What’s on? Things to do this November in Hong Kong

Mark your calendars and see the amazing swim across Victoria Harbour or views flicks at the film festivals or absorb cultural offerings at museums, music festivals and dance performances this November.

New World Harbour Race

Against the superb and unforgettable backdrop of the Hong Kong skyline, this challenging swim allows competitors to test their mettle in the waters of Victoria Harbour. The cross-harbour race, which traces its roots back to 1906, is always a popular draw and welcomes thousands of avid participants from across the world. Swimmers on the day will commence from the Bauhinia Square Public Pier in Wan Chai and finish at the Avenue of Stars, Tsim Sha Tsui. The quota for entrants this year has increased to 4,000 and there will be an elite International Race as well as hardy swimmers from across the Greater Bay Area taking the plunge.

When: 12 November

Where: Victoria Harbour

How much: Free

Muse Fest HK 2023

Explore the cultural delights on offer across various venues in the city’s history, art and science museums under the theme ‘Hong Kong H.A.S. Museums. All month there are multifarious events designed to broaden your horizons and understanding of mind-blowing subjects such as the wonders of science fiction as portrayed at an exhibition staged by the Hong Kong Science Museum. A two-day carnival entitled ‘A Fiesta of Imagination’ is a highlight. This is just one of a superb series of events and programmes across many venues which allow visitors to absorb knowledge and soak up culture.

When: 1-30 November

Where: Various venues

How much: Free

For more information: museums.gov.hk

The Great Gatsby

Hong Kong Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre captures the essence of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby, in a wonderful portrayal of life lived to excess in opulent 1920s America – a tale of never-ending parties, unbridled greed and obsessive desires simmering not far from the surface in high-society New York. Performed against the backdrop of a steamy jazz-infused soundtrack and art deco sets by Tim Yip, dancers along with vocalist E. Faye Butler and narrator James Seol capture the spirit of the age.

When: 4-5 November

Where: Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

How much: From $220

Jewish Film Festival

Asia’s flagship Jewish festival has gone from strength to strength and now offers a magnificently diverse range of films showcasing Jewish life. The number of filmmakers keen for their work celebrating the Jewish tradition to be showcased in Hong Kong has grown, with 21 features, documentaries and short films able to be enjoyed.

When: 11-19 November

Where: Golden Scene Cinema, Kennedy Town

How much: From $110 per film; all access pass HK$1,800

For more information: hkjff.org

Asian Film Festival

Watch some of the finest films Asia has to offer at various cinemas throughout Hong Kong. Almost 100 films will be aired during the festival, which has gained international recognition for the quality and breadth of its programme. In addition to locally produced features, regional selections from the far and near will be screened. Masterclasses and workshops will be staged by renowned filmmakers such as Shunji Iwai and Koji Yakusho, while eight directors including Taiwan’s Lee Hong- chi vie for the New Talent Award.

When: Until 17 November

Where: Various venues

How much: From $95

For more information: hkaff.asia

Pop Culture Festival

Hong Kong certainly has its own distinctive pop culture and a whole raft of acts will be performing throughout a festival that urges us to ‘Let’s Pop’. There will also be outdoor activities, thematic exhibitions and film screenings to bring back memories and conjure up masterpieces from Hong Kong’s golden era of Cantopop in the ’80s and ’90s. The festival highlights the progress over the years of local pop music, its creativity and its character.

When: Until 18 November

Where: Various venues

How much: Various prices

For more information: pcf.gov.hk

Killing TV

Interaction between art and television is the concept behind Killing TV, as 15 contemporary artists from a mix of backgrounds contribute to an exhibition that explores the cultural, psychological and social impact of the boob tube. A range of videos including performance art and sculptural installations as well as TV shows and commercials will excite the senses and stimulate memories from the past, present and the future while addressing television’s pervasive power since the 1970s.

When: Until 19 November

Where: Tai Kwun

How much: Free

For more information: taikwun.hk

Night Vibes Hong Kong @ Museums

As efforts to support the ‘Night Vibes Hong Kong’ campaign gather momentum, Hong Kong museums are offering special programmes to bolster evenings out around town. The Hong Kong Museum of Art presents a range of exhibitions and screens a romantic local film.

When: Until 26 November

Where: Hong Kong Museum of Arts, Hong Kong Science Museum and Hong Kong Space Museum

How much: Various prices

For more information: lcsd.gov.hk

Great Music 2023

Winding down this month is a series of concerts under the Great Music 2023 umbrella that has seen musicians from around the world gather in Hong Kong to perform a plethora of programmes catering to a wide variety of tastes. The eclectic musical mix concludes with some superb piano-centric performances. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott team up once again, youthful South Korean talent Seong-Jin Cho hits the keys during a stirring recital, and veteran Brazilian jazz artist Eliane Elias lets rip.

When: Until 28 November

Where: Various venues

How much: Various prices

For more information: lcsd.gov.hk