It’s that time of the year again: time to add more wonderful books to your collection at home and get one step closer to having your very own Belle Library (see Beauty & The Beast). From the 18th-24th July, Hong Kong will come alive with our very favourite Hong Kong Book Fair. And with children under 3 and elderly over 65 entitled to free entry, there is no reason why you haven’t dragged the whole neighbourhood along to the convention centre.
I’ve been under a rock, what exactly is a Book Fair and why is it in Hong Kong?
Well, the Merriam Websters dictionary defines a Book Fair as: a display or exhibit of books typically by a group of publishers or book-dealers for promoting sales and stimulating interest; a fair or bazaar at which books are sold or auctioned to raise money for some worthy cause.
Basically, a festival being held for books (super fun).
The Hong Kong Book Fair is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and has been running since the early 90’s with a themed event every year. Last year’s event was “Reading the World ･ People, Places, Passions”, and in 2016 the theme was Chinese Martial Arts.
This year, set hearts ablaze with the ever popular and ever titillating Romance Literature.
How much is admission?
Admission to the fair varies depending on when you want to visit:
• Morning Admission: $10 (This is for entry before 12 noon, sold at the door only)
• Adult Ticket: $25
• Child’s Ticket: $10 (for children under 1.2m tall and primary school students)
As an added bonus, if you buy a regular ticket for adult ($25) or child ($10) dated 18th & 19th July, you can also enjoy one-time free admission on 20, 21 or 22 July after 5pm by presenting the whole stub attached to the admission ticket.
But be aware that this offer is not applicable to other admission tickets including morning admission ticket, concessionary ticket, VIP ticket and complimentary ticket. Read more here.
What can I expect with the theme of Romance Literature?
You can expect all things romance this year at the Hong Kong Book Fair. Both Chinese and foreign authors will come together to showcase the very best of romance literature, ranging from short stories, to poetry, to novels, and even graphic novels.
As a celebration of Love, there will also be a “Love Between The Lines” zone setup at the Art Gallery. This zone will introduce 10 Hong Kong authors and their work in romance literature. You’ll be able to chat, ask questions, and discover all the hidden meanings of their romantic works.
But for those who yawn at the idea of romance novels (Mr Grey who?) then fear not, because vendors will still be on hand to sell you books from all sorts of new and exciting genres.
What facilities are there at the fair?
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (referred to as HKCEC by the cool kids on the block) has a range of services to make your fair experience memorable. There’s a tonne of eateries at your fingertips should you get the munchies, and a gathering spot for when you’ve lost all your friends in the madness and need to find them again.
If you’re looking to do some shopping then make sure to stock up on cash before you arrive. Most vendors are cash only and the queue for the ATM can be long and annoying. Spent too much? There is also a delivery service with DHL so any overspending burdens can be mitigated by sending the books home ahead of you.
Also for the kiddies (and adults), there’s a special passageway called “Children’s Paradise”. After you’ve purchased all relevant tickets, head to the left side of the HKCEC Harbour Road Entrance and keep a lookout for Exhibition Hall 3. You can bring in 2 adults with each child, so if you don’t have a child of your own and still want to go then make sure to ask a family if you can borrow one of theirs. Find out more about Children’s Paradise here.
I’ll be walking a lot at this Book Fair, how do I relax after such a literary feast?
The only way one can relax: a foot massage! “But my feet will hurt!” you screech at us through the screen. Never fear, our book loving friend, we hear your screeches and this time we have provided you with the exact number of steps you’ll be taking from the HKCEC to your massage so you can prepare.
Here are the spas we’d recommend and their step count from the HKCEC (remember to try and get in your daily 10,000 steps for good health).
Zen Massage (2,400 steps or 1.9km)
Foot Reflexology – 60 minutes @ $258 / 90 minutes @ $338 before discount
Imagine a good foot massage for only $388 after spending all day shopping and browsing books? Heaven, right? What about a foot reflexology session and a 15 minute neck massage for an extra 15 minutes for only $406 before discount? Both are a possibility and a certainty at Zen Massage. Rewind after all that romance reading with a good reflexology session and a lie down.
Address: Flat B, 4/F, Hyde Park Mansion, 53 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Foot Station (1574 or 1.2km)
Foot Massage & Herbal Tea – 30 minutes @ $250 before discount
Okay, so we had trouble choosing which of their treatments to recommend because this spa has everything foot massage related. Fancy a foot massage, a hydrating facial, and a herbal tea for only $900? Done! What about those expecting mother’s amongst us looking for sweet relief after a day on their feet at the Book Fair? Book in the Prenatal Foot Massage $360. This place has it all, and so close to the fair that you can waddle there in no time.
Address: Shop D, G/F, Lily Mansion, 102-104 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Got a hankering for more culture?
Working up a sweat with all this walking? Keep the hair off your neck with these stylish dos.
It’s that time of the year again: time to add more wonderful books to your collection at home and get one step closer to having your very own Belle Library (see Beauty & The Beast). From the 18th-24th July, Hong Kong will come alive with our very favourite Hong Kong Book Fair. And with children…