Travel

10 Tips for Travelling in Hong Kong with Babies & Young Children

travel tips, Hong Kong travel tips, HK travel

After sharing my Hong Kong shopping haul a couple weeks ago, a lovely reader – Hi Grace! – asked if I could share some tips as she would be going to Hong Kong in September.  Although I am not from Hong Kong (my parents are but I’m a true Scottish lassie!), I have holidayed there plenty of times – as a young child, grumpy teenager and as an adult.  In fact, I have been to HK for the last 8 years in a row – the lure of the cheapo shopping and yummy food haha!

Anyway, this year’s trip to HK was different as we had a baby (who was a mere 3 months old then!)…AND we survived…AND rebooked our flights to spend another week in HK so it must have been good!

Here are 10 tips for travelling in Hong Kong with babies and young children :-

1.  First of all, you need to survive travelling there and my top tip is book an overnight flight.  Bunty was asleep before take-off!  She was like a total angel and did not make a peep.  I didn’t have to pacify her at all.  Did I gloat like a proud mum?  You betcha!  But yeah, if you are worried your child may need pacifying due to the air pressure or general grumpiness, pack all your pacifiers – dummy, milk bottle, blinky, paracetamol, whatever – in your handbag for easy access.

2.  Keep calm and carry on!  Just a gentle reminder to remain zen throughout your travels.  Kids have some weird mummy sensor and if they know you are stressed, they get stressed too.  If your kid has a meltdown, now is not the time for YOU to have a meltdown.  If you’re on the plane when it happens, remember that there’s alcohol in the drinks trolley 😛  And if it happens when you’re out and about in HK, don’t worry because Hong Kong-ers walk so fast that they probably didn’t even notice!

Mamas & Papas stroller in Snoopy's World, Shatin New Town Plaza

3.  Hong Kong is NOT pram-friendly.  Leave the big prams at home & bring a baby carrier or buy a small, cheap stroller.  I have noticed that in Australia and UK that it’s very common for parents to have those BIG ASS PRAMS – it’s like, the bigger the better!  We’re guilty of that too.  We have an Uppababy Alta which is amazing but not for HK.  HK is crammed full of people and spaces are tight.  And HK-ers do NOT care if you have a baby – they WILL push you out of the way if you are too slow.  For Bunty, we splashed out on an Ergobaby carrier and let me tell ya, my husband carried her for 8 hours straight AND carried the heavy nappy bag and he’s still alive!  And in HK, you WILL do a lot of walking!  In some big malls, they will loan you a baby stroller.  But I didn’t actually see many strollers on the streets.  On the way back to Australia from Scotland, when we stopped off in Hong Kong again, my mum insisted we bring back a cheap Mamas & Papas stroller to use – we used it a few times and it was useful for either transporting the baby or putting all our bags and shopping in there.

4.  Bring a couple pairs of comfy shoes.  As mentioned before, you will do a lot of walking in HK.  And if you are using public transport, most of the lifts available are TINY and there will be queues to get on the lifts.  Plus there may be rude HK-ers who skip the queue!!!

Ergobaby carrier for 3 month old, Ergobaby carrier for travelling, Ergobaby for travelling in Hong Kong

5.  If you intend to use public transport, buy your Octopus card(s) at the airport.  Children under 3 do NOT need to pay.  Children aged 3-11 will need a Child Octopus card.  There are no ticketed fare options.  The Octopus card is WOW!  You can top up at all 7-11 stores (one in every corner guaranteed!) and you can even pay for goods with your Octopus card.  If you have any money left at the end of your trip, you can get it refunded to you.  The MTR (Mass Transit Railway) system in HK is very fast and efficient with English signs…but it is hard to get seats.  Even in Priority Seats for the elderly, disabled & pregnant – the non-priority people will sit there, look at their phones and pretend not to see you.  It is also extremely crammed during peak times.  There were only 2-3 kind souls who offered their seat for my husband who had Bunty in the Ergobaby carrier for our 2 week duration and we used public transport multiple times a day.

(Note :  There are no legal requirements in Hong Kong for babies and children to have car seats so hold onto them tight when you’re in taxis because some cab drivers drive like maniacs!)

baby change room at k11 mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

6.  Baby change facilities are a rarity.  Even at Hong Kong airport, the only baby change facility was a change table in the ladies toilet next to the hand dryer – so inconvenient.  And so sexist!  My Husband changes the nappies 90% of the time because he is pretty hands-on.  In Hong Kong malls, some had no facilities whatsover and some had one room with long queues.  Here are some I took note of :-
– K11 Shopping Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui – THE BEST baby change facilities – baby wipes, baby powder and even scales!  Unfortunately, Bunty didn’t need a nappy change or a feed when we were walking around here.  And yes, I HAD to take a photo of it!
– Langham Place in Mong Kok – ask at the Information Desk because you need a key to get access to a tiny room which has one crappy chair.
– New Town Plaza in Sha Tin – a spacious room with bottle warmer, some wipes, comfy seat – but beware of long queues
– Tai Po Mega Mall – a big area so 3-4 parents can change nappies at the same time with a separate feeding area

7.  There usually is at least one children’s toilet cubicle in the Ladies section (not sure about the Men’s toilets) so if your child is desperately needing the toilet, you do not need to wait in line like the rest of us.  I also noticed that in some cubicles, there are child seats in there so you can strap in your child while you do your own business.

8.  Breastfeeding indiscreetly in public is a no-no.  It is culturally not acceptable to be so “open” in Hong Kong.  I think a lot of Chinese people use formula as they go nuts over tins of formula milk and people from China go to HK to stock up!!!  Unless there is a baby room, you may have to breastfeed anywhere you can.  I did it at cafes and restaurants with a breastfeeding cover over me and there was one time where the waitresses all gathered round to watch, snigger, point and talk about me!  Yes, they did!  They don’t think that is rude…weird huh!  Anyway, buy yourself a breastfeeding cover off eBay and you can whip it out when you need it.

9.  Keep the kids amused at malls (and enjoy the air con!).  Most malls have an amusement area for children where they pay to play games on machines to win tickets to redeem stuff.  My 6 younger siblings and I used to go to these places a lot and waste money haha.  Sha Tin’s New Town Plaza has Snoopy’s World (pictured above) which is free entry but it wasn’t that exciting.

10.  Have fun!  There are plenty of tourist attractions in Hong Kong which are family friendly – Hong Kong Disneyland (stay for the fireworks!), Noah’s Ark, Ocean Park, etc.  Avoid going at weekends if possible as queues will be HUMUNGOUS.  Even during the weekdays, they are crazy busy too.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful if you are going to Hong Kong with kids.  If you have any other travel tips, please include them in the comments section.  Happy holidaying 🙂

Disclaimer :  Affiliate links have been used in this post which means I get a small commission if you click on the links and purchase from there at NO EXTRA COST to you.  Thank you for your support.  And happy travelling!!!

30 Things That Happened During My Beauty Blog Break

Hello Friday!  Hello February 2013!  And hello to all my lovely readers – if you are still there 😛  As you all know, I went on an extended beauty blog break due to health issues and I just want to let you all know that I am definitely in a better place than I was a few weeks ago.  Some days are harder than others but I am trying not to dwell on the past.  Thanks for showering me with all the lovely messages – I know who my real readers / blog friends / online friends are – see the list of names in my previous post.  Anyway, do you want to know what I got up to during my beauty blog break?  Yes, I went to Hong Kong but I did a lot of other things too!  If you don’t want to know, click away 😛 but if you do, here are 30 things that happened during my beauty blog break :-

virgin atlantic, virgin atlantic airways, virgin aeroplane

On the way to Hong Kong with my Mum and Sister

01.  My Sister and I went nuts at the beauty counters at the Duty Free bit in Sydney airport.

02.  Basically, we slathered on every expensive lotion and potion we could find!  The Sales Assistants at Duty Free are so not-in-your-face and we could browse freely at La Mer, Chanel, La Prairie, etc.

03.  I bought 2 YSL coral cream blushes – one for me, one for my Sis.

04.  We vowed  never to fly Virgin Atlantic again.

05.  The Virgin Atlantic flight attendants for our SYD-HK flight were DAMN RUDE and one of them rolled her eyes at my Sis when she asked for another packet of pretzels.

06.  The second packets of pretzels were for me because I was DAMN HUNGRY and there were only 5 mini pretzels in the packet anyway!

07.  I had sticky feet during the flight because another flight attendant dropped a glass of sticky shizz all over my fake Croc thongs (yes, I travel in style huh?)

08.  I can handle bitchy flight attendants but I cannot handle sitting in a 9 hour flight with a TV screen which was situated not in front of me…but diagonal to me!!!  WTF?  We were a row of 3 sitting behind a row of 4, hence awkward TV screen placement!

09.  And to top it off, the kid sitting behind me repeatedly kicked my seat and slammed his food tray back and forth.  I swear it was worse than turbulence itself!

10.  I gave the kid’s father the evil eye but he ignored me just like he ignored his kid.  I should have grown some balls and said something.    Alas, no balls grew.  Anyone got a Guide To Growing Balls to lend me?

{ CONTINUE READING }

Hong Kong Haul – Part 3

Haul posts on blogs are like Justin Bieber songs – you either love it or hate it.  For me, I’m not a Belieber but I enjoy reading haul posts because I am extremely nosey and love to know what products make people part with their hard-earned money.  These posts also highlight that beauty bloggers don’t blog for “freebies” because they actually having a crazy addiction to beauty products – LOL!  Here is my third and final instalment of my Hong Kong Haul (Part 1, Part2) with prices (if noted) in HKD and my JFP’s (Justification For Purchase).

Day 7 – Shopping in Mong Kok

Hong Kong shopping haul

2 x boxes of false lashes ($100) – JFP : I go through boxes of falsies easily because I don’t reuse them…because I am too lazy to wash them.  I flick them off and leave them lying around the house…and sometimes, I mistake them for spider legs!  LOL
Hada Labo Arbutin Whitening Lotion ($98) – JFP : As you read yesterday, I bought a Hitachi Hadacrie and it requires usage of toning lotions so what better excuse?  Besides, this is another of Japan’s No.1 products – and I always fall for that line!
Liese Bubble Hair Colour in Chiffon Beige ($75) – JFP : I’ve been dying (pun intended!) to dye my hair and we all know it’s cheaper when it’s DIY.

Day 8 – Shopping in Fanling

Pond’s Flawless White Toner ($40) – JFP : As mentioned above, I need toners to make my Hitachi Hadacrie work and this was nice and cheap.
Za Cosmetics Foundation & Case Set ($115) – JFP : I’ve never tried Za products before so when I saw that the compact foundie came with a pretty pink metallic case, I knew I had to buy it.  My other compact foundation is rapidly depleting.

Day 9 – Shopping in Sha Tin

Chinese books with two make-up books from Kevin (a Taiwanese make-up artist) ($98), a baking book ($98) and a couple of learn Chinese books ($150).  – JFP : So I figured that I would learn Chinese and then be able to read the other books and have beautiful Asian make-up and yummy Chinese cakes to eat.  We’ll see how that turns out!
Sasa is a beauty blogger’s dream place to own!  I picked up 4 x Arezia mini nail polishes ($20), 2 x Naris Up Brow Pencils, 24-hour black eyeliners, brow stencil, nail clippers, lash glue, 2 x deodorant spray, blackhead masks, etc, etc. ($6??) – JFP : Anything which promises to beautify me and it’s getting in my shopping basket!

Day 10 – Shopping in Sham Shui Po

Domo bag ($60), Domo slippers ($60), Domo baggy ($20) and My Melody baggy ($20) – JFP : I went Domo crazy and they were just too adorable not to buy!

Day 11 – Shopping in Fanling, Tai Po and HKIA

Hello Kitty tokidoki figurine (free) – Redeemable from 7-11 with adequate spending stickers.  Isn’t it gorgeous?!
Panasonic Rice Cooker SR-TMG10 ($499) – JFP : Our ex-rice cooker had a severely scratched base and I’m sure it’s not healthy eating from it.  Why has this been included in my haul post?  Because it’s pretty and pink and my Dad bought me it 🙂
Adidas Falcon Elite running trainers ($479) – JFP : It’s hot pink!  And I am hoping it will encourage me to get fit.  Although, I have a confession…it’s half a size too small for me!  But it’s hot pink, yeah??!!!
Schick Quattro shaving blades – JFP : Gotta buy some refills for one of my fave gadgets!
2 x Revlon Lip Butters in Pink Truffle & Macaroon ($150) – JFP : Everyone on the beauty blogosphere has been raving about these babies so I had to see what the fuss was all about.
Chanel Rouge Allure in 74 Comedia ($230) – JFP : I have wanted a Chanel lippy since I started beauty blogging.  I actually lusted after RAL Dragon for a long long time…but when the SA tried it on my lips, I was mortified as it was uggo on me!  Anyway, I really shouldn’t have splurged but it’s so much cheaper than what I would have to pay if I bought it in Australia.  But I am not sure about it as I didn’t research it well enough before making this spontaneous purchase at the Airport.   And the annoying thing is that it didn’t come in a Chanel paper bag but a stupid airport plastic bag.  Noooooooo!!!!

And we’re done with all the haulage!  Phew!  Normal posting should hopefully resume by next week  Friday with countless beauty reviews coming your way!

What have you bought recently?

Hong Kong Haul – Part 2

If you joined us yesterday, you will know that today’s post is Part 2 of my Hong Kong Haul.  JFP is my Justification For Purchase and prices are listed in HKD.

Day 4 – Shopping in Mong Kok Argyle Centre

Argyle Centre in Mong Kok is a fantastic mall for young women for cheap and cheerful fashion, accessories, shoes and bags. I went on a mini shopping spree in here and bought an assortment of stuff. A couple of red dresses, jumpers, a cardi, a few short skirts and a pair of shorts. ($???) –  JFP : I need a new wardrobe!
3 x patterned tights (or stockings if you’re Aussie) ($120) – JFP : My bare legs are scary and will blind babies so I need something to cover them up when I wear short skirts.
3 x Hello Kitty PJs ($240) – JFP : Have I mentioned that I love Hello Kitty?
Assortment of hair accessories – JFP : This year, I am going to fall in love with my hair.
Dark blue A4 envelope clutch ($40) – JFP : It’s trendy and I wanted to buy a bigger version of the pink clutch from yesterday’s haul.

Day 5 – Shopping in Causeway Bay

2 x Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer ($104) – JFP : This is my favourite eye primer but it’s so hard to find a place which stocks it! I had to buy two!
Peripera Kiss Tint 3 ($80) – JFP : I was determined to try a Peripera product ever since I lip stalked this Korean brand…but I was to cheapa$$ to buy a lippy so I got this instead because the SA said that you can apply it on your cheeks as well as your lips.
Holika Holika Heart Ful Moisture Lipstick in Candy Red ($98) – JFP : It’s my first time seeing a heart-shaped bullet lippy so of course, being a Lip Stalker, I had to add it to my collection!
3 x Innisfree Face Sheet Masks ($30) – JFP : A girl can never have too many facial sheet masks!  Agree?

Day 6 – Shopping in Sheung Shui

Hitachi Hadacrie ($1880) – JFP : Apparently, it’s Japan’s No.1 beauty gadget so that was enough for me!  This baby does wonders for my skin and I cannot wait to show you my review!  It was also my most exxy purchase in my HK trip!
Toy Story Alien Flask (free) – The Hitachi Hadacrie GWP = Gift With Purchase from Fortress.
Shu Uemura Point Cealer ($210) – JFP : My Shu Uemura Mark Cealer is running out but it’s discontinued and Point Cealer is its successor.
[P.S.  I also bought a Shu Uemura eyebrow pencil ($150)…but I looked at it and thought that I can’t master pencilling in my brows and sent that off for my youngest sister as a birthday present…and it happens to be her birthday today!  Happy birthday bi-atch!  I am such a loving big sister, aren’t I?  LOL]

I hope you aren’t all bored with my haul posts because the third and final instalment will be tomorrow – same time, same place.

Hong Kong Haul – Part 1

The title says it all!  There are only two things that I love to do in Hong Kong and that is eat & shop followed by shop & eat!  Hehe!!!  Admittedly, I didn’t do my usual Hong Kong splenderiffic spending spree due to lack of funding (dammit for being unemployed except for one day of the week!) but I still tried my best.  I was in Hong Kong for 11 days so I have split the haulage up into a few parts.  And I did buy other stuff for family and friends but I will only feature the relevant stuff I bought for little old me and my Justification For Purchase (JFP).  All prices are in HKD.  So are we ready?  Let’s go…

Day 1 – Shopping in Mong Kok Street Markets

Hello Kitty glasses ($40) – JFP : I heart Hello Kitty forever!
Pink A5 envelope clutch ($35) – JFP : It’s pink and envelope clutches are so trendy at the moment.  It also comes with a detachable wrist strap and a long strap.  Saw the same bag for sale in malls for more than double the price and I was chuffed because I had definitely scored a bargain!  I went back to the same stall later to get another clutch which you will see in a later post.
3 x towels of Hello Kitty, Angry Birds and Doraemon ($100) – JFP : I only use towels with cartoon characters because I come from a family of 9 and we had to distinguish which towel belonged to who…(I don’t wanna use the same towel as my teenage brother!!) – so it’s a lifelong habit now.

Day 2 – Shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui Streets

Fluffy bear scarf with hat and pockets ($60) – JFP : As it was Winter, HK nights got a bit chilly so I needed something to warm me up.  And it helps that this scarf is a cutie.
Black fluffy cat big bag ($80) – JFP : The cat’s big eyes looked at me and said, “Buy me now!” so I was only obeying orders!
Stitch iPhone cover ($60) – JFP : *squee*  The ears pop out when you press the top button.  So adorbs.  How could I resist?  All of my friends and colleagues who have seen this Stitch cover love it too!

Day 3 – Shopping in Tai Po & Sha Tin Malls

Inseta H2O Make-Up Removing Lotion ($98) – JFP : I wanted to see how it differs from the highly popular Bioderma Crealine H2O
Uniqlo Ultra Seamless Brief ($79) – JFP : I have VPL 365 days a year so I thought it was time to check out seamless undies!
Muji SPF 25 Cream Foundation ($80) – JFP : I was panicking because I hadn’t bought any make-up products and it was Day 3 already…so I bought a foundie from Muji which was getting discontinued.  WTF?  *shakes my head*  The worst JFP ever!!!
Muji Blusher & Eyeshadow Combo ($100) – JFP : Pretty in pink!  And then I saw the same product in Tine’s haul!  We have similar taste – yay!
Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss Bar in 04 Cherry ($?? ) – JFP : I’m a Lip Stalker so if it’s pink and cute, I gotta have it!

What do you think of my haul so far?

I have come to the conclusion that I buy stuff that is cheap / pink / Hello Kitty / cute!

Stay tuned for Hong Kong Haul Part 2 tomorrow – same time, same place.