Lamma-zine 1 - 23

Lamma-zine 24 - today

Archives:  all stories

'04   '05   '06   '07

'08:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
8  9  10  11  12

'09:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Jun 30:  Bootcamp 2 - Intensive Indoors Fitness Training

Island Life Studio writes:

"The heat's rising but your workouts don't have to stop!
90 minute sessions: 30 minutes of Athletic Agility Training followed by 60 minutes of intensive T.R.X. Strength and Power Training. No running, no beach PT.
Short. Sweet. Tough. Results guaranteed.
Begins Sunday 5th July for 8 weeks."

For T.R.X. indoors training examples (ignore the outdoors beach pictures, no beach and running this time), click below:

Jun 29:  Spicy Bones Mystery

Tavis - Environmental Forum Co-moderator - writes on Mon, June 22

(1st photo by Tavis, 2nd one emailed to me from an anonymous 3-connected mobile phone):

Arriving home this evening on the 5:20pm ferry from Central, I came upon a commotion outside of the old Spicy Island Restaurant. It seems that a human skeleton had been unearthed during excavations for the new sewer system. These remains had been lying undisturbed beneath Spicy's front door for an unknown period of time.

So, what's the story? The police whisked the bones away immediately without attempting to lift any prints at the scene. Was this the remains of some meddling environmentalist who stepped on the wrong toes? One too long overdue on their large bar tab? Or, perhaps the remains of an ancient virgin sacrificed to the mighty Typhoon God? Who can say?

A Johnny-on-the-spot archeologist judged the urn fragments to not be that old and mentioned that a skeleton unearthed around the corner some time previously had turned out to have only been about 60 years old. I showed this photo to a long time resident who recalled that long before Spicy Island, there had been a Chinese restaurant in this building (20 or 30 years ago she figured) There had been about 6 skeletons unearthed in, around, or beneath the building. Apparently customers frequently complained that the place had been infested with ghosts. People used to joke that even when nobody was sitting down to dinner the restaurant had a full house.

As usual, wild rumours, speculative guesswork and creative jokes started circulating immediately:

"Lamma Succubus unearthed at last, feeding on the weak and febrile beer drinkers. No wonder Amar (Spicy Island owner) won so much on the races, he must have been in league with it" (poilkoop)

"...lots of bodies were buried during the war by the Japanese." (Tigger)

"...spooky history could account for the acrimonious relations among the owners of this building that has eventually resulted in poor Amar's need to relocate? Uncle Russ - BEWARE!" (Tavis, referring to another (probably untrue) rumour that this location will turn into an Uncle Russ chain coffee shop. The owner of the place wants to tear down the entire building and rebuild it, not rent it out, I've heard from usually reliable, inside sources. But they could be wrong, too...)

Trying to discover the truth, I did a little interview with our brand-new police chief for Lamma & Po Toi Islands, Senior Inspector Philip Kwok. This is what is officially known so far and also what's NOT known so far:

"On 2009-06-22 at about 15:00 hrs, a "Human Bones Found" case reported from Kaden Construction worker when conducting the drainage system works outside of No.23 of Yung Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma Island.

"In fact, this is the second occasion. According to old residents of YSW, the subject area was a public burial ground in ancient times. So far, no criminal elements have been detected in the case."

The bones have been sent to the Public Mortuary in Ho Man Tin and will be thoroughly analysed: cause of death, toxicology test, approximate age, etc. No info at all on age, sex or time period of the bones is known yet. Results will take several months; the report from the last set of human bones found in April behind the Main Street shops, also found during the sewage excavation works, is also not ready yet. The police's Scientific Investigation Unit (HK's own CSI team) might get involved as well later, if suspicions of foul play arise (none discovered so far.)

No clothes, valuables or other artifacts were found. The front of the former Spicy Island was beachfront in the last century and there were rumours of beach killings and burials. The bones, found about 1.5 metres deep, were very old and brittle, not white anymore, but already decayed into brown or falling apart.

The police has been asking residents but haven't received any concrete feedback yet. Any info or leads would be welcome.

Discuss this case in our Spicy Island Mystery forum.

Jun 28:  Isle Be Damned or I'll Be Shot?

Great success and HK-wide appreciation for The Lamma zombie movie "Isle Be Damned" (click for Nick's review w/screen shots)! It has been accepted into the "I Shot Hong Kong" film festival! It'll be shown together with the other selections in the The Grand Cinema in Elements, Kowloon Station (only 1 MTR stop away from the IFC Mall on the Tung Chung line) from July 2-5 at 12pm, 5pm and 9:50pm. View the trailer and get your tickets from the cinema website.

Hannah, one of the leads and producers of the movie, writes:
"Category III, so only people 18 and over will be allowed to attend the screenings." Considering what happens to her and almost everybody else in the wonder it's Category III...

What this movie will be doing for Lamma's reputation...the mind boggles. Not only does it feature the gruesome killings of "Hippie Islanders", but some easy-to-scare Lamma visitors might even worry about hiking in remote areas in the future after seeing this fake-blood-thirsty movie... Well, Isle Be Damned, eh, I'll be damned, it's a great movie anyway and better enjoyed in the quite new, cozy and plush atmosphere of The Grand Cinema, my favourite Cineplex in HK (the IFC Mall cinema usually charges exactly 50% more for the same movies.) Or be a cheapskate and view Isle Be Damned on YouTube:  Part 1 (7:23min) & Part 2 (7.28 min).

But you'll miss out on the other 11 finalists of the I Shot Hong Kong film festival, just $60 for a ticket to see ALL, including a movie directed by Lamma's most famous remaining hippie, Bobsy the Earth Champion:

Save the Human! Don't Eat the Planet! (YouTube video) - also featuring numerous talented Lammaites. Yes, Lamma's Got Talent!

Jun 27:  I Do Not Like...

(As you might know, the Lamma-zine always welcomes all points of view, including those that L-G the Editor strongly DISAGREES with, like the ones below. This person has been living on Lamma for several years (loving it at first) and has permitted to publish these viewpoints honestly & uncensored.)

Disenchanted (who wants to remain anonymous) writes:

The disadvantages of Lamma, from my point of view:

I do not like the lazy expats drinking beers at 9 am in the morning. They look dirty, alcoholic and they don't work. It bothers me to look at them doing nothing.

I do not like the shops owners of Lamma taking advantages of expats, thinking we're rich, charging us like hell for some goods and never give us a smile or a hello. They know we have no other choice but buying from them. The only polite ones are in the frozen goods shop and the Lamma Gourmet (in my point of view.)

I do not like the fact that everyone is so politically correct about Lamma, thinking we are in Thailand, pretending Lamma is the best place to live in Hong Kong (for example YOU, Lamma-Gung!)

I do not like the fact that some dogs owners let their dogs poo all over the village, no leash. I do not like to have dogs next to me when I eat in a restaurant.

I do not like most of the restaurants on Lamma. It seems that none of them can cook on this island; except me and the seafood restaurants, but they are too expensive.

I do not like that they closed Spicy Island because it was my favorite place to go for a drink and a meal.

I do not like the crowds on the weekends. Lamma is becoming like Mongkok. I do not enjoy going out anymore on weekends, because it takes me ages to pass through the village.

I do not like the fact that the government makes NO EFFORT whatsoever to clean Lamma and make it a better place to live, There's too much garbage all over the places and that's not right. Why do we have so much rubbish on our island and nobody cares?

I do not like the power station smoke; they pollute on purpose when the sun has set.

I do not like having been verbally attacked several times by some British guys who think we are still in their colony.

I do not like the fact that the rents have increased recently and are still increasing now. I think this is not justified because of the power station. We shouldn't have to pay high rents on Lamma.

I do not like to be well-known. Living on a small island for a while, you get to be known too well. I hate to be well-known, preferring to be invisible and anonymous.

I want to become anonymous again, leave the island and make a fresh start in a bigger flat somewhere else in HK.

That's all!

P.S.  A heated discussion immediately started in our forums about these frank viewpoints. Agree? Disagree? Join into our "I do not like..." forum!

Jun 26:  One-Woman Country & Western Musical

For more info, email Scott Sauer (he recently left Lamma after a 6-year residency to return to his native Calgary, Canada);
or check out the bigbox theatre website.

Jun 25:  Fruit of Weaver Maid

This was one of the very first new fruits I noticed after moving to Lamma 7.5 years ago. Just weeks after this forum started on July 23, 2002, this was one of the very first messages I posted in the already very active "Flora & Fauna" forum: Anybody know this fruit? This was only topic #55 back then (up to almost 7,000 topics now).

Sorry for getting a bit nostalgic here, but our 7th anniversary is coming up on July 23. This is an ancient age for usually short-lived websites, but only half of the number of years I've been building and running websites in HK.

The Scarlet Sterculia (Sterculia Lanceolata, 'Fruit of Weaver Maid' in Chinese) fruits are ripe once again!

The photos above were taken this early morning on the top of the Snake Path to the windturbine, in Tai Ling, just above the OpenSpace events/community space. This is easy to get to in under 10 minutes, as it's just a brisk 12 minute walk from Main Street to Lamma Winds, via the Kindergarten. Sorry for flashing this fruit, but it was shot upwards, inside dark bushes, crawling in-between several huge Woodland Spider webs....

They look so much like dates, it's tempting to try one. But in the 7 years of this topic's existence we still haven't established yet if these are edible for humans!
Some birds seem to like them and being on a high-fruit diet myself I wouldn't mind expanding the range of fruit species to enjoy in my morning müesli...

BTW, these were my very first photos of these beautiful fruits from back in 2002:

Jun 24:  Spiders in the Sky Season

While hiking in the hills of Lamma these days, there's life and death drama all around you. Insects and other creepy crawlies engaged in mating rituals, food fights and death battles, often at the same time; for example the huge, very colourful but harmless female Woodland Spiders. They are occasionally eating their tiny red males (see right) after mating, or feasting on the many extremely noisy, shrill cicadas getting caught up in their webs these days.

The forest trees are full of these huge and spectacular webs now, often exceeding 1 square metre in size, spanning between trees several metres up, for example along the Snake Path and the upper Cable Routes. Looking up, there seem to be several big spiders floating in the sky above you. This is a yearly summer season phenomenon, I wrote about it last year as well:
Spiders in the Sky:

Woodland Spiders: Front - Back - Close-up

Jun 23:  New Photo Galleries

Jun 22:  Get Moving With Links Moving

Jun 21:  YSW Swimming Pool & High-Diving Platform

1. A wild pigeon inspecting our balcony flower pots
2. The (semi-public) Yung Shue Wan swimming pool with high-diving platform is open now! Jump at your own risk, no guarantees of survival...
3. YSW Harbour; Lamma's Daily Sunset Watching Season has just started.

Why leave home at all on a hot and muggy Sunday afternoon? There's more than enough action and beauty to watch and enjoy live, even without leaving your Lamma flat, see above. These pictures were all taken from my YSW rooftop flat today, while I was hiding from the invading swarms of weekend visitors, recovering my aching abdominals from my first-ever T.R.X. Bootcamp 2 session, image-processing future Lamma-zine photo galleries, and "assisting" a friend to cook a yummy Chinese dinner for us. Home Sweet Home!

Jun 20:  R U Tough Enough 4 Bootcamp 2?

Click on poster above for course details (Word format or pdf format)

Where's the Island Life Studio?

Weekly Schedule (from June 17)

Photo gallery of Bootcamp 1:

Jun 19:  "I'm climbing Mt. Stenhouse tomorrow"

Fred the Personal Trainer:

"I am climbing Mt. Stenhouse tomorrow, it's a difficult climb, is it?"

This was one of the first sentences spoken to me by Lamma-Gung. Many of us have known L-G for years and him speaking those words only one year ago would have many of us chuckling and lining up to make bets.
"Bet he doesn't even get to Sok Ku Wan?"
"Bet he gets a medevac?"

I thought this might be the first and last time I would meet him. I had approached L-G, as a certified personal trainer with many Lamma clients, to help with his weight loss.

But now it seemed it was all over before we had even begun. I had been up Mt. Stenhouse about a month before and it was a long and arduous walk with a lot of unstable and potentially dangerous rock. I saw disaster in the making and kept an eye on Stenhouse the next day for that rescue helicopter that never came. So started the many surprises L-G has given me.

L-G, to even his own amazement, has become a poster boy. He is one of less than a dozen patients in Queen Mary Hospital who've undergone weight loss surgery (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy). He's by far been the most successful one with his results (some lost only 10 pounds after the same operation). Accordingly, he's become an example to which now future patients are compared in the world of stomach stapling.

L-G and I meet only once a week and I only joined his fight against fat when he had already lost 50kg. He's up to 70kgs now and 100% drug-free. He has done this mostly on his own through sheer hard work and persistence. We have done hikes, gym work, core exercises and recently I've begun to teach L-G to box. He definitely does not float like a butterfly or sting like a bee, but we are working on it. His recent forehead injuries and eyebrow stitches were NOT caused by our boxing, despite some rumours, but by a stumble while hiking in the woods.

Next time you see L-G, try to remember how much of him is missing. He is now completely off medication (from a high of 7 different drug prescriptions for weight-related problems), he is climbing mountains (how many of you have been up Mt. Stenhouse?) and leading a life that only one year ago he thought impossible.

L-G at his heaviest ever was almost 180 kgs in 2000 and currently resides at the fighting weight of just below 100 kg. That weight loss is the equivalent of more than the total weight of most people, or two of the biggest monkey species in the world. L-G had not one, but two monkeys on his back. You try carry that kind of weight.

As a next step, he's joining Island Life Studio's Bootcamp 2, trying to lose the last 10 kgs, getting below 200 pounds, basically halving his peak weight.

If you're interested in intensive, flexible & completely personalised training on Lamma for yourself, contact me via L-G, please.

Dumbbell Flys & Donkey Kickbacks

L-G's personalised workout plan for the Island Gym:

10 reps Lat Pull-down machine
10 reps One Arm Dumbbell Row

10 reps Dumbbell Bench Press
10 reps Dumbbell Flys

Bridge, 3x, each lasting 15-30 sec.

10-12 reps Dumbbell Curls

10-12 reps Triceps Press-down
10-12 reps Donkey Kickbacks

2 sets of each exercise.

When you get to the point where you're doing this with ease 2-3 days/week, you can add another extra set to every exercise so that you will be doing the whole circuit 3x.

P.S. L-G has been adding 2 sets of 15 repetitions of circuit training on all of the Island Gym's weight training machines.

Plus 3x 1-hour power hikes/week, usually to Lamma Winds and beyond, 6:30-7:30am.

Plus 1-2x hikes/bike rides to Sok Kwu Wan and beyond every week.

Jun 18:  Only on Lamma (?)

Lammalite - "An expat from the UK, now taking it easy on Lamma Island":

(abridged & republished with friendly permission from his excellent blog,
Lamma Dao - Musings of an Islander):

Running on Lamma - can be hazardous (Pak Kok Village)

Finally, the weather (if it's not torrential rain, it's scorching hot) combined with the lack of anywhere flat to run has persuaded me to join a gym again....

Since leaving my last job – and therefore the convenience of working right above Pure SoHo – I have been trying to get some runs in here on Lamma. This was just about bearable in the winter but recently the narrow crowded paths, killer hills and sapping humidity has been completely putting me off. So I've bitten the proverbial bullet and joined the "Island Gym" – the Lamma gym.

And what a great experience. The ground-floor gym used to be run in a traditional manner, with a beauty parlour on the first floor (second if you're American). But it wasn't profitable and shut down just over a year ago (I think.) The current tenants run their own e-business on Lamma and went down to see if they could buy some of the old equipment. One thing led to another and they ended up taking over the running of the gym.

With an average membership of below 35, a conventional business model was never going to work here. The time and/or wages to have someone on-site during opening hours simply cannot be covered by membership fees. So the gym (uniquely in my experience) is run not just as a private members' club – but completely unsupervised.

Such is the trust shown in their members that before I'd even arranged my first payment, I was handed my key. Members are encouraged to limit their use of the gym to the hours between 5 am and 11 pm (in deference to the local residents) but otherwise it's 'open house'. Users are responsible for the lights, air-con, dehumidifier and windows (apparently it's a favourite hangout for the local cats if their left open). A water cooler is kept topped-up and glasses provided (to be rinsed after use), and there is a none-too-shabby stereo for playing CDs or hooking up iPods. There are even spare towels in case you forget your own.

I've talked about the common view of Lamma as being a place that washed-up hippies gravitate towards, but I honestly can't think of (m)any other communities where an initiative like this could be so successful. The managers (Rick and Soli) say they run the gym purely as a non-profit service for the neighbourhood and it's true that I've never used such a friendly gym. Sure, some of the equipment is a bit suspect – or missing entirely – but I think it's great. Colour me very impressed. And boy, has it made running a more pleasant experience!

P.S. For more info & membership ($350/month), contact the Island Gym.

Jun 17:  Street Pole Dancing

Browsing the web for you about all things Lamma, it's usually only all the touristy stuff I can find. You know, very basic travel guides with 1-2 boring pictures, blog entries and pictures about "Went to Lamma, had seafood, walked the family trail,..." Not exactly exciting for people living here already or familiar with Lamma.
But occasionally, rarely, I come across something that makes me go Wow! This is a fine example:

This is dindin, a HK girl and advanced student of the PoleDivas HK. These pictures are from her "Addicted to Pole Dancing" blog, probably the first-ever pole dancing photos taken on Lamma? She writes:

"Went to the Lamma Island (南丫島) today, saw this "pole-able" street pole on the way from Sok Ku Wan (索罟灣) to Yung Shue Wan (榕樹灣), so decided to do a stupid impromptu act.

"There were a few elderlies sitting opposite the pole while I was doing the climb (see the pic on the right)… They warned me of the "sharpness" of those signs! They were all saying "Be aware of the signs! Their edges are really sharp!!"

You know, I was sooooo touched, coz I thought they were going to say I was crazy (I was expecting loads of "Chi sin!"). Once again, this proves that the islanders are a lot friendlier than city people!

"However… my friends reminded me that there might be dog pee… ooppps! So be aware of dog poo poo and pee pee in the future, girls!"

Here are some even more amazing pole dancing photos of dindin, plus videos!

Jun 16:  Dragonboat Season Reviews

Click for photo gallery, © by Bob Davis

Dawn Roughsedge -  "El Capitano", Lamma Ladies Dragonboat team:

(Photo by Bob Davis: Season-end Luau party, Man Fung Rest., Sat, Jun 13 '09)

The women and mixed:

The season was ridiculously short at only 25 total practice sessions (12 1/2 weeks) and there was enormous pressure (from El Capitano) to attend all sessions. The ladies being paddle fanatics generally rose to the challenge and we managed to hit a few team records this year:

Some firsts...

· 3 boats on the water when training mixed
. 2 boats out every training session
· 2 women's teams entered for Lamma 500
· 1,000m race at Lamma 500
· 70 Lamma paddlers at races in Boracay and Deep Water Bay
· Record breaking new paddlers and returning oldsters with 40 women now in
  the women's team

For the first time in a long time, we also fielded a mixed team. The team only had 2 official practice sessions and then were thrown together in the competitions and told to go paddle like fury (or something along those words) and so the results are even more rewarding and gives us a great base to do better next year.

The mixed team at Disco Bay saw the fastest time of the day out of 35 teams proudly displayed as Lamma Dragons in the No. 1 spot. In the final, we were pipped into 3rd by a team that stood up and paddled and one that beat us fair and square, but we were very happy with the result because we know we can better it next year!

The ladies team, after a bit of a wobble at the Lamma 500 - when the B-team beat the A-team - recovered, found their focus and fighting spirit and successfully defended their crown at Disco Bay to stay in the No. 1 spot. The HK Internationals were especially rewarding in the women's team managed to beat our old (friendly) rivals Stormies, but also the official Hong Kong Team, a fantastic result.

Next year, 2010, is The Biggie, the WORLD Championships in Macau on 30/31 July. For the first time ever, Lamma will be on the water training for that race before Christmas - in Santa hats probably!

Our haul of silverware:

2nd Shatin 10th Anniversary Event
3rd & 4th Lamma 500 Cup Final Women
1st Discovery Bay Women Cup Final
2nd Internationals (local women) Cup Final
4th Internationals (international women) Cup Final
4th Deep Water Bay Mixed Plate Final
6th Lamma 500 Cup Final Mixed
3rd & 4th Green Island Mixed (fishermen's series)
3rd Discovery Bay Mixed Cup Final
6th Internationals (international mixed) Cup Final

Kevin Harrison -  Captain of Lamma Dragons men's team:

This year has been a record year for the Lamma Dragons. I know you have heard from Dawn about the women's AND the mixed teams (very
exciting!), but we have also taken the men's team up several notches.

Our membership is up by 2/3 to 30 which has allowed us to run awesome training sessions with two boats racing each other (3 boats for mixed training!) We took a full men's team to the Boracay International Dragonboat Festival. We ran men's AND mixed teams in all competitions but the first of the year. We are planning on expanding membership further next year. As you know, it is the Year of the World Championships! A very exciting time for the teams!

2009 men's race results:

  • 10th Hong Kong Dragonboat Championship, Shatin: 6th in final of 500m; 3rd in semi-final of 200m.

  • Boracay International Dragonboat Festival: semi finals of 500m and 300m races.

  • Lamma 500: 6th in the plate final in the 500m; 5th in the 1000m mixed.

  • Green Island, Lamma: 3rd in men's competiton.

  • Discovery Bay: 8th place, but second heat was cancelled. We would have made the final and therefore the top 6, I'm sure!

  • Hong Kong Internationals, Shatin: Men 8th in plate B FINAL (1.24 seconds off 2nd place!).

Jun 15:  Charmingly Unpretentious Expat Communities in Appealingly Ramshackle Villages

Today, let me present the very best Lamma-related stories I've found recently all around the WWW. Click on the headlines to read the full stories with pictures:

1. Expat Communities  (written by a Lamma mother, photo by jaaron):

"Usually there are a few birthday parties every month and then the handful of weekly play date invitations, as well as the monthly outings to a larger event or venue off of Lamma. Don't forget the neighborhood kids that just started knocking on our door regularly.

"I know parents who can't discipline their kids, others who over discipline, some who can't stop screaming, others who are over cautious, and some who let their toddlers run around Lamma with no adult."

2. What to see on Lamma Island ( travel guide, photo by Rory Bolland):

"This 13sq km island is home to just 5000 residents and is popular with western hippies, revolutionaries and drop outs. Covered in a thick rug of jungle, the draw for tourists is the handful of relaxed villages, superb seafood restaurants and stretches of empty golden sands.

"This appealingly ramshackle village is great way to spend a few hours, either enjoying cake at an organic coffee shop or a cheap pint at the scattering of expat orientated bars. Don't expect the glitzy glamour of Central or Kowloon, the restaurants and bars here are easygoing back garden set ups, but they have a charmingly unpretentious appeal."

3. Back, with an advert  (by "an expat from the UK, now taking it easy on Lamma",
photo by LammaLite):

"First, to get some stereotypes out of the way. Yes, there are some washed up old hippies here; and yes, there are an abundance of freelance journalists and full-time environmentalists here too. But the common perception of Lamma does a great disservice to the fascinating diversity of people here.

"...pass the returning commuters (lawyers; company directors; salesmen; and, yes, the odd kung-fu or yoga instructor, or part-time teacher) as they hit the bars of Main Street and pick up their vegetables from the grocery stores or market stalls. Before too long, you'll see another side to Lamma. Subsistence fishing or farming villages abound, each one a fascinating slice of 'the old Hong Kong.'"

Jun 12:  Summer School @ Banyan House

Vivien Jones - Banyan House:

(Photos by Banyan House. Click to enlarge)

With the long, hot summer months ahead of us, many parents are looking for creative and constructive ways for their children to spend the long summer holiday.

Banyan House, the early learning centre which opened last year, is running a series of courses for both primary and kindergarten children. Based around the three themes of 'Fantasy and Fables', 'Experiencing Nature' and 'Exploring the Elements', the children will enjoy plenty of age-appropriate arts and crafts, story telling and creative writing, gardening and nature walks, and much more.

Each course runs for two weeks and parents can choose to sign up for one or more courses during July and August.

Banyan House is located in leafy Yung Shue Long Village, just off the main path and conveniently close to the village. The house is an airy, bright bungalow with a great outdoor space for outdoor toys, play and gardening.

For more details, go to or call Vivien on 9489 4487 or Catherine on 9835 3552.

June 29th - July 10th: Fantasy & Fables

Activities will include making wands and swords, baking and icing fairy cakes, making and colouring castles, story-telling, songs and fantasy play.

July 13th - 24th: Experiencing Nature

Activities will include planting seeds, modelling creatures and insects using different types of materials, leaf rubbings, and nature walks.

July 27th - August 7th:
Exploring the Elements

Activities will include baking, decorating candles, watercolour painting, creating bubbles, sand & water sculpture and play, and creative felting.

Kindergarten: Mon + Wed + Fri,
$1,200 per course.

Primary: Tue + Thu, 9.30am-11.30am,
$800 per course.


(Animated ad by L-G)

Jun 11:  Rusting Away...

Where on Lamma?

Inside the cement factory in the Lamma Quarry, machinery abandoned decades ago, opposite Sok Kwu Wan in Picnic Bay.

These are just a few recent photos from another one of my biking excursions into this bird paradise, devoid of any visitors, with a sweet water lake and island, restored to a quasi-natural state by the govt. More photos coming soon...

Jun 10:  Firefighters in Action!

Returning home from an occasional foray off-island a friend alerted me to the fire brigade in full action behind our million-$ public toilet besides The Island Bar, clearing a fallen tree from the top of the toilet building. Always on the ready with a photo/video camera along wherever I go, this wannabe amateur photojournalist sprang into instant reporting mode and took a few snapshots. Ladders, ropes and a chainsaw put to good use by almost 20 firefighters in full uniform provided some unusual entertainment for the curious crowd gathering.

If you spot anything happening and in progress around Lamma Island that might be of interest to the Lamma-zine, then give me a call at the phone number at the top of this page, anytime, 7 days and nights per week! Always ready, like a virtual firefighter, ready to follow the smoke and occasional fire of an interesting story!

Jun 9:  New Police Station

A Lands Dept Notice has popped up on the Main Street noticeboard, announcing the planned building of a new police station next year, right at the waterfront, just behind the Football Field besides the public ferry pier. This would replace the current Police HQ above Hung Shing Yeh beach:

A heated debate started up in our New police station forum, residents wondering about the need, reasons, size (4,000 sqft), cost ($14+ million) and prime waterfront location of this project. Several objections were submitted to Lands Dept. Here's an official reply:

Ms Karina KWAN, for Commissioner of Police

(responding to dragon's objection letter):

I refer to your email dated 7 June 2009 relating to your objection to the proposed new Police Station in Yung Shue Wan.

Firstly, may I provide you with some background information regarding the planned new facility. The existing Police Post (near Hung Shing Ye) is an old structure occupying a strategic hillside location that is some distance from the main residential areas of Yung Shue Wan. For this reason, a 'temporary' Reporting Centre has been located over an extended period near Yung Shue Wan pier for the convenience of residents.

Although it is not always possible to man this centre due to resource constraints, there is an emergency call button installed on the structure. For your information, Lamma Island comes under the policing responsibility of Cheung Chau Division and the only Police Station as such (where detained persons are processed and held) is located on Cheung Chau.

Due to the present post's isolated location, the Police have repeatedly sought a purpose-built facility in a better position and, for the past few years, we have secured a site opposite the football pitch / playground area you mention (which is also conveniently near to the Government helicopter landing site). Nevertheless, over the past few years, funding submissions for the construction of the new post have been unsuccessful due to other competing Government priorities (this is why the Drainage Services Department have had temporary use of the site for the past couple of years). More recently, however, the project has been given a higher priority and hopefully, construction of the new Police Post will commence in Financial Year 2010-11.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the proposed Police Post will be a fairly modest affair and is aimed primarily at providing a better service to the residents of Yung Shue Wan, including persons with disabilities. Needless to say, the new post will offer better facilities for police officers serving on the island, and the addition of female changing accommodation will provide extra flexibility with regard to the deployment of female officers. You may be interested to learn that we have also sought funding in the current financial year for an electric police vehicle to enhance coverage of the Yung Shue Wan / Pak Kok areas. Once the new post is commissioned, the old one will be returned to the Government while the Reporting Centre is likely to be destroyed.

Your concerns regarding the likely disruption and noise caused by the construction of the Police Post are noted, but hopefully such inconveniences will be mitigated by the longer-term improvement in public services not to mention aesthetic improvements to the immediate surrounding area, for which there is general community support.

Finally, I note your apparent frustration concerning the lack of English-speaking officers on Lamma Island. I regret that it will always be difficult to guarantee the on-scene availability of officers with the requisite fluency in languages other than Chinese but, generally speaking, most officers are capable of communicating in basic English.

Nevertheless, the special status of Lamma Island has been long recognized and this is why an Inspectorate Officer post is established for the island. The present Officer-in-charge of Lamma & Peng Chau is Senior Inspector Philip KWOK Chi-keung. Should you have any further queries, he may be contacted on tel. 2982 1577 or email: Alternatively, you may prefer to contact Superintendent Alasdair Watson, Deputy District Commander of Marine Port District who has oversight of Cheung Chau Division, on tel. 2555 4419 or email:

I hope the above information answers some of your concerns.

Jun 8:  Get Published!

Is there something you wanted your fellow Lammaites to know, any local topic close to your heart, a rave or a rant about anything? The Lamma-zine is YOUR place to reach a much wider audience than in our forums. Letters to the Editors, even entire stories are always most welcome and will be published if they're at least vaguely Lamma- or Lammaite-related! Email me!

In Chinese, English or bilingually, please; it can be anonymous if you prefer, with your identity protected, of course. Only minor editing will be applied and you can include digital pictures, artwork, scans, sound, even video.

Jun 5:  First Summer Visitors

The very best time of the year to photograph bugs is coming up, so get your gear ready, if you're one of the surprisingly numerous Lamma Bug Photographers. According to Andy (who's giving local work shops (only $250) on this subject), you'll need: "camera (ideally dSLR), long lens, macro lens, tripod, memory chips, reader, flash, insect repellent, and sun lotion."

I've just gifted myself a monopod, a tripod with only one leg. It's designed to do double duty as a fancy walking stick. So I can hopefully avoid future literal stumbles during my Stumbling Through the HillsTM hiking expeditions. Yes, my recent black eye, laceration and abrasion are almost OK now, thanks for asking.

For your inspiration, a few photos from Lammaite Rambo Lai's "Photos and the Days" photo blog:

Jun 4:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

It's all free to sell/trade off YOUR stuff
next Sunday, June 7, 11am-1pm @ Island Life Studio

Click posters above to enlarge, call 9286 9111 or email.

P.S. I:  We received this after-event email from the Island Life Studio.
It seems like this Lamma-zine story attracted a lot of new people to the sale!

"Thank you all for your support for our Yard and Bake Sale last Sunday!

It was an absolute success (I'd never seen so many people I've never seen before show!) so we will try it again on the first Sunday of July (05.07.09) again from 11:00-1:00 - please let me know if you'd like to set up "shop" to sell off your treasures that are taking up valuable space in your home!

We can only accommodate 6 vendors inside the studio (where the air conditioning and food is) and several others outside (depending on amount of space needed). If you're interested please submit your requests ASAP to reserve your space."

P.S. II:  Photos:

Jun 3:  Free Classifieds

Moving season, loads of people moving on, into and out of Lamma these days.

Check out our currently hyperactive and all-free Buy & Sell, Rent & Let forum to post your own classifieds with or without images (up to 5, up to $200KB each.)

Jun 2:  Further Fun in Filmland: Masks Premiere

Nick the Bookman - Official Court Correspondent - website, email:

(Photos by Jay Scott Kanes)

Further Fun in Filmland
Sat, 30/05/2009

Well, I'm back. Completely recovered from my grisly demise and ready for further adventures in Filmland. There's a serious review to write so no time for falling apart. Going to pieces. Losing my...(yes, we get it. You've milked this for enough bad witticisms and bloody comments!). For those of you living in lockdown or somewhere in the 19th Century, I'm referring to the rather excellent Lamma Zombie movie "Isle Be Damned" that's now up on YouTube. If you haven't seen it yet, do so. You'll enjoy it. Let all your mates know as well. Available in standard or HD formats (click on the HD button below the image:

Part 1 (7:23min) & Part 2 (7.28 min).

It's the evening of Saturday, the 30th of May. Dave Parker and myself are on the way to Elements (just above MTR Kowloon Station, 1 stop from ifc mall) for the premiere of Alba Rayton's Lamma-based film "Masks". It's the Hong Kong International Film Academy Graduation Screening and four films will be shown. Two talented students, Alba and Kirsten Bucholtz, will be awarded their diplomas in Digital Filmmaking at the end of the program. But, first we've got to find the Grand's near the Ice Rink, follow the signs to "Cineplex".

There's a crowd of about 50 people for the show. Mostly cast and crew and some officials. From Lamma, there's me and Dave, Bob Davies and Dick(stock) Jones. John, the lawyer, and his daughter Kathy are here along with Jay Kanes and his wife.

Lamma-Gung was meant to be here, but is in hospital instead getting examined and stitched up. Apparently, he slipped and fell while covering one of Bobsy's praiseworthy vegetative rituals (i.e. children planting trees in the Lamma Forest), scraping his forehead, blackening his right eye and lacerating his eyebrow with his heavy, long-lens dSLR camera. Anyway, it's time to enter cinema #10 (out of 12 screens) as the show's about to start.

Academy Director Richard Wong introduces Kirsten Bucholtz who gives a brief synopsis of her film "The Red Dragon Lady". It's the short story of Christine, a wife and mother of four, who seeks adventure by signing up for a film-making course. It's a way of validating her life as she and her husband appear to be drifting apart. Not much chat and contact as he's very busy at work and the kids are starting to run wild. Kirsten, who's run an art gallery in Australia since 1999, uses some stunning paintings from her gallery as links in the film. Slightly surreal pieces of balloons carrying famous landmarks up, up and away. Sort of new beginnings and fresh starts. Dave, who's a very good artist himself, is full of praise for the paintings in the film. "The Red Dragon Lady" ends with all the family growing closer and celebrating the release of Christine's film. Unfortunately, Lara Parkins, the actress who plays Christine, has missed the premiere because she's stuck in a taxi en route from the airport.

Kirsten introduces a second short claymation preview called "The Homestead". Set in Queensland in the early 1900's, it tells the incredible journey of an old farmhouse that's carried by hot air balloons around the world. Quite similar to Pixar's new movie "Up", but conceived independently. It also reminds me a little of the vast balloon (made from lacy knickers) that transports Baron Munchausen around the world and to the moon. "The Homestead" is animated and directed by Nick Gribben and should appeal to all fans of "Wallace and Gromit" or "Shaun the Sheep".

It's time for Alba to taken centre stage. She has two films in the programme. First, there's "The Birthday Party", an award winner at a recent HK Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. It's a moving story of a love triangle between a gay man, a bisexual man and his straight wife. It's a bit like "Rashomon" in a way with different perspectives and secret knowledge that the audience is privy to, but not the cast. It also leaves you wondering what the future holds for the star-crossed trio after the film is over. You care for these characters. Well worth seeing. Maybe Alba can provide more details for you.

And finally, there's "Masks". At about 50 minutes, it's the longest film of the night. It covers some of the same themes as "The Birthday Party". There's hints of the sins of the fathers being re-visited and causing generational damage and despair. There are secret passions to offset loneliness and the chance of forgiveness through responsibility. Mostly, it's set on Lamma and I've got a cameo. I remember "Dan" the lead character and I shooting a small scene together, which is mostly whittled away. I've got a brief side view and most of the screen is filled with Xena, all waggy at my feet. There's a lot of Lamma scenes which reflect "reelity" not "reality". For example, the characters live at the top of Tai Ping, walk out of their door and through the Fishermen's Village below O Tsai (near the library). Some scenes occur in the small temple below Tai Shan and "Dan" walks home that way at one point. An amusing Twilight Zone topography of Lamma.

This was a great night out. It's the first time I've been to a big screen showing since getting a free ticket to see Peter Jackson's remake of "King Kong" The seats are comfortable. The screen is big. The sound is impeccable. The audience deserves high praise for sitting rapt and wondering. Sucked into the occasion and enjoying it. NO noisy mobiles. NO screeching kids. NO puking adults making out in the back row (not that I could see anyway). All the films unfold at their own pace. There are some nice ideas that bounce and echo over all four films. Balloons are a recurring theme in both Kirsten's movies, plus "The Birthday Party". Kirsten's four children play her family along with professional actors Lara and Henry who are mum/dad. Alba's son, Simon, stars in both her films. Actress JoJo Yee has roles in both films as well. Two very natural child actors, Alex and Mikaela Cherfan are the young stars of "Masks". Their mother Lisa, is involved behind the scenes.

The music for both of Alba's films is scored and created by the same people. Apologies for not getting their names. It's difficult to write down everything in a pitch-dark theatre with the credits rushing past. Overall, the whole program reminded me of some of the top DJ's who can spin a song/tune out over several other pieces of music. Looping back for another chorus. Or hitting a brief variation in the beats. All the little ideas creating a gestalt mega-meta movie. I don't think it was an intentional idea by Kristen and Alba. Maybe, just great minds think alike.

It's coming up to about 20:30 and the show is over. Lara has just arrived and is introduced to the audience. The casts and some of the crew have taken their bows. Alba pays credit to her husband John who was the source of all funding. John briefly mentions that today (30-5-2009) is their 38th Wedding Anniversary, so many congratulations are hereby proffered. Richard has given Alba and Kirsten their diplomas. Most of the audience is staying for catch-up drinks and discussion. I've managed to chat for a moment with Lara and with Simon before legging it to get the 21:30 ferry home. The 2009 Lions are playing their first match in South Africa about now. Time to ruck and rumble...

P.S. by L-G:  Masks has just been nominated in the "Student Film International" category of the "Heart of England" International Film Festival in Tamworth, England, and will be competing with movies from Singapore, UK and South Korea, being shown on June 10. We'll keep you posted on the results!

Alba has offered to screen Masks in my home after her return from the UK in about 1 month. Email me if you'd like to be invited.

Jun 1:  A New Lamma Gravity Pocket?

I've always wondered about the truth behind stories from Senior Lammaites about the infamous Lamma Gravity Pockets. They are rumoured to appear spontaneously in unlikely locations, sucking unwary people in, making them fall over and hurt themselves. As this usually happens late at night and in the close vicinity of bars, I wasn't worried much about becoming a victim myself, till last Saturday!

to be continued...

My Wound Care Referral form commands me to attend daily wound dressings in the Lamma Clinic for my eyebrow laceration and forehead abrasion...

to be continued...

Inside Lamma's famous mini ambulance crawling through the Main Street crowds on a Saturday afternoon, my first-ever time inside an ambulance as a patient.

Read last month's stories...

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

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


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

Twice a month, the Lamma-zine Blog will be promoted via an email newsletter to all registered subscribers and forum members, currently over 3,600. Free subscriptions!

All former posts are stored in the Blog Archives, see below.

All materials and photos © 2009 Lamma-Gung. Some rights reserved.

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

About | Contact Us | Poster | Ratecard

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

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

2006: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

2007: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

2008: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

2009: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSep

Daily Pictures   

Advertiser Websites  

HK Electric
Duk Ling junk

Lamcombe Rest.
The Bull and Bear
The Waterfront
Trade Winds

B&B Seaview Rest.

Bookworm Café
Deli Lamma
The Island Bar
Kinesiology Asia
Lamma BBQ


Free Adverts