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Society

Craft beer in Hong Kong: brewers in the post golden age

Along Tung Wan Road on Cheung Chau Island, hides an inconspicuous pub, with its name, “Island”, on  a small brown sign. Everyday, 37-year-old hostess Vicky Du stands behind the pub counter, pouring beers and tasting them with customers.  “We sell craft beer here,” said Vicky, “when I first tasted it, I fell in love with it and wanted to share it with more people.” “I introduce craft beer to every drinker I meet because I think everyone deserves a taste,” she added. Island’s liquor cabinet was filled with a wide selection of fine packaged beers. Some of them imported, but the vast majority were made in Hong Kong's local craft breweries. But Cheung Chau Island lacked the facilities for a brewery. So Vicky developed her own beer-ingredient list and later collaborated with various Hong Kong breweries for mass production. “The biggest characteristic of craft beer is its diversity,” said Vicky Du. “You can customise the recipe to whatever you want.” Unlike mass-produced beers, craft beers are usually produced in smaller quantities and accounted for a smaller share of the  market. However, as more and more flavours are introduced, craft beer is increasingly popular with drinkers as a way of  personal expression. According to figures released by the Census and Statistics Department, the number of specialised outlets selling alcoholic beverages in Hong Kong increased from 140 in 2008 to 460 in 2019. On the export side, craft beer has been the mainstay of Hong Kong's alcoholic beverage export. Hong Kong saw a golden age of craft beer in the past decade, with nearly 25 well-established local breweries, and countless pubs popping up every year, according to Business Digest, a Hong Kong commercial information platform. Among them, Moonzen, a brewery founded in 2013. It is one of the first breweries in Hong …

Society

Hong Kong beekeepers find ways to battle extreme weather

The mean temperature of Hong Kong has increased nearly 2 degrees Celsius within 10 years.  Given extreme temperatures and frequent typhoons, it is always challenging to nurture bee colonies in Hong Kong.  Still, local beekeepers are determined in continuing what they love and are able to find ways battling against the unpredictable weather.

Society

Big, loud and looking for a mate - Asian Koels in Hong Kong

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: James Ezekiel Kalaw MODESTOEdited by: Xiya RUI、Hanzhi YANG
  • 2024-04-22

As dawn cracks and you wake up to prepare for work, school or other routines, your day may go undisturbed without a sharp two-toned “koo-ah,” courtesy of the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus), a common sight in Hong Kong. Steady into Spring, the cacophonous calls of the Asian Koel echo throughout Hong Kong, signalling the mating season for the city’s feathered friends. With a vocalisation akin to their onomatopoeic name, the Asian Koel is a large, long-tailed cuckoo species common in Hong Kong and widely distributed throughout East, South and Southeast Asia. Although they are resident birds, they are only heard vocalising during the breeding season, typically between March and August. “I’ve seen some people imitate their sounds whenever I visit the park,” said birder John Chow Kwok-pun. “Some people don’t even recognise what bird is making those noises.” The “ko-ah” call is produced by the male koels, which sport glossy black plumage, to attract females, identifiable by their white and black streaks. Like certain bird species, such as herons and hawks, they have crimson irises. Asian Koels can be found in urban parks and the countryside, perched high in the trees where they vocalise. Being mainly fruit-eaters, they can also be observed perched near fruit trees. “They are frugivorous birds, which means they can be good seed dispersers,” said Bond Shum, founder of Outdoor Wildlife Learning Hong Kong. “Frugivorous birds mainly take fruits in their diet and they can fly with a larger foraging range which helps to disperse the seeds further away from the mother tree,” said Shum. “With the protection of an indigestible seed coat, the seeds are excreted and dispersed when the birds fly away from the fruiting tree.” Asian Koels also possess the behavioural pattern of brood parasites. Brood parasitism is observed among cuckoo species where …

Society

Getting to know Hong Kong through sustainable ecotourism

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: KIM Seojoon、CHAN Wing YiuEdited by: Elif Lale AYHAN、Wai Sum CHEUNG
  • 2024-04-17

Stepping into the forest, a symphony of bird songs filled the air. Chow Kwok-pun, 57, could practically name every bird in Hong Kong just from their songs.   “The best way to teach people about conservation and creating a sustainable environment is to bring them to nature and feel it with their hearts,” said Chow, a secondary school laboratory technician. Apart from his regular job as a teacher, Chow has been an eco-tour guide for 11 years with a passion for promoting environmental sustainability. Every weekend, he runs bird watching and stargazing tours all over Hong Kong, spanning both rural and urban areas. Ecotourism, according to the International Eco-tourism Society, is “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” Tours, like the ones run by Chow, became popular during the pandemic since many people opted for outdoor activities.  According to the World Tourism Organization, the market value of ecotourism is projected to increase from $219.53 billion in 2023 to $249.16 billion in 2024. The growth, according to UNWTO, is the result of rising demand for authentic experiences, government initiatives and policies, the emergence of responsible travel, and efforts on biodiversity conservation, along with the integration of educational components. On weekends, Chow’s eco-tours start at 8 am at early Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, a popular spot among naturalists, biologists and locals who crave serenity. The Reserve covers 440 hectares of forest on the steep catchment area of a stream. The forest extends from 50 metres above sea level to the top of Grassy Hill (Tso Shan), at  647 metrest. “It is the best forest left in Hong Kong. You can see the well-grown canopy,” Chow said. “People think that there are no birds and stars in the city, I’m here to prove …

Politics

Engaging the Diaspora: Examining the Significance of Overseas Voting in Hong Kong for Korea's 22nd National Assembly Elections

Ban Kyungmin, an exchange student at Hong Kong Baptist University, came to the Korean consulate with a friend on the first day of the election to vote.  "I've always participated since I had the right to vote. I knew that I could vote overseas, so I applied in advance to participate in the overseas elections,” she said. South Korea is holding parliamentary elections on April 10th. Under the overseas election system, which was introduced after the amendment of the Public Offices Election Act in 2009, the Korean Central Election Commission announced that it would set up overseas voting stations in 178 diplomatic missions around the world, so Koreans living in Hong Kong will be able to vote at the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong from March 27 to April 1 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each day.   The Hong Kong Korean Association and other Korean student organizations in all Hong Kong universities and colleges have been eagerly anticipating the event and have been promoting it through their respective online communities and social media. Election officials are at the entrance to guide the election. “I think it's an opportunity for Koreans abroad to feel a sense of belonging to Korea and to unite with other Koreans living abroad,"  Ban Kyung-min added. Kyungmin Ban and her friend make a "vote-proof pose". The Korean Central Election Commission is responsible for preventing and cracking down on election crimes and supervising election administration. The Overseas Election Commission comprises two members nominated by the NEC, one nominated by each of the political parties that form a bargaining group in the National Assembly, and one nominated by the head of the diplomatic mission.  Overseas missions and the Election Commission have recruited various personnel, including poll guides and election officials.  …

Hong Kong's unique herbal tea store is facing a crisis

  • 2024-04-16
  • By: LI Sin Tung、CHEN Yik NamEdited by: Yau To LUM、Sze Kei WONG
  • 2024-04-16

Rorippa Indica Tea is a traditional herbal tea in Hong Kong. “Sam Bat Mai”, a herbal tea store in the centre of Wan Chai that only sells Rorippa Indica tea. It is an exclusive shop without other kinds of herbal tea like five-flower tea (Ng Faa Caa) or “Twenty-four Flavours”(Jaa Sei Mei). This video is going to introduce what Rorippa Indica tea is and what challenges will “Sam Bat Mai” face in the future.

Society

Exhibitors disappointed by poor customer traffic at the lighting fair are looking for better turnout in Autumn

The 15th Edition of the Lighting Fair held by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council from Apr. 6 to Apr. 9, drew 200,000 visitors and disappointed exhibitors because of poor turnout. With the theme of “bright lighting smart living”, the spring lighting fair covered commercial lighting, decorative lighting, residential lighting, and technical lighting with accessories, showcasing an extensive array of lighting products and solutions. The Hong Kong International Lighting Fair is an annual exhibition for international buyers to learn about trends and innovations. The Autumn edition is regarded as the largest and most influential professional lighting exhibition in Asia.  "As our experience, the spring edition is typically not optimistic. So we had low expectations for this edition," said Huang Wing, a sales representative at LED Night Lights, a light fixture company based in Zhongshan. “The customer traffic and turnout in the Autumn edition is usually better.” Ariana Chen, sales manager from Shenzhen, Guangdong province, was disappointed with the poor turnout. “We've been doing this for over a decade, and this year there aren't as many people as in previous years, also with fewer exhibitors. You can see from the large open area in the back of the exhibition hall,” said Chen. Zhu Yixin, 32, a seller from Yuyao, Zhejiang Province, said their turnout and visitors were not bustling this year. “Our company has been producing outdoor lights for 26 years, ” said Zhu. “Maybe it is because the light fixtures look so old-fashioned.” “Most of the exhibitors who take part in the Spring exhibition can get a better booth to displace in autumn,” said Zhu. “I hope we can have more turnout this autumn.” Cloye Wu, senior account manager, was looking forward to a better customer traffic this autumn, “The turnout this year didn’t reach our expectation, both exhibitors and …

Society

Songkran water splashing limited to basketball courts in Kowloon City

  • By: NG Natasha Goa Sheng、MAO AnqiEdited by: KONG Tsz Yuen
  • 2024-04-15

  Hong Kong’s celebrations of the Thai New Year, Songkran, were limited to several basketball courts at Carpenter Road Park in Kowloon City over the weekend. Participants in the festival, known for its water splashing, had to register beforehand. Last year, three men were charged after soaking several police officers during Songkran on South Wall Road, also known as Little Thailand.   Alice Choi, District Officer for Kowloon City, said water splashing had to be restricted for “safety reasons”. “It is actually safer for the kids to stay inside a basketball court than play outside on the road,” said Patrick Ho, 39, a father of two.  “It feels great to experience the local Thai Songkran festival traditions in Hong Kong without travelling to Thailand, I think this is one of the great points that can attract more visitors to come,” Ho said. “Today’s atmosphere is fine, but I think the water-splashing celebration is not as enthusiastic as before,” said Vickey Chan, another reveller. “The celebrations used to be held on the street,and everyone could attend and didn’t need to register. Some visitors may find it troublesome and don’t want to attend this time around,” said Chan. Stall owner, Antia Fong, thought there were fewer visitors this year than in the past. “If the government can ease the restrictions to allow the public to fully participate in the activity, more people will come,” she said. “There were not as many people as expected because of the hot weather today, but more people might come around 4 to 5 o’clock when it’s less hot,” said Fong. 

Top triathletes meet at Central Harbourfront for Olympic qualification

  • 2024-04-15
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: AO Wei Ying Vinci、LAI Uen LingEdited by: Ka Man Wong
  • 2024-04-15

More than 120 athletes from 37 regions compete in the second 2024 World Triathlon Cup. The event at Central Harbourfront is held on the hottest March day on record at 31.5 degrees Celsius. Apart from the intense competition among elite athletes in the morning, there are also the super sprint races for young athletes and a post-race carnival which is open to everyone.

Society

Taiwan quake disrupts Xiamen high-speed rail services

Thousands of passengers were left stranded at Xiamen Railway Station on the mainland following yesterday’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Hualien in Taiwan. High-speed rail services were cancelled or delayed as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of passengers.  Taiwan authorities said the earthquake was the strongest to hit the island in at least 25 years, with a depth of 15.5km. It was also felt in Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Ningde in Fujian province on the mainland, according to Chinese state media.   Yu Shihuan, a passenger at Xiamen Railway Station told TYR News that it was the first time he had felt an earthquake. “My phone beeped warning me of the earthquake. I thought it was only an alarm. It was not until I felt my chair shook that I realized it was an earthquake. ” Yu said“I grabbed my friends, who were about to run out of the station to stay in a corner because I know it is only after the first strong wave that we can escape,” The Dispatching Director of Xiamen Railway Station, Zhao Ping, said high-speed trains were not allowed to set off from Xiamen. More than 30 services were suspended. Only a small number  of trains could go north.  “We have to check the quality of some of our earthquake-affected railways to ensure they are suitable for letting the high-speed railway trains pass. The earthquake can crack tracks.” said Huang Shuying, technical engineer of Xiamen Railway Station. The station was in chaos as the information on the station’s big screen was confusing.Wong Xi, a passenger who arrived at the station in the morning, said he had been waiting for more than seven hours but was still not able to leave.  “The train I was about to board passed through Xiamen. The big …