2012, a business trip that hubby and my first born tagged along. I was pregnant with my second.
2013, family holiday, it’s all about the kids and play!
2015, girlfriends trip. Shop and makan! (eat, eat eat!)
Since its the school holiday, I will focus my sharing from my 2013 trip.
Where to stay in Hong Kong
There are TONS of accommodation option in Hong Kong. For us who travels with little ones, our criteria are accessibility of public transportation (I swear by train regardless of my destination), food and traveling distance to our targeted attraction/sights. All these for me goes hand in hand. I probably can drop food off the criteria(we make our own!) BUT public transportation and attraction/sights must be considered together. Simply because I do not wish to spend most of my time traveling to the places I want to go, back and forth. I want to spend it at the attraction itself. Can you just imagine tired, cranky little ones on a long journey? They can be force to be reckoned with.
Our accommodation choice in 2013 was Rosedale Hotel (Tripadvisor review), Kowloon, Hong Kong. Reasonable priced, clean and comfortable, strategically located and include the convenience of shuttle services to nearby MTR. The hotel provides a summary of transportation options including estimated time. Do not expect much of the room size in Hong Kong hotels because in you wont get much of it unless you go for the 5 stars hotel such as JW Marriott . Rosedale Hotel was decent enough that my then 4 year old could entertain himself in the room while we made some last minute changes to the itinerary.
The hotel itself does not have any entertainment area for the kids. Usually swimming pool is a MUST but considering we were out and about most of the time, it did not really matter for this trip. If you do have a day to spare with no plans and the kids are bored, Rosedale is near Ivy Street Rest Garden, where there is a playground and space for them to run about. Honestly though, for a short holiday trip in September, we doubt you will finish all your to do list.
There are mini marts in the area for last minute stocking of snacks for the day or night. Especially for the little ones. For good solid meal, if you have no specific dietary requirements, there should be ample. MacDonald is just a stone throw away. For us with halal requirement, these two restaurants seems nearby enough, Roti King Indian Fusion Cuisine and Hyatti Restaurant. Both are approximately under 5 minute walk from the hotel (as per google map) Back then, we did not explore the area much and our meals were mainly at or near the tourist attraction places or self made and packed. Hence, we are unable to vouch for these two restaurants. If you do give it a try, please let us know. Just in case we do return!
Attractions / Sights in Hong Kong
In 2013, my kids were 4 and 1. Including the 4 adults who are young at heart (yes very much still!), here were our top 3 kid friendly attractions.
|A magical place called Disneyland | Toy story ride | Mickey waffles!|
For me, this was hands down the highlight of the trip! What is there not to love. The magical feel, the photo taking with fairy tale characters, the rides and seeing cute little kids playing dress up. Definitely dedicate at least a whole day for this. The park opens at 1000hrs till 2100hrs. It is best to buy tickets online, reach early, beat the queue and simply collect it from one of the Auto Magic Tickets machines.
|This is it! – Precious holiday memories | ticket collection machine | halal food!|
Visit their website to plan ahead and find out the different timing for each attractions and shows. You definitely want to get the best out of it. If you are worried about meal times, don’t be. Even if you have special dietary requirements, Disneyland seems to have covered it all from halal to vegan options.
A day will go by fast and maybe not enough if you are having fun. Nevertheless if just like us a day is all you have got, the best way to end your day at Disneyland is to stay for their night parade show. Watch your favourite Disney cartoon character parade passed. When we were there several years ago, the day came into closing with beautiful fireworks just over the castle. They may have changed this parade a little bit after all these years but I hope they maintained the fireworks show. A word of caution though, these parade tend to get SUPER crowded, keep the kids close better still if you can strap them to you. This way you know you will never lose them.
|My son still in high spirit while waiting for parade | Fireworks and more Fireworks!|
Please pardon my lack of photography skills back in 2013. I hope it had improved since then! Well at least with the help of technology, I am sure it is better.
Getting back on track. As my memory recalls, we head back to the hotel tired but happy with memories and awesome purchases from the disney shop. My favourite, Mickey Mouse bowl that holds our nacho chips and dips for in-house movie time!
Our next choice is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island, The Peak. It stands 552 metre above sea level. You may consider purchasing the Peak Tram Sky Pass. With the pass you will get to travel up to the Peak via the famous 45deg steep Tram ride and gain one time access to The Sky Terrace 428. The Sky Terrace stands at 428 metres above sea level. It is the highest platform to enjoy the 360 degree panoramic Hong Kong has to offer. However, It is possible to opt out of the Sky Terrace and enjoy the view for free at different viewing points available. Some may require a little bit more walking. Babywearing seems like a good idea if you attempt this. Some alternative viewing points reviews or suggestions can be found on this tripadvisor post.
Based on experience, it is best to start making your journey up there in the late afternoon, say around 1700 hrs. Eventhough the Tram ride up is only 7 minutes, the queue to board the tram can be pretty long. Heading up at the suggested time, not only buffer the wait and boarding time to the Tram, you will reach the peak in time to experience both the day and night view of Hong Kong Skyline. You don’t always get clear blue sky however the Hong Kong night skyline may still provide you IG worthy shots. Should you reach the Peak early and do not wish to stay too long in the Sky Terrace, walk around in The Peak Galleria mall and do a little bit of shopping before heading up. We did just that the moment we alighted the Tram and was greeted with the Peak Market. Compared to the Hong Kong street markets, it is a little pricey but definitely loads of souvenirs to choose from. If shopping is not your thing, maybe a visit to Madame Tussauds might. There are some who decides to go up to the Peak early, have lunch, visit Madame Tussauds followed by the day/night scenic view and dinner. Either way works! Do note for halal food requirement – it is none existence. Buy packed food up.
Meeting the “Stars” at Madame Tussauds | HK night skyline
After absorbing the wonderful view of Hongkong, we had a nice walk at the Madame Tussauds museum. I was pleasantly surprise by how much I enjoyed it. I thought it would be boring. I was proven wrong. Here you will get “meet” all the iconic individuals or groups. Hollywood, Bollywood actor and actresses, iconic politicians, famous singers and music bands, avengers characters, hello kitty and many many more. My son was excited to see the former POTUS. “President Obama!” he exclaimed. So you can imagine his delight when he saw the Avengers. The best part of this whole experience for me was to be able to shed some knowledge to the kids on whos who. Now we can always look back to the pictures and impart more knowledge to them. Even to my then 1 year old!
Hongkong Dos and Don’ts
✅ Travel during the cooler seasons. Between October to early December when you can probably get away with light jacket/sweater BUT you don’t have to worry about cranky kids due to heat and humidity.
✅Best way to travel around Hong Kong is via the MTR. Get the Octopus card! It can be used in pretty much all the public transportation. If memory serves me correctly, you can simply get the standard card. No need for the tourist card. Time to feel like a local!
✅ Hong Kong is not the most stroller friendly destination. So if you must, bring a light sturdy stroller which you can fold and maneuver in the crowd faster and better. For example: Gold pockit + We suggest, totally leaving it in the hotel if you intend to go shopping. ❌Don’t ever leave your carrier/sling behind.
✅ You may do a lot of walking especially if you are after the shopping scene in Hong Kong. Definitely prepare good covered walking shoes for the whole family.
✅ Definitely try the local dim sums and food! What better way to expose the kids to different culture then the food. YUMS! My two favorites are:
Islamic Centre Canteen. My must go dim sum place in Hong Kong
Wai Kee Duck Rice If you are a curry person just like me, this is a must try. Though with kids, this place may be a tad too challenging to find. However if you think your kids are up for it, definitely worth it.
After this write up, I am DEFINITELY itching to go back there! I have yet to visit Ocean Park. I heard it is equally awesome with Disneyland!
Article by Rasheda / A mom to three kids (8,5,1). Founder of twniexplores. A believer that every moment is a teachable moment. She tries to impart knowledge to her kids through surrounding resources such as nature, buildings, household items or anything she can find at her disposal.Kids should be let to explore and play. What better way to do that then travel and the world its playground. She is also ever ready to receive teaching moments/ knowledge from her kids. It is a two way process.
Tell us about yourself. : usp_custom_field : A mom to three kids (8,5,1). Founder of twniexplores. A believer that every moment is a teachable moment. She tries to impart knowledge to her kids through surrounding resources such as nature, buildings, household items or anything she can find at her disposal.Kids should be let to explore and play. What better way to do that then travel and the world its playground. She is also ever ready to receive teaching moments/ knowledge from her kids. It is a two way process.