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Summer in Hong KongMay 30, 2012 By: Meagan Drillinger Travel Agent
|Mid-Autumn Festival in Tai Hang near Victoria Park|
Summer is a vibrant time in Hong Kong as the city comes alive with festivals and cultural attractions. Here’s a roundup of what your clients can expect to see if they are making the trip this summer.
Kicking off summer this year will be the Chinese Opera Festival, held from June 15 through August 5. The festival will highlight a lineup of 10 Chinese opera programs held throughout the city. Artists from all over Mainland China and Hong Kong will come together for the event, which will be made up of film screenings, exhibitions and discussions with the artists.
Following the Opera Festival will be the annual Summer Spectacular, an event put on each year by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. The two-month-long celebration will run from June 22 through August 31 and will feature a bevy of festivals, concerts and expositions. This is Hong Kong’s celebration of the season, with everything from fashion offers to epicurean experiences and animation exhibitions.
And speaking of animation, at the end of July, Hong Kong becomes home to the annual Ani-Com & Games, now in its 14th year. Held from July 27-31 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is an expo showcasing the latest selection of products and activities related to animation, comics, electronic games and limited-edition collections. The expo features stage performances, competitions and celebrity appearances, as well.
If there’s one reason to travel to Hong Kong this summer, it will undoubtedly be the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. This is the city’s crown jewel, attracting visitors and teams from all over the world. This year’s event will be held on July 2, when the city’s waterways will come alive with Chinese dragon heads and tails, while teams paddle and drum toward the finish line.
Just barely past the end of summer, September 30 to be precise, is the colorful Mid-Autumn Festival that celebrates, among other things, harvest time. During the festival, shops sell traditional “moon cakes” and colorful Chinese paper lanterns in the shapes of animals, planes and space ships.
China’s burgeoning art scene has caught the artistic eye of London-based artists Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, who brought the fourth edition of their collaborative White Cube gallery to Hong Kong in March. The 6,000-square-foot space sits in Hong Kong’s Central District and is the first of the galleries to be found outside the UK.
This month, travelers with extended layovers at the Hong Kong International Airport can look forward to the opening of the brand-new IMAX cinema. The new theater will replace the former 4D cinema in Terminal 2 and will be able to accommodate approximately 360 viewers. Visitors to the airport can also pamper themselves between flights at world-class restaurants, luxury retail offerings and kid-friendly attractions.
Traveling gourmets will no doubt want to sample Mario Batali’s New York-based Lupa restaurant, which debuted in April. Lupa offers a casual and sophisticated menu of traditional Italian cuisine. Diners can eat alfresco on the terrace, sampling wood-fired pizzas while taking in views of Hong Kong’s Queen’s Road Central. This is the first of a trio of restaurants that Batali plans to bring to China.
History buffs will want to take a stroll through Hong Kong’s Ocean Park, which for its 35th anniversary has recreated Old Hong Kong. Visitors can take a trip through time to the 1950s through 1970s as they walk down a replica of the streets and scenes of that time period. Other highlights include a marketplace, a vintage “heritage tram,” streets flanked with classic “tong lau”-style apartments, and other attractions that are characteristic of the time period.