Hong Kong, China :
Hong Kong, China – The Ultimate Guide with Kids
Saurav and Caroline Das moved to Hong Kong from bustling NYC a couple of years ago and were joined by their beautiful baby girl soon after. Caroline being a native, and Saurav an import, this Dadaboard feature brings you the best of the local and tourism scene in exciting Hong Kong. Saurav says: Hong Kong is one of those “world” cities with which you enjoy a love-hate relationship. It has pretty much all that you want- or that you are willing to pay for - and provides the infrastructure to do what you need - so long as you don’t mind doing it elbow-to-elbow with everyone else. Yes, the small confined places are a culture-shock and pet-peeve even for those who move here from New York or Tokyo (like us). It’s also a city of multiple worlds – especially with the paradoxically large, but yet concentrated expat “gweilo” population juxtaposed alongside the locals. There is much to see and do, and here are some tips to enjoy the best that HK has to offer, while navigating the chaos that is everyday life here.
Getting to Hong Kong:
Getting to Hong Kong is fairly easy as Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is one of Asia's major hubs, being served by over 80 international airlines. Cathay Pacific is its main airline. You can also access the city by ferry from Macau or other parts of Mainland China.
Where to Stay in Hong Kong with Kids:
Public Transport in Hong Kong with Kids:
The Subway (MTR) connects the Northern part of Hong Kong Island quite adequately, and most parts of Kowloon effectively. Cabs are easy enough to hail, though rush hour tends to be a challenge. Most cab drivers are intent on breaking their internal world-records for getting from point to point, so take the bare minimum precaution of buckling yourself up, in addition to the little one(s). Stay away from the mini-buses, which are extremely accident prone. Car seats are generally not available on public transportation. Stroller v/s Baby-Carrier: Unless you are in a shopping mall (which are a dime a dozen) or on the harbor-front in HK or Tsim Sha Tsui (TST), using a stroller can be a headache because of the undulated topography on HK Island – especially in Central and the Mid-levels. Depending on the size of your baby, this may not be an option, but in general I would recommend using a baby-carrier rather than a stroller to the largest extent possible.
Where to Dine in Hong Kong with Kids:
Since space is at a premium, lots of restaurants will likely not have room for a stroller at the table. But this doesn’t mean they don’t have high-chairs. Call ahead and make sure you reserve one. Restaurants in hotels, and the higher-end ones tend to be more spacious and appropriate for kids (but there are a few that don’t allow children under 12). The smaller, local dives or Dai Pai Dongs (DPDs) for noodle-soup, BBQ pork-rice, etc. are likely not suitable in the company of a child anyway. Once your baby can sit-up, I would highly recommend the Totseat – it’s the most wonderful invention since sliced bread (and the baby-carrier), and has proved beneficial to us all around the world.
Places to Take the Kids in Hong Kong:
The Central District, Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon), The Peak, Ngong Ping 360 to Big Buddha on Lantau Island, Tai O village, Stanley Market, Ocean Park, Hong Kong Disneyland, a trip on Star Ferry. For a day trip, venture out to nearby Macau which is slowly gaining its reputation as the playground of the East.
Baby-Shopping and Emergency needs in Hong Kong:
You can pretty much find all the day-to-day necessities in HK for your baby, and there are enough pharmacy and convenience stores for emergency needs. This is one of the benefits of being such a compact city..
In summary, like most things in life – a lot of it depends on your attitude. If you are determined to make sure your child is active, interacts with a diverse set of people, and experiences different things, then Hong Kong, like other “world” city is as child-friendly or un-friendly as you allow it to be.
See Also: Top Luxury Resorts in Asia
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