A roundup of the most exciting things happening in Hong Kong this year
1. Music to our ears
A slew of top international stars grace our city in 2016. On her 10th world tour, Madonna, the Queen of Pop, gives HK two shows on February 17 and 18 at AsiaWorld-Expo. Legendary crooner Tom Jones sex bombs our ears off at the HKCEC on April 7. And The Beach Boys rock out at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium on March 18 and 19. How will we afford to see all of these amazing acts? God Only Knows...
It’s here! It’s finally here! Get ready to eliminate productivity and downgrade your VPN as Netflix is set to take HK’s screens by storm early in 2016. It’s a gateway to good movies, great TV and even better excuses to stay in on Friday night. Let the unavoidable onslaught of ‘Netflix and chill?’ jokes commence.
While everyone’s favourite meme, Donald Trump, is set to carry on mouthing off all year, let’s not forget the quadrennial LegCo elections, which happen in September 2016. While the electoral reform package was rejected in spectacularly bumbling fashion back in June, and HK’s political future remains uncertain, we can always hope this election will spell positive change.
4. The Summer Olympics
Rio de Janeiro is hosting 2016’s Summer Olympics from August 5-21 and we’re hoping to send over a contingent at least 42-strong – that’s how many we sent to London in 2012. So far, qualifying athletes include marathon runner Christy Yiu Kit-ching and swimmer Siobhan Haughey, but we’ve also got high hopes for cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze, who was a bronze medallist at the London games.
5. Formula E Hong Kong ePrix
Finally, speed demons, motorheads and environmentalists can rejoice together! The Central Harbourfront is set to be transformed into a two-kilometre circuit as part of the third edition of the world’s only completely electric racing championship on October 9. Cheer on as some of the world’s best racers whizz past iconic landmarks like the Central Ferry Pier and IFC in electric racing cars, at speeds of up to 225 km/h.
6. Apple Pay’s HK launch
Attention all American Express cardholders! Get ready to store the power of your credit card within your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. Hong Kong has been lagging behind the US in terms of being able to pay electronically via Apple Pay, which links your Apple devices to your credit card, but we’re all set to catch up by Spring Festival 2016.
7. It’s a leap year
Attention anyone born on February 29 – you’re allowed to celebrate your actual birthday this year! Or, if you’re woman and you’re sick of being told you have to wait for your man put a ring on it, it’s also time to celebrate – it’s the day when, traditionally, women take it upon themselves to propose to their fella.
8. Food trucks are coming
If there’s one thing HK doesn’t mess about with, it’s food. We are long overdue the addition of food trucks to the dining scene, due to licensing restrictions. Fortunately, that is set to change next year as regulations have been relaxed, meaning 12 trucks are parking up at six tourist spots including Ocean Park, Disneyland and Central Harbourfront. Ironically, they won’t be able to drive anywhere as their business needs to be conducted in a fixed spot. It’s a start, we suppose…
9. More MTR!
The Kwun Tong Line extension to Ho Man Tin and Whampoa, as well as the South Island Line (East) from Wan Chai to South Horizons via Ocean Park are all due to open up next year, making Hong Kong even more ridiculously accessible than it already is. Fingers crossed that the projects do reach completion in the third or fourth quarter of 2016 as planned, and we can look forward to a year of increasing laziness.
10. Superhero movies
Rediscover the unstoppable force that is the superhero cinematic universe, as 2016 introduces a new batch of movies. We’re looking forward to Hugh Jackman’s next turn as Wolverine in X-Men: Apocalypse (initial release date of May 27). The DC universe is also expanding with the nerdgasm-inducing Batman vs Superman (planned release on March 24) and Suicide Squad (initial release on August 5).