Things to do in May in Hong Kong

A month that starts and ends in a public holiday is bound to be pretty good, but this May is so much better than that! There are heaps of things to do, wherever your interests lay. Le French GourMay and Le French May are in full swing, the Affordable Art Fair is on and West Side Story opens in Hong Kong. Here are some of the highlights on offer.

The process of making champagne sparkle is called prise de mousse or 'capturing the sparkle'. Picture: Arteum Reyzvikh/CIVC
Champagne is the focus of this month’s Le French GourMay festival. Picture: Arteum Reyzvikh/CIVC

What: Le French May

Le French May is an annual arts festival organized by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau to promote French art and culture. Now in its 25th year, Le French May is one of the largest cultural events in Asia. With more than 120 programmes presented across two months, the festival presents an opportunity to catch innovative performances across a number of arts genres, such as theatre, dance and live music.

Where: Various locations

When: Various times, 1 May–30 June

More: frenchmay.com

What: Le French GourMay

Le French GourMay, the French food and wine festival, is back in Hong Kong for its 9th edition. The festival promotes French culinary and wine culture in Hong Kong and Macau. Each year, a different French region is celebrated with the spotlight on Champagne wines in 2017. May will see a host of events and offers on Champagne, with 120 restaurants, 130 wine shops and 56 importers taking part in the festival. Le French GourMay is the gastronomic arm of Le French May.

Where: Various locations

When: Various times, 1–31 May

More: frenchgourmay.com

What: Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Sleepy fishing village Cheung Chau wakes up and revels during the annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival, held on Buddha’s birthday every year – the fifth to the ninth days of the fourth lunar month. The festival is famous for sweet buns, with the event culminating with a Bun Scrambling Competition to climb 60-ft bamboo towers. The other highlight of the festival is the Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Parade where local school children in billowing costumes on floats parade through the island’s streets.

Where: Cheung Chau (take ferry from Central Pier 5)

When: Until 4 May (Pik Siu Parade will be held on 3 May, from 2-4pm)

More: lcsd.gov.hk

What: Geronimo Stilton Live in the Kingdom of Fantasy

This beloved children’s book series is being brought to life on stage. Talking mouse Geronimo Stilton is a mild-mannered journalist who finds himself constantly caught up in adventures. In this stage production he sets off to save the Queen of the Fairies. To succeed he must walk through seven doors which transport him through a series of kingdoms, where he encounters witches, mermaids, pixies and a giant. The production is based on the books by Italian author Elisabetta Dami and is suited to six- to 12-year-olds.

Where: Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Drama Theatre, 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai

When: Various times, 4–7 May

Tickets: hkticketing.com

What: Summer Shopping Bazaar

Shoppinghongkong‘s Summer Shopping Bazaar will feature more than 25 high-end vendors. Up and coming designers will be showcasing their wares, selling everything from home accessories, women’s fashion, children’s fashions and accessories, ethnic and contemporary jewellery from all over the world, health and beauty products, and gourmet foods and wine. Snag a bargain and find out why this bazaar is the platform of choice for many of Hong Kong’s most exciting small businesses.

Where: The American Club, Vista Ballroom, 28 Tai Tam Road, Tai Tam

When: 10am–6pm, 10 May

More: shoppinghongkong.blogspot.hk

What: Dr Bunhead’s BLAST OFF!

Budding scientists or just kids with a keen sense of curiosity will enjoy Dr Bunhead’s BLAST OFF! Dr Bunhead explores all sorts of fascinating questions, such as whether your brain will boil and get sucked out of your ears if you go into space without a space suit? Find out the answers to this and more in Dr Bunhead’s 70-minute show in which he takes the audience on a journey in the world of science. Suitable for ages five and up.

Where: Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Drama Theatre, 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai

When: Various times, 11–14 May

More: aba-productions.com

What: Village People with Bjorn Again

Fans of music from the era of disco balls and flares will love this concert at The Venetian Macao, when US disco superstars Village People perform as part of the band’s 40th anniversary tour. The line-up will feature original founding members Felipe Rose and Alexander Briley and will combine their hit tunes, such as YMCA and In The Navy, with the group’s signature choreography and outrageous outfits. Special guests for the concert will be ABBA tribute band Bjorn Again.

Where: Venetian Macao, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca Macau

When: 8pm, 12–13 May

Tickets: hkticketing.com

What: Free Aqua Luna II Cruises

To celebrate the launch of Aqua Luna II, complimentary rides will take place on the weekend of 13-14 May in Victoria Harbour for all Hong Kong ID holders on a first-come, first-serve basis. Victoria Harbour sailings depart either from Central Pier 9 or Tsim Sha Tsui Pier 2 by the Cultural Centre in TST. Guests can relax on lounge beds, sipping cocktails with Hong Kong’s famed skyline as a shining backdrop. The Aqua Luna II joins the original red sail Chinese junk, Aqua Luna.

Where: Central Pier 9 or Tsim Sha Tsui Pier 2

When: 12pm–5pm, 12–13 May

More: aqualuna.com.hk

What: Discovery Bay Sunday Market

Handmade Hong Kong‘s Discovery Bay Sunday Market is a DIY Indie Arts, Crafts and Small Traders’ Fair. Hong Kong’s finest makers and sellers will be offering arts, crafts and other special goods with about 140 different vendors taking part, attracting about 2000 visitors. Make a day trip to DB on the ferry with the markets located in the DB main plaza, just a short walk from the ferry pier. If you stay for dinner at one of Discovery Bay’s D’Deck restaurants you will get a free ferry ride back to Central.

Where: Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay

When: 11am–6pm, 14 May

More: handmadehongkong.com

What: Roland Flexner and Ai Weiwei exhibition

A unique exhibition that will bring together the work of Roland Flexner and Ai Weiwei for the first time. The two artists first crossed paths in New York in the 1980s and have since developed an on-going friendship. In this exhibition, Roland Flexner’s iconic ink paintings will be shown together with a body of work by Ai Weiwei, which will be exhibited here for the first time and includes a series of paintings tracing back to his days in New York.

Where: Massimo De Carlo Gallery, 301-302A Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong

When: 10.30am-7pm, until 14 May

More: massimodecarlo.com

The Legend of Hong Kong Toys celebrates the city's history of toy production
The Legend of Hong Kong Toys celebrates the city’s history of toy production

What: The Legend of Hong Kong Toys

Looking for things to do with the kids? The Legend of Hong Kong Toys celebrates the time when the city was once the world’s largest toy exporter and “Made in Hong Kong” was a guarantee of good quality. The Hong Kong Museum of History has partnered with the Hong Kong Toys Council and the Toys Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong to organise this exhibition. It showcases around 2,000 toys and explores the evolution of toys in the past century and the way Hong Kong became a toy kingdom.

Where: Hong Kong Museum of History, 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

When: 10am–5pm, until 15 May

More: hk.history.museum

What: Hong Kong Salento International Film Festival

The sixth edition of the Hong Kong Salento International Film Festival (HKSIFF) will be showcasing international independent cinema from all over the world at The Grand Cinema. The five-day event will screen six feature films from Italy, Iran, the Philippines and Croatia. The programme includes three films from Italy.

Where: The Grand Cinema, 2/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon

When: 7.40pm, 17–21 May

More: thegrandcinema.com.hk

What: West Side Story

Considered the greatest Broadway musical of all time, West Side Story tells the tale of two rival immigrant gangs in New York’s upper west side, the Jets and the Sharks, combining a love story, action thriller and social study.The international tour coming to Hong Kong has an American cast – many of whom come direct from Broadway – and one of the best West Side Story creative teams the world has ever seen. Put this high on your list of things to do.

Where: Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Drama Theatre, 1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai

When: Various times, 18 May–11 June

More: westsidestoryhk.com

What: Summer Sparkles Kowloon Bazaar

If you love shopping, don’t miss the Summer Sparkles Kowloon Bazaar. The shopping event offers a wide range of shopping under one roof, with an array of vendors offering a variety of goods and services. Expect to find luxe products such as bespoke fine jewellery, fashion designer wear, wines, accessories, and more. There will also be lucky draws, quality food and beverages, wine tastings, freebies and testers, available throughout the event.

Where: Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

When: 11am–8pm, 19 May

More: kowloonbazaar.com

What: Affordable Art Fair

The Affordable Art Fair is back for its fifth edition in Hong Kong. It aims to make art accessible to all, developing confidence amongst new audiences as well as providing a place for seasoned collectors to discover emerging talent and new artworks. This year’s Hong Kong fair will exhibit work from more than 110 galleries, showcasing a wide range of contemporary paintings, original prints, photographs and sculptures from a vast array of established artists and rising stars – all priced between HK$1,000 and HK$100,000. There will also be activities for children, making it an excellent choice for families looking for things to do.

Where: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 3DE (Expo Drive Entrance)

When: 1pm–8pm, 19–21 May

More: affordableartfair.com

What: Ambiguously Yours – Gender in Popular Culture

Ambiguously Yours: Gender in Hong Kong Popular Culture offers new insights into Hong Kong popular culture through representations of androgyny and gender fluidity in Cantopop, fashion, film, photography, and graphic design. Including more than 90 exhibits, Ambiguously Yours celebrates the creative experimentation and ongoing influence of the 1980s and 1990s.

Where: M+ Pavilion, West Kowloon Cultural District, Tsim Sha Tsui

When: 11am–6pm, Wednesday to Sunday and public holidays; until 21 May

More: westkowloon.hk

What: Russell Howard Round The World Tour

If you are looking for things to do, check out some stand-up comedy. One of the UK’s most popular comedians, Russell Howard is the writer and star of BBC Three’s most popular entertainment show, Russell Howard’s Good News and has hosted two series of Russell Howard’s Stand up Central on Comedy Central. He has more than three million Facebook fans and one million Twitter followers. He is bringing his Round The World tour to Hong Kong after performing in 11 countries across three continents.

Where: Hong Kong Baptist University, Academic Community Hall, Kowloon Tong

When: 8pm, 27 May

Tickets: hkticketing.com

What: Rosé Revolution

The world’s first rosé festival, Rosé Revolution, is back in Hong Kong. Taste more than 20 outstanding rosés beside the sweeping sea views of The Repulse Bay, built on the site of Hong Kong’s famous Repulse Bay Hotel.  For those who like the finer things in life, you can experience an exclusive VIP area in the historic surrounds of The Verandah. Offering select premier rosés and world-class art in the plush grandeur and polished dark wood interior of the Bamboo Bar, the VIP pass is outfitted for those wanting to explore Rosé in style.

Where: The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Road, Repulse Bay

When: 2pm–7pm, 27 May

More: flyingwinemaker.com

What: Big Shots Photo Exhibition

Get a glimpse of the lives, outside medicine, of Hong Kong’s world-renowned medical and healthcare professionals and medical students at the Big Shots Photo Exhibition. The exhibition celebrates 130 years of medicine in Hong Kong, presented by the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). The images have been captured by renowned photographer Ducky Tse, giving the public the ability to visually explore the daily challenges and moments in the lives of 29 medical and healthcare professionals and students at HKU.

Where: Hong Kong Central Library, 66 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay

When: 9.30am–7.30pm, until 27 May

More: 130.med.hku.hk

What: Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Tuen Ng Festival, is recognised as part of the city’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Taking place on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar month, it is a public holiday in Hong Kong. On this day, colourful dragon boat races, where teams paddle accompanied by drum beats, are held around the city. Race locations include Stanley, Aberdeen, Tai O, Sai Kung, Cheung Chau and Sha Tin. Races will be held in Discovery Bay on 28 May. Head along to watch the races if you are looking for things to do.

Where: Various locations

When: 30 May

More: dragonboat.org.hk

What: Masterpieces from the Louvre

More than 100 pieces of artwork will be on display from the Musee de Louvre in a special exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum as part of Le French May. The Inventing le Louvre: From Palace to Museum over 800 Years exhibition will showcase an array of statues, paintings, sculptures and antiques from different periods of time within the history of the Louvre, from the royal collections of François I and Louis XIV, to modern times. 

Where: 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin

When: Monday, Wednesday to Friday: 10am–6pm; Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 10am–7pm; Closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays); until 24 July

More: heritagemuseum.gov.hk


THRILLER LIVE, which features Michael Jackson’s timeless songs and signature dance moves, returns to the Parisian Macao after its season last year. The show has been performed close to 5,500 times and been seen by more than four million people in over 30 countries. The 90-minute show takes the audience on an audio-visual journey through Jackson’s astonishing 45-year musical legacy.

Where: The Parisian Macao, Estrada do Istmo, Lote 3, Cotai Strip, Macau

When: Various times, until 3 September

Tickets: cotaiticketing.com

Do you have an event to share? Let us know at editor@expatliving.hk

Love going out for afternoon tea? Read our Hong Kong high tea bucket list!