We live in regional Australia and spend most of our travel time in a car, so you can imagine what a big deal it is to have the opportunity to try out a whole bunch of other types of transport in a foreign country.
Hong Kong is our favourite destination for this kind of adventure.
For very little outlay of time or money, it’s really easy to take the kids on a BIG journey of on-road escapades.
We’ve set the challenge for you for a family day out Hong Kong style.
- 1 Family Day Out Hong Kong style
- 1.0.1 1. Hail a Red Taxi
- 1.0.2 2. Bus it
- 1.0.3 3. Ding Dong Tram
- 1.0.4 4. The Peak Tram Funicular
- 1.0.5 5. Star Ferry
- 1.0.6 6. Central Mid-Levels Escalator
- 1.0.7 7. Sail Victor Harbour on the Aqua Luna Red-Sailed Junk Boat
- 1.0.8 8. Catch a Crystal Cable Car
- 1.0.9 9. Drop from the sky with those upright Green Army Toy Soldiers from the Toy Story Movie!
- 2 Who’s coming?
- 3 FYI – City Essentials
Family Day Out Hong Kong style
How many different types of transport can you try out on a “Family Day Out Hong Kong” style?
1. Hail a Red Taxi
Probably the sweetest looking taxi’s in the world, you must catch a Red Taxi to feel like a real Hong Kong local. Public transport is so cheap in Hong Kong, hailing a taxi cab is an everyday event for those who live here. Be sure to check out the taxi interior. Never have you seen a taxi look so clean and elegant!
2. Bus it
For those non-city dwellers like us, a bus ride is almost as good as the destination. Hong Kong buses are clean and can prompt and can take you just about anywhere you want to go. Why not hop on a bus to visit the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and spend time at the Children’s Gallery there? The bus stops right outside.
3. Ding Dong Tram
Operating since 1904, the Hong Kong Trams run along a 13km length in the urban area of Hong Kong Island from Kennedy Town, through the central business and shopping districts of Sheung Wan, Central, Admirality, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Happy Valley all the way to Shau-kei-Wan. There are 6 main overlapping routes that circle the city on 30km of tracks.
The ‘Ding Dong’ trams, as they are affectionately known, are the cheapest transport in town, costing a flat rate of $HK 2.30 for adults and $HK 1.20 for children under 12. Pay when you enter by putting correct coins in the fare box or tap your Octopus card.
Be sure to keep watch on your kid’s hands and fingers! The windows do open and scarily, the distance between your tram and the one passing next to you is miniscule.
4. The Peak Tram Funicular
This world’s steepest funicular railway is a must if it’s a clear day for the best views of the city from Victoria Peak but the Peak Tram itself looks heaps of fun. Popular with tourists and locals alike, it’s the quickest and most scenic way to get to the top. Just seven minutes in duration, it’s also an opportunity to show your kids a bit of magic!
The optical illusion* created when you sit aboard the tram while reclining backwards makes the high rises on the right side of the tram look like the Leaning “Towers” of Pisa! Be not alarmed. It’s just your mind playing tricks on you!
There’s plenty to do at the top too, so put this transport ride last on your list. Return tickets for The Peak Tram are $HK 40 for adults and $HK 18 for kids aged 3 -11.
*The study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science in 2013.
5. Star Ferry
One thing you must put on your list is a trip across Victoria Harbour on the world famous Star Ferry. At just HK $2.50 for adults (0.50 AUD CENTS!) and HK $1.50 for kids 3 -12 , (prices have gone up slightly since I took this pic), you can travel between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, all day long without putting a dent in your wallet. This ferry trip must be the cheapest public transport in the world. Even better, kids under 3 are FREE! Read our review here.
6. Central Mid-Levels Escalator
Did you know that the WORLD’s LONGEST outdoor covered escalator and walkway system in the world? Leave the stroller behind for this one, bring the Ergo for the toddler instead. The escalator runs through the whole length of Cochrane Street between Queen’s Road Central and Hollywood Road. Then it runs along the entire length of Shelley Street. Here’s a titbit for you. They filmed scenes for the Batman Film, the Dark Knight, here in 2007.
If you go all the way to the top, turn left and walk for a short while to come to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. There’s a fabulous playground area at the very top of the park that will be a welcome relief from all that walking.
7. Sail Victor Harbour on the Aqua Luna Red-Sailed Junk Boat
You can’t miss the odd junk boat as it meanders in amongst the bigger boats. It’s a romantic sight and one Ned was mesmerised by. We didn’t know at the time but you can take a ride on one of these. The Aqua Luna, one of the last remaining junk boats in Hong Kong, sails Monday to Friday from Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, as a hop-on hop-off cruise with four stops including the Maritime Museum, and the Hung Hom neighbourhood. From start to finish, you’ll sail the harbour circuit in around 45 minutes but if you do stop off, they’ll be back within the hour to collect you.
Weekend trips take 90 minutes and incorporate a stop at the Stanley Markets. (Did someone say ‘market’? We’ll be going on a weekend next trip!)
8. Catch a Crystal Cable Car
Yes, a crystal clear-bottomed cable car can take you from Tung Chung and the Ngong Ping Cable Car Lower Terminus right up to Ngong Ping 360 and the Giant Buddha. My kids LOVED this trip and the Cable Car journey swaying in the mist and wind was a highlight. Take a peek at our video here.
9. Drop from the sky with those upright Green Army Toy Soldiers from the Toy Story Movie!
Ok, this one is our guise to bring you a bit of Disney magic. We LOVE Disney and any opportunity we have to share that, we’ll take it. This ride of a parachute training drill looks super fun too so we HAD to include it in our list.
Actually at Disneyland, you can try out another whole bunch of transportation – a Jungle River Cruise, catch a Raft to Tarzan’s Treehouse, Ride Cinderella’s Carousel or Dumbo’s flying elephant, hop aboard the Disneyland Railroad, spin in one of Mad Hatter’s Tea Cup, or if you are brave enough, there’s even Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars to take your breath away!
10. Take the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) train
You’ll need a whole family day out in Hong Kong to visit Disneyland and when you do, take the MTR to Sunny Bay Station and change to the Disneyland Resort Line for a second day of transport fun!
FYI – City Essentials
Thinking about a trip to Hong Kong? Here’s a link to find ALL the information you need to know, in one place