April showers are supposed to bring May flowers. Whoever came up with that trite saying clearly didn’t visit Hong Kong, where April’s gentle humidity rolls into the splashy start of Hong Kong summer and the whirring overload of the dehumidifier and aircon.
So let’s start inside. The Economist’s Pride and Prejudice panel at Hotel Icon (24 May) brings together business people, policymakers and thinkers from around Asia to discuss the business case for LGBT rights. One question a lot of people are asking: after Hong Kong won the right to host the next Gay Games in 2022, can it become Asia’s world LGBT city?
We’ll eat raclette at Monsieur Chatté in Sheung Wan in honour of Le French May, a festival of all things French including exhibitions, music (including jazz trumpeter Stephane Belmondo on 14 May) and art. Then into the New Territories we go.
If you’ve been stuck inside and online at one of the city’s co-working spaces, go offline at Hong Kong’s first co-farming space in nearby Lau Fa Shan, set up by workspace The Hive. The Hive CoFarm aims to promote agri-tech and will feature a community garden.
While in Yuen Long, swing by the Red Brick House market (which advertises itself as a ‘non-ordinary flea market’) for local crafts, drinks and food. A colleague went cycling in Nam Sang Wai and loved it. As we’re nearby, we’ll visit Casphalt in Tuen Mun – a vegetarian cafe, arts space and shop carved out of an old Buddhist kindergarten.
(We would tell you to go to Cheung Chau to watch the bun festival during 19-23 May, but a colleague lives there and would rather have his island to himself over the weekend. Our bet for an island escape is a breezy seafood lunch on laidback Lamma Island instead.)
There are two public holidays (1 and 22 May) that you can roll into long weekends. The formula is straightforward: hike (straight up Lion Rock) + dinner (we’re loving the small plates of contemporary Aussie cuisine at Elementary in Tai Hang) + an all-nighter (catch the bands playing at Wan Chai music bar The Wanch, or bounce around the warren of bars on Soho’s Staunton Street) + late brunch the next day (try the Bomb the Bay omelette at Sai Ying Pun’s Black Salt).
Jun 23-24: Hemis Festival, Ladakh, India
During this celebration, colourful theatre and dance performances at a remote Tibetan Buddhist monastery contrast with the beautiful mountain scenery of Ladakh in northern India.
Jun 24-30: Asian Sailing Championship, Jakarta, Indonesia
While Jakarta gears up to host the Asian Games, it first holds this prestigious regatta, which kicks off at Ancol Seafront, just off the city’s business district. asiansailing.org
Jun 30-Aug 6: Taiwan International Balloon Festival, Taitung, Taiwan
Held on a sprawling field next to lush mountains, this event features the spectacle of hot-air balloons while also offering music performances and other activities. eventaiwan.tw
Jun-Sep: Crayfish season, Shanghai, China
Street-side restaurants serve steamy plates of crayfish every summer in Shanghai. The most popular way to cook them is with tongue-numbing spice, so be ready with ice cold beers.