The annual book fair is coming to its end tomorrow. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the must-go-to event for most Hongkongers. This is only my 2nd book fair, and for someone not extremely keen on books or buying books (I think the library is sufficient and I don’t need to own and fill my house with every single book I like the look of), I don’t really know much about this Fair. But I have to say, I went again this year because last year, I found out that the Fair has more than just books. And I have to admit, I am very interested in the rest of the stuff they had to offer. Originally, I planned to go there for a quick browse, spending an hour or at the very most, 2 hours. But we ended up being there for nearly 5 hours (!!!) and if it wasn’t closing time, I think I could’ve easily stayed there for another few hours.
Apart from books and magazines (1st floor for adults and 3rd floor for kids), there are also stationery and lots of arts & crafts material (located mainly on the 3rd floor). The arts & crafts section had my heart. I think I could stay there for an entire day. It had a fairly huge selection this year and I was on cloud 9. As well as selling the materials to make all sorts of wonders, lots of booths also had a small table where one can actually make products there and then. I was very tempted by a few booths and again, if I had the time, I would be sure to sit down and make some (of course need to pay for the materials, but it was cheap).
Few tips & pointers
- Consider entering via the 3rd floor first as there are probably less queueing involved to get into the fair (you can ask the staff just before going up the escalators for their advice on the actual situation) – as most people tend to enter the 1st floor first.
- Food – there are Chinese, Italian and other fast foods (such as chips, burgers etc) with prices ranging between $20-45 for small portions. The Convention Centre itself also has a few restaurants with set menus and a buffet.
- Water – it was ridiculously priced last year. I forgot to check how much it is this year, but I think it’s better to go prepared and bring your own, or bring a bottle and refill at the water fountains. You hardly want to use the money you saved from the books to go towards your beverages…..
- Prize draw – at the back of your map, there are 5 boxes. You will need to go around the different halls and get those boxes stamped. The location is marked with “Stamp” on the map. Once completed, you can enter into a prize draw. Instructions of how and where to go are given at the Fair.
- FREE photo – you will need to queue for a ticket (limited amount per slot). But it’s totally free. It’s at the Lands Department (1B-D23) booth. They will give you a ticket to come back at a certain time and you can have your photo taken and then keyed onto a Hong Kong background. It’s pretty good and I would definitely recommend it.
- Metrobooks – (located on the 1st floor) they have a section where the books are $30 each. Collection ranges from computer guides to novels (so anything really). You may want to check this out.
- Star spotting – well I wasn’t concentrating so didn’t spot any this year. But last year, we spotted at least one HK star. So be on the lookout! =P
This is totally recommended especially if you are a book buff – this is your world – it probably has more books than your local library! For shopaholics, shopping does not come better than this. Everything is on sale and cheaper than their marked price. Everything is cheaper at the tills. Isn’t it amazing? For bargain hunters, need I say more? And for everyone else, take a wonder round, you might be surprised at what you will see and find. And who knows, you might fall in love with the unexpected items like I did last year haha
Book fair website: http://hkbookfair.hktdc.com/en/About_FairDetails.aspx