Family Vacations to Hong Kong

The Lion Pavilion on The Peak, Hong Kong
The Lion Pavilion on The Peak, a popular tourist spot, offers stunning views of the city below (Hong Kong Tourism Board)

Kong Family Travel Tips

  • Good deals, like two days admission for the price of one, are often available to guests staying in the Hong Kong Disneyland resort. Check the website for the latest promotions before you book.
  • Visit Ocean Park on a weekday to beat the crowds. There is a lot to see and do so arrive early.
  • Be enthralled by the mammals, birds, and reptiles at the Zoological and Botanical Gardens. Admission is free.

For adults, Hong Kong is one of the world's greatest travel destinations. It's the original melting pot of East and West, a fusion of British and Chinese culture that stirs up an intoxicating collage of sights, sounds, and smells. For families, it is even better: it offers all of this in a world where the safety and comfort of an air-conditioned mall or luxury hotel is just around the corner from a street market as thrilling as you would find anywhere in mainland China. There are also a string of family attractions that deserve at least a week, and could easily fill two.

Hong Kong enjoys one of the most dramatic natural settings in the world. Seventy percent of the territory is designated as a national park. You can best appreciate it from the lofty heights of Victoria Peak. Take the tram that snakes through the skyscrapers and the incredibly steep jungle-clad hillside to the top. This ride will delight younger passengers as it makes its way up to the viewing terrace and visitor attractions at the Peak Tower. There are also shops, walking trails, and a family-friendly restaurant here.

Hong Kong's busiest and most frenetic quarter, Kowloon, is perched on the very edge of the Chinese mainland, while its main commercial hub, Central, lies just across the expanse of Victoria Harbor on Hong Kong Island. The hulking old Star Ferry is the best way of getting between the two and will delight younger travelers. You can smell the sea salt in the air as it bounces across the waters in the shadow of the hundreds of blinking skyscrapers that give Hong Kong one of the world's most spectacular skylines. Central and its neighboring districts are great for air conditioned shopping (Kowloon is renowned for its throbbing street markets), while on the southern side of Hong Kong Island Ocean Park awaits with its jumping dolphins, giant pandas, and swinging cable car. Hong Kong Island is also home to the Zoological and Botanical Gardens, the oldest part of which dates back to when Queen Victoria was on the throne and Britain held sway over what is now a Special Administrative Region of China.

Break away from the throng and you discover a sprinkling of islands only a short and scenic ferry ride away. Most popular with families are Lantau and Lamma. Lantau is home to Hong Kong Disneyland, which offers everything you'd expect of the original with a taste of Asia mixed in. Lamma is a relaxed oasis popular with ex-pat families. Something of a travel secret is tiny Cheung Chau, once a nefarious haunt of pirates, it is now a favorite of Chinese families. The beaches, compact little main village, and waterfront restaurants welcome children of all ages.

Published: 25 Jun 2009 | Last Updated: 30 Mar 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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