City se­crets

Lo­cals re­veal best things about their towns

Paradise - - Contents - – WITH ROBERT UPE

PORT MORESBY The lo­cal: Leanne Jo­rari

What she does: TV pro­ducer and pre­sen­ter at EMTV; from the Oro Prov­ince but born in Port Moresby and raised across the Pa­cific.

What do you love about Port Moresby?

I love that Port Moresby (POM) is a melt­ing pot of peo­ple and cul­ture. Not ev­ery­one looks the same or speaks the same lan­guage. Most POM res­i­dents aren’t orig­i­nally from Port Moresby or the Cen­tral Prov­ince, but the city has be­come our home and we are fiercely loyal to her.

Your favourite hang­out?

I love drink­ing cof­fee and tea, and the best place for spe­cialty cof­fee, with de­cent am­bi­ence and great cus­tomer ser­vice, is Duffy’s. The Har­bour­side lo­ca­tion has amazing views of the wa­ter and is within walk­ing dis­tance to other restau­rants, just in case you want some­thing more fill­ing. The Duffy’s at Gor­don is closer to my work­place and there­fore more con­ve­nient.

A night out with the girls?

Girl’s nights typ­i­cally in­volve din­ner and cock­tails or, if we’re feel­ing so­cial, out to a club for some danc­ing. Port Moresby now has a wide va­ri­ety of restau­rants to choose from so we usu­ally just de­cide by what­ever we’re crav­ing on the night. If it’s Indian, then def­i­nitely Tasty Bites Indian Restau­rant in town; if it’s an all-you­can-eat buf­fet, I like the restau­rant at the Stan­ley Ho­tel, or Ko­pi­tiam at Gor­don’s In­dus­trial, if we’re after some­thing low key and low bud­get.

Place to re­lax?

Af­ter­noon drives up the Magi High­way. That’s not one ‘sin­gle’ place but gen­er­ally just driv­ing up the high­way with the land­scape and the vil­lages along that route is just mag­i­cal, es­pe­cially on a quiet Sun­day af­ter­noon. The drive can do wonders to your soul. And the road­side mar­kets are a bonus.

Cul­ture fix?

Tabari place, Boroko. It’s right near where I work so if I’m look­ing to buy some­thing for my fam­ily or friends over­seas, or even just to buy my­self a new meri-blouse, I can just walk up and shop to my heart’s con­tent. Like ev­ery­where else in POM, you have to be vigilant be­cause of the loi­ter­ers.

Place that most sur­prised you?

Sec­ond-hand shops in Pa­pua New Guinea are amazing. I wasn’t much of a sec­ond-hand or thrift shop kind of shop­per be­fore, un­til a friend, who is al­ways dressed to the nines, took me to a sec­ond-hand shop at Gar­den City in Boroko and I got hooked. You’ll find near-new dresses and tops, suede boots and just about any­thing you want.

Best-kept se­cret about Port Moresby?

There is a great bar/hang­out called Red Rock Bar, along the Magi High­way on the out­skirts of town, just a stone’s throw from Six Mile. Grab some beer with some mates and en­joy the 360-de­gree panoramic views of the coun­try­side.

Port Moresby is a melt­ing pot of peo­ple and cul­ture. The ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents aren’t orig­i­nally from Port Moresby, but we are fiercely loyal to her.


The lo­cal: Sid­ney Luk What he does: A Hong Kong tour guide who was born in the city and has lived there most of his life, ex­cept for a few years in France.

What do you love about Hong Kong?

The peo­ple. It’s a very at­trac­tive, busy city, but if you ask peo­ple for di­rec­tions they will stop and try to help you. Their smiles come from the heart. Peo­ple work very hard here, but on Sun­days they go to Stan­ley or Repulse Bay to re­lax.

Your favourite hang­out?

I like to go to Che­ung Chau Is­land. It’s mostly fish­er­men who live there but peo­ple are friendly and less stressed. If you walk, you can cir­cle the is­land in an hour – or you can rent a bike. Don’t miss the row of seafood restau­rants on the water­front.

A night out with the boys?

The Jumbo float­ing restau­rant in Aberdeen is an iconic Hong Kong ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s easy to get a seat and the dim sum is good. I also like Pek­ing Gar­den at Star House in Kowloon. It’s fa­mous for its Pek­ing duck and there’s no need to or­der it in ad­vance. Skye Restau­rant in Cause­way Bay is good for a spe­cial night too.

Place to re­lax?

I like to go to The Peak (Vic­to­ria Peak) where I can look out over Hong Kong and Kowloon. Lock­hart Road is flat so you can walk around The Peak eas­ily. Or you can hike down to Aberdeen, which is about three hours, through Pok Fu Lam Coun­try Park. If the weather is nice, I go to the beach at Repulse Bay, Shek O Beach or Stan­ley.

Cul­ture fix?

Chi Lin Nun­nery is a Bud­dhist tem­ple in Kowloon near Di­a­mond Hill. It’s a beau­ti­ful build­ing, dat­ing from the 1930s but was re­built in 1998 in Tang Dy­nasty style. It’s sur­rounded by lo­tus ponds and bougainvil­lea. I also like Wong Tai Sin, a Daoist tem­ple, nearby.

Place that most sur­prised you?

The art gal­leries and cafes in in­dus­trial Wong Chuk Hang. I used to live there so it was really sur­pris­ing to visit 3/3rds cafe at the top of Yally In­dus­trial Build­ing re­cently. I was fa­mil­iar with the area but not from the rooftop an­gle. It shows Hong Kong is chang­ing all the time. I would never have dreamed there would be a cafe there.

Best-kept se­cret about Hong Kong?

Peo­ple don’t re­alise there are nat­u­ral places in Hong Kong. It’s not all tall build­ings and a ce­ment jun­gle. There are beaches and hik­ing ar­eas only half an hour away. If I have time, I like to go for a four or five-hour hike on the Sai Kung Penin­sula, which is un­spoilt.

I like to go to Che­ung Chau Is­land. It’s mostly fish­er­men who live there. You can cir­cle the is­land in an hour – or you can rent a bike.


There are so many great cafes and restau­rants with out­side ar­eas that let you en­joy the great Bris­bane weather.

The lo­cal: Li Cunxin What he does: Queens­land Bal­let artis­tic di­rec­tor. Au­thor of best­selling book Mao’s Last Dancer, Li moved to Bris­bane in 2012.

What do you love about Bris­bane?

The great thing about Bris­bane is that, although it’s smaller than other cities I have pre­vi­ously lived in and much more re­laxed, it’s still quite cos­mopoli­tan. There are so many great cafes and restau­rants here now – and so many have out­side ar­eas that let you en­joy the great Bris­bane weather. To me, it’s the per­fect bal­ance of re­laxed with bustling and en­er­getic. I love Bris­bane peo­ple, they’re won­der­fully hos­pitable, friendly and gen­er­ous. I love the sense of space – it’s never too crowded. And I love the river. The wa­ter adds beauty and tran­quil­lity to the city. Fi­nally, I love Bris­bane for its enor­mous po­ten­tial and bright fu­ture.

Your favourite hang­out?

Cof­fee at Port­side Wharf by the wa­ter, fol­lowed by see­ing a movie at the cin­ema there.

A night out with the boys?

Ur­bane or Stoke­house Q. Stoke­house Q has un­beat­able views of the river that make din­ing there an ab­so­lute joy. Ur­bane has a great am­bi­ence and an al­ways in­ter­est­ing multi-course menu (for both meat-eaters and veg­e­tar­i­ans). It has an ex­cel­lent wine list that never dis­ap­points. Both have im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice, which is

some­thing I value greatly.

Place to re­lax?

Noosa and Coolan­gatta; both are only about an hour’s drive from Bris­bane.

Cul­ture fix?

Due to my role as artis­tic di­rec­tor of Queens­land Bal­let, I get to ex­pe­ri­ence a lot of the amazing of­fer­ings of our city’s cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions. I al­ways ap­pre­ci­ate any work by our fel­low per­form­ing arts com­pa­nies, be it theatre or mu­sic. I thor­oughly en­joy the great cul­tural precinct that takes in our gal­leries, mu­seum and our sec­ond home in the Queens­land Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre.

Place that most sur­prised you?

Philip Ba­con Gal­leries is a sur­prise dis­cov­ery. I’m in­cred­i­bly im­pressed by its el­e­gant dis­play and the high stan­dard of the artists’ works.

Best-kept se­cret about Bris­bane?

Sam’s Seafood has the best fresh oys­ters, prawns and some­times out­stand­ing mud­dies (mud crabs). I shop there al­most fort­nightly for the best-qual­ity seafood. It’s a favourite des­ti­na­tion to get the right in­gre­di­ents for the per­fect Sun­day brunch with fam­ily and friends.


The lo­cal: Janet DeNeefe What she does: Founder/di­rec­tor of the Ubud Writ­ers Fes­ti­val, owner of Casa Luna restau­rant. She has lived in Bali for more than 30 years.

What do you love about Bali?

I love the laid-back way of life that is also very warm and hu­man. I spend a lot of my time at­tend­ing cer­e­monies – even though I don’t al­ways feel like go­ing, the in­vest­ment made in fam­ily and com­mu­nity is al­ways worth it. I love the food, too, of course. My waist­line is in con­stant lament.

Your favourite hang­out?

Sengkidu by the sea, near Can­di­dasa, is an ab­so­lute fave hang­out that is rel­a­tively quiet and tucked away. If time per­mits, I stay overnight at Amarta Beach Inn Bun­ga­lows for the full trop­i­cal sleep-un­der-palm-trees beach­front ex­pe­ri­ence. If not, I take a day trip there and swim in the crys­tal clear wa­ters, then have lunch at the Amarta restau­rant, which is pretty good be­cause it is run by a French woman – mean­ing you can get a de­cent chilled glass of wine.

A night out with the girls?

Nowa­days, a night out with the girls in Ubud means mar­gar­i­tas and mahjong. And Bar Luna, in the base­ment of Casa Luna, is where we meet, for a night of se­ri­ous fun. Apart from my own places for happy hour, Bridges also has a su­per-charm­ing bar that is per­fect for an in­ti­mate tete-atete. The Night Rooster bar in Jalan Dewi Sita is a new kid on the block that dishes out all sorts of groovy, plant-based cock­tails till late, in a cosy, mod­ern set­ting.

Place to re­lax?

My ul­ti­mate re­lax­ation is to lie by the beach and read a book. The ocean never fails to clear my mind of ‘stuff’, es­pe­cially post-fes­ti­vals, and Tand­jung Sari Ho­tel in Sa­nur is my ul­ti­mate favourite for this. You can’t go past their el­e­gant Ba­li­nese-style charm, at­ten­tion to de­tail and sea­side lo­ca­tion with a view of the lofty Mount Agung. Their In­done­sian food is fan­tas­tic too.

Cul­ture fix?

I love go­ing to Neka Mu­seum in Ubud. Within its net­work of small build­ings, you will find the most com­pre­hen­sive dis­play of Ba­li­nese art­work, from tra­di­tional to con­tem­po­rary, with ex­cep­tional paint­ings by Don­ald Friend, Arie Smit, Willem Hofker and other west­ern artists lured by the beauty of Bali.

I love the food of course. My waist­line is in con­stant lament.

Place that most sur­prised you?

The Bali Sa­fari Park is sur­pris­ingly good with an amazing col­lec­tion of jun­gle an­i­mals, in­clud­ing, white tigers, who ac­tu­ally look pretty happy. It is Bali, after all. The park is per­fect for chil­dren and fam­i­lies.

Best-kept se­cret about Bali?

Den­pasar is Bali’s best-kept se­cret. I love the tra­di­tional food and warungs (small fam­ily owned busi­nesses) that are tucked away in the back streets near the cen­tral mar­ket. If you want an au­then­tic In­done­sian ex­pe­ri­ence, this is the place. It’s old-world Bali of the most de­li­cious kind.


The lo­cal: Karen Kang What she does: Public re­la­tions di­rec­tor at St Regis Ho­tel. She was born in Malaysia, grew up in Sarawak and has lived in Macau for two years.

What do you love about Macau?

It’s a lit­tle bit of Europe, China and Asia – a meld­ing to­gether of West­ern in­flu­ence and Asian cul­ture. Macau is small, it’s hid­den away and in Hong Kong’s shadow. You can get lost but you won’t be lost.

Your favourite hang­out?

On week­ends, Coloane Is­land is great be­cause it’s never too packed. I like break­fast at Lord Stow’s new gar­den cafe be­hind the bak­ery (fa­mous for Por­tuguese egg tart). There are good fruit and veg­etable shops in the vil­lage. It’s nice to swim at Cheoc Van pool on the beach, or eat at Mi­ra­mar restau­rant.

A night out with the girls?

I go to Taipa Vil­lage. I like to start with an early drink be­fore the sun goes down at one of the rooftop bars such as Casa de Ta­pas. Near the mar­ket there are some lo­cal lit­tle Chi­nese restau­rants that have plas­tic chairs and are very rea­son­ably priced. I also like to eat

I like to eat Por­tuguese food at A Petisqueira or An­to­nio’s. The chicken wings at Old Taipa Tav­ern are ex­cel­lent.

Por­tuguese food at A Petisqueira or An­to­nio’s. The chicken wings at OTT (Old Taipa Tav­ern) are ex­cel­lent.

Place to re­lax?

I walk around Nam Van Lake and look at the colo­nial houses on Penha Hill. There are great views of Macau from Our Lady of Penha church with­out the bus­tle of Se­nado Square.

Cul­ture fix?

Taipa Houses Mu­seum is fas­ci­nat­ing, with its mix of Catholic and Chi­nese be­liefs. We also have some top shows in Macau such as the House of Danc­ing Wa­ter – I took my par­ents there re­cently. The Mon­key King show is great for fam­i­lies. Last year the Philadel­phia Orches­tra and Lang Lang per­formed.

Place that most sur­prised you?

We have beau­ti­ful Por­tuguese squares in Macau. I didn’t ex­pect to find the Por­tuguese in­flu­ence so prom­i­nent still. A lot of the words in Ba­hasa come from Por­tuguese words, which I didn’t know un­til I came here.

Best-kept se­cret about Macau?

I’m not the most out­doorsy per­son but we have some beau­ti­ful walk­ing trails. I’ve done the eight-kilo­me­tre Coloane Trail around the hills on the is­land. There’s a great cof­fee shop near the old ship-build­ing area, Hon Kee Cof­fee, where they grind and brew their own cof­fee and the food is very lo­cal. They do the favourite Ma­canese break­fast of mac­a­roni soup.


The lo­cal: Kayoko Oht­suki What she does: Ar­chi­tect and founder of BAKOKO De­sign De­vel­op­ment. She has lived in Tokyo for eight years.

What do you love about Tokyo?

I love Tokyo be­cause it is a city where the tra­di­tional and mod­ern co­ex­ist. I par­tic­u­larly like the down­town (‘ shita-machi’) ar­eas of Asakusa, Yanaka and Ueno where the char­ac­ter of the old town still sur­vives. I also like Kagu­razaka where Ja­panese and West­ern cul­tures co­ex­ist: it re­tains the at­mos­phere of the Ja­panese Hana­machi (geisha tea­house district) with a sig­nif­i­cant French pres­ence.

Your favourite hang­out?

I en­joy ex­plor­ing Omote­sando (where I used to go to school), Daikanyama and Nakame­guro since these ar­eas are con­stantly chang­ing. There are lots of stylish cafes and shops around Cat Street, which at­tracts hip­ster types. I also like to hang out around the Yanaka/ Nezu area, where the tra­di­tional ar­chi­tec­ture is pre­served. It feels like go­ing back in time.

A night out with the girls?

I usu­ally go to din­ner with my friends. I love to ex­plore good restau­rants such as To­fuya Ukai, In­sho Tei and Ci­cada with them and en­joy girl talk over gourmet foods. I also like to go to ex­hi­bi­tions and con­certs at Chanel Nexus Hall with them.

Place to re­lax?

I love hav­ing pic­nics in Chi­dori­ga­fuchi, Yoyogi, Shin­juku Gy­oen and Ueno parks and the Mid­town Gar­den. These are all fa­mous for ohanami, cherry blos­som view­ing, dur­ing spring. If I want to get away, I visit beaches in On­juku, Chiba and Ka­makura and Kana­gawa.

There are sev­eral nat­u­ral hot springs in the mid­dle of the city: you can bathe while look­ing at a beau­ti­ful Ja­panese gar­den.

Cul­ture fix?

There are so many in­ter­est­ing mu­se­ums and gal­leries in Tokyo. For ar­chi­tec­ture, I visit Nezu Mu­seum, Shoto Mu­seum and 21-21 De­sign Sight. Gallery Ma, Mori Art Mu­seum, Bunka­mura Mu­seum and Na­tional Art Cen­tre Tokyo show cre­ative ex­hi­bi­tions.

Place that most sur­prised you?

Amaz­ingly, there are sev­eral nat­u­ral hot springs in the mid­dle of the city. Tokyo Somei Onsen Sakura in Ko­magome of­fers the tra­di­tional Ja­panese out­door hot spring ex­pe­ri­ence: you can bathe while look­ing at the beau­ti­ful Ja­panese gar­den and, in the spring, the cherry blos­soms. There is also a black wa­ter hot spring, Jakot­suyu Sento in Asakusa, which has been around since the Edo pe­riod.

Best-kept se­cret about Tokyo?

Atago Shrine is a small but charm­ing Ja­panese Shinto shrine in the busi­ness district near To­ra­nomon. It’s fa­mous for its long, steep, an­cient stone stair­case – the

Shusse no Ishi­dan (stone stair­case of suc­cess). Peo­ple be­lieve that climb­ing the stair­case with­out any rest and pray­ing at the shrine will make them suc­cess­ful. There is also a tran­quil Ja­panese pond where colour­ful koi fish swim. When­ever I visit to pray and med­i­tate, I feel re­freshed. It is the shrine where I had my wed­ding cer­e­mony.

Leanne Jo­rari ... TV pro­ducer and pre­sen­ter for EMTV (be­low); she likes Duffy's for its am­bi­ence and pas­tries (above).

Sid­ney Luk ... Hong Kong tour guide (above left); likes the Pek­ing duck at Star House in Kowloon.

Li Cunxin ... Queens­land Bal­let artis­tic di­rec­tor (right); one of his favourite restau­rants, Ur­bane (above); a dish from Ur­bane (left).

Janet DeNeefe ... founder/di­rec­tor of the Ubud Writ­ers Fes­ti­val (be­low left); Tand­jung Sari Ho­tel (above); lo­cal bites (be­low).

Karen Kang ... St Regis Ho­tel public re­la­tions di­rec­tor (left); one of the 'beau­ti­ful squares' in Macau (above).

Kayoko Oht­suki … co-founded her own ar­chi­tec­ture prac­tice.

Cherry blos­soms ... a Tokyo sight to be­hold in spring.

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