TravelBugs: Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an amazingly child-friendly place (though, with all those escalators, admittedly not so stroller friendly). The beaches are great for kids, and Stanley, a seaside village with a much-loved market, is perfect for a day trip. The obvious thing to do is take the funicular up Victoria Peak and wander the morning trail – on a clear day, you’ll be rewarded with epic views of the city. Hong Kong likes a good festival: check out the mooncakes and lanterns in the Mid-Autumn Festival, the papier-mâché effigies of deities and the baked buns at the Cheng Chau Bun Festival in May and the fun and games of the Dragon boat racing in June.
1.) Star Ferry
This is hands down the best way to see the harbour. It’s cheap as chips, super atmospheric and an absolute must (it’s also worth doing the return trip). The Star Ferry is great by day, amazing at dusk and brilliant by night. Time it right and you can catch the 8pm light and laser show that’s illuminated on Hong Kong’s impressive bank of skyscrapers. (starferry.com.hk/en/Fares)
2.) Dragons Back
This hike is actually totally do-able with children and offers stunning views of the turquoise water and islands beyond. You’re close to the city but feel far away from the hustle and bustle. The hike has just enough uphill plodding to wear the kids out, so grab a taxi at the end and head to Shek O or Big Wave Bay for lunch afterwards. (discoverhongkong.com/uk/see-do/great-outdoors/hikes/dragons-back.js)
What’s not to like about these salty and sweet pockets of deliciousness? Dragon-i has a colourful, all-you-can-eat dim sum lunch buffet perfect for peckish kids (in the evening Dragon-i morphs into a trendy nightspot). Try new flavours and keep ordering the hits until you’re fit to burst. (facebook.com/dragonihongkong)
This super tranquil nunnery and gardens are perfect for little explorers. Mooch about the serene complex filled with bonsai trees and bougainvillaea, lotus ponds and golden Buddhas (and you just might hear the nuns’ gentle chanting wafting through the air). They even have a yummy veggie restaurant onsite. (discoverhongkong.com/uk/see-do/culture-heritage/chinese-temples/chi-lin-nunnery-and-nan-lian-garden.jsp)
5.) Big Buddha
Hike up 268 steps to visit Tian Tan Buddha (aka Big Buddha) on Lantau Island. Yes, this can be very busy and touristy, but once you’ve seen it from afar, the smalls might like to get up close and personal with this 34-metre high bronze statue. (plm.org.hk/eng/home.php)
Make your trip EASY PEASY with these travel RESOURCES
The Airport Express is the fastest way to Central – just 24 minutes. And on the way back to the airport you can check in your bags at Hong Kong and Kowloon stations between 90 minutes and 24 hours before your flight leaves.
Hong Kong traffic is famous for being a beast, so get a public transport prepaid tap card called Octopus (or a SmileyWorld Octopus for kids, a dinky little keychain or necklace ornament that they can tap themselves). Kids from 3-11 travel at half price and Octopus works on the Star Ferry and the Peak Tram.