Ah, November. The weather’s fine, the holidays are in sight and there’s no shortage of events – especially in this most musical of months.
Calum Scott, who wowed the Britain’s Got Talent judges in 2015, drops by to perform soulful piano ballads from new album Only Human at KITEC on 1 November. For a full festival experience, head down to Central Harbourfront for the city’s biggest and best: Clockenflap (9-11 November) – a weekend of brews, harbour views and headliners including Talking Heads’ David Byrne, New York indie heroes Interpol and local math-rockers GDJYB.
Then it’s time for the big guns. Specifically, Guns N’ Roses, who perform over two nights at AsiaWorld-Expo (20-21 November). Elsewhere, Norwegian indie-popster Boy Pablo plays at North Point’s MOM Livehouse (20 November) and Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand take over Wan Chai’s Southorn Stadium (23 November). Hong Kong Ballet dips its toe into the arena with the International Gala of Stars, a mashup of classics like Swan Lake danced to rock at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (2 November).
For a full night of musical fun, start with jazz at Foxglove (hidden behind a luxury umbrella shop in Central) or the Alonso Gonzalez Jazz Latin Quintet at Studio Club, followed by indie rock, funk and jazz at Peel Fresco, before letting loose to DJ sets (and costumed manga characters) at Japanese-inspired Yojimbo. Still going? Check out Visage One (barbershop by day, jazz bar by night) and the non-stop rock at The Wanch.
Need something nourishing the next day? Try the tacos and sharing plates at Te Quiero Mucho, a Mexican restaurant in newly opened hotel Mojo Nomad Central, or perch at the counter at high-end Japanese restaurant Ryota Kappou Modern in Central (chef Ryota Kanesawa’s fried wagyu will cure even the meanest hangover). For a nourishing dose of culture, the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, held at Tai Kwun (2-11 November), presents talks by authors like Laline Paull, Jenny Zhang and Cheryl Strayed (whose memoir Wild was made into a film starring Reese Witherspoon). Or swing by the Hong Kong Arts Centre for Wan Chai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense, an exhibition of works by 18 artists exploring the district’s identity and place in popular culture.
Nov 19-25: Hong Kong Squash Open, Hong Kong, China
Dec-Feb: Juhyo formations, Mount Zao, Japan
Zao Onsen resort in Yamagata is famous for its juhyo ice monsters, which are pine trees covered in thick layers of windswept snow to eerie effect. Try the area’s Yonezawa beef, too.
Dec 1-26: Christmas Wonderland, Singapore
Held at Gardens by the Bay, this event displays elaborate decorations and hosts carnival games and a skating rink. But for some, the highlight is the food village, which serves dishes by the city’s top restaurants.
Dec 8-18: Angkor Photo Festival, Siem Reap, Cambodia
The longest-running photography event in Southeast Asia, this festival features the works of more than 100 photographers, displayed in indoor and outdoor spaces. angkor-photo.com
Dec 10: Longines Hong Kong International Races, Hong Kong, China
The Hong Kong Cup, open to thoroughbreds three years or older, offers HK$25 million in prize money, making this the richest 2,000-metre turf race in the world. hkjc.com