When was the last time you've
hiked or biked in South Lamma?
Come along on this little
eco-hike tomorrow morning, Sat, May 1,
organised and guided by the
GreenLammaGroup. A volunteer guide will introduce the
history and the ecology of Tung O bay. They could use a few more
We'll assemble at
Hung Shing Yeh beach at 9am,
before the holiday crowds start to arrive, for a leisurely hike
to Sok Kwu Wan. Bring water, snacks, sun protection and good
shoes! Just before Sok Kwu Wan's Tin Hau temple, we'll walk up
to the pavilion (not higher up than the windturbine, approx. 135
metres) and then down into Tung O bay (see above), the future
location of the planned, huge The Baroque development by the
I'll also try to answer your
questions, after my recent interviews with the developers,
including the tycoon behind The Baroque and several other
planned major Lamma property developments.
We'll walk along the coast in a
loop via Mo Tat Wan back to Sok Kwu Wan (see Siuyu's photo
and map) and along the Family Trail (or the much nicer Snake
Trail above it, if you like) back to Yung Shue Wan.
Some of us might stop for lunch
in The Bay in Mo Tat Wan or somewhere in Sok Kwu Wan. Contact
firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up on
our forum (Eng. -
Chin.), or simply show up at 9am tomorrow on Hung Shing
Yeh beach. The hike will take from 9am - approx. 4pm, back in
Alternatively, on the way back,
how about relaxing on Power Station Beach, meet up with your
family and friends, where the traditional, yearly
May Pole Dance will start
after 4:30pm! If you've never joined this wonderful,
typically-Lamma family event before, here are a few photos from
last year, by Lamma Artist Katie Flowers and Yours Truly:
May Pole Power! - May 1, 2009.
A little animation I made yesterday, to give
our off-island friends an idea how the brand-new digital clock looks like to
people arriving from the YSW ferry pier.
from Julia, this morning:
"Having lived in Lamma for a little over four years I've
always felt something was missing. A nagging feeling, always in
the back of my mind.
"Today, having seen the fluorescent orange glow of the
digital clock and temperature sign outside the Island Bar I feel
"What a beautiful addition to our serene, picturesque
and natural island…"
Well, that was the very first, ironic, least negative comment about this new
addition to the Yung Shue Wan skyline, before a firestorm of disgusted,
all-negative emails lit up our new forum topic,
"New Village Clock - Uglification of Lamma project continues". It
was started by Lamma Celebrity Rocky Malcolm who commented about this
new Lamma Landmark:
"It's truly, stupendously, spectacularly, and monumentally out of
character with the rest of Lamma. It's incredibly ugly.
Other Lammaites called it "stunningly awful", "eyesore extraordinaire",
"It's a monster", "a miniature version of most of the white elephant
projects", "our new landmark. A triumph of design." and an
Spy wrote: "I am deeply disappointed...
that they did not build this clock on top of the Lamma hills
instead - easy to spot from anywhere in the village, with
loud-speaker announcements every half hour - in 88 languages, a
remote-controlled alarm system (people can set their preferred
wake-up time via SMS), and weekend karaoke function!"
"You are telling me that this is a clock? Don't be
mistaken by its appearance, this is a multifunctional device, i
believe that it might be able to check your temperature as you
walk past, spray you with disinfectant, scan your ID card,
charge your Octopus card when you enter Lamma, and of course
must be good for the fung shui of the local restaurants...
and of course there must be a CCTV camera hidden inside... you
Be careful what you wish for, Spy and Laura, our local
powers-that-be might be inspired by your ideas to further
uglify, eh, beautify our rural village environment!
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE... and a
also started another fiery discussion group
"new monster clock in YSW". It's members-only only, but you're most
welcome to join their
Group.) You're encouraged to express your views to LCSD who
built this Monster Clock (new "official" Lamma-zine nickname).
Jo Wilson of the Living Lamma group emailed
am writing to complaint about the new clock tower erected at the
sitting out area on the harbour front in Yung Shue Wan.
"After months of work, we now have an unne- cessary
eyesore on the harbour front. The design of the clock is not in
keeping with the rural character of the village. The colour
scheme, poo-poo brown (as my 4 year old calls it) and baby pink
"We know that the clock was put there at the insistence of
the rural committee, but this was without consultation with the
wider community. The clock tower has also taken out some of the
few seats available to the public on the harbour front. It
causes a huge distraction in the enjoy- ment of the view when
you sit in neighbouring bars and restaurants. It flashes
"I would like to see the clock tower removed and replaced
with much needed seating."
Photo by Paul Leung Siuyu of GreenLammaGroup (Facebook).
See more photos in our forums (Eng.
Welcome back to the Lamma Ladies dragonboaters who are returning tonight from
their yearly wild'n'crazy party weekend, eh, tough Dragonboating competition in Boracay, The Philippines! Any trophies brought back, I mean besides winning
several drinking competitions? For an example of the famously creative (and
raucous) parties the organise by the Lamma Dragonboaters, see the recent
The Mad Hatter's Lamma Island Iced Tea Party fundraising party in
The Island Bar:
Party poster -- Cheshire Cat pink feather hat
left up on the Snake Path, where I saw it during my "outdoor treadmill"
constitutional early the next morning.
First photo submitted by Tina. More photos in her Facebook Photos
(only visible to her vast number of Friends):
click here. Tina writes:
"It was a blast...very well attended...sorry though can't think of
anything that was off the cuff...except we had a few men channeling their
inner Alice :)
Everyone really made an effort though to dress up, The winners of the
best costume were Tweedledum & Tweedledee (see above :-) They had
this little jingle that they would sing to sell the Jell-O shots, sold out in
no time... Cheers!"
Another Harry masterpiece, auctioned off at $3,400+ for the
fundraiser, showing the current Mad Hatter's Tea Party of international
Captain Dawn wrote recently:
"Last weekend was a great success because
both our mixed and ladies team qualified for the World
Championships in Macau at the end of July. We will now take a
full mixed and women's crew to Macau to compete in 200m, 500m
and 2k distances and we've still got quite a lot
(understatement) of boat training as well as land training to
get through! Our goal for the weekend was to get as many
paddlers on the water as possible to get race experience, so all
of our new paddlers raced all weekend also. Our game plan wasn't
necessarily to win, but to get race experience. It all worked
out perfectly - we qualified and the whole team raced! Doesn't
get much better than that!
Men's team was a boat of COMPLETE new
paddlers and we have nothing but praise for the 100% effort they
put into paddling and trying to get through to the next round.
They really battled for a place in true dragon boat spirit and
even got through to the semi's, but unfortunately the
competition for the men's races was intense (firemen,
fishermen's teams, HK Team as well as others) and they didn't
qualify for Macau. We expect them to go from strength to
strength in the coming weeks though and do much better at local
races as they get stronger. It's all good!
Our next races are:
6th May - Tin Hau Festival on Lamma
supporting the fishermen, YSW
9th May @ Deep Water Bay (home of Hong Kong Island Paddle
16th May - our very own Lamma 500 @ Power Station beach
16th June - Tuen Ng Day defending our crown at Disco Bay
4th July - Sai Kung small boat races
27th-1st August - Macau World Championships
Team is all fired-up and 100% re-energised
about getting in the boat! Just as well... its going to be a
tough few months of training!"
OK, ladies, could we see some Boracay photos now, pleeeease? ;-)
of all Lamma visitors (according to travel blogs and photo galleries all
over the internet) seem to hike our famous Family Trail, 1.5 hours of
a pleasant, easy coastal stroll with great views between Yung Shue Wan and
Sok Kwu Wan. Here's one of the best and most amusing descriptions I've read
so far, describing our Family Trail like this:
"This "hike" is essentially an hour-and-a-half strolling banquet from the
village of Sok Kwu Wan to the village of Yung Shue Wan, which is interrupted
only briefly by walk up a mountain."
With Pork Throat - Bumbling through Hong Kong: My kind of hike
The blog story concludes, after the customary and unavoidable seafood feast:
"Then it's time to waddle to the ferry and pass out on the way home. It
feels so good to get exercise, doesn't it?"
3 Village Vehicles confiscated today in a
joint police operation in YSW,
2 of them with exactly the same license plate number!
For more details, my Lamma Police Chief interview and eyewitness photos of
the VV crackdown and its aftermath,
Photos by Big Dave Spicer below, the offending VVs deported from the
More photos... (click for
Dave's new website.)
With Facebook being so very popular amongst Lammaites to keep in touch
mostly with their real-life friends, it's surprising that not a single local
restaurant or business has been using this social
media to keep in touch
with their customers till quite recently.
Yung Shue Wan's ever-popular Bookworm Café has just joined up and Ken
the Bookworm has
put up a pretty comprehensive Facebook presence with the complete, recently
redesigned menu, info, links, reviews and even an already pretty active Wall
to leave messages. Check it out by clicking below and add yourself to the
fast-growing number of fans, 163 so far, who Like this group.
Let's hope more local businesses and restaurants follow this great example
in social networking soon. Click on the Bookworm Cafe banner ad on the left
side of this page to find their public Facebook group.
Should the Lamma-zine run a Facebook Group, I wonder? I've considered the
pros and cons for quite a while now; but what do YOU think?
There's a great, entertaining and illustrated Bookworm review on this food blog below ("Nerd
alert @ Bookworm"):
They've also just been selected as one of only TWO Lamma restaurants
reviewed in HK Magazine's
yearly HK Restaurant Guide (see the very positive review on the right).
The other one?
The Bay in Mo Tat
Wan, half an hour from Sok Kwu Wan.
Click on any picture for the
full story & a detailed photo gallery.
For many more Lamma-zine stories about Chow Yun-fat,
The SCM Post asked for one of my photos (see right) and made a great little
story out of it, quoting extensively from my
Fat-Gor story. Alex Lo writes in
his regular LoDown column:
"...we have been scooped by the Lamma-zine - lamma.com.hk - the tiny
internet island magazine."
Thank you, Alex! See story, SCMP, Sat, Apr 24 2010, page C2:
E-zine catches "Laudable Lamma Luminary"
in humble greening role
An SCMP freelance writer contacted me recently with the
property-related questions below, for an article in their Premier
Property supplement magazine, to be published around mid-May. I'm not owning any
Lamma property and can't afford to buy any, so I was initially
reluctant to answer the questions. I asked our forum members
and some property agents for feedback, but as only one person
plus the Lammarina developers have come forward so far to answer
the questions, I've taken the time to reply myself as well, see
My email to the SCMP freelance reporter:
"Let me add the perspective of a simple tenant of 8+ years on
Lamma to your story. I've been publishing over 2,000
Lamma-related stories in this time, dozens of them
property classifieds section on my website Lamma.com.hk
(rent & let, buy & sell) is still the only regular online place
to find Lamma property. Not a single one of the local estate
agents lists any available properties on the Internet and
HK-wide property listing sites do not cover Lamma at all. You
can only find Lamma property online via the rare, occasional
single ad placed by a private landlord in AsiaXpat, GeoExpat,
- What new or interesting residential property
developments are there on Lamma Island?
- Why are people interested in living in Lamma? Is it a
What kinds of returns can people expect?
- Are most buyers interested in Lamma for investment, a
summer/weekend home or for a primary residence?
Is most of the interest in Lamma mainly from Westerners or
For the other 5 questions and all
of my DETAILED replies, plus posting your own views and opinions, click
Lamma property story in SCMP
WARNINGS before moving to Lamma Island:
For anybody considering to move to Lamma, they'll need to
Lamma's all rural villages, not a single "luxury flat" available
anywhere on Lamma. Nothing is higher than 3 floors, (almost)
nothing larger than
700sqft on a single floor and not a single swimming pool, gym,
building security, management fees or clubhouse anywhere on the island!
There's Broadband Internet on most of the island, but no Cable
TV, just ATV and TVB, only a handful of sports-only NOW TV
channels. For more than basic local analogue or digital TV you'll need to
get your own TV satellite dish installed.
There are currently major sewage works in progress all over
Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan, plus quite a number of
standard-size Village Houses being built. This means that almost
every path will be ripped open, often several times, for years
to come, a major and noisy inconvenience. There are no supermarkets like Wellcome or Park'n'Shop
at all, no chain stores
like 7-11, no fast food of any kind, no "entertainment
options" like cinemas, shows and karaoke!
There are no ferries at all after 12:30am from Central; only
a single doctor on duty on weekdays only from 9-4:30pm (Sat
9-1pm, emergency ambulances and helicopters available). There's
also NO private or public traffic at all, no taxi, buses or MTR;
the only way for people of getting anywhere is on foot or by
bike. But you can hire open-air, single-driver carts, VVs, to
transport goods only.
If all of the above doesn't really faze or worry you, then you might
be the kind of person who might enjoy living here, maybe even
love it like us! Welcome to the Lamma Island community! Check out
for all you ever wanted to know about our favourite place, our
Alba the Filmmaker has just asked me to supply
10 photos for a documentary about Lamma she's been working
on. It'll be added as an Extra Feature to a commercial DVD
release of two of her movies, Masks and The Birthday
Party, to be produced and distributed
soon. You might have seen Alba these last few months shooting
video all over the place and at many local events.
So which of my
tens of thousands of Lamma photos did I choose? Going through our
Lamma Photo of the Day archive of the last 4 years, only
selecting the occasional photos I've contributed myself, these are what
I came up with: 21 photos to let Alba choose her 10 favourites
for her DVD. Most of these are not the usual, touristy, "pretty"
pictures - I've got those, too - but show some of the many
reasons why I personally still love living here.
All have been published in Lamma-zine stories over the last
almost 8 years. If you need captions, email me.
Hopefully, they showcase a small slice of the amazing variety
and diversity of our home island's nature, culture, community
(Click to enlarge. All photos © Lamma-Gung, some
rights reserved under a
Creative Commons licence.)
How about showing all of us YOUR best Lamma
photos, if it's just 1, 10 or even a 100?
Email me your files, web links and galleries, Flickr,
Facebook photos, etc!
Andy Maluche -
Official Court Photographer,
Official Chronicler & Lensman of the Voyage of the
(We haven't seen
Lammaite Andy in any Lamma bars for a while now, so
we've been wondering where he's been hiding recently?
Well, Andy's been escaping our grey, foggy and
ultra-humid weather these past few weeks, sailing on
another one of his major adventures.)
pictures, captions by Andy, click to enlarge.
Official Balangay story.)
Kaya Ng Pinoy
When you are sailing on a replica of a
2,000 year old wooden boat, fighting towering waves the
size of angry termite hills, hull- crushing coral reefs
and winds that could blow a lesser man straight off the
foredeck, you learn a few things about yourself, your
fellow people and the universe in general. One lesson
stands out from all the others. Never, ever piss against
the wind. It's just not fair to your fellow crew.
It's my job to take pictures of the
ships, the villages and towns we visit, and the crew, of
course. That is why it is important for me to neither
piss them off nor on them. It's a hard job. You can take
only so many pictures of the ships themselves. I think I
covered every angle, including from below.
Shooting the crew is also getting more difficult. The
blazing sun turns everybody into a paler shade of a
black hole and even my strongest flash can't make them
visible well anymore on my photographs.
Being on a trip like the "Journey of the
Balangay" is pretty cool. It certainly works beating off
in the office.
These days when people ask me what I do, I tell them
that I sail. "Oh, really?" they usually ask. That
gives me a chance to show off my new iPhone and my
pictures of the Balangays. There are two of them - two
Balangays. I have many more pictures....
People usually are interested in two
Without exception the first question is: "How do you
make poo poo and wee wee (Filipino for relieving your
bowels and bladder) when you are out at sea?" I
don't want to talk about that....
The next question is: "What's the
story with all of you guys on a small wooden boat, day
after lonely day cruising on the vast lonely ocean?"
To this I can only say this.
Yes, the boat I am sailing on is called a Balangay. And
yes, she was built in Barangay Bading, Butuan. I know
what you are thinking. Bading, Balangay, a boatful of
young, sun- tanned and muscular men.... But no, I have
to disappoint you. There is almost no gay stuff
happening on board, at least not sexually.
Sailing the high seas to spread historic
pride is truly a historic event. Funny, when I now think
about it. I didn't like history in school. My history
teacher was ugly, dull and smelled of fish. Look at me
now, here I am, making history!
But it's not all fun and mutual
grooming. There are some pretty adventurous moments.
Our dingy capsized, people were getting shot not far
from where we camped and one small village we anchored
in had only warm beer. One particular encounter with
some Muslim rebels made a lifelong dream of mine come
true. I had that dream since I was a 13-year- old
schoolboy... I was finally being chased by MILFs.
Spending days and weeks confined on a
small wooden boat moves you out of your comfort zone.
Your days are filled with hundreds of small instances
that chew away on your personal space. It's a little bit
like being in the army, but less gay.
chose to wear a uniform, my cow costume. We fondly call
it "Dugong", the sea cow. It gives me comfort. Whenever
I need some privacy I hide behind the rudder playing
with my udder. It is very relaxing.
Ok, if you really need to know:
How do we do make poo poo and wee wee? It is actually
quite simple. We have a contraption resembling a
children's swing. You sit on it and then we drag you
behind the boat. There is no time for lengthy magazine
reading, though. You want to be done before a large tuna
or sailfish mistakes your moo moo (Filipino for
Snidlewutz) for bait and, even more importantly, before
the rest of the crew had a chance to dig out their own
Everybody chips in to push the Balangay into the water
during the launch. Team leader Art Valdez is directing
the tug boat. Tribal people from the Banowaon, Manobo
and Talaandig tribes are helping out as well.
The Diwata in font of Camiguin.
The rudderman in traditional clothes.
Crewmen are supporting the rudder against the current.
Sunset over Binoni.
P.S. from Andy: "I will keep you posted over the
next 6 months, especially when we are coming near Lamma Island. I am trying
to convince them that we should anchor in YSW."
My expensive Lululemon yoga/exercise mat above hasn't been
getting any action since my severe double vision problem started 5 months
ago, bringing all my exercise classes to a screeching halt. As my problem (6th
Cranial Nerve Palsy, still no cause, cure or treatment found) has mostly
resolved all by itself by now, I thought it best to continue some fitness
classes. I've been looking around for some affordable options, with not much
luck initially! It's expensive to get fit! Finally, I found a FREE (Hooray!) class in the forum of this website!
So I had my first yoga class this year with Edwina in her Tai Peng flat
on Sat noon a few weeks ago. There were supposed to be several people
having signed up via our forum, but
as this was happening on Lamma it was not surprising that some pulled out
at the last minute or didn't show up at all. So I enjoyed a completely private
class of Hatha yoga and a long, pleasant chat on the balcony with a new
acquaintance and weekend-Lammaite, Edwina from
Demonstrating to me painfully how much out of shape my muscles
really are, after 5
months of regular cardio ONLY, my abdominal (stomach) muscles have been hurting for several
days afterwards. Ouch! Big Ouch!
Contact Edwina if you want to join in these Sat noon
"almost free", just donate into a box what you think is appropriate:
Sat Yoga in Tai Peng
The surprisingly wide variety of events happening on Lamma
and all over HK performed or organised by Lammaites is always great to see
and I love to promote them on this website.
about your event(s) - poster, photos, web page(s), website, Facebook link,
whatever you have available!
Check out our daily updated
Lamma Events Calendar
and support them by enjoying some of these upcoming events:
Gina Meana, from the "Lovely Lamma Dragons" writes:
"In keeping with our standards of mad dress, idiotic games
and alcoholic haziness, the Lamma Dragons are hosting their annual
fundraiser next Saturday, April 17th at the Island Bar. The party starts at
7:30pm and ends whenever the staff kicks you into the street with your
makeup running down your face and your jaw dragging across the pavement.
"As ever – it is all in the
name of athletic prowess!
"This year's theme is a Mad
Hatter's Lamma (Island) Iced Tea Party. Come as Alice! Come as
the White Rabbit! Come as a creepy old man who wrote stories for
little girls (actually, please don't – we will call the police,
and shame on you for adding modern controversy to an innocent
children's story!), or come as the Cheshire Cat or the March
"And there will be games and
prizes and another fantastic cartoon from Harry (yay Harry!).
See the poster for details on the first prize – others prizes
include meals, beverages, salon visits, fitness stuff, odds and
ends, and dancing girls waving "jazz fingers" in your face as
they can-can past you on the street (not really a prize, but a
"However you dress, and
whatever you drink: come in a great mood, with an open heart and
"Cheers – and come for an
Tea Party, April 17!"
Tigger - Lammaite &
frequent forum contributor, quoting from her Lamment
(Lamma Lament) in our
I miss the Lamcombe
I haven't actually been to
the new one yet, so I can't comment on the food.
However, for me personally, visiting the
Lamcombe wasn't necessarily for the food. Sometimes it
was great, sometimes excellent, and sometimes a 'hit and
miss' affair. But prices were reasonable and the view
was fantastic and the service was always great
(sometimes slow but great), IMHO. Regulars were greeted
by name and always with a smile.
I'm sure a lot of people who frequented
there agree with me.
It's a bit like living on Lamma. I don't
live here for the 'amazing accommodation' as, quite
frankly, I don't think there is any. The people, the
hippies, the eccentrics, the obnoxious ones, the
tourists that can drive us insane with gridlock on the
paths, the animals, the nature, the frogs, the snakes,
the different nationalities and cultures, the Chinese
culture and festivals, and the groups of all different
nationalities that try and make Lamma a better place....
This is why I like Lamma and this is why I enjoyed the
Lamcombe. It was part of the Lamma experience for me.
It wasn't just the food for me...... it
was sometimes turning up at 2.30 in the afternoon, just
as they were closing for lunch and asking for my
favourite take-away dish. With a sigh and a laugh they
would say OK, set me up a table, bowls, utensils,
take-away boxes and an ice bucket with a beer inside,
and to pay next time... and I would spend the afternoon
enjoying the peace and the view. They knew if it was a
sunny day, I would want to stay, even if there were no
staff. There was a trust there too, which was nice.
Or turning up late at night for last
orders and being invited to join the 'family' at the big
table in the 'front of the shop' room, where everyone/
staff/ family/ guests would congregate.
Yes, I'm rambling.
To me the Lamcombe was more than just a
restaurant, it was a 'part of the community' where as a
'Westerner' I felt incredibly welcome all of the time.
It wasn't just somewhere to 'eat good seafood'.
For me it's like the end of an era.
our recent Easter Monday experience of climbing Mt Stenhouse in dense fog,
I've developed a kind of affection for hiking in the fog. During HK's spring season with up to 100% humidity, our flats
are often turning into veritable paradises for mould and mildew growing on ceilings and
walls, even "decorating" the outside of a pair of my shoes recently. The
near-100% humidity is condensing on windows, fogging them up and making
Village House stairs wet and slippery.
During one of my frequent morning constitutionals of fast
uphill hiking before 7am, it felt like ascending into dense clouds, pulling
a veil over the view, the trees, reducing the visibility to just a few
metres. For example, see this photo, taken after my usual 12-minute fast
hike from Back Street to the pavilion above Lamma Winds. Sitting in this
pavilion in the clouds, quietly, peacefully, all alone but not lonely,
shrouded by dense mist, meditating for a few minutes, what a great way to
start a busy day. The sheer solemn solitude of such an early-morning
fog-hike is so appealing, especially before a hectic, busy day on HK Island.
Try it someday soon!
and mentally refreshed, I'm descending from Lamma Winds via varying routes
back to YSW, listening intently to the muffled, intriguing noises of nature
all around me. It sounds like it's raining, but it's not, as the sound of
raindrops can only be heard when passing underneath trees. Water droplets
condense out of the fog on the leaves and slowly grow and accumulate,
getting heavier till they roll off their leaf and hit the leaves below,
sounding like rain falling from the clouds. Amazing!
The wet air is full of musty smells, withering plants,
blooming flowers, early birds, the mist seems to amplify the intensity of
smells. There's rustling of leaves, bird calls, a wealth of unidentifiable
sounds engulfing me.
But all this humidity makes even this mild cardio workout
very sweaty. I need a shower and change of clothes after returning home via
Tai Peng Village to make breakfast for Lamma-Por and watching the 7:30am NBC
Nightly News, returning my mind to the craziness of the modern world.
An RTHK Radio 3 live discussion about
The Baroque, the planned marina/ clubhouse/spa hotel/residential development in
South Lamma's Tung O Wan, featuring Dr Andy from WWF, Laura
Ruggeri from Living Lamma and Yours Truly. They couldn't get anybody
from the developer's side, King Wong co. to participate in the live radio
discussion. This was a follow-up on stories on radio, TV, newspapers in
English and Chinese, that
"Lamma Beach project fails to win approval" on March 24. Click below
to listen to the archived discussion:
2010-03-25: Lamma Development Plans
Dan emailed me afterwards: "The team from Lamma
sounded well informed, rational in their approach and yet
passionate in their beliefs."
Lammaite Alan emailed Backchat, read out on the air:
"Lamma may need development, but this proposed development
is not the right way.
The same company has been building a small development, of a
dozen houses, for more than 10 years near Yung Shue Wan with no
sign of it being completed.
So aside from anything else, this company has shown no capacity
to carry through even a small scheme, let alone the huge one
proposed for South Lamma.
As for the "6 star hotel", sailing marina, etc, if you believe
that will happen, you probably believed that Cyberport was going
to be the next Silicon Valley and that Discovery Bay is a
Like them, it's just an excuse to get cheap land and build
Except this is completely non-viable commercially.
Remember Lantau's Sea Ranch?"
Dr Nancy the Frog Lady emailed Backchat as well:
"I just learned that you will be having a discussion today
on the proposed development of a marina and residential area on
Lamma. I am a resident of Lamma Island and a scientist employed
by one of the local universities. I would like to highlight a
few unique aspects of the ecology of Lamma Island that may add
to your discussion. There are at least four species/communities
that are ecologically unique or important on Lamma and in the
marine waters surrounding the island:
Romer's tree frogs were first discovered on Lamma
and there are many important breeding sites on the south end of
island. South Lamma, in the area of the proposed residential
area, contains some good forests that are probably habitat for
Romer's tree frog.
As sites are being destroyed on the north end of the
island from ongoing development and dumping of construction
waste, it becomes even more important that we protect existing
sites on the south end of the island.
Sham Wan Beach on the south side of Lamma Island is the
only remaining breeding site in Hong Kong of the green sea
turtle. The green sea turtle already has a myriad of
problems in the region. If we ever want to have a population
breeding on Sham Wan again, a water sports marina will not help.
The waters off of SW Lamma are an important calving ground
and feeding area for the finless porpoise. Water sports,
and particularly motorized sports, would be detrimental to
finless porpoise populations as they are sensitive to human
disturbance and calves may have difficulty avoiding boats and
While hard and soft corals occur in other parts of
HK, Lamma has some important populations. I hope you will
consider these points."
The passionate debate in our Environment, Politics & Development forum is
still raging and an on-going hot topic, including me playing Devil's
Advocate to balance the pretty one-sided discussion so far:
The Baroque on Lamma
HK Electric has been announcing their 2010 Smart Power Campaign, promoting a
"low carbon lifestyle" to primary school pupils by
launching an "Electric
Vehicle Decoration Competition" for their newly purchased ten "cutie
electric vehicles". Pupils also demonstrated "a simple way in leading
a low carbon lifestyle by wrapping vegetables with waterweeds and
Yes, HK Electric's media releases are never dull, always worth a closer
HK Electric has purchased 10 EVs for
operation purpose. Winning entries of the EV Decoration Competition may be
used to decorate some of its fleet.
Managing Director, Mr. Tso Kai-sum and Chairman of
Legislative Council's Panel on Economic Development, the Hon. Jeffrey Lam
Kin-fung ride on a cutie electric
vehicle and kick off an electric vehicle decoration competition together
with students from C & W District St. Anthony's School.
Students from Buddhist Lim Kim Tian Memorial Primary School demonstrate a
simple way in leading a low carbon lifestyle by wrapping vegetables with
waterweeds and newspapers.
HK Electric Promotes Low Carbon Lifestyle
with EV Decoration Competition [8
Re: Lamma specifically, the media release above contains a small
announcement that the Power Station will get a solar power generation
system! It is estimated to generate a bit less electricity than Lamma Winds
(900 MWh and 750 tonnes CO2 per year, compared to the solar power system's
rough estimate of 620 MWh of electricity and 520 tonnes of CO2 saved, see
Infocast News: "The solar-power electricity generation system to be
installed at HK Electric's power plant on the Lamma Island is
expected to generate 620 kWh electricity each year, thereby reducing carbon
dioxide emission by 520 tonnes each year, Tso Kai-sum, managing director of
the company, said today.
When completed in mid-2010, the system will become
the largest solar-energy generation facility in Hong Kong, he said."
This renewable energy news generated instant interest and (solar-)heated
discussion in our forums, of course:
solar power plant on lamma?
visitors have been flooding in and out of Yung Shue Wan in their thousands
during this long 5-day Easter weekend. Almost all of them used the services
of our HKKF ferries who put on dozens of extra ferries to cope with the huge
demands (and profits) these days.
But a few lucky ones used their own private transportation, like a Chinese
couple who was picked up from the very same public ferry pier today
afternoon by their own yacht with several white-clad crew members.
Yes, that's a jet ski AND a pleasure boat at the back of "Easy Dozen", a
most suitable ship name for an Easter weekend outing. Or does it refers to
the Easy Dozens of millions a yacht like this costs to buy and maintain? Are
these the kind of future buyers that the Lammarina and the planned The
Baroque luxury housing developments will try to attract to move to our
island? Soon we might see more luxury yachts like this?
Jay Scott Kanes -
Official Court Chief Correspondent -
(Pictures & captions by Jay)
Stenhouse in the Fog
climbers together scaled the 353-metre Mount Stenhouse,
Lamma's highest peak, on April 5. But they missed
the anticipated reward of magnificent views across much
of Hong Kong.
clear visibility at sea level, the scenery up high had
vanished behind thick white cloud shrouding the slopes.
Anything or anyone more than a few metres away turned
climbers (four people, including me, and four dogs, with
expedition members from Switzerland, Britain, Canada,
Thailand and Hong Kong) scrambled upwards, grunting at
times, lashed by branches, unable to see the summit, nor
much of the trail behind. They struggled even to keep
each other in sight.
before, I'd climbed Stenhouse. This time, the thick,
damp whiteness surrounding us beyond whatever few rocks
we stood on made the experience almost surreal.
climbers included Lamma-Gung, Kalaya and
Richard Moore, my dog Gail, the Moores'
canines Kiekie and Winnie, and the nomadic
mutt, Bianchino, who met us on the trail and led
the way. The expedition started in Yung Shue Wan at 7:30
a.m. Seven hours later, the climbers returned, weary but
somewhat satisfied, despite seeing little more than
rocks underfoot and white mist everywhere else.
disoriented in the fog, the climbers often recognized
just two directions: "up" and "down". Once, they veered
wrong and the trail vanished from underfoot.
a wrong turn," said one human.
backtrack," said another.
find the trail again, we can follow it to where we went
wrong," reasoned another.
turned and tried to push back through the surrounding
thick bushes, moving just a few steps. "No, this isn't
the way we came."
plodded in another direction. "Still not the way," they
now?" They tried to peer through the fog, sensing how
easily people can get hopelessly lost.
thought to look at the dogs, huddled together watching
the humans, at exactly the spot to return to the trail.
"Hey, they know the way. Follow them."
polite to comment, the dogs stayed silent.
on course, the climbers soon reached the summit. There,
they celebrated with a mini-feast of cake and cookies.
descent proved equally daunting. Unable to see much, the
climbers adopted a simple strategy: "just keep going
down". Sometimes the smallest dog, 10-year-old Winnie,
needed extra encouragement, even a lift, to conquer
rocks bigger than she reckoned her short legs could
climbers returned close to sea level, the fog vanished
from around them. So did the hours of tranquility.
Ching Ming holiday, hordes of city people had swarmed in
to tidy gravesites on the "foothills" near Sok Kwu Wan.
The sight of one man severing branches off an
overhanging tree angered Lamma-Gung: "He's not allowed
to do that!"
fearful holiday visitors flinched, gasped or hid behind
friends at the sight of the dogs. Near a landmark
pagoda, a pre-teen boy noticed the dogs and leaped off
the path into a jumble of hillside bushes. Only good
luck saved him from a much longer fall. His antics
triggered scolding from his adult escorts.
crowded footpaths and holiday commotion made some of the
climbers wish they'd stayed up higher – even if that
meant clinging to the tricky slopes in near-zero
How foggy is it? Is that Bianchino, or a Sasquatch?
Canine climbers plan the next move.
After troubles on the trail, short-legged Winnie (left)
enjoys a hug.
Who's that stupid guy up there on the slippery ledge?
Time to descend:
down into the unseen.
City people swarm the Sok Kwu Wan 'foothills' for the
Ching Ming holiday.
"Follow me dogs, I know the way!"
Intrepid Expedition Leader, Richard
(Notice the amazing, panoramic view from close to the top of Mt Stenhouse.)
The final destination, the Trig Point pillar,
353 metres, highest point of Lamma.
Kiekie is not impressed, pursuing more important interests, like digging.
P.S. by L-G: Adding a few
comments and pictures to Jay's account above:
On the way from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan by mountainbike,
Fred my Personal Trainer's home while he was lounging on his balcony. I
shouted out to him about our plans for the day. He wrote this great little
Lamma-zine story last
Jun 19: "I'm climbing Mt. Stenhouse tomorrow", quoting my remark to
him when signing up for personal training with him, one day before my first
ascent. He was teasing my former, severe lack of fitness so much in his
story, so I couldn't resist telling him about my SECOND ascent today.
forgot to mention that the evacuation helicopter he was supposed to arrange
to meet us at the top failed to show up at all! Maybe due to the fog?
I won the Amazing Race Lamma, being the first one to
arrive at the final pitstop, the Trig Point atop Mt Stenhouse, but I'm still
waiting for the US$1 million prize!
One or even two hiking poles are highly recommended,
basically giving you an additional leg for stability and support on the
steeper slopes. Mine also doubles as a monopod for my camera, very
convenient for any avid nature photographers.
Last time up here, on Obama's Inauguration Day, I was
bringing along a HOPE poster. How times have changed in just a short
year.... This time, just a little Kumquat I picked up on the way up and
added to the Trig Point.
got a few souvenirs from our mountain climb, eh, holiday hike; some
scratches, abrasions and bruises in inconvenient places (it only hurts when
I sit down). I was attempting a tricky rapid-descent manoeuver, by rolling
down the slope sideways (involuntarily) over some brushes and boulders. This
small bruises to my body (and ego) also make typing right now a bit of a
challenge with my bandaged right thumb and fingers.
Mountain rescue of a short-legged canine.
I also promise to never, never, ever again try to ride my
bike on the Family Trail on a holiday afternoon, Easter Monday & Ching
Ming on the same day! It was almost as congested as Main Street, swarms
of hundreds and hundreds of visitors, forcing me to push the bike (slowly)
much of the way! Returning from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan was a much
worse and frustrating ordeal than ascending Mt Stenhouse, like road rage in
Afterwards, I met up with a worried and relieved Lamma-Por in
the just opened Beer Garden for a fine late lunch (see below right;
half of this was my takeaway breakfast the next morning). Many thanks to my
seven great human and canine companions!
hope to complete this little endurance test about once a year, testing my
levels of fitness & health (& stupidity). I've also just heard from my
friend Big Dave Spicer about his longtime ambition to climb Mt
Stenhouse himself someday. Please encourage him to do so soon! ;-)
By the way, for some clear views from the top, despite the
fog this time, check out Jay's fun story of our ascent last year:
Jan 24, 2009: Cunning Canines Guide Lamma-Gung to New High
Cookie from Lalamama, the new café & bakery (formerly Green Cottage.)
about visiting Power Station Beach today, Easter Sunday? Besides
meeting your friends' dogs, as usual, there are also several very unusual
activities going on down there today:
Sunday Worship & Baptism by the new Canaan Church @ 10:30 and the
Easter Egg Beach Hunt 2-6pm. And
is doing some children-related fun event in the afternoon, tbc.
Beer Garden and
Lamcombe Rest. (new staff, renovated, run now by the landlords) have
reopened, just in time for the 5-day holiday.
To complete a great Easter Sunday on Lamma, Steve Cray will be
playing live and unplugged in
Diesel's @ 7:30, a repeat performance from his
'A Sort of Serious Rehearsal' on Mar 11 in the same highly popular
P.S. First Easter Sunday pictures are now coming in from L-G
the roving wannabe photojournalist:
The first-ever (?) baptism on Power Station beach (by the new
Canaan Church on Back Street). More photos in progress...
Easter Egg Beach Hunt, organised by the
Church of Christ in China.
Bike Mike - Official
Court Foreign Correspondent
pictures by Bike Mike, Andy M, Dan Peterson, bbChris and
Breaking News! In keeping
with Lamma-zine's cutting edge reportage, we are the
first to break the story of Lamma's
Island Bar being sold to Australian wine baron,
Brad Tarr, of
Thirsty Horse Premium Wines. Ever the
entrepreneur, Tarr's latest acquisition will (in Tarr's
own words) "provide a new vehicle for the marketing
fine Australian vintages".
In keeping with Tarr's
"Let's try something new!" credo, The Island Bar
will be re-branded "Monty's Burlesque". "Any
comparison to The Full Monty is entirely
intentional", said Tarr. "Monty's Burlesque will
offer mature entertainment, catering to those who
appreciate the skill and artistic talent of male
Lamma on Lo So Shing beach
Tarr did not need to look
far to recruit his troop of entertainers who will be
debuting on Monty's stage. Headlining Monty's will be
Brad Tarr himself,
promising to reveal what every Australian man carries
"down under". Lamma's own
Mr DickStock will join
the cast, bringing new meaning to his DickStock moniker.
"Monty's Review will
indeed be international", said Tarr. "In keeping
with Lamma's international community we will feature
entertainment from all over the world." Joining
Australian Tarr and American Mr DickStock will be
well-known man-about-town and Scot,
Gavin, who promises to
show all what a Scotsman really has beneath his kilt.
Nick the Book
will dance in tandem with Lamma artist,
(England) (see right). Nick's stage name will be
Nick the P...k, in keeping with this new art form.
Bobsy (Lebanon/UK), Lamma's Super
Environmentalist, will take to the stage as Mr Greenie,
wearing an entirely eco-friendly costume of palm leaves
and vines which were culled from Bobsy's Gaia Valley
Island Bar icon and
permanent fixture Rajen
will act as a consultant choreographer for the new
incarnation of the Island Bar, having demonstrated an
endearing tendency toward exhibitionism at times in the
promises to "heat things up with more than the spicy
Madras Curry which has tantalized
The Waterfront Restaurant diners in recent
months." Asian Football Professional,
Sham, will appear on
stage, promising fans a novel "ball routine", one that
is rarely seen on any football pitch, all choreographed
to a Reggae beat.
On that topic,
Rocky Malcolm, famous
for his beach rock piles, will display his latest "hard
is seen frequently astride his wind surfer off Power
Station Beach. Paul will strut Monty's stage
demonstrating "a different technique at handling
one's mast". Lamma Dragon
Paul, often found steering an OC 6 will give
new meaning to the nautical term Cox'n.
Rounding out Monty's
star-studded cast, Lamma-zine's
Bike Mike will pedal,
eh, peddle his ass to Monty's centre stage, followed by
our very own Lamma-Gung,
showing off his new, lighter and buff bod, wearing
nothing but socks and sandals.
As with any commercial
venture, Monty's has generated new business on Lamma.
Tigra Da Lua shop will now carry a line of
"pasties" which many of Monty's line-up will wear. Lamma
fashion photographer, Josh,
will produce a
2011 calendar, Men of Lamma, the profits from which
will be equally split between Lamma's Outriggers,
Dragons and Animals Asia.
is ecstatic, "The Lamma Bare will contribute
to the preservation of Asia's bears."
Monty's Burlesque, Lamma's
newest hot spot will re-open today, April 1st, late at
Is that a
stripper's pole you're holding, Wine Baron Tarr?
chest-shaving for charity in Island Bar, 2005
the Lamma Posse, from an HK Magazine interview
P.S. from Bike Mike:
"I went to view Lamma-zine's page today. You made a silk purse out of my
sow's ear of a story. And the photos from your archives! Wonderful!"
Let the Lamma-zine make a silk purse out of YOUR