Tag Archives: pram friendly

An almost seaside walk

It is now possible to walk to Admiralty again if you’re by the Wan Chai convention center. The walk is still not scenic, and neither romantic nor quick, but it does open up a vital channel which is shorter than doing the crazy walk out near Gloucester Road.

On the bright side, it is entirely flat, relatively smooth (great for strollers) and shielded from the construction site.

if you want to know how much of the Harbour has been filled here, take a look at the picture below.

There’s space for a whole new dual carriageway and the tunnel beneath.

Too bad the Wan Chai beach idea never made it past the drawing board.

A paved hike from Parkview to Quarry Bay

(Sept 2017) The pollution was bad for the last week in Hong Kong. Two typhoons threatened to come but dissipated to the South and North respectively.

We decided to go on a leisurely family paced hike from Parkview down to Quarry Bay. The incentive? Lunch at the end of the journey. This walk isn’t the most scenic or spectacular, but it is all paved and mostly shaded, which makes it a good walk with kids. It’s downhill, uphill, downhill and round several bends. There’s lots of spiders and bugs to look at along the way but no toilets til you get to the summit. Bring water and snacks for the kids so that they don’t complain too much along the way and get a power (sugar) boost if necessary.


The view gets a little more scenic once you’ve reached the summit and start to head back down the hill towards Quarry Bay. The path is a proper road that’s wide and not too steep.


Half way down, the exposed bits of path allow you a view towards the big buildings and beyond. It would have been a better view if it weren’t for the pollution.


As it was a sunny sort of day, I was grateful that the shade from trees resumed after a few minutes for the rest of the hike.


On the way, you’ll walk past the Biodiversity museum. The gates were open and it seemed like there was an event of some sort taking place, but I didn’t go in. If you go, please let me know what it’s like inside.

Further down the path, look out for some amusing signs.


This sign says “Do not Pick wild mushrooms for consumption”


This one says “Be considerate to speak softly”


Just so you know, I didn’t see any wild animals or wild mushrooms that day. I did look, but they must have been picked or fed already.

Pretty soon, you’re back in civilisation and the residential homes are in view.


A small temple at the end of the path marks the end of the trail  and the start of hustle bustle Quarry Bay.


We went up over the overhead bridge, across the road and to the right. Take the left at the second traffic junction you come to and follow the road down and rojndcto the right. We ended up at the Butcher’s Club opposite Swire’s swanky office building for a hearty lunch of burgers and duck fat fries.

This walk takes approximately 2 hours at an adult leisure walking pace, add an hour if you’re bringing toddlers who wish to inspect every insect they see. 

Morrison Hill Children’s Playground & Skateboard Park

Morrison Hill is full of schools for all ages. They are literally on every corner you look. There’s the German Swiss International School, the two Tang Shui Kin Secondary Schools, the Muslim Kindergarten, the Christian Kindergarten, the Vocational Institutes and a plethora of other training centers all crowded around the Morrison Hill Public Swimming Pool.

Morrison hill entrance Philippine monument

Next to schools, there has to be playgrounds. These kids have their school yard during school hours, and can visit either Wan Chai park or Morrison Hill playground.

Pram access from Queens Road East
Pram access from Queens Road East

Right on the corner of Oi Kwan Road and Sung Tak Street is Morrison Hill Children’s playground and Skateboard park. It overlooks the very busy Morrison Hill Road and the high way link to the Aberdeen tunnel is just next to it. To be fair, the high way link isn’t too imposing once you’re used to Hong Kong city planning but the excessive use of horns by vehicles caught in congestion can be rather distracting. That, and the exhaust fumes. I’ve only seen skateboarders and kids on scooters on the weekends, during the week, it’s a completely empty space for kids to run around.

Skateboard Park
Skateboard Park

As always,  weekday mornings are good and late evenings are fine too.

Recommended ages
Recommended ages

The playground looks quite similar to most other playgrounds in Hong Kong (presumably they were all bought on consignment and installed at roughly the same time). It consists of a simple climbing frame with slides. Although there is a sign indicating that part of the frame is for 2-5 year olds,  it isn’t very good for toddlers as the frame is a little too high for them to get onto themselves. If your kid is over 4 years of age, I think it might work for them.

Morrison hill climbing frames
Morrison hill climbing frames

There are also two rocking ride-ons. Apart from that, there’s a lot of open seating and tree-shaded benches and tables to sit at.

Pram / Stroller access is via Oi Kwan Road only. So if you’re coming from Causeway Bay Leighton Road area, you just walk up Sung Tak Street and onto Oi Kwan Road. If you’re coming from Queen’s Road East, you don’t need to walk all the way around, use the corridor short cut onto Oi Kwan Road which looks like this. It’s just after the MacLehose Dental Centre and before the Queen Elizabeth Stadium. Look out for it on your left after you walk by a bus stop.

Access corridor
Access corridor

It’s a good pitstop if you’re on a mission to browse lamps on Morrison Hill Road or shop at the Bowrington Street Market and have a kid in tow. There are no public toilets here, you’ll need to go into the stadium or try using the ones at the public swimming pool across the street.

If your kid is screaming for swings, head to the Tak Yan Street Swing  area. It’s about a 5 minute walk past the post office and mosque around the not too strenuous hill.

image

The Lockhart Road Playground

If you should find yourself on the dark oops, North side of Hennessey Road in the early morning or recently ate at the legendary American Peking Restaurant and need to digest/ metabolize off the food, you can do so at this decent park and playground.

Lockhart Playground Location
Lockhart Playground Location

For toddlers, watch their little face light up and hear those foot stomping exclamations of “I wanna go play mama” as you wheel your stroller into the playground. Three separate climbing frames with slides is quite a treat for Hong Kong ( I wish they would spend a bit of money to upgrade and update them). Nonetheless for children something is better than nothing. There’s a short zip bar which is fun for older kids and if you bring a ball they can spend time shooting hoops at the adjoining basketball court. No swings though.

Climbing frames
Climbing frames & slides

It really isn’t busy during the week which is nice and the benches are clean and plentiful around the perimeter of the park. There’s a public toilet here so that’s helpful if you had too much to drink.

The construction site across Lockhart road is quite noisy with piling right now so you’ll just have to tolerate that. Spacious, clean and nice open areas for running around chasing sparrows and letting off steam. I guess it’s because it’s right next to the Boys’ and Girls’ association.

Tai Wong Street East Sitting Area

Tai Wong Street East is another one way street in old Wan Chai, running from Queens Road East (QRE) to Johnston Road.

Tai Wong East Street Sitting Area
Tai Wong East Street Sitting Area

 

A fair amount of gentrification has happened along this street nearer the Johnston road end, most notably the Pawn which is now a nice bar and restaurant. The side nearer QRE retains some of the older shops and charm. I’ll get into that in a separate blog entry.

If you should find yourself along this street and do not wish to have to pay for a drink at a bar to rest your feet, you can head to this little rest area. It’s nothing fancy and frankly there is the constant hum of nearby air conditioning compressors, but it’s good enough for a ten minute pit stop to change a diaper or drain the water bottle you brought with you.

Shaded Sitting Area
Shaded Sitting Area
It is pram friendly only on the pavement approaching from Johnston road, so if you are coming from QRE, walk on the right side of the street to avoid all the stairs then cross to the left side of the street to access the sitting area.

The different platform layers have a significance, it’s cut in the shape of the reclaimed coastlines. In the evenings, some other kids come out to play and have a grand old time hopping off the ledges. It’s good that they put a railing near the exit to prevent kids from accelerating onto the street.

 

Wan Chai’s changing coastlines
  
Jumping from one generation to the next
 It is between the bird shop (parrots displayed outside is also very interesting to kiddies) and the Wen Ding standalone chinese restaurant.

  

Spring Garden Lane Swings & Sitting Area

Spring Garden Lane Park
Spring Garden Lane Park

This street is often choked with honking taxis, cars and trucks. The sidewalk during rush hours are filled with waves of people marching either towards or away from the MTR station. Massive construction of the Avenue residences is almost complete (a relief to all residents), but the anticipation of a flood of new tenants will certainly either elicit trepidation or glee… Depending on whether you own a business in the area.

Spring Garden Lane Park
Spring Garden Lane Park

This is a one-way main street in old Wan Chai which connects Queens Road East (Hopewell Center) to Johnston Road. If you’re coming with a pram, use Queens Road East to get to this park.

The pavement on the left as you follow the traffic is decent from Queens Road East until you get to the Avenue development about half way down. The pavement becomes almost shoulder-width after that all the way till you get to Johnston road.

If you are in the hustle bustle on this side of Wan Chai – and need a place to rest tired feet, contemplate Hong Kong, feed the baby (and/or yourself), this is a decent rest spot- as long as it isn’t peak hour lunch time when everyone else wants to nap and eat on the benches. Avoid the smokers puffing away at the entrance near Sam Pan Street and use the pram friendly entrance facing the pharmacy.

Swings! only two...
Swings! only two though…

There are only two swings in this little park so if you have a few toddlers in tow, they’ll need to take turns with some of the others who show up with exhausted mums, dad’s or helpers during the day. There are bins around to dispose of those diapers. (nearest current decent public toilet with changing facilities at Hopewell Center, use the elevator to get to the 1st floor, looking forward to more accessible ones at the upcoming Avenue development).

Park Benches aplenty
Park Benches aplenty
Shaded seating area
Shaded seating area

Note: please don’t feed the pigeons. They sit up in the tall leafy trees and are not at all shy about using you as a toilet target.