Hong Kong had been on our travel wish list for some time. In fact, we were all set to go back in 2015 when my husband got ill and we had to cancel our travel plans. With some expectation, we finally visited Hong Kong during a stop-off to Bali. This time we had not one but two children in tow ages 4 and 10 months. Not often considered a family-friendly destination, we found hilly Hong Kong island a struggle at times with a pushchair. While its densely populated streets filled with over 7 million inhabitants (plus extra Chinese tourists as it was a bank holiday weekend) proved was hectic and busy. But the cultural experience outweighed the small challenges and our expectations did not let us down. As we’d never been before, we let the children fall into our plans rather than do the activities targeting families (such as Disneyland). Do check out my guide for visiting the city with kids for practical advice.  Here’s a run down of what we did in Hong Kong in three days.

Flight & Arrival

We flew from London Heathrow to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific on a night flight. Mrs T was happy watching movies before sleeping while our 11 month old, Cheeky, slept for around 5 hours in the bassinet. Result!

It was late afternoon when we landed. Getting our first glimpse of the city in the taxi from the airport, high rise buildings were intersected with lush green mountains. A city of contrasts which I noticed throughout our stay.

After checking into our hotel (The Royal Plaza in Kowloon), we headed onto the streets of Mong Kok as night was falling. It was a sensory overload as bright neon lights shone down on us, shoppers haggled at the market stalls, the scent of street food wafted under our noses and wannabe singers competed in karaoke competitions. You can read about our experience here. We arrived back at the hotel excited, invigorated but utterly exhausted.

The night markets of Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Day One

After grabbing a coffee and some Asian-inspired pastries, we took the MTR (Hong Kong’s underground) to the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Billed as a Hong Kong highlight, you can see the iconic skyline of Hong Kong island along its walkway.

Mrs T and I on Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Hong Kong

Exiting from East Tsim Sha Tsui station, we walked past the Museum of Art, a craft market and plenty of tourists. We also saw the Clock Tower, from the original Kowloon train station built in 1910.

Clock Tower, Hong Kong

To get to the other side we boarded the Star Ferry. The simple vessel takes just 10 minutes to cross and costs a few pence.

Star Ferry, Hong Kong

Not only is it the cheapest boat journey I’ve ever taken, it also gives the best unobscured views of the Hong Kong cityscape. Sit on the left hand side to get the best views.

Star Ferry, Hong Kong
The Star Ferry docks at Hong Kong island

After landing on Hong Kong island, our daughter spied the big wheel of the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. Every city seems to have one now (although I have yet to go on the one in my home city, the London Eye).

Hong Kong Observation Wheel

Going with Mrs T’s preference, we got tickets and joined the short queue. The wheel was a good way to get our bearings and Mrs T loved it, particularly when she got to wave to the tourists in the next pod.

Observation wheel, Hong Kong
Spot the helicopter!

Feeling hungry and starting to get a little jet lagged, we went in search of food and coffee. We ended up going around in circles until we found a mall in the business district and devoured some sushi. To get anywhere in this part of the city, it seems you have to go on elevated sections or through malls.

Elevated walkways in Hong Kong

At times this got a little confusing and tricky to navigate especially when relying on lifts to use with the buggy. I’m glad we brought the pushchair though. It came in handy when the girls got tired through jet lag and walking. Mrs T could use the buggy while Cheeky snoozed in the baby carrier.

As we wandered around the business district, we saw roads closed and groups of woman gathered on the streets. At first we thought it could be a protest but later discovered it was  the domestic maids who work in city enjoying their day off. Every Sunday the workers, many of whom are from the Philippines or Indonesia, sit on the streets and listen to music, dance, chat with their friends and play cards.

Maids day off in Hong Kong

Close to where the foreign helpers sat on cardboard boxes, stands the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Opening in 1963, one of its many famous guests included the artist Andy Warhol. A  photo exhibition of the artist was on display in the hotel foyer. It consisted of photographs Warhol had taken took during his visit to Hong Kong and China in 1982. It was interesting to see the vintage snaps although I have to say, he may have been a great pop artist but he wasn’t much of a photographer.

Andy Warhol exhibition, Hong Kong

As we left the hotel, we saw rows of flowers outside with cards and photos of a man called ‘Leslie’. I looked him up and discovered a sad story. Leslie Cheung was a Hong Kong born Canadian singer and actor. He was big in the 80s when his music, in the form of ‘Cantopop’, won him numerous awards as well as teen idol status. He also won awards for acting during the 1990s and was a huge star throughout Asia. Sadly, in 2003 he took his own life, jumping from the 24th floor of Mandarin Oriental. The flowers and memorabilia were marking the scene of his death, exactly 14 years ago.

Mandarin Oriental, Hong KongOur travels for the rest of the day took to us past the HSBC building, one of the ‘must-see’ buildings in our guide book. Designed by British architect Norman Foster in 1985, when compete it was the world’s most expensive building (costing more than US$ 1bn).

HSBC building, Hong Kong

We then had to traverse the hilly part of Hong Kong island as we tracked down Man Mo Temple (it took a while to decipher where the signs were telling us to go). The unassuming monument at the side of the road is surrounded by high rise buildings.

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Man Mo Temple is one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong. It’s dedicated to the Gods of Literature (Man) and war (Mo). A wave of incense greeted us as we entered. From the ceiling, incense coils hang while sticks – left by worshippers – burn in brass containers.

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

There’s a lot of red, gold, candles and lanterns. It’s not very big but interesting to walk around. Plus, there’s a small playground opposite so that kept Mrs T content.

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

We grabbed a taxi back to our hotel in Kowloon, got changed and went for dinner at Hutong restaurant. The upmarket eaterie overlooks Victoria Harbour. We got there for 8pm to see the ‘Symphony of Lights’. Every night more than 40 buildings take part in a spectacular light and laser display.

View from Hutong, Hong Kong

The 13-minute show intrigued the girls and it was wonderful to watch. The rest of the meal wasn’t quite so smooth with two overtired children and an unusable highchair with no straps. Learning our lesson, for the next two nights we had an earlier tea before retiring to the hotel.

Day 2

Our mission for the day was Victoria Peak, the highest mountain on Hong Kong island. It can be accessed by bus (no 15), foot or by the Peak tram which was founded in 1888. Still on UK time, we didn’t arrive at the Peak Tram station until midday. Not ideal for visiting Hong Kong’s most popular sight. We discovered a snaking queue.

Queue for Peak Tram, Hong Kong
Keep looking into the distance…there’s a lot of people!

It turns out it was a bank holiday in China and Hong Kong so even more people than normal. We didn’t fancy queuing in the heat with two children and were determined to go that day so we took the only other option…paying extra!. My husband sorted us out with a joint ticket to see Madame Tussauds and get the tram. We were ushered to the front of the queue and on the tram in a few minutes.

The journey is a near vertical ride up the mountain. Unbeknownst we chose the best seats, on the right hand side, rewarded with the best views. Our umbrella buggy folded up and off we went, gazing at the city below as we climbed higher and higher. You can watch the experience in my film of our trip.

The views are spectacular from the top. The photo says it all.

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

After spending some time on the windy observation deck, we had something to eat and headed down. Seeing a huge queue to get the return tram, and with two tired children, we opted to get a taxi. After a quick wander around Wan Chai, we ended up at a roof top bar, WooLooMooLoo where we had a cocktail and managed to get a decent photo of us all!

Wander Mum family

For dinner we ate dim sum at the restaurant ‘Dim Dim Sum’ (yes, really…there’s a few of them). The food was good (it’s hard to find a bad meal in Hong Kong) and we even got some tasty ‘piggy’ buns.

Pig buns at Dim Dim Sum in Hong Kong

Day 3

Feeling we had covered a lot of ground so far, we slowed things down for our final day. Well, as much as you can on the busy streets of Hong Kong which never seem to sleep. Mong Kok was our first stop, in the daylight this time, to do some shopping.

Known for its markets, we viewed some bad fake goods and soaked up the atmosphere. In the daylight you can see how tatty some of the building are but how vibrantly coloured they are, just like the public transport. The Kowloon side of Hong Kong is less westernised than Hong Kong Island and feels far more Chinese. We enjoyed experiencing this side so I’m glad we stayed on the Kowloon side (which was also a lot cheaper)

Mongkok, Hong Kong

In Mong Kok, some of are streets are dedicated to one type of product. My husband was intent on exploring ‘trainer street’ although we left empty handed.

The afternoon saw us go over to Hong Kong island (via MTR) and catch up with a familiar face. It so happened that my eldest brother had just arrived in Hong Kong on a business trip! Considering he lives in Boston, in the US, it was a random meeting but wonderful to see him.

Wander Mum and family

We headed up to the Zoological and Botanical Gardens, a free space, past the peak tram and up a steep incline. The children loved seeing the animals which included orangutan’s, lemurs and sloths as well as birds such as flamingos and cranes. There’s also a playground where for a heart-stopping moment we thought we’d lost Mrs T. Thankfully, she reappeared after we repeatedly shouted her name. Phew!

Hong Kong Zoologial park and Botanical Gardens

We ended our last day in Hong Kong with drinks at the Four Seasons hotel, catching up with my brother, before grabbing a taxi to get some sleep before our next stop, Bali.

Hong Hong is an immense and intense 24-hour city but visiting is an enlivening, cultural experience which I’m glad our daughters shared with us. Yes, it’s hilly in places. Yes it can be exhausting but it is manageable. We take home some very special memories from our time there. To fully absorb the sights and sounds of our trip, do take a look at my short film of the holiday.

You may also enjoy reading.

Guide to visiitng Hong Kong with kids
The hectic night markets of Mong Kok, Hong Kong
Kuala Lumpur with a toddler
How to apply for a child’s passport 

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Hong Kong Itinerary: Seeing HK in three days with kids

58 Comments on Hong Kong Itinerary: Three Days With Kids 

    • Wander Mum
      May 23, 2017 at 10:08 am (6 months ago)

      Great! You’ll have a fab time! Looking forward to hearing about it.

      Reply
  1. Cathy (Mummytravels)
    May 23, 2017 at 8:25 am (6 months ago)

    What a fantastic trip for you and your girls – I mostly remember Hong Kong as being busy, bustling and through a slight haze of jetlag! You packed a lot in… and I remember finding ourselves in a mall for lunch one day as we simply couldn’t find anywhere else to eat!
    Cathy (Mummytravels) recently posted…Review: St Catherine’s Lookout Cottage, Isle of WightMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 23, 2017 at 10:10 am (6 months ago)

      Haha, yes, we are in a few malls! They do good food! Looking back we did pack a fair bit in. No wonder I was so exhausted at the end of the day.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 23, 2017 at 10:12 am (6 months ago)

      It’s an awesome isn’t it! Loved being able to catch up with my bro!

      Reply
  2. Lolo
    May 23, 2017 at 10:44 am (6 months ago)

    What a layover! You managed to see a lot in 3 days! I’ll have to keep this in mind as we hope to go to Bali one day! #CityTripping
    Lolo recently posted…The Best of Germany’s Romantic RoadMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 23, 2017 at 10:56 pm (6 months ago)

      Worked really well as a stop-off to Bali. Hectic then some relaxation!

      Reply
  3. Allison
    May 23, 2017 at 1:09 pm (6 months ago)

    Great guide. How fun that you were able to meet up with your brother. And I”m so glad that Mrs T wasn’t lost for long. That’s such a scary experience for parents.
    Allison recently posted…A Guide to Castillo San Felipe del MorroMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 24, 2017 at 11:08 pm (6 months ago)

      It was very scary! But all good in the end, thank goodness. Was fab to meet up with the bro too !

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 24, 2017 at 11:08 pm (6 months ago)

      We certainly packed a lot in!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 24, 2017 at 11:24 pm (6 months ago)

      It is! A fascinating city to visit. Hope you get to go there soon x

      Reply
  4. Hilary
    May 23, 2017 at 5:05 pm (6 months ago)

    This is such a great post! I’d love to visit Hong Kong, and see the symphony of lights and eat eat the delicious dim sum! My little has been asking to go to China, since he could talk, so hopefully we will get there one day! #citytripping
    Hilary recently posted…The Museum of Ice Cream Los AngelesMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 24, 2017 at 11:25 pm (6 months ago)

      Oh wow! Then you must go!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 24, 2017 at 11:27 pm (6 months ago)

      I know! I found that interesting too. I guess it’s an expensive city and without their own places, this is where they congregate. X

      Reply
  5. Sol Solntze
    May 23, 2017 at 8:43 pm (6 months ago)

    Really good varied itinerary, and I’d imagine it would work just as well without kids. I’d certainly be demanding the pig faced dim sum. How odd that the temple is to literature AND war, altough I suppose a lot of great writing comes out of conflict.
    Sol Solntze recently posted…Tsaritsyno: gingerbread palace, fairytale chateau.My Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 2:47 pm (6 months ago)

      Oh would definitely work without kids. Yes, you’re right about the temple meaning.

      Reply
  6. Annabel
    May 23, 2017 at 9:29 pm (6 months ago)

    I went to HK quite a few years ago pre kids and I wouldn’t have thought of it as a great kid-friendly destination but of course it is with all the fun modes of transport and the dramatic views!. #citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 2:52 pm (6 months ago)

      Yes, lots to entertain children. They enjoyed soaking up the sights and sounds.

      Reply
  7. alex
    May 23, 2017 at 9:49 pm (6 months ago)

    What a lovely little account of Hong Kong, it’s interesting to hear of the cultural differences, like the female maids day off and what they did. Fascinating. I’d love to visit, but like I said before – I think you are so brilliant for taking the kids, I think I’d try and wangle an adult break out of it! #citytripping
    alex recently posted…The 5 Best Sunday Roasts In NottinghamMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 3:01 pm (6 months ago)

      Thank you. Yes, I found it really interesting about the maids day off too. Well, if you can go there child free, why not!!

      Reply
  8. Elizabeth Newcamp
    May 23, 2017 at 10:41 pm (6 months ago)

    Wow. You were able to get so much done! I love those little dim sum pigs. #CityTripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 2:56 pm (6 months ago)

      They were delicious too!

      Reply
  9. Elizabeth Newcamp
    May 23, 2017 at 10:42 pm (6 months ago)

    What a great itinerary. I love how you were able to find things for you and for the kids to enjoy. #CityTripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 23, 2017 at 10:57 pm (6 months ago)

      Thank you Elizabeth. We got a pretty good balance.

      Reply
  10. Kat
    May 24, 2017 at 12:03 am (6 months ago)

    How very cool! I especially liked the the Clock Tower. I would always have thought that a ferry ride in Hong Kong would be really expensive, so that was a surprise.
    I’d also devour those piggy steamed buns!
    Kat recently posted…Hidden Gems of San Francisco: Point Bonita LighthouseMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 3:05 pm (6 months ago)

      The Star Ferry is used by locals as a cheap way to get to the other island. The underground was fairly inexpensive too.

      Reply
  11. Bryna | Dotted Line Travels
    May 24, 2017 at 3:16 am (6 months ago)

    You make me miss Hong Kong! I go back occasionally to visit family, but you listed so many things I still haven’t done, such as take a spin on the ferris wheel! It’s interesting that you mention Leslie Cheung. He was such a huge star and is so loved by many HK-ers even today. I still listen to some of his songs from time to time!
    Bryna | Dotted Line Travels recently posted…5 Things I Learned from Visiting the ColosseumMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 3:07 pm (6 months ago)

      It was really interesting to read up about Leslie, the amount of flowers and tribute showed how much he was love. A tragic end to his life.

      Reply
  12. Andrea @ Topsy Turvy Tribe
    May 24, 2017 at 12:16 pm (6 months ago)

    You make me want to visit! Looks like an awesome trip with so much to do and see. A real cultural experience. Love the look of the Peak tram! #citytripping
    Andrea @ Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…Andalucian Potato HarvestMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 3:07 pm (6 months ago)

      That’s great to hear. You guys would love the peak tram!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 3:09 pm (6 months ago)

      Thank you! I still felt like we could have done more!

      Reply
  13. Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays
    May 24, 2017 at 5:25 pm (6 months ago)

    Brings back memories of my pre children visit, not thought of it as a child destination before but reconsidering now #CityTripping
    Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays recently posted…SHUTTERED SHOPMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 3:11 pm (6 months ago)

      It has a lot going for it. My girls seemed to enjoy it!

      Reply
  14. beatravelling
    May 24, 2017 at 5:30 pm (6 months ago)

    I see we did a lot of the same things. Memories 🙂
    beatravelling recently posted…Tortuga BayMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 9:57 pm (6 months ago)

      Glad to have brought them back.

      Reply
  15. April Berry
    May 24, 2017 at 8:31 pm (6 months ago)

    Fun! My family would love the Symphony of Lights! I love all of the variety you packed into the trip. #CityTripping
    April Berry recently posted…Ugly Ducklings of Reeds LakeMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 6:36 pm (6 months ago)

      Thanks! We did get a good variety which seemed to suit us all.

      Reply
  16. Bumble Bee Mum
    May 29, 2017 at 5:01 am (6 months ago)

    Oh wow.. The Hong Kongers still leave flowers for Leslie Cheung after so many years?! I never realised how sentimental Hong Kongers are… #CityTripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 8:35 pm (6 months ago)

      They certainly do. Was touching to see.

      Reply
  17. Tooting Mama
    May 29, 2017 at 8:39 am (6 months ago)

    I love Hong Kong I travelled there pre-kids spent a week pretty much eating our way across the island! We even went to Macao for a trip to the casinos. I would love to take the kids there and you’ve shown it can be done! #citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 8:36 pm (6 months ago)

      Oh wow! That sounds like an awesome trip. X

      Reply
  18. Anita @ Burgess Travellers
    June 1, 2017 at 9:54 am (6 months ago)

    Wow – you did so much for such a short trip!! Fantastic itinerary, how cute are those piggie buns?! I’ve been through Hong Kong a few times but haven’t made it out of the airport yet. Next time… #fearlessfamtrav

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      June 1, 2017 at 9:34 pm (6 months ago)

      Oh you must! It’s worth exploring.

      Reply
  19. Wandermust mummy
    June 1, 2017 at 1:40 pm (6 months ago)

    I will be definitely using thIs when we connect year. Can’t wait to read more about your recent trip #fearlessfamtrav
    Wandermust mummy recently posted…Fearless family travel #5My Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      June 1, 2017 at 9:35 pm (6 months ago)

      Thanks! Hope it’ll be helpful .

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      June 2, 2017 at 10:37 am (6 months ago)

      Thank you! Enjoy Hong Kong!

      Reply
  20. Baby Loves Travel
    June 1, 2017 at 3:42 pm (6 months ago)

    This is a really useful itinerary – I’ll definitely refer back if we end up stopping over there sometime soon #fearlessfamtrav

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      June 1, 2017 at 9:31 pm (6 months ago)

      Thank you! Hope it will come in handy one day.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      July 1, 2017 at 11:47 pm (5 months ago)

      It is pretty hectic but worth experiencing.

      Reply
  21. Gretta - Mums do travel
    August 14, 2017 at 9:19 am (3 months ago)

    This is a great itinerary – I love Hong Kong, but haven’t been for a while, and I enjoyed seeing the highlights through your eyes.

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      August 14, 2017 at 3:01 pm (3 months ago)

      Thank you Gretta! We had a great time there. Glad I brought back some memories for you!

      Reply

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