Tag Archives: Travelling with Toddlers

Hong Kong Disneyland with Toddlers 子連れ香港旅行記(1)

Back in November 2013, we took our two daughters to Hong Kong for a pre-Birthday celebration for Mila. We stayed the first two nights at Disney and another four at the Kowloon Sheraton Towers. Surprisingly, Hong Kong turned out to be a great travel destination with children. I was nervous about going to a large city with two toddlers, but we had a great time.
Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest of all the Disney parks, and it certainly showed. Having been to Disney World in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, Hong Kong Disneyland was, well, “meh” for me. Both Florida DW and Tokyo DL/DS have wonderful food. I used to get super excited about planning all my meals there. Hong Kong DL food, MEHx2. The food was all cafeteria level at best. I mean, serving sushi is just a bad bad idea in a stuffy hot theme park.
BUT, the overall “meh” factor means it’s the perfect place to let your toddlers take the reins. There isn’t much for adults to get excited about, so you do what the toddlers want and don’t feel like you’re missing anything. Besides, it’s free for children under three, so it doesn’t matter if they are freaked out by the rides and don’t want to ride them. It’s not like you paid for them anyway. There were a few things Nina enjoyed: “It’s a Small World” (we went on it SEVEN times! Yes, in two days. Nina still sings the song absentmindedly while doing other things), walking around Toy Story Land and Disneyland Rail Road around the park. We circled the park a few times on the train, caught the Lion King show (with a frightened Nina), did The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride (with a terrified screaming Nina) and floated around on the River Cruise (which freaked Nina out at the end when the earthquake happens). We tried to do a few more, but Nina was shaken so much from the Carousel and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, that we decided to just let her enjoy the park and run around at her own pace. We saw Chip and Dale, Sleeping Beauty, Micky and Minnie, Stitch, and couple of other characters. Nina was fine at a distance, but wanted to be elsewhere as soon as they got close enough to touch. At lease there’s not much of a wait if you want photos taken. Not bad, considering you have to RUN everywhere in Tokyo, plus use all your brainpower to plan your FastPass schedule to squeeze in the rides. Since it’s not exciting for the adults, and once we learned Nina didn’t care about rides or meeting characters, we got to relax and let Nina and Mila have their fun without feeling like we were missing out. We chilled around the park, Nina and Mila took naps in our Disneyland rental stroller. The only thing to note about the stroller rental is that they are designed for older children, probably over 2. Mila is a solid one year old, so she could sit in it for a while, but the stroller was not structured for young babies. We didn’t know this, and didn’t bring our own, so Mila was in the Ergo for most of Disneyland.
There are two hotels at Hong Kong DL: Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney Hollywood Hotel. We stayed at the Disney Hollywood Hotel, but honestly, if you are going to stay there, the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel seems much nicer. The building is gorgeous, with Cinderella themed chandeliers, and the restaurants looked better. The Disney Hollywood Hotel restaurants were just OK, and the service was not up to the typical Disney standard. We asked about reserving the Disney Dim Sum at the Crystal Lotus restaurant in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and the staff at the Hollywood Hotel told me that we didn’t need to, but when we got there, we were told we needed to book a day in advance. The manager at the restaurant was generous and let us sample a couple of the Disney Dim Sum. They were great and definitely worth it for the kids. They polished them off so fast we could barely take pictures.
Overall, a great place to take small children, but I think we’ll wait until they are ready for the Disney lines and go to Tokyo DL next time so we can have fun together.

2人の娘達を連れて、香港へ行って参りました。香港DLは東京と比べても格段に狭いし食事もまあまあ、なレベルなので、東京DL経験者には結構ガッカリレベル(笑)ですが、小さいお子様にはピッタリです。3歳まではフリーなので、まだライドにあまり乗れなくても万事オーケー。平日に行けば殆んど並ぶこともなくライドに乗れます。私達も最高15分しか待たなかったので、いいペースで回れました。前回の東京DLに行かれた方と同じくうちの新菜はIt’s a Small Worldがお気に入りで、2日で7回乗りました(汗)キャラクター写真も余り並ばずに撮れますよ~。ザンネンながら、Stitchと写真撮ろうと思ったのに、新菜も実良も全力で拒否して撮らせてくれませんでしたが。折角眠りの森の美女もいたのに~。お姫様と並ばずに写真撮れる貴重な機会なのに、もったいなかった。母はちゃっかり撮りました。
香港DLにはHong Kong Disneyland HotelとDisney Hollywood Hotelがあるのですが、我が家はDisney Hollywood Hotelの方に泊まりました。ビルもちょっと暗めだし、食事もやっぱりまあまあなので、俄然Hong Kong Disneyland Hotelの方をお勧めします。ビルの格も何か違ったし、シンデレラテーマのシャンデリア(ガラスの靴が乗っててかわいい!)も素敵でした。こちらのホテルには飲茶を食べるためにだけ行ったので、お部屋はいてないんですが、雰囲気はこちらの方が良かったです。Hollywood Hotelも全部屋から花火が見えるので、最後までパークに残らなくてもいいし、ホテルは全体的に綺麗にしてあったしなのですが、なんとなくディズニースタンダードにまだ届いてない気がします。サービスがう~ん、だったんですよね。キャラクター飲茶の予約を入れたいと言っても、必要ないと言われて、行ってみたら前日予約要だっていわれたり。その時はマネージャーさんが出て来て、コースは無理だけど、いくつか選んで、出して下さったのでラッキーでしたが、ディズニーホテルで訊いてるのに…
苦労してゲットしたキャラクター飲茶。とってもかわいいし、美味しいです。うちでは1歳児と3歳児が余りにもがっつくので、親は一口しか食べられず。特にチキンリトル饅頭は白あん、ハスの実で作るやつ?が入っていて上品な甘さで美味しかったです。Crystal Lotusは香港在住の方に聞いても全体的に美味しいよ、とおっしゃていた通り、何を食べても美味しかったです。意外と高級感漂っていて、ビジネスランチい使われる方も結構いらっしゃるみたいです。外から見ると子供達を連れて行くのは少々肩身が狭いかな、という気にもなりますが、中に入ってみれば、ビジネススーツの人もディズニーだから、という事もあり、寛容で、楽しめました。だってディズニーホテルの中だものね。でも大人でも充分楽しめるクオリティは流石ディズニーです。

Toy Story Land Hong Kong Disney

Toy Story Land Hong Kong Disney

Nina heading into her favorite ride with Daddy

Nina heading into her favorite ride with Daddy

Disney DIm Sum.  Little men from space

Disney Dim Sum. Little men from space

Monsters Inc. favorite.

Monsters Inc. favorite.

Chicken Little.  Less known, but I love 'em

Chicken Little. Less known, but I love ’em


Bali Travel with Toddlers 1/チビx2連れバリ旅行記1

This was my third time going to Bali, but the first time with kids. Which meant our schedule had to be flexible and scuba, hiking, white water rafting and other cool activities were unfortunately out of the question. We traveled to relax and enjoy some quiet time. The first day was spent figuring out the closest supermarket, stocking up on breakfast food, milk, fruits and snacks, getting an early dinner and getting the tired kids (and parents) to bed. My sister and her husband arrived late in the night from the US (technically, 4:00 am the next day), so we left the next day open anyway, since we figured they would need to nap and recover from the long flight. Sadly, it rained the first two days. Unlike Singapore rain, where it pours for an hour then gives way to sunshine, Bali rain lasts all day long. Other than a few short hours in the morning, it rained cats and dogs. According to our villa’s owner, it hadn’t rained like this in a long time.
We walked around for a bit, ate by the beach and watched the rain fall into the ocean while the young couple went and got a massage in a local hut to recover from the flight. The great thing about a rainy beach is that no one tries to sell you anything.
Bali has ample food delivery options. There’s your Western choices (Italian, Fish and Chips etc.), but also your local warung can deliver if you want to stick to local fair. Not all Asian cities are delivery-centric, like Singapore, where delivery can takes hours and is crazy expensive. At least in Sanur, we didn’t have any trouble getting food at home. Always handy when you have hungry cranky children and bad weather.
There are also plenty of masseuses that can come and ease your pain. The villa had its own massage bed so we wouldn’t have to go out. Too bad we didn’t get a chance to use it.

The day of Christmas Eve, seeing that it was still raining, we hired a driver for the day. You do have to remember that they get kickbacks, so they recommend places that give them the most cash or take you to their family store/restaurants unless you specify a location. The batik and wood carving place we checked out were outrageously pricey, but we had fun walking around different stores anyway.

We checked out a few blogs and decided to go to Mila’s Warung for lunch. Every time we travel, we find a place with one of our kids’ names in the restaurant name and go. In Vietnam, we went to Nina’s café. In Bali, we found Mila’s Warung.

Mila’s Warung is not the easiest place to find in Sanur. In fact, one blogger said it took him two weeks to find a taxi driver who knew how to find it. We had to ask around several times, but it was well worth it. The food was quite good and the portions large, the atmosphere was very relaxing and charming. Mila, the owner came out to say hello and chatted with our kids for few minutes. This place is highly popular with vegetarian and vegan options. We’re not vegetarian or vegan, but since it’s so easy to throw your regular healthy diet off when you’re travelling, it’s great to have a tasty local place that offers you options. I’m terrible at taking food pictures, but there’s some good write ups with pictures here. Their non-vegetarian stuff was great as well. We had the steamed fish and beef dishes, as well as a tempe and tofu dish, with fried potato cakes for the kids (although they mainly just ate the fish and left the potato cakes for us parents). Nothing was too spicy and we enjoyed it. Glad the food was good, since Nina’s Café in Vietnam was just OK 😉

There are some cute cats that hang out at the restaurant. They provided endless entertainment for Nina, giving us extra time to eat our meal. Mila keeps the place very clean and you are supposed to remove your shoes when you enter the restaurant. We didn’t notice that and had to run back out to remove our shoes. How non-Asian of us! It looked like the restaurant is also Mila’s residence. As such, you walked through a bedroom to get to the bathroom. It was very clean, even without your shoes and you don’t have to cringe when you need to change a baby diaper. These are all good things in my book.

For dinner, we drove over to Kuta where a few friends from Singapore were also visiting. They were staying at a mansion owned by the company where one of husbands works. Gorgeous view and right on the beach with a great outside BBQ set up. They organized a big BBQ feast for dinner. There was champagne and fresh seafood. Nina ate her first squid and loved it, which was a surprise, but traveling is always a good way to introduce the picky kids to new food, so we were happy she enjoyed it. Sure beat the time we went to Krabi in Thailand and all Nina ate was fried chicken for five days. Thank you for hosting!

So here are a few Bali (and general Asia) travel tips with kiddies:

1. Take advantage of food delivery options and pick up a menu or two during the day. It’s usually cheaper and sometimes better than hotel food and you don’t have to suffer the pain of dining with cranky kids.
2. Massages are also often available to come to your villa if you want a nice evening massage after the kids go to bed. It’s not quite a spa, but it was good enough for us.
3. Mila’s Warung. No baby chair, but relaxed atmosphere with good food. Kids entertained themselves with the cat. Vegetarian and vegan options available and that’s rare. Amazingly large and clean bathroom. In fact, it was clean enough for my husband to change our one-year-old on the floor. It’s essentially Mila’s house, and she keeps it spotless.
4. Locate your closest supermarket and check diaper brands available just in case. You can usually find Huggies everywhere in Asia, different quality from the US, but OK. Pampers are also available in some areas, but I don’t see them as often as Huggies. But don’t get the Pampers made in Vietnam, you can tell from the package writing; you can really feel the drop in quality. Mamy Poko is a Japanese brand that’s popular in Asia and you can get it in most places. It has a decent reputation for quality. Merries is another Japanese brand and it’s more popular for Japanese moms.
5. If your baby is constipated, give them dragon fruits. That funny looking bright red almost cactus like fruit. It has thick rinds and you can get it anywhere. Not much flavor, but most babies/toddlers seem to like them. The fruit is either white or dark purple and they are both very good to help with BM. My kids eat it every day and they’ve never had constipation problems even when traveling. When you peel it, you don’t have to wash it if you are worried about the water causing problems.
6. If you plan on leaving a resort, don’t bother bringing a stroller. I just used our Ergo for Mila and put her on my back while Nina walked most of the time or was carried by daddy. After Singapore airlines lost my stroller (or pieces of it) twice, I’ve just learned to live without it on trips. The kids enjoy walking on trips, Mila learned to walk while in Hong Kong. I know some people may give me shit for this, but a child leash is sometimes good to have in heavy traffic (motorcycle) areas. Toddlers sometimes battle to hold hands, and personally, I’d rather have my kid fall on their bum and cry than be hit by a crazy motorcycle guy. Or just in case when you go on a day cruise, I take the leash for my sanity’s sake. Mila hasn’t needed it yet, but seeing how active she’s getting, I think I will keep the leash around for the next trip.


バリ、少なくともサヌールのいいところは食事のデリバリーが結構充実してる事。多分西洋人の長期ステイとかする人相手のビジネスなんだと思うけど、洋食でもローカルフードでも結構デリバリー出来ますってところが多い。で、夜は一番近いFish and Chipsお願いしました。ま、そこそこって感じだったけど、家で食べれるとやっぱ楽。子供が走っててもほっとけるし、先に寝かせちゃえるし。


ただ、お昼だけはお目当てのお店があるので行ってきました。Mila’s Warungへ。うちは旅行中、子供と同じお店の名前を見つけて入るのがちょっとした趣味。せっかく世界共通そうな名前をつけたので、探してみるのが楽しくて。ベトナムではNina’s Caféに行ったんですが、いまいちで(笑)でもMila’sはブログとかで調べると、ベジタリアンにも良くって、美味しいと結構評判ではないですか。と期待して行ってみたら本当に美味しかった。余り辛くないので子供でも食べられたし、お魚もお肉もベジタリアンのもの以外も美味しかった。うちは別にベジタリアンではないのだけど、普段野菜を意識的にとってはいるし、旅行中の炭水化物ばっかりになりがちの中では余計美味しく感じました。体が喜んでるんだね。少々めんどくさいロケーションではありますが、サヌールでちょっといい雰囲気のお店をお探しなら是非。裏からMilaさんが出てきて声を掛けてくださったり、ネコちゃんがいたりして、息抜きにはピッタリの素敵なお店でした。


1. バリは食事をデリバリーしてくれるところが豊富にあります。(少なくともサヌールエリア)ホテル食に飽きた、高い、でも子供連れて出かけるのが面倒な時は持ってきて貰って部屋で食べちゃいましょう。昼、外に出てる時に何件か目星のお店に聞いてみてメニューを集めておくと、スムーズに行きます。
2. ビラ等にも出張マッサージさんが来てくれるところも多いので、子供を寝かせてから来て貰って、おうちでスパ、も楽しいです。日中に気に入ったオイルとかゲットしとく手もありですね。私達の借りたビラはそれも想定していたのかちゃんとマッサージベッドが置かれてました。
3. 近くのスーパーの場所とおむつブランドとかを把握しておく。アジアではHuggiesが結構一般に手に入りますが、アメリカの品質とはちょっと違います。Pampersもあるところにはありますが、バリでは余り見なかったかな。Huggies率が高いです。ちなみにもし見かけても、パッケージがベトナム語になってるPampersは値段も安く、クオリティも酷いです。日本のブランドではMamy Pokoはどこでも買えますが、場所によってはMerriesも手に入ります。
4. Mila’s Warung お勧めです。ただし、ハイチェアーはないし、ポータブルブースターみたいなのもおける形の椅子ではありません。でも子供にも食べやすいし、ゆったり食事が出来るのでお勧めです。そしてトイレがきれい。子供のおむつも安心して替えられます。
5. お子さんが便秘になった場合、ドラゴンフルーツをお勧めします。ド派手な赤い大きな実に緑のとげとげのついてる丸いサボテンみたいな果物です。中はこれまたドクドクしい紫のものと白いものがあります。見かけに反してうすーい味で、子供には食べやすいです。厚い皮がありますが、結構ぺろっと剥けます。むいた果実は洗う必要がないので水の心配もしなくても食べられます。うちの子供達はこの不思議な果物を毎日たべてるからか、便秘知らずです。是非、困ったときはお試し下さい。
6. バリはベビーカーを押しながら歩けるほど整備されていないので、お勧めしません。エルゴ等のキャリアーの方がいいです。非難されるところかもしれませんが、子供がてを繋いでくれない時様に、うちは子供用お散歩リュックも一応持って行きます。特にバイクの多い地域に行ったときや船に乗る時は念のため常備してあります。実良がこれからどんどん歩きたがり、親と離れたがりになってきたらまた持っていくかな、と思ってます。でも二歳頃には落ち着いてくれるかな。新菜は三歳ちかいので結構歩いてくれました。やっぱり普段と違う場所って楽しいんですね。

Menu for Mila's Warung

Borrowed from Mila's Warung FB Page here.  https://www.facebook.com/milas.warung

Borrowed from Mila’s Warung FB Page here.
So cute!

Nina Checking out the pricey art scene in Sanur

Nina Checking out the pricey art scene in Sanur

Mila walking in the rain with mom and auntie

Mila walking in the rain with mom and auntie