Family Fun in Hong Kong with a side trip to Macau & Dong Ao island in China for some Club Med hospitality….
Hong Kong is an interesting and vibrant city. It is easy to get around on their MTR system and there is plenty to see and do. You can buy an octopus transport card and top it up as necessary. With a family of 6, suitable accommodation is not easy to find. We stayed at the Holiday Inn, Golden Mile in Kowloon. This is in a fantastic location, close to shops, the harbour and almost situated above 2 of the MTR stations. This places you in a good position to go anywhere easily. It has a roof top pool and interconnecting rooms for large families like us, that are available.
For family friendly tourist attractions you really can’t go past Hong Kong Disneyland. Everything about Disney is just magical, and it is a must for anyone visiting Hong Kong. We have been to Anaheim’s Disneyland and found Hong Kong a newer, fresher version. Hong Kong Disney is clean and well maintained, cues for rides are often through air conditioned rooms too, which is a welcome relief from the humidity.
Hong Kong’s home grown version of a theme park is called Ocean Park, this is also good. Rides are probably aimed at older children, some look completely terrifying (notice how i wrote look, not are!), they also have shows and marine animal displays all of which will keep you busy for the day.
Other popular things we found good for families were the Star ferry. This was a couple of dollars to ride across the harbour, it was interesting to see Hong Kong’s city landscape from the water. It is a pretty city situated around a harbour that shines brightly with neon lights at night. Take a ride the on the Peak Tram, a steep tram ride up to a great viewing area over the city of Hong Kong for another picture perfect view. Well perhaps that view is a little bit smoggy at times.
We spent a great great day out by taking the Ngong Ping 360 cable car over to the Big Buddha and small fishing village of Tai O. Take crystal class, a glass bottomed cable car for an extra bit of fun. The Big Buddha itself is a majestic site, standing high on a hill top with several stairs to the top, think of it as a good work out as it was worth the effort for the view. You can catch a bus from Ngong Ping village to visit Tai O, a quaint fishing village with stilt houses built over the water. It is very interesting to see how they have built this village and how they dry the fish they catch in the sunshine, be prepared for the fishy smell that can be overwhelming at times.
There are several markets in Hong Kong too, it’s worth exploring, they are full of interesting sites and bargains. A lot of the store shopping is very high end. There is a Gucci, Chanel or Burberry stall almost on every corner, if you like designer labels. From our double decker bus tour of the city sites we learnt that residents of Hong Kong like to wear and display their worth, hence the (what i consider) expensive labels. GAP and H&M were more to our budget, but we did not find much we wanted to buy personally. Food was available almost everywhere, with so many options to try it was hard to decide where to go at times.
Just a 2 hour ferry away is Macau. The Chinese flock to Macau as it is the closest place where they allow casinos, unlike in China itself. It is similar to Vegas with many big brand name casinos and most of the things to do revolving around casino entertainment. A lot of the casinos are also modeled on those in Vegas too, for instance we did a tour of Venice. Many casinos offer free shuttle buses to and from the port and Chinese boarders into Macau, anyone can jump on these buses free of charge. We used these as our transport around town.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment at the Sofitel ponte 16, which was a little away from the main casino hub but close to the ruins of St Paul which were interesting. The narrow cobble stoned street leading up to the ruins is full of hustle and bustle.
The best part of our visit to Macau was seeing the show, House of Dancing Water, in the City of Dreams casino. It was completely amazing and worth a visit to Macau just to see this show. It had a Cirque du soleil type vibe. We took the front seats in the wet zone, they were the cheapest available, it was great being at the front and getting splashed a little, it just added to the fun. They give you a light rain coat and towel in preparation.
Onto China…deep breath. We found this very, very difficult, the part we were in was not very touristy, we stood out a lot with our 4 kids. Being fair, we were stared at and not really helped in any way. We have travelled a lot and this has been one of the hardest places to visit, thus far. We had our port destination written in Chinese for our taxi driver but he still didn’t seem very pleased to have us in his cab. Alas, we made it to the port to catch a ferry to Club Med, Dong Ao.
Club Med is a fantastic concept of all inclusive. It is like a Cruise ship but on land. Meals, accommodation, entertainment, and activities are all part of the deal. This particular resort is relatively new and very beautiful, the rooms are spacious and immaculate. It probably does cater a little more to Chinese tastes with meal options, but it is a wonderfully relaxing place to visit. For families Club Med is great as they have kids club inclusive as well.
This holiday was a very busy one but it offered something for everyone. If you would like more information on anything mentioned in this post or for a holiday quotation, please contact me, i would love to chat about what you would like and help you plan your holiday to Hong Kong or anywhere else that takes your fancy- email@example.com.
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