It is a VERY long time since my one and only trip to Hong Kong - in fact, it's over a quarter of a century ago! Not only have I changed a lot since then, but I suspect plenty about Hong Kong has changed too, not least that it has lapsed from being a British colony to become a "Special Administrative Region" of China. The "east meets west" angle of Hong Kong has long fascinated me and it appeals to me as a part of Asia where it's easy and safe to travel with a small child.
|On Ocean Park's escalator, aged 9|
But the real reason I am considering a near-future trip to Hong Kong is much more random - when I was chatting with my son about all the different places in the world we could visit, he latched immediately onto the fun sound of the words "Hong Kong " and sang "Kong Kong, Kong Kong" for the rest of the day. With so many places I'd like to go, picking where to go next is tricky, so I'm more than happy to take his inspiration.
Shortly after deciding that Hong Kong might be a great place for a trip in the next year or two (my husband was easily convinced because he can go shopping for new camera equipment there!), I was lucky enough to have a Facebook discussion with several friends who've either been recently or are planning to go. Given that this time I'll be travelling with a small child rather than being the child, I was pleased to gather a few child-friendly Hong Kong tips, which included:
- Hong Kong Disneyland was great for small kids - over twelves, perhaps not so great. Although since I thoroughly enjoyed both the original Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland while in my twenties, this advice may not actually apply.
- Ocean Park great for slightly older kids (so by the time we go, I'll see how interested our little boy is in fishy stuff). From a sentimental viewpoint, though, I'd love to return to the place where I celebrated my ninth birthday.
Dolphins in Ocean Park, Hong Kong
- Evenings out in Kowloon are fun for kids and they love the light show - I'm pretty impressed to discover that the "Symphony of Light" sound and light show runs every night and includes projections on over 40 buildings (although I wonder what nearby residents think?).
Symphony of Light, Hong Kong
- Ngong Ping 360, reached by glass-bottomed cable cars, was also a success - at the top of the cable car you find the Giant Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery, amongst other attractions.
|Giant Buddha, Hong Kong|
This list, of course, really just skims the surface of the main tourist attractions of Hong Kong. But it's a good start and certainly enough for me to imagine being able to entertain a toddler there. The local food is another strong attraction for me, and the pure curiosity of seeing how this city has turned out with its unique history. There are so many possibilities that I have barely considered - a quick search on Hong Kong museums, for example, turns up some really interesting sounding places like the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum (I loved studying Chinese history in high school) and the Hong Kong Science Museum which looks fun for kids too. However I'm not sure I'll make it to the Cantonese Opera Appreciation Class I read is offered at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.
So, while I'm daydreaming about a Hong Kong holiday, I'd love some more tips - with or without kids, what did you most enjoy about Hong Kong? All comments gratefully received below.