If you are looking for a family-friendly place where to escape the crowds during the holidays, why not try a less well-known area of Hong Kong?
The beaches opened just before the Easter holidays, after 9 months of closure. Most people haven’t been able to go on holiday for over a year and the sudden decrease of Covid cases has pushed millions of people outside their homes.
Despite the weather not being great, ferries were packed with extremely long queues. Most hotels were fully booked and people camped illegally on beaches, desperate to have some away-from-home time.
The urban island of Tsing Yi will never make the top 10 of Hong Hong's beauty spots but it’s definitely a great day trip destination for a family day full of fun.
Tsing Yi Promenade on Easter Monday
10 great reasons why visiting Tsing Yi with your children
1.The first big advantage is that although it’s an island there is an MTR station so it’s easily reachable. It is also well connected by bus from both Tseun Wan and Ma Wan.
Model boat pond at Tsing Yi North-East Park
2. From the MTR exit A2 and from the main bus transportation hub, there is a long and pleasant promenade with playgrounds and nice views. It is possible to use scooters, bikes, rollerblades and model cars. The promenade is 2.4 km long. When you reach the promenade remember to head north (left facing the sea) as this side is longer and more pleasant - and most importantly ends at the Tsing Yi Northeast Park which is a real blast for children.
3. If you walk for about 20 minutes along the promenade (exit A2) you will reach the Tsing Yi Northeast Park. It’s a wonderful park for families, it has grass areas for picnic and play time, model boat ponds (so bring your model boat if you have one), playgrounds, a bike rental kiosk where you can rent adults and children bikes and rickshaws and a fun bike track around the park, two basketball-cum-volleyball courts, an 11-a-side artificial turf soccer pitch, walking tiles, an outdoor gym area for adults, a gate ball court (if you want to reach the park by car or taxi the address is: 10 Tam Kon Shan Road. There is a car park). In the park there are drinking vending machines but nothing else in terms of food.
4. On a hot day head to a great public big swimming pool with water slides (Tsing Yi MTR Exit B). They have 4 swimming pools: Main pool, Teaching pool, Leisure pool, Toddlers' pool. (open from April to end of October and closed on wed - 1st Session: 6:30 am - 12:00 nn, 2nd Session: 1:00 - 6:30 pm, 3rd Session: 7:30 - 10:00 pm.
Views over the bridge
(Session breaks: 12:00 nn - 1:00 pm & 6:30 - 7:30 pm). Tel: 2435 6407, 51 Tsing King Road, Tsing Yi 青敬路51號, Just notice that some might be temporary closed so better to call in advance to double check.
Skateboard park in Tsing Yi
5. For a little more adventure take a taxi to the south or north entrance of the Tsing Yi Nature trails. It has several picnic spots, view over the impressive Ting Kau Bridge. It has a number of steps but it isn’t difficult. It takes around 1 hour to complete. You can spot birds and wildlife.
Tsing Yi Nature Trails
6. Located at the northwest corner of the island, the Lantau Link viewing platform is a great spot to take pictures and see both Tsing Ma Bridge and the Ting Kau Bridge. The visitor centre has an interesting explanation about the area. It’s free of charge. The viewing platform is open daily from 7:30a.m. to 11p.m. while the visitor centre closes at 5pm during the week and at 6.30pm at weekends and public holidays.
Closed on New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year and Christmas holidays. It’s a big area and children can run around.
Wildlife at Tsing Yi Nature Trails
7. Just outside the MTR there are two shopping malls with plenty of eating options: from pizza, to dim sum to well-known chains. Since there are a lot of restaurants
queues aren’t long even during bank holidays. You can also bring your own picnic and eat it at Tsing Yi Northeast Park grass area or at the picnic areas of the Tsing Yi Nature trails.
Dim Sum at Maritime square
8.If Tsing Yi is far away you can consider to stay here for the night as there is decent and reasonably priced accommodation. There are two big hotels, both with seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a gym. They are both around 10 minutes away by taxi from the station. Hotels are okay but don’t expect spotless, luxurious hotels. They are decent enough for a night, though.
Playground at Tsing Yi Promenade
9.If you spend the night here and you have seen what you wanted to see on the island already you might consider visiting Ma Wan island for the day. It has a beach, a number of good restaurants opposite the beach, a garden and Noah's Ark, a replica of the Noah's ark with an interesting exhibition and occasional children activities.
10. At at short taxi ride you can visit Shing Mun reservoir, a great spot for picnics, walks and seeing monkeys.
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About the author:
Violetta Polese is a journalist who has written a number of guidebooks, including City Trail Guides to Hong Kong, The Netherlands and Sudan. She has also written for National Geographic and other well-known Italian publishing houses. She is now completing a new book “Hong Kong with kids” to inspire and encourage parents to discover all there is to do with children in Hong Kong. She is a licensed tour guide in Hong Kong who loves sharing her passion for and knowledge about Hong Kong. She is passionate about traveling, languages, nature, cooking and different cultures. Asia is where she finds herself most at home.
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