All those who travel to Hong Kong with kids will have to face this one. Which should be a higher priority – Ocean Park, the older amusement park or Disneyland, the scion of a more famous family? Here is my take, having done this with two kids in tow a couple of weeks ago.
If you have younger kids, shoot for Disneyland first. If your kids are bit older (say 12+), Ocean Park is a better first stop. Ocean Park is a lot more outdoorsy, has a few scary rides (check out the Abyss), a really nice 3-level aquarium called the Atoll Reef and puts on a cool Dolphin & Sea lion show twice everyday. If the weather is good, this is a great (however, if the Hong Kong sun is out in force, the kids are likely to get exhausted fast). Hong Kong Disney on the other hand is more compact and has more stuff inside air conditioned comfort, allowing you to beat the normally sultry weather. The highlights of Disney are the various shows they put on. Do not miss Mickey’s Philarmagic & the Golden Mickey.
On the whole, if you have time, do both. This will keep the kids quiet when you go on your shopping rampage.
Here are 2 other suggestions for Hong Kong – one on Food and the other on a Beach.
Fuk Yeun Hotpot seafood restaurant (yes, seriously – that is the name) in Mongok, on Kowloon island introduced me to the pleasures of the Hong Kong Dim Sum. The last time I had Dim Sum somewhat close to this good was in the chinese restaurant at The Oberoi in Delhi. Dim Sums come in various types, shapes & sizes. Steamed buns, fried spring rolls, dumplings of all persuasion, veggie concoctions et al. Fuk Yuen rolled out the whole lot. And the real surprise in the package was this Capsicum & Eggplant number.
Moving on. For me, Wontons are the royalty of dim sum. Delicate dough hiding clever concoctions of meats & seafoods steamed in Bamboo steamers. Seems the cantonese word for Dim Sum also means ‘swallowing clouds’ which I guess is as apt a description as possible. Trust the ancients to get it right.
In all of this, I could not get to try out the vast array of live seafood on offer at Fuk Yuen. Tanks filled with lobsters, shrimp, clam, garoupa were all, unfortunately left behind. Next time.
The raging question of our times is obviously : Is Singapore or Hong Kong better for street food? Standing on various corners of Causeway Bay in Hong Kong earlier today, I can see the battle to be pretty close. On the whole, my guess is Singapore is a length ahead for two reasons. The first is the fact that Singapore street food offers 4 distinct cuisines (Chinese, Malay, Indian & Peranakan/Nyonya) whereas Hong Kong has mostly chinese (although Cantonese + all other great chinese cuisines are on offer). The other is the wide range of food courts that Singapore offers for hungry travellers. These food courts combine the visual variety of many different cuisines with the legendary squeaky-clean environs of that city state. Yup, one length ahead.
Incidentally, there is a rumour that Michelin Guide is on its way to Asia.