February 10, 2013 marks the beginning of the new year for many – including my family. We will be celebrating the Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year to us) with gifts, food and family gatherings. I have asked some awesome bloggers this week to write about travelling with kids to Hong Kong and China.
My husband and I toured Asia pre kids and hope that in a few years we will be able to afford to take them to see their grandparents’ and great grandparents’ birth countries. When we visited we were eating around the clock and in between meals and snacks we sought refuge from the heat in air conditioned stores – it was over 40 C (100 F) in early May!
Today, we have Nicola from Jetlag and Mayhem answering a few questions about travelling to and touring Hong Kong with kids.
1. When to is the best time to visit Hong Kong?
End of October and November are beautiful. The heat has subsided, typhoons are over and you get blue skies with warm sunshine.
2. Flying from Toronto to Hong Kong takes approximately 15 hours. Have any tips on how to help children adjust to time changes and deal with jetlag?
As a rule of thumb, flying West is much easier than flying East. If you’re making the trip to Hong Kong from the US, you should find your jetlag easier to contend with.
When you arrive in Hong Kong, try to get your kids onto HK time. Studies have shown that exposure to daylight can help regulate your body clock so go for a little walk near your hotel.
On Day 1 have a relaxed attitude with the kids but on Day 2 of your trip, be stricter and don’t allow long day naps, even if you are all tired. Here are my Top 10 Tips to Help Beat Jetlag
3. What are your top 5 recommendations for families to see and do in Hong Kong?
Ride the fun (and steep!) Peak Tram to the top of Victoria Peak for incredible views over Central, Victoria Harbour and beyond. Avoid the tourist trap malls at the top and take one of the Nature Walks enveloping the Peak.
See the Islands
Did you know that Hong Kong consists of over 260 islands? Hop onboard the Lamma Ferry for the 40 minute journey to Lamma Island for a laid-back contrast to the frenetic energy of Hong Kong.
Walk the popular 3 km family trail (stroller friendly) from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kue Wan, the latter village being famous for its seafood restaurants. Rainbow Seafood Restaurant even offers a free ferry ride back to Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Harbour
The iconic Star Ferry is the best (and cheapest) way to cross the harbour from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. Take the crossing by day or by night. On most evenings at 8pm on Avenue of the Stars is a spectacular free light show, illuminating all of Hong Kong harbour to music. Check here for details.
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s version of Disney (although we have that too!) Spend an afternoon seeing the pandas, enjoying rides for all ages and taking in one of the many shows like the Dolphin Encounter.
Hong Kong Museum of History
If you’re looking to escape the heat, rain and/or crowds, the Hong Kong Museum of History is for you. Little kids will love the colourful costumes of the Folk Culture exhibits whilst older kids will enjoy running around the recreated street scenes in ‘Birth and Early Growth of the City’ gallery.
4. Do you have any extra advice for parents visiting Hong Kong with kids?
Hong Kong is NOT stroller friendly. Don’t bring your biggest, baddest stroller as you’ll find it difficult to use. Sidewalks often have steps and are sometimes narrow. Air pollution can also be a big problem, particularly in Autumn and Winter when the prevailing winds bring factory polluted air from the North.