When the huzz has been on 14 overseas trips this year (and counting) and announces another impromptu sojourn (okay okay admittedly he works extremely hard but details) what else is an exhausted Mama of three to do but stash herself and youngest child in his stowaway luggage. Surprise ! We find you!
I joke I joke, but a mini break was exactly what we needed. Andy had a pretty full schedule and despite being practically local had no time to give me even the heads up on basic house keeping like – don’t drink the tap water. Which, admittedly is common sense. But I just. kept. doing. it. and blaming the fish. Until I finally worked it out. LOL! OH well didn’t need that extra 2kg anyway. Nothing a banana and coconut water couldn’t fix!! In all seriousness only a minor tummy upset and Rubes and I had so much fun exploring this exciting city together. So it turned out, we got a flag to a tonne of conference dinners too – the cheats way to seeing all the best restaurants in Hong Kong without having to do any research ! Was not complaining!
We stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel on Hong Kong Island. Brilliant location, so easy to get to everything we needed. Admittedly we chose the hotel for its amazing pool. Remembering our time in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands (you can read about it here) and how much Ruby loved the pool there this was the obvious choice. What we weren’t to know was she decided on arrival completely out of the blue, that she’s petrified of swimming. Thank heavens for the 3 inch decorative fountain surrounding the area, I could atleast have a latte every morning poolside while she rolled around in that like a mini hippo, other parents looking at us strangely, offering up their floating devices and bribes to try and help me get her in THE ACTUAL POOL. Bless. Didn’t happen. But we loved it all the same! And can you even handle the view from our room! We will definitely be back.
Getting around: This scooter made the trip, 100%. we took it everywhere. I have a Bugaboo Bee. Normally super handy for travel. But with all the air bridges, and a nearly 3 year old with no interest in actually sitting. and the lack of lifts (escalators a plenty) I quickly realised the scooter was the way forward. All the airbridges (pictured below) connect the hotels and shopping centres and so many of the day to day places we visited were easily accessed via scooter. It was also easier to get on the MTR with a scooter than a pram (buy an Octopus card when you arrive – thank me later – the train is so quick and easy to get around on!) and didn’t get even a sideways glance from security in all the lush shopping centres. I just held on to the handle bars when the crowds got busy and steered her through, preventing any side eye glances from shoppers. I will never travel without it!
The Peak: Worth a look but can be very busy with tourists. We arrived at dusk so we could see it in daylight and also lit up at night. There are restaurants (very casual) and a decent sized shopping centre. Catch the tram up for the whole experience and a stunning view of Hong Kong.
Shek O Beach: This was one of my favourite outings in Hong Kong. I had no idea the beaches would be so beautiful, the surrounding fishing villages even more so. Everything so lush and green. just STUNNING. I was lucky enough to have a beautiful friend pick us up and take us on the most magical drive through this area. Colourful architecture at every turn. I could move in tomorrow. (Claire wearing Mister Zimi, Ruby wearing Oishi M)
Victoria Park: located in Causeway bay, not far from Times Square, this lush green park in the heart of the city is a welcome break from the hustle. Ruby was beyond delighted to discover the playground and we visited frequently to break up our shopping trips. (Ruby wearing Oishi M)
Times Square: Holy moly this was a surprise. Think BUSY. Don’t take your stroller, I would wear baby in a sling, and toddlers on scooters or on foot so that you can make full use of the escalators. Don’t do what I did and try and get a taxi out at 5 pm on a Friday night – didn’t think that one through! but absolutely worth the visit. Diverse range of shops and great food spots too. Atmosphere a plenty.
Goldfish Market – Tung Choi Street North (Kowloon): Ruby and I caught the train from central and got off at Prince Edward Station. So easy and could walk from here to the Flower Markets (only a few streets away). Streets were lined with more exotic breeds of goldfish than I’ve ever seen. Some with the most alarming price tags! Ruby thoroughly enjoyed this walk, so much to see and a great way to soak up authentic Hong Kong atmosphere away from the plethora of high end shops.
Flower Markets: appropriately located on Flower Market Road (Kowloon) absolutely beautiful. Not sure I could have gotten away with this one with my older children in tow (boring they would say) but Ruby loved it. Especially the pet kittens wandering around the place! Certainly one to put on your list if you have an interest in photography, or flowers, or both! I adored it and would visit again for sure. But I love flowers. And taking photos of them . So it was a win for me 😉
Soho (south of Hollywood Road): I LOVED it here. We visited regularly as it was so easy to get to on the airbridge escalators. For this reason I would definitely recommend the Four Seasons Hotel as it was so close by. We loved being in this area. The streets are beyond chic. Full of delightful shops and delicious snacks. Set amongst some of Hong Kong’s most beautiful historic narrow streets you’ll find some of the best bars and restaurants. By day there are shops galore, art galleries, and stunning antique shops. And by night it really comes into its own, upmarket cocktail bars, delicious restaurants. SO much fun to be had. We loved Petit Bazaar on Gough Rd. The most divine children’s fashion and decor boutique spilling with all our favourite brands. Tutu du Monde, Bobo Choses, Numero 74, Louise Misha. This list goes on!
Disneyland – a total highlight. You can read our Disney post here.
Ocean Park. Basically Hong Kong’s version of our Aussie Seaworld! If I had my time again I perhaps wouldn’t have bothered going with just Ruby (nearly 3). It’s a big day. She absolutely loved it but we found it pretty exhausting in the humidity. Very large and everything quite spread out. Perfect for a large family outing where you can split up. So much to do for a wide range of age groups. My big kids would have adored it and I would definitely go back with them. If I was in town with just Ruby and had to choose, I’d probably head to Disney again as it’s focused more at her age group.
Other things to do:
The Victoria Harbour Symphony of Lights Show
Big Buddha We missed out on this due to bad weather on the day we were planning to go. I will be making it an absolute priority on our next visit. Sad to have missed it this time.
Aberdeen Fishing Village Colourful boats galore. I would have loved to have seen this!
Instagram Pier : could be fun !