88 things to do this summer in Hong Kong
Hit the beach
1. With more than 100 beaches in Hong Kong, it is possible to go to a different one for every day of summer. Start with 7 of Hong Kong's best beaches.
2. After hibernating all winter, you may want to get some pre-tanning action in rather then turn up for the first beach day of the season looking like an under-cooked sausage. Bronze it up at Califonia Beach Club.
3. Or fake it like a pro at Om Day Spa.
4. Your tan is great, but the love handles less so. Milk the various summer promotions at the gym for a few less tyres around your middle. Try any of the giants for a good deal, such as Pure, California Fitness, Fitness First, Physical, Action Waterfall.
5. Or take advantage of the big natural gym: the great outdoors. Tackle a killer hike like the Dragon’s Back, which has spectacular views and ends at Big Wave Bay, one of Hong Kong's best beach.
6. Loving the beach but not the hike? Shek O is reachable by public transport and is a great place to indulge in low-impact activities like people watching, general lazing about, and a barbecue. See Hong Kong's best public barbecue sites.
7. When we can’t bear to leave the seaside after just one day we rent a beachside apartment in Cheng Chau and spend the weekend exploring.
Jump in the water
10. Hit the waves at Tai Long Wan or Big Wave Bay for some gnarly (ish) board action. It’s not the peak season for big waves in Hong Kong, but it’s a helluva lot warmer.
11. When surfing alone is not enough of a challenge, head over to the Cheung Chau Windsurfing Centre, where gold-medalist Lee Lai Shan was coached.
12. Already a baron of the board and a wizard at windsurfing, then maybe kitesurfing is the challenge you need. Check out Shui Hui Bay and Pui O in Lantau for the best sites.
13. Watch the pros at the Hong Kong Wakeboard Open Championship in August (date TBC).
14. Actually see some of the sea-side scenery, rather than whizzing through it, by renting a kayak for some leisurely paddling.
15. If you want to tackle something bigger than a canoe, you can also try your hand at sailing. Aberdeen Boat Club offers instruction and rentals.
17. Or do it low-key and catch a sampan ride around Aberdeen harbour during a warm summer night.
18. Realise that sedate seafaring is just not pushing your buttons and charter the “Black Mamba” Power Boat for a full-throttle adventure instead.
19. Go diving in Hong Kong and discover that it’s not actually that polluted underwater after all.
Get some action
21. Learn to paraglide. All together now, “I believe I can ...”
22. Throw a line out and dangle your rod and tackle in the hope of a bite. That’s fishing, of course, not Lan Kwai. Head out to the oil rigs for deep sea fishing or to the fresh water reservoirs -- but get a license first.
23. Cheer on your district at the third annual Hong Kong Games from May 14-June 5.
25. See if the 500 tonnes of imported Zhuhai sand made a difference to Repulse Bay Beach and take on all comers in a beach volleyball marathon. Check out the Hong Kong Beach Volley Ball League for games and lessons.
26. Haul yourself up a sheer face. A heartbeat from Central, and thus close to much-needed refreshments following the climb, is the recently developed Central Crags. Beginners should check out the course (ask for Sammy Lee) at the YMCA in King's Park first.
27. Enjoyed watching the Hong Kong Sevens but not ready to actually get slammed by an overgrown gorilla? Try touch rugby instead. All the fun of the game, without the brutal violence and crippling injuries. The season runs from May to July, with courses for beginners taking place in August.
29. Bring out your Inner [pre-sexting] Tiger Woods, and head out to the driving range.
30. Watch the stars of tomorrow and the masters of yesteryear kick a pigskin around a pitch, while expats who should know better sing too loudly and drink too much at the Soccer 7s on May 13-15.
32. Watch the stars of right now, as premier league clubs Chelsea, Aston Villa and Blackburn take on the HK League Champs (either Kitchee or South China) in the Barclays Asia Trophy at Hong Kong Stadium, July 27-30.
33. Jump on a dolphin watch tour and search for Flipper's pink cousins.
35. Stand on the High Island East Dam in Sai Kung and wistfully ponder the mystery of the sea. Not for those who suffer from vertigo or hydrophobia.
36. Take otherworldly photos in nearby Hong Kong National Geopark; get worryingly twitchy about the lack of 7-Elevens.
37. Get as far away from the city light as possible (try Lantau or Sai Kung) and go stargazing. The Perseid meteor shower is worth staying up for, starting end of July and peaking in mid-August.
38. Hunt for fireflies along the Tai Po Kau Nature Trail. Evenings at the end of August are the best time, and fast-flowing streams along the trail the best place to find the little lovebugs flickering away their affections.
39. Meet the monkeys of Kam Shan. Just don’t carry food with you: these macaques are descended from formerly caged pets from the 1920s which makes them kinda like ex-convicts, and therefore bad asses.
Escape the heat
40. Go ice skating in Festival Walk. For those who hate the humidity, or just love irony.
41. Splash down the Raging River ride at Ocean Park. Along with the new Rainforest zone opening this May, they’re also bound to have other water-related fun for the summer months (date TBC).
43. Escape the outdoors by hiding in a cinema for the Hong Kong Summer Film Festival (date TBC).
44. Freeze in the ice bar at Ivan the Kozack and drink delicious spirits to warm the belly.
45. Stroll along the upper reaches of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s highest point. Check out Ng Tung Chai waterfall while you’re there.
46. Take a dip at the rooftop pool at the W Hotel for amazing panoramic views. Or take the kids to Tsueng Kwan O or Tsing Yi Swimming pools and play on the water slides.
Quench the thirst
47. ‘Tis the season to sit inside hiding from a typhoon. Be bold and go for a walk during a T-8, or preferably drink one.
48. Enjoy a sunny afternoon’s coffee (or something stronger) at relative newcomer Eye Bar, on top of iSQUARE, with panoramic views of the Hong Kong Island skyline.
49. Or see the harbor with a lychini in hand at any of Hong Kong's best harborview bars.
50. Have brunch under a pagoda atop a floating Chinese boat. Top Deck takes the outdoors opulence to a new level with lobsters aplenty and an evening hangover-ensuring all-you-can-drink on champers.
51. If you want the view but have change left over from a HK$100 bill, the public areas outside RED bar are the choice. Free to you and your brought-from-home beverages, as are the top of the Pawn and the outside area of Dragon-I.
52. Join those in the know at open air beer-shack Beer Bay, next to Discovery Bay pier on Tuesdays when it is extra affordable.
53. Breathe in the buzzy, scuzzy scents of Mong Kok and people-watch while chilling with a dai pai dong drink or two along the night markets.
54. Drink up at the Lan Kwai Fong Beer Festival (date TBC).
55. Corks out and glasses raised for the Time Out Wine Walk on May 7.
56. Queue for a bubble tea at the many Taiwanese drinks stands around town.
57. Mourn or celebrate the last of the season’s horse races in Happy Valley in June. Toast with Château Lafite or a can of Skol depending on that final bet.
59. If blowing out candles for Buddha ain’t your thang, then you try heading to the eastern district of Shau Kei Wan for lion dances to celebrate Tam Kung’s birthday, the patron deity of fisherman and sailors. His b-day is also on May 10, so better bake two cakes.
60. Or just grab a few lucky buns at the Cheung Chau Bun festival, which is also on May 10. Talk about fixture pile-up.
61. On June 6 celebrate Tuen Ng Festival by cheering on the dragon boats at the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Regatta. Or just get involved in the good-humored rowdiness of the spectators.
62. Find a use for that impulse-bought beret and dust off your high school language skills for Le French May.
63. Show your respects at the Victoria Park candlelight vigil on June 4 to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre.
64. Head over to Man Mo Temple on June 26 and pay tribute to the colourful statue of Kwan Tai on his birthday. Find out that he’s the god of the triads and feel guilty about the copy DVDs you bought last week.
65. Join the march for democracy on Hong Kong Establishment Day on July 1.
66. Get overwhelmed as Asian bookworms unite to takeover at the Hong Kong Book Fair on July 20-26.
67. Let the inner geek out and hang with gamers, fan boys and leng mo supporters at the Ani-com and Games Fair, July 29 until Aug 2.
68. Burn some joss sticks and incense on Lovers’ Stone on Bowen Road in Wanchai for Seven Sisters Festival on August 6. It’s mainly for unlucky-in-love singletons, but it’s always good to keep your bases covered, right?
70. Even in you don’t know your Picasso from your elbow, it’s still worth checking out ART HK 11, the most important trade show for Asian art on May 26-29.
71. Slinking off for a weekend in Macau usually involves playing a few hands, but when the Adult Asia Expo is on August 19-21, there might be a few empty seats at the casino for once.
72. Spend the weekend watching some classic films al fresco at the open air cinema events (date TBC).
Surrender to the groove
73. You can’t really go wrong with the free three-day Silvermine Bay Music Festival (date TBC) boasting the best local musicians ready to rock your swimsuits off on the last weekend of August.
74. Punk or Pop Diva, Princess or Sk8ter Girl, Avril Lavigne is still one of the biggest names around, and she’ll be on our stage and in our ears on May 7.
75. Be-lieb it. The Bieb is coming on May 13. Prepare for tween screams to hit record highs at Justin Bieber's concert in Hong Kong.
76. Tippy-tappy toed dance supergroup Riverdance will be skipping their way through Hong Kong performances on their farewell tour at the Lyric Theatre May 3-15.
77. Missing this band will take its toll on you. Maroon 5, with guitars and falsettos in tow, are in town May 21.
78. Cool Indie poppers from New York, The Drums, perform their tambourine-waving show to Kitec on May 26.
79. Bikini-clad booty shaking commences on June 11 at Hed Kandi's pool party at The Venetian Macau.
80. But if you prefer clicking your fingers over wiggling your hips, the Hong Kong Summer Jazz Festival at the end of May 27-29.
81. While we don’t have the music festivals to rival some of our neighbours, Summer Pop (date TBC) is getting bigger each year; more than 80 artists from all over Asia performed in 2010.
82. It's the optimum time to feast on festive dragon boat dumplings, a ball of glutinous rice, belly pork, and salty egg yolks artfully wrapped in bamboo leaves.
83. Load up your trolley and fight off the crowds for free samples and snacks aplenty at the Food Expo 2011 on August 11-15.
84. Pick strawberries from organic farms in Kam Tin or Yuen Long and then gorge yourself on the fruits of your labour.
85. Time to try durian. Check out the durian tofu pudding at Auntie Sweet, which managed to convert WOM guider Samantha Pong into a durian lover.
86. The various watermelon and mango desserts at Hui Lau Shan are the default summer sweet treats for youngsters. Partly because they are yummy and partly because Hui Lau Shan always has the craziest airconditioning.
87. Make a trip to Yuen Long's Kei Kee Dessert for B Boy herbal jelly. The jelly is said to have cooling properties and helps balance the body's yin and yang and various elements. Its also a big enough portion to replace dinner.
88. Yellow oil crab will be in season. The summer months' delicacy is always in high demand -- try it at East Ocean Seafood Restaurant or down in the fishing community at Lei Yue Mun.