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Your guide to the Hong Kong Book Fair 2023

By Corrine Cheung 7 July 2023

Header image courtesy of Hong Kong Trade and Development Centre 

It’s that time of the year again for bibliophiles in Hong Kong! Organised by the Hong Kong Trade and Development Centre (HKTDC), the 33rd Hong Kong Book Fair is the first since 2019 to be mask- and restriction-free. For this occasion, the organisers have invited a selection of renowned international writers to attend the fair for talks and signings, along cultural events and exhibits for all to immerse in a global reading environment.

Featuring 760 exhibitors, Book Fair 2023 also includes seminars, sports demonstrations, food exhibits, and more. If this is your first event or you are overwhelmed and not sure where to start, here our guide to Hong Kong Book Fair 2023. We cover all the crucial details, from exhibits to shopping tips to help you navigate this annual happening.

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Photo: Hong Kong Trade and Development Centre

Overview

The Hong Kong Book Fair 2023 is held from 19 to 25 July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wan Chai, which is easily accessible.

Adult tickets are priced at $30 while children and concessionary tickets are priced at $10. Morning and night admissions also cost $10 and are subject to entry conditions. 

For hardcore readers out there, the super pass, priced at $88, provides unlimited entry to the Book Fair and offers access to a separate entrance to avoid those dreaded long queues. For more information on ticket passes and entry conditions, go to the website for details.

The Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo and World of Snacks will run in the Exhibition Centre alongside the Hong Kong Book Fair, where a diverse range of sports, leisure brands, and delicious treats around the world are up for grabs.

Tickets are available to purchase starting from now till 25 July through Alipay HK, Space01, or the Octopus app. If you would like a traditional, physical ticket, get one from any 7-Eleven or Circle K convenience store around Hong Kong. To avoid large crowds at the Book Fair, tickets cannot be purchased at the venue, so make sure to get them beforehand!

Photo: Hong Kong Trade and Development Centre

Tips and tricks

Before going in, here are a few tips and tricks to help you make your experience more enjoyable and guide your way around the Book Fair.

  1. Download the Hong Kong Book Fair app for a floor plan, live updates on event schedules, new book releases, and access to discount coupons for selected exhibits. 
  2. Go in the morning to avoid crowds and you can get cheaper tickets, too! For late risers, you can go at night with the same discounted price. Click here for more information.
  3. If you happen to go during the busy hours of the afternoon, be prepared to queue up and make sure to bring a water bottle and some snacks. A handheld mini-fan or some handkerchieves are also recommended, as the hall will get crowded.
  4. You can find food at the Grand Hall, the Port Café, Traders, and Hall 5E for some refreshments if you feel hungry or parched. 
  5. In case your family and friends get separated from the group, you can meet up at various assembly points at Halls 1A, 3B (near the entrance), and 3G.
  6. If you are making big purchases, we recommend to bring a suitcase to store all your catches for the day to avoid lugging stacks of books by hand. 
  7. With so many things to offer at the Hong Kong Book Fair this year, be sure to try out a little bit of everything—and don’t forget to have fun!

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Exhibits

Photo: Hong Kong Trade and Development Centre

Hall 1A-1E: Books, talks, and seminars

Spanning across five halls, books from various publishers and exhibitors will be on display at the General Book Pavilion. Genres range from fiction, cookbooks, textbooks, biographies, and travel guides to academic texts and much more. Here is the best place to wander around and browse some the selections on offer or purchase a few books if a title catches your eye. For titles written in English, head to the English Avenue where all sorts of selections and latest releases are available that you will certainly get lost in.

The Pavilion also has a Spirituality zone where talks and seminars are held for devotees of various religious beliefs. Books and other religion-related items are also available.

Photo: Hong Kong Trade and Development Centre

Hall 3B–3G: For children and teenagers

Children’s Paradise is the place to be for families enjoying the Hong Kong Book Fair together. You will find various exhibits, books, and learning materials for the little ones here. The Back to School zone is where you can get everything your child needs to prepare for the coming school year, whilst teen readers can head to Teens’ World at Hall 3G where they can dive into stocks of young adult literature.

Photo: FRUOO KSL (via Wikimedia Commons)

Hall 3F–G: Miscellaneous

Halls 3F–G offers a selection of learning-related products. The E-Book and E-Learning Resources section offers electronic devices such as Kindles or Kobos amongst others. Technical support and kits on E-learning are available for those studying.

Shop for new studying gear at the Multimedia, Stationery, and Cultural Gifts area, which offers everything from stationery to cameras for aspiring photographers and videographers out there, while the Collectible Corner offers various trinkets and toys.

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Photo: Hong Kong Trade and Development Centre

Hall 5B: World of Snacks

Foodies, head over to the World of Snacks and browse across over 1,200 snacks and treats! Ranging from local nostalgic food and desserts to global snacks, there is something for everyone here. This year’s selection features everything from Korean handmade fat macarons to durian ice pops and crispy mango rice guaranteed to make your mouth water. Also, check out the Snack Bar for a series of workshops, taste-testing sessions, and freshly made food for you to indulge in. Click here for more information.

Hall 5B–5C: Sports and Leisure Expo

Located right next to the World of Snacks is the Sports and Leisure Expo, where you will find various live demonstrations, including indoor skating boarding trial classes, self-defence workshops, and a VR rowing experience. The Expo also includes various sports gear and athleisure wear stalls for those who like to stay active.

You can also find a display by the Hong Kong Sports Institute stall that showcases items belonging to local Olympic athletes, including swimmer Siobhan Haughey, track cyclist Lee Wai-sze, and fencing champion Cheung Ka-long.

If you are not into sports, there are also DIY products, photography items, music equipment, and board games on offer around the Expo, which you can experience with staff and other members of the public.

In collaboration with the Japan National Tourism Organisation, the Expo includes a Japan Pavilion featuring cultural attractions and traditional performances from 14 Japanese prefectures and cities. In anticipation of the Aomori Nebuta (“Sleeping Devil” Festival) in August, a two-metre lantern will be set up for visitors to take pictures with!

Art Gallery

In line with this year’s theme, the Art Gallery section located at the Hall 3 concourse features various items and memorabilia provided by authors, including out-of-print works, manuscripts, photos, selected works, and previous collections of nine selected writers.

In collaboration with the Hong Kong Calligraphers Association and Ling Ngai Art Association, the Book Fair will present “Treasures of Lingnan Culture,” an exhibition showcasing Lingnan artworks such as calligraphy from famous artists, paintings from the Lingnan School, as well as its intangible cultural and artistic heritage: Canton porcelain. The exhibit will also feature legendary Chinese martial artist Wong Fei-hung in various books and martial art magazines from the 1950s and 1960s, special-edition movies, and memorabilia.

For more details of the exhibit, click here.

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Photo: Hong Kong Trade and Development Centre

World of Art and Culture

This year, the Book Fair is launching a brand-new zone called “World of Art and Culture.” Carefully curated by renowned Hong Kong designers, the new zone depicts literature and various cultural arts from 24 countries—including France, Korean, and Brunei, amongst others—all curated to this year’s theme.

This zone will also feature books awarded under the Children and Youth, and Arts and Design categories of the Hong Kong Publishing Biennial Award 2023. If you would like to do something a bit more creative and hands on, on offer are a multitude of workshops where guests can experience art, creativity, and culture from all around the globe!

Seminars

The theme for Book Fair 2023 is Children and Young Adult literature, which authors will interact and discuss with book lovers in a series of talks. This year’s line-up includes nine well-known children and YA fiction authors that includes A Nong and Sun Wai-ling, whilst separate sessions will honour the legacy of the late Ho Tsz and Quenby Fung

For Mandarin and Cantonese speakers, the Eight Seminar Series features renowned writers from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. This line-up includes famous novelist Ma Boyong, Mao Dun literature prize winner Pang Bei, and Yu Hua, who is considered one of the three most talented writers in China.

The English and International Reading Seminar Series is also making a return to the Fair this year, featuring international writers such as Theadora Whittington, British children’s literature author Jane Houng, veteran Chinese history researcher Mark O’Neill, and winner of the 2021 Comedy Women in Print Prize, Jesse Q Sutanto.

There will also be a Storytelling by Celebrities session where notable figures will share their stories with children. Speakers for this section include Hong Kong education expert Dr Chan Wai-kai, orthopaedic surgeon Dr Liyeung Lucci Lugee, and artiste Coco Chiang.

Click here for a full list of speakers and seminars and reserve a seat if you are interested!

Reading around Hong Kong

To promote reading habits in citizens, HKTDC has collaborated with Leisure and Cultural Services and various educational and cultural organisations to launch “Cultural July.” From 16 June to 31 July, you will find a series of events happening around Hong Kong, including workshops, book launches, and seminars hosted by renowned writers where the public can interact with and gain insight into the writing process of their favourite authors.

For a list of details and information of about the events, click here.

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Getting there

If you are interested in diving into a world of books, sports, and snacks at the Book Fair, take the East Rail line directly to Exhibition Centre Station. From there, you can take a four-minute walk from Exit B3 to the HKCEC.

Alternatively, you can get off at Wan Chai Station and take a 12-minute walk from Exit A5. With most of this route being in the shade, you can also avoid the blazing sunlight on the way. If you get lost, simply follow the signs that point you to the Book Fair.

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Curious, introverted, and dramatic, Corrine is passionate about all things theatre, music, literature, and the mythical. When she’s not busy writing the newest story, you will find her binge-watching the latest anime and shows on Netflix, reading the latest books or screlting musical songs in the shower.

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