Archive for the ‘Tours’ Category

What are the women in Discovery Bay doing for Chinese New Year?

February 10, 2010

Does everybody in Discovery Bay leave to go away during Chinese New Year? I asked a few members and here are their answers!

We aren’t doing anything! The girls are having a movie night though…..Leah Douglas

CNY, have no idea yet but hopefully will be peaceful 🙂 Helen Harries – Inspirare

 I was originally looking at escaping Asia and heading over to Europe (as the flights are so affordable at the moment) but unfortunately I am in the process of trying to work around my husbands work schedule.  Paula BarnesEnjo

 We are off to Phuket for a well earned family vacation. It will be an opportunity for us all to de-stress and have some wonderful quality time together. Illana Mckinstry – Career Consulting

 We will do some good hikes around HK and will go with the kids to see the fireworks on a junk, organized by some friends. That should be fun! Danielle Ribs – Life Harmony

I will be running scrapbook classes of course! For more details contact HK Memory Chest  Angela Collingwood – HK Memory Chest

I am going to the  USA Christine King – Headland Homes.HK

I will try to have family at home that are coming from France, for 10 days so I will  guide them through Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories and enjoy family time. We will try to go in the crowd to see  the parade, the lion’s danse and the firework.  Cecile Thomas – Double Faces


Hong Kong Culture

February 10, 2010

The up and coming festive season has us all thinking at Women In Charge  so we had some questions that we needed answering about the festivities. We decided who better to ask then the very talented Renu Malani: Renu has lived in Hong Kong most of her life and runs a relocation company called Rent a local where learning about the Hong Kong culture is part of her everyday life.

Who do I give a red packet to? How much is the correct amount to place into the envelope?

Red Packets at Chinese New Year

Whilst most people remember to give a red packet (lai see) of lucky money to people who work for them in their offices, they sometimes forget others who not only expect but rely on extra money in this form at this time of year.  Obviously this is always optional but if you have been happy with the service you have received over the year, it is entirely appropriate to extend a gesture to security staff in your building, cleaning staff, postmen, bus drivers and ferry staff.  The amount contained in the packet could be just $20, but it will go a long way towards ensuring good service in the coming year.  For security staff we recommend $100, cleaning staff $50 to $100 and perhaps $20 to $50 for everyone else.  It is always a good idea to keep a few extra red packets handy, with $20 each inside, should you come across someone who you think you should have included.

 On another note…If you’re in debt, it’s time to dip into your pockets and pay people off. The Chinese believe that if you start the New Year in the red, you’ll finish it the same way.

Is Valentines Day celebrated in Hong Kong? What happens this year where it falls on the same date as CNY? I have heard that you can give somebody face – is this true?

 Valentines Day in Hong Kong

Florists in Hong Kong must be shedding tears over the fact that Valentines Day this year falls not only on a Sunday but also Chinese New Year!  The day has become more and more commercialized over the years and Hong Kong girls like to show off their bouquets in front of envious colleagues.  As it won’t be a working day in Hong Kong, lots of local men won’t be sending flowers as they will be “wasted” at home! 

Is it true that saving face is a big part of the Chinese Culture?

The concept of “Face”

This is a term one hears often in Asia, it is an intangible quality that reflects a person’s reputation and dignity. One may “lose face”, “save face”, or “give face”.

You give someone face by complimenting them, showing them respect, or doing anything that increases their self-esteem.   It is however essential that these gestures be done with complete sincerity.  If one is patronizing about it, both parties lose face.  To shame someone by reprimanding them, insulting them or openly contradicting them in public, causes them to lose face and should be avoided at all costs.  One saves face by sparing the other person’s feelings or reputation. 

 This is not to say that one cannot take someone to task if such as you receive terrible service.  It is just more appropriate to take it up with the person in charge discretely and privately.

To do list

February 4, 2010

Whether you have just arrived in Hong Kong or you are about to leave in the summer I am sure you have thought about writing a list of places you need to visit before you jet off on another adventure.

The WIC team have made it that much easier by producing not only our own to do list for you but also following it through with tours and get togethers arranged for the next few months to help you get one step closer in ticking all of your own boxes.


  1. Crown Wine Cellars
  2. The China Club
  3. High Tea
  4. Tram Party
  5. Happy Valley Races
  6. Temple Street Night Market – complete with fortune telling
  7. Shek O family picnic
  8. Inspiration Lake Family Picnic
  9. Junk Trip
  10. Cheung Chau to watch them make mooncakes

If you are interested in any of the tours planned contact WIC for more details or if we you are interested in your own private tour contact Cecile from Double Faces to arrange one personally.

Xmas Shopping, Factory Visit, Hiking, High Tea, oh my!

November 12, 2009

xmasbagsJoin Cecile and her crew from Double Faces on Nov 17 for a tour of  the outlet stores at  Tung Chung and learn how to get around the area via bus, MTR, taxi, where to get that Octopus card recharged, and then a visit to a local wet market for fresh produce.

XmasplateNov 24, we’ll tour a porcelain factory in Kowloon Bay where you can buye new pieces, bring items for copying, or get personalised Christmas gifts. After we’ll move on to Mega Box where you’ll find a giant Ikea store. Arts & crafts lovers will enjoy the many delights at  Spotlight. Then a quick lunch and it’s on to the Gold Coast for Christmas decoration and more gift shopping, all for charity.

cupcakeYou’ll have a few days to recover before Dec 1 when we head for the hills of Central and the breath taking views as we hike from Park View to North Point.  Bring your hiking shoes. If it all sounds exhausting, relax! We’ll be taking a tram from North Point to Admiralty afterwards for a luxurious High Tea in a top hotel.

For more details email Paula or Cecile (just click on the name).

DB’s Leading Ladies – Cecile Thomas

November 3, 2009

Cecile Thomas' Double Faces, the many faces of Hong Kong

Cecile Thomas worked as a travel agent in France and as a tour guide throughout Europe before moving to Hong Kong with her husband and their then six month old baby for what should’ve been a two year stint.  She jumped at the opportunity to discover Hong Kong’s dynamic culture and community and soon put her professional skills to work guiding new expats and arrivals through Hong Kong.

Now, 11 years later, and with three children, Cecile runs a full time tour business, Double Faces,  to help newcomers make the transition and see the many sides of Hong Kong.

“I fully understand that a company who sends a new expatriate is ‘investing’ in a person and a family and wishes the staff member to be quickly efficient and happy in their environment,” says Cecile. “I believe this newcomer will feel better if his family finds some help, somebody to answer questions, and support them settling in.”

Where do you begin in this vibrant, crowded city covering Hong Kong Island, the New Territories, Outlying Islands  and Tsim Sha Tsui?  Cecile suggests you start with an Orientation tour of Discovery Bay before tackling the rest of Hong Kong’s sites and attractions by tram, subway, taxi, boat rides, trail hikes, shopping tours, island hopping — all aided with  some of the best books and maps — and Cecile’s experience — to help you discover your new home.

You can book with Cecile by email here or through Women in Charge.