Ocean Park

Hong Kong Travel Blog

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The entrance of Ocean Park (Hong Kong)

I’ve been to Asia a few times, and I’ve seen my shares of temples. Therefore, if there’s a choice to be made between visiting a couple of more temples or an Asian amusement park where you can see several panda bears, the park wins.

In Hong Kong, Ocean Park has managed to draw more visitors than the nearby Disneyland. It has been around for a number of years and is build against a steep hill. The lower part of the park contains most animals, including the panda bears, the higher part (which can be reached with quite a spectacular ride on a cable car or a subway-like experience on an underground train) mainly has rides.

My husband Rens and I may have been to Disneyworld in Florida and may have grown up in the shadow of the most popular amusement park in The Netherlands (The Efteling), it’s our curiosity how the people of Hong Kong build and run an amusement park that makes us go to Ocean Park.

Gorgeous An An eating bamboo (Ocean Park, Hong Kong)
And the fact that we’ve never seen a panda bear before, of course.

The trip towards the park is very smooth. We take the subway from station Mong Kok to station Admiralty. At the exit of the subway station there are clear signs towards a bus stop. At the bus stop you can buy bus tickets for a city bus that directly drives to Ocean Park (leaving every ten minutes), and you can also buy entrance tickets there. The people selling the tickets even understand English, brilliant!

At the entrance of the park (at the lower part of the park, there’s also an entrance at the higher part) bright colours and cheerful musicians welcome us. We get a free map of the park, also in English, and after we’ve had a quick study, we decide to start with th panda bears at The Giant Panda Habitat.

Lovely Ying Ying having a stroll (Ocean Park, Hong Kong)

We are almost nervous when we enter the large building and zigzag through the path that usually defines long lines of people when it’s busy. Today it’s still early and there’s almost nobody there. We can directly walk towards the living area of beautiful An An, who is enjoying a relaxed breakfast of bamboo. While a group of people is cooing, filming and taking pictures at the other side of the glass window, An An ignores everything and everybody and continues to eat.

He is so beautiful! It’s a miracle that an animal this big with such jaws and claws can look this adorable and cuddly. He appears to be very friendly and peaceful and I can’t stop looking at him. He slowly tears bamboo leaves from a branch, rolls them into a cigar a takes bites of it.

One of the rare red panda bears (Ocean Park, Hong Kong)
He has to eat almost all day long since there is very little nutrition in bamboo. And a panda is also very particular about his bamboo. He only wants a certain type of bamboo, a type that is quite rare and disappearing fast. Other animals would have switched to something else to eat ages ago, but not the panda. They have found their favorite kind of food and they stick to it. Even if they almost get extinct. You can’t help but admire them for it.

It takes us almost an hour before we can say goodbye to An An. His neighbour Jia Jia hasn’t been spotted yet, so we move on to the next attraction, the Giant Panda Adventure. Here are two more giant Panda bears, Ying Ying and Le Le and they actually live together. In another habitat there are also two very rare red panda bears, who look like little foxes. Again we stare at them endlessly, etching all their splendor and kind features in our mind.   

We walk around the merry SkyFare with huge balloons and acrobats for a while, then we decide to take the cable car to the higher part of the park.

Panda Ying Ying and Jia Jia at Ocean Park, Hong Kong

Usually a ride on a cable car is relaxing and a bit boring, but in this case quite an experience awaits us. We’re taken up very high, alongside a steep hill with a sharp cliff. Views are breathtaking and the ride seems everlasting. I’m very glad I’m not afraid of heights, otherwise this ride would have given me a heart attack.

The rollercoaster rides that are offered at the other side at the park are not that challenging, but we do enjoy the view of the Ocean Park Tower and have fun at the Raging River. The Raging River is actually very uneventful, except for the last few seconds, when we’re all of a sudden thrown down a very long and steep waterfall. A few teens overlooking the waterfall from a bridge (I wish I had seen this earlier too!) think my horrified scream while falling is quite hilarious, and my husband makes fun of me too.

The colourful SkyFare (Ocean Park, Hong Kong)
Damn you all!

We stop by the Pacific Pear to watch the seals and sea lions get fed (the surprisingly good at catching fish!) and then end up at the amazing Atoll Reef. This building has a gorgeous aquarium that is designed around a coral reef island. The aquarium actually has four floors, each floor showing different fish who prefer to swim at a different level. The top level has small, tropical looking fish, the second level has sharks and rays that seem to look as much at us as we do at them. The third level has all sorts of huge, grey fish with large jaws and the highlight of the lowest level is a beautiful turtle.

The Avery is also absolutely lovely, showing birds we usually don’t see in European Zoos. The Sea Jelly Spectacular is a quite unusual display of sea jellies.

The colourful SkyFare (Ocean Park, Hong Kong)
They swim around in tanks with fluorescent lights while there is loud music playing. It’s like watching a bizarre work of art with living creatures.

Ocean Park turned out to be a day well spend. Not only did we get a fabulous view at several panda bears, we also saw numerous other animals who all had enough room for a happy and safe life. The rides were not that spectacular, but amusing nonetheless.

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The entrance of Ocean Park (Hong K…
The entrance of Ocean Park (Hong …
Gorgeous An An eating bamboo (Ocea…
Gorgeous An An eating bamboo (Oce…
Lovely Ying Ying having a stroll (…
Lovely Ying Ying having a stroll …
One of the rare red panda bears (O…
One of the rare red panda bears (…
Panda Ying Ying and Jia Jia at Oc…
The colourful SkyFare (Ocean Park,…
The colourful SkyFare (Ocean Park…
The colourful SkyFare (Ocean Park,…
The colourful SkyFare (Ocean Park…
The spectacular ride on a cable ca…
The spectacular ride on a cable c…
A sea lion catching a fish at the …
A sea lion catching a fish at the…
View from the Ocean Park Tower (Oc…
View from the Ocean Park Tower (O…
The amazing aquarium at Atoll Reef…
The amazing aquarium at Atoll Ree…
The beautiful aquarium at Ocean P…
The lovely Avery (Ocean Park, Hong…
The lovely Avery (Ocean Park, Hon…
The lovely Avery (Ocean Park, Hong…
The lovely Avery (Ocean Park, Hon…
Being horrified with fear at the R…
Being horrified with fear at the …
The Sea Jelly Spectacular (Ocean P…
The Sea Jelly Spectacular (Ocean …
Hong Kong General Tips & Advice review
A Zoo and an amusementpark in one
In Hong Kong, Ocean Park has managed to draw more visitors than the nearby Disneyland. It has been around for a number of years and is build against a… read entire review