Few sights in Hong Kong are as recognisable or beloved as. From it’s lofty heights you can peer down on virtually the entire city — from the distant mountains of the New Territories backdropping glittering Victoria Harbour and bustling Central directly below, to the outlying islands. What better way to introduce your little ones to the unique geography, waterways, inhabitants, flora and fauna of this fabulous city?
It would be remiss to visit Hong Kong without a traditional dim sum experience, and nowhere is more family-friendly and lively than Maxim’s at City Hall. Or, Central’s Yum Cha is well known for its cartoon-like dim sum buns including doggy sausage rolls, BBQ piggy buns and, best of all, “barfing” custard buns. Who said meal time can’t be fun?
Hong Kong’s police HQ and gaol turned heritage cultural compound, Tai Kwun, is a sprawling labyrinth of discovery for kids and adults alike. The former jail cells have been reborn as interactive exhibits depicting what life on the inside would have been like. If time is on your side, there are even regular Family Day events where accompanied children over the age of five can participate in guided interactive tours.
With a history dating as far back as 1880, Hong Kong’s Star Ferry is an undisputed and cherished icon of the city’s harbourscape. Make sure you’re over on the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade by 8pm, when the nightly laser and LED spectacle ‘A Symphony of Lights’ takes place, set to orchestral music.
Step back in time at the Hong Kong Museum of History, which takes you on a self-guided tip-toe through the city’s history over four floors. The best part? It’s situated directly across the square from the equally excellent Hong Kong Science Museum, also boasting four storeys jam-packed with fun interactive spaces. It's a budding scientist’s heaven!
Retro co-working space and hotel, Eaton House, is home to a cracking market-style Food Hall referencing the street eats and stalls of decades past. Little explorers will love visiting the 10+ counters serving up local and global fare that caters to even the pickiest of eaters of all ages.
Head north Mong Kok, where Hong Kong’s real-deal working markets sell everything from lush tropical flowers to twittering canaries to goldfish and tropical fish of all shapes and sizes, plus all the necessary accoutrements to go with them. If meeting Nemo and Dory isn't exciting enough, there are also frogs, hamsters, turtles and all manner of creepy crawlies to inspire giggles and gasps alike.
By now your little ones must be famished (and you too!), so keep it simple with a few stops on the MTR to Lai Chi Kok Station, where a two-minute walk will deposit you at Mr Tree. Occupying 560 sqm, Mr Tree dedicates half its floor space to a cafeteria-style dining hall serving kid-friendly eats, and the other half to a playground for 0-6 year-old, featuring rope bridges, slides and a mega ball pool.
Take a ferry from Aberdeen to Mo Tat Wan on Lamma Island, where families would do well to spend the entire day exploring upon arrivial. Upon arrival, hike the gently undulating trail to Sok Kwu Wan village, where you’ll espy a string of restaurants specialising in freshly caught seafood cooked to zingy local specifications.
If you’re feeling weary, you can pop on a ferry back to Hong Kong Island from here (Aberdeen or Central), or else push on along the hiking trail to buzzy Yung Shue Wan, passing bee farms, pineapple sellers, beaches, temples, pavilions, village houses and organic Herboland farm replete with bunnies and birds along the way.
Push on into the heart of characterful neighbourhood Wan Chai, where family-pleasing plates are available at wood-fired pie-slinger Motorino pizza.
No family stay in Hong Kong would be complete without a visit to one of the city’s favourite theme parks, Ocean Park and Disneyland. Whichever you choose to do, you’ll want to avoid weekends and public holidays if possible, and go early as crowds (and heat) tend to swell later in the day.
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