On our recent trip to Hong Kong we took the kids, aged 9, 7 & 5 to Ocean Park, one of the Hong Kong theme parks on Hong Kong Island. We had been to Hong Kong Disneyland 2 days before. I have write another post outlining my opinion is better for kids depending on age, Hong Kong Disneyland or Ocean Park.
Ocean Park was opened in 1977 and has grown to over 80 attractions and rides after the completion of a HK$5.5 billion redevelopment which begun in 2005. The park is split in two by a large mountain and you can access either side by the cable car or the express train.
We were exceptionally lucky as we had chosen a date to go to Ocean Park before leaving Australia, upon arrival in Hong Kong we found that there was a number of Chinese public holidays (Golden Week) linked together and there were a lot of mainland Chinese visiting Hong Kong. On our chosen date the public holidays had finished the mainlanders had returned home and due to the political protests that were happening at the time, it felt like we were the only people in the park!.
Due to the political protests, getting to the park was a bit tricky. The concierge at the hotel advised us that we should get a taxi as he couldn’t be sure which MTR station the bus would be leaving from as they were changing daily. It cost us $200HKD ($30AUD) and that dropped us at the door. The taxi driver informed us that we would have a good day as it wouldn’t be crowded as the mainland Chinese had returned home. We were pretty happy that it was going to be quiet but wow we hadn’t expected it to be so quiet! It seriously did feel like we were the only people in the park. We were able to freely move around the park and we never had to queue for any of the rides. The big kids (husbands) were able to ride the roller coaster get off and get straight back on again. This pleased them to no end! It also meant that the rest of us didn’t have to wait around too long which pleased us too!
The park is divided into two main attraction areas, the Waterfront and the Summit, these are further broken down into another 8 different attraction zones including:
There’s a variety of awesome animal exhibits at Ocean Park also, it kind of doubles as a theme park and a zoo! The penguin enclosure is amazing and we spent nearly 30 minutes in there (and it was cool). We arrived at feeding time so the penguins were really active. There were 3 kinds of penguins including king penguins, southern rockhopper penguins and gentoo penguins located in the South Pole Spectacular, the layout allows for maximum viewing with plenty of interaction opportunities for the kids. The Arctic Fox enclosure, although not well signposted, is also well set out and the kids enjoyed watching the foxes, they’re very energetic, great to watch and cute to boot!
The Amazing Asian Animals area houses the Giant Pandas and the Red Pandas. We got there late in the afternoon after they had been fed so they weren’t very active but it was still great to see them. Just outside this area there is very interesting goldfish display showing all the different breeds and explaining the evolution from carp to goldfish.
The aquariums in the Aqua City are not to be missed. From sharks to jelly fish and everything else in between! The jelly fish tanks were amazing, the tanks were lit up in a range of colours which made the jelly fish glow those colours. There were various sizes of jelly fish from barely able to see them to very large ones that took up half a tank.
There’s an interactive touch pool for the kids with starfish and sea cucumbers that the kids can handle. The Pacific Pier housed the seals and for a small price the kids were able to throw a fish to feed the seals which they thought was great.
Ocean Park is better suited to teenagers and they are able to take full advantage of the awesome roller coasters. I’m not a roller coaster person but they really did look impressive from the Ocean Park Tower. The tower was the extent of my thrills on the rides and I enjoyed it as it went high above the park and slowly rotated 360 degrees so I could get a great birds eye view of the park.
At the end of the evening the park puts on an amazing light show in the entrance lake with water, lights and fire. It lasted about 20 mins and it was pretty spectacular. The fire displays were a little noisy and we were standing at the front and the kids got a fright a couple of times. I had to move them to the back as the noisy and fire was a bit much for the little ones. You need to make sure your not hanging over the edge as you many leave minus your eyebrows!
Ocean Park was perfect for my kids, while Alannah was off doing the roller coasters, I took the little ones off to look at some of the animals. We had a little fright when one of the guests at the park ran off with Keira, I got such a fright I didn’t know what to do, scream or chase her so I did both. Luckily he stopped about 100 metres away and it was a Chinese tour group and they wanted to take some photos of her. Did give me a bit of a fright though. Hold on to your kids!!
We found Hong Kong a very family friendly city to visit and there are plenty of things to keep the kids entertained from little kids through to teens. There are loads of cheap tours and activities in Hong Kong and the city accommodates tourists well and all places are accessible by public transport. I think its a good choice for those venturing into Asia for the first time.
While in Hong Kong we stayed at an Airbnb on Granville St in Kowloon. We loved Hong Kong Disneyland and the kids had a ball on the Victoria Peak Tram. Hong Kong is an amazing city to visit with kids so if you have the opportunity grab it with both hands.
Sal & Co.