Backpacking Hong Kong and Macau
November 25, 2012
My friends and I left The Peak at 1 pm already. We took Bus 15 (HKD9.8) to the Central Pier thinking that there was a bus terminal going to Ocean Park there. However, when we arrived there were no buses and we had to talk to a police officer to ask for the schedule. What surprised us? When the policewoman took out her phone, she had a touch phone and actually called another officer to ask for the bus schedule. How very nice of her.
She told us that there were actually buses going to Ocean Park there but unfortunately that time they were unavailable. So we decided to take another route. We rode Bus 15 (HKD9.8) to Admiralty Station in Queensway. Ocean Park’s main terminal is located there. One should not miss the station since the posts were painted with Ocean Park’s characters.
Note: For bus routes, fares and schedule, you may use this site: http://www.nwstbus.com.hk/
Luckily, the Bus 629 (HKD10.6) was not yet full and we were able to get seats at the upper deck. Yey for the first time! We took our time to refresh, re-energize and enjoy the view of HK Island. The bus also has wi-fi connection so you have time to share photos online with friends.
After an hour, we reached Ocean Park. It was still drizzling but we braved the rain and went inside. (Trivia: I actually thought at first that Ocean Park HK was only a huge aquarium like what we have in the Philippines. But it was actually a huge theme park – way larger than Disneyland HK, I think.) Judging from the total landscape, one will need 1.5 to 2 days to ride all the attractions and tour the whole area especially with the number of tourists visiting during the Christmas season. The park is divided into eight small parks: the Aqua City, Amazing Asian Animals, Whiskers Harbour, Polar Adventure, Thrill Mountain, Rainforest, Adventureland and Marine World.
We got out tickets for HKD250 each from Yiu fai. What we first saw was the Ocean Square with the different statues of animals present in the park – penguins, bears, pandas and many more. There were also a lot of souvenir shops like in Disneyland.
Then we passed by the Aqua City Lagoon before heading to the Grand Aquarium where we saw hundreds or even thousands of fish species – some big, some small, small very colorful and some just plain black.
After visiting the Aquarium (which I actually thought was the only attraction in Ocean Park. *face palm), we went straight to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures where we found 2 cute pandas (An An and Jia Jia) and 2 female monkeys (Le Le and Hu Hu). They were separated by viewing windows from the visitors. I would love to touch the pandas but we were not allowed. It was a bit smelly inside but the cuteness of the pandas took that away.
We also went to the Old Hong Kong games zone where it depicted, well as the name itself says, Old HK. There were old stores, decors and paintings on the wall.
After visiting all the attractions on the front part of the park, we took the cable car to the other side of the mountain. You actually have 2 choices: ride the train or the cable car. Since there were many people lining at the train station, we opted for the cable car. It would also be a nice experience and we would have a good view of the island.
We enjoyed the experience at first. Then the wind started to blow again. The cable car was smaller than that in Ngong Ping so it was easier swayed by the wind. I was literally holding for my dear life the whole “flight”. When we landed on the other side, we were overwhelmed with the larger area and the thrilling rides.
Before braving the rides, we also had the chance to see animals like sea cows and penguins living in the north pole (North Pole Encounter) and south pole (South Pole Spectacular). After seeing the animals, we were greeted by souvenir shops where we found stuffed toys of the animals we saw in each attractions.
Aside from the animals in Ocean Park, one could also enjoy it’s exciting and thrilling rides. We were actually shocked when we saw the “level of difficulty” of the rides specially the Hair Raiser and The Flash. The Hair Raiser was a very complicated and fast roller coaster while the Flash will toss and turn you in the sky. I did not know why but I was more afraid with the Flash since I have already tried Space Shuttle in EK which is similar to the Hair Raiser.
All we could hear were people shouting for excitement and fear while braving the rides. I just looked at the people’s expression and decided that I would not consider riding.
Mel and Kat were very adventurous so they rode the Whirly Bird. It was very similar to the flying fiesta in Enchanted Kingdom. They were gone for more than an hour. I actually thought that they already left me and went for more rides. But when they came back, they told me that the queue was very long and people were really very competitive trying to break the line and get ahead with people in front of them.
Another surprise of this place were the older people actually riding “hardcore” attractions. And what made it more amusing was that some of them were wearing coat and tie.
We rode one of the smallest roller coasters in the park which was the Arctic Blast. Then before heading to the other attractions, Mel and Kat decided to try the Challenge Zone. And it was indeed a challenge – it did not have any warning. It just blasted and whirled so fast that it almost tossed them out of the ride. It was as simple as a caterpillar but it was really so fast. One of the fastest ride I have seen so far.
Then we headed to the Pacific Pier to see more animals. Unfortunately, the show was already over so we just enjoyed the view.
Then I was up to the most thrilling and heart-stopping ride of my life – Ocean Park’s escalators. Yes, you heard me right, as simple as an escalator. But one should note that Ocean Park’s escalators which are connecting the Pacific Pier and Adventure land actually are three of the steepest and longest in the world. I am not very fond of heights so I was so afraid. I was holding the rail so tight and trying to relax so I won’t fall.
We reached Adventureland and saw the rides. They were as thrilling as the other rides but we were hesitant to ride so we just savor the view. Mel and Kat also went to the restroom located at the farther end of Adventureland. And Mel saw for the first time toilet bowls on the floor, so one would need to squat to do some call of nature.
I already saw these kinds of restrooms in Malaysia and Disneyland so I was already familiar to them. However, Mel was new to it so he decided just to pass. haha!
We were already very tired so after crossing the 3 steep and long escalators we just decided to take a view of the Marine World from a far. It was basically composed of more rides like the roller coaster and huge swing.
It was already 6:30 pm and the park will close at 7:00 pm so we decided to do our souvenir shopping. We went back to the Aqua Lagoon by Riding the Ocean Express Train.
Blooper 5: We were very competitive in riding the train so we were the first few ones to enter. Mel and I actually thought that the door where we entered will also be used as the exit door. We were already posing to leave the train and get ahead of everyone else when the door on the other side opened. Haha! We ended up leaving the train after almost everyone.
In the end, I was able to buy 3 sets of pencils and 1 aqua pen and Mel was able to buy tshirts. There was also a fountain show but we intentionally missed it because of lack of time.
At 7:00 pm, we left the park and rode Bus 629 (HKD10.6) back to the Admiralty Station. When we arrived at Admiralty, we took the MTR back to TST in Kowloon (HKD8.6).
Side story: While riding the bus back to Admiralty, I was seated next to a little boy. We was making me jealous of his lanyard with glow in the dark squishy skull and was deliberately showing it to me. Akala niya siguro maiinggit niya ako. Hahaha!
Before heading to our guesthouse, we went to the nearest KFC. It was also one of the fastfood chains I wanted to try in HK because I wanted to compare the servings and the taste with what they serve here in the Philippines. And of course, I was dying to try the well-talked about Portuguese egg tart. We ordered the bucket meal with 6 pcs chicken, 3 drinks, 2 mushroom rice, 1 chicken a la king, 1 box hot shots, and 3 pcs egg tart and fries. I noticed that some people actually ate with their hands. You can request hand gloves at the counter. The taste was very similar here in the Philippines but I think that the servings were larger.
I was very happy and full with our dinner. We had 3 chickens left so we wrapped them up and brought them to our room for breakfast. Good thing we had a microwave oven.
It was a very long and tiring day but definitely worth it. We met a lot of people, saw another side of HK and had so much fun.
HKD9.8 Bus 15 to Central Ferry pier (used Octopus card)
HKD9.8 Bus 15 to Admiralty Station (used Octopus card)
HKD10.6 Bus 629 to Ocean Park
HKD250 Ocean Park 1 day pass
HKD35 Ocean Park Pencil set
HKD29 Aqua Pen
HKD10.6 Bus 629 to Admiralty Station
HKD8.6 MTR to TST (used Octopus card)
HKD111 KFC Bucket meal (divided by 3)