BEST OF ALL, IT’S IN HONG KONG
So I was packing my bags for the next jaunt when my daughter dear asked me, “Papa how come you never take me to these trips? “ As I kept the next T-shirt in the bag, and checked the camera cables, I explained to her that she has school to attend and we go for family trips during their vacations.
She smiled back and said, “Yes, and I am already looking forward to my summer vacations because we will sure go to a fun place again this year?” It was part statement and part question.
“of course”, I said, “We will sure go to a fun place where all of us can enjoy together.” Now this set the ball rolling with the Wife jee also joining the conversation and as I continued to pack my bags we were also planning to go to a family fun place during summer vacations.
The daughter dear had her list of requirements for a summer holiday destination ready, she for sure wants to go to a theme park where she can meet her favorite characters and she also wants to see Dolphins. Wife jee had her priorities clear, she wants to do some shopping and she is very clear she does not want to go on a camping trip or on a long trek. As for the elder one, she wants to see places which have appeared in movies outside of India. So I promised them that once I am back we will do some research on this dream family destination that has something for everybody in the family. Once I was back the topic was brought up again but even before I could say anything our elder daughter said, “I think we all want to go to a place we all have something to do with Hong Kong and they sang in chorus “BEST OF ALL, IT’S IN HONG KONG”
“Hong Kong?” I wondered, “What makes you think you want to go to Hong Kong.?” But the kid had some solid logic in place for advocating a trip to Hong Kong.
“Well if there is only one reason to go to Hong Kong I can go there for Iron Man”, said our bubbling Hollywood fan, “And if you remember Dad, that famous jump from a Sky Scraper that Angelina Jolie and Gerard Butler made was also in Hong Kong, I want to go on those boats “ You mean Chinese Junks I informed her.
“Angelina Jolie?” uttered Wife Jee, “Angelina has been to Hong Kong? Then it must be a good place to shop, and anyways your father is a big fan of her I am sure he would love to see the places where her movies were shot.” Embarrassed at the suggestion of me liking Angelina in front of kids, I gave a faint smile and said, “Yes Hong Kong looks like a great family fun destination, let us do some more research”
“No need Papa”, said our chirping young one, I already checked, they have Disneyland in Hong Kong so I also want to go to Hong Kong. This sealed the deal in favor of Hong Kong and we all got excited about visiting the most magical city in Asia, aka Hong Kong that has the ethos of east and the efficiency and infrastructure of the west, basically best of both worlds. I also liked the fact that Hong Kong is directly connected to Delhi and a few other cities in India so no hassle of changing flights.
As the kids have already done some good research we are planning to visit some of the main attractions of Hong Kong and have some good time covering the city that has so many attractions that one visit is just not enough. The good thing is that Hong Kong is such a welcoming city that you feel at home and almost everybody speaks English there (besides Cantonese) so communication is not an issue at all. As I have been to Hong Kong earlier I know from my personal experience how much easy it is to commute within Hong Kong for a tourist. The Hong Kong Airport is directly connected by Metro to the city center and also to other attractions. Here is our plan to explore Hong Kong.
- OCEAN PARK: We want to start with the Ocean Park and see some of the marine attractions there. The younger one will also be able to see the Dolphins she has always wanted to see. I am especially looking forward to observing the King Penguins and the Pandas. The park has a special program where you get to be an Honorary Panda Keeper wear a special dress and watch and learn how to prepare meals and toys for the Pandas.
- Star ferry and Victoria Harbour: No visit to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to the Victoria harbor and enjoy the ride in the iconic & charming Star Ferry boats have been faithfully carrying passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and back since 1888. The cherry on the cake is that these ferries have a desi connection as they were started by an Indian Parsee businessman Darabjee Naorojee Mithaiwala, in 1880, before he sold it to Sir Catchick Paul Chater in 1898 when they have renamed it as Star Ferry. This fun ferry ride beings with only around 21 INR or 2.5 HKD Can you beat that? Traveling back in time to the prices that are like old-time only. Best of all, it’s in Hong Kong and it is not just for tourists as famous movie star Michael Wong points out, “ It’s not just a tourist attraction, it’s also a daily commute for many Hong Kong people.” So while we may be enjoying a fun ride we are also living the life of local people as we take the top ferry ride in the world as rated by Society of American Travel Writers.
- Hong Kong Tram: Talking about history, Hong Kong is one of the rare cities in the world and more so in Asia where those good old Trams still function. Although I have been in a tram in San Francisco and seen them in our own Kolkata, but Hong Kong Tramways is the world’s largest fleet of double-deck tramcars. Yes, you read it right double-deck tramcars. The child in me is already chugging along
- Hong Kong Disneyland: Truth be told, it is not just the kids who are excited about Disneyland, I am equally a fan of Disneyland and though I have never confessed this before let me accept this here on desi Traveler, “ I Prasad Np, aka desi Traveler, accept without any pressure or prejudice that I want to visit Disneyland Hong Kong and meet my favorite characters and even get clicked with them” ‘Best of all, it’s in Hong Kong’ so I don’t have to plan a separate trip.
- Sky 100 and other Hong Kong Sky Scrapers: But let us not forget that Hong Kong is a city that has grown vertically over the years. I think Hong Kong Skyline is one of the most distinguished skylines in the world with many iconic buildings that are visible from the harbor. I think they have more skyscrapers than another place in the world and these high rises were not built to make some kind of record or to show off, but they arose out of necessity in an island where land is at a premium. So a trip to Hong Kong is not complete without going on top of Sky 100, Located on the 100th floor of Hong Kong’s tallest building (the International Commerce Centre (ICC)), – At 393 meters above sea level theSky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, is the highest indoor observation deck in the city, and offers incredible 360-degree views of Victoria Harbour. Those of you know me a bit know how much I love night photography so I am planning to take my camera there and click some images from there of the moving boats below and the skyline around. High also on the agenda is what the Guinness World Records calls “The world’s largest permanent light and sound show”, The Symphony of Lights, which takes place every evening at 8 pm local time.
Hong Kong is also a foodie’s heaven with some of the best street food as well as fine dine available from around the world. Best of all, it’s in Hong Kong and what I like is that there is no shortage of vegetarian food also. Last time I was there I could get not just vegetarian but also Indian vegetarian food even in food stores near metro stations. But our kids are clear “ Papa you want to eat Indian that is fine we are going to try all kind of food in Hong Kong,” Well what can I say? Chef’s in Hong Kong be ready for you to have two budding foodies coming soon to check out what you have to offer.
As we were doing research for the visit to Hong Kong a few interesting facts emerged e.g fabulous offers for visitors to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of Hong Kong Special Administration Region, which basically means that there are great deals on offer this summer and more information is available on here on their official Website
Before we go, for all you planning your summer holidays let me share you this video featuring Michael Wong where he takes you on a family tour of Hong Kong. I just love the vibe and joy each one in this video has as they explore Hong Kong as family together, we too hope to do the same
Watch this video with actor & pilot Michel Wong
What do you say we are excited about the idea of visiting Hong Kong this summer what about you?
Note: This post is written in collaboration with Hong Kong Tourism Board
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