Hua Hin Jazz Festival

Aug 26-27. Hua Hin, Thailand.
The royal resort town can’t boast the clear blue waters of the Similan but with its Rama V-era boutique hotels, thriving kitesurfing scene and bustling night market, it’s definitely the beach town with the most buzz. Throw in a jazz festival, and you’ve got the perfect weekend getaway. Talent is mostly local, like the celebrated saxophonist Koh Mr. Saxman.

Qingdao International Beer Festival 2011

Through Aug 28. Free entry. Qingdao, China.
Finally, a chance to sample Cerna Hora from the Czech Republic, Hofbrauhaus from Munich and King Oryx from Tanzania. For these obscure beers, and hundreds more, head to China’s Shandong Province, the house of the Tsingtao brewery which is hosting Asia’s largest beer festival, now in its 17th year.


Tokyo Jazz Festival 2011

Sep 2-4. Tokyo International Forum Hall, Tokyo, Japan.
Japan’s largest jazz event gathers an impressive international line-up every year. The three-day music festival sees global jazz names like bossa king Sergio Mendes, seven-time Grammy Award winner Al Jarreau, singer and guitarist Raul Midon, bass-guitarist Anthony Jackson, saxophonist David Sanborn, guitarist Mike Stern and jazz artist Marcus Miller alongside local talents like Hiromi Uehara, Takashi Sugawa, Saori Yano and The Quasimode.

Brisbane Festival

Sep 3-24. Brisbane, Australia. Various prices.
Brisbane Festival is a three-week-long city-wide celebration combining art exhibitions with music, dance and stage performances. This year, the highlight (literally) is Santos City of Lights, a nightly laser spectacle using the buildings on the South Bank of the city as a backdrop.

Beijing Design Week

Sep 25-Oct 3. Beijing, China. Various prices.
A week-long event comprised of contemporary art, architecture and design seminars, talks, summits and exhibitions. The guest city this year is London and 2011 is also the beginning of Beijing International Design Triennial, shown at the National Museum next to Tiananmen Square during Sep 28-Oct 17.

Rugby World Cup 2011

Sep 9-Oct 23. New Zealand. NZ$15-1,278.
It’s a momentous event when the Rugby World cup heads to the home of the legendary All Blacks. The matches will take place from the northernmost city of Wangarei to the southernmost town of Invercagill, with teams converging from 20 nations.

Singapore Grand Prix

Sep 23-25. Singapore. Grandstand tickets are from S$298, Walkabout tickets are from S$198.
It’s that time of the year again, when Singapore sheds its speed limits—well, as long as your car is a Formula 1 racer. The Singapore Grand Prix is much more than a race now, though, with a host of concerts and parties with international headline acts such as Linkin Park slated for this year’s event.

11th Seoul Performing Arts Festival

Sep 28-Oct 30. Seoul, South Korea. Various prices.
Eight countries, 36 companies and as many shows—now in its eleventh year, SPAF has become a serious fixture on the contemporary dance and theater calendar. Expect young Korean talents as well as ambitious collaboration projects with international participants.

Dr. Sun Yat Sen

Sep 30-Oct 3, National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing, China.
An undertaking of Opera Hong Kong and the New York City Opera’s VOX program, this eagerly-awaited opera about Dr. Sun Yat Sen and his second wife will premiere in Beijing at the end of September. A musical biography of the man himself, an English-speaking Christian who was largely responsible for China’s modernizing leap in the early 1900s, Dr. Sun Yat Sen is a combination of European opera tradition with librettos sung in Chinese (and other dialogue in English).


Fine Art Asia

Oct 3-7. Hong Kong.
Asia’s leading art fair is where to see, and perhaps buy, top picks from leading art galleries and antique dealers from the region. Naturally, you can expect a strong focus on Chinese antiques, from ceramics and stoneware to rare jewelry, but contemporary art will also be on show, as well as showcases from Europe and the USA.

Melbourne International Arts Festival

Oct 6-22. Various prices. Melbourne, Australia.
First staged in 1986 as Spoleto Melbourne Festival, it is now one of the largest festivals of performing arts in Australia. The 2011 edition features 52 shows, including 15 world premieres and 13 Australian premieres. Highlights include Chunky Move, Victorian Opera’s Assembly and Back to Back Theatre’s Ganesh Versus the Third Reich.

Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon 2011

Oct 22-23. Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia.
Marathons not challenging you enough? Head to the Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon 2011. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the climbathon requires participants to run for 21km up and down Southeast Asia’s highest mountain peak. Prizes for the mountain race, one of the world’s toughest, total some US$50,000.

Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival

Oct 27-30. Free. Hong Kong.
In its third year, the annual Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival brings 200 restaurants and wine cellars to the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. With the picturesque Victoria Harbour as a backdrop, sample the best this resolutely food-obsessed city has to offer.

Tokyo Designers Week 2011

Oct 27-30. Free. Tokyo, Japan.
Started 26 years ago as a trade show for product and interior design, Tokyo Designers Week is now as big a design fair as Milan’s. A week-long event packed with forums, exhibitions, presentations, concerts and parties at Meiji Jinku Gaien, it will culminate with the Tokyo Awards, to celebrate this year’s most exciting designers and artists.