The pandas laid in the sun, not moving, not even twitching a leg, a whisker, nothing, we stood watching and talking amongst one another waiting for any signs of movement but alas in the end we gave up. The pandas had most likely chewed its way through a bundle of bamboo before settling on a nice, long morning nap.
I had seen pandas before in a safari park in Japan but to be so close to mainland China, the real home of the panda to only see An An and Jia Jia, the famous pandas of Ocean Park in Hong Kong bask in the sun snoozing was a little bit disappointing. Next door to the panda enclosure though were the mischievous otters splashing around in the water, scrambling over rocks and catching the odd fish or two that the keeper would occasionally throw out to them.
Ocean Park is the oldest theme park in Hong Kong
It was first established in 1977 and now has over 5 million people visit annually, nearly 500,000 more people than Disneyland. Ocean Park is a large, extensive park, with two lands the Waterfront and the Highland, which are separated by Hong Kong’s mountainous terrain. There are three different ways to move between the lands, a shuttle bus, a train or by far the best way to travel the 1.5 kilometre long cable car, which offers great views of Hong Kong.
Waterlands attractions mainly deals with animals. Ocean Park overall has eleven animal exhibits and caters more for the younger children while the Highlands have the ocean attractions including the four story Atoll reef, which has over 2,000 fish swimming in and around the waters including a couple of sharks and rays. While the ocean attractions are located here, the rides for older children and young at heart adults are also here including two roller coasters.
“Rei why don’t you try this” encouraging him to ride the mine train, a steal mine train roller coaster, perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking Aberdeen harbour. The encouraging words must have worked, Rei notoriously famous for being a chicken decided to queue in line, as we got closer though “mummy, daddy let’s go I don’t want to ride it”, tugging on our shirts. In the end Rei backed out but it didn’t stop mum and dad from having a good time. I hadn’t rode a roller coaster in at least ten years probably more but this ride gave me a scare I wasn’t expecting, it looked kind of short, nearly a young child’s first step towards teenage hood ( if that’s even a word) but it wasn’t like that at all, with its twist and turns, covering 678 metres of track and at a height of 85 metres tall.
I think I’ll stick with the local train next time.
Ocean Park may lack the magic of Disneyland but if your into rides and thrills you’ll more than enjoy Ocean Park.
Ocean Park Hours
10am -18.00pm longer in Summer
adults 250 HK$
Children 3-11 125 HK$
under 3 free
How to get there
Central bus 6A, 6X, 70, 75, 90, 97,260, M590
Causeway Bay bus 72, 72A, 92, 96, 596
Enjoy the day at Ocean Park before having dinner at JUMBO a famous floating restaurant in Aberdeen which you can walk to from the park.