September sees the summer humidity and rain start to peter out, making this the perfect time to tackle one of Hong Kong’s best hikes and head to outlying islands like Lamma, Lantau and Cheung Chau, where walks can be followed by picnics on the beach. Or indulge in some self-care by booking yourself in for a staycation at one of Hong Kong’s most luxurious hotels or a table at one of the hottest new restaurants in town.
Read on for a selection of the best things to do in Hong Kong in September.
Celebrate Mid Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival takes place on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Lunar calendar, when the moon’s orbit brings it closest to the earth – this year, that’s 21 September. Enjoy the Mid-Autumn Urban Carnival and Lantern Exhibition in Victoria Park and activities along the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Explore the rebirth of Central Market
The recently rejuvenated Central Market has finally opened its doors to the public, after 18 years and a $500 million makeover. Located on the site of the first wet market in Hong Kong – the Canton Bazaar – which opened in 1842, Central Market now lives in a white Bauhaus building completed in 1939. Back then, the sprawling Grade III-listed structure had 200 stalls, where fruit, vegetable and meat vendors would loudly tout their wares. Now the venue is occupied by heritage brands like Lamma Rainbow Seafood and NGO Gingko House. Browse food and drink stalls, lifestyle brands and luxury grocery stores including 1966 Baking Alliance (from the people behind Hong Kong favourite Maria’s Bakery), Slowood, Bathe to Basics, Perfume Trees Gin and Mak’s Beer, or catch exhibitions and cultural performances on the first floor.
Make a bigger splash
Central Market isn’t the only long-closed institution to reopen this month. Water World at Ocean Park closed back in 1999 but it opens its doors again this month. Expect five zones at this aquatic amusement park, offering a mix of relaxation and adrenaline. Extreme water slides include the 17-metre Rainbow Rush slide, while the Hidden Village zone features Hong Kong’s first indoor wave pool. Want to chill out instead? At the Adventure Coast zone, lounge on cabanas and deck chairs while sipping cocktails and catching rays.
Grab a fashion-forward bite
Net-A-Porter has partnered with local coffee roaster Between in Tai Kwun to produce an eco-conscious lunch box. The limited-edition vegan bento box comes with a charcoal bread katsu sando, made with sweet potato, kale and togarashi mayonnaise, plus tofu cream cheese vegan tarts. They’re sold with either a black sesame and coconut milk drink or a hot brew. The sustainable lunch marks the expansion of the e-retailer’s new project Net Sustain, which curates 154 brands committed to sustainability, and makes use of a digital ID to trace each product’s life cycle.
Catch homegrown bands
Clockenflap Presents Long Time No See, from the team behind Hong Kong’s largest live music and arts festival, returns on 18 September at MacPherson Stadium in Mongkok with ‘Long Time No See’, an all-day show that will celebrate the best of the city’s musical talent. From veteran rappers like YellowPeril to singer-songwriters Cehryl and Luna Is A Bep, and new talents such as Anna hisbbuR and Charming Way, it’s the return to live gigs we’ve all been waiting for.
Check out exhibitions
For the weird and wonderful from an earlier time, head to the Hong Kong Museum of Art for Surrealist masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Works by Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Man Ray and Jackson Pollock will be on show until 15 September.
At Duddell’s, find an exhibit of work by 13 Hong Kong artists on loan from the MK Lau Collection, one of Asia’s most comprehensive collections of Chinese brush-and-ink paintings.
And finally, a group exhibition curated by Pablo Villazán at Woaw Gallery on Sun Street is also worth a visit. Titled Familia, it showcases work from nine emerging artists from across the world, each of whom captures their families in their own unique way.
Brunch like the Brazilians
September is an important month in Brazil’s cultural calendar, with National Independence Day on the 7th and National Cachaça Day – a day that celebrates the country’s drink of choice, a fermented sugarcane spirit – on the 13th. Uma Nota’s head chef Gustavo Vargas will be celebrating the cuisine of Brazil with a new weekend-only Bahia Brunch: it kicks off with a sharing spread of Salvadoran street food snacks, followed by heartier dishes like the traditional Bahian Moqueca de Peixe e Lula, a comforting and fragrant seafood stew.