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Single mum

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Single mum

Hi I'm a single mum of 2 boys (5 &7)and I'm considering taking a trip to hong kong for about 14 days I'm wondering a few things

1. Is 14 days too long?

2 how crowded are places like Disneyland,ocean park and the markets?

3. Which hotel will have a decent babysitter and charge reasonable rates and what are they per hour etc?

4. What should I be paying for a decent room with maybe a pool, or should we try 2-3 different hotels whilst there?

Thanks in advance!

Hong Kong, China
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1. Re: Single mum

Hello Crazyhelen

Welcome to TA and the Hong Kong Forum,

Just a few thoughts regarding your questions.

1. Is 14 days too long?

Maybe not too long if you love it here but many will suggest that 14 days is a bit too much for Hong Kong alone.

The wife and I have guests that regularly come to Hong Kong for 7-10 days, which includes 2/3 nights in Macau, also an advisable option even bringing kids to Hong Kong. Anything more than that, its probably time to start thinking about another destination to add to your trip to keep things from fresh and exciting during your trip to SE Asia.

I might suggest looking for an additional destination - like a beach resort in the Philippines, Thailand, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia or seeing Singapore for a few days, while spending 8-10 days in Hong Kong/Macau.

>>>>2 how crowded are places like Disneyland,ocean park and the markets?<<<

Well, this is Hong Kong and its very crowded all of the time. On weekends our theme parks and other attractions can be overly crowded, making it uncomfortable for some. Suggest visiting these type attractions on weekdays and/or going early in the morning so you can enjoy yourself before the swarms of people arrive.

This is another reason I usually suggest clubbing a beach resort to a 1+ week Hong Kong trip. HK crowds and lack of space can wear you down a bit, a nice beach at Boracay, Philippines or those near Phuket, Thailand can really help relax you before going back home.

>>3. Which hotel will have a decent babysitter and charge reasonable rates and what are they per hour etc?<<<

Will defer response to my good friends on this forum that have children.

>>>4. What should I be paying for a decent room with maybe a pool, or should we try 2-3 different hotels whilst there?<<<

What I can suggest is looking at Royal Plaza hotel in Mongkok, which has proven to be a good option for families in terms of what it provides for the amount you spend. This will give you a good indication of what costs you should be prepared to spend during the time you are interested in coming to HK.

What I can also suggest is to not hold out on booking your room in HK. Avg. room rates in HK skyrocketed last year as our visitor numbers are over 41 million per year for our tiny island nation. Lots of pressure on hotel availability so if you find something you like, I'd book early to avoid rates going up across the board later when you are interested in reserving.

Also, keep in mind that HK is actually quite small geographically and everything is very well connected by MTR trains and local buses, supplemented by affordable and plentiful taxi service. Thus, unlike other cities around the world, switching hotels in HK is not that helpful. You can pretty get anywhere you want quite quickly here.

I'll leave you couple of attraction travel lists to help you research what might want to do while in HK. One list in particular, you might find useful, is the HK with kiddies list, we've tried to highlight activities that are child-friendly.

Hong Kong Must See/Do Attractions

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i23948-What_to_…

Hong Kong with kiddies

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i26165-Hong_Kon…

Best of Victoria Harbour

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i27892-Best_of_…

Mongkok Markets

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i24685-Mongkok_…

Temples and Monasteries

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i25656-Hong_Kon…

Macau Day Trip

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i26979-Macau_Da…

A Day in Sha Tin

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i24058-A_Day_in…

Anyway, hope this helps and good luck in your HK trip research.

Tin
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2. Re: Single mum

Have a look at www.discoverhongkong.com to see how much to do and to see for yourself.

Australia
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3. Re: Single mum

Welcome to Tripadvisor and the HK Forums! :)

(1) I say 'no', but, then again, I say this as a biased fan. I actually think BradJill's suggestion of looking at another destination (other than Macau, which you can group with HK) is a great one. HK is a great launch pad to go to other destinations, and with many airlines (including budget airlines) available, you have plenty of options.

Apart from HK Tourism's site, as Tin mentioned, an excellent website is HK Extras: http://www.hongkongextras.com/ which is jam-packed with tons of great info about various sights/attractions, transport tips, photos, etc.

(2) I'm not sure where you live, but, if you come from a quiet city/town, then, HK is going to be busy like you've never seen! However, if you come from a hectic and busy city, then, you should have no issues.

Going on weekdays to all major sights/attractions like Disneyland, Ocean Park, taking the Ngong Ping Cable Car up to see the Giant Buddha and Po Lin Monastery, etc. will usually be less crowded, unless, your trip coincides with public or school holidays.

The markets you can leave for weekends, so long as you go in prepared for crowds! Same goes with shopping malls!

(3) I'm actually not sure about this one, but, quite a number of hotels offer babysitting services. You'll probably need to contact the hotel directly about this though, as I'm not sure what prices they usually char

(4) HK hotels are not cheap, unfortunately. It's a bit difficult to give you a rough idea of pices, as it really depends on when you'll be in HK. As you can probably imagine, if you're going during peak season, expect hotel prices to be a lot higher than normal. Even during non-peak season, hotel prices can be high (but, then again, it depends really on what you want to spend and how you define "high"). If you take a look at sites like www.wotif.com/ or www.hotels.com/ or www.booking.com/ (and any others you're familiar with, including the hotel's own website prices), you should be able get a rough idea of what to possibly expect during your travel dates.

Be aware that HK hotels are generally a lot smaller in size than elsewhere. If you're after space, you can generally expect to pay premium prices for the luxury of having space.

Some family hotels (or hotels with 2 double beds, etc.) include (this includes a mixture of five star hotels and down, so, prices differ greatly - These are in no particular order either): Langham Place Hotel, Marco Polo HK Hotel, YMCA Salisbury (recommended around here a lot because it's in a prime location - If you're willing to pay extra, you can get a harbourview room without the five star price tag like that of its neighbour, the Peninsular Hotel - they will be undergoing renovations later this year), Holiday Inn Golden Mile, Royal Plaza Hotel, Hotel Benito, Park Hotel, Gateway Hotel (undergoing remodeling, but I'm not sure whether they've finished or not), Prince Hotel (under renovations until September), BP International, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Cosmo Hotel, and Caritas Bianchi Lodge. Not all of these hotels offer pools though!

I would advise against changing to another hotel during your stay, unless, you happen to get a good bargain or really want to experience staying on HK Island for some time, and then, want to stay on Kowloon for some time. Public transport in HK is brilliant and very efficient, so, you will have no problems getting around HK from anywhere to anywhere. It's just a bit of a hassle to unpack, repack, move, and repeat the process again, I think. However, this is up to personal choice.

If you draw up a list of hotels that you're interested in, I'm sure we can advise on their location, etc., so, that you can make the right choice.

Good luck with your planning and have a GREAT time in HK! :)

Edited: 27 April 2012, 07:08
Australia
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4. Re: Single mum

Please note that I have no experiences with this company, but, it might give you a guide in terms of rough prices to expect for babysitting services. You should be able to find mentions/reviews, if you google around. From what I've read, you'll need to book in advance, as they can be quite busy.

Rent-A-Mum: http://www.rent-a-mum.com/index.html

Good luck with your planning and have an AMAZING trip! :)

Edited: 27 April 2012, 07:16
Hong Kong, China
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5. Re: Single mum

Although I personally would NEVER leave my children to a stranger in a foreign city...it is understandable if you want some time alone.

Grand Hyatt, Renaissance Harbourview and YMCA Salisbury are three that I know ....offer babysitting services if requested....can be arranged.

How good...how reliable....how safe.....NO idea

However....your kids are not babies. Wouldnt it be a better idea for them to go in an indoor playground such as Playtown......for a couple of hours and you can go shopping versus leaving them in the hotel with a stranger?

Disneyland Hotel also offers babysitting.

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6. Re: Single mum

Goodness thanks for all the replies!

This is going to be our holiday of a lifetime as I'm not going to ever afford to do another one!

I am thinking that spending a few days in a resort would be good, but I just can't verify spending money to sun bake particularly being on my own with my boys!

I am also going from Hobart Australia! So it's going to be fantastic to have a huge cultural shock and some warm climate will be great!

but I'm also concerned that my eldest could be looked upon as a crazy child as he has autism and mild cerebral palsy which I will take his stroller as his legs tire faster than the 5 year old.

Thanks so much for all the info! You are all saving the interigation which I will give the travel agent when I book!

Sydney
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7. Re: Single mum

In terms of crowds we found the markets got more crowded the longer they were open. A stroller would be almost impossible to get through once they are crowded.

We went to Ocean Park during the week and arrived as it opened on the side with the pandas. The first couple of hours were very peaceful. Busloads of visitors then arrived and it got busier. A stroller would have been ok in this crowd. I am sure it would be busier on weekends.

Disneyland would have been ok with a stroller.

We had 10 days in Hong Kong with 3 children aged 9, 8 and 6. They loved it so much and we would have happily filled more days. They would have definately gone to Disneyland for a second day (we basically did everything in 1 day but they would have happily done it all again).

We did lots of walking (used the Discover Hong Kong website to follow self guided walking tours that showed us many different parts of Hong Kong) and used public transport to get everywhere. The transport is efficient, safe and cheap.

The stroller may be difficult to use on public transport as it was often reasonably crowded.

With 14 days you will have plenty of time to do things that many tourists don't have time for such as going out to some of the islands. We loved Cheung Chau. This shows a different side of Hong Kong. These islands are an easy ferry trip from Central.

Australia
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8. Re: Single mum

I don't think it's the cultural shock as such as the massive amounts of people there are! I remember the first time I went to HK (many years ago now), and it was amazing just how many people were crossing the road!

Public transport is relatively cheap, so, you should be able to get around quite easily without tours and whatnot, but, of course, that's up to personal choice. There is nothing in HK that you can't see on your own and usually for less. Taxis in HK are cheap in comparison to other cities, so, they may be a good option as well. Just be aware that they usually only accept payment with HKD cash, as only a limited number accept credit cards.

I'm not sure what you're booking with the travel agent (whether it be just flights or flights + accommodation, etc.), but, if you're booking accommodation with them, try and make sure your hotel is well-located within walking distance to an MTR station. This will make it easier for you and your kids. I say this because I know the hotels I've seen offered in packages by travel agents have included hotels that are either quite 'out of the way' (definitely NOT what you want) or in more residential areas (this is not an issue at all, I think, as most are still located near the MTR station, which is more important, I think, but, it might be for you, if you actually want to be right where all the action is). Feel free to post any hotels you've come across, and we'll be able to advise you about its location and whatnot. I definitely recommend that you read up on reviews posted here on Tripadvisor, so, you get a good idea of what to expect before making any bookings.

If possible, try and avoid peak periods on public transport, especially, if you're going to have a stroller with you, as the MTR will be jam-packed to say the least!

Let us know more about your trip, and hopefully we can help you out further!

Good luck with your planning and have an AMAZING trip! :)

Edited: 28 April 2012, 09:19
9. Re: Single mum

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