For something new this week, we have a guest post from Sally of our3kidsvtheworld. S keeps asking to go to Hong Kong for her birthday next year so I thought I’d make things easy for us and ask someone else what to do in Hong Kong with kids. Here are Sally’s suggestions of the best things to do in Hong Kong for kids!
We recently visited Hong Kong for a holiday with our 3 kids aged 9, 7 & 5. I wrote a top 5 things to do in Hong Kong with kids as voted by the kids on my blog, you can read it at www.our3kidsvtheworld.com. Now I must admit, I did struggle with this post as I didn’t exactly agree with what the kids thought were the Top 5! So when Sharon asked me if I’d like to write a guest post on her blog, I thought here’s my chance to get my Top 5 things to do in Hong Kong with family out there!
Now if it’s the time for honesty, the second thing I need to highlight is that I was in Hong Kong last year without the kids, and we did a few things that I thought the kids would have loved but we didn’t have the time to get there on this trip. I have included a couple of those experiences as I think they would have made the kids’ list of the best things to do with kids in Hong Kong if we had of visited them.
Hong Kong Disneyland is perfect for younger kids, our youngest, who was 5 at the time, was able to go on all the rides and he was just over 120cms. We find that their height is a problem at most theme parks that we go to. I was thrilled that it was not a problem at Disneyland and this was the main reason we chose to go to Hong Kong rather than California.
We were there during China’s Golden Week of public holidays which meant that there were a lot of Chinese tourists from the mainland in Hong Kong. Amazingly, considering the crowd, we did not wait any longer than 30 minutes for a ride and that was only once. Most rides we were on within 15mins of waiting. I think this was amazing as I had expected the queues to be at least 1 hr for the major rides.
One thing I will suggest, and this was Craig’s idea, don’t get overawed and go straight to the first attractions you come to. Avoid the temptation and make your way to the back of the park and work your way to the front. While all the others go to the first thing they see, you’ll have a free run. The day we went the Disney Train wasn’t running (due to maintenance work) so we walked to the back of the park but if it’s going just walk in the front gate and jump on.
We did have to wait to have our photos taken with the Disney characters though. Small price to pay considering. We were lucky to have my sister and her husband with us so Craig waited in the Mickey line, I waited in the Minnie line and my sister and her husband were in the Chip and Dale line which moved quickly and then freed them up to ferry the kids between Craig and I when we got closer to the front of the line. This meant that we only spent one hour in lines at the characters instead of at least 2 hours.
Another big tick at Disneyland was the one off payment of $60AUD for official Disney photos. Once paid, you were provided with a password for the website that you could access for 2 weeks after the purchase date at your own leisure. We emailed the details home and got mum to download them as we would have been right on the 2 week deadline when we returned to Melbourne.
You can read a full review of Hong Kong Disneyland here.
I am a bit on the fence with this as it wasn’t perfect for our kid’s ages. But I do believe that if the kids were a little bit taller, they would have really loved it at Ocean Park. So much so, that I would really like to return when they are a little older. It needs to be in this list even though it wasn’t perfect for my kids.
A lot of the rides at Ocean Park had a height restriction of 132cms. This meant that both our younger kids were unable to go on most of the rides, some of the restrictions were a little over the top. It was very disappointing for Keira who is also old enough to know what she was missing out on.
The roller coasters at Ocean Park were ballistic (my son’s words!). Older kids would be entertained all day just on the roller coasters. The husbands got their fill of the roller coasters straight up. They always make for great photos! Most of them are located on the other side of the mountain and the views (if you get a chance to look) are breathtaking. I’m not a roller coaster kinda girl, but they did look awesome. If I wasn’t a chucker, I would have had a crack at them!
If you have smaller kids, you could easily spend all day just visiting the animal enclosures. The penguin enclosure is very impressive and we arrived at feeding time so they were very active. It also had a glass floor so you could see the penguins swimming below. The arctic fox enclosure was pretty cool too, they are so cute you just want to take one home. The Giant Panda enclosure is a must see, we didn’t get there until late in the afternoon so they weren’t active, but to be able to see these animals up close was amazing. You are able to feed the seals at the Pacific Pier for a small fee, which our kids did. There are aquariums which I have never seen anything like before, from sharks, eels, fish and plenty more. There were jelly fish of every size with awesome light displays. There is a kid’s touch and feel pool in the Grand Aquarium, not to mention the dolphin show! Wow it’s almost like a zoo!
Ocean Park is divided into 2 areas, the Summit and the Waterfront. There are 2 ways to move between the Summit and the Waterfront, the train which goes through the mountain and the cable chair that goes over the mountain. We caught the train across and came back via the cable car. The cable car is a bit dated these days, and I was happy to have my feet back on solid ground when we got across. It actually covers quite a bit of distance but the best thing about the cable cars is by far the amazing views of Deep Water Bay in the East China Sea.
There’s a great light show at the end of the night before the theme park closes. I won’t give too much away but if you have little kids, you would be best to not stand too close to the railing. The show consists of light, water and fire. Our kids were a little frightened at times.
Another of the great things to do with family in Hong Kong is the Victoria Peak Tram. It is a ‘must do’ for anyone when visiting Hong Kong. You can visit during the day or the evening. My suggestion is to do both! The view has to be one of the most recognised city views in the world and even though I have now been there twice, I will visit again if I ever go back (or should I say when I go back).
It was very busy the day when we visited. It was a Sunday and stinking hot. I have to admit that the queue moved pretty quickly and we were on the tram within 1 hour of getting in the line. The good thing about Hong Kong is that they manage crowds very well and efficiently. The tram takes less than 10mins to get from the bottom to the top.
We had lunch at Bubba Gump’s which is located in the Peak Tower on top of the Peak Tram stop. It’s worth stopping here for a frozen drink and to take in the awesome views. You have the option of not going up to the viewing platform at Sky Terrace, 428 but I suggest you do it. The views are breathtaking and if you happen to get a really clear day you will be able to see Kowloon and beyond.
This is one that I have thrown in from my visit last year that I didn’t get time to do with the kids this time round. I think they would have loved this. It gives you a good look at life outside of the city as the Big Bus takes you through Aberdeen, Repulse Bay and over to Stanley. The Big Bus is a hop on hop off bus. If you choose to do either of the green or red route, they both include The Peak Tram entrance fee and the rest of the tours are different. The red route focuses on Hong Kong Island and the sights to see there. The bus ticket is valid for 24 hours.
Stanley has a market which has decent shopping. Be aware that none of the vendors will barter at this market. From memory I think there is a sign advising you not to bother asking. If you go out to the right of the market there are some nice restaurants and places to have a drink. The drive out to Stanley is lovely and it’s hard to believe you are still in Hong Kong, such a comparison to all the skyscrapers on the other side.
Aberdeen Harbour is on the south side of Hong Kong Island, your ticket includes a sampan ride on the harbour in a traditional basket. It’s a popular tourist spot and is known for its lovely views and its floating seafood restaurant, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant.
It also drops off and picks up from the Star Ferry, Ocean Park, Repulse Bay and St John’s Cathedral.
Unfortunately this is another place I didn’t get the chance to take the kids. The Big Buddha (proper name, Tian Tan Buddha) is located on Lantau Island. You will be required to climb 268 stairs to get up to the Big Buddha and you will be rewarded with views all the way to the Hong Kong International Airport. The best way to get to the Big Buddha is to take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car which takes approximately 25 mins. The cable car connects Tung Chung MTR station to the Ngong Ping Village. The cable car provides amazing views from the North Lantau Country Park, across to the Hong Kong International Airport and out to the South China Sea. The cable car covers a distance of 5.7kms.
Also located at the Big Buddha is the Po Lin Monastery, a major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong and also a popular tourist attraction. There are also market type shops where you can purchase souvenirs and jade jewellery among other things. There are restaurants and places to get drinks. We had a dumpling lunch at the Chinese restaurant.
At the Tung Chung MTR station there is a brands outlet store, you could easily spend half a day at the Big Buddha and half a day at the outlet store. Now don’t be fooled, outlets stores in Hong Kong which are similar to our DFO’s, look more like Chadstone Shopping Centre and have all the top brands. There are good bargains to be had there.
So that’s my Top 5 places to visit in Hong Kong for families. There are plenty of other Hong Kong attractions for kids that we didn’t have time for and things that I missed last time I was there. Hong Kong is a great place to take kids, it’s easy to get around using the MTR, foods great and there are plenty of things to keep them entertained. Do it, you won’t be disappointed.
Have you been to Hong Kong? What are your best tips for things to do in Hong Kong for kids? I would be happy to hear about them in the comments below.
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