Last year I introduced my husband and toddler to Hong Kong during a two-day stopover. While traversing a densely populated city with an energetic toddler was daunting, we traveled on foot and public transportation from playground to playground.
Playground: Kowloon Park
After a dim sum breakfast, we traded our buggy for a backpack to navigate the markets and crowds of Kowloon. We walked up the tourist heart of Nathan Road, refusing touts and enjoying window shopping before heading into Kowloon Park. The park is as exciting as Nathan Road, with unusual gardens, a bird pond, aviary and another fantastic playground filled with younger children in the morning. Kowloon Park, Nathan and Haiphong Roads.
After running off breakfast, we boarded the MTR to Mongkok East station and headed to the Flower, Bird and Goldfish markets. Riding the subway was plenty of fun for Mirielle, but the color of Flower Market Road, the birds and colorful cages of Yuen Po Street Bird Park, or the bags of crickets will turn heads of both adults and children. Walking south along Tung Choi Street, we passed fish and aquarium stores resembling a carnival with bags of goldfish hanging on racks just asking to be poked by a toddler. Flower Market Road and Yuen Po Street are on the north side of Prince Edward Road, West. Tung Choi Street and the Goldfish Market are to the south.
Playground: Macpherson Playground
The smell from food stalls and restaurants as we closed in on Argyle Street tempted us into a random eatery. The staff was surprised to see us, but an English speaking waiter took our kid friendly order of a duck and rice plate and pork noodles. After lunch we walked through the Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street buying tacky magnets and dollar watches. A left on Shantung Street brought us to the basic playground co-located with soccer pitch at Macpherson playground. Mirielle was more interested in the teenage boys kicking the ball than the swings. Macpherson Playground, 59 Sai Yee Street, Mongkok.
The MTR took us back from Mongkok to our hotel for a quick swim after which we were too tired to head out again. Room service and a bottle of wine paired well with the Symphony of Lights. This musical, laser and light extravaganza on the buildings of Hong Kong and Kowloon lulled Mirielle to sleep and let my husband and I admire the vibrant city we had explored.
This was originally published in the Summer 2009 issue of HipCompass Escapes.