Hong Kong with Young Kids (2017 Edition)

Four years after we first brought the kids to visit Hong Kong, we are back here with now 3 kids in tow. What a difference 4 years made. Besides a bigger family now, the girls have also grown, no longer the can-bring-them-anywhere toddlers. But for some reason, Hong Kong now seems slightly more kid friendly than before. And we definitely welcome that.

Many hotels are offering kids-centered program and kids/family friendly rooms, although not at pocket-friendly prices (unless during off peak seasons). There is even a whole mall dedicated to kids! It’s branded as the world’s first multiple intelligence kids mall! How impressive!

Transportation seems easier than before as blogged in this entry. The main reason to be accredited to technology advancement. The regular taxi scene remains unchanged as from 30 years ago, according to a local there. There are still the same nostalgic Toyota Crown 4 or 5 seaters taxi, with the addition of a new taxi type, which is the maxi cab which is mainly for wheelchair bound passengers. But they are still 4-seater taxis.

Now with Uber and online travel agencies like Klook, booking a transport in Hong Kong was a breeze. For this trip, we used mainly Klook to book our transport as we can be guaranteed an MPV which can accommodate all of us, plus our luggages. It’s so easy to book through the app and cancellation just requires a 24hour advance notice. Plus the year end promotions offered, the pricing was quite attractive. I wonder if anyone would still arrange airport transfers with the hotels which charges at ridiculous rates.

Here’s our simple itinerary for a 6 day trip

  • Free and easy at The Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa
  • The Peak
  • Hong Kong Park
  • D(iscovery)-Park
  • Central
  • DisneyLand

Our main interest being, to enjoy the cool weather and also to let the kids have some holiday fun.

This trip, we explored the area of Whampoa, Kowloon for the first time. Several bloggers wrote about it and we too, decided that we could give it a try. So here’s my account of our experience in this part of rarely-a-tourist-area place.

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Hotel room was average but the lobby was, Wow! There’s a very good-reviewed restaurant serving buffet and it must be very popular as a wedding venue because there was a wedding here every day during our stay

We booked 2 connecting rooms here and the kids were happily zooming around from one room to the other. The hotel had a very grand and spacious sea-view lobby, which gives an instant feeling of relaxation in the middle of a festive(read crowded) period. The room was average with adequate amenities and toilet was equipped with bathtub! But wait till you see the exterior!

Nice view coupled with nice weather, no wonder everyone’s smiling

A breathtaking view awaits us at the rooftop with an aquarium-styled heated outdoor pool with a city view as the backdrop. The weather was too cool and windy for a swim so we did not try. Best to be all wrapped up in our cosy jackets!

We took a nice evening stroll behind the lobby after checking in, just to catch the lovely sunset, watch the city light up and see traditional junk boats sail past.

Getting their sweet treat from the hotel cafe for completing their daily tasks

The kids had their fun participating in their VIK (Very Important Kids) program where they get treats and stickers by answering some questions given out daily

The Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa (flash required)

whampoa map

Map of Whampoa, in case the flash site cannot be loaded

When we first chance upon this place we were quite doubtful of it being ‘Wonderful’. There were not a lot of reviews on TripAdvisor and the reviews were not that great. And from the street view on Google map, the place looks a little far our imagination of wonderful. One blog that we read also had the same initial doubtful feeling but ended up surprisingly convinced. And I’m glad to say that we made a good choice for a family stay. It’s quite true as per the reviews that there is nothing much to rave about the shopping there and the prices are on the slightly high side. According to 1 local, the area is more for the middle-income residents which explains why, but if you are looking for high-end shopping, you might be disappointed that there are none here. So what do we find wonderful about Whampoa?

Aeon

The iconic ship building housing Aeon mall, with some restaurants and food court and retail shopping

Aeon mall in the middle of everything! Formerly known as Jusco, Aeon is a retail group originating from Japan. If you have been to any aeon stores, you might know that they have very interesting range of things, even supermarket items!

Photos of only some parts of the whole Aeon Mall (located at the Ship building)

Bright, spacious mall, well stocked supermarket with a wide variety of goods, retail items like clothing, baby essentials and shoes for example. There are also sections for beauty items, stationery and household items. Really convenient for us especially when I had to cook for the baby. The supermarket stocks fresh produce like corn, potatoes and eggs which were mostly imported but were really fresh and very yummy, as approved by the little ones.

Some of the items bought at the supermarket for making baby meals

Meals whipped up from the ingredients using an electric lunch box

And the cooking tools. Love the collapsible bowl invention. Its so convenient to bring around

Whampoa Garden

The Whampoa area consists of a few main buildings named as the different Worlds. For example, Treasure World, Fashion World, Gourmet Place were our main interests for kids (Treasure), shopping (Fashion) and food (Gourmet). All the Worlds were within walking distance from our hotel. Along the way from our hotel to the main Worlds, are the residential blocks, with many other shops and eateries filling up the ground level, for example, Maxim bakery, Watson and Cafe De Coral are some of the shops that we pass by everyday.

Street view and overall map of Whampoa

Sometimes we drop by the playground and let kids do some workouts. The MTR is also within walking distance and is the first stop of that line so it’s easier to get a seat.

JumpinGym at Treasure World

JumpinGym Arcade at Treasure World

We were excited to know there’s a huge indoor playground nearby for the kids here. The kids had lots of fun and did not complain about the walking. The pricing of the rides were not cheap though, but at least the kids were kept entertained. There were shops like Toys ‘R us, Popular Bookstore and Dr Kong here as well, in case you are buying stuff for the kids. Oh, and McDonalds is here as well, anytime for a french fries and nuggets meal. There is also a very large branch of Marks and Spencer’s here. Happy shopping for the Mummy and playing for the kids and the Daddy.

The Peak

A trip to Hong Kong doesn’t feel complete without a trip to the Peak. We arrived early hoping to skip some crowd. And had the famous Mak’s noodles for breakfast. There was no queue here to our pleasant surprise. Too bad the kids didn’t really fancy the food and preferred my home cooked food prepared for the baby instead. At least they had some breakfast. The Peak Tram queue was incredibly crowded so we skipped that totally.

Central

Then we proceeded to the center of the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong city, Central. The plan was to let the kids hop on the longest escalator in the world but apparently they weren’t too keen. We had barely just started a few flights when they started complaining of hunger, tiredness. Ok, enough, next stop please. And while we looking for a place to rest their legs, we chanced upon this little retreat in between the buildings that the kids definitely welcome. Suddenly all that tiredness vanished. Kids.. 🙄

Hong Kong Park

Staircase everywhere so it’s common to see people carrying stroller up and down.. 

Since we were in the vicinity and had some time, we came by this park after reading many good reviews. The kids playground here was really a game changer. It’s like 6-in-1 playground. We usually only get one if them at any one place but over here we have 6 of them all together. Ok I guess we will be stucked here for some time. Surprisingly, we didn’t. The kids got stricken by static a few times while sliding down the slides they were tearing, so we ended the trip early. Not sure it’s the jacket or the dryness that’s causing the static, what a pity.

D(iscovery)-Park

Huge kids mall

We checked out of Harbour Grand this day to proceed to the happiest place on earth, DisneyLand! So we booked our driver for pickup and made a detour to this new mall hailed as the world’s first smart mall for kids. It was really a mall that kids wouldn’t mind coming. Now, only if I more time here to shop while hubby looks after all the kids…

Disneyland

Four years ago when we came here, the girls were too young to enjoy the rides. They were also crying away when taking photos with character, intimidated by the size of the character costumes. This trip, they sure outgrown all of it and had lots more fun that now they are asking to go back again. I was secretly expecting the baby to be crying away upon seeing the characters. Surprise, surprise, he was so excited like as if he met an old friend, attempting to lead every character off to somewhere to play, making everyone bursting out in laughter.

Bub, getting all his favourite characters to follow him home

Here’s a tip. For a Disney trip with little girls, always prepare a/few set of princess costume. In the happiest place on earth, girls would love to dress up even if they usually don’t .

We did not stay at the explorer Lodge for this trip but we dropped by to take a look. Really new and nice. Shall try the next time.

Finally, it’s going home time.

Changi Airport Terminal 4

We were so fascinated by our brand new Changi Airport Terminal 4. It’s spanking new and it’s high-tech. Even the restaurants look so interesting. As we had a baby in tow, we could not try the self check in terminal, so we went straight to the counter.

Even the toilets was so nice, we had to take a photo (bottom left). Baggage weighing machine (bottom right)

Cathay Pacific

We saw this irresistible promotion on Cathay Pacific for Premium Economic that we decided to give it a try. We had a pleasant surprise when we got a free upgrade to Business Class on the departure flight due to a change in aircraft. First experience on business class! Super worth. We did try the premium economy flight not he return flight and the seats were indeed more spacious than the economy.

The kids can’t wait to go back to Hong Kong Disneyland. Hope we get to go back soon! But for now, its back to school, back to work time!

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Hong Kong With Kids

We have been to Hong Kong several times – when we haven’t had kids, and after we had kids. We always thought Hong Kong was quite a baby-unfriendly place to go, as the streets were either very crowded or had lots of staircase or no baby changing rooms around. I remember we were shopping at H&M at Central late 1 night after our dinner, Nat, still a baby that time pooed. I asked the H&M staff for the nearest toilet and she directed me to the Macdonalds opposite. Gosh, I still remember the nightmare of changing her in that cramped little toilet cubicle where there was hardly space to even bring the baby bag along.

We decided that Central was not a place for babies until I found out later there was actually a baby store just beside Macdonalds where there’s clean baby changing room. Too late..

We went to Hong Kong again last year with the main goal of only going kids-friendly places.

 

First, our hotel – Hotel Novotel CityGate

First reaction: What?! So far! Wait until you see this to know why

Huge children's playground just across the hotel

Huge children’s playground just across the hotel

We truly believed that, to the kids, this was the best attraction of the trip. Look at their happy faces!

Happier here than at Disneyland

Happier here than at Disneyland

Wants to come here everyday

Wants to come here everyday

And beside this ‘attraction’ for the kids, the hotel was linked to CityGate outlet, which means shopping is convenient and we can go at anytime we want. It was also a backup plan for in-case-of-typhoon days. We went there during the typhoon season and were afraid that we might need to stay indoors most times, so we picked Novotel hotel, so that we won’t get too bored.

 

Next, is transport. 

My in-laws were travelling with us, so, as usual, travelling by train was out and self drive and car hire in Hong Kong was not common. Taxis were in abundance. We manage to get 1 5-passenger taxi and asked if we could hire his taxi for whole day booking. Lucky us, he agreed! So transport problem resolved.

Look out for taxi that have this green label at the back

Look out for taxi that have this green label at the back

Repulse Bay

So, since we had a private transport, we could go to places that would usually be harder if travelling by public transport. We dropped by Repulse Bay and the kids had some fun playing at the beach. It’s supposed to be a really nice beach and turns out, it’s really quite a nice place to go. We weren’t prepared enough so we bought a beach mat there and made use of anything we could find for them to build their sand castle.

Building sand castle under a tree

Building sand castle under a tree

posing and acting cool

posing and acting cool

Ocean Park

Ocean Park was nearby Repulse Bay, so that was our next stop. We went at a time when it was school holidays for the Chinese. So it was very crowded. Lesson learnt. Ocean Park is huge, so it wasn’t really friendly for our old folks who end up sitting under some shade for some cool drinks. We didn’t do any rides as the kids were too young. But they had fun watching the panda have its lunch and who seems to love attention. The aquarium was kind of small and squeeze, especially with the crowd. I think the one we have in Singapore is much more spacious to cater for big crowds. There is also a section where they have fun fair games like water gun shooting, car rides etc which was also suitable for our kids at this age.

We were super glad we hired our taxi for the day. By the end of the day, everyone was exhausted and feet were aching, body sweaty and sticky from the heat and we saw the snaking queue at the taxi stand… really glad.

Clear view of crowd friendly Panda

Clear view of crowd friendly Panda

Aquarium that wasn't as impressive as S.E.A at RWS, Singapore

Aquarium that wasn’t as impressive as S.E.A at RWS, Singapore

Hong Kong 100

I think this attraction is relatively new and it wasn’t as crowded as anywhere else, which was probably good for us. At the time we went, they had several 3D art at the viewing gallery, so the kids had some fun posing and pretending they were walking on tightrope at the top of the tower.

View from the top

View from the top

Having fun at the tower

Having fun at the tower

3d art

3d art

Shatin Plaza

Our route map

Our route map

Shatin plaza was kind of far away from where we stayed, as can be seen from the map. Hubby wanted to bring the kids here solely for snoopy’s world. but what a shame that it was closed that day due to some rain earlier on. Nic was so disappointed. But not the mummy. I was really delighted to find that Shatin Plaza was a really huge place for shopping! There are so many shops here including familiar ones like H&M, Uniqlo and I even saw Melisssa shop! The adults shoes were on huge discount and I bought a pair of wedges at 60% discount! The mini Melissa weren’t on sale but were so cute I couldn’t resist buying 2 pairs for the kids.

Only took a photo

Only took a photo

Chi Lin Nunnery

Heard of this place? Nope, before we did our research. But it’s actually a top ranking destination in TripAdvisor! It was a beautiful and peaceful place with lots of empty spaces. Maybe not so fun for the kids, but at least they had space to run and fool around. So we had a chance to come here to take a look and without the kids complaining of being bored.

Posing at the bridge

Posing at the bridge

They love this staircase

They love this staircase

Disneyland

The must-go place when you are in Hong Kong. Our kids weren’t game enough for the rides yet so we came mainly for their parades. We were glad we saw 2 parades. 1 of them being the water parade which was only available during summer. It was a nice cool down moment as the charters pass by us and splashing water at everyone in sight.

Water parade - Only during Summer!

Water parade – Only during Summer!

waiting for parade

waiting for parade

Shopping and Eating

Of course, don’t forget the most important missing to Hong Kong, shopping and eating! Especially the Michelin Star awarded Tim Ho Wan! 1 of my mission to accomplish was to get the Pierre Herme Macaroons that was not yet available in Singapore. I heard it’s better than Laduree which recently opened in Singapore. It was the nearest place to get it since I haven’t gone to Europe yet. It was really good! And expensive! Good enough to try but won’t be getting it regularly to satisfy any craving.

My rating on the must-eat food

My rating on the must-eat food 

Lastly, our trusty Singapore Airlines who never fail to disappoint us our kids with the kiddy entertainment and kiddy meals.

Glad they had some toys to entertain the kids before they got tired of the ones I brought along

Glad they had some toys to entertain the kids before they got tired of the ones I brought along

Yummy kids meals that were even better than the ones for us

Yummy kids meals that were even better than the ones for us

 

We had a non-typical Hong Kong trip this round and mother-in-law remarked that this trip doesn’t feel like we just been to Hong Kong!