Shop! Hong Kong offers ample opportunities to splash your cash, with plenty of shopping for grown-ups – from high-end brands to bargain streetmarket finds – plus gadgetry galore for the kids. But it isn’t all about spending money – simply strolling through the amazing markets is an activity in itself, especially the daily Bird Market in Kowloon, where you’ll see some of south China’s most colourful birds on display in beautifully crafted cages hanging from trees, filling the streets with birdsong. The nearby Goldfish Market is also worth a visit, and many kids enjoy ogling the jars of dead seahorses and snakes at Sheung Wan market.
But remember that Hong Kong isn't just about shopping and eating – Hong Kong Park, Victoria Park and Kowloon Park are all great green spaces to let off steam and feed the ducks. Best of all is the practically vertical tram-ride past skyscrapers up to The Peak, where you can fly kites and enjoy the truly amazing views… oh, and say hello to David Beckham and others in Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.
Keep the kids up/out late, to see the nightly (8pm) Symphony of Lights, the world’s biggest laser and sound show, viewable for free from the Kowloon waterfront and an unforgettable part of all family holidays here.
Head to the white sands of Repulse Bay for sandcastles and swimming. The water is safe and there’s a lifeguard in summer. Don’t forget the outlying islands, either: you could easily spend a day on Lantau Island, getting there by ferry and riding its Ngong Ping cable-car to see the world’s largest outdoor seated Buddha and catch a show at the Monkey’s Tale Theatre, and hiking through its country parks. You could also take a Dolphinwatch Cruise to look for the endangered pink dolphins in the waters around Lantau.
Visit Man Mo Temple, named after the gods of literature and martial arts, whose statues you can see there. It’s hugely atmospheric, with smoke from the massive incense coils burned by worshippers filling the air and lots of fortune-sellers’ stalls.
Visit the world’s only full-size replica of Noah’s Ark at Ma Wan Park, with 67 pairs of life-size wild or endangered animal sculptures in the Ark Garden, complete with information panels.
Spend the day at Ocean Park, great for budding marine-biologists and thrill-seekers alike, with more than 20 rides plus 11 animal exhibits (including cute pandas) and a four-storey aquarium. It’s divided into two parts connected by cable car, which kids love too, but beware that the many escalators on the hills can be irksome if you’re pushing a buggy.
Visit Disneyland Hong Kong – smaller than its counterparts elsewhere (you can do it in a day) and best for kids about 5-9 years old.
Other family options are the Hong Kong Space Museum with its planetarium and OMNIMAX cinema, the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and the Hong Kong Museum of History.