Hong Kong and China with a child – An Ocean Park, Science, another Disney and a very crowded China

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Matt_01

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I am still playing catch up on some trip reports and this time it was Hong Kong and then Beijing. This written post trip and we were not in Hong Kong during the recent events. As this report is belated I have cut it down to some of the main parts of the trip. Additionally although not planned as I was in Hong Kong it also included a bit of work.

From the outset I should have done a little more planning around the timing of this trip. I was in HK a couple of months before this trip and was asked by one of my HK work colleagues why we had chosen this time to visit (Sep-Oct), my answer it fits in with school holidays. Turns out we were going to be there in the middle of ‘Golden Week’ we would soon understand what that meant. Again focus is on travelling with kids, another Disney to tick off, more aquariums, museums, markets, the hidden city and a rather large Wall.

We stayed at the Park Royal at MEL airport the evening before the flight, in the morning checked in and off to the F lounge. The flight was uneventful a standard a330 in J with MrsM and MissM travelling on rewards.
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On arrival went through immigration and caught the train into town
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We checked into the Marriott
 
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Matt_01

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The following day we heading out to pursue one of MrsM and MissM favourite past times going to the shops. HK has a couple of her favourites so time to find them.
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Then the Markets
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Matt_01

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Returned to the Marriott cleaned up and went to the lounge. This time the lounge had been moved from the upper floors to the lower floors, much bigger than the old lounge but no views. We were also a bit surprised when we were told our daughter had to leave at around 6 or 6:30pm as she was a minor. Not sure if this is unique to the Marriott however we checked out the next morning and moved to the Conrad, the Conrad did not have the same rules.

Also during the evening I came across this. If you own a Ferrari why not make it stand out, yep I like cars.
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The Conrad
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What I like best ' free stuff'
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Matt_01

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During the day we went to Ocean World, only a short train ride from Admiralty Station, 2-3 stops from memory and a good way to spend the day with a child. Actually there was quite a bit to do.
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Matt_01

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Today is time to check off another Disney. Compared to the Anaheim or Tokyo Disney it is not as large but still worth a visit. You get there by a couple of different trains but it is not hard to get too.
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Back at the hotel the lounge was closed for a private function so guests were being sent to the lobby lounge and bar area. This was actually much better than the Executive Lounge
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Matt_01

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On the final morning the girls wanted to go back to the peak. Up until this point in time we had not noticed any greater than normal crowds as my colleagues had suggested during Golden Week, until now. The line to get on the train was just a winding line through the little car park area with an estimated wait time to get on the train being 3-4 hours. We caught a cab up and the train back down.
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Matt_01

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Next stop was the airport and off to Beijing. The girls liked the Wing and the Pier F lounges and took a quick look at the QF lounge, more about that in a later post.
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It was an uneventful flight to PEK on CX J regional J class with 2x2x2 seating, again on rewards. We were staying at the Hilton Wangfujing and once again MissM got excited about the room size.
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The following day we spent time along Wangfijing St wandering around.
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MissM was not taken with snack street she did not like the idea of munching on scorpions, crickets, starfish etc. You could hardly move however she found some treats she could stomach, and I found some duck
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We wandered through some gardens and around the Hidden City (we did not have tickets for this day). I now realise why my work colleague had questioned why I had wanted to go to Beijing during the PRC holidays and golden week. I have been here before for work so I know it is relatively busy however the crowds were unbelievable, large sections of Chang’an Ave were closed off to vehicle traffic and a couple of the subway stations had been closed off as well. There were crowd controllers/ police everywhere.
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The following day we headed up to the wall. I will digress a little, we were introduced by our guide to Mr Ping, an older gentlemen who had been driving in for 23 years. After a while I wondered if in those 23 years Mr Ping had ever passed a driving test. Some of the road rules seem a little interesting and as we got further out of the city it seemed to be smaller vehicles have to give way to larger ones. If driving on the wrong side of the road gets you there faster and provided a larger vehicle not heading towards us, this was perfectly acceptable. My favourite was that if he needed to turn left at a T junction and the line of cars in front was too long, just drive down the wrong side of the road and turn left ahead of the smaller cars. Anyhow we arrived at the Mutianyu section of the wall, the guide mentioned on the way to the journey that it would be busy due to the holidays and she was not wrong. She also mentioned had gone to other sections the crowds would have been worse.
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Matt_01

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After the Wall we headed back towards Beijing stopping off at some small restaurant for a late lunch, the guide took care of all the orders, then onto the final stop for the day (or so I thought) The Summer Palace.
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Matt_01

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Back to the Hidden City, I had no idea how big this place was. They have headsets that that inform you what buildings you are at and general information. If you do not stay with the “script” the device works out where you are automatically.
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Matt_01

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After leaving we walked back towards Tiananmen Square western side of the city and came across this bus, it was already full however the people not on the bus were convinced that they fit, and the conductors were convinced they would not. It seemed like absolute bedlam but it keep the onlookers amused for 10-15 minutes. The bus conductors were yelling at the crowd, and the crowd pushing and yelling back.
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It was long day so it was back to the pool and then lounge for a couple of drinks prior to heading out to dinner.
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The Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant, although I enjoy going out to eat I do not consider myself to be a foodie. This place was a recommendation from one of the chaps at work and it was close to the hotel, it was quite good.
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