar forum, part of our
Index of Lamma Bars & Restaurants (incl reviews & ratings).
P.S. A second visit was even more impressive
food-wise, despite swarms of spawning, flying termites ("white
ants" in Cantonese) attracted to the bright lights along Main
Street, some of them even into the restaurant. But the bugs
encountered the powerful swings and quick backhands of the
experienced staff wielding an electric bug tennis racket!
Broccoli w/tripe - juicy & crisp
omelettes, a highly recommended signature dish -
Chin. onion hung above the entrance supposedly keeps flying
"white ants" away?
photography workshop is now being offered by professional
photographer and Official Court Artist Andy Maluche. Enticing me
to promote it for him for free he invited me along to sample his
professional teaching expertise. To get a second opinion, I
Grahame Collins along as well.
Andy Maluche - Official Court Artist -
Now you see it,
now you don't.
Learn how to see like an
artist/photographer without having to take drugs.
A workshop based on beautiful Lamma Island that teaches
beginners and advanced photographers how to use their
equipment right, find interesting things to shoot and
make those shots look like they were done by a
We will focus on the little stuff that
is all around us but that we rarely notice, beautiful
small flowers, colourful beetles and elusive moths.
What equipment do you need - camera
(ideally dSLR), long lens, macro lens, tripod, memory
chips, reader, flash, insect repellent (Yes, I do see
the irony) and sun lotion. If somebody doesn't have
a camera or long lens or tripod, that's ok, we can share
(We meet at the park and I do a little
What settings - Where to look - What to look out for
Under what conditions - How to look
(We walk around the foot paths of Lamma -
Hands on explanations - Tricks of the
trade - Pattern and contrast
Layout - How to crop - Experimenting with different
(We sit down in a restaurant and look at
our harvest in my computer)
Analysis of pictures - Simple Photoshop
How to enhance - How to crop - How to cheat
The workshop last 3-4 hours for a
minimum of 4 people -
Please see a few of my own results, below. Sorry, not much
"little stuff" (the focus of the workshop) because I don't own
any macro lens for my Nikon D80 yet and I didn't even bring a
(highly recommended) monopod/tripod. Most of our workshop
explored the area around the DickStock Residence and Dog Beach
(besides the Lammarina). These are the best results of what I
got in 3 hours.
enlarge - like most photos in the Lamma-zine):
(Sorry for the lack
of sharpness in some of these close-up bug photos below.
I'll make sure to use a macro lens & tripod next time!)
Have a look at the impressive workshop photos from
gallery 1 &
"As an experienced photographer I was surprised to find out
how little I knew about the world of close-up nature
photography. Andy lent me a macro converter for my camera and
within a few minutes I was taking professional-looking
photographs of insects and plants that I was keen to show off to
Andy has an
in-depth knowledge of both the flora and fauna of Hong Kong and
the workings of a camera. This knowledge was put to good use
during the few hours we spent exploring and photographing the
natural environment of Lamma Island.
I would highly
recommend this workshop to anyone who wants to develop new and
exciting photographic skills and discover a new world of photo
somebody needs a photographer for any shoot...
we're all eager and
- Part 1 - March 3, 2009
Tasty Memories Stay Strong
- Part 2 - March 27, 2009
Ice Cream in a Melting Pot?
- Part 3 - April 6, 2009
On the Seventh Day
- Part 4 - April 12, 2009
Crazy Antics For Free
- Part 5 - April 19, 2009
Meet the 'Ghost Men'
- Part 6 - April 27, 2009
Wrestling One's Weight in Treats
- Part 7 - May 3, 2009
Big Sticks, Blades Loom Over Lamma
- Part 8 - May 11, 2009
Mixed-Up Advice Between Scoops
- Part 9 - May 18, 2009
One Shop Spawns Unlimited Duties
- Part 10 - May 25, 2009
a look at this great story written by Lammaite
Matt Steele & the Voigtians and other
Lamma bands), ex-Wall Street Journal Asia and
nowadays a "CNN Digital News Producer", Kevin
Voigt (see right as a Voigtian.) The CNN
blog story is all about how HK's SARS and bird
flu experiences have prepared us to be a bit
more relaxed, prepared and sensible about the
current H1N1 "pandemic". Kevin writes:
"In a 'butterfly-flaps-its-wings way,' SARS forever
changed my life. Working from home during that outbreak, I began
socializing with musicians on Lamma Island and we formed a band.
After a gig in 2004, a woman asked me out. A few years later,
she became my wife. Nine months ago our son, Jonah, was born.
"He is the reason I stocked up on hand sanitizers this
"There's a thin line between paranoia and preparedness.
But thanks to the experience of SARS, Hong Kong residents know
where that line is drawn."
Hong Kong: Immunized from fear
(CNN.com - "In the Field" blog - May 1, 2009 Hong Kong)
Congratulations to Underground HK for their 5th
Their website states, "THE
UNDERGROUND was created in April 2004 as a
result of the dearth of live music venues in
Hong Kong, and to provide a showcase for the
unsigned talent in Hong Kong to strut their
original music. Whether you're funky, punky,
jazzy, heavy or downright ugly, apply to play or
watch the bands at The Underground…the most
groovy club in Hong Kong!"
HK has featured most Lamma bands over the years
and Nick the Bookman has written many reviews
for them. Underground HK has been co-founded by
bbchris, the former moderator of our
Music forum and very active member #3 of
our forum (6,766 registered members nowadays,
some of them spam from years ago.) She was even
crowned Miss Lamma.com.hk in the very early days
of this website, 7 years ago. But let's hear
about it in her own words from the
Underground website where she describes
herself as "Organiser, Stage Manager, MC, aka
Rock Mum, Goddess of Rock and even "Godmother of
Rock", the driving force behind The
Underground." Amongst her many fine
talents, modesty and self-deprecation do not
Underground Team - Who ARE WE?
Kelly Morgan - Senior Lammaite:
night in the Island Bar was a fine welcome back for my
return from Australia. At first, I thought I must be
suffering from some weird form of jetlag (given there's
no time difference between Perth and Hong Kong) when
Andy Maluche started playing Oom-Pa-Pa music on the
computer, then John Fox wryly informed me that we were
about to be visited by a bunch of Bavarian guys in
Kumar hastened to inform me that
they were "good-looking guys."
I immediately scoffed, because, let's
face it, lederhosen and hot-looking rarely (never?) go
together in a sentence.
So I was possibly not an entirely
appropriate choice to MC the lederhosen competition.
That said, I did it anyway.
Hot or not? Check out Andy's pictures
and you decide.
Oh, by the
way, the cause of this influx? Ice hockey. Not exactly
an international sporting event you'd expect Hong Kong
to be hosting, which just added to the weirdness of the
(Andy's photo gallery)
P.S. Andy Maluche:
"I forgot to mention that in 1986 I arrived in Hong Kong from Shanghai
wearing my Lederhosen like I had for a many months during my trip around the
world. Waiting for the elevator at the Sheraton (going for a swim, I was
staying at Chungking Mansion) the elevator door opened and out came a Scott
in full attire. We politely greeted each other and I went on to the roof
where I had to very hurriedly get out of my Lederhosen to save a Chinese
girl from drowning...
And that was just my first day in Hong Kong."
Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Correspondent -
At the first hint of
awkward, unclear English used on Lamma Island or beyond,
many people may consult little orange books to set
Business English Made
Easy (2009, Hong Kong Economic Times), a
two-volume set by long-time Lamma resident Frank
Murdoch, has slightly larger dimensions than
Chairman Mao Tse-tung's infamous "little red book",
but probably holds more sensible advice.
One volume, subtitled
Write To a System, runs 208 pages. Its companion,
Speak With Confidence, has 64 pages. Both stress the
need for clarity.
"Conciseness comes into
it," Frank said. "Making yourself understood takes
precedence over getting the grammar perfectly correct."
He says few business letters should exceed one page.
A Chinese newspaper,
Hong Kong Economic Times, commissioned the books and
has distributed thousands of copies in a special
promotion. Readers collect two coupons from the
newspaper and then buy the books for HK$28 at any of
Hong Kong's Seven-Eleven stores. "It's probably one of
the best deals in Hong Kong at the moment," Frank said.
a sad fact that many people today lack the courage to
create English correspondence for fear of getting the
grammar wrong. As a result, they resort to the tried and
tested method of using letters on file and modifying
them to suit the current situation. Give them a blank
piece of paper or computer screen and they are lost."
English Made Easy should appear in bookshops. By
then, the two volumes may be combined into one.
purpose was to write something useful to business
people, university graduates and others, making writing
and speaking in English simpler for them," Frank said.
"Too often, business English is taught like grammar. The
more complicated and the more words in the vocabulary,
the better it is. But these books emphasize the purpose
for writing or speaking, the information to be given and
how to lay it out. The advice is based on normal speech
patterns that people have."
The author explains what
works, what doesn't and why. Nearly every page offers
practical advice, examples or exercises to improve
language skills rather quickly.
language used in memos and letters should always be
simple and direct. The key to good writing is to use as
few words as possible to make your meaning immediately
clear to your reader."
There's a strong Asian
flavor. "I fetch up a system, and it's all based on a
dragon," Frank said. "There's the head, which is the
first paragraph of a single-page letter, the tail at the
end, and the explanation piece, which is the fat body in
The best communications,
those easily understood, are short, to the point and use
familiar words. "Anyone going to a dictionary to write a
letter runs into trouble by using unfamiliar words and
getting the construction wrong," Frank said. "Very
likely, the person at the other end has to go to a
dictionary to read the letter. It's always best to use
simple English with familiar words."
readers will improve their use of English, but probably
not perfect it. That would require "big, thick" orange
The books' covers, with
images of a blazing sun, show curved wording impossible
to read without part of it being upside down. How
bizarre considering the goal to improve clarity of
a former reporter for the Hong Kong Standard, has
extensive experience as an engineer, writer and teacher.
Originally from London, he has lived much of his life in
Africa and Asia. He moved to Hong Kong in 1972 and
settled on Lamma in 1982. These are the first books to
list him as the solo author, but he has ghost-written
and edited others.
Does Frank have any doubt
about the merits of the little orange books? "None
whatsoever," he said. Anything that improves
communication can make life easier and business better.
Click to enlarge
Here's a little update on what
Child Welfare Scheme charity has been
doing with all the raised funds: Highlights.
Click to enlarge
Click for the full story of "A Film Set on Lamma Directed by a Lamma
Masks - Lamma Stars in a Movie.
The infamous rapid-growing "mile-a-minute" weed
is taking over big areas of Lamma, including our
gardens, even my own. Mikania is stifling,
strangling and suffocating many other plants and
even trees by simply growing much faster than
almost anything else. An awareness and clearing
operation has been organised by the more and
GreenLammaGroup and the volunteers
showed up today, on a Sunday morning. Thanks,
For more info and before/after photos,
What's the low-profile
Hans Andersen Club's Lamma Island Center
up to these days, over there in
No. 19, Tai Wan New Village, just behind
the tennis courts?
Their latest bilingual newsletter is available
PDF format (6.7MB) and these are some of
the very worthy and worthwhile highlights:
recruitment drive for the next school
year and lots of free or almost-free
community activities in Chin. and/or English,
for example (click for details):
Chinese storytellling and
After School Development classes;
Classes for Women or Elderly in
Community Computer Corner;
For parent & child:
House Cleaning for Elderly,
Home Visit for Elderly:
Attending this huge art fair of over 100 art
galleries in the Convention & Exhibition Centre,
I was caught by surprise by the amazing ticket
price of $200 (plus $5 "service fee"). They're
really trying to keep out riff raff, hoi polloi
and people-too-poor-to-afford-original-art, like
myself! Well, it didn't deter this art lover,
coming all the way from distant Lamma Island
full of artists & creative types.
The ticket states explicitly, "Cameras...are
also not allowed" and fair staff told me the
same thing before entering. But this being HK,
almost everybody was snapping away anyway and
neither fair staff, security nor the gallery
staff ever interfered or complained. So I took
out my little pocket snapshooter and joined the
eager crowd snapping away. Most of us couldn't
really afford the professional gallery artworks
on offer, but at least we can take and keep a
little pictorial memento.
Fascinating stuff from all over the world was on
display, so let me list the range of my own emotions
while browsing through this veritable
smorgasbord of art from so many different styles,
schools, time periods and countries:
Hmm, interesting - ??? - Um, err... - Eek! -
So what? - Wow! - Amazing!
contact me! I'm always looking
Lamma Artists of the Month for
Lamma-zine feature stories. It's completely free
publicity and a chance to be showcased on this
website with currently 4.5 million hits/month.
Even single artworks are accepted for the
Lamma Artwork of the Day spot.
All forms of art are welcome, of course,
especially unusual & quirky "art".
Emily the Ice-Cream Lady,
Laurence the Shaman, Jill Eason!
While walking home from my
frequent Lamma Winds walk before 7am (best
hiking time these days), I was again amazed
about the number of dog turds on our paved
paths, sometimes right in the middle of the
of them were still steaming and often covered
with those flies in shiny metallic colours.
These fresh turds were obviously just left
behind by domestic dogs running free or
accompanied by other early-morning hikers. Being
a dog lover, but not an owner, I can really
sympathise with this new poster on our walls,
the latest appeal from
LAWC that does deserve some wider
publicity via this community website:
Let us know YOUR opinion in our
Walking the dogs forum.
the poster above, it says, "(A big leaf works, if you
are caught short)"?
Or should it be "A fig leaf works, if
you are caught short"?
Instead of a fig leaf, a dragonboat paddle might
also work if you are caught short (of clothes),
like the nude guy hiding his modesty with a
paddle outside the Deli on Sunday night after
the Dragonboat Festival (as observed by
Are you looking for a comprehensive update of
what's been happening to the Lily Pond and the
construction waste dumping in the Yung Shue Long
Submitted into our long-running
Yung Shue Long Valley Development forum
with 215 messages so far, here's a great
summary, including before/after photos, maps and
illustrations. It includes the feedback from 5
different govt. depts., resulting in futility
and not even a fine for the waste dumpers.
This document has been submitted to LegCo by the
Living Lamma (website-in-progress,
email) activism group, which acts as a
watchdog on sustainable development and
community projects on Lamma Island:
Submission to the LegCo Sub-Committee on
Combating Fly-tipping -
29th April 2009
The document closes with
"What next? Please
protect the rest of the valley."
Click above for Lamma-Gung's photo gallery
Many thanks to all the sponsors & supporters of
this festival (listed above)!
else but Harry Harrison would combine the
worldwide H1N1 Swine Flu fears with
dragonboating? This was the donated big prize
for the Lucky Draw, won by this pretty lady in
pink, Jo, who was extremely overjoyed, of
But we've got a lot more about the Lamma 500
from two of our most frequent correspondents! A
review by Nick the Bookman and an unusual
sidebar by Jay Scott Kanes!
While waiting for some more really good photos
to arrive at the Lamma-zine - in addition to
Grahame Collins', whose total lack of
"natural head covering" means that he's now
suffering bad sunburn - here are a few hopefully OK pics
from your "snapper", L-G.
us your best shots for posterity!
A few shots from
L-G's photo gallery (click on any to see
Nick the Bookman -
Official Court Music Reviewer:
Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court (Pet)
Dragon Boat Races 2009
The Power Station Dragon
Boat Races are here again. Seems like no time at all
since last year's wonderbash. Wasn't planning to write a
big story this year. Mostly because I wasn't sure how to
top last year's epic and partly because I didn't get to
the beach until it was nearly all over.
Welcome to "Tent City". An
exciting place to be at high tide with about 5 feet of
vacant beach space. More room to move about at low tide.
It's a throbbing hive of activity. All that was missing
was the Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi and his string
of bimbos telling everyone to relax and be Happy
Basically, same layout as
2008. The Porta-cabins and the food and drink outlets
along the Power Station Road. Music pre-programmed onto
a lap-top courtesy of HKGFM.net
radio. Big stage, Mark hogging the microphone. The usual
sponsors and advertisers in evidence. About half a dozen
floating gin palaces docked off shore. Contestants
racing parallel to the Power Station. Churning up a
briny spray in jungle drum time. A few minor injuries,
misplaced children and darting dogs. And a happy ending
for the lucky few.
There's been an amusing
joke doing the rounds recently. The Self-fulfilling
Prophecy. A group of people (let's call them
Republicans) felt that pigs will fly before a Black Man
becomes President. (Yes, he's Afro-American, but let's
not quibble). Barack Obama became President and it came
to pass....swine flu! I mention this only because Harry
has been thinking along the same lines. He did a
wonderful cartoon of Dragon Boat H1N1 accompanied by
Pigs In Space, see above. Well, the porcine beauties
were at least hovering over the boats. Congratulations
to Jo who won the picture. Good work, Harry!
What else? Well, the Lamma
Ladies 2nd team beat the 1st team in one of the
finals(?) Cue much raucous celebrations and piss-taking.
Lamma-Gung got a photo of Clive, Me and Dave Parker in
left-to-right degrees of hairiness. Rather like a
time-shift photo of Larry Talbot mutating into the Wolf
Heard some splendid tunes.
The kids were dancing on the stage. The beers were cold
and frothy (and free if you knew who to suck up to.)
Near the Sea
The Laracy Gall Lamma International
Dragon Boat Festival, nicknamed the Lamma 500, brought
impressive paddling and exciting races to the local
Power Station Beach on May 10.
Most attendees appreciated the splashy
spectacle. Many also enjoyed a rare luxury within
spitting distance of the sand. On the tree-lined roadway
near the food and beverage tables stood a long row of
portable toilets. That made the Lamma 500 a very special
For one day only, Power Station Beach has toilets.
No doubt, the toilets were needed and
used. But once the races ended and the competitors
vanished, so did the toilets.
Yet the Power Station Beach often
attracts a crowd, especially on sunny weekends. Its
regular users must have frowned and pondered a pertinent
question: Why couldn't at least one toilet stay
permanently to give human beachgoers a viable
alternative to joining the pet dogs on "business"
missions behind the trees?
Everyone can relax, even if nature calls.
P.S. Click for the
official Festival Highlights video from SOUTV,
plus several dragonboat team videos from
plus great photo galleries from
Elo Leung and
Mark Burns -
Thirsty Horse Media - media release:
(The Lamma-zine is an
Official Media Partner of this festival)
Laracy Gall Lamma 500 is a Stormer!
Sea, sand, sunshine,
sounds, sweat, silverware, and the sweeping success of
HKIPC marked the third annual Laracy Gall Lamma 500 held
at Tai Wan To Beach, Lamma Island on Sunday May 10th!
Sea - deep, fast and
clean with both 500m and 1,000m race options.
Sand - soft, fine
and tropical style beach and with plenty of it to move
around on as the tides treated us well.
Sunshine - hot and
baking with the occasional hint of cloud cover, great
for spectators and sales of cold Carlsberg!
Sounds - supplied by
HKGFM.net, pumping out over the PA system to entertain
the beach, and punctuated by the dulcet tones of the
Sweat - by the
bucketful as every paddler and team strived to give it
their all in some of the toughest racing of the season.
Silverware - dished
out at the awards ceremony by the bucketload.
Success - HK Island
Paddle Club (HKIPC) triumphed in 6 of the 8 race
aside, what an awesome day's racing was had by the 37
On arrival at the beach,
following a warm up morning stroll from Yung Shu Wan
ferry pier, paddlers were greeted by the welcoming
sights of Kumar and the Waterfront team preparing
breakfasts, plus the row of 20 brand new Toi Toi toilets
which ensure that this is one event on the race calendar
when a mad half mile dash to the nearest 'squat and
drop' is not required between races. What a great start
to a great day!
And it just got better as
you emerged through the foliage onto Tai Wan To Beach,
surrounded by ant like preparation activities, and saw
the coloured marker flags of the course stretching into
the distance on the right next to the power station
industrial complex, and the imposing green skyline of
Lamma Island and Mount Stenhouse on the left. As Damian
Laracy of title sponsors Laracy Gall mentioned in his
awards speech, it truly is a special Hong Kong style
The racing was fast and
furious all morning, the beating drums stirring primeval
instincts in the paddlers on the water and drawing the
attention of the hundreds on the beach to the action
afloat, as the first round reached its colourful climax.
Then, a pause for lunch,
well earned, with many crews choosing to cool down by
going for a dip in the welcoming sea while children on
the beach took to the boats, with a few somehow
instinctively synchronising the drum beat of Queen's
classic from 30 years ago 'We Will Rock You.'
But it was a lull before
the storm, and nervous tension returned to those who'd
taken the plunge and put their hands up to compete in
the newly introduced 1km race. And there were plenty of
them too, the Lamma 500 attracting many of Hong Kong's
most competitive racers. One after the other the crews
got the airhorn send off to go from the starter and
vocal sendoffs from the beach as they set doggedly about
their task and 4 minutes of effort through both gritted
teeth and supportive exhortations. It may have been
Mother's Day, but chocolates and flowers were certainly
off the agenda for these crews, for a few minutes at
Into the afternoon, and the
sun is still sizzling, the drums still beating, the
music still pumping and the teams still pushing and
roaring themselves on to greater exertions as we reached
the business end of the day.
HKIPC have already made an
impressive clean sweep of the 1km Races, taking first in
all three categories, their men's crew being the only
team to break the 4 minute barrier.
Lamma Ladies 1 are out
paddled by Lamma Ladies 2 in the Women's Final, a result
sure to get the emails flying!
Split seconds separate many
crews from silverware, but HKIPC really had a good day
at the office taking no less than 6 of the 8 titles
being contested at the Lamma 500, including all three of
the upper divisions - Men's, Women's & Mixed - a
BGC Stormy Dragons teams
also proved powerful, achieving top 3 positions in the
three upper divisions.
The Liechtenstein Princely
Navy pulled off an excellent result by posting 2nd in
the Men's Cup final, and there was much rejoicing. They
just got their nose ahead of the strong BGC Stormies who
In the Men's Plate, the
Hongkong Electric team, in what may be considered a
'home' contest for them given the proximity of the power
station, were delighted to lift the trophy. Lamma
Dragons, definitely on home 'soil' were popular winners
of the Mixed Plate trophy.
sponsors, and race organisers formed the Awards
Presentation party including District Councillor Ms Yu
Lai Fan, Chairman of the Lamma (North) Rural Committee
Mr Chan, Mr Damian Laracy of Laracy Gall, Mr Law of the
Lamma (North) Fishermen's Association, Tournament
Director Brad Tarr and Race Convener Gina Miller.
It was simply an amazing
day, the feel good buzz was switched to 'high' and,
certainly for this writer, there are few better days in
The sky turned pink over
Lamma as the sun went down. On the beach the Carlsberg
flowed, the teams danced, chatted and laughed, the music
played on as the stars came out.
The 2009 Laracy Gall Lamma
500 went down a storm. Definitely one to look back on
and smile about. The only downside is the next one is 12
See you there!
The 2009 Race Winners are listed below. For further
information regarding the Laracy Gall Lamma
International Dragon Boat Festival contact: Brad Tarr,
Tournament Director, Tel. (852) 9422 5907,
email or see the
2009 Lamma 500 Race Results
Cup 1st Runner-up
Cup 2nd Runner-up
Mixed Division Champions
Women's Division Champions
Men's Division Champions
Number of Races
Number of Team Entries
Liechtenstein Princely Navy
Great Whites (4.04)
The first photos are coming in from the third
annual Laracy Gall Lamma International Dragon
Boat Festival being staged today at Power
Station beach on Lamma Island today.
Send us your photos or links to your web
galleries and they'll be displayed here and in
www.LammaDragonBoat.com website. Here's
the very first web gallery with a wealth of
really great and beautiful shots from
Grahame Collins, click below:
A little discovery I made recently, even though
it might have been installed quite a while ago:
a public and free Fitness Corner with LifeTrail
exercise equipment just besides the YSW
Playground behind the Football Pitch. Easy,
low-impact, always-available, suitable for all
ages, not just the elderly, try it out one of
Thirsty Horse Media - media releases -
email, mobile (852) 9422 5907:
(The Lamma-zine is an
Official Media Partner
of this festival, you might notice our logo in
a few places.)
Teams to Compete at the 3rd Laracy Gall Lamma
International Dragon Boat Festival This Weekend
Thirty-seven of the best dragon boat
teams in Hong Kong will compete this Sunday May 10th in
the territory's toughest race series at the third annual
Laracy Gall Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival
being staged at Tai Wan To Beach, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma
Island, Hong Kong.
At 500 metres the Festival, also known
as the 'Lamma 500', is one of just a few competitive race series
in HK to use the international standard race
length, and therefore attracts the most athletic racers.
"It's an excellent line up of strong
teams in all three divisions," commented Tournament
Director Brad Tarr.
"All of last year's champion teams
are returning to defend their 'Lamma 500' titles, but
they'll be facing tough and determined opposition as
these teams have been training for months," said Mr
"The race has a fun element to it of
course, it's in the nature of the sport, but at the end
of the day it's the results on the water that really
matter to the teams at the Lamma 500," continued Mr
"The racing is going to be excellent
to watch for spectators on the beach, especially if the
weather continues to be warm and sunny" said Mr
Teams will compete in Men's Open,
Women's Open and Mixed Open Divisions from 9am-4:30pm.
Spectators are welcome to attend, entry
is free and food and drinks are available at the beach.
Further information about the Laracy
Gall Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival 2009,
directions to the beach and the
timetable from Central's Outlying Islands ferry
pier No. 4, is available on the event website at
A Thirsty Horse Event -
Organisers Announce First
1 km Dragon Boat Race in Hong Kong
Organisers of the Laracy Gall Lamma
International Dragon Boat Festival 2009, also
known as the "Lamma 500", being staged this
weekend (10th May) at Tai Wan To Beach, Yung Shu
Wan, Lamma Island, revealed today that a
special 1km dragon boat race would be held.
"We've never heard of a one kilometre dragon boat
race being staged in Hong Kong," said Tournament
Director Brad Tarr.
"We had some interest in the idea of a one kilometre
race from teams, and the gruelling distance is in
keeping with the athletic nature of the event, so we'll
give it a try and see which team is the first top dog at
the distance," Mr Tarr continued.
The one kilometre exhibition race will be held at
Event Listing Information
Event Title: Laracy Gall Lamma International
Dragon Boat Festival 2009
Event Nickname: "The Lamma 500"
Date: 10th May 2009
Venue: Tai Wan To Beach, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma
Island, Hong Kong
Time: 9am - 5pm
Organised by: Thirsty Horse, the Lamma Dragons &
the Lamma Fishermen's Associations
Make A Wish Foundation
Lamma 500 Race Rules & Line-up 2009:
Download (Word doc)
The toughest race on the calendar, up to 37 Men's,
Women's and Mixed teams compete over the full
international 500-metre length course in the "Lamma 500"
held at the scenic Tai Wan To Beach. The highly
competitive racing takes place all day from 9am to 5pm.
Spectator entry is free and food and drinks are
available. It's an incredible, spectacular, colourful,
vibrant day out at the beach for families and junk
Lamma 500 2009 Competing teams:
1. The Henley
Group Tai Tam Tigers
2. Fat Dragon
4. HK Freedom Dragon
5. The Liechtenstein Princely Navy
6. HKUST Alumni Dragon Boat Club
7. Tai O Hing Yi Dragon Boat
8. HKUST Rowing team Alumni
9. BGC Stormy Dragons
10. Fair Dinkum Shakers
11. HK Island Paddle Club
12. CLP Dragon Boat Team
13. Royal X Men
14. Lamma Dragons
15. HK Electric
1. Buzz Ladies
2. BGC Stormy Dragons
3. HK Island Paddle
4. Lamma Ladies 1
5. Lamma Ladies 2
6. Royal X Women
7. Fair Dinkum Movers
1. HK Freedom Dragon
2. HKUST Alumni Dragon Boat Club
3. Chai Wan Fisherman Recreation Club
4. Way Young
5. Poly U Staff Club
6. BGC Stormy Dragons 1
7. BGC Stormy Dragons 2
8. Dutch Connexion
9. HK Island Paddle Club Great Whites
10. HK Island Paddle Club Killer Whales
11. Sun Life Smugs
12. Sun Life Southside Massive
13. Lamma Dragons Mixed
14. Royal X Mixed
After all this loads of info, relax by having a look at the
2008 animated slide
galleries, including, ahem,
Right photo: The
three dishes completed by the officiating guests
and the souvenir containing miniatures of the
What is this huge, glowing contraption these HK
Electric and govt. officials are launching and
what does it have to do with electric kitchens?
a new type of night volleyball with
electrically powered, glowing balls?
a new green energy initiative collecting
solar energy with giant, high-altitude balloons?
a giant light bulb to illuminate all the
famous HK celebrities on stage?
(Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr. Henry Tang
(middle), Chairman of Hong Kong Tourism Board, Mr. James
Tien (fourth from left), HK Electric's Director of
Operations, Mr. Yuen Sui-see (forth from right))?
a hot-air balloon powered by all the hot air
generated by this very high-profile publicity event?
a new advertising campaign using a HK
Electric blimp flying over HK?
Left photo: Mr.
Yuen presents a specially commissioned souvenir
containing the miniatures of the dishes made. --
Right photo: HK Electric's booth featuring the
"Five-star Green Electric Kitchen" and a full
range of new and popular electric cooking
equipment for restaurants.
NO! All these answers above are totally
incorrect! HK Electric writes:
"In the biennial
Exhibition which opened today,
is putting on show a "Five-star Green Electric Kitchen"
demonstrating how electric cooking equipment helps the catering
industry save energy and operating costs, while improving
efficiency and productivity.
"The four-day event at the Hong Kong
Convention and Exhibition Centre showcases the catering
industry's latest products and technologies from more than 1,900
exhibitors, including HK Electric which is staging a premier
show kitchen featuring new and popular electric cooking
equipment. They include the much sought-after heat pump,
induction wok range, induction cooking range, electric steamer
and steam cabinet – all designed to help restaurants raise
energy and operational efficiency, while making commercial
kitchens safer and healthier workplaces.
"Officiating guests included the Chief
Secretary for Administration, Mr. Henry Tang, and the Chairman
of Hong Kong Tourism Board, Mr. James Tien, who were among the
first to visit the Green Electric Kitchen. Accompanied by HK
Electric's Director of Operations, Mr. Yuen Sui-see, they
prepared three dishes using electric cooking equipment and
dedicated them to athletes of the upcoming 2009 Hong Kong East
Read more about a Five-Star Green Electric Kitchen...
Did Lamma Island get close to being quarantined
a few days ago? A Mainland couple staying in the currently still
quarantined Metropark hotel in Wanchai visited Lamma on
May 1 and then escaped from the hotel quarantine returning home
to Sichuan the next day, according to the
Wen Wei Po newspaper!
With the currently extremely exaggerated media
and govt. hysteria about HK's single Influenza A H1N1 case of a
Mexican man staying in that hotel, it almost sounds like Lamma
just had a narrow escape from being quarantined completely?
Well, much better being quarantined on Lamma than in a Wanchai
budget hotel, I think. Here's an excerpt from the
Wen Wei Po story:
Sichuan couple abandoned their luggage and returned home
"...two mainland visitors who had stayed in
the [Metropark] hotel [in Wanchai] abandoned their luggage and
'fled' back home on 2nd May after learning about the quarantine
measures imposed on the infected hotel the day before. They were
not intercepted by the Immigration Department in the process and
managed to return to Sichuan without being disrupted.
"The couple visited Lamma Island together
with their daughter on 1st May and had dinner in Causeway
Bay. At 7 o'clock in the evening, they returned to the hotel and
found that it was cordoned off. A police officer there told them
to think it over as guests were allowed to enter but not to get
out thereafter. After careful consideration, the couple decided
to change plans and stay at the home of their daughter who
resided in Hong Kong.
"On the morning of 2nd May, they took a taxi
to the China Travel Service office in Wan Chai where they
boarded a cross-border coach and travelled via Huang Gang to
Shenzhen. They took flight 3U8704 of the Sichuan Airlines later
in the afternoon and landed in Sichuan in the evening. A source
said that the couple showed no signs of flu symptoms and they
were not worried about being infected..."
An intern working in
Time Out HK
magazine was doing research on our website for the
story below about Yung Shue Wan Main Street (April 15-28 2009).
It was written as part of her job application and this nice lady
contacted me a few times for info and contacts.
Well, this is definitely a better, more in-depth Lamma
story than the extremely superficial, fluffy, touristy stuff you
normally see in various media, despite a few clichés like
"...Yung Shue Wan's main drag is full of self-employed expats &
Chinese retirees, sitting around with their dogs...." She
tried her very best as a potential paid job is a great motivator
Then the editor, an ex-Lammaite, contacted me
independently for some free photos to go along with the story,
selected from our extensive Photo of the Day Archive ("freelance
budget is basically zero, no payment for any photos").
Before I could get permission from the chosen photographer, they
had already found another Lammaite's free Main Street snapshot.
This is a pretty good, glossy, but not free, $18
print magazine, stuffed with highly profitable advertising, publishing a
very lowly-paid intern's
job-application story together with a free picture. If you're a
freelancer trying to make a living from selling any "content" to
the traditional media, good luck!
Well, at least the intern got her well-deserved job....
(click to enlarge)
YSW Tin Hau Temple ceremony on
May 27 for the
Laracy Gall Lamma International Dragon Boat
"In the pictures above from
Josh Sellers we have Peter of the Lamma Fishermen,
Gina, the Race Convenor from the Lamma Dragons, and Brad
Tarr, the Tournament Director.
"The ceremony was first done
prior to last year's dragon boat festival and the weather was
superb, of course. We didn't perform the ceremony in 2007 prior
to the first Lamma Dragon Boat Festival, and of course it turned
out to be one of the worst weather days of the year!
"So we hope that the weather
gods will be happy and satisfied with the ceremony today and
bless us with excellent weather on May 10th."
Nancy Karraker - Research Assistant Professor -
Division of Ecology and Biodiversity - University of
(All photos taken by Nancy Karraker;
sound recording kindly provided by Geoff Smith.)
Not many places
as small as Lamma Island can claim the
discovery of a new animal. Romer's tree
frog, also known by the scientific name
Liuixalus romeri, was first discovered
by J.D. Romer in a small cave on South Lamma
Island in 1952. When the roof of the cave
collapsed and other frogs were not found
nearby, it was believed until as recently as
1984 that the species was extinct. It was
then rediscovered in the so-called Kamikaze
Caves and has since been found all over
While it was
first known from Lamma, the species also
naturally occurs on Lantau, Po Toi, and Chep
Lap Kok islands. Most of the population from
Chep Lap Kok was translocated to eight sites
in the New Territories and Hong Kong Island
when the new airport was being built and
seven of those sites still harbor
significant populations of frogs.
Internationally, this is known as one of the
first successful translocation efforts for
an amphibian and is a model followed by
people trying to preserve amphibians in
other parts of the world. While the species
was long considered to be endemic to, or
occur only in, Hong Kong, it has recently
been found in Guangdong Province, though its
distribution there is not well-known.
tree frog is one of the world's tiniest
frogs, about two centimeters in size, and
brown or gray often with an 'x' pattern on
its back. Most people never see Romer's tree
frogs because they are small and
well-camouflaged, usually occur in dense
vegetation, and the males stop calling when
they perceive danger approaching. While they
are classified as tree frogs, and have
suction discs on the tip of each toe, they
are not known to climb vegetation and prefer
to spend their time on the ground. They are
fairly unique in their breeding habits, as
Hong Kong amphibians go, in that they choose
ephemeral pools or those that dry up every
year. Researchers at the University of Hong
Kong found that fish can be significant
predators on their eggs and tadpoles, so it
is likely that they breed in sites that dry
up every year and thus cannot harbor fish.
Males position themselves near a pool and
emit a staccato call that sounds like a loud
cricket. This call can be heard on warm,
rainy nights from February to September all
over Lamma Island. Presumably, a female
ready to mate moves toward the pool and
chooses the male with the 'best' call. In
many frogs, deeper calls are usually given
by larger, older males. An older male has
managed to survive longer than others and
must be 'fitter' than others with
higher-pitched calls. Often in a chorus of
calling frogs, you can hear a few
high-pitched, squeaky calls. These are
usually males who are attempting to breed
for the first time. They will only be chosen
only if there are not more attractive
options available. After a mate has been
chosen, the female attaches up to 120 eggs
in small groups to submerged sticks or
leaves, with the male riding along on her
back and fertilizing as they go. The
tadpoles are tiny and brown in color and
undergo metamorphosis (transition from
tadpole to frog) in about four to six weeks.
Adults probably live two to three years and
breed once or twice in their lifetimes.
frogs are one of only three amphibian
species listed under the Wild Animals
Protection Ordinance in Hong Kong (in
contrast, all wild birds are protected under
this ordinance). Globally, this species is
listed as Endangered by the International
Union for the Conservation of Nature and
this organization has determined that
populations are declining, primarily due to
habitat fragmentation and development. In
Hong Kong, actual protection of this species
varies depending upon particular
circumstances. For example, the current
dumping of construction rubble in the lower
end of Yung Shue Long valley continues
unabated despite the fact that Romer's tree
frogs have been documented to breed in the
area over the past three years.
loopholes in Hong Kong's regulations limit
government staff from taking action on small
projects. Under the Wild Animals Protection
Ordinance: No person shall, except in
accordance with a special permit, hunt or
willfully disturb any protected wild animal.
Unless the landowner responsible
destruction of Romer's tree frog habitat can
be shown to have done so with "will", there
is no violation of the law. In the Yung Shue
Long valley case, the staff of the
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and
Conservation (AFCD) has notified the Lands
Department and the Department of
Environmental Protection about the presence
of Romer's tree frogs in the area and have
asked these departments to notify the
landowner. Obviously, the concern is that
one could continue to destroy habitat
"without will" all the way up the Yung Shue
Long valley and in time no habitat would
In other cases,
however, the government has made important
efforts in collaboration with others to
protect existing populations of Romer's tree
frog. The translocation effort at Chep Lap
Kok is a good example. An attempt is
currently being made to protect and restore
a large population in Sok Kwu Wan. The Civil
Engineering and Development Department
determined that a slope near the village of
Sok Kwu Wan was unstable, and they initiated
a plan for slope stabilization work. A large
population of Romer's tree frogs existed
nearby and there was concern that the work
would disturb the population and potentially
destroy the habitat. In conjunction with Dr.
Michael Lau of Kadoorie Farm and Botanical
Garden, who led the Chep Lap Kok
translocation project, and Mr. Sung Yik Hei,
a M.Phil. student at the University of Hong
Kong, a proposal was made to collect as many
adults, eggs, and tadpoles as possible from
the site, maintain them in captivity until
the work was finished, and then return them
after the habitat was restored. The proposal
was approved by the Department of
Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation and
the project was initiated in the summer of
Over a four-month period last summer,
volunteers from AFCD, Kadoorie Farm and
Botanical Garden, and the University of Hong
Kong visited the site at night every other
week to collect Romer's tree frogs, which
were then transported to a captive breeding
facility at the University of Hong Kong.
Approximately 100 adults were collected
along with many eggs and tadpoles. Under
Sung Yik Hei's care, the captive population
flourished and overcrowding became a
potential problem, so several months later
about 30 adults and 30 juveniles were
released at a new, suitable habitat in Sok
Kwu Wan, not far from the original site.
population continues to grow and another 30
adults and 30 juveniles will be released at
the new site next week. Slope stabilization
work will be completed in mid-May and the
Romer's tree frog habitat will be restored
with the guidance of Dr. Billy Hau of the
University of Hong Kong, an expert on
habitat restoration. At some point in the
late summer, the entire captive population
will be returned to the original site. If
habitat restoration was successful, the
population should be secure.
only by name to most people on Lamma Island,
this tiny frog is a symbol of what most of
us appreciate about this island, its natural
environment. First discovered here, we
should do what we can to make sure that
Romer's tree frogs remain for future
residents and visitors to learn about and
enjoy. If a tiny, brown frog darts quickly
across your path, you may have seen a Romer's
If you are not so lucky to see
one, any of us can enjoy the calls at night. Listen
to their call (in MP3 format) and remember for those warm, rainy
nights when you are out for a walk.
"The island is a sound that arose from the
waves" - Miki Yui
When was the last time you went trough a
terrible ordeal, suffering stifling heat,
humidity & severe exhaustion, getting massively
inconvenienced and annoyed about your fellow
human beings... and the final result of the
experience having been all worth it and your
life the richer for it, having made some
How about this afternoon? Well, that's how I
felt after riding my trusty bike on the Family
Trail from Yung Shue Wan to South Lamma and
back, narrowly missing causing severe bodily
harm or even aggravated manslaughter on the
impervious swarms of sometimes obnoxious hikers.
But listening to
Akio Suzuki's serenely peaceful live performance (part of
AROUND Sound Art Festival) in front of
the long-abandoned Mo Tat Wan Old Village school
made it definitely all worthwhile, including all
the photos below (click to enlarge) I took of
the live sound performances, the ruins, the
subtropical flora & fauna. This is most
definitely one of the most photogenic, idyllic
and romantic areas of all of Lamma Island. Only
very few visitors ever venture down under to the
far South of Lamma, even on weekends. Hey, it's
just a 10-minute walk (30 minutes to Tung O
Beach, 10 minutes by bike) from the Mo Tat Wan
Village ferry pier, which is in-between Sok Kwu
Wan and Aberdeen on the
Chuen Kee ferry.
Congrats to AROUND organiser & curator Yeung
Soundpocket did an amazing job getting
this unique and surprising event together in
such highly unusual, rarely used but very
suitable locations. Here's a
YouTube video, plus my personal highlights:
Walking around the ruins with eerie, mysterious sounds
emanating from invisible locations, installed by Miki Yui;
"Landscape Portraits Rooms" with interactive sound "toys",
by Donna Ong & YC Teo;
Surprising & baffling performance art by Jason Lim;
Jun's Soundwalk with a MP3 player and headphones on loan;
Natural sounds performance by Akio Suzuki, my personal
Mo Tat Wan Village beach, water sports equipment
Tung O Wan beach, all pristine after the recent
Tung O Wan beach -- Mo Tat Wan Old Village:
Abandoned Mo Tat Wan school & neighbourhood:
Jason Lim, Akio Suzuki and Yan Jun surprising & delighting
the young & appreciative local audience:
U Magazine interview with Jason Lim -- Paul, jovial GM of the
Lammarina developer, and Lammarina tycoon & AROUND
sponsor, Bobby Li, on the right:
Photos by Katie Flowers:
Photos by Lamma-Gung:
Read last month's stories...
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