Travel Hong Kong
Is May a good time to visit Hong Kong? French culture, Buddhist celebrations, Mother’s Day, and Chinese festivals are among the many things to do in Hong Kong in May. What about the weather? Find out in this Hong Kong May travel guide.
Hong Kong Weather in May
Hong Kong weather in May is hot, humid, and mostly cloudy. There is a roughly 50% chance of rain. Rain falls on an average of 15 days during the month. The average relative humidity is 84%.
The average high temperature in May is 29 degrees Centigrade, or 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The low temperature averages 24 degrees, or 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not uncommon, however, for the temperature to climb into the low 30s in May.
With the likelihood of rain, packing an umbrella is a good idea. You might, however, want to leave your raincoat at home. High humidity levels can make wearing a raincoat uncomfortable. Instead, opt for light, loose-fitting clothing.
Keep in mind that air-conditioning is ubiquitous in Hong Kong. Indoor temperatures can be quite chilly – especially on trains and buses. So sweaters or pullovers are often needed even on the hottest days.
On the plus side, the chance of a typhoon impacting Hong Kong in May is low.
Le French May – 1 May through 30 June
Next to the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Le French May is arguably the largest cultural event of the year in Hong Kong.
Founded in 1993, Le French May was originally conceived as a month-long event. Over the years, the festival has gradually expanded in scope. It now runs for two months, with more than 150 programmes presented throughout both Hong Kong and Macau.
Events are held at an assortment of venues: cultural centres, shopping malls, public spaces, a racecourse, and Victoria Harbour.
The schedule includes performances, exhibitions, French cinema, masterclasses, guided tours, workshops, educational programmes – the list goes on.
Now in its 27th year, Le French May attracts more than 1 million attendees each year.
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Le French GourMAY – 1 to 31 May
The Loire Valley is in the spotlight at this year’s Le French GourMAY festival in Hong Kong and Macau.
Now in its 11th year, Le French GourMAY is the culinary wing of Le French May, an annual celebration of French culture and gastronomy.
Each year, a different region of France is featured in the month-long festival. Restaurants in the neighboring special administrative regions (SARs) serve dishes made from ingredients imported from the featured region.
Café Renaissance at Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong, for example, is serving a menu of Loire Valley specialties. Included are appetizers, hot entrées, and desserts with a sumptuous seafood buffet dinner.
Grocery stores and wine shops promote foodstuffs and wines from the featured region, as well.
Great Chefs of Hong Kong – 6 May
Chefs from nearly 50 of Hong Kong’s top hotels will serve more than 100 dishes at the 26th annual Great Chefs of Hong Kong, a gala charity event.
The mouth-watering menu will be accompanied by an international array of fine wines. Attendees will get the chance to meet the chefs behind the dishes.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Heep Hong Society, a child education and rehabilitation organization.
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong – the Grand Ballroom, One Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong Island.
Cheung Chau Bun Festival – 9 to 13 May
The Cheung Chau Bun Festival attracts thousands of celebrants to the tiny island each year.
Events include Taoist ceremonies and music, a parade, lion dancing, and drumming. The highlight is a Bun Scrambling Competition, which takes place at night opposite the Pak Tai Temple.
Competitors scramble up a giant bamboo tower covered with buns. They are awarded points for the number of buns they gather. The higher the buns, the more points they are worth. Two winners are declared king and queen of the festival.
The Cheung Chau Bun Festival falls on the fifth to ninth days of the fourth month of the Lunar Calendar. That is 9 to 13 May in 2019 and 27 April to 1 May in 2020.
Take the First Ferry to Cheung Chau from Terminal 5 on the Central Waterfront on Hong Kong Island.
Buddha’s Birthday – 12 May
Several events are held in Hong Kong in celebration of the birthday of Buddha.
One of the most important is the Buddha Bathing Festival, which is held at the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island.
It is held on the eighth day of the fourth month on the Lunar Calender, which falls on 12 May in 2019.
- The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery – Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong.
Another popular event is the Celebration Carnival for Buddha’s Birthday, which attracts more than 100,000 participants to Victoria Park every year.
There is a vegetarian food fair, carnival games, a Sakya family parade, a Kid’s Paradise – the list goes on.
From 10 am to 6 pm on 12 May.
- Victoria Park – Soccer Pitch No. 4-6, Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island.
Victoria Park is within walking distance of the Causeway Bay and Tin Hau MTR stations on the Island Line.
Birthday of Tam Kung – 12 May
Tam Kung is a patron saint of coastal fishermen in Southern China. His birthday is celebrated at the Tam Kung Temple in Shau Kei Wan on Hong Kong Island.
Devotees celebrate Tam Kung’s birthday with dragon dancing, lion dancing, and a street parade.
Tam Kung’s Birthday falls on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month. It falls on 12 May in 2019.
- Tam Kung Temple – Tam Kung Temple Road, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong Island.
From the Shau Kei Wan MTR Station, take Exit D1 and follow Tung Hei Road and walk for about five minutes.
Mother’s Day – 12 May
Restaurants and hotels throughout Hong Kong will celebrate Mother’s Day with set menus or lavish buffets at lunch and/or dinner.
Many establishments are offering special gifts for mothers as a part of their Mother’s Day promotions. Mothers dining at food and beverage outlets at the InterContinental Hong Kong, for example, will receive Chantecaille Rose de Mai Signature Skincare Discovery Kits.
Because mother’s day is a family event, many hotel restaurants have special activities planned for families with children.
Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong – 16 to 19 May
Now in its seventh year, the Affordable Art Fair presents “affordable” works of art priced between HK$1,000 and HK$100,000. More than 115 galleries are taking part this year.
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre – Hall 3D&E, 1 Expo Dr, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island.
The Hong Kong Convention Centre is within walking distance of the Wanchai MTR station on the Island Line.
La Feria – 17 to 19 May
La Feria is Spanish-themed fiesta featuring a carnival, a parade, and entertainment as well well as food and drink.
Hong Kong Cultural Centre – Piazza, Tsim Sha Shui, Kowloon.
The Hong Kong Cultural Centre is a short walk from the Star Ferry Terminal. It is also within walking distance of the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station.
Planning to Visit France?
Hong Kong May Travel: What to Do in Hong Kong in May is a monthly feature in the Accidental Travel Writer.