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Walking with stroller in HK

  1. #1
    catcurran is offline Registered User
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    Nov 2008
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    Hong Kong
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    Walking with stroller in HK

    Hello, we just arrived in HK from New York and I am confused about where to live. I thought the Mid-levels would be good (my husband works in Central) but after viewing numerous properties, it seems like a TERRIBLE place to try and walk with a baby. Not a lot of sidewalks and narrow, steep, wind-y roads...Even looking in the Repulse Bay area, it does not seem very stroller-friendly. The only thing I looked at that seemed ok for strollers was the Parkview complex (?)

    If anyone has any advice, it would be much appreciated. I have a 1-yr-old and we plan to have another one...I just don't know what neighborhood is best. People have said that HK is like New York and it's not!!! (NYC is so baby-friendly....and flat!)

    thank you very much!

  2. #2
    sherwes is offline Registered User
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    Jun 2007
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    Pokfulam
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    Hi Catcurran,

    I love taking my 12 month old walking in the pram and have been doing a lot of thinking about this very topic since moving to HK 6 months ago!

    I am on Conduit Rd in Mid-Levels. Conduit is a long flat road which is good for walking with a pram. It also has a small play area at the end. The only problem is that if you want to leave Conduit Rd you encounter heaps of stairs (unless you go before 10am when the escalator is going down in which case you can go "anywhere").

    Prior to moving to Mid-Levels we stayed at Repulse Bay (109 Repulse Bay Rd) for 2 months. I found Repulse Bay pram unfriendly as the main road was very busy and the footpaths intermittently just vanished for a few metres forcing me to walk on the road.

    My picks for good pram friendly places are:

    1. Robinson Rd, Mid-Levels. You can walk along a generally flat road to 2 supermarkets, a chemist, a coffee shop and an Italian deli (don't get excited, the deli is worlds away from an NY deli!). You can also get down to Caine Rd via a side street with no steps. I think you can actually walk to the Botanical Gardens without steps????

    2. Pok Fu Lam area around Cyberport. This area has lots of new footpaths and fairly wide roads so you feel safe with the pram.

    3. Tai Tam. I have never pushed a pram around Tai Tam but I have scouted it out in the car (the things you are reduced to in HK!). It seemed to me that you can walk from Tai Tam to Stanley on footpaths and maybe even walk on a track next to the Tai Tam reservoir. It's a bit further for your husband to get to work though but nowhere is far in HK.

    4. Bowen Road, Mid-Levels. This a flat road which has a well known walking track. I am not sure where else you can easily reach from Bowen Rd though and, when we looked at apartments on Bowen Road, we couldn't work out how to walk to a coffee shop with the pram (which was essential to my husband!).

    5. If you want to live centrally, the other good places could be near to the Botanical Gardens or Hong Kong Park. Both are fun places to take your baby for a walk and a play (although HK Park has steps so you need to pick your routes).

    I would be really interested to hear the views of other users on these suggestions. As I said above, I have only lived in two places and have only been here for 6 months so I am hardly a HK veteran!

  3. #3
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2006
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    Parkview
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    Yes, walking most places in HK with a stroller is rather challenging.

    I chose Parkview in the end, as I like to be able to step out of my front door and take my little ones (a 1yr old and 3yr old) for a safe, stress-free walk every day. But even Parkview isn't as stroller-friendly as you might think. Of the 16 residential towers, only one has a ramp at the lobby level entrance (I tend to use the car park entrance to avoid the stairs). And the Podium, which looks like a lovely leafy place to walk, is impossible to negotiate with a stroller - so many stairs (which are particularly annoying as they could just have easily built sloping paths to accommodate the undulations of the terrain).

    There's a fold-out map/info booklet called Prampushers Guide to Hong Kong available at Bumps to Babes and Dymocks, Bookazine etc. It's a good starting point, but realistically, you either have to be prepared to have your walking severely curtailed or get your little one into a sling!

    Best of luck - and feel free to PM me if you move to Parkview and want to meet up. My younger boy is 15mths old.

  4. #4
    catcurran is offline Registered User
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    Thank you thank you for these very helpful and detailed posts. I really appreciate the advice. I will consider all factors mentioned.

  5. #5
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    Apr 2007
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    Hong Kong, Mid Levels
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    579
    Pokfulam would be my choice. Close to central for easy transport for your husband (and you when you want to taxi or drive into town, around 15 mins) and big, wide pram friendly sidewalks with open / sea views. You can walk from there down to Cyberport which has a nice open grass area for kids to play in, a dog-friendly park, a supermarket and coffee shop etc. A gentle hill back home, but if I'm really tired I get a taxi!

  6. #6
    hannah.e.law is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2008
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    Hong Kong
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    I'm pregnant with my first and am seriously considering not buying a pram. Has anyone else done this? Mostly my concerns are:
    1) We live in a Chinese old-style building (no lift) so I can't imagine juggling baby, purse, and pram!
    2) The street we live on is rather steep, so pushing a pram up the hill might be difficult, especially as the baby gets heavier.
    3) I will be the sole care-giver (my husband owns his own business so is away a lot and I'm not keen on hiring a helper) for the first few months, so I foresee it being a one person show most of the time. As such, I will need my hands for things such as shopping bags, etc.
    4) We're not rich, so taxi-ing everywhere isn't an option. I plan on using public transport for the most part, and can see how a pram would be more hindering than useful.

    I'd love to hear other people's experiences with pram-free living in HK!

  7. #7
    rebekah is offline Registered User
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    Jun 2007
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    While we haven't gone pram free, we almost exclusively used the ergo for the first 4 months. After that we pick what works best for our plan for the day. The little one doesn't want to be in the ergo ALL day now, but can manage if it's less than 4 hours. Of course I pull her out now and then! If I'm going to a restaurant, or out at naptime I do sometimes prefer a stroller for her to sit/sleep in, but still always wish I'd have brought the ergo...
    I have a quinny buzz and a maclaren quest, and one of the main reasons i take the quinny so many places is that I can strap the seat portion (unofficially mind you) into the taxi, plus she loevs it, it's really comfy...but for public transit, I prefer the maclaren, and that only if we are going to be gone all day. That said, I think a totally stroller free existence is completely plausible, at least up to a 6 month old, as that's as far as my experience goes!
    abc1234 likes this.

  8. #8
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    Feb 2008
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    HK
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    You cannnot be stroller free from age 1 and/or 2-2 1/2 is my opinion. Until age 1, sure, it can be done, but my kids were above average and not very keen on being carried around. After age 1 they were simply too big and it was too much for me to carry (and I have twins too, so that's obviously a completely different story). My oldest started to walk really well at age 2 1/2 - 3 but I consider myself very lucky comparing her to other kids her age. A lot of others may not be so lucky so I can't imagine getting around without a stroller until that age (roughly 1-3 yo).

    BTW, we live in Tai Tam and even though it's a little further from Cental (where my husband works) we've been very happy. It's great to be on this greener side of the island, close to Stanley, etc. Personally I wasn't a big fan of Pokfulam and the Repulse Bay area was simply too expensive (we have a 4-bedroom and we didn't want to pay more than $100k; although prices have gone down these days obviously).
    Last edited by MommyTo3; 11-26-2008 at 08:19 AM.

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