GBA Lifestyle News
Travel Outside HK Section
By Kate Springer | November 20th, 2015

A travel tell-all by Kate Springer.

Whether you’re the type of traveler to plan every detail yourself or would rather hand off all the planning to an agent, every traveler wants the same thing: more holidays.

It might come as no surprise to learn that I am the first type — an anal planner who has 22 tabs open at any given time and a Google spreadsheet with every potential trip mapped out well before ever buying any tickets. Over the course of 2015, I traveled internationally nearly 20 times.

If travel isn’t an inherent part of your job, it might sound like a lot. But it’s actually pretty doable. How? By planning around Hong Kong government holidays, of course!

In case you haven’t already mapped out the key long weekends yourself, here’s a handy 2016 holiday guide for your planning purposes:

Jan 1 – New Year’s is on a Friday this year, so you get a three-day weekend. Better go celebrate somewhere saucy! Langkawi? Boracay? Melbourne?

Feb 8, 9, 10 – Block off this entire week for Chinese New Year and go somewhere farther afield that you’ve been meaning to get to. Maybe Myanmar or India?

March 25 & 28 – Every year we get a Friday and Monday off for Easter. Four days is plenty of time to head to Japan and see the cherry blossoms. Osaka! Tokyo! Kyoto! Just go!

April 4 – Ching Ming Festival is on a Monday, so that means you have a perfect opportunity for a long weekend somewhere close like Danang and Hoi An, Siem Reap or Okinawa.

May 2 – The day following Labour Day is on a Monday. Spring is bomb up north — try Beijing, Seoul or Busan.

June 9 – Tuen Ng Festival is on a Thursday, so use up one day of annual leave and you have yourself a four-day weekend. That’s enough for a trip to San Francisco by my calculations.

July 1 – Thank you, SAR, for giving us the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day on a Friday. A trip to Taiwan sounds like the right way to celebrate.

Sep 16 – Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is on Thursday, which means the day after is a holiday. Don’t bother wondering why the festival itself isn’t a holiday. Just accept the day off and fly out to Kota Kinabalu before the rainy season sets in.

Oct 10 – The day following the Chung Yeung Festival is a Monday this year, so pack your bags and spend a few days in Bangkok, Phuket or Chiang Mai.

Dec 26 & 27 – Christmas is on a Sunday in 2016, which makes Monday and Tuesday holidays. Screw the busy airport and just hunker down with your gifts, loved ones and relax.

So that’s 10 trips next year using just one day of annual leave. Mark your calendar!