An April 2007 trip
to Hong Kong by writeonthespot
Quote: Ocean Park is one of the oldest theme parks in Asia. Hong Kong had a good job maintaining it.
Attraction | "Ocean Park Cable Car"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 3, 2007
Ocean Park Road Aberdeen
Hong Kong 4000039
+852 2552 0291
Attraction | "Escalator at Ocean Park"
The Ocean Park Escalator was probably the longest escalator ride I’ve ever taken. We were supposed to take the cable car back to the lowland to get there in time for our tour group agreed time of meeting. But with the long queue, an announcement was made that visitors should instead take the bus ride from Tai Shue Wan entrance to the main entrance. But to get to the entrance, we had to go down via an escalator. Coming from the lowland via the cable car, I didn’t have any idea how long it was. The escalator has a vertical rise of 115 meters from the ground but its total length is 225 meters because it has four sections. From the top, it will take you to Pacific Pier then another escalator ride to the Mine Train.
The next section took us to the Raging River and the last section led us to the Bird Paradise. The longest among the four sections, I think, was the first section. But whichever section it is, the longest section is said to be 63.5 meters long. What made taking the escalator interesting aside from connecting us to other parts of Ocean Park were the photo galleries that featured about Ocean Park and about the history of Hong Kong. While descending the escalator, we got a view of the ports. We also passed by the Mine Train which is also like a roller coaster ride. We saw the New Ocean Park Exhibition Hall with the Middle Kingdom Restaurant that looked like a Chinese palace. Then the Bird Paradise featured beautiful flower and plant arrangements. Overall, the Ocean Park escalator ride was a fun thing after all far from the boring concept I had in mind. And even when there are so many people, I’m just glad that it’s moving smoothly.
Attraction | "Sky Fair"
From afar, the colorful Ocean Park balloon could be spotted soaring higher to the sky. The SkyFair Balloon lifts to over 100 meters from the ground. It has a similar build with the DHL balloon which we took in Singapore. A number of colorful balloons are also in display at the Ocean Park ground although they do not soar to the sky. Every now and then clowns on stilts or blowing bubbles come out to meet the guests. They also perform some entertaining shows to the delight of the kids.
Several souvenir shops were found within the SkyFair grounds. Food and drinks were also sold near the balloon area. Since there were tables and chairs nearby, visitors take a rest and watch from the food area as the balloon rise while music was being played in the background. The SkyFair was not as rowdy as the other attractions and since it was the one nearest to the entrance, we spent time there while waiting for the agreed time of meeting with group tour members. The SkyFair is also near the Panda Habitat, the Grand Prix and the Cable Car Plaza.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 3, 2007
Attraction | "Atoll Reef"
We wanted to go to the Shark Aquarium but with the wave of bodies that are shoulder to shoulder, we were led to the Atoll Reef. This one is different. Unlike the glass tunnel that other aquariums have, the Atoll Reef literally takes you to the deep. Upon entrance, we were greeted by a giant pool with a small man-made island in the center. We then took the stairs a floor below to view the fishes and turtles. This occurred several times until we came to about four floors under. We saw manta rays and colorful fishes as well as yellow and blue corals and starfishes.
But the main attraction there was the 80-year old and seven-foot long Giant Grouper and the Napolean Fish. There are over 2,000 fishes there and the new species are the Sea Angel and the Bowmouth Guitarfish. At the walls were mini-aquariums that displayed small fishes like the clown fish and fragile sea corals and sea plants. Children enjoyed seeing the marine life and the blue water. Flashes of camera light up everywhere as visitors tried to capture the beauty of the deep.
With the entry of Disneyland in Hong Kong, the Ocean Park sees no threat and rightly so because when we got to Ocean Park on a Good Friday holiday, the place was just swarming with people. Statistics show that Ocean Park hosts four million visitors a year. Everywhere we go, a long queue was waiting at the entrance and so many tourist guides were waving their flags for those belonging to their tour groups. We were only able to enter a few attractions and took a few rides because of the miles of lines of people who were waiting for their turn. We ended up going around Ocean Park and taking pictures of the colorful scene and rides.
If we had been there early in the morning, we surely had enjoyed more rides. But our main purpose was to see the giant pandas that were not available at that time. So we had to contend with being there along with thousands of locals and tourists who were enjoying the holiday. But I think having those long queues only prove that Ocean Park still has its luster despite the new theme parks that were sprouting around Asia. With its rich history, good location and beautiful attractions, Ocean Park is definitely a great place for family and friends.