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2012:  1  2  3  4  5

Jan 31:  Get Fit, Meet New People & Enjoy Racing

Claudia writes:

"It barely seems warm enough, but it's almost time to start the new Dragonboat season again. We are looking for NEW paddlers for both the men's and women's teams. It's a great opportunity to try out a popular Asian sport, get fit, meet new people and enjoy racing in great venues around HK.

Anyone interested can turn up on Saturday, Feb 12, from 4-7pm outside The Island Bar and meet our captains, or even try out paddling on the day.

To find out more they can contact Elizabeth at  or Vicky on

...and Lamma-Gung - I heard you are doing Donna's Boostcamp, so isn't it about time you tried Dragonboating too?"

Well, umm, err, I've never actually sat inside a Dragonboat before, not even fitting into one in my former life. But I've been writing about Dragonboating for almost 9 years now, always as an outsider only.

Maybe I should take Claudia up on her offer and become an insider myself?
What do YOU think?

Jan 30:  10-Degree Boostcamping

While you were probably sleeping in late this Sunday morning, 8am, these four fit & tough Lovely Lamma Ladies (plus wimpy L-G) were gritting our teeth slow-jogging up to Lamma Winds to work out under Donna the Herbalicious's (2nd from right) tough-but-fun instructions. Even 10 degrees and a stiff breeze couldn't keep us away from our Boostcamp session! We were feeling toasty within minutes of lunging, planking, squatting, jumping, stretching, air-biking and push-upping.

After jogging down the hill back home, I fried some Lunar New Year turnip cakes for Lamma-Por who still steadfastly refuses to join our workouts and who still thinks I must be "chee seen" exercising outdoors on such a cold Sunday morning. She might be right, but I can't resist the great & cheerful company and it's definitely a lot more fun than sweating by myself indoors in the gym....

How about joining us Tue & Thu evenings and/or Sunday mornings? (Website)

Jan 29:  A Day in the Life of L-G

Some readers might be wondering what I'm up to every day, seeing me all over the island at any time of the day or night, talking to loads of different people they might not know, taking pictures of almost anything they'd rarely think of shooting.

Well, I'm always looking for stories, pictures and story ideas for the Lamma-zine and the forum. This website is basically a little unpaid labour of love started almost 9 years ago, which has grown into a (very lowly paid) 7-days-per-week "job", where there's no real division between work and play anymore. Let me give you a good example of a not untypical day in my life, Tuesday, Jan 25:

  • Dim sum with Chairman Chan and the Living Lamma Secretary; Lamma- Por acts as interpreter. We discuss various cleanups around Lamma initiated by Living Lamma, plus a Community Garden on Chairman Chan's private land just before "Ah-Por Tofu Fa", currently being prepared by clearing it up and flattening it. Hobby gardeners will be welcome to use it for free.
  • Chairman Chan is rushing off to a meeting with the owners of the Democracy Wall, discussing the future of the Wall and the design contest Living Lamma was proposing. He returns mere minutes later, bearing bad news: The Democracy Wall is dead for now!
  • Enquiring in the offices of the Rural Committee and Lammadonna about the owners of the new private, Christian-themed "Canaan Garden" in Shek Li's old sanatorium, getting a good lead from one of the assistants!
  • Picking up Lammadonna's Lunar New Year newsletter and card, requesting and receiving the newsletter files on a USB stick to publish them in the Lamma-zine: Lammadonna Shares.
  • Receiving an unexpected, short- notice invitation from a mother to a children's performance in our Catholic Kindergarten. Shooting lots of photos, getting introduced to the new headmistress and the teachers. One of them says that she "reads the Lamma-zine every day!": New Clothes for the Kindergarten King.
  • After carrying a heavy carpet for the mother & son from the Kindergarten to Tai Peng, I visit their spectacular "Home of the Rich and Famous" which she's beautifully designed and redecorated completely. But she's a bit shy & coy about having it featured in the Lamma-zine, unfortunately.
  • Picking up the public offering prospectus (IPO) of the mainland investor behind The Baroque development in South Lamma, from a well-connected Lammaite. It's great research material for future stories, but as big and heavy as two phone books and a long walk from my home office.
  • An alert citizen alerts me to a big animal carcass lying exposed on top of the hills above the DickStock Residence. We visit, I take pictures and publish them in the forum right away. A discussion ensues and a good Samaritan identifies and reburies the pet dog:
    Exposed animal skeleton.
  • Stopping over for my favourite Swiss coffee & ice-cream & chat with Emily the Ice-Cream Lady. There's a sign on the counter, similar to her Facebook status update: closing down for good on April 1st (no joke!), not moving to another location yet again. Another victim of Yung Shue Wan rents going ballistic.
  • The SCMP publishes one of their very rare Lamma-related stories: Keren's pet pigs being deported from Lamma after almost a decade. Publishing today's Lamma-zine story: Jan 25: Farewell to Peggy & Sumo.
    Getting a status update from Keren directly: She's getting a gaido to transport them to their new home in an organic N.T. farm later this week. Keren posts in our forum today:
    thank u from peggy and sumo.
  • A Samsung repair guy makes a house call, charging us $100 extra for living on an Outlying Island. We're very happy he came out here at all, as so many HK businesses refuse to deliver to Lamma or make house calls. He replaces our LCD screen's power supply, charging $900 in cash, all inclusive.
  • Preparing for yet another bike ride to a photo shoot: Lunar New Year Carnival in Sok Kwu Wan tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan 26.
  • Plus a few of my related emails, just from today:

    Christine Coleman, author of the Lamma-based novel Paper Lanterns appeals to Lamma-zine readers to identify people in historic pictures.
      *  Our Official Pet Correspondent submits another ready-to-publish story with pictures and even captions! I need more contributors like him!
      *  Requesting (and being granted) an exit interview with Tracey the Un-Resident Rep about the inside of village politics. It might become a full or a part of a story, maybe nothing, but it'll definitely be most interesting....
      *  Tender document from Transport Dept for HKKF's Lamma ferry routes: reading it and providing feedback. TD is requesting a 2:30am ferry Central-YSW on late Sat nights!
      *  Open Space's Tamara & Drum Jam's Kumi team up to open Vivid Rhythms Studio!

That's "enuff stuff" for today from the global, worldwide, international, centralised headquarters of Incorporated in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island, Hong Kong SAR, China. It was just another quite typical weekday... weekends are usually much busier....  ;-)

OK, off to Tuesday night Boostcamp now, 8pm! 1 hour of sweating & grunting in the Basketball Court, plus catching up with the latest Lamma Dramas.

Jan 28:  Lammaffiti

This graffiti has been created today by the 4-men, off-Lamma crew behind several generations of Fountainhead Bar graffiti. It's been created with explicit permission on the back of the house opposite Ah-Can's Tropicana take-away, opposite Cath's Bar. The crew leader invited me for this 4-hour tripod photo shoot above this afternoon. Several former Lamma-zine Artists of the Month spotted us and stopped by one by one for a creative chat.

These very experienced graffiti artists have done professional paintings all over HK and overseas, occasionally even getting paid for it. Here are two more examples gracing the back of the 2/F of the shop house at Nick's Corner, also opposite Cath's Bar (where Lamma artists exhibit frequently.)

P.S. My interview with another, different, more controversial graffiti painter is coming up soon, the Lammaite behind most of the other graffiti around YSW, for example along the seawall and the "Welcome to Lamma" paintings. It took me quite some time to identify him; he's finally agreed to an anonymous interview.

P.S. II: TwoCrew returned after Lunar New year and completed their artwork!
Click here to see the completed version!

Jan 27:  New Clothes for the Kindergarten King

Click to enlarge

Jan 26:  Lammadonna Shares

Banner on Main Street: Happy New Year!

I've just received the Lunar New Year's newsletter from North Lamma District Councilor for Non-Indigenous Residents, Yu Lai Fan, or Lammadonna as we prefer to nickname her. It makes for some most interesting reading, click to enlarge individual pages below:

A few selected highlights from Yu Lai Fan's newsletter
(lightly edited to improve grammar and readability, plus bold text added):

In 2010, one of the most exciting news must be Lamma Island being named "Coolest Outlying Island" by Hong Kong Magazine. It was our glory to accept the award on October 26, 2010. I sincerely thank everyone for making our Island "cool" and particularly Lamma-Gung for frequently promoting Lamma Island through his web site to not only the people in Hong Kong but anyone on the Internet. Promoting the Island lets people know more about our attractions and results in more visitors and business opportunities for our shops and restaurants.

..."Fishermen's Scenes at Lamma" and "The Cultural Melting Pot in Lamma Island". Both events attracted the participation of many local residents and expatriates, and the events have successfully promoted Lamma Island's fishermen culture and also the spirit and importance of communion among different cultures on Lamma.

Not all my work was smooth in 2010... issues such as the construction of a cycle parking area is still in progress due to opposition by some of our residents... Nevertheless, I believe that these problems will be eventually solved through open discussion and cooperation between our residents and the Government.

Wishing all our residents to have an enjoyable, peaceful and harmonious life at Lamma Island!

Working report 2010:

With trees everywhere in Lamma, hidden dangers from the trees have become threats to our residents... My office issued a circular to remind residents on paying careful attention to dangerous trees. The circular was well-responded and we have received a total of 106 reported cases of suspected dangerous trees in 2010.

I... presented the following to the Assistant Commissioner of Transport Dept.:
Re-merging the tendering of ferry services to Yung Shue Wan, Sok Kwu Wan and Pak Kok Village in order to stabilize the fare while maintaining the existing service quality.

Yung Shue Wan Pier was built in the 50s and there has not been any major renovation work since then. I reflected the situation to the Government and HKKF and improvements have been made.

Cases handled in 2011:
Trees - 106, Sewage - 11, Slopes - 10, Sewage works - 42, Street lights - 19, Road maintenance - 16, Environment - 54, Others - 37, TOTAL - 295.

Projects planned in 2011:

 -  Tender of ferry services,
 -  Pushing for a bicycle parking area,
 -  A covered activity room in Yung Shue Wan (next to the football field),
    the project will be sponsored by HK Electric on construction costs,
 -  Rebuilding Pak Kok Village pier,
 -  Monitoring the second phase of Yung Shue Wan harbour reclamation plan
    (including provision of an additional emergency access route),
 -  Following up on the issue of dangerous trees,
 -  Monitoring the progress of the second phase of the sewage construction work,
 -  Adding cover to a temporary hawking area (Tin Kwong Hui),
 -  Strengthening the relations between the police and residents and increasing
    village patrols.

Feedback is encouraged and welcome, make your voice heard, send your comments to, call 2982 0976, or stop by her office on G/F, 72 Main Street (just besides the Lamma Gourmet, after Cath's Bar.)

Jan 25:  Farewell to Peggy & Sumo

This headline greeted us this morning on the cover of the CITY section of the South China Morning Post (click above for full story.)

The Lamma-zine has published many stories and photos over the years of Peggy & Sumo, probably the two most famous pigs in HK by now, following their troubles with HK law and govt. bureaucracy, most recently another call for help: Dec 31, 2010: Unhappy NY for Pak Kok Pet Pigs. Simply search for "Keren" in  the Search box at the top of this page to find a little history in words, interviews, photos and press clippings of their happy days on Lamma.

Peggy & Sumo's very lives were threatened several times over the years as no alternative location off-island could be found and the govt. threatened to take them away and put them down. An organic farm in Yuen Long has finally agreed to give them refuge from frequent govt. persecution, so they can enjoy an organic, safe and peaceful retirement now.

Congratulations and many thanks to Keren the Pig Lady, their "mother", for all the incredibly hard work and amazing sacrifices she's made over nearly a decade to give these two happy pigs a happy life, delighting so many Lamma Islanders, adults and especially children, with their antiques and very presence. Let's declare Keren one of the few and rare Laudable Lamma Luminaries for her tireless dedication, many sacrifices and her LOVE.

Keren has just posted a note in our forum - thank u from peggy and sumo - so you can leave your comments and good wishes there as well. Keren writes:

"As u know peggy and sumo will be starting a new adventure out of lamma in a new home in n.t.

On behalf of peggy and sumo I want to thank the kind people of pak kok of all ages for making us feel so loved and welcome. The care and interest u all showed in their welfare has made their life so much better.

thank u"

A photo gallery of "Hog Heaven" days, by Keren and myself:

Jan 18:  Sensitivity Issues

Wesmcl:   (republished from Libertines Pub with friendly permission,
               photos by Alain Jaquier and Sean Creamer.)

It was late Sunday night, and I walked the dog down to the little store down the street from my apartment. It's a family-owned shop, with mom, dad, grandma and daughter each taking turns working the register. My girlfriend and I had just spent way too much money eating at a Suburban-American-style restaurant in Discovery Bay, so I went with the cheap stuff--a cute little brown bottle of San Miguel. I brought the bottle up to the register, and as the store owner made the "open?" gesture, pointing toward the bottle, my nose made a little sniffle. Before I even noticed that I needed one, the owner quickly pulled out a box of tissues from under the counter. He didn't say a word, just looked at me and at the box, implicitly offering me one.

This type of kindness is unheard of in the US. Even the nicest store owner in some small Midwestern town would never be so sensitive to my tiny sniffle, no matter how well they knew me. Entering my second year in the Village, I'm slowly beginning to acquire a superficial understanding of Chinese culture and morality. I've often complained about what I perceive to be insensitivity on the part of Villagers: they don't pay attention to others when they walk, waiters ignore me in restaurants, they honk their horns obnoxiously, etc.

There's this seafood restaurant that my girlfriend and I have become regulars at. They treat us wonderfully: they give us special deals, tell us what dishes are really good that day, let us bring our own bottle of wine and waive the corking fee. When they see us on the street, they smile and say hi to us.

The lady who sells fruit on the street also treats us really well. She always give us a big, hearty hello when she sees us. When my girlfriend bought some chestnuts but then forgot to take them with her, the fruit lady remembered and gave her roughly the same amount for free the next day.

Living on Lamma has allowed us to see the other side of Chinese culture, the sensitive side. Everything changes when people know you. I'm not religious, but living in Asia has helped me see how much my morality is a Christian morality. My Methodist grandmother taught me to treat everyone the same, to pay attention to everyone and give people I don't know the same respect I would give my friends (because we're all God's children). This is very much a Christian ethical standard, and so I shouldn't be surprised that the Chinese have a different standard.

We're learning that once Chinese people know us, the level of kindness and consideration they give far surpasses what you would expect of a store owner, or waiter, in the West.

I think we might be establishing guanxi, or something like that.

Jan 17:  Bobby Li & Friends @ Rainbow Rest.

Rainbow Restaurant in Sok Kwu Wan, Friday, Jan 14, 2011:

Annual Dinner of the largest private developer on Lamma Island, King Wong Development, the people behind Lamma Garden (formerly Lammarina on Tannery Bay, up for rent/sale after Lunar New Year), the proposed The Baroque development in South Lamma and at least two others in Sok Kwu Wan.

Bobby Li, CEO & Managing Director & GM Paul Lam of of King Wong Development Ltd. threw a whopping & impressive party for their business partners and many friends. 33 tables, seafood galore, entertainment by TV artistes, iPad/Wii/PS3/Xbox 360 Kinect gadgets as prizes, cheerful speeches and lots of friendly backslapping by the rich and powerful. Poor & powerless little Lamma-Gung (and Lamma-Por) were pleasantly surprised and happy to be invited, joining the banquet and eagerly hoping (in vain) to win one of these very popular and expensive (sponsored) Lucky Draw prizes:

Transportation was provided by Rainbow Rest. boat from YSW Ferry Pier direct to Sok Kwu Wan and back. These private ferries, free for guests, have a more frequent schedule between Sok Kwu Wan and Central or Aberdeen than the public ferries. Rainbow Rest. is probably the biggest, most successful business in South Lamma (several SKW restaurants plus a new one in Shanghai, shops and associated businesses, their own ferry fleet, amusement park Lamma Fisherfolk's Village.)

They pulled out all the stops to provide another big welcome party for King Wong and their partner, a major HK-listed Mainland property developer. Together, they could potentially change South Lamma in so many ways and and make many eager locals and businesses more prosperous, but also worry quite a few people all over Lamma. North Lamma was mainly represented by Chairman Chan's table of friends.

Well, this was certainly one of the best and largest traditional Annual (Lunar New Year's) Dinners I've been invited to in over 20 years in HK. But there wasn't much time to sample some of the impressive and tasty dishes, I was rushing around all night taking pictures (see photo gallery with subtitles above), competing with several other photographers scurrying around between the tables to earn our free dinners. Hey, if you want to invite me as a (hopefully paid) photographer to your event, I'll make myself available!

For many more up-to-date news about these very important Lamma property developments, keep on reading the Lamma-zine! I've interviewed Bobby Li and GM Paul Lam (above left & middle) in their office recently, to be published soon.

Jan 16:  Village Rep Elections

"YSW City Hall" (North Lamma Rural Committee Bldg.), Sun, Jan 16, noon-7pm

Pak Kok Old Village - Resident Representative:

For full story and discussion, see our forum.

Jan 15:  Birthday Boys & Girls

P.S. Emily has announced that she's closing shop for good on April 1, 2011!

Another victim of rampaging rental prices on Lamma, after 9 years in business in 3 different YSW locations. She'll take a long break, no future plans yet, besides hopefully finishing her semi-autobiographical novel (to be published on this website, of course.) She'll be sorely missed, especially by her many friends above!

All the very best, dear Ice-Cream Lady, and thanks for so many great chats, my favourite Swiss Movenpick ice-creams and Swiss Nespresso coffees!

Jan 14:  Harry Harrison's 12-Year Pet Project

Yes, Harry's face is really orange like that in real life, a natural fit to illustrate this rabbity-carroty tale written by very fair maiden Sarah Brennan. Together, they've created and published 5 Chinese Calendar Tales so far.

(all still available at Bookazine shops, including the new shop on 3/F, ifc Mall):

P.S.  Photos from the launch party, on Bookazine's Facebook pages.

Jan 13:  Lamma-Gung the Ophiuchan

I've been called many names in my half century visit to this amazing planet so far - for example 'You Great Big Idiot!' - April Fool - Nyckelpiga - but never an Ophiuchan, at least not to my face! But according to a number of recent media reports that's what I can be called with impunity now, without the name caller fearing my severe incriminations or most dire wrath.

Well, it seems that Ophiuchus is my new zodiac sign, according to these reports based on actual facts of astronomy, not astrology. I always thought that Sagittarius does not fit me at all, being a vastly different, gentle personality type from the "blindly optimistic and careless, mercurial Sagittarians." It's a brand-new but ancient astrological sign, added on to the 12 signs of the zodiac, not used in millennia since the Babylonians.

Ophiuchus means Snake Holder or Serpent Bearer, quite suitable for a Lammaite, but holding a live snake goes a bit far even for an adventurous, nature-loving stumbler like myself. A 13th zodiac sign and I'm one of the pretty small minority of astrologically cool people born in this sign, active only 18 days of the year. Hah!

So, how has your personal zodiac sign changed? Click below to figure it out:

SCMP story: "What the stars didn't predict..."

This change in most people's zodiac sign confirms one of my favourite and most deeply ingrained prejudices - that all astrology is utter BS and nonsense, randomly made up to swindle gullible people. This "revolution" in astrology, turning it upside down completely, reaffirms my scientific, rational world views, making me even more confident in my skepticism in most spiritual/mystical practices.

Ahhh, the world makes some sense again, till the next big astrological, philosophical, religious or mystical "news" will try to cast doubts on my well-established, supposedly rational world views I hold sooo dear....

Well, this Ophiucan should better stay away from modern, leading-edge physics research - Quantum Dynamics, particle physics, cosmology theories. They can get so uncomfortably close to what frequently sounds like mysticism and magic: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, entangled particles, M-Theory, teleportation, time travel, consciousness research, multiverses,... pure brain candy for science nerds...

Jan 12:  Boostcamping Is Cool!

Who's man or woman enough to join us for an outdoor exercise class on Sunday mornings at 8am in the Basketball Court?

It might be a tad cool to get started, but very soon you'll warm up and strip down to your T-shirt, staying warm and feeling great for hours afterwards. This is not a hard-core bootcamp, but a fun and effective way for a moderately fit person to become much fitter, stronger, feel much better and even lose quite a few pounds of fat and gain some muscles over the 6 Sundays of the course. It works, I can attest to it, that's why I'm doing it again, after hibernating in-doors these last few cool weeks.

Weigh-in this Sunday morning. Contact Donna for details, call 9192 7269! 3 fun, friendly & pretty ladies have signed up already, we could use a few more, plus guys! Click on Donna's poster for details!

Jan 11:  Vote for Tracey, Village Representative

"Unify the Islanders", "Harmony in the Family", "Support the Elderly!"

These are just some of the very general and political slogans on some of these big banners on fences all around Lamma these last few weeks. The Village Representative elections are coming up again this weekend, like every 3 years.

Indigenous or Resident Village Representative is an honourary, unpaid position without any real powers and just a few duties; many Village Reps are almost invisible. I've met quite a number of them over the years at official functions and Lammaite tours, but I still don't know the Village Reps of my own village, for example, despite being entitled to vote, after 7 years of living in the same village. Many Village Rep seats are uncontested, winning by default and without any voting necessary, but some are quite hotly contested, for example Pak Kok Old Village:

For the first time in a long time on Lamma, a non- Chinese is standing for election, Tracey Duggan. Ex-manager of the Deli Lamma, supervisor of a kindergarten and involved in many charitable and good causes on Lamma over many years, let's give this well-known and very popular Lammaite some extra publicity here!

She's running quite a low-key campaign over there, two hills away from Yung Shue Wan, in quiet and low-key Pak Kok Old Village where the rents are still low and no construction is disturbing the peaceful, rural lifestyle of the quite international community.

Standing in a small village with a total of only 47 potential voters, Tracey has mailed the letters below to everyone. 2 out of the 47 are dead, 3 live in China and 5 are very much against any Gwai-por standing in the elections, she writes, so it'll be a tough vote and a narrow win. Let's give Tracey some moral or any other support she needs for her campaign.

Tracey writes that, like any popular-vote-seeking politician, she's "prepared to kiss any babies I am presented with [in public].  ;-)

"I've got ideas like recycling, helping the elderly, doing bulk shopping trips etc etc – which would make us a more united village etc etc.

"I'm going to be positively visible (as in I get on a ferry every day, greet everyone always and am enthusiastic about increasing Pak Kok's popularity, etc.) I'm hoping to bring more people to the village – more people equals more money for the villagers which means happy people!"

Tracey Duggan:

Resident Representative Village Elections
Voting day Sunday 16 January 2011

Dear …………………….

I am hoping to be elected as the resident representative of Pak Kok Kau Tsuen in the next elections.

I have lived on Lamma since 1985 – in Pak Kok for over 9 years.
I was born in Hong Kong and both my children were born here too.
Hong Kong is my home.

I have many ideas about making Pak Kok a better village to live in.
The areas I would focus on if I were elected would be:

  1. Ferry service
    I would continue my ongoing discussions with Monita from Tsui Wah and the Transport Department with regards to our ferry service.

  2. Improvement of Emergency Services
    The fire services and also police are not aware of the complicated house numbering system in Pak Kok. If there is an emergency, it is usual that we need to leave our homes and meet them on the path – I will work hard to change this so both departments are aware of where we all live.

  3. Help Landlords to rent their properties
    There are many empty flats for rent in Pak Kok - I can help to photograph them and put them on rental websites. If more people move to Pak Kok, this will increase the passenger numbers on the ferries as well as bring more prosperity to Pak Kok home owners.

Pak Kok is a wonderful place to live. I think there is a very good mix of nationalities in the village. Everyone is friendly and helps one another. I would like to see this happening even more.

If you have any suggestions or ideas, I would love to hear them.
My telephone number is 9831 2704, my email address:

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


投票日: 2011116 (星期日)


 本人TRACEY DUGGAN希望能夠在本屆當選為北角舊村居民村代表。
1985年以來 已住在南丫島上﹐在本村已居住超過9年了。 


  1. 渡輪改善服務
  2. 緊急應變措施
    消防處和警方都還沒意識到我們北角村複雜的內部系統編號。如有緊急情況時,通常我們需要離開我們的家園,迎接他們在道路上。我會努力改變這種做法! 要兩個部門都清楚知道我們正確的居住位置﹐和跟他們想出一個以最快及最短的時間﹐到達一個安全的地方集合。
  3. 幫助本村居民的物業租售有關事務


本人很願意聽到您們的任何建議或想法,可以隨時與本人聯絡: 我的電話號碼是98312704,電子郵件地址是


Tracey Duggan


Jan 10:  The Poo Pipe

An interesting discussion started after I put up this picture below a week ago in our forum: Platform & pillars in the harbour? It's generated 16 replies and almost 300 views so far, so it seems to be a question on many people's minds as they see if from the ferry every day.

After enquiring with several of my local official sources, I got this reply from the Sewerage Construction people:

"This sea platform is a drilling rig for marine site investigation from our sub-contractor - under our sewage project to determine the geological profile under the seabed as a preparation work for the submarine outfall construction in coming months.

This sea platform will remain on site for works for about 2 more weeks."

Lamma-zine, Nov 2: Sewerage Construction, When Will It End?

I also just got Google-Alerted to a few more details about this "Marine Site Investigation", see this notice from the Marine Dept. notice.

It looks like they're going to move the platform by tugboat a few more times along the future "Poo Pipe", ever closer to the Sewage Treatment Plant (currently under construction until 2014), boring more holes into the seabed to investigate the suitability of the seabed for the submarine Poo Pipe.

Works will probably be completed by Chin. New Year in early Feb.

P.S. Many thanks to Marc Antony, coming up with the short & concise headline for this article. I was going to call it "Drilling Rig for Site Investigation for Submarine Outfall of Sewage Treatment Plant".

SMS to Marc Antony: "R U avail 2 write my headlines?  ;-)"

P.S. II: That's not actually poo coming out of that pipe, I think. It starts at the future Sewage Treatment Plan which should actually clean up all our poo before discharging the remaining effluents out to sea via this pipe...

Jan 9:  Stumbling Randomly: Lamma Forest

Another installment in my ongoing series of Stumbling Randomly Through Lamma's Hills (Lamma-zine Feb 21, '09). Quoting myself:

"Random, unplanned, no-destination stumbling through the hills of Lamma is an activity I can highly recommend, very healthy for body, mind and spirit. At every crossroad along the way, make a spontaneous decision where to go next, turn left or right or straight, and follow the innumerable little paved and dirt paths through the hills and valleys.

Lamma is small enough that you'll never get really lost, never far from help and never out of reach. It's also big enough to make new, fascinating discoveries every time, even after years of living here."

After an early Sunday morning dim sum in Lung Wah Rest., I went for a little digestive stroll up to Po Wah Yuen. Instead of returning home via Tai Peng, I spontaneously explored further down the other side, to the Lammarina (now officially called Lamma Garden) and beyond.

I discovered the new, locked Canaan Garden in the old Shek Li sanatorium, I had heard rumours about. Going around it, I went rock climbing in the cutest little bay on all of Lamma. It's been years since I've climbed these same rocks; it was pretty dangerous back then because I was twice my current weight. Nowadays, this is great fun! I'm still amazed at what kind of moderately precarious mischief my New Body can get me into, enjoying itself while doing it!

Sticking to my own Stumbling Randomly Rule of "Never turn back, always forward!" I ventured along the rocky coast and lost my way (once again), not finding any exit or any path upwards. So I had to break through the ancient forest and dry, thorny brush on the hillside, discovering some ancient ruins not on any official maps. I stumbled and climbed up all the way - not something I'll do ever again! - to the top, arriving scratched and bedraggled directly below Picnic Rock, Yin Yang Rock and the Stone Circle landmarks inside the Lamma Forest.

Well, I'm up here already now, why not traverse the entire Lamma Forest once again, choosing the most scenic of the 3 pretty well-maintained trails, enjoying the scenic views, exiting at the Pavilion above Heart Attack Hill. Returning to Tai Peng, via the domicile of Keren's Pet Pigs (critically endangered once again) to the Tai Peng Community Garden.

I enjoyed a long-overdue rest on one of the two comfy benches at the Jenks Memorial Lily Pond, discussing gardening. Returning to Tai Peng, via a refueling stop in Village Rep Tony Wong's Tai Peng Shop (he's in a jovial mood today, hoping for his re-election this Sunday), I stopped over for an impromptu unofficial Village Council meeting with the 3 Holy Men of Tai Peng - Dave of (alleged) Christian Rock Band, The Curs, Alastair who's amassed huge heavenly credits working for Noah's Ark, and Jacob whose very name ensures his Holiness.

Calling up Lamma-Por for lunch (yes, it's time for a late lunch by now), she meets me in Wang Long at the temporary, new location of Thai Thai Rest. (still looking hard for a permanent location).

A map of my 3.5-hour unplanned Stumbling Randomly Roundtrip is provided in my photo gallery below. Yes, I don't go anywhere without at least my little Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T500 photo/HD video camera. It's usually just a backup for my big, professional Nikon dSLR, but a flat pocket shooter is way more convenient when climbing up through densely forested, overgrown hillsides....

Jan 8:  Lammaites Touring Lychee Valley

Jan 7:  Concerto Inn's Pre-X'mas Buffet Party

Gingerbread Cookie Making Class - Buffet Dinner

Dec 11: Beachside Pre-X'mas Buffet party

Christmas Wishing Tree  (click any of my photos to enlarge)

More photos in Concerto Inn's own photo gallery:

"Welcome to Concerto Inn, Lamma Island, Hong Kong!
For any inquiries, feel free to contact us at,
tel: +852 2982-1668. Have a Concerto Day!"

Jan 6:  Trig Point Views

Views from the highest point of North Lamma, a little side trip on the Snake Trail.

Jan 5:  'MyVideo - We sent your favorite movie disc'

I've just signed up for this well-established and very professional movies-by-mail service, at their new special promotional rate for Lammaites, see below. See their mailing envelope above, explaining their simple service. Pay a monthly fee, order disks online by 1-click, get them by mail the next day - 1-3 disks at the same time - return them anytime you're done with them, get the next disks by mail. Easy!

I've been testing their service for one month beforehand and was so happy with it - fast, reliable, great website, very wide choice of movies, email notifications (for example the headline of this story) - that I've become a paying customer now.

Just $28 to try it out for a full month! This is exactly what it costs to rent a single disk in a Movieland shop for a single day only... and you have to pick it up from there and return it in person.

MyVideo offers a much better and wider selection than the other two online rental services I've tried and it's the ONLY one of all these services I know with BluRay disks for rental. Downloading movies in high quality takes forever (days!) on Lamma and you won't get the full home theatre sound and any of the disk-only extras, like "Making of...", commentaries by director/actors, behind-the-scenes, interviews, movie previews, etc. I love those extras, beyond what you get even in the cinema. And the convenience of getting disks by mail is hard to beat. Special offer for Lammaites:

  1. HKD28 for the 1st month of subscription of DD01 plan (original price of HKD98, HKD78 for additional months 'til 31 Mar 2011.)

  2. HKD58 for the 1st month of subscription (including BluRay disks!) of BD01 plan (original price of HKD128, HKD108 for more months 'til 31 Mar 2011)

  3. One residential address can enjoy this privilege only one time.

  4. Special offer for new members only.

Click here for plan details.

Interested Lammaites, please email us (, requesting this special offer and we will send the promotional code directly to you.

During registration, new member has to put the promotional code into the registration form. Please see this link for details.

Just a reminder: member has to choose a normal plan after the end of this promotion, and pay by credit card.

P.S. Current MYVIDEO members are entitled to a HK$50 supermarket coupon for each new member referral. The more new members you refer, the more coupons you will get! Please refer to this link for details.

MyVideo has just signed up for 3 months of Lamma-zine advertising, see lower left side of this page. Thank you, I love advertising products and services I can honestly recommend highly and also use myself! I designed a few ad banner versions for them, promoting their great offers. They chose the last one:

Jan 4:  Don't Panic, Lamma!

To learn and see more about these fun exercise classes in the YSW Basketball Court (just below the Kindergarten), click below, or check out the new website. Then take a free trial class and see if you like it. If I can Boostcamp twice a week, so can you!

Jan 3:  'Cloud Cuckoo Land, Pal!'

A look into a property agent window yesterday almost gave me indigestion. Most standard 700 sqft flats advertised for rent in the 5 digits, even one of the very least popular 1/F flats at $11,500 which are usually far cheaper than G/F or the most coveted and rare rooftop flats? We used to live in one of those 1/F places not long ago - very nice, almost new, great landlady - in the same village for less than half this rent.

Our 2-year contract is running out middle of this year and our off-island landlord wants to increase the rent by 50%. But as we're such "good tenants" - meaning we pay on time, no pets, no children, quiet - he'll accept a "reasonable" increase of ONLY 30% from us, which means we have no choice but to move once again.

With this kind of rent increases, is it time to look at old 350 sqft 1/F places far from the ferry pier, or move to Pak Kok Village where there are quite a few flats available? For example, a great 700 sqft 3-bedroom rooftop flat with huge garden we looked at over there recently with unobstructed 360-degree views, including ocean views, for $6,000, half the current rent for a similar place in YSW. Time to move to Pak Kok Village?

Have the rents really doubled in YSW in the last 1-2 years? Lamma's property agents and some landlords must be rubbing their hands with glee and joy. A 350 sqft studio flat found a tenant within a few days in our property forum recently, for the same price as a 700sqft rooftop 3-bedroom flat just 1-2 years ago, almost a doubling of rents.

Comparing rents in Peng Chau, Lantau and the New Territories during our several tours for Lammaites visiting there recently, Yung Shue Wan seems to have some of the highest rents for Village Houses anywhere in HK right now. We suffer the highest rentals ever seen on Lamma in recent history, far higher than at the last 1997 peak.

Can we Lamma tenants hope that this insane local property bubble will burst soon?

To join into our discussion on this issue, check out our forum:
1/F flats at $11,500? Thanks to dory for the title of this Lamma-zine story, from the post's subject line. S/he was asking:

"Do you seriously in your wildest dreams think:

1) That landlords and estate agents actually read these forums?

2) That they give a toss?"

P.S. If you're interested in all these recent enclosed extensions being built on top of Village Houses, creating 3/Fs, colloquially called "glass houses", check out the new venting! forum topic.

Jan 2:  Best Stories of 2010?

Over 300 Lamma-zine stories have been published in 2010. Which are YOUR favourites (if any)? You can find my personal choices below, two stories every month, one of my own and one by our many wonderful and most appreciated Courageous Content Contributors. Click to read:

Stories by Content Contributors:

Stories by Lamma-Gung:

Dec 8: First-Ever HK Sighting of AMRB Flycatcher

"There's no way you would ever get an adult male Red-Breasted Flycatcher here. It's never..."

Dec 3: The Curs -
a Christian Rock Band?

Congrats to one of Lamma's most famous, beloved and longest-  running bands, The Curs!

Nov 29: The Lamma Lemonade Entrepreneurs

"It happened at the major intersection on Main Street. You know the spot. A butcher shop..."

Nov 17: Am I Stupid? Yes!

I've been promoting these Quiz Nights for years, but I have to admit I never actually participated myself in one. Till today.

Oct 5: Lamma Philo Cafe - 1st Meeting

"The first meeting of the Lamma Island Branch of the HK Philo Café was a roaring success."

Oct 24: Feral Puppies Pickup

"The cute little puppies, 6 in all, that were rescued from the hills today only serve to illustrate the lunacy of the Government's..."

Sep 14: Terry

"Meet Terry, a mongrel dog with four legs, only three paws and an irrepressible can-do-anything attitude."

Sep 29: Computer Threats & Annoyance Factors

After finally resolving the picture attachment problem in our forum, not losing any attach...

Aug 27: Lamma Calendar 2011

"I will be publishing the calendar for a second year. This year, I'd like to open it up..."

Aug 9: Alien Quiz Night @ The Waterfront

Summer season is slow, cozy and leisurely on Lamma Island, even more so than the rest of...

Jul 16: India Dog Dispute Engulfs Ex-Lamma Woman

"AHMEDABAD, India – Does a city that routinely batters and abuses its street dogs,..."

Jul 17: Lamma-Gung the Elderly?

I was going for yet another 3D movie (my latest passion) in the IFC shopping mall.

Jun 27: You Can Leave, But You Never Do

"14 years ago my daughter Iona had pointed an accusing finger out of the plane window,..."

Jun 30: Tai Chi vs Fit'n'Fun Camp - 1 : 0

While Lamma-Por was still recovering from another late night of Worldcup football....

May 4: Lamma Cricket Club Welcomes Star Cricketer

"Last Saturday the Lamma Kids Cricket Club was delighted to welcome Kenny Jackson."

May 29: Lawyers Frolicking in the Lamma Forest

The sounds of Lamma's nature never fail to amaze me. While walking over hills and through....

Apr 1: Island Bar Reinvents Itself

"Soon To Change Into "MONTY'S BURLESQUE"! Breaking News! In keeping with Lamma-zine's..."

Apr 5: Climbers Enter the Clouds

"Eight climbers together scaled the 353-metre Mount Stenhouse, Lamma's highest peak."

Mar 7: Feast of Excited Insects

"Did you know that Saturday March 6 was "Ching Che" or Feast of Excited Insects Day?"

Mar 9: Turkish Chef Wanted

What's happening in Yung Shue Wan's always active and ever-changing culinary scene? Just another little update:

Feb 24: 'Best Wedding I've Ever Witnessed'

Nick the Bookman - Official Court Music Reviewer, expanding into reviews of weddings.

Feb 28: Bobsy the Valentine

Lamma's most famous and not-publicity-shy-at-all hippie has been featured in the latest edition of Marie Claire HK.

Jan 16: Party Animals on Dog Beach

"Dozens of Lamma's leading residents, the fleet-footed, furry, four-legged ones, and their...."

Jan 4: Farewell to Lamcombe Seafood Rest.

Today is the very last day of this very popular Chinese restaurant on Main Street, the #1....

For Lamma historians amongst our readers:
Best of Lamma-zine 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005: part I, II, III.

For even more stories - forming almost a little history of Lamma Island of the last 8.5 years - check out our complete Lamma-zine Archives.

Jan 1:  Happy & Sparkling New Year!

Enjoyed at the stroke of midnight by Lamma-Gung & Lamma-Por:
a Champagne glass of Sparkling Shiraz from Thirsty Horse


Read last month's stories...

Lamma-zine started in 2002, and will be updated (almost) daily with anything vaguely related to Lamma Island or its residents, be it news, stories, events, links, photos, artworks, videos, etc.

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