Over the years, Hong Kong has become synonymous with the fast-paced hustle and bustle of city life: the towering skyscrapers, 24/7 shopping sprees, and delectable food finds on every corner.
The modern, innovative persona is what Hong Kong is known for. But amidst and beneath all the city glamour are more things Hong Kong can be proud of. Whether it’s history, an adrenaline rush, or time with nature, you can say ‘Hello!’ to Hong Kong’s plethora of surprises.
Roaring Back to Life
Experience the cultural heartbeat of Hong Kong as the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance returns with over 140 years of history. From September 28 to 30, the flamboyant dance will feature more than 300 performers parading a majestic 67-meter-long dragon through the grid-like streets of the charming Tai Hang district. This iconic event will feature special performances by next generation drag performers and an extended viewing zone along Wun Sha Street and Tung Lo Wan Road.
Originating during a plague outbreak, the Fire Dragon dance began in an inspirational dream when a village elder was instructed to create a dragon adorned with incense sticks to save the village. Since then, the ritual has been performed every year and has established itself as one of Hong Kong’s most important cultural celebrations, with the dance included on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Cheers to World Flavors
Mark your calendars for a culinary extravaganza against the backdrop of the breathtaking Victoria Harbour skyline! Following a five-year hiatus, the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival makes its grand return to the Central Harbourfront. The festival will also serve as a launching pad for a month of culinary celebrations taking place around Hong Kong.
Throughout November, Taste Around Town will highlight over 300 of Hong Kong’s destinations to eat and drink, with a month-long programme of exclusive discounts, limited-time menus and more that will reinforce Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s great dining cities.Gourmands can savor the new trends in Chinese cuisine prepared by some of the city’s leading Chinese chefs through the Chinese Master Chefs’ Curation. The HK Bar Show will spotlight a number of bars around the city offering specially crafted Hong Kong-inspired libations, including a number that recently appeared on Asia’s 50 Best Bars.
Also new to the festival is the Tasting Theatre, a series of hands-on workshops available for visitors of all ages feeling inspired to roll up their sleeves and don an apron. This includes engaging sessions such as ‘Plant to Plate’, ‘Origin of the Coffee Bean’, ‘The Story of Rice’ and many more. Cultural exchange is at the forefront of the festival as country pavilions from Bordeaux, Japan, Spain, and China will be serving up flavors from their corner of the world.
What’s more is that foodies are invited to enjoy 15% off limited-time menu items prepared by some of Lan Kwai Fong’s top chefs and mixologists at Sip & Savour in Lan Kwai Fong. And best of all, offers up to 30% off special menus created exclusively for Taste Around Town will be available under Chill E.A.T. – Everything About Taste.
World-class international racing events
Hong Kong isn’t just the concrete jungle you know it to be. The city offers the more daring and thrill-seeking ones the challenges of their lifetime with sporting events that will keep them on their toes.
Hong Kong’s largest international cycling event, the Cyclothon, happens on October 22, 2023, with participants speeding through streets and roads with roaring crowds alongside 5,000 other cyclists from around the world. This world-class race offers grandstand views of Hong Kong’s city skyline and stunning natural landscape over its three-tunnel, three-bridge 30- and 50-kilometer routes, which include roads and thoroughfares opened exclusively for the cyclists.
For those who prefer to be on their own two feet, Hong Kong’s moderate winter climate is ideal for outdoor running, as seen with the upcoming Hong Kong Streetathon on December 17, 2023, which will reap an expected 20,000 runners. Runners can challenge themselves by taking one of the three distinct routes which traverse the Kwun Tong Bypass, a cross-harbour half-marathon, and a 10-kilometer run taking in several thoroughfares that will be open to runners for the very first time. Registration is open now via the event website: https://streetathon.com.
Great Outdoor Adventures
In contrast to usual metropolitan Hong Kong, the city is also home to sprawling natural landscapes and attractions. There are a number of alternative ways to explore Hong Kong on two wheels for cyclists of all skill levels.
One unmissable journey can be found in the form of a 55-kilometer-long track that connects Tuen Mun to Sha Tin. En route, riders can explore some of the city’s rich cultural history with the path boasting easy access to centuries-old temples and other historic structures and monuments. It’s a culturally and historically rich bike ride for history lovers who also want to get their cardio exercises in.
If water is more your style, head to Sai Kung Country Park’s Three Fathoms Cove (Kei Ling Ha Hoi), located in the Sai Kung Peninsula, and step onto a stand-up paddleboard to take in charming seafront villages framed by incredible geological formations, and marvel at breathtaking views as fish swim beneath your feet. The crystal-blue waters sparkling underneath the sun are a welcome change to the usual Hong Kong city atmosphere.
But if you prefer to have your feet on land, rock climbing on Tung Lung Chau is where it’s at. Guarding the east entrance to Victoria Harbour is the small but mighty subtropical island of Tung Lung Chau, one of Hong Kong’s true hidden gems. With its unique coastal scenery and sea cliffs dotting the shoreline, the islet is popular for thrill-seeking rock climbers of all experience levels. A great match for the buildings Hong Kong is known for, these towering cliffs offer a different kind of view for those who make it to the top.
Visiting Hong Kong entails new experiences each time, and this year, Hong Kong puts on a new face for its reinvigorated lineup of anticipated events. The city boasts its ability to shapeshift, fitting into everyone’s taste, and with a few months left in the year, it beckons you to make the most of it and try something new.
For more information on attractions and events visit: https://www.discoverhongkong.com/seasia/what-s-new/events.html
Image credits: Hong Kong Tourism Board