Little Steps Asia: Stepping out with kids in China

Culture | by Aimee Groom
Posted: March 23rd, 2011 | Updated: July 13th, 2012 | Comments
Gulangyu doorway, Xiamen Are your little jet-setters looking to scale the Great Wall, shop with mom and dad in China's top markets, and eat some of the world's tastiest cuisine? Traveling with kids in China can be the ultimate adventure for family fun. Little Steps Asia gives you the scoop on a bit of pre-planning to make sure your trip is easy, fun, and eventful! Tip #1: Relax China offers an amazing opportunity for kids to experience a completely different world. Mom and dad just need to be prepared for the fact that the conveniences of home might not be available in China. Tip #2: Book the right hotel for your stay When it comes to hotels in China, you have plenty of options. If you are staying at one of China's growing number of luxury hotels during your stay, you can be assured they will be baby and child ready. Call in advance if you require special arrangements such as a cot for the wee one. Many such hotels go beyond mere lodging—with an astonishing range of modern facilities, many are becoming hot spots for family fun. For example, Mandarin Oriental Sanya run amazing summer camps for kids, allowing mom and dad to have a little time for themselves. Tip #3: Pack what you will miss The basics (nappies, baby wipes, etc) are available and can usually be arranged by your hotel. However, Little Steps recommends packing your favorites as the brands and quality varies. Always bring along plenty of hand sanitizer. Tip #4: The snack attack If you have picky eaters, make sure you bring favorite snacks as the adventure into Chinese cuisine may take longer than you would like with kids. If you find something your child loves, ask the waiter to write it down in Chinese to have handy if you would like to order it again. Take note that a lot of restaurants do not have feeding chairs for babies. Pick up a Tot Seat and you will be sorted. (Continues after the jump... ) Tip #5: Talk the talk If you speak Mandarin, well, you are in good shape. If you do not, then we recommend picking up the Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen! This handy pocket guide is a life-saver in getting you places, with an easy point and shoot format for the non-Mandarin speakers. Tip #6: Take the adventure China is full of fun adventures, so get out there and enjoy! If you have the opportunity to take a train ride, this is always a favorite for the kiddies. There are loads of activities for children in every city from the aquarium in Beijing to Windows of the World in Shenzhen. little steps Asia Little Steps is Hong Kong's leading website and weekly e-newsletter dedicated to delivering the inside scoop to parents on what to do, buy, and discover in Hong Kong and beyond. Sign up for the Little Steps weekly e-newsletter and group buying discounts for families at and And one more tip from David Perry, fellow editor and the father of the curious little tyke featured in the photo above (it's not really a separate tip, more an addition to Tip #2 for those seeking budget or hostel accommodations):
Mid-range and budget options are numerous, too, featuring reliable multi-city hotel chains like Beijing and Shanghai without breaking the bank. Then there are China's hostels and bed & breakfasts, which range from grungy character-laden backpacker hangouts to restored old traditional family homes. Ctrip is your best best for budget, chain and luxury hotels, while is a good way to go for smaller and quirkier accommodations.
Thanks, Dad.... Got your own recommendations? Post them below or contact us if you think you'd like to contribute a full post!

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