Family friendly neighborhoods abound in Hong Kong. Factoring in price, location, the subsequent sense of convenience, proximity to schools and the range of scenery, your personal preference is the overriding determinant. Our brief overview of family friendly neighborhoods both on and off Hong Kong Island aims to inform the general direction of your property search.
Hong Kong Island
Mid-Levels and the Peak
Though popular with young urban professionals and the single set, the Central District and Mid-Levels area remains the mainstay for families due in part to its overwhelming convenience. The further up you go, the hillier the landscape becomes, offering a greater sense of seclusion on roads at the top of the quintessential Mid-Levels elevator, and even more so up on the Peak. Regular hiking trails provide a healthy weekend diversion for family and friends and small playgrounds which regularly punctuate key pedestrian walkways, offer communal fun for kids.
Particularly in Mid-Levels, playgroups, kindergartens and schools are plentiful as are afterschool activities and tutoring centers. Traffic and congestion are the main drawbacks with a high concentration of people yielding busy roadways and urban pollution. While this may be arguably offset by easy access to public transportation, those seeking a hands-off parenting approach where children are allowed to roam free and wild may find the environment limiting.
Happy Valley & Jardine’s Lookout
Also a tried and tested expat spot, both Happy Valley and Jardine’s Lookout are situated next to and above Causeway Bay. Though Happy Valley is the more convenient of the two, both lack an accessible MTR station. Yet this is largely overwritten by the general convenience of Hong Kong public transport. Considering the high costs of living, as a veritable luxury apartment neighborhood, Jardine’s Lookout is nonetheless close to a number of notable international schools including French International School, branches of The Woodland International Pre-school and the International Montessori School. Primarily residential, your children will have the added benefit of safety.
Those seeking relative convenience but with a love for beaches and watersports could turn to Repulse Bay or Stanley. Serving up a mixture of modern apartment complexes, detached and semi-detached houses, both locations are ideal for those with large families. Within the catchment areas of noteworthy international schools including Hong Kong International School, Bradbury Junior School and South Island School, your children will grow up in a primarily expat residential community. The area is also in close proximity of the Hong Kong Country Club and the Hong Kong Golf Club which serve as great venues for recreational activities, family gatherings and birthday parties. The colonial architecture and alfresco cafes along the Stanley promenade make for laidback Sunday brunches with children and pets in tow whereas the resort-town atmosphere along the public beach of Repulse Bay caters to relaxation of the highest order.
Off the island
Though further away and requiring a 40 minute commute to central business districts, the main attraction of Sai Kung stems from the lush green environment, spacious living and the relatively low housing costs. Low rise villa complexes with shared swimming pools make for idyllic venues for children whereas the strong expat community makes for close ties between family friends. Close to international schools such as the Hong Kong Academy, Clearwater Bay School and Renaissance College, Sai Kung gives city living a run for its money by painting a sanctuary away from the crowds. Close to Hang Hau Station and serviced by buses and taxis, children with after school activities in the city can also opt for public transport.
Also a more reasonable priced alternative to Hong Kong Island, with its open squares, alfresco cafes and wide reaching ban on cars, Discovery Bay almost resembles European suburbia. Highly popular amongst young families and the international set, developments which are a mixture of both high-rise apartments and semi-detached houses offer kid-friendly clubhouse amenities. A short 20 minute ferry ride away from Central, Discovery Bay also boasts the added benefit of panoramic sea views and close proximity to international schools such as Discovery College and the Discovery Montessori School.