Seven ways to avoid Hong Kong rugby Sevens – from Ai Weiwei art show to a dance music festival
It’s that time of year again. If the rugby and fans’ revelry isn’t your idea of a relaxing weekend, then worry no more; here are the best ways to escape the Sevens
This week’s invasion of ageing, overweight white men in ill-fitting T-shirts and shorts can mean only one thing: it’s Hong Kong Sevens time again. And while the event is heaven for sports fans, it can make life hell for some of us.
So if you’re not excited by dressing up like a Spice Girl, and drinking your own weight in lager in the South Stand leaves you cold, here are seven ways to escape the Sevens.
Like rugby, old-school camping is not for everyone. But Hong Kong now has several campsites offering upscale accommodation – and no assembly is required. Sai Yuen Camping and Adventure Park on Cheung Chau offers overnight stays in posh tepees and geodesic domes, while the YHA Ngong Ping SG Davis Youth Hostel on Lantau offers nights in classic hippie-style bell tents (now with Wi-fi, of course).
Sai Yuen Camping and Adventure Park, Sai Yuen, Cheung Chau, saiyuenfarm.com; Ngong Ping SG Davis Youth Hostel, Ngong Ping Road, Lantau, yha.org.hk
If the outlying islands are still a bit too close to Hong Kong Stadium for comfort, jump on a ferry for a weekend of great food and drink in Macau. Stay at the Holiday Inn Macau – rated the city’s best-value hotel on TripAdvisor – or the relaxing family-style Pousada De Coloane, and head to Fernando’s restaurant on Coloane for dinner. Order a jug of sangria and a plate of Fernando’s signature clams, and the Sevens will feel a world away.
Holiday Inn Macau, 82-86 Rua de Pequim, Macau, ihg.com; Pousada De Coloane, Praia de Cheoc Van, Cheoc Van Beach, Coloane, Macau, hotelpcoloane.com.mo; Fernando’s restaurant, 9 Praia de Hac Sa, Hac Sa Beach, Coloane, Macau (+853) 2888 2264
3. Songkran water festival
With the weather starting to heat up there’s no better way to cool off than grabbing your super soaker and heading to Hong Kong’s own Thai water festival – Songkran – in Lai Chi Kok. The annual water fight will take place on Sunday as part of Thai new year celebrations. After you dry off, check out the other events taking place during the three-day celebration, including a Bangkok-style market, a fashion show, a traditional parade and lots of delicious Thai food.
D2 Place, 9 Cheung Yee St, Lai Chi Kok, Songkran, April 6-8; Waterfest, April 8, 14.30-17.30; waterfest.hk
4. Ai Weiwei: Refutation
If you prefer a cool and calm gallery to a heaving stadium, then you cannot miss Ai Weiwei’s newly opened exhibition Refutation. As part of Tang Contemporary Art’s exhibition at the city’s new arts hub – H Queen’s – Ai shines a light on the plight of the world’s refugees through powerful artwork, including a giant inflatable, black-rubber lifeboat filled with faceless figures.
10/F H Queen’s, 80 Queens Rd Central, Central, until April 30, free entry; tangcontemporary.com
5. 18+ Central
We’re not sure how it happened either, but Sevens weekend coincides with Hong Kong’s first consumer adult show. Being staged on the Central harbourfront, 18+ Central will feature a host of erotic, acrobatic and artistic performances – including an artist who paints with his penis – alongside sex-related workshops, a sex toys marketplace and more.
18+ Central, Apr 5-8, 6.30pm to 10pm, Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Rd, Central, from HK$380, 18pluscentral.com
6. Creamfields, Guangzhou
After making its debut in Hong Kong at the end of last year, British dance music festival Creamfields is expanding into China in 2018, and its first large-scale event is being staged in Guangzhou this Friday and Saturday. Featured artists include Swedish DJ duo Axwell & Ingrosso, French producer DJ Snake, and Dutch electronic star Don Diablo.
Creamfields Guangzhou, Apr 6 and 7, from 1pm, 222 Yuejiangxi Rd, Guangzhou, from 480 yuan, universe.com
7. Hong Kong Wetland Park
If the idea of drunken rugby fans has you hot under the collar, take a trip out to the Hong Kong wetlands to let off some steam and get back to nature. Out in Tin Shui Wai in the New Territories, this gem will provide you with a day of relaxation as you meander along the boardwalks that lead you around the 61-hectare park. Don’t forget to go say hello to Pui Pui the saltwater crocodile that has called the Wetlands home for over a decade.
Hong Kong Wetland Park, Wetland Park Rd, Tin Shui Wai, New Territories, HK$30 (adult), HK$15 (concession), www.wetlandpark.gov.hk