Ah, November. Right before the holiday season. You may think it’s an awkward month to plan a trip, but get ready to be surprised. It’s actually the perfect month for a city to plan a quirky event just for the sake of the event. The season is ripe for autumn festivity and literary reflection as well. So, from the stylish Seoul fashion show to the whole month of Hong Kong culinary bonanza, here’s our list of events in Asian cities that you don’t want to miss.
Seoul: What We Wear (November 18-19)
The fanciest and trendiest online fashion shopping malls of Korea all in one place, offline: What We Wear (“WWW”) brings designer brands, SNS influencers, and fashion artisans together. Mixing the contents and products together, merging fashion and art, it presents you the best of the online and offline experiences. Oh, and you can buy the stuff at up to 90% discounts.
Penang: Bridge International Marathon (November 26)
If you’re a fan of marathons or bridges, you cannot miss this (if you love both, this is a must). Penang Bridge International Marathon is the longest bridge marathon in the world, with thousands of participants competing. The course goes across the longest bridge in Malaysia: Penang Bridge or Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, and along a scenic coastal highway. If this sounds too hardcore, don’t worry. Besides the full- and half-marathons, there will also be a 10km run and the family fun run.
Tokyo: Kagurazaka Street Stage O-edo Tour (November 11-12)
Once an entertainment hub outside Edo Castle, Kagurazaka is now a sophisticated and quiet dining district. It will again be filled with music and marching performers in this two-day celebration of the traditional arts, centred on stages set up on the grounds of Zenkokuji temple and Akagi Shrine. Tea ceremonies will be taking place, and you can join the fun by participating in the ‘stamp rally’ walking tour.
Singapore: Writers Festival (until November 12)
To celebrate its 20th year, this beloved literary festival chose this year’s theme, ‘Aram’ (Tamil for “doing good”). Panel discussions, live performances, film screenings, workshops and more activities for wordsmiths will be spread across 10 days. While questioning the meaning of being “good,” participants will also explore intriguing topics like women in Tamil literature and sexuality in Asian writing. This year the festival will be housed in the Civic District amongst historic buildings such as The Arts House, The National Gallery and the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Hong Kong: Great November Feast (November)
We know Hong Kong is the city of foodies. This month, the whole city presents a feast. A month-long citywide food festival packed with exciting food and drink events, it will definitely satisfy your taste buds. With foodie hubs in Queen’s Road East, Lan Kwai Fong, Harbour City, Tong Chong Street and new player Old Town Central, you’ll be spoilt for choices. The popular festivals like Beertopia and Lan Kwai Fong Carnival return, and Sparkling Sunset@Harbour City sounds exceptionally romantic.
Kyoto: Gion Odori – Fall Dances by Geiko & Maiko (November 1-10)
There are five hanamachi (geisha districts) across the city of Kyoto. Each of the districts performs a large-scale dance for the public once a year: four of them held in the spring season and one in fall. Every hanamachi has its own characteristics, and each varies in the number of performers as well as the dance repertoire, the number of performances, and the ticket price, so there is sure to be a dance that attracts your interest. There are premium tickets to participate in a tea ceremony before the dance hosted by a maiko apprentice as well.