I remember the time when we used to travel with our kid in tow. He neither enjoyed the intricate Sistine chapel paintings in the Vatican nor did he marvel at the famous Mona Lisa. These attractions are for grownups only.
We know that when we travel with kids we would have to balance. So, when we travelled to Hong Kong earlier, we made it a point to find out about things that would be interesting as a wholesome vacation for the family. So we present here, the specially curated things-to-do in Hong Kong as a family.
This is especially useful with summer holidays around the corner. Another reason is smart deals will be available to all visitors to HK from 1st April. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, coupon booklet with fabulous offers from 21 attractions, airlines and transportation will be ready for you to enjoy the best of Hong Kong. Don’t forget to get yours! While you are at it, try Cathay Pacific’s offers to Hong Kong ex India.
Sky 100: Sky-100 is the name given to the observation deck at 100th floor of Hong Kong’s tallest building (the International Commerce Centre ICC) and offers incredible 360-degree views of Victoria Harbour from a height of 393M. The elevator takes just about a minute to get to Sky 100 from the ground level. We have written a detailed post on Sky100 here.
To add to the delight, there are a few 3D Trick Eye exhibits.
Beyond the 101st floor, up to the top is the luxurious Ritz Carlton hotel, in case you feel like staying at the tower!
If you are an adventure loving family, then you can actually climb to the top of the tower from the outside. :)… Just kidding!
Ocean Park: This is a multiple experience park. There are marine mammals, land animals, Oceanarium and amusement park rolled into one huge 226-acre enjoyment area. There are 4 roller coasters, many thrill rides, and animal shows and so on, spread between the Summit and the Waterfront. You can use the 1.5 KM long cable car to move between Summit and Waterfront areas.
Waterfront comprises of amazing Asian animals, Red Panda and Giant Panda pavilions, birdwatching, dolphin and penguin encounters and many more attractions for kids and the kids at heart.
Ferry Crossing and Junk Cruising: One of the cheapest mode of transport to go from Kowloon to Hong Kong is the Star ferry that is an experience by itself. Especially when you do it at night. If that is not enough the entire family can enjoy a 45-minute cruise aboard a red-sail junk boat. A Junk is a typical Chinese sail boat and is not junk as in dilapidated, in case you are wondering. 🙂
If that is not enough, you can charter the whole junk for days!
Peak and the Peak Tram: The Sky terrace at 428M atop the Peak Tower, is the highest 360 degrees viewing terrace in Hong Kong. The beautiful view of Hong Kong and Kowloon is on one side and on the other rolling green hills meeting the sea. While the views are stunning at any time, evening and nights offer the best.
The peak tower itself is a small mall that also houses the Hong Kong edition of the world famous Madame Tussaud’s wax museum and Magic Post Office where you can schedule a future post card to your friends and relatives (as usual I scheduled one for myself!).
A quick tip: It gets quite cold and windy at the Sky Terrace so don’t forget your light jackets. The terrace also has a “I love you” corner where you can make your love known or write your wishes.
While there are just a few 3D trick eye exhibits in Sky-100, there is a whole museum at the Peak, where you can enjoy taking photos of yourselves at impossible locations.
The quickest way to get to the Peak is by the Peak Tram. The 128 years old peak tram, has been constantly upgraded to provide the best possible service to the tourist at the same time retaining the old-world look. It is indeed a great experience to climb to the peak by the steepest funicular railway in the world.
From the Lower peak terminus, as we move up, the tall skyscrapers give way to green hills which glide past at an odd angle as we ascend towards the peak.
One can trek it up, take a bus or a cab too to get here.
Disneyland: Well, Disneyland is Disneyland, nothing more to be said but all to be experienced. There are seven different themed lands and many more enjoyable shows and attractions. Every time I have been there, I have seen an addition or a change at Disneyland.
Depending on the season, it makes sense to book in advance.
It is well connected by MTR. You take the Tung-Chung line, change at Sunny Bay and take the Disney train to Disney Land. You can even purchase the park tickets at the starting station, Hong Kong near the Tung-Chung line or even online to avoid queues. Boy! You’ll love the Disney train itself!
Big Buddha: In the same Lantau island, at Ngong Ping, is the Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha. Kids and adults love the awesome statue of 34M tall Buddha. The journey to Po Lin is quite spectacular when you take the cable-car and glide over lush green foliage far below.
The highlight is the remarkable scenery of Hong Kong, its mountains and seas.
Science Museum: For those family members, who would like to know how things work, this museum has hundreds of exhibits that you can operate and play around, including Virtual Reality and robotics. This is located in the busy TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) district of Kowloon. The highlight is the 22M high Energy Machine, which produces incredible audio-visual effects demonstrating various forms of energy.
Hong Kong Zoo: Opened to the public in the year 1871, this is perhaps one of the oldest zoo in these parts. Named as Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, is quite small in comparison to many other zoos we have visited in the past but even if you have little time, this is worth a stroll and kids are bound to enjoy the place. It is quite close to the Lower Peak Tram Terminus.
Markets: Hong Kong is a great place for shopping. More interesting are its unusual markets of Hong Kong. Located in the Mongkok district of Kowloon, these are places where one can enjoy browsing through and eating and drinking local stuff.
The gold fish market is a place where you can get fish of all shapes and colors to fill up your home aquarium. Jade markets sells jades and trinkets, Bird market for exotic birds, flower markets for… no marks for the right answer:)! Lastly ladies market for everything else under the sun. Although mostly known for imitation things, one can get some nice souvenirs here.
We also loved the Stanley market on southern end of Hong Kong Island that bore a different character and is worth a visit.
If you want international brands, then the myriad malls are the place to be in.
Getting Around: There are several options for getting around in Hong Kong. The fastest is the MTR which can get you to almost all parts of HK on rails on purchasing pre-loaded Octopus cards. Alternatively, one can use the tourist Hop-on Hop-off buses. These are open-top double-decker buses, where you have an option to hop-off at any designated stops along the touristic route. The tour is hassle-free for any route or time schedule. There is a recorded commentary in multiple languages about the history and culture of the sights.
Of course, one can always use metered cabs, which are quite safe. While not being the cheapest option, they are quite comfortable. The famous old tram of the city is another option and is worth riding just for fun.
Don’t forget to bring your smart phones and tablets. At many of the above places is Wi-Fi is free!
No wonder they say BEST OF ALL, IT’S IN HONG KONG.
Have you been to Hong Kong? What do you think are the most enjoyable things to do? If not, then what would you and your kids definitely do from our list?
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