Art and culture

Best Things to Do in Hong Kong in May

May ushers in Hong Kong's summer with festivals on Cheung Chau island, art and theatre shows and family fun

It’s the start of summer in Hong Kong, before the intense heat and rain, making it the perfect time to get the family – or friends – out for some fun.

Encourage budding artists with a visit to Van Gogh Alive. Set to classical music, the exhibition in Kowloon Bay splashes his Starry Nights, daffodils and self-portraits across every surface for a multisensory trip through his life and art. Follow up with the Affordable Art Fair (17-19 May, Convention & Exhibition Centre), for more inspiration and wallet-friendly pieces.

Theatre more your thing? Don’t miss War Horse (10-26 May, Lyric Theatre), a play set during the First World War that’s won praise and awards for its inventive set design and heartwarming story.

Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotelcredit: Marco Chow/Wow Productions
Marco Chow/Wow Productions

No parent will be forgiven for skipping out on a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, where you can enjoy the new Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! attraction in Tomorrowland, or Ocean Park, the oceanarium/zoo/amusement park that clings spectacularly to the cliffs near Aberdeen. (The new Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel is running an Ocean Park Experience package including accommodation, breakfast and park tickets.)

Cheung Chau Bun Festival
Wang Sing / Shutterstock

Then hop on a ferry to the Cheung Chau Bun Festival (9-13 May) to see lion dances, parades and climbers scrambling up huge bamboo towers covered in buns. The island’s Saiyuen Camping & Adventure Park will also host the Shi Fu Miz Festival (4-5 May), a free-spirited medley of electronic music, drum sessions, art and camping.

In Central, explore the Tai Kwun precinct, then head to Redhouse in California Tower for vertiginous views and a contemporary spin on classic Chinese family-favourites like Peking duck and dim sum. At the nearby Landmark Mandarin Oriental hotel, Chef Richard Ekkebus has dreamt up 50 new dishes for lauded restaurant Amber, which reopens after a four-month hiatus.

Head east to check out more fresh dining: new Vietnamese arrival Nhau, just steps away from the incense-filled Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan, and The Pansodan, a three-month Burmese pop-up in Sai Ying Pun.

Nhau

And if you’re missing a taste of winter, The Flying Elk in Central offers fine, robust Nordic cuisine with a terrace overlooking the rather more raucous activities of Lan Kwai Fong.

Planning ahead

1 May-30 June: Le French May

14-17 June: Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival

1 July: Establishment of Hong Kong SAR fireworks

8-11 July: RISE

15-19 August: Hong Kong Food Expo 

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