This week our family field trip didn’t go as planned; we had been in search of a pirate boat and went all the way to the end of the Island Line to find it but to no avail thanks to the incorrect directions of a friend, who I fear has forgotten what it’s like to be on foot with a toddler (she now has a driver and sees things from a different perspective than when you’re under your own steam!). At the end of the Island line we found Chai Wan Park which doesn’t have a pirate boat and as a result isn’t much cop, so it made me think that in comparison we have some great parks right on our doorstep, one of which being Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park.
If you missed last week, things were proceeding nicely according to plan at Hong Kong Science Museum, in East Tsim Sha Tsui.
This week the intrepid field-trippers were: one thirty-something Mum (having a sense of humour failure at the end of the Island Line but regaining composure once back on familiar territory) and Gracie, aged 2 ½ years, the energetic one (who couldn’t understand why Mummy couldn’t conjure up the promised Pirate Boat).
Sorry if I’m teaching you to suck eggs here and you’re already more than familiar with Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, but if not, it’s located down on the waterfront past the Macau Ferry Terminal. This is right next door to Sheung Wan Fire station and also near to the vent shaft of the Western Harbour Tunnel. See the map here.
If you’re interested in a potted history (if not skip this bit!), the park is named after Dr Sun Yat Sen who was forced out of Hong Kong by the British colonial government in 1895 because of his role in the Chinese revolution. To curry favour with the Qing Dynasty, the British colonial government decided it would be best for all involved if he were exiled. But in exile, he would secretly meet his supporters aboard a boat at the present location of Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park. The park land was later reclaimed from the sea.
Hits: a decent sized playground will keep your little ones entertained for a good hour or so; they are likely to make friends with the other kids playing at the park too, which will keep them even more amused; a lovely green grass circle with a statue of Dr Sun in the middle which is great for picnics; a huge concrete pedestrian area, ideal for learning how to scoot, ride a bike or roller-skate; outdoor exercise areas if your kids get bored of the playground; toilets which are normally clean and great if you’re in the middle of potty training and have an emergency; right on the waterfront so kids enjoy watching the big boats go by and seeing fishermen cast their lines and reel in their catch; seeing the helicopters land at the helipad on top of Macau Ferry Terminal; and as it’s by the water, there’s often a refreshing bit of breeze to cool you down if you’ve been pounding the streets of Central (or getting in Chai Wan… )
Misses: there’s not much shade, so it’s probably best to go when it’s not too hot. For misses that’s all I can think of… this one’s a winner!
Verdict: a fun afternoon or morning activity if you want to be outside and it’s not too hot.
Other stuff: if you fancy a spot of combined indoor and outdoor activity, there’s also a public swimming pool inside the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Sports Centre which is located next door to the park.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, Eastern Street North, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong.