Exploring the Best of Honkers With the Little Ones
Hong Kong is truly a world-famous tourist destination for families in Asia. Combing first-class accommodations, a plethora of activities and oh-so-delicious dimsum in a very commuter-friendly city, it’s one place any parent who wants to broaden their kids horizons ought to visit!
If you’re planning to explore Hong Kong with the little ones, fret not! Despite the language barrier, you will find many young locals able to speak English (oh, there are TONS of friendly expats, too!) and it is pretty much easy to navigate via google maps which saved us so many times when you we just couldn’t quite the pronunciation of certain street names (looking at you Rednaxela!). Wi-Fi is accessible in most shops (a 7-eleven store had free Wi-Fi on our shuttle stop!), cafes and quite a number of hotels will even lend you Wi-Fi hotspot-ready mobile phones! Depending on your location, you may choose to discover on foot, ride a taxi (we used Uber at times, ‘cause seriously, when you have kids, anything effortless is golden) or the ever-dependable, and fastest option in my opinion, the MTR.
Make sure that you do your research, plan your itinerary ahead and make reservations or purchase tickets in advance to save on precious travel time because lines may be long especially, on holidays. I recommend you do all planning even before you arrive Hong Kong. I personally obsess over our itinerary weeks before travel date! I also like reading up on our destinations while waiting to board the plane or during the flight. Airline magazines always have useful information on current events like festivals and what not. Of course, reading will only be possible when the young ones aren’t all over you.
If your intention is to immensely please (read: spoil) your children, your first order of business here should be Disneyland Park in Lantau Island. Now, the land area is HUGE so bringing a stroller is a must! Children tire easily and will most likely take a nap at some point during the loooong day, so save yourself from some trouble and bring an umbrella stroller or rent one from the park. Hotels of the Disneyland Resort conveniently also rent out prams. Inquire at the front desk upon checking in.
For home-schooling parents, travel schoolers and unschoolers, an educational highlight in Hong Kong would definitely be learning all about life under the sea in Ocean Park. You may opt to have a more unique experience for you and your child if you sign up for close encounters with the dolphins, panda, penguins, or feeding time with the shark and ray. These extra special encounters require a two-day advance booking so, sign up early. And while there, stay with your family at Ovolo Southside, the closest hotel to theme park, just 10 mins walking distance.
If playing outdoors for your kids is your thing, Hong Kong has loads of public parks. We chanced upon one residential park on our way home from DiMDimSum on Jordan (which is voted as one of the world’s 101 places to eat, by the way!). My kids got to interact with local Hong Kong kids, which was cooler than playing video games. Remember to bring insect repellent as mosquitoes are rampant during Spring and Summer.
Nature tipping is a-plenty as well! To my surprise, Hong Kong has a lot of geo parks, hiking trails and beaches nearby. If you’ve got lots of time, I recommend doing the kid-friendly Dragon’s Back trail which will take 2-4 hours and end at the Big Wave Beach or Shek O Beach. Take the MTR Shau Kwu Wan Station, Exit A3. And then take the bus 9, alight at Cape Collinson Road where you will see the stairs to the start of the trail. If you have a tiny tot, wear a hiking carrier and make sure the little one wears a hat! Don’t forget to bring sunscreen!
Monica Eleazar-Manzano, is a family travel blogger (mylittleglobetrotters.com) and co-founder of FlowRetreats.com. When she isn’t leading a yoga retreat around Asia, she is discovering the world one country at a time with her husband and two children.