You will read about Art Basel, Art Central and Taste of Hong Kong happening this month in every magazine in town. So we’ll do your mental bandwidth a favour here and not mention them again. Think art is boring? Is food just fuel? Then you’re in the right place. This month we’re dedicating this uncultured, not-even-slightly-hungry column to you.
Foodies noshing in Hong Kong’s slew of new restaurants (sorry!) have to work off the calories somehow. They do it in Hong Kong’s country parks. (Did you know Hong Kong is 75 per cent greenery?) There are trails out of your flat door, out the back of your office, even just a few minutes from the airport – although our current favourite is the Maclehose Trail in the New Territories. (This writer’s friend almost convinced her to train for the Oxfam Trailwalker in November, hiking the 100-kilometre trail in 48 hours. Still considering it – who’s in?)
Or how about music? The Altn8 Music Festival (11 March) brings DJs Danny Rampling, Preditah, Man One and, er, Wankelmut among others to a big electronic music festival across eight venues around town.
At Discovery Towers, beer definitely isn’t considered food, which is why we’ll be at Beeriest Asia (2-5 March) at the West Kowloon waterfront promenade. The website promises ‘weird and wonderful’ craft beers and boozy ‘games and challenges’. Which could be any Friday night in Lan Kwai Fong, really.
On a similar note, next month marks the annual Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens (7-9 April)– a debauched weekend of fancy dress, endless pints of beer and rugby action for some, a quiet weekend in Hong Kong for others. Get ahead of the pack by doing your Pottinger Street wig shopping this month.
Or how about the Bird Watching Festival in the Hong Kong Wetland Park. It finishes next mont…oh, forget it. Let’s be honest, you’ll find us at an Art Basel afterparty with a different kind of bird. Last year we met British garage superstar singer Craig David sitting poolside at the Grand Hyatt. This year has a lot to live up to.
March 16-19: Taste of Hong Kong
April 7-9: Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
April 9-16: Asian Table Tennis Championships, Wuxi, China
China dominates this biennial tournament, with players from North Korea, South Korea and Singapore also taking home gold medals at the most recent few editions. attu.org
April 13: Nepali New Year, Kathmandu, Nepal
This is a day for prayer, but you’ll also see revellers in traditional clothing parading through the streets. The most elaborate procession happens in Bhaktapur, just outside Kathmandu.
April 15, 22, 28-30: Penang International Food Festival, Penang, Malaysia
Penang hosts this event over three weekends, each with a different theme, letting visitors try street food, current cuisine trends and innovations for the future.
May 3-7: Boseong Green Tea Festival, Boseong, South Korea
Boseong, on South Korea’s southern coast, is the country’s largest tea-producing area. Pick leaves in the hills, sample green tea snacks and make fine brews at this celebration.