My two daughters and I joined my husband on a recent flight to Hong Kong, which allowed us to spend one full day in the city during his layover. It was the girls’ first time there, so we wanted to show them all the sights, or as many as we could accommodate in one day.
We got up early and indulged in the delectable international breakfast buffet at the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel. My eight-year-old said it was the best breakfast she’s ever had. Next we caught a ferry over to Kowloon. It only costs about a dollar per person. It’s direct and quick transportation to Kowloon, and my kids loved the experience of riding the ferry across the harbor.
Once in Kowloon, I dragged them to my optometrist, Jackson Optical, so I could get an eye exam and new prescription sunglasses. Jackson Optical is a family run business with top-end equipment, a great selection of lenses, offers free eye exams, and caters to English-speaking Westerners. I was able to walk right in without an appointment, get an exam, and order new glasses. Had we been staying there a couple of days, they would have had them messengered over to my hotel. However, since we were leaving that evening, I opted for the complimentary shipping service.
Next we took a walk over to the Flower Market. The kids enjoyed seeing the colorful variety of flowers and plants everywhere. We continued on to the Bird Garden, where men bring their songbirds in small but ornate wooden cages to hang in trees and visit while their birds get some fresh air and sing. I found it interesting that bird care is definitely a man’s hobby in Hong Kong. From there, we walked over to the Goldfish Market, where the street is lined with dozens upon dozens of aquarium stores and other pet shops. We stopped along the way at a nearby restaurant for a Cantonese lunch of chicken, rice, and fried squid.
By the time we were through there, the kids were ready to return to the hotel. We opted for the subway back to the hotel. It was a Sunday, and the kids noticed all the domestic workers spending their one day off gathered in the parks, along the walkways, and any other public areas to eat their picnic lunches, gossip, listen to music, and take comfort in each others’ company. Once back at the hotel, we took a quick nap before heading back out for afternoon sightseeing.
We took the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak. The line was long on a Sunday afternoon, but the kids admitted after-the-fact that the steep tram ride up the hill and the views from the top were worth the wait. Rather than wait in line for the return tram ride back down, we hopped in a cab to take us back down the hill. We stopped at my husband’s favorite Korean Barbecue restaurant for dinner, where the kids got to cook their own food at the table and tried all sorts of new meats and vegetables.
It was a full but productive day, and our daughters loved their first quick trip to Hong Kong.