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Shimmering skyline with tall skyscrapers surrounding the harbor, mountains in the backdrop to add to the scenery. This is the picture which comes to my mind with mention of Hongkong.
Recently we visited Hongkong. Although it was official conference for my Husband and we also tagged along, not letting go the opportunity to explore one more destination.
During this 5-day trip, we travelled in a group (families with young kids). Idea was to make the best use of time available and experience most popular attractions of Hongkong, especially suitable for kids. Although 5 days were not enough to cover all the places. Nevertheless, with kids, you can’t stretch beyond certain limit so it’s important to enjoy your time together in a relaxed way and not planning a very ambitious itinerary.
Sharing 5 days itinerary for families (especially those with young kids & toddlers) planning to visit Hongkong for the first time.
Hotel check in. Lunch at Indian Restaurant. Victoria Peak. The Peak tower. Sky terrace 428.Tram Ride.
We landed in Hongkong at 10 a.m.Since hotel check-in time was 3.00 p.m. (I hate how hotels are postponing the check in time and preponing checkout times), we had to freshen up at airport. Next, we visited an Indian restaurant named Tamarind for our lunch. Finally, we reached a tall building with around 75-80 Floor. This was L Hotel Nina, where we were staying for next 4 days. Hotel has Prime location with metro at walking distance, beautiful park right next and shopping malls all around. I will share the review of the hotel soon.
Our room was at 39thFloor, moment we entered the room, an incredible view of towering skyline and sea welcomed us. This was first time we stayed on 39thFloor and it was an amazing experience.
Confusion at Victoria Peak– Same evening we hired a taxi and headed towards Victoria peak. (but half of the group had already left in metro by the time) after 45 mins, cab driver dropped us at Victoria peak station. The question now was, what next? We had no clue, If that’s the right place? One peculiar problem was nobody was responding to us (not sure if language was an issue?). Assuming Victoria peak as one view-point from where you can have a panoramic view of the city, we walked up the road to explore. (later we learned that the mountain itself is called as Victoria peak or Mount Austin. You can find several viewpoints including the sky terrace)
After walking cluelessly for few meters, fatigued from journey and carrying our little boy, we came down to the mall where the taxi dropped us (The Peak Tower in the area called Victoria Gap).
The Peak Tower & Sky terrace 428:-
After reaching the Peak tower, we realized that upper terminus for Peak tram and sky terrace 428 were located here. Bingo!! So finally, we dint had to go back confused without discovering much.
Ticket is required to visit Sky terrace 428. Standing at 428 metres above sea level, Sky Terrace 428 is the highest 360 degrees viewing terrace in Hongkong. It offers absolutely magnificent view of Hongkong’s charming skyline. You can gaze at this surreal view for hours. A great spot for some awesome photos too.
Happy from our unexpected discovery and the view, we spent some time at the mall, which also houses Madame Tussaud’s museum. We skipped the museum as we were running late.
Peak tower also has many shops selling clothes , Souvenirs etc.
Peak Tram- After all the adventure, how could we miss opportunity to experience one more new experience, the peak tram. Although there was a long queue, but we stood bravely for our turn to come. For the tram ride, you can either book tickets prior or buy it on the spot or use Octopus card. It was a nice descending ride with view of the valley (make sure to sit on right window side to enjoy best view)
Finally, after reaching the last station, we hired UBER and headed back to the Hotel.
Day 2-Hongkong Disney Land
Based on first day experience, we booked tickets online in advance. Although there is a Metro which goes till the Disney land, but with small kids we preferred cab.
There’s hardly anybody who wouldn’t have dreamt of visiting Disney land and be a part of fairytale world which we see only in movies. Disney land did not disappoint us at all and we had a great time there.
Divided into different theme Zones, each zone has great offerings including the castles, live performances, rides, beautiful set ups and off course impressive closing parade. We reached Disneyland around 11.30 a.m. and stayed till 8.30 p.m. But still we couldn’t visit all the zones. It’s better to start as early as possible to avoid evening rush and longer queues.
Recommended must try for young kids: Fantasyland Zone has a lot of attractions to keep your kids and toddlers engaged.
The parade during the closing time is also worth watching.
Day 3- Exploring the locality. Repulse Bay. Stanley market & promenade. Mongkok Market
Tired after spending whole day in Disneyland. We kept next day a little lighter.
Repulse Bay: Situated in the south of Hongkong Island,
Repulse Bay is an upmarket residential area with a crescent shaped beach overlooking the mountains. Beach was clean with small waves. We immersed ourselves in the cold sea waves and warm sun. Great place for young ones to freely enjoy open space and fresh air.
Just outside the beach , you can find changing and shower facility.
Stanley Market & Promenade: Next stop was Stanley Market, which we thought will be a typical markets. But to our surprise Stanley Area has a lot of options apart from Market.
Situated right next to the sea , this Area has a very relaxed and laidback vibes to it. While searching for the roadside market, we first visited the Stanley Plaza mall and then took escalator down to reach Stanley Plaza square. Since there are no vehicles in the area you can leave kids to run around. After walking a little further, we reached Stanley promenade. It was soothing experience to witness sunset and enjoy the breath-taking view of the Sea. kids enjoyed running around and observing cute pets walking in the promenade.
While returning from Stanley promenade, we reached the actual local market. Small colourful shops lined up in a narrow streets , offering Souvenirs, artefacts’, pearls etc Sadly it was already 7 p.m. market closing time. But we manager to buy some Pearl ( you can bargain at this market)
beautiful sunset at Stanley, Hongkong
Mongkok Market ( Ladies market): From Stanley we headed straight to Mongkok market, so not wanting to miss out on opportunity to shop. Place was buzzing with people, glistening with neon lights and music. Ladies market in Mongkok is popular shopping destination. Narrow lanes lined with small stalls selling Souvenirs, clothes, Accessories, Bags and off course lot of toys. I recommend to bargain well in this market as you can products for 1/3rdof the price quoted.
Day 4 – Ocean Park, National day firework, Metro train experience.
Ocean park is a marine amusement park, second largest in Hongkong.
Being the National day of China (1stOctober),cab driver warned us that most of the roads will be closed post 6.45 p.m. for grand fireworks. So we had half a day to explore Ocean Park, which was surely not enough. So we shortlisted only few options which could be of interest to kids: Sea Aquarium, Cable car ride and Dolphin show.
Ocean park is spread over a huge area including top of the mountain. I could see some of the great rides which, I would have loved to try. But due to limited time we could complete only these 3 activities and train ride back from the mountain. Make sure to have one full day if you want to try out the rides and shows as well. We liked Aquarium ( although not as good as SEA Aquarium Singapore), Cable car ride was fun with a breath taking view of the Sea. We also enjoyed the Dolphin show, this was the first time I saw this show.
Towards evening, atmosphere at Ocean park was really festive with many live size comic characters, music etc. Wish we could have spent some more time and at least could have visited Asia animals’ section.
Wish I could have experienced this ride
Fireworks- Evening we enjoyed our Dinner at open roof top area of Tamarind restaurant. Firework started at 9 p.m. and lasted for 15 minutes. Although we dint had clear view, but it looked magnificent.
Last day– We had few hours before our flight, so we decided to walk around the locality. We were in Nina tower, which is one of the tallest buildings in Hongkong. Connected with Nina tower pathway is Citywalk mallin Tsuen Wan. City walk was a big mall with many shops, restaurants etc. We also walked past local market & houses.
This is how we spent 5 days in Hongkong. Although we missed out on TianTan Buddha which is one of the Major attractions in Hongkong. Probablykeep it for next visit!
Few Tips for family travel
- Finding vegetarian food is challenging in Hongkong. If you are travelling with kids, do carry some homemade eatables or packed food. Even if you reach hotel late, at least you have something to eat.
- Always have internet connection in your mobile specially for GPS. Certain places like I mentioned above are confusing and you don’t get much help from locals.
- Taxis are allowed to take only 4 -5 people. So, if you are in a big group it’s better to book through UBER. Otherwise also its best to take UBER as local taxi rate for the same place keeps changing.
- If Possible pre-book your tickets to attractions through Klook.com for discounts
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