We decided to visit Hong Kong this summer. Be aware it is hot in Hong Kong in June…32 degrees but feeling like 42 everyday. It is very humid and the sun is extremely hot. I now understand why people there have umbrellas; it is not for the rain but to protect you from the sun. Also many people have these personal fans that are charged via USB. Get an octopus card / person at the airport (This is used for bus, metro, ferry and at some stores) It can be reloaded at the 7-11. Also you can get a visitor sim card for your phone very cheap at the airport too.
There are many indie coffee shops which make amazing coffee but are hard to find and are very expensive. The local chain Pacific Coffee competes with Starbucks.
The two major destinations in HK that we decided to do was HK Disney and OceanPark. We went to HK Disney on the Friday and Ocean Park the following Monday. Definitely do not go on the weekend as it does get crowded. Also we were in HK before June 30th so the kids were not out of school.
HK Disney tips…we bought our Disney tickets online ahead of time from Klook as it looked like it was the cheapest. Food is not cheap at Disney. A quote from my husband, “That was the smallest; most expensive Latte that I’ve ever bought and it wasn’t even very good”. When you get there, if you go to the member’s counter, you can buy a meal package, which included 2 meals (lunch and dinner; which also includes a drink) and 2 snacks (water, pop, or frozen treat). If you are planning to stay all day, I would recommend buying the meal voucher.
We took the metro there. There is an exclusive train line that goes to Disney and the train has plush seating, Mickey mouse hand holds and disney characters decorate the train. Very nice. We got there for the opening time. Note that the only thing available for the first half hour is main street stores are open and you can meet some characters. The rest of it is roped off. Once it opened, as my son is 11, we headed directly to Tomorrowland where we spent quite a bit of time at Space mountain and Buzz lightyear. Here’s a hint, get a fast pass for Space mountain and line up for it, the lines were short, then keep getting a fast pass for Space mountain and while you wait for your time go and do Buzz lightyear.
One thing about Disney is that the lines don’t get long until early afternoon and they never really got that long about 40 minutes. Mystic Manor was a fun ride as was the Grizzly Mountain runaway mine cars. When we were there, it was hot…very hot so we made sure we picked some rides that were air conditioned like Mystic Manor and It’s a small world.
Bring a water bottle as there are fountains to refill your bottle. If your kids are not little, then you can do Disney in one day. My son was tired at the end. We stayed for the night parade but couldn’t stay for the fireworks display at the end.
Disney was friendly and well organized.
This is in contrast to Ocean Park. Ocean Park is an aquarium/amusement park. By 2017, there should be a dedicated metro line to get to Ocean Park. Again we pre-bought tickets for OceanPark on line from Klook. We got there before it opened and well waited. The maps for Ocean Park are well hidden by the sides of the entrance. You can’t see the kiosk for it as it is hidden by all the people standing and waiting for it to open.
Ocean Park has two levels, ground level and the top of the mountain level. There are two ways to get to the top of the mountain (train or cable car). First thing to note is that nothing is open up top for 30-45 minutes … so go see the Pandas and some other things on the ground level first. Then take the train up (not a long line up) The line up for the cable car is long. The top of the mountain has many rides. It was very hot so we went for the wet rapids ride 3 times. Unfortunately, the flume ride was closed. It seemed like quite a few of the rides were closed for maintenance. The map does not show elevation. For example to get to the line for the cable car, we had to go down the stairs of the restaurant to get there.
There is a lot of up and down walking in this place especially at the top of the mountain. Also, the food is expensive. There was a meal deal you could get if you were from certain countries such as Singapore, Indonesia etc. If you are only of those lucky people, I would advise you to get the voucher.
The aquariums were very interesting and the Panda display was awesome as you could see the Pandas up close. Red and the Traditional Pandas. My take on this place is that the rides are secondary (added bonus) but the aquariums and wildlife shows were more interesting. We watched the dolphin and seal show which was very good.
We did take the cable car but did it going down as the line was short (the view is very nice) however, the ride is long as it stops many times due to loading and unloading people issues.