Take the historic Peak Tram to the top of Hong Kong and check out the amazing views of the city and Victoria Harbour below. At the top of the hill there are several attractions t...
Hong Kong can be a little challenging with younger kids as it is hilly, has lots of stairs and is extremely crowded, making strollers problematic, so we suggest packing comfy shoes and a baby carrier. In the bigger malls you can find loaner strollers if you need a break, but it is worth noting that baby change facilities are scarce. In fact clean public toilets are hard to find in general. Pre-schoolers will love the trip on Hong Kong Island’s Peak Tram and the collection of playgrounds they’ll find at the top. And they’ll adore Kowloon’s Discovery Playground, with its restored fort, public swimming pools and magical Chinese Garden where lion dances and Kung Fu shows are performed on a Sunday. Hong Kong also boasts a host of great museums with interactive displays, playrooms, educational Children's Galleries and special family days, the perfect place to beat the humidity, which can be tough on younger kids.
Hong Kong’s theme parks are a haven for young children. While Hong Kong Disneyland is probably the smallest “Happiest Place on Earth”, its petite footprint and extremely family-friendly layout, placid rides, character meet and greets, magical parades and dazzling fireworks make it the ideal Disneyland for young children. Ocean Park is, as the name suggests, a sea-themed park featuring magnificent aquariums, shark tunnels and jellyfish tanks. But beyond the sea you’ll also find giant pandas, penguins and plenty of other of land loving animals. There’s also a fantastic cable car, a playground for younger kids, rides for every age and stage, dazzling shows and plenty of once-in-a-lifetime experiences for kids including dolphin encounters and panda keeper programs. If your kids are after a less themed scene, Hong Kong Park and Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Kowloon are another great option for kids.
Lovers of the great outdoors will fall in love with Hong Kong. While it may be better known for its skyscraper-studded skyline, more than 40 per cent of its islands are covered in nature reserves and country parks. Active kids can take a hike along one of the great trails. Dragon’s Back is one of the best. A relatively easy hike, it comes with stunning views and you can end with a dip at the beach. Alternately why not rent a bike to cycle along the dam of Plover Cove Reservoir at Tai Mei Tuk or along one of Hong Kong’s great mountain bike trails. Surrounded by sea, swimming is one of the most popular forms of recreation in Hong Kong with 41 beaches throughout the territory and huge expanses of water to enjoy, or learn water sports. Sailing, kayaking, kite boarding, wakeboarding, stand up paddle boarding and windsurfing are especially popular pastimes on Hong Kong Island.
Whether they are after clothes, electronics or big-brand knock-offs, Hong Kong, teens and shopping go hand in hand. There is everything from buzzy, bargain-packed markets to modern high-rise shopping plazas bursting with high street and designer labels, so whether your teens are mall rats or market fiends, they‘ll find just the place to splash the cash in Hong Kong. Mini fashionistas will love the brand-riddled mega shopping malls, while techy teens can head to the Wan Chai Computer Centre, which has literally everything for the serious gadget addict. Stanley Market and the Temple Street Night Markets are two of the best spots for colourful clothes including cheap T-shirts and embroidered Chinese jackets, plus jade jewellery, electronics and plenty of cheap copies for brand loving bargain hunters. Lovers of edgier fashion should head for Causeway Bay’s Paterson, Kingston and Cleveland streets, with boutiques full of unique fashion finds.
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Hong Kong has a monsoon-influenced subtropical climate with mild, relatively dry winters, and hot, extremely humid and rainy summers. The best time to visit Hong Kong is from September to early December, when the weather is sunny, cool, and pleasant. It is worth noting that temperatures can drop below 12 degrees during January and February, so you’ll need to pack warmer gear, but there is less rain and the humidity levels are lower. Typhoon season runs from May to November but in the event of a typhoon approaching, warnings are broadcast on television and radio. While Hong Kong is fairly popular all year round and bookings are recommended to be made well in advance, this is especially true during Chinese New Year and the week long Chinese National Day Holiday break (from October 1 to 7) as attractions and hotels are heaving with crowds of local tourists, and prices rise considerably.
Hong Kong’s excellent public transport network is cheap and impressively efficient. The Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system in Hong Kong is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world connecting the Central and Western Districts with the SoHo and residential districts of the Mid-levels. The MTR underground is clean and air-conditioned, the iconic Star Ferry and double decker trams are fun for kids, and buses and taxis are plentiful.
Maneki-neko, the ornamental cats you’ll spot waving from every shop, restaurant and apartment around Hong Kong are said to bring fortune and luck and make a great souvenir from your Hong Kong holiday. Hong Kong excels at cool key chains with everything from lucky cats to replica steamer buns complete with dumplings making a great accessory for your kids’ school bags. Colourful and cheap t-shirts are available at Hong Kong markets and make a practical present for littlies. Inexpensive but pretty mandarin-collared cheongsams make a pretty memento for girls. A personalised stone stamp makes a wonderful keepsake for kids.
Often referred to as the world's food fair, with cuisine influenced by both Eastern and Western cultures, dining out in Hong Kong is reason enough to visit. With everything from pop up street stalls to Michelin starred fine diners and plenty of western offerings, Hong Kong’s variety of food means there is something every member of the family will enjoy. A visit to one of the chaotic dim sum institutions, their trolleys stacked high with steamer baskets of bite sized dumplings, barbecued meats, fried favourites and sticky rice, is essential. Roast Goose is a traditional specialty of Cantonese cuisine, and steamed or baked char siu pork buns and Curried Fish Balls are among the most iconic street snacks. If you have a sweet tooth, try the irresistibly flaky egg tarts or pineapple bread, a popular sweet treat originating in Hong Kong. For more daring foodies, perhaps chicken’s feet or pungent stinky tofu are more up your culinary alley.