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Three Christmas Wishes

December 2011

By Kuma Chow, Hong Kong

Topping off my holiday wish list would be a fitness club membership—but not just to any gym. The three main chains (California Fitness, Fitness First and Physical) aren’t all the same: only Physical can afford to pay a huge star in Hong Kong, Aaron Kwok, to be its ambassador; and while California has the most locations, Fitness First is the newcomer whose novelty itself intrigues me. Picking the right gym isn’t easy: each club offers so many different plans and price schemes that comparison is definitely a headache. Plus, there used to be so many membership consultants waiting at the doors of these fitness centers that I was scared to enter. Luckily, a lot of these clubs now offer free trials that you can easily sign up for online. To further minimize hassle and direct patrons straight to the goodness of healthy sweating and calorie-burning, these fitness clubs also post their fitness classes schedules online, so one glance can give you an idea on which day and at what time can you do Muay Thai and Latin Dance. Super! Some of the more popular classes I’m hoping to try in Hong Kong include yoga, Pilates, and hip hop dance.

A seafood dinner with my family would also be a great holiday gift. We Hong Kong locals love seafood—we live right by the sea after all. Even though most restaurants in Hong Kong serve seafood, residents prefer going somewhere closer to the water where fishing boats can be seen in the distance.

Many tourists head to Jumbo Restaurant, which has been visited by big Hollywood stars like Tom Cruise and Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II; while Jumbo is certainly a place dressed to impress, given its massive size as it floats on water, my parents used to enjoy seafood together on romantic dates at a more intimate place called Lee Yue Mun. A family meal at Lee Yue Mun feasting on lobsters, big prawns, abalones, and tasty fried rice with sea urchin (a dish that I have never seen outside of Hong Kong) would be a wonderful holiday experience. That said, my own seafood favourite restaurant happens to be owned by Pure Fitness Center: PURE, located near Lan Kwai Fong in Central, Hong Kong, offers the best quality food and location.

Like a lot of Hong Kong residents, I made a trip to Europe to buy this year’s winter wardrobe. After purchasing items in Turkey that proved to be a bit too thick and too warm for HK weather, I decided to patronize local shopping outlets. Maple, a chain store that runs a loyalty program offering a 12% discount for members, sells Japanese, Korean, and European-inspired clothing ranging from sexy secretary styles to Hip Hop dancer gear. As the weather gets colder, a winter hat from Maple is on my wish-list, as is this year's must-have item, the cape.

Health & Fitness
Food & Drink
Fashion & Style
Hong Kong

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