Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ocean Park


Tuesday 21st August

We had tossed around the idea of gong to Disneyland Hong Kong with our friends, as I wanted to do something with them that they hadn’t yet done either, before I read about Ocean Park.  It’s a similar kind of amusement park but it has plenty of animal exhibits too and so we decided to spend our last full day in Hong Kong at Ocean Park instead.

Rich and I braved the busy rush hour mania of the MTR once again (we didn’t quite feel like fish trying to go the wrong way against the school this time) and met up with our friends before taking the bus out to Ocean Park.


Luckily we had got our tickets in advance so were pretty much able to go straight in at opening time. It was busy even then. The first place we headed to was the aquarium were we saw lots of different fish, a turtle, rays and hammerhead sharks.  I apologise for the quality of some of my photos, it is very difficult to take decent photos of moving fish in the dark!  Here’s a few semi-decent ones…


Ocean Park’s Aquarium next to the fountain pond.




Some type of ray.


Starfish stuck to the glass.


I think this is called a Lionfish. He looks so sad!


A strange creature called a Nautilus.


Underwater wildlife.


More rays.


A hammerhead shark.


I caught a woman banging on the glass and annoying these crabs; I glared at her and she hit her head on the sill. Haha.


We spent quite a while in the aquarium and afterwards headed to the Sichuan Treasures exhibit which turned out to be a couple of Giant Pandas and two Golden Monkeys! Very cute!


Munching on some lunch.


Time for a post lunch stroll.

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A cute little golden monkey.


The other panda kept on eating.


There actually turned out to be two panda exhibits, and the second one had a panda who was sitting very close to the glass so we could get up close. He was busy munching on bamboo so didn’t pay us any attention.


The other panda here looked like he’d had a hard night on the tiles…


And I guess the red panda must have joined him…


Not far away was an otter exhibit.  We couldn’t see them but it wasn’t long until feeding time so we staked out a spot in front of the exhibit to catch a glimpse of these cute wee creatures.  They appeared when the food came but are very quick so it was hard to get decent photos. I managed a few though…

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Then we went to see some kind of water dance show but the scantily dressed teenagers with water guns doing bad hip-hop soon deterred us and we headed up the mountain to the other side of Ocean Park.  In another cable car! This place is huge, it was as if there was a whole other secret park hidden on the other side of the mountain!

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We had lunch at a restaurant at the top and then headed into the Arctic Exhibit.  Things got a lot busier up here and the queue was massive but at least seemed to be moving quickly.  Once again our timing was spot on to catch the walrus being fed and we spent quite a while watching her from above and then from the underwater viewing tunnels. Unfortunately my photos were very blurry but here is an idea:

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As it is a theme park we thought we might try a ride as well, so we went on the Artic Blast. Unfortunately we had to wait in line for an hour, so needless to say we didn’t bother with any other rides. The animals were much more interesting.


As well as an Arctic exhibit, there was also an Antarctic one, full of penguins.  The place was so crowded it was difficult to catch a glimpse of them, but hidden in a side room after this exhibit were some artic foxes which were interesting to see too.


A very blurry penguin swimming in the ice cold exhibit.


A cute wee arctic fox curled up, probably trying to ignore all the flashing cameras…

My camera ran out of batteries at this point but we saw some more animals – there was a Rainforest exhibit were Rich saw his first ever snakes, including a scary anaconda!  We were getting quite tired but decided to head along to the ocean exhibit to see if we could see dolphins, and again were lucky enough to catch the last show of the day.  I stole these photos from Rich:

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All in all, I would recommend Ocean Park for the animal exhibits, but don’t bother with the rides unless you are happy with waiting in queues for hours, or go on a rainy school day (not in the sunny summer holidays!)  We finished off our Hong Kong trip at a really nice restaurant close to our hotel where Rhonwyn again chose some very tasty food for us to try.  She definitely knows how to pick the best food!  Then it was time to say goodbye to our friends, hopefully it won’t be too long before we see them again!

The next morning was spent sorting ourselves out for our trip to Russia that afternoon.  We managed to get back to Hong Kong airport and find our way to the terminal, which involved taking a train and a bus and a fair amount of walking – and that was just at the airport!  We spent our last few HK$ – Rich even got his lunch for slightly cheaper as we didn’t have enough, which was nice of the waitress.  Our flight to Vladivostok was uneventful, but you’ll have to check the next post for our Russian adventures!

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