Hong Kong’s draws are diverse and there are plentiful themed destinations and activities for those with younger children and teenagers in tow. Riding the Star Ferry across Victoria or a tram on Hong Kong Island offer very good value for money. The Peak Tramway or the Ngong Ping cable-car journeys are even more enjoyable and not significantly more expensive.
Any Madame Tussaud’s is a hit with youngsters and Hong Kong’s version comes with the added bonus of a location at the top of Victoria Peak. Apart from the likes of David Beckham and Brad Pitt, the roughly 100 waxworks at Madame Tussaud’s Hong Kong are not always instantly recognisable but this rarely matters to kids.
Some of the museums in town are geared towards youngsters and have interactive displays and exhibits designed to elicit that wow factor. In Shau Kei Wan, the 140-year-old Lei Yue Mun Fort is home to the Coastal Defence Museum. A children’s zone, a life-size torpedo and paths leading to old army monuments are guarantee to stop youngsters from getting bored.
The Maritime Museum is beside the Star Ferry pier at Central and is a huge complex packed with models of ships and interactive displays which illustrate Hong Kong’s long association with the sea and the world’s navies. Staff at the museum’s reception have various fun games for children to play.
The Museum of Tea at Flagstaff House doesn’t sound like it would be a bundle of fun for children. In reality, the historic colonial edifice features an excellent playroom where children can indulge their creative desires by designing a teapot with state-of-the-art computer software or build a copy of Flagstaff House itself from blocks.
Theme parks are another delight for the whole family. Ocean Park dates from the 1970s but has been upgraded to keep pace with the requirements of 21st century thrill-seekers. Disneyland Hong Kong opened in 2005 and boasts all the attractions of its sisters around the world but with subtle adaptations catering to Chinese tourists. Noah’s Ark is a religion- focused theme park popular with younger tourists.
Hong Kong Global Geopark is a huge chunk of the New Territories at Sai Kung. It is loaded up with stunning rock formations that are up to 140 million years old. It is possible to take a bus tour from downtown Hong Kong which stops at all the main sites. Among these are the multi-sided rock columns near the East Dam and the lifelike Devil's Fist.
The Hong Kong Observation Wheel is a fairly recent addition to the crown jewels of Hong Kong’s tourism draws. The view of from the top of this 60-metre-high big-wheel is astounding. Even though the wheel has 42 eight-person gondolas, demand for rides is high and may involve queuing for a while. This is particularly true at sunset or prior to the start of the Symphony of Lights at 20:00.