Hong Kong happenings to mark in your calendar  
Hong Kong's cultural calendar is jammed to bursting with wonderful events and festivals for you to enjoy. There is truly no end of things to do in this city, regardless of when you happen to be passing through town. Here are a few of the most famous and popular examples.
Chinese New Year
Where else to start but one of the world's most renowned spectacular festivals? Ringing in the New Year in Hong Kong is an experience truly like no other. A 15 day celebration of life and culture, it dwarves all other parties you are likely to come across. It begins on the first day of the new year (about the 14th February) and rocks on until well into March, when the Spring Lantern Festival closes things out. Highlights include the Night Parade, where an army of brilliant performers march through Tsim Sha Tsui, while hundreds of thousands of people line the streets and party. Another recommendation is the Pulse 3D Light Show that takes place in the Open Piazza of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, providing a night of high tech audio visual treats.
As Christmas arrives on the horizon, there are few cities that celebrate the holiday season with quite the fun and glamour of HK. The annual WinterFest hits town and brings with it remarkable decorations, lots of great food and, of course, the New Year's countdown on the 31st December. The Statue Square Christmas Tree is a massive testament to this city's love of spectacle.
The Wine and Dine Festival
Hong Kong is a city in love with food and you can find just about every culinary culture represented somewhere in the town. It should come as no surprise, then, to find that HK plays host to one of the world's most exciting food festivals each year. The Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival brings together the world's best wine and food and presents it to visitors across a month of fun filled events. From wine tours to street food parties to cookery classes from some of the city's top chefs, there is no end of choice for the fun loving foodie. Perhaps its most famous event, however, is its famous opening party.
The Dragon Boat Carnival
Hundreds of thousands of people attend the Dragon Boat Carnival in Hong Kong each year, where thousands of the world's most famous and feted dragon boat racers come to compete. In the last few years it has become so popular that it is now one of Asia's most fun-filled annual parties. Beer is very much on the menu, thanks in some part to the San Miguel Beerfest that accompanies the races. A wild day out in Victoria Harbour is assured.
Buddha's Birthday
A million miles from the raucous, thronging fervour of the Dragon Boat Carnival is the festival celebrating the birthday of Buddha, founder of Buddhism, which takes place around May each year. Here spirituality, contemplation and tradition are very much the order of the day. At temples across Hong Kong, believers bathe statues of the religion's iconic forefather, purifying their own souls in the process.
Greatest film-makers  
Hong Kong continues to be a city obsessed with cinema. Over the years this exceptionally fertile and exciting Asian outpost of film-making has created some of the world's most startling, innovative and influential motion pictures. It has also been the spawning ground for many of the world's most famous and feted movie makers. Here we look at five of Hong Kong's greatest directors.
Tsui Hark
Born in 1951 in Vietnam, Tsui is known throughout the world of cinema as one of the finest and most distinctive writers, directors and producers around. What marks out his career most, perhaps, is that Tsui has managed to maintain his status as a cinematic innovator and agitator, thanks to his work in the politicised New Wave of the late 70s and early 80s, while also going on to create mainstream commercial fare as part of the Cinema City team later on in his career. His huge filmography includes classics of New Wave cinema such as A Better Tomorrow, A Chinese Ghost Story and Once Upon a Time in china, plus large scale blockbusters like Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame and Young Detective Dee.
Ann Hui
Like Tsui Hark, Ann Hui is a celebrated member of what is known as Hong Kong New Wave cinema. Unlike Tsui, however, Hui has never gone into the more clear-cut commercial output that has marked out the former film-maker's career. Hui's work has always maintained a challenging, gritty dynamic, driving home confrontational and frequently controversial messages about prevalent social issues. Amongst her most startling films are Love in Fallen City, which portrays a heart breaking romance during World War 2, Boat People, which follows a journalist's attempts to document the Vietnamese people's recovery from their civil war and the vicious treatment of the North Vietnamese in its fallout, and July Rhapsody, about a literature teacher tempted to enter an affair with one of his pupils in an exclusive high school.
Johnnie To
Johnnie To is not only one of Hong Kong's most famous directors but also one of its most prolific. His directing CV has 59 credits on it, all of them made in a 35 year period, beginning in 1980. That's not even to mention the some 70-odd producer credits he boasts. What is also notable about To is his variety and flexibility as a director. Though western audiences will know him best for his gangster pictures, such as Election, Mad Detective and Drug War, his canon also includes a range of razor sharp comedies like Fat Choi Spirit, romantic melodramas such as Turn Left Turn Right, plus movies that simply defy pigeon holing, like the startling Sparrow, the moody Throw Down and the wonderful Romancing in Thin Air.
John Woo
When a western film fan thinks of Hong Kong directors, the first name that will pop into their heads is likely to be John Woo. Is that fair? Many hardcore fans of HK movies would say no, pointing particularly to Woo's somewhat patchy output since moving to Hollywood in the early 90s as proof that he does not deserve such attention, when somebody like Ann Hui, for example, is unknown to most members of the English speaking audience. However, particularly during his mid-80s period, Woo created some of the most flat-out entertaining action movies available anywhere in the world. The Killers, Hard Boiled, A Better Tomorrow – regardless of how you feel about his later work, these stonewall greats of their genre remain classics to this day.
Glenlivet celebrates in HK  

The Glenlivet, the world's No.1 single malt Scotch whisky, has launched The Glenlivet Blethermen Single Cask Edition in Hong Kong at the recently opened Seafood Room to appeal to whisky aficionados looking for a rare expression steeped in the heritage of the renowned distillery from the Speyside region. This unique event, offering guests numerous entertainments such as a Whisky Game Station and a Tea & Nadurra pairing counter, marks the first ever organised in the new restaurant since its opening. 
The Glenlivet Blethermen Single Cask Edition is named after The Blethermen, a landmark on one of the original smuggling trails out of the Glenlivet Valley to the Scottish market town of Perth. The routes were originally used by the founder of The Glenlivet, George Smith and the illicit distillers of the 18th and 19th Centuries to transport their goods to sell in larger Scottish towns.
Drawn from a single Blethermen cask picked for its exceptional quality from The Glenlivet inventory, The Glenlivet Blethermen Single Cask Edition has been bottled after 16 years of maturation, at around 52.5% cask strength and without chill filtration to offer the purest expression of The Glenlivet style, providing the closest experience possible of drinking a dram straight from the cask. Just 570 bottles of Blethermen Single Cask Edition have been drawn from the cask, making it a real whisky collectors' item.
Alan Winchester, The Glenlivet Master Distiller, comments: “I am honoured to present The Glenlivet Blethermen Single Cask Edition to The Glenlivet fans in Hong Kong. Each addition to The Glenlivet Single Cask Editions range offers its own individual insight into the provenance, artisanal production techniques and smooth, floral, fruity house style of The Glenlivet. Bottled straight from the cask in which it has been matured, this unique combination of liquid, cask and age will never be replicated.
“Our founder, George Smith crafted the original single malt that set the standard for the quality and taste that has come to define the Speyside style of whisky, and I believe that he would have been proud of this truly rare single malt and its reflection on the craftsmanship in place at the distillery today. The Glenlivet Blethermen Single Cask Edition will provide whisky fans with the opportunity to experience The Glenlivet in its purest form and learn about the heritage of the Speyside region through its unique taste profile, featuring sweet and fruity aromas of banana, peach and creamy toffee on the nose. The palate is silky smooth with flavours of sweet juicy orange, spicy cinnamon and a touch of ginger.
The Glenlivet Blethermen Single Cask Edition is available from June at the recommended retail price of HK$2988 at Watson Wine. Please enjoy The Glenlivet responsibly.

Family friendly Hong Kong events and attractions  
The always busy and buzzing city of Hong Kong packs a near endless list of family oriented events into its calendar. Regardless of when you visit or what you come for, there is sure to be something happening in Hong Kong that will provide Mum, Dad and the kids with lavish entertainment. Here we round up a few of the most exciting annual events and other attractions, though, believe us, this is very much an abridged list.
The Great European Carnival
Once a staple of Hong Kong's cultural calendar the Great European Carnival was on hiatus for a number of years but is now back and bigger than ever. An annual, three month funfair, it promises fun for all the family, mixing traditional carnival attractions with more modern fare, all carried off with typical Hong Kong spectacle. Expect thrill rides, high tech games, carousels and a whole lot more more – the overall budget for the carnival is a whopping $130 million. The dates change, though it generally takes place in winter, between December and February, by the New Central Harbourfront.
If you want to give your kids some culture but still want to make sure they are entertained, you should get on down to Kidsfest, which takes place every January. A celebration of family friendly theatre, it is the largest English language children's drama event in Hong Kong. It takes place in The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts in Wan Chai.
Hong Disneyland
No list of Hong Kong family friendly day's out would be complete without a nod to old uncle Walt's Easternmost outpost. Though it is not quite yet as spectacular as its Californian, Floridian and Parisian cousins, it has improved year upon year since it opened its gates back in 2005. Now it plays host to a bevy of breath-taking rides, including Space Mountain, Big Grizzly Runaway Mine Cars and Orbitron.
Hong Kong Science Museum
When the rain falls in Hong Kong, there are few better ideas than taking the kids down to Kowloon for a walk around the Science Museum. With over 500 exhibits, there is no end of things to keep your children engaged, and it is particularly rewarding if they are curious about how the world works. A huge number of the exhibits allow visitors to get involved themselves, including drivable car simulators and audio visual effects machines.
Ocean Park
Though perhaps not quite as well known as Disneyland, Ocean Park is just as popular if not, arguably, more so. It offers the visitor a sea-themed day out, with small queues and lots of friendly animals to meet, including pandas, sea lions and a massive aquarium. Adults will love travelling between Ocean Park's upper and lower levels using the extraordinary sky tram. From one of its compartments, you can enjoy an unrivalled view of the city.
Hong Kong Park
For a relaxed sunny day out with the kids, Hong Kong park is a lovely choice. This small, tranquil little haven in the middle of the hustle and bustle is a perfect spot to wile away a few hours, watching the turtles playing in the numerous small ponds that dot the greenery.
Hip Hong Kong: the coolest spots in the city  
Entertainment is not hard to come by in Hong Kong. This thriving, bustling metropolis is a true bastion of hip happenings. Whether you are looking to drink, eat, dance, listen to music, take in some art, watch movies or go to the theatre, you'll find something to suit your tastes here.
One of the most recent trends in Hong Kong nightlife is the profusion of wine bars, exclusive clubs and live music spots that have popped up across the city in the last few years. The increasingly multicultural population has seen the entertainment options on offer multiply, with more and more to do and see after dark in Hong Kong. Here are a few of our favourite spots.
The Gecko Lounge
If you fancy a classy drink or two in Hong Kong, then the Gecko will be the place for you. This intimate little wine bar sits just off Cochrane, and offers a huge menu of some of the best French and Italian wines you'll find in China. It also has a plentiful supply of absinthe, in case you fancy taking things up a notch or three. As you have probably gleaned from above, the vibe is very much Parisian, so it's a good bet for the Francophile looking for an Asian flavoured taste of the city of lights.
Executive Bar
Those who consider themselves connoisseurs of whisky and bourbon will be right at home in this exclusive little spot on Causeway Bay. The Executive Bar boasts a massive menu, much of which is available to taste, and is décor and ambience has been carefully constructed to foster an old-school businessman's retreat atmosphere. If you want to sample the wares, you have to make an appointment in advance, so don't just rock up expecting to be let in.
Club 71
If the Executive Bar does not sound like your cup of tea, there's a good chance Club 71 will be more what you are after. As opposed to exclusivity, this bohemian little bar has been designed for inclusivity and friendliness. It is a favourite of Hong Kong's arty types and left wing political activists – in fact, its named after a protect that took place in 2003 and it was the headquarters of a major coup attempt 100 years ago. Expect jamming sessions, beer and a generally amiable atmosphere.
One of the city's most famous bars is Globe, which offers great good, plush décor and one of the deepest menus of alcohol you will find in the city. There is more than 150 different varieties of beer to be had, plus T8 – the first ever cask conditioned ale to be brewed native in Hong Kong.
Sevva is one of the more costly places to drink in Hong Kong but the huge crowds that flock here every evening believe it's a fair price to pay for perhaps the best view you can find of Hong Kong's skyline. Its balcony is famous across the city for giving drinkers an unmatched look at both the skyscrapers of the financial district and Kowloon. You'll want to book ahead if you want a table on the balcony, however.
A quick guide to Hong Kong life for expats  
Living in Hong Kong is a truly extraordinary experience, one which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Yes, of course, all the major cities are different, but few are quite as uniquely different as HK. The entirely exceptional cultural, economic and political situation that exists here means a culture shock is on the cards regardless of where you originally come from. Here we give you our brief guide to Hong Kong life and Hong Kong culture to ensure you are prepared to join this extraordinary city's vibrant populace.
Finding accommodation
People who live and work in HK either live on or off the island. Like moving to any central location, being on the island means you are close to the nightlife, restaurants and, most probably, your place of business, though this will be reflected in your rental costs and the amount of space you get. By choosing to live off the island you will save a packet or, at least, get a bit more value for money, though it will mean a longer commute and a potentially more isolated social life.
Making friends
Hong Kong is a city that offers you an extraordinary amount of choice when it comes to what you do in your spare time. From high culture to crazy nights on the town it's all here. Live music, art, theatre, cinema, theme parks, restaurants and anything else you could name is available to those in need of entertainment.
The first great bit of news for the recently arrived expat is that the city hosts a very friendly, welcoming expat community. People come and go all the time from the island and, as such, they are always looking to make new friends and let people in to their circle. The second piece of good news is that, as well as the high-octane, non-stop nightlife, there are plenty of other options available. Outdoor activities, for example, are everywhere in the city, such as hiking in the nearby mountains, water sports in the river and ocean, football, rugby and much, much more.
As if you need to be told, restaurants are one of the things for which Hong Kong is famous. You really can find incredibly high quality food from just about every culinary culture here. Not only that, you don't have to spend big to get fine food in a really nice eatery. The downside is that, though eating out is great and, if you do it the right way, surprisingly affordable, cooking for yourself is actually very expensive and not always easy to do. Supermarket prices can be very, very high and they will not always stock products consistently – i.e. one week a place will have a shelf filled with tuna, the next week there won't be a single can to be had. After a while, hitting the restaurants often feels like the better choice.
The work/life balance
Chances are, you came to Hong Kong because you were offered a great job here and, chances are, most people you meet will be in the same boat. That means managing a work/life balance will be easy so long as you subscribe to the work hard, play hard philosophy. Making business connections and social connections is often one and the same and is very easy to do.
Chinese New Year in Hong Kong  

Chinese New Year in Hong Kong is a celebration like no other. With 15-days packed full of age-old traditions, cultural festivities and family celebrations, Chinese New Year is the largest and one of the most beloved festivals of the lunar calendar. This 2016 it will be on ‎Monday, 8 February, Year of the Monkey
Indeed, Hong Kong's Chinese New Year celebration was recently listed by Forbes as one of the world's 10 best festival extravaganzas in the world, alongside famous holiday celebrations such as Germany's Oktoberfest and Brazil's Carnival.
Excitement builds up from the first day of the new year right up until the Spring Lantern Festival. During these two weeks, locals flock to aromatic temples to play for good fortune, dip in scrumptious meals, squeeze into festival flower markets and string up shock-red lanterns.
But what makes Hong Kong's Chinese New Year so special? First of all, a bit International Chinese New Year's Parade in the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui brings the city to life while locals cheer like their voices run out; an impressive fireworks display over Victoria Harbor takes spectators breath away; the Chinese New Year horse races where people try their luck and bet for a good year; and the “world's largest sound and light display” every day.
Lonely Planet also listed the Hong Kong Chinese New Year festival as one of the top of events in the world. And there's an added value, because while you are enjoying the festivities, you can also shop in one of the world's favourite cities for malls, luxury goods, and available bargains.
The holiday kicks off with the Parade on New Year's Day, which goes by some Hong Kong highlights such as the Avenue of Stars, Kowloon Park, and the Golden Mile of Nathan Road. Spectators will be able to admire ingenious floats such as the character Jack from Tim Burton's film The Nightmare before Christmas.
Numerous floats continue down the streets with performing groups and bands, out of which 20 groups will be from around the world. Before the parade, many entertainers will cheer the festival-goers along the parade route, which includes historic Nathan Road, Salisbury Road, Canron Road and Haiphong Road.
On the second day of the celebration, dancing choreographed pyrotechnics fire up Victoria Harbour. In the meantime, the daily record-setting Symphony of Lights jazz up the city with colourful building lights and laser light show.
Thousands of excited fans flock to Sha Tin Racecourse on the third day of the celebrations to bet on the most popular races of all - the Chinese New Year horse races. This event has always been Hong Kong's most popular horse racing event. On this day, a nonprofit charity group named the Jockey Club features a full program of traditional and colourful festivities.
Before the races, there is a grand opening show that features a lion dance and a medley of cultural performances and entertainment. Among the entertainers, Jockeys will cheer the fans with messages for good luck, until the race begins - the featured race of the day is the Chinese New Year Cup.


Jackie Chan, Hong Kong's number 1  

If there is one celebrity Hong Kong is known for is Jackie Chan. Famous for his films yes, for his crazy stunts, of course, but also his wit and sense of humour has made him beloved worldwide. Here are some of his quotes:
“I'm crazy, but I'm not stupid.”
“American stuntmen are smart - they think about safety. When they do a jump in a car, they calculate everything: the speed, the distance... But in Hong Kong, we don't know how to count. Everything we do is a guess. If you've got the guts, you do it. All of my stuntmen have gotten hurt.”
“Olympics for me is love, peace, united.”
“I want to be in ‘Avatar'. I want somebody to hire me to be Superman, a Chinese Superman or Spider-Man.”
“The ads all call me fearless, but that's just publicity. Anyone who thinks I'm not scared out of my mind whenever I do one of my stunts is crazier than I am.”
“Don't try to be like Jackie. There is only one Jackie. Study computers instead.”
“A lot of people ask me when I do a stunt, ‘Jackie, are you scared?' Of course I'm scared. I'm not Superman.”
“After all those years in Asia, I don't have to do promotion anymore. We just release a Jackie Chan movie and - Boom! - people go.
“I only want my work to make people happy.”
“Anyone can be a Superman, but nobody can be Jackie Chan.”
“If everyone does some good, think of what a good world this will be.” “I never wanted to be the next Bruce Lee. I just wanted to be the first Jackie Chan.” “Cinema reflects culture and there is no harm in adapting technology, but not at the cost of losing your originality.”
“I want to be an Asian Robert De Niro.”
“My schedule goes: wake up, running, exercise, downstairs, running shoes off, then to the shower. That's the Jackie Chan diary.”
“Why did I become Jackie Chan? Mostly because I work very hard. When people were sleeping, I was still training.”
“I'm tired of fighting. I've always known that I can't be an action star all my life.”
“I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not. I'm really confused now.”
“If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic.” “I sometimes just don't like to see the Ultimate Fighting. I just find it, as a martial artist, I just find it too violent.”
“I loved cowboy movies when I was a kid. When I was five years old, I was already wearing a cowboy hat and suit. When I grew up, I knew John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Kirk Douglas and so on.”
“I have violence, yes I do. It's kind of a dilemma, huh?.”
“More understand China, then more people will have interest in China and more people will come to China to visit us because I am a tourist ambassador.”
“When I make a film - I direct my own film, I write my own script - that's what I want to hear from the audience. ‘Oh, thank you, Jackie!'

Hong Kong’s Vibrant Nightlife  

When the sun goes down, Hong Kong's vibrant nightlife warms up the city until dawn. Whether you join the party at the hippest clubs, bars and pubs, take a luxury night cruise over Victoria Harbour or stroll in the bubbling streets with the locals, it will be a night to remember.
If you are looking to party and socialize, head to Lan Kwai Fong, the icon of nightlife in Hong Kong and the city's trendiest nightlife area. LKF is an entire block of clubs, bars and restaurants that offer an exciting experience all night until you see the Sun. There is an international atmosphere in the area and international travellers, executives and socialities hang out in LKF.
Here you can enjoy beer, alcohol and wine from different countries while you play chess, dart or listen to a music band. Sip on a classy cocktail, dance the night away in VIP club, or chill out in a shisha bar, it's your party and you can do what you want to.
Some hip bars you should visit are Felix at the 28/F of Peninsula Hotel and Sky Lounge in Sheraton Hotels. From here, don't miss the amazing night view of Victoria Bay. If you are looking for some delicious cocktails, visit Wyndham the 4th, run by world-bartending champion Tom Wood,
Discos in Hong Kong include Western nightclubs and cabarets. Performances include singing, acrobat, folk dances and Cantonese Opera. The most popular discos are in big hotels around Tsim Sha Tsui, Wan Chai and Central. Party the night away at JJ's (Grand Hyatt Hotel), Cyber 8 Discotheque Pub (New Miramar Hotel Bldg), California Red or if you prefer a chilled-out nightclub, head to Kara OK.
However, if you are looking for an experience like no other, have a drink at a rooftop bar. Fortunately, given Hong Kong's buildings, recent years have seen a proliferation of rooftop bars boasting impressive views over the city. From here you can also admire the countless glistening skyscrapers that make up Hong Kong's distinctive skyline. Head to Eyebar and check out the illuminated skyscrapers, the mountains of Hong Kong Island and boats colouring Victoria Harbour.
If you think Hong Kong's skyline and views are impressive, wait until you see the city at night. As the night falls, Hong Kong transforms itself into a spectacle of lights. Check out the shining cityscape from Victoria Peak or stroll by Avenue of Stars and watch the famous synchronised laser sound, and Symphony of Lights show, every day at 8pm. Take a cabe ride to the Victoria Peak for magnificent views.
If you prefer another type of adventure, take Lei Yue Mun Seafood Village Dinner Cruise, which lasts 5 hours. The trip starts at the Golden Bauhunia Square, then there will be a stopover at seafood bazaar at Lei Yue Mun Seafood Village. Then you get to see Hong Kong on the runway of the old Kai Tak airport and shop in the Temple Street Open Market.
If these options don't take your fancy, you can try your luck and gamble at the Wednesday night horse races in Happy Valley or sing in a karaoke bar.

Hong Kong’s Shopping Scene  
If you are looking to shop till you drop, then Hong Kong is the place for you. From Asia's Largest Louis Vuitton store to souvenirs of all shapes and sizes, traditional crafts, trendy fashion, branded goods, cutting edge electronics and hidden funky finds, Hong Kong has a shop for any need and every whim. Whether you prefer glitzy malls, traditional Chinese product stores, trendy boutiques or funky wet markets, there's plenty to choose from in Asia's world city.
Hong Kong's heritage as an international centre of trade has led to a large variety of goods. From the latest designer fashion and electronic gadgets to great value antiques and collectibles, the city is truly a shopper's paradise. But beware, the local enthusiasm for buying and selling is highly contagious.
The city is also known as the fashion capital of Asia. Therefore, it is the place to get the latest and hottest trends. As a fashion hub, you'll also find an impressive variety of every product.
Indeed, shopping till you drop is not just a cliché here, the shops are open around 10am and close around midnight so you can satisfy your shopping hunger.
If you are looking for souvenirs as well as hunting for bargains, head to the market stalls on Cat Street near the Man Mo temple. Here you'll find bags, watches and tailored clothing, which can be found in the lanes in and around Li Yuen Street West and Li Yuen Street East.
If you are looking for designer clothes and the latest fashion and accessories, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong Island is the place for you. This bustling area consists of six main streets with a number of large shopping malls. Instead, if you are looking for a cheap buy, visit Jardine's Crescent and Lee Garden Road.
At dusk, the Temple Street flea market brings the city to life. This vibrant night market is ideal to pick up cheap gods such as clothes, watches and luggage. Here you can watch some street performances while enjoying a cheap and tasty meal from a vendor nearby.
The best place to buy electronics such as cameras and gadgets is Nathan Road Kowloon. This is also a popular place to buy designer watches for less.
If you like second-hand goods, browse through the large and chaotic Ap Liu Street flea market. Here you'll find antique watches, coins and electronic products.
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