Family travel to Hong Kong
We travelled to Hong Kong as a stopover, on our journey back from Japan.
We were flying with Cathay Pacific, so Hong Kong was the obvious choice for a break in the flight – particularly as it was a new destination for us all.
We arrived at the busy airport and upon deciding against our hotel’s free transfer, headed out to catch a taxi.
In our experience, it is usually quicker and more convenient to grab a local taxi that it is wait for the hotel transfer and its subsequent drops at various hotels. On the occasion though, it quickly became clear we had made a mistake.
A world away from the immaculate taxis and polite tour giving drivers of Japan, Hong Kong’s taxi’s were battered and bruised. Every panel indicated a car that had experienced a a long and tough life, and although we cannot speak for the majority, the drivers we encountered during our trip were all rude and determined to make the most of their fare by driving the ‘long way’ or suggesting alternative routes.
When we finally made it through the incredibly long taxi queue, and the traffic to reach our hotel we were pleased to be welcomed with open arms and a cool drink.
Where to stay in Hong Kong with children
Hong Kong boasts some amazing hotels, and the city is very accessible but foot, tram or metro, so its hard to pick the best from the bunch.
We chose the Dorsett Wanchai for our base for the 5 nights, a decision unlike the taxi, that we would not come to regret.
The children were greeted with a “Dorsett Teddy’ each, and a box filled with snacks. Much to their delight they were also informed that there would be a candy buffet laid on every evening.
We were luck enough to be given one of the best rooms in the house, with a superb view across the Happy Valley race track – and whilst there was no horse racing on for the duration of our stay, we loved watching the goings on at the track from our enormous window, which framed the view across the city.
The very best way to see Hong Kong with kids
The trams, known fondly by the locals as ‘Ding-Dings’ stops right outside of the hotel, and quickly became our favourite way to see the city at anytime of the day.
For a matter of pence, the children loved riding in the front seats, with the windows down – feeling the rush of air hit their faces.
For us the Dorsett Wanchai was the perfect base from which we could explore the city, on foot, by Tram or reluctantly by taxi. We found the metro simple to understand and good value when travelling larger distances or between islands. We also used the metro to reach Disneyland Hong Kong, which was a true highlight of our trip. I’ve separated my thoughts on taking children to Hong Kong Disneyland to a separate article, as I could talk about it, in all it’s wonder all day!
Hong Kong is a vibrant, if a times abrasive city. There is a huge concentration and variation of things to see and do, and we only touched the tip of the iceberg in the few days we spent there.
It is not always the easiest city to travel with with children, particularly young ones, as the people generally do not make allowances for families. It isn’t a problem for seasoned travellers, but could feel daunting at times for those who have not travelled further afield before. Compared to the gentle nature of Japan, we found that you did need to keep your wits about you. The city is raw and alive and full of cultural experience you can only gain from, by exploring the less beaten track on foot. We loved Sham Shui Po, with its abundance of stalls spilling into the road and the superb food offerings.
As far as food is concerned, even the fussiest of eaters would find something they could be content with, amongst Hong Kong’s huge offering. For us, a family of foodies we were delighted with the selection and affordability of the cuisine on offer.
Visiting the Cathay Pacific Business Lounge
To round our trip off perfectly, we were lucky enough to have access to the Business class lounges at Hong Kong Airport, allowing us to slip way from the chaos of the airport whilst we waited for our flight. We spent our time in The Wing, a superb lounge with airside views. We indulged in dinner from the world class “Noodle Bar”, accompanied by a G&T (and a juice for the younger visitors). The lounge was welcoming of our children, who thankfully were on their best behaviour, so didn’t shatter the relaxed vibe of the lounge.
I have collated a section of of top things to do in Hong Kong, from eating in a Michelin starred restaurant to travelling on a cable car nearly 600m above sea level (coming soon), but I am confident this will be added to, when we inevitably return to Hong Kong. We left so much of the city undiscovered.