DB resident Amanda Yik pulls double duty to prove wellness and environmentalism can be one and the same as Hong Kong’s first Shinrin-Yoku guide. Elizabeth Kerr reports
PHOTOS BY Baljit Gidwani – www.evoqueportraits.com
It’s mid-September and still blistering in Hong Kong, and even in allegedly breezy Discovery Bay Amanda Yik is fanning herself with her shirt as she takes a seat with a matcha latte. She marvels at the atmospheric misery nearby typhoons have brought with them but she looks remarkably cool. There might be a bead of sweat at her hairline. Whether that’s a sign of emotional and mental health manifesting in her pores is debatable, but many would argue Amanda’s regular forest baths may indeed be the reason.
Amanda is Hong Kong’s first (possibly only) forest therapy guide, a therapeutic practice she took up four years ago after coming off a serious illness at just 36 years old. Her route was a circuitous one. A lawyer by training and a diversity and inclusion pro with Community Business by trade, Amanda eventually heeded her interest in environmental activism and completed a master’s degree in corporate environmental governance and went to work for an NGO in corporate responsibility.