Dance, Theater, and Music
The only regular venue in town for seeing Cantonese opera. 423 King’s Rd., North Point; tel: 1 852 2856 0161
The Fringe Club
An arts venue in Central that runs the gamut from jazz and indie rock to drama and performance poetry. 2 Lower Albert Rd., Central; 1 852 2521 7251. http://www.hkfringe.com.hk/
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Under direction of Edo de Waart, the orchestra performs works of Western and Asian composers. 8th Floor, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Kowloon; 1 852 2721 2030. www.hkpo.com
Hong Kong Sinfonietta
Founded in 1990, HK Sinfonietta plays a standard repertoire as well as commissioned pieces by contemporary composers. 7th Floor, Winsan Tower, 98 Thomson Rd., Wan Chai; 1 852 2836 3336. www.hksinfonietta.org
Hong Kong Repertory Theater
Hong Kong’s largest theater company often performs original plays and Cantonese-language works. http://www.hkrep.com/en/
Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts
Shows take place mainly at its campus, in all genres, from drama and music on up to Western-style baroque opera. “Teaching quality is very high. They put on a number of performances worth going to.”—Peter Moss, author of Hong Kong, What’s In, What’s Out. 1 Gloucester Rd., Wan Chai; t: 1 852 2584 8633. www.hkapa.edu
A roving monthly showcase of Hong Kong’s indie bands. www.hk-live.com
Midnight & Co.
Formerly Yumla; Tiny basement venue off cobblestoned Pottinger Street; the place to hear local DJs spin; dance floor can be packed on the weekends, with crowds spilling out into the park near the club's entrance. Lower Basement, Harilela House, 79 Wyndham St., Central; tel: 1 852 2147 2382. http://www.midnight.hk/
Located inside the Philippe Starck-designed restaurant atop Peninsula Hotel; on Kowloon side, with some of the best views of the Hong Kong Island skyline. The Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Rd., Tsimshatsui; tel: 1 852 2315 3188.
A perch at this bar offers a bird's-eye view of the main intersection in Lan Kwai Fong bar district. Ground Floor, California Tower, 30-32 D'Aguilar St., Central; tel: 1 852 2530 3695.
Bohemian and cheaper than nearby bars; frequented by artsy and political types. Enter through Man Hing Lane, from either Peel Street or Aberdeen Street. Basement Floor, 67 Hollywood Rd., Central; tel: 1 852 2858 7071.
With an obscure entrance near Cochrane and Hollywood Road, this place has the feel of a speakeasy; crowd is young and hip. Lower Ground Floor, Ezra La., Central; tel: 1 852 2537 4680.
Return-trip cruise across harbor from Central includes cocktail at a bar called Aqua, with panoramic views. Penthouse, 1 Peking Rd., Kowloon; tel: 1 852 2116 8821. www.aqua.com.hk
Understated and sophisticated place for cocktails and views from the Hong Kong Island side. 25th Floor, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 5 Connaught Rd., Central; tel: 1 852 2825 4002. www.mandarinoriental.com/hotel/514000441.asp
Dragon Boat Festival
Each spring, ornate 20-person wooden vessels are dusted off, and athletes begin training for races that take place all over town in June. The biggest are in Stanley and Aberdeen Harbors. www.dragonboat.org.hk
A beloved festival on Cheung Chau island, usually held in May. During a bun scramble, contestants race up a tower covered in steamed buns, snatching as many as possible. Children also parade dressed as religious deities and standing on stilts. www.cheungchauhk.com
Lunar New Year
The most important holiday in the Chinese lunar calendar. High-rises are strung with lights, and fireworks light up the streets of outlying villages on New Year's Eve (dates vary). "The best time to be in Hong Kong."—John Batten, art gallery director and longtime resident.
A celebration of the full moon, usually in September or October, marked by a spectacle of lanterns in Victoria Park. Revelers eat traditional moon cakes filled with lotus seed and salted egg yolk, or one of many newer varieties. Buy a colorful paper lantern from a vendor and head to the beach for moon-gazing. "You don't have to get seats or leave the island. Quite memorable."—Peter Moss, author of Hong Kong, What's In, What's Out.
Hong Kong International Festival
The main event takes place over three weeks each spring, with smaller events throughout the year.
An exuberant celebration of rugby each spring, with teams from all over the world competing. http://www.hksevens.com/eng/home.php
Hong Kong Arts Festival
Every spring this eclectic festival featuring music, opera, dance, theater, and family shows, brings in acts from around the world. Started more than three decades ago as a tourist draw, the festival is now heavily attended by locals. www.hk.artsfestival.org/en/
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