In Hong Kong, you might know March as ‘art month’ or ‘food month’. Why? Because there are two upscale art fairs – Art Basel Hong Kong (29-31 March) and Art Central (27 March-1 April) – and a big food festival called Taste of Hong Kong (22-25 March).
We usually consider March as ‘The Unofficial Hong Kong Sevens warm up’. The 2018 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is held over 6-8 April, and to prepare for the event, there’s loads of fun stuff happening in Causeway Bay’s Lee Gardens across three weekends from 24 March.
The first weekend (24-25 March) kicks off the Lee Gardens fun: there’s a ‘StreetMAZE’, with seven giant rugby related artworks dotted around Lee Gardens (scan all seven QR codes and five more at sponsors’ booths to win a prize). Also from 24 March you can take part in the Cathay Pacific scrum challenge: test your power against a scrum machine to win air tickets. Over Easter weekend (30 March-2 April) it’s the EggssentiallyArt! Rugby Edition, which celebrates egg waffles, the much-loved Hong Kong street food, made in rugby ball shapes. There’ll also be musical performances, art installations and visiting international rugby teams.
Then there’s the Beach Fives in Repulse Bay (17-18 March), which is half beach festival and half serious rugby tournament – basically a scaled-down Sevens on sand.
You’ll need to eat, too. New in town is sexy sushi joint Fumi in Lan Kwai Fong’s California Tower; a new Central outpost for superb Italian Pici; and a permanent location for PDT (Please Don’t Tell) at The Landmark, Mandarin Oriental, the first ever other than the original New York bar.
Crystal Jade group has opened an airy and Jiangnan-themed restaurant in Wan Chai, while Yum Cha, opposite Causeway Bay’s Times Square, is promising to recapture the flavours of typhoon shelter cooking – though we’re not sure typhoon shelter diners ever served cute bao with chocolate moustaches.
Mar 17: Nyepi, Bali, Indonesia
Known as the day of silence, Nyepi marks the Balinese New Year. In addition to not speaking, the Balinese also fast and meditate. It’s a different, peaceful time to be visiting the island.
Apr 2-29: World Gourmet Summit, Singapore
Enjoy dishes prepared by celebrity chefs, learn new skills at cooking masterclasses and attend wine tastings at this event showcasing Singapore’s dining scene.
Apr 13-15: China Grand Prix, Shanghai, Mainland China
Watch drivers negotiate the winding turns of the Shanghai International Circuit race track (fun fact: it’s shaped like the Chinese character for ‘up’) from its super sleek stands.
Late April to early May: Kawachi Fuji-en Wisteria Tunnel, Fukuoka, Japan
During the monthlong wisteria blooming season, purple flowers cascade off vines that form huge, otherworldly tunnels in Kawachi Wisteria Garden, in the hills of Kitakyushu.