On May 8th, I hopped on Air Asia’s newest route – Manila to Hong Kong. It had been exactly 4 years since I was in the city, having lived there for a couple of months on a modelling stint in 2011. Despite being there for a decent amount of time, I’d never ventured over to Ocean Park. So I didn’t really know what to expect, and stepping off the bus, approaching the entrance, my reaction was “this is a Disney-Land-cross-aquarium-cross-marine-museum kind of situation”. And that’s pretty much Ocean Park in a nutshell.
As the name suggests, the whole theme park is marine based. You’ll find lots of aquariums with wildlife from creepy crawly jellyfish to cute little penguins. The enclosures were a little too small for my liking, but there seemed to be a lot of families – young and old – loving the variety of animals that they could see. Also, those seeking thrills will be pleased to know that there are a few rollercoasters (as well as some less scary rides for the kiddies).
Pretty obvious advice here, but I’d recommend to take a good pair of walking shoes as you’ll be clocking up a fair few steps on the pedometer. The park is split into two areas, and you can get around via the gondola (which I definitely recommend as the view of Hong Kong is amazing) or by train (the faster option). I normally worry about eating at theme parks but I was pleasantly surprised by the restaurants and the availability of healthier options. You can even sit down and dine surrounded by 5000 fish (from over 400 species) at Neptune’s restaurant! It was nice to know that Ocean Park serves sustainably caught seafood in their restaurants.
We stayed at L’hotel south, which was a modern, clean hotel about 10 minutes away from Ocean park. Whilst the hotel itself is nice, there isn’t so much in the surrounding areas, so I’d only stay there if you’re after proximity to Ocean Park. They do have a free shuttle bus that leaves every 30 minutes or so, which takes you to Hong Kong station. A great little getaway from Manila if you’re looking to escape for a few days. The Air Asia route is direct and took just over 2 hours to get there – I’ll surely be visiting again soon!
Part 2 of my HK adventures to come shortly.