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Ocean Park Hong Kong Hong Kong - Ocean Park

Discussion in 'Hong Kong' started by Simon Hampel, 29 Oct 2003.

  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    I thought I'd post some entries from my blog about what we saw on our holiday to Hong Kong earlier this year...

    Hong Kong - Day 6 - Ocean Park

    Saturday - Leanne had decided that we were going to this place called Ocean Park which sounded like some kind of lame aquarium type thing - it didn't even rate a mention in the Lonely Planet guide (condensed).

    How wrong I was.

    We caught the MTR down to Central, walked over to the Star Ferry pier and caught the special 629 bus to Aberdeen and Ocean Park.

    Even from the outside it looked impressive - and clean, and well set up.

    I hadn't really paid attention to how Leanne described it until we got there - kind of a marine park, with a bit of an amusement park as well. The first part was quite impressive, nice exhibits: Japanese goldfish, pandas, dinosaurs (models of them actually), butterfly house, a bird show, a seal show - plus lots of other activities for kids.

    But it was the second part - or more importantly the cable car trip across the mountains to get there that surprised me - A long ride suspended high above the rugged terrain to the water front and the amusement park part. Here they had a Japanese garden, shark aquarium, reef aquarium, seal lion natural habitat, walk in bird aviary, ocean theatre dolphin and sea lion show, plus all the amusement rides.

    The good bits were the bird show (although the bird shows Jurong Bird Park in Singapore are better), the dolphin and sea lion show (although we couldn't get a seat - and it was a huge auditorium - and I think the dolphin show at Sea World on the Gold Coast in Australia is better), and the coral reef aquarium - which I think we both agreed was the best aquarium display we've seen.

    At the coral reef aquarium you enter above the water line looking down at a circular pool some 20-30 metres across and you can see some of the fish and other sea creatures swimming around the surface. Next, you descend to just below the waterline where you can see the fish through glass windows. There are two further levels below this, and each time you walk around the pool seeing the various fish who like to be at the different levels. It's quite huge and very well set up.

    The amusement park includes a rollercoaster (two actually), ferris wheel, pirate ship and other such rides - they all seemed very popular with the younger people (we're not really into that kind of stuff - so we didn't try them out). All very well set up on the side of a hill overlooking the water in very nice garden like surrounds. They have some impressively long escalators on one part of the park where the hills are particularly steep and they need to move people from essentially sea level up to the hilltop several hundred metres up.

    Good points: very well set up and very well maintained gardens and walkways, very clean and easy to get around. Attol Reef aquarium was very impressive as well, but I'd almost pay the HKD$180 just to go on the cable car ride alone !

    Bad points: don't go in Summer (July - August), it's simply too hot, and being on the side of a hill you should expect a lot of steep pathways. Not as many animal exhibits as I thought there could be - and I do wish that they would give you some buttons in the panda exhibit which you could press to wake them up when you want to see them ;-)

    Overall, we had a really good (although extremely tiring) day and really enjoyed wandering around both parts of Ocean Park. Well worth the trip if you are in Hong Kong with a spare day.

    We didn't actually do anything Saturday night after being so exhausted from the activity of the day.

    You can see some photos from day 6 in my photo gallery
     
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  2. geoffw

    geoffw New Member

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    Ocean Park was great.

    I went with my (then) 8yo daughter in about 1998.

    It was, as you've said, a combination theme park, zoo, aquarium, and cultural show.

    It was great value for money (especially in Hong Kong), and great fun.

    For her, the rides were the best fun- but I concur with the comments about the coral reef aquarium- it was superb.

    From a point of view for the rides-

    1. If your child is daring enough to go on the rides, make sure she has chunky shoes (My daughter was under the height limit for some rides, but the higher shoes let her through- despite the efforts of some locals trying to point out that she really was too short to go on the ride).

    2. The main roller coaster was great- because you were heading towards the sea, from a peak- at times, all you could see was the sea 100 metres below.

    The minus was that there was some strong anti western attitude shown. My daughter came back crying after having waited in a queue for the toilet, only to be pushed aside by a local. I was largely ignored when waiting to but food because, apparently, I was waiting in the wrong part. I was not made aware of this for some time.
     
  3. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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  4. MikeG

    MikeG Well-Known Member

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    It's unfortunate that we don't seem to get much reportage about Ocean Park on ZooChat. Does anyone have an update on their loan agreement with Chengdu Zoo for two captive-bred female Golden Snub-nosed Monkeys to be exhibited at OP? - e.g. is the loan likely to be extended? any indication that a male might be brought in?
     
  5. JamesB

    JamesB Well-Known Member

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    What happened to the male that was there, when I went last year they had 1.1, has this since changed?
     
  6. MikeG

    MikeG Well-Known Member

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    The park's website talks about "two female golden monkeys from Sichuan, Le Le and Hu Hu", with no mention of a male.
     
  7. MikeG

    MikeG Well-Known Member

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    1 King Penguin chick hatched on 25 February, bringing the Park's group up to 10 birds.
    1.0 Spotted Seal (Phoca largha) born on 25 March.
     
  8. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Jia Jia the oldest Giant panda in captivity - 38 years ! - has put asleep :( .
     
  9. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  10. Loxodonta Cobra

    Loxodonta Cobra Well-Known Member

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  11. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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  12. Gavinj90

    Gavinj90 Active Member

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    The Chinese sturgeon are no longer at Ocean Park, or at least are in the process of being removed.

    I was there a few days ago and the sturgeon aquarium has no access to it, and it had been removed from park maps. At first, I feared the worst given that a few of them had died when Ocean Park first got them, but it seems they're being sent back. From the OP website:

    "The six Chinese sturgeons returning to the mainland were presented to Ocean Park by the National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association in 2010 and 2014 respectively. According to the agreement, as the Chinese sturgeons mature and grow to a requisite size, they will be returned to the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute, where they will be kept for the Institute’s research and conservation programmes or be released into the wild."

    So, that means that they have a decent-sized tank sitting empty at the moment...
     
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  13. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Well-Known Member

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    I've often wondered whether to address this extremely old comment, but since the thread is still being actively read and used it's probably worth it.

    Based on the two examples given I wouldn't consider this anti-western at all. Rather, it is simply a case of normal behaviour in a different part of the world not matching what this user was used to experiencing back home. This sort of thing has happened to me so many times.

    One imagines height limits exist for a reason. I'm not sure local people trying to enforce safety regulations is all that awful.
     
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  14. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  15. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

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    Bad news, but not as bad as I expected. However, I have concerns about the future. Where could the people of Hong Kong get in touch with marine life if not in this park. Beside that, there are also some land animals in the park. Where should those placed? The tiny zoo this city has is not an alternative.

    (Yes, I know Hong Kong has other, more important problems that must be solved. Just a few thoughts)
     
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  16. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Secondly, how can we ensure rescue wild whales and dolphins without ex situ rescue and marine mammal centres get saved as they should? Without any rationale and scientific understanding and on land ex situ facilities we have been failing marine mammals already for the longest times!
     
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  17. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  18. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Oh god the situation here in Ocean Park is getting awful. I really hope the legislative council can approve those money. (Although I'm doubt) I don't want it to get bankrupt:( The government really want to park to get going(and me too) but some of the people don't agree.
     
    Last edited: 21 May 2020
  19. Gavinj90

    Gavinj90 Active Member

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    The money was approved and the park is opening again this weekend. It will be online reservations only at this stage, but with heavily discounted ticket prices and vouchers for food/shopping to entice people back.

    The main panda house will stay closed for now because of the previously observed mating. They don't know yet if there's any pregnancy, but they're playing it safe to avoid any disturbance.