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Hong Kong highlights for kids

Hong Kong, China

I had every intention of reliving my childhood travel memories with my kids on our last trip to Hong Kong. I wanted to ride rickshaws in Wan Chai, gross out the kids with the stinky tofu sold on every street corner and take them to a tea-house with tableside spittoons.



However, Hong Kong is not what it was; the streets are cleared of food vendors, and rickshaws replaced with Rolls Royces. Reluctantly, I forged ahead with new family experiences - to find my kids falling in love with Hong Kong, just as I had done. Here are our highlights:


Grand Marshals at Disneyland Hong Kong
A little luck and a Baymax t-shirt saw us selected as honorary Grand Marshals to lead the Flights of Fantasy parade.

Like George W Bush before us, we waved and smiled to Disneyland patrons from our vintage flint car, only we donned personalised Mickey Mouse ears and oversized gloves.

MBA
 

Swimming in The Four Seasons Hotel pool
Swimming in The Four Seasons Hotel pool After a big day in the humid heat, the tranquil infinity pool at The Four Seasons Hotel felt like an oasis in the middle of the heaving city of 7.1 million people.

In a setting overlooking Hong Kong harbour, the kids cooled off to a backdrop of glimmering skyscrapers and a soundtrack of underwater classical tunes.

MBA
 

Riding the Victoria Peak tram car
My kids rattled up the mountain in a tramcar to ‘The Peak’ to enjoy the magnificent Hong Kong panorama where they could see how densely packed together people live and get an understanding of just how fortunate they are.


Eating at Mandarin Oriental’s iconic buffet breakfast
The Mandarin Oriental is a Hong Kong icon and the buffet breakfast is almost as famous. Elegant buffet stations offer both Chinese and Western options, including waffles, pancakes, fresh dim sum and the most delicious soup broth from the noodle bar.

We enjoyed a long and leisurely breakfast as the kids were served from a Peter Rabbit setting and gifted colouring-in sets.

janes

Dai Pai Dong dining
Street stall vendors have moved into municipal buildings, and the North Point Cooked Food Centre on Java Road is home to authentic ‘Dai Pai Dong’ sellers serving delicious food in a no-frills setting.

My kids delighted in seeing fresh seafood in tanks and tucking into adventurous menu items including fried-pig intestines, as Taylor Swift blared across the hall.


Walking the city streets
To experience Hong Kong is to walk the streets, be among the people and take in all the sights, smells and sounds. It was heart-warming to watch my kids absorb their surroundings and enjoy their walks around town.

They saw the laundry overhead on bamboo rods, heard the trams go ‘Ding Ding’ as mini-buses and red taxis whirled by, smelt cure-dried seafood at market stalls and were dazzled by shop lights and window displays. But the kids’ favourite pastime by far was spotting 7-Elevens - easy to do with the world’s second-highest density of stores.


Embracing their heritage
"Mum, did you know I'm half Chinese!?"¯ cried my 6-year-old son. "Me too!"¯ my 3-year-old proudly declared. Although falling on deaf ears in Australia, the immersion into Chinese food, culture and language made my kids want to be part of their heritage and without prompting, attempted Cantonese with me.

I had yearned to show my kids the wonderful, raw essence of Hong Kong in the hope they would discover their heritage, and although their travel memories will not be the same as mine, the bustling city has gotten under their skin, just the way I wanted it to.

Together we roam's Rene Young has travelled to 70 countries. When the Brisbane based blogger is not discovering Brisbane's street art, exploring Queensland or roaming the world with her five-year old son and three-year old daughter, she can be found indulging her love of reality TV.

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