- Jan 30
happening recently in South Lamma, mainly between Shek
Pai Wan and Tung O Village?
- Jan 29
news on eve of 2012 Lunar New Year -- Lamma's two oldest
dogs reduced by one!
Vernon & Lama
Stay Alert of Burglars
"Friendly Reminder from Lamma Police for securing your
home to prevent burglary:-"
- Jan 25
are some shots of the sunken sampan at the YSW pier
yesterday, 24th Jan."
DickStock 2012, This
Mike, YSW Curs, David Bowie Knives, The Eight Eights,
Transnoodle, Black Mariah"
Victoria Park Fair
- Jan 23
spending Lunar New Year's Eve in Victoria Park on HK
Island, missing out on the traditional Lamma
Lamma Carrots -
Bought on YSW
Main Street, directly from the Yung Shue Long valley
farmer (probably the last commercial farmer in YSW?)
Happy New Year of the
- Jan 21
you thought it was the Year of the Dragon? This
practically perfect panda begs to differ!!"
Boys & Their Big Toys
engineers, construction experts and civil servants
'Beware Of Pedestrian'
YSW is changing
so fast these days and there's so much construction
going on all over....
Dog Rescuer Acquitted
You might have
seen today's SCM Post's story, "Sally Andersen
cleared over dog attack".
One-Armed, Evil Dictator
- Jan 14
Island, only recently discovered by Bruce Lee and famous
for its yearly martial...."
Dragon Garden & CNY
Market Tours -
Tours to the
Shenzhen Lunar New Year street fair & the not-open- yet
Dragon Garden in HK.
Happy New Year of the
- Jan 11
Party of King Wong, developers of "Lamma- 1" and
"The Baroque on Lamma".
What's Going on in Tung
O Wan? -
Tung O Village
Head Tour, updating us "green people" on his
Feathered Flock Feasting
@ Floating Fish Farm
- Jan 9
flock of seabirds I've ever seen, living on Lamma for
Lamma 'Homes of the Rich
& Famous' -
live in pretty amazing homes, often the result of years
of building, expanding,...
Transient Artists Society
... HK Govt.
Dept. websites. For example this "notice of intention
to remove a notified society."
Pixies, Leprechauns &
The Lamma Outrigging Canoe Club and Lamma
Lamma North Figure 8 Loop
Banny the GPS-Mountainbiker
and Titos have been cycling a figure 8 all over North Lamma.
A Gateway to Another
south China islands whispering at the edge of
consciousness and the tropically verdant hillside...."
Mr & Mrs Glutton Review
'Number One (THAI)'
- Jan 3
Welcome to our
couple of Lamma newbies and foodies willing to submit occasional food reviews!
Place in the World'
- Jan 2
"For me, Lamma Island is indeed, the best place
in the world."
Best of 2011!
- Jan 1
This is my
personal list of the Best of 2011 of
Lamma-related events, taken from the Lamma-zine email sent....
just a link to a most interesting document about what's been happening
recently in South Lamma developments, mainly between Shek Pai Wan beach and
Tung O Village:
The Way Forward for South Lamma, written by the
Lamma, Jo Wilson, after meeting with Mr Chan, the Tung O
See also the Lamma-zine photo gallery:
Jan 10: What's Going on in
Tung O Wan?
- Senior Lammaite
(photos courtesy of Vicky, Jennifer
news on eve of 2012 Lunar New Year -- Lamma's two oldest
dogs reduced by one!
Vernon and Lama (pictured) have
long been recognised as two of Lamma's most famous
landmarks for years. Regrettably, not anymore.
Lama, almost 15 years of age, was a
lovable, golden-haired "discount chow-chow" on mother's
side (with the father thought to have been another Lamma
legend and part- shar-pei) with a heart of gold.
Judged by doggie years, he must have
been a little over 105 (15 x 7).
Thanks to his loving owners, Petri &
Vicky, he dragged
himself for his daily constitutional along Yung Shue Wan
Main Street, stopping after every few steps, small,
measured steps to catch up on his dwindling breath and
draining energy … but nearly always to wag his tail to
acknowledge old friends, an eminently applauded and
much- petted senior Lammaite of long standing.
Lately, however, Lama was having
trouble related to ageing. The inevitable end, however, came
Who knows, perhaps Lama's two twin
sisters Mandela and Dalai (both 1997-2006) have been
patiently waiting for him in the great beyond with a cup
of frozen yoghurt and brand-new pair of hips....
barricades and beyond! (Lama in the front) -- So what of
Ginga is a cat...
Short leap ... upward --
To Mt Stenhouse and back (Lama right)
Philip Chow - SI, Lamma Police Chief:
"Friendly Reminder from Lamma Police
securing your home to prevent burglary:-
If further information is needed, you are welcome to call anytime
24, at the YSW Ferry Pier.
Photos submitted by Restless Roving Reporter
who's even on the job during Lunar New Year Break. Thanks! He
"Here are some shots of the sunken sampan at
the YSW pier yesterday, 24th Jan. No idea of the story behind it,
but there was a lot of petrol leaking into the water and
attempts to contain it."
To post your own photos or if you know more
about what actually happened, see our forum,
Sampan Concordia. Check the forum tomorrow, after the
CNY break, for some official info becoming available, hopefully.
(Poster by Harry Harrison)
been spending Lunar New Year's Eve in Victoria Park on HK
Island. We missed out on the traditional Lamma fireworks, but I
got this link emailed by Lamma Newbie Johan Nylander: a
Dragon: Tin Hau Temple lion dance & fireworks video! I
managed to grab a few brightly colourful photos, plus another
inexpensive glass dragon for my growing collection, started 12
years ago during the last Dragon Year in 2000. Avoiding the
garish piles of cartoony hats, pillows & balloons everywhere, it
was definitely even more overcrowded than YSW Main Street on a
holiday, but orderly and pretty good fun:
Click for my photo gallery
Sorry about the picture quality and graininess in some of these
I carried only my pocket camera for practical reasons. For more
my photo gallery.
Plus just a few more shots from nearby shopping malls:
Kung Hei Fat
Choi to all our readers & contributors!
Bought on YSW Main Street, directly from the Yung Shue Long valley farmer
(probably the last commercial farmer in YSW?)
You won't find these beautiful, irregular, organic shapes in any supermarket!
Warmly welcoming Lunar New Year visitors from the Mainland yesterday,
Nick the Bookman, TV commercials talent, mover, DJ, music reviewer, and
probably the most-photographed Lammaite ever.
(Photos by Jane Ram, CNY vase in the Lamma-Gung&Por household.)
Why did I put these photos above together? Well, Nick's beard has similar
rustic, naturally-grown, irregular shapes like the roots of the Lamma
Carrots, and his face a similarly healthy colour with all the knobbly
"So you thought it was
the Year of the Dragon?
This practically perfect panda begs to differ!!"
Sarah Brennan, author of the
"Chinese Calendar Tales" and "Dirty Story" series of children
books, emailed me to announce her latest collaboration with
Harry Harrison, Lamma's most
famous cartoonist and illustrator. In addition to the UK launch
at Edinburgh Zoo, they'll also launch at
Prince's Building's Bookazine on Feb 4, 2pm. I attended
last year's launch at the same venue (Facebook
album) and it was such a beautiful event full of
enthusiastic children listening to Sarah reading from her books
and Harry signing. Plus free wine ... and cupcakes....
asked her for a review copy (thank you!) and a few of Harry's
amazing, hilarious illustrations. They're so different from his
cartoons, but unmistakably and uniquely "Harry". Sorry, I sound
like a fanboy ... maybe because I AM a fanboy!
Sarah Brennan writes:
"Pin Yin has beauty, brains and a healthy ego to match…but
her attempt to replace the coming Year of the Dragon with a
brand new Year of the Panda has come badly unstuck in a re-run
of the Lord Buddha's race. The order of the animals in the
Chinese Zodiac was of course determined by their order of
arrival in the famous Great Race, one of China's most enduring,
much-loved folk tales. Pin Yin Panda almost changed the
tradition of millennia...until vanity got in the way!
But needless to say, this practically perfect panda will
not be defeated! She's been invited to her very own official
launch at Edinburgh Zoo for Chinese New Year, together
with her creator Sarah Brennan. Sarah will be visiting the Zoo
as part of a two week tour of UK schools and bookshops to launch
The Tale of Pin Yin Panda.
Another highlight of Pin Yin's visit to the UK will be a
meeting at the House of Lords with Hong Kong's last Governor and
current Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Patten of
Barnes, who has endorsed the book with a blurb on the back
referring to his eight grandchildren. "Naturally, they'll all
get a signed copy!" says Sarah."
the FAQ section of Sarah Brennan's colourfully interactive,
cutely animated, sound-effect- enhanced
"9. Who does the amazing illustrations in your books?
My illustrator is Harry Harrison, the much-loved
cartoonist from the South China Morning Post. He's also a
regular contributor to international publications like The
Guardian, Time magazine, and the Far Eastern Economic Review.
It's hard to believe but Harry has never had any formal art
training! His favourite things when he was a kid were insects,
exploring, climbing trees, making dens and playing war, but he
didn't like sport!
10. What is it like working with Harry Harrison?
Harry is one of the funniest and cleverest people I know,
and when we have a book in production, and Harry is sending me
the new illustrations, every day feels like Christmas! We work
together at the very beginning, when Harry sends me his "scamps"
which are like very rough little sketches of his ideas for each
page. I might make a few suggestions then, but after that stage,
I leave Harry to it because I know from experience that whatever
other ideas I might have, Harry's are generally much better!
Harry always gets the humour in whatever I write and then
expands it or gives it a tweak, and this is what makes his
collaboration so important to me and to the finished book.
If you'd like to see more of
Harry's work, visit:
Calendar Tales" in this series are planned, just 7 more books, 7
more years to complete all the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.
The first 5 books are still available in HK bookstores, at below
P.S. Bookazine is a former, but NOT a current Lamma-zine
P.S. II - Sun, Jan 22: Just in from Sarah, photos from
the worldwide book launch in Edinburgh Zoo, courtesy of
A. & J. Simpson, News and Pictures.
Sarah with Tian Tian in her
indoor enclosure --
Before the launch in the Zoo gift store
The valiant engineers, construction experts and civil servants bringing
sewage treatment to Lamma Island. Drainage Services Dept. organised an
on-site media briefing today, bringing in media from HK by special ferry.
"3 Groundbreaking Attempts" were highlighted: Horizontal
Directional Drilling - Miniature Helicopter Device -
Sewage Treatment Works in progress, seen from lammajoeyu's
Notice the abandoned
shack in the upper left corner in Kam Lo Hom (formerly
"Hunter's"), just approved to be rebuilt as a Village House (in
the middle of the Green Belt forest and with a great view of ...
to enlarge almost any Lamma-zine photo, as usual.
In the spotlight, ready for fame & glory: lammajoeyu, VV
Driver and Quadrocopter Aviator, hired as a contractor for
"construction works monitoring". He's even got a name card now,
for his new Sky View venture!
look at that drill! It was used for magnetically-guided
Horizontal Directional Drilling of the outflow from the Sewage
Treatment Plants, deep below the seabed.
Joe's quadrocopter flying high above the Horizontal Directional
Drilling rig (the "oil drilling rig" as some people wondered) in
YSW harbour, now drilling in SKW.)
Effluent outflow from the Sewage Treatment Plant, after going
through one of the almost 20,000 0.4-micron membrane filters of
the Membrane Bioreactor which will filter out even bacteria. The
sewage will be treated first with bacteria for 30 days in
completely enclosed tanks with odour filters in this automated
Effluent is definitely much cleaner than the sea water it's
being pumped into, but none of The Boys I asked dared to take a
sip or even let me have a smell. The filter's remaining sludge
will be dried and dumped into landfills.
Joe's quadrocopter flying high above the Big-Helipad entrance.
Live video feed to a large flat screen TV, overlooking the media
Drilling the 500-metre-long outflow pipes under the seabed,
avoiding corals in YSW (60m below seabed) and fish farms in SKW
Photomontage of future $120-million Yung Shue Wan Sewage
scheduled to be completed in 2013, operational after May 2014.
$90 million for the very similar, but smaller SKW plant, adding
up to a total of $440 million, including Phase 1 and 2 of
the sewerage pipes, the pumping stations (to O Tsai, Hung Shing
Yeh and Mo Tat Wan) and the marine outflows.
the way, Phase 2 of the North Lamma sewerage pipes, connecting
all the way up to the top of Tai Peng and Hung Shing Yeh (but
not Pak Kok) will be tendered for construction only by end of
this year, 2012, taking several more years after that. So no
hurry yet to start up saving your money to connect your building
to the sewerage (usually around $10-30K per building, to be
shared by owners.)
you're interested in more details, here are the digital handouts
from the media briefing. They're short and concise, little
technical jargon, well-illustrated and presented "in order to
enrich visitor's savvy". Have a look:
Chin. | Fact Sheet:
SCMP Story and discussions in our forum:
Lamma Village Sewerage Phase 2
Yung Shue Wan is changing so fast these days and
there's so much construction going on all over the place, so
much changing in a formerly very quiet and peaceful village. To
demonstrate, let's look at a single street corner in Sha Po Old
Village (close to the waste bins and the public noticeboard):
to Myrna's former C5 Pinoy Store in the Red House, which
closed down just a few days ago, after the landlord broke the
2-year rental contract after just half a year for unclear and
undisclosed reasons (I've asked).
Oct 13: Halo-Halo, Myrna!
No more cheerful neighbourhood hangout/meeting
place for Filipinos, their international relatives and friends,
and no more Halo-Halo drinks for me! Want to rent a pretty
unique one-floor house?
opposite the Red House, there's
Vanoclamma the Guerilla Gardener's project-in-progress,
transforming an area full of rubbish and dumped waste into a
flower garden. Weeks of (unpaid) work, just a labour of love and
it's not even his land.
The local land owner was sceptical at first, but
was quite happy to take it over and continue, after most of the hard work
has been done.
opposite, on the very same street corner, a two-floor Village
House is being torn down - jack-hammering much of the day! - to build another new, maximum-size Village House.
We looked at the rooftop flat just half a year ago when
considering to move....
This will be the third brand-new Village House
built in this short street in just the last few years, all
neighbouring each other, continuing the feverish building boom
all over Sha Po Old Village with more than a dozen houses going
up or being "re-developed" in the last few years, rentals
booming. We've lived in several flats in this village for the
last ten years ... time to move on?
Finally, more traffic signs and mirrors are
appearing close to that same corner, after the recent serious
accident of a VV hitting a pedestrian on a nearby street corner.
Usually, these signs warn to beware of speeding vehicles only, but "Beware
Of ... Pedestrian"? Maybe this refers to me, or
to anybody rushing or even running for the ferry?
You might have seen today's SCM Post's story,
Sally Andersen cleared over dog attack, also featured in many other
printed, electronic and online HK Media.
The Lamma-zine has been very supportive of all
the fantastic dog rescue work that Lammaite Sally's charity
Rescue has been doing, so I won't comment much on this
controversial case. Here's a photo I took for a
Dec 14, 2004 Lamma-zine story. But have a look at this in-depth interview
last year, by Jay Scott Kanes, our
Senior Pet Correspondent:
Who Lives? Who Dies?
How to Decide?
See our Pets forum
for some of the stories, press clippings, plus additional
facts and lots of frank opinions from Lammaites:
Quarry dog attack case.
"Lamma Island, only
recently discovered by Bruce Lee and famous for its
yearly martial arts tournament operated by the one-armed, evil
who rules over the island. I could be wrong."
(introducing Lamma in his new TV series
"The Layover", episode 1.05
about Hong Kong - The Travel Channel - broadcast Dec 20, 2011 in
few months ago,
Anthony Bourdain of long-running (7 seasons) TV series
"No Reservations" was filming on Lamma for his brand-new series
"The Layover". As part of the "Hong Kong" episode, he and a
posse of off-Lamma expat yuppies had lunch in Lamcombe Seafood
Rest.: "pissing shrimp, jumbo scallops and clams." (Photo
Check out his irreverent and idiosyncratic
HK Travel Tips: "Go to the Aberdeen Fish Market,
where true Hong Kongers shop. Just remember to wear your
Just the One-Liners.
Mr DickStock noticed the filming (a quite
frequent occurrence in YSW these days, usually for HK TV soap
operas). He recognised Mr Bourdain, but neither called me nor
took any pictures himself! If you see anything newsworthy
happening anytime, anywhere on Lamma, give me a call at 6498
6960 and I might come running or biking ASAP, if possible!
Photo gallery of the Annual Dinner Party of King Wong
Development, the company behind "Lamma-1" on Tannery Beach and
partners in "The Baroque on Lamma".
of construction materials have been appearing besides the path
along Shek Pai Wan Beach in Tung O Wan, the location of several
beach cleanings in recent months and close to the location of
the proposed spa resort hotel (rejected by Town Planning Dept.
last month). This had many people worried, some complained and
the Lands Dept. stepped in, putting up Stop! signs last month.
The man behind all the construction-in-progress, Mr. Chan,
the Village Head of nearby Tung O Village then contacted
Damon Wong (defeated District Council candidate), calling
for a meeting with "green people" to explain his plans and get
their support, hopefully, to convince the Govt. to let him
continue his construction & river restoration plans. I tagged
along, taking pictures, asking lots of questions. See my
captioned photo gallery of the
Tung O Village Head Tour.
The largest flock of seabirds I've ever seen, living on Lamma for ten years.
(Click to enlarge. Fish farm in Picnic Bay,
Sok Kwu Wan, Jan 9, 2012,
shot from a very bumpy high-speedboat from Tung O Wan to
Sok Kwu Wan.
More photos at the end of this
Many Lammaites live in pretty amazing homes, often the
result of years or even decades of building, expanding,
decorating, planting, etc. I wanted to feature several of
these homes I've visited over the years, but the owners are
usually quite reluctant about too much publicity for their
private home and personal spaces. My home photo shoots have
usually been limited to homes that are up for sale or rent,
flat, or a few
a few families occupy entire 2- or 3-floor Village Houses
(3*700sqft), paying rents of $38,000 or more these days. The
population of Lamma isn't growing at all, according to Govt.
census data, but the quality of housing is improving
dramatically with all the many new Village Houses being built
nowadays, while the number of occupants per flat and house seems
to be decreasing dramatically, keeping the overall population
For example, our own Village House has only 4 occupants,
Lamma-Por and myself on one floor, plus one single lady on each
of the other two 700 sqft floors. The brand-new neighbouring
Village House is occupied by a single family who seems to live
there only intermittently, so it's usually just a single domestic
helper living in this entire building. Several families I know
have bought 2-floor older Chinese houses and renovated them.
Many of them have doubled in value in the last two years,
occasionally commanding sales prices of $5,000+/sqft.
more case of a fortunate family occupying an entire 3-floor
Village House was showcased in today's
SCM PostMagazine, which
features every Sunday a "Homes of the Rich & Famous"-type
residence (old, long- running
US TV series).
This time, the SCMP featured my friend
Debi's amazing & beautiful family home in Tai Peng. Have a
look at page 38, Sunday, Jan 8 2012, written by well-known
ex-Lammaite Viv Jones:
Island Life (link needs subscription). Here's the intro and a
few great pictures (by John Butlin) "borrowed" from the
public section of the
with many thanks.
life - Far from the madding crowds, an interior designer has
created a tranquil family space - by Viv Jones - Jan
"We have always loved this house because it has a
permanently open view," says interior designer Debi Yeung-Salansy
of her Lamma home. "We don't really see any other houses, just
trees and sky from most windows, and a gorgeous view from the
So who'd like to be the next Lamma home, featured in the
Lamma-zine? We can change the title from "Homes of the Rich &
Famous" to something less grand, if you prefer. "Homes of the
Poor and Infamous", maybe? I'll take the pictures and conduct the
It's surprising what kind of fascinating stuff
you can find occasionally when searching for "Lamma" on the
numerous HK Govt. Dept. websites. For example this "notice of
intention to remove a notified society":
Kind of intriguing, isn't it? There was an
actual society for Lamma's "transient artists", organised by
a "Shue T'ing Gallery" on 77 YSW Main Street, just
besides Bookworm Cafe? Plans to run art galleries or
organise Lamma's many artists have usually been
less-than-successful or short-lived. Was this the rumoured,
historical art gallery in the building where the
Diesel's Sports Bar has been located for more than a
ancient building - the last one of this type on Main Street, I
believe - is awaiting the landlord
tearing it down (maybe later this year?). He'll
be building two
3-floor Village Houses in this prime location on YSW Main
This former art gallery was named after the former opium
den (Shue T'ing, shooting, get it?) rumoured to have been
situated inside the same building decades ago. But this is all
local folklore and difficult to verify. My own investigations
into the history of the Diesel's building ran into a wall,
mainly because of decades-old feuds between local family clans
who categorically refuse to talk to any "media" about this
I've got lots of photos, photo galleries and
Lamma- zine stories about the numerous great and unusual
events taking place in there over the last ten years. But before
Does anybody know more about the history of the
Shue T'ing Gallery and the Diesel's building?
OC6 and Overall
Champion: Team Brad & the Bradasses
Team Paul & the
Pixies (click to enlarge)
Team Leo & his
- OCCCC (Outrigging Canoe Club
and captions provided by Dawn, click to enlarge)
The Lamma Outrigging Canoe Club and
Lamma Dragonboat Teams continued their
support of The Island Bar in raising
funds for Operation Santa Claus with an event
now in its 3rd year - the Boxing Day Paddle.
This year though, something new. The gentle
hangover paddle from Powerstation Beach into YSW
harbour for photo op with a slow paddle back is
now a race which shall henceforth be called The
The race commenced at Powerstation Beach with
Henry as the official judge, paddle through to
YSW Harbour to pick up a phrase (to be
repeated back in full later or time penalties
deducted and in keeping with the Christmas
Spirit these were based on bad Christmas cracker
jokes) and then race back to Powerstation
Beach, first onto the beach the overall winner!
There was a fantastic turnout on the day with 23
paddlers taking part. Teams for OC6 were drawn
randomly and both OC6 and OC1 paddlers all set
off at the same time.
The Champions on the day of the 1st Santa
OC1 Women's Champion:
Sara Jordan in
OC1 Men's Champion:
Andrew Fatman Shields
OC6 and Overall Champion:
Team Brad with Karen,
Fraser, Amanda, Jaime and Luke in
The 3 hardy dragonboaters:
(visiting from Kathmandu),
Tim and Christine
who represented the dragonboat crews and
opted to paddle in the outrigger canoes
instead (for the first time).
Claudia – Best
dressed boat and paddler, but
Tim the Elf a
Gina – in the
lonely spot as the only Surfski Paddler!
Lisa – without
her the turkey, ham, gravy and puddings
later at the Island Bar would not have
Monies raised for
Operation Santa Claus:
The cost of entry to
the race was HK75 for each paddler with all
proceeds going to Operation Santa Claus. The
HK1,760, the best yet!
Happy New Year and Best Wishes from Lamma
Outrigger Canoe Club and Lamma Dragonboat Crews!
The Team Mascot
Mr DickStock as Ghost of Christmas Past
The ONLY Surfski with Gina
Josh wondering where it all went wrong
Team Paul having far too
OC6 and Overall
Champion: Team Brad & the Bradasses
Claudia as Champion of Santa Spirit -- OC1 Men's Champion Andrew
OC1 Women's Champion Sara
of the coldest weather we ever get in HK, 11-13 degrees
Celsius, ... and what are some Lammaites up to in the dark
of night while most of us still cuddle up under multiple
warm blankets? They go mountainbiking up in Lamma's hills at
6am! Banny the GPS-Mountainbiker and his friend
Titos have been cycling a figure 8 all over North Lamma,
Tai Ping, to the far end of Pak Kok in just 40 minutes
Nutters! But obviously supremely fit,
very healthy & highly motivated nutters! Respect! Just thinking about it
makes me shudder, even while sitting in my unheated home
office typing away with cold fingers.
I like to try to stay reasonably fit myself by
biking, hiking and bootcamping, even recently joining the
relocated Lamma Gym again (behind the Beer Garden); but these two guys are
way over the top! They're kind of oddly fascinating über-human
to inspire us mere mortals, by setting an unattainable example, but not for
us to imitate. Well, they inspired me to write this
story, but not enough to leave my home office and get on my own mountainbike
myself during this cold spell.
we can admire and follow their exploits on Facebook, including
all the statistics of their most impressive ride, including GPS
satellite maps, speed, elevation, burning 548 calories, even
Banny's heart rate topping out at 185 beats per minute during
Check it out, they're not shy to let the entire
world know about their nightly adventures, via Facebook. Check
out the short bike pants, at 13 degrees, at their "First rest
stop" at the end of the Cable Road at the far end of Pak Kok:
Click above for
Tung O Wan photo gallery by L-G
- Senior ex-Lammaite, Teacher of Yoga Teachers:
It was all very low-key, very Lamma: 'Tung O beach
clean-up on Sunday', said Roz. 'We meet at 8.30,
Hung Shing Yeh.'
It's always good to clean up
beaches, especially Tung O: When I lived on Lamma
('87-'93) I would sometimes walk across from the
populated northern part of the island (where most people
live) to the feral glory of Tung O in the south-east. It
only takes about an hour from the main beach of Yung
Shue Wan, but Tung O is a gateway to another world.
There is a view of south
China islands whispering at
edge of consciousness and the tropically verdant
hillside which backs the beach leaks bird-calls, bamboo
groves, gigantic butterflies with a huge sense of
entitlement, the scent of wild ginger flowers and
psycho-dramatically inclined fruits....
Wendy (centre) on her speedboat return from Mo
Tat Wan to Yung Shue Wan, courtesy of Captain Oliver.
The Lamma-zine has been without an Official
Court Restaurant Reviewer for quite some time now, which was
quite a big gap in our lineup of occasional, but very important
My own attempts at reviewing reviews have been
less than successful, I think. One of my reviews probably caused
one advertising restaurant to reduce their ad spending on this site
by half, perhaps because I was praising another, competing
restaurant too much in my review (in their opinion, without me even
mentioning the offended restaurant!)
Hitting this site's
meager revenue so hard and direct, I've been kind of shy
reviewing Lamma restaurants ever since, searching for an
independent, unaffiliated reviewer. I got lucky recently, with a
couple of Lamma newbies and foodies willing to submit an
occasional food review. Welcome to our newly-appointed Mr & Mrs
Official Court Glutton!
Mr & Mrs Official
Court Glutton - Restaurant
reviewers of Lamma-zine:
by L-G and Mr Glutton)
His Imminence, Lamma-Gung,
having duly sanctified upon us our new title of Mr &
Mrs Official Court Glutton, we have been waiting for
the perfect moment to test the boundaries of our new
Still finding ourselves
settling into a real rhythm since landing in HK almost
60 days ago, the "perfect", well-planned moment hadn't
yet appeared in the couple of weeks since we accepted
the commission. Getting on the ferry a bit late after
appointments in Central, Mrs G and I decided it was time
to make our first review as Mr & Mrs OCG. That was the
easy part, now we have 30 minutes to decide which place
we will eat at. I honestly don't think it took us 30
minutes to decide to come to Hong Kong, and we were here
in 30 days. But you can't expect us to decide what to
EAT in 30 minutes. Get Real!
You see, we have nearly
developed a hobby out of LOOKING at food since arriving.
If we see a new grocery store, we will go in just to see
what they have, or what the deals are. While walking
about Hong Kong, Mrs G will suddenly notice I am missing
and back track to the last restaurant that had a menu
visible from the sidewalk. I've been known to gawk at
pastries or siu-mei also. Calculations show we average
2.8 laps around a supermarket to complete a shopping
trip. It's hard for us to go into YSW for produce and
not go to all three major shops, just in case. Small
fridge, lack of cupboard space, and what either one of
us "feels like" eating today doesn't make the food
buying decisions any easier. Or faster.
"How about Lung-Kong?
We liked it so much!", asked Mrs G. We liked the
subdued (e.g. not fluorescent) lights on the seaside
patio, great food and service, but decided it would be
a) lengthy and b) expensive.
It went on and on as we discarded each of the
restaurants we knew so far. "Want to try Beer &
Babble?", said I. The (what we thought was wax, but
IS real) food on the table outside the door does look
appealing as we pass by. We decide it is too Western and
a bit expensive for our taste tonight when we review the
menu. The Japanese place next door? Mrs G lived in Japan
and has spoiled me as well with top quality Japanese
food. By now we are in no mood to risk disappointment.
The menu does look good as we pass slowly by.
Waterfront? I am not a big Indian fan, but I still want
to try it, another day. There were a few more
discussions and look-sees.
Eventually it's down to Beer Garden or #1 Thai, and
#1 Thai is on the way home. All this thinking is making
us grumpy, hungry and anxious to get home. Combined with
the dizziness and shakes I'm experiencing, I convince
myself I have hypoglycemia. Must eat! Must eat now!
get take away because we want to get home, not because
of the plastic chairs, red checkered table cloths, and
garish tube lighting. Quickly deciding on Seafood Curry,
Spring Rolls, Chicken with Mixed Veggies, and steamed
rice, we order in an instant at the counter. WHAT!?!?!?
NO SPRING ROLLS?!?!? OK then, meat sticks, pork, please.
Satay Sauce and the Double Chili Sauce separate.
Chop-chop. Total order about $140. We wait at one of the
tables outside drinking the beer we picked up while
slowly navigating Main Street.
The food comes packed in waxed boxes in about 15
minutes. They did seem rather busy as most tables inside
had customers and two to-go orders where picked up
The Seafood Curry was absolutely the highlight of the
bunch. Rich, coconutty broth, cauliflower, more veggies,
beautiful Thai curry, squid, mussels, prawns, fish. A
good bit of heat, but would only be too hot for the true
princesses among us. It IS worth a trip all by itself.
We nearly scrapped over the last bites. I swear those
are not my chopstick marks on her delicate hand! The
chicken was lean and tender and the assortment of
veggies was cooked a wonderful al-dente. The mushrooms
in broth were delicious, we haven't been able to cook
these Asian mushrooms right at home yet.
can you say about rice? We prefer brown rice, but we did
eat it all. Cooked perfectly, it gave a wonderful
balance to the heat in the seafood. That's our biggest
complaint about restaurants here, brown rice is few and
far between. One more reason that we like Lung-Kong.
The large pork skewers had super smokey grill flavor,
but they did contain a bit of gristle. But the sauces
were lackluster. The Double Chili was just chilies and
oil, it seemed, and the Satay lacked any heat and
contained little besides peanuts, salt and sugar. We
couldn't really distinguish the difference between
"chili" and "double chili". With the gristle, this left
the pork skewers, which appeared great at first glance,
the letdown of the meal. But we did eat half the order
on the way home. It had been a long hunt.
made it back for the spring rolls a few days later. They
had the nice CRUNCH my glamourous sidekick loves. OK, I
admit, I am the sidekick. Filled with those translucent
glass noodles and a small amount of carrot and seaweed
bits, I thought the gentle taste of the sea made a
choice combination. My delicate partner found the
"fishy" taste too much. I ate what was left of hers.
Salted Pork and kale off the special menu for $45 was
also good on another day, nicely spiced tender pork, the
whole container filled to the brim with obviously good
quality kale. All the portions we have had were OK
sizes, but not BIG. Except the meat skewers, which were.
P.S. Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I get the meat
sticks from #1 Thai, bring them home, and put on the
green hot sauce I have in the fridge from the "Thai Thai
2" lady up the street in Tai Yuen.
The enchanting Mrs. G and I make Number One Thai a
semi regular stop now, we keep trying different things
from the menu and we have enjoyed them all. The Tom-Yum
Seafood is both my and my lovely Mrs' vote for the best
thing we have had in the village, YET! Stay tuned.
Number One (Thai) has just started to move next door a few days ago,
taking over the neighbouring, vacated premises of the former
Yo Lau Kee restaurant. This was our favourite Wonton noodle
place, see right, but it closed just a few weeks ago. It was
also the venue of the very first restaurant review by our former
Next review in
progress: The Annual Snake Banquet for Lammaites, Dec 27!
- Frequent Lamma visitor & Honorary Lammaite:
by Elizabeth Gould)
For me, Lamma Island is indeed, the best place in the
In my working life, I taught high school
English in Australia. After that I travelled, teaching
English as a second language, starting in Korea in 1995,
and finishing in Hong Kong in 2005. Traveling after
this, has needed no excuse beyond the pleasure of
re-uniting with friends and enjoying being there.
I notice that when I live in a culture
other than my own, my needs become really strong. I
found my need to practice my relationship with God
appears whereever I am, and this is often expressed
through meditation and singing.
I definitely need a good coffee shop on
the water, and a craft is very absorbing.
All this satisfies my soul, as do
symphony concerts, art galleries and music, but my body
increasingly needs care and exercise. This has been
everywhere, through bike riding, walking and yoga.
Now the proud owner of this little iPad,
I can instantly Google any strange question that may pop
into my mind, read an enormous range of books without
going overweight on the plane, keep contact visually
with my family and friends, make movies, write stories
with photos and even read The Sydney Morning Herald if
there is something happening in Australia.
However, the greatest mental stimulation
for me I think, has always been the people I meet, from
long friendships to fleeting encounters, people are my
source of inspiration and motivation.
So if you haven't guessed already,
that is why Lamma is my favourite place.
I go to church with my cousin in
Finland, sometimes to my grandfather's church, but the
choir is always in recess for three months in Summer.
"Then go in Winter", did I hear you say?!! Here on Lamma
I sing in a Filipino choir of delightful warm people who
are naturally musical and have great food.
I meditate in Australia, and also once
for four days in Korea. Usually I have to travel great
distances for short periods to do so. Here I sit alone
in a tiny chapel 10 minutes walk from my flat, at least
twice a week. My life always seems to run smoothly here
and I'm sure this is the blessing of frequent Peace.
I don't need to extol the virtues of
Lamma coffee shops to you, and crafts are here in many
forms. I am weaving in New Zealand and in Finland, but
looms are big. I suppose I could knit. That's pretty
portable. Here on Lamma in 2009, I made a silver pendant
with Bibi, for which I shall be ever grateful to her.
Going to Symphony concerts in Sydney
requires trains at night. Here everything is just a
ferry trip away and now there is a 2.30am ferry back on
weekends, we don't even have to sneak out before the
As for the stimulation of people here,
we have it made with a population of interesting,
creative folk who smile at you on the path and chat on
ferries and in cafes.
And the really big thing is that we have
no cars. No cars to cut us off from our natural eye
contact, no cars to pollute our air and our ears, no
cars to speed up the slow pace of our lives here, just
winding walkways and secluded stairways through jungle
vegetation and birdcalls. Here with yoga twice a week
and the hills, steps and vegetarian restaurants, my body
is well cared for.
For all of us that have ever aspired to
hang gliding, the kite must be our totem. He spirals
effortlessly on the thermals, looking down on us all. I
wonder if he sees the beauty and joy of the life we have
here on Lamma.
my own question from yesterday's headline, this is my personal
list of the Best of 2011 of Lamma-related events, taken
from the occasional Lamma-zine email sent to all subscribers
There are way too many to count, but these
events below are just from the last two months, with
links to the related stories and photo galleries, of course:
through Yung Shue Wan.
Santa-Clausing on Power Station Beach.
official "Certificate of Appreciation" for the Lamma-zine.
"Grotto I-Spy Riddles" @ Banyan House's Christmas Fair
Joining a "Greenest
Team Gold Award" ceremony.
Rolling through the
beautiful, people-free Lamma Quarry.
cheerful, peaceful protest demo @ Central's Lamma pier.
@ Lamma Winds
Tackling the entire
Snake Trail by bike for the first (and last) time.
Celebrating the Thai
Lantern Festival @ YSW ferry pier.
Enjoying the very
professional & cheerful Basketball League Finals.
Observing the intense
electioneering for the District Council elections.
Losing my new shirt
to some seedy hitchhikers.
Receiving the final
DVD release of the "Lamma My Island" dogumentary.
Having way too much
fun while leaving the island only occasionally....
started in 2002, and will be updated (almost) daily with anything
vaguely related to Lamma Island or its residents, be it news, stories, events,
artworks, videos, etc.
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