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Ocean Park: See Hong Kong's National Treasures!

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Related Posts to this Story:
Day 1 - Have you been OUTSIDE Disneyland?
Day 2 - Ocean Park: See Hong Kong's National Treasures!
Day 3 - Get Up Close and Personal with the Giant Buddha at Ngong Ping
Day 4 - Shopping Galore at Sham Shui Po and Temple Street
Day 5 - How to Get to Victoria's Peak and Avenue of the Stars
Day 6 - Fast Passes: The Secret to Disneyland
Day 7 - How to Get Around Macau for Free
Day 8 - Party the Night Away in Lan Kwai Fong

The second day of our 8-day tour was a full day spent in Ocean Park. From the Tung Chung Station, we got off at Central then switched trains to get off at Admiralty and then exit through Exit B. We got on a City Bus that will bring us directly to Ocean Park. You can't miss these as they are usually colored blue, yellow and red.

Diw and I had already purchased our entrance tickets at the Admiralty station, Exit B, but Rona had to get hers in Ocean Park. It was her birthday week so the teller informed her that she could get 50% off her ticket price but she had to get it at the park and present her passport. The entrance fee to the park is HK$208 for adults.

So when we got there, we needed to wait a bit as Rona fell in line to get her ticket. August is summertime in Hong Kong so it was actually peak season and there were many people.

Ocean Park is divided into two main sections, the Headland and the Lowland, and to get across, you can ride a cable car, which is a ride itself. I read that there was also a gondola ride for those afraid of heights but I didn't see it. Tata suggested that we explore one section first before riding the cable car so that we don't need to fall in line again in case we wanted to visit a place in the opposite section.

Climbing up the escalator, posing at the entrance, Mine train

The City Bus took us to the Tai Shue Wan entrance, which was the entrance to the Headland. Most of the rides are in the Headland while the zoo (and the pandas!) are in the Lowland.

Cable Car Ride

Before heading into the park, make sure to grab a map of Ocean Park in the Treasure Palace, close to the entrance.

We mostly followed the map and passed by the Flamingo Pond, and the Talking Tree. Then we got on the escalator to higher ground. When we saw Raging River, we decided to try it and fell in line. The thing I disliked most about this day was that we had to fall in line for probably an hour or more for each ride so I really thought it was a waste of time as more often than not, we were just standing in line, sometimes even under the direct heat of the sun. Also watch out because as we observed, people will try to sneak in front of you even if you're already in line, especially the elderly, but young people aren't any better.

Prehistoric Summer Splash
After each ride, most offer some sort of souvenir with your pictures during the ride. These are usually key chains, framed photos or just plain printed pictures. However, we found that these were expensive but we still got the key chain from Raging River.

Then we tried the Mine Train and the view from this ride was spectacular as it's at the edge of a cliff. I bet the Dragon would be even more impressive but I have a fear of riding roller coasters and only by great persuasion from Diw and Rona did I agree to ride the Mine Train. Still, I adamantly refused to ride the Dragon.

Panda Family
We also rode the Ocean Park Tower and at its highest point, you will have a bird's eye view of the whole park.

After lunch, we also visited the Atoll Reef which was very similar to our own Manila Ocean Park, except that they didn't have the tunnel that we do, just a very large aquarium where you can see the fishes.

By the time we got out, it was already early afternoon and we haven't even been to the Lowland yet. I was frustrated because I wanted to visit all the sites but couldn't because of the long lines. So once again, we fell in line to ride the cable car going to the Lowland.

We visited the Amazing Asian Animals zoo, where we got to see the pandas An An and Jia Jia, considered to be the park's national treasures. The zoo was an enclosed structure and also air conditioned to keep the animals comfortable. So we mostly walked around while I was keeping an eye out for the dolphin show but sadly, we didn't get to watch it because I think they performed early in the morning and had only just that one showing.

Cute Hedge Panda

At that time, Ice Age 3 had just hit the theaters so there was a little place prepared with Ice Age characters in various key spots in a tunnel-like maze designed to look like an ice cave. At the end of this "cave", we got our photo taken with all the characters.

Ice Age

We also rode the SkyStar, a sort of Hot-Air Balloon ride that takes you up slowly. The wind was a key element in this ride because if it's too strong, you aren't allowed to ride at all! Weight is also important since the operator has to assign where each peron will stand to balance the platform.

Also in the SkyFair, the area under the SkyStar, we watched a little presentation by children doing acrobatic stunts and a dance performance.

In all honesty, I wasn't entirely satisfied with my day in Ocean Park. I wanted to see so much more than what I actually did but the time wasn't enough mainly because of the long queues between the rides. Although we went on a weekday, the park was still full. I'm not sure if it was because it was summer or maybe it was a holiday that day.

If I go back to Hong Kong, I will surely revisit this place. I read an article that they will have more rides and attractions on 2012. There will even be Koalas!!


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