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Old 05-13-2012, 02:44 AM   #871
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Originally Posted by ehsmum View Post
Glad you enjoyed your dinner. Unfortunately my kids are picky eaters, so we didn't get to sample too much of the local cuisine. We did enjoy the dragon fruit though!

Yes, the MTR is extending to Aberdeen. After our Sampan ride, we were waiting for our bus back to Central when we spotted the MTR sign and decided to hop on a train instead. We couldn't figure out how to get into the station though and eventually realized that it was under construction and not open yet! :lol:
DS used to be picky but he was a bit more adventurous on this trip. Maybe he's growing older.

Thanks for the confirmation. I think we walked over where the MTR construction was in Aberdeen. It was late at night and our Party@12 all walked us to the bus stop and waved us off. So, I was too busy yakking to concentrate on my surrounds.


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Long story short. He is private and does not want me to mention his name, which is unique. Google his name, and he is the only one. Do the same for me and you cannot even find me. The iconic show Friends is a favorite of ours. When Phoebe jokes about changing her name to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock, Mike insists that she will have to call him Crap Bag if she does. DH insisted that I call him Crap (Bag) if I felt the need to mention him on the DIS.

No problem. It stuck out to me, because my Dad can play the same man for hours.


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Happy Birthday!!!
Thank you!
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:50 AM   #872
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Ocean Park – Firstly, the practicalities of getting there



Day 5 of this vacation and it was time for us to check out the other theme park in Hong Kong – Ocean Park!



On the way back to the hotel from Aberdeen last night, we had determined that most of the Party@8 wanted to have a lazy day shopping the next day. So DH, DS and I made our plans to hit Ocean Park.

I had made some enquiries when we were back at the hotel as to the best way to get there. Our TA friend had suggested that we catch the same 107 bus from the back of the Hung Hom train station – but she had forgotten that this was a public holiday (and possibly weekend) special.

The concierge at the hotel suggested that we catch the MTR to Admiralty Station and the Ocean Park city bus 629 from there. On further enquiry, he advised that there is a specific Ocean Park bus EXIT at Admiralty. And this is exactly what we did. The Ocean Park Bus exit is well sign-posted at Admiralty station; so you won’t get too lost on your way out.

If you go on the Ocean Park website and check out their travel page, you will find quite a few public transport bus lines that travel out to Ocean Park. So depending on where you are staying, it may be that there is a quicker way for you to transfer to the front gates. I can only say that the bus from Admiralty was express. It did not stop off anywhere along the way so travel time did not involve any other stopping and waiting along a standard bus route. The cost was about HK$10 or $11 by Octopus Card, about $1.50 in our money.


For anyone staying at HKDL, you would catch the train to Sunny Bay, transfer to the line heading to Hong Kong (yellow) and transfer again at Lai King station to the line heading to Central (red). Just get off at Admiralty.


At the Ocean Park Bus exit, you’ll find yourself out in Drake Street, next to the Lippo Centre. A ticket booth selling entry tickets to Ocean Park is there. The current cost is HK$280 for an adult (about $37 in our money) and HK$140 for a child ($18 in our money). If you have an Octopus Card, you can just get on the bus and buy the ticket at the Ocean Park exit; it is the same price.
We were early; so we purchased our tickets here. We paid cash by preference.

We were SO early that we got here before the ticket booth opened and before the buses started to run. Services start at 9 am and Ocean Park opened at 10 am.

I can see you all shaking your head at me….yes I can. But I did plan to get to start early as we still had breakfast to take care of. We just didn’t find anywhere to eat until this point.


For anyone in this situation, think Up! The major Hong Kong buildings, particularly around Central, are connected by pedestrian walkways above the ground level.





These interconnecting walkways are used by locals not just to avoid cars and buses but also to escape into airconditioned comfort for as much of their walk as possible. Your Hong Kong tourist map may indicate the presence of such walkways….Follow the locals! Yes, you might get lost in the maze inside the building as you walk towards another walkway; but more often than not, because there is foot traffic, there will also be food cafes, restrooms and the like along these inside corridors of bewilderment.


The Ocean Park Bus exit is parked right in between the two buildings with an interconnecting overhead walkway. When I got up, we naturally headed to the left building. There was a Delifrance and a Pacific Coffee shop just there. We picked up croissants and coffee/hot chocolates for breakfast. I did take a walk to the right and I’m not sure if the building on that side of the walkway was the Lippo or not; but there was more of a food court on that side and the restrooms were there too.


Buses were running continuously at the time of morning we were there. It was really very orderly. People queued to get on the bus and as soon as there was no more sitting space, the bus moved on and another one pulled up immediately in its place. The bus took about 20 minutes to get to Ocean Park.




(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:55 AM   #873
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Ocean Park in Black and White



We got to Ocean Park about 20 minutes before opening time. The bus terminal is to the right of the main entrance.





The bus drove right past the dig and construction site for the new MTR station and when that is opened, it will be even more convenient to make the trip out to Ocean Park.

The queue was out to here. The turnstiles are just past those market umbrellas.





Ocean Park is the most frequented park in Hong Kong, even outranking Disneyland by way of visitors through the gate. It is a theme park that includes animal exhibits, shows and rides is an amazingly picturesque setting…well, amazing by Hong Kong standards. The park is set over two major sections – The Waterfront and the Summit. Take a look at the map….it is huge.





Much like Disneyland, it is split into various areas. On entry, you’ll walk into the Aqua City area; which is where the Grand Aquarium and the Aqua City Lagoon is. When I was planning for this day, I had planned to hit this area around twilight and night fall as the Aqua City Lagoon is home to a water and light show, similar to World of Colour at DCA.



My first stop was always going to be in search of the Giant Pandas. You can find them in the Amazing Asian Animals area of the park.





There are two areas to find pandas – one at the Hong Kong Jockey club Sichuan Treasures building, which was our first stop.





*Sigh* Some people just don’t respect photo taking and insist on walking past just at the wrong time!





And there they were….Black and White!









This area, in addition to the Giant Pandas, also houses the Golden Monkeys.





It was at this stage that I realised that I’d left my telezoom lens at the hotel safe which meant that I couldn’t get some of the shots I wanted. But DH did so I’ve had to swipe close-ups from DH’s collection.





We headed out of that pavilion and went in search of the other place where we could see more pandas.

Er……did I mention that this place is HUGE?





The Giant Panda Adventure enclosure is that building that looks like a glasshouse.





Toto - I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.





As far as enclosures go, it seems like a really nice place for pandas to live.









There weren’t that many people here, so we took our time enjoying this Giant Panda eating some bamboo.









Thanks for asking but no, we don’t want any of your bamboo.





I guess it got the message.





Looking at this picture, it is very easy to spot a black and white giant panda in a bamboo forest. The Giant Panda has been poached to the brink of extinction for its soft fur. I’m really glad that the Chinese government is making concerted efforts to protect this species. Someday, I hope to make it to Chengdu in the Sichuan Province in China to see the Research base for breeding and also to Wolong National Nature reserve to try to see them in a more natural setting.





This enclosure is also home to the Red Panda.





More of DH’s close-ups.









Those of you that followed the PTR will know that my prime reason for hitting this park was to see the Black and White in technicolour. At this point in the day, I'd achieved that aim and had been happy that we made the trip out here!




(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:01 AM   #874
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(Continued from Previous Post)


In Search Of more Animals



There is also an enclosure in the Giant Panda Adventure for river otters.





This was the best I could do on the day. I did stay here for quite a while to try to get a decent shot.









But the otters weren’t playing ball on this day.






Time to move on. Just outside from the Giant Panda Adventure is this area.





How big are the fish? This big!





Keep paddling and spinning circles my son….






…because the goldfish are really this big.





Did you know that I love goldfish or fish of any description?

Before we left for this trip, I woke up one morning to discover that my 4 outdoor goldfish and decided to float upside down. I’d had them for about 4 years and had thought we were living in perfect ignorami. I fed them once a week and they just kept swimming around and around. I was surprised that I was rather upset and shed a few tears at the event. Maybe I should have checked the water quality; but really after 4 years, I would have thought that the ecosystem in that outdoor water area had found some balance.

I guess I must have still felt rather guilty because I couldn’t look this goldfish in the eye.





This one just swam on by.





And I thought this one was holding its breath like I was a bad smell.





Aside from the belly, this one sure reminded me of one of my ex-fish.





Anyone else think that these might be the black and white Giant Panda goldfish?





Some of these goldfish were just astonishing!





There is also an outdoor pond area…and even the Koi were mocking me!










Since my return I’ve been trying to turn that outdoor pond into a water plant habitat.





I’m not yet ready to invest time into getting more fish at the moment.



When we finished here, we checked the map and program. The Amazing Bird Theatre is located opposite the Goldfish area but the first show wasn’t until early afternoon. And whilst I wanted to do the Emerald Trail, we had thought we would come back down to this area a bit later in the day and check it out.

And for completeness sake. Down in this Waterfront area, there is another area called Whiskers Harbour. It seemed to be full of rides for the younger set, so we were giving that a miss.




We had a higher goal in mind!





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Old 05-13-2012, 05:25 AM   #875
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Always Eat where the Locals Eat
Such great advise! That has always been my motto when travelling!


There are cashew nuts in this dish. So those of you with a peanut allergy, I advise against licking the screen.
How on earth did you know that I lick the food porn on the screen and as someone with a severe peanut allergy, where a mere trace can kill me, I really appreciate you letting me and all others out there, know about the nuts in that dish before we licked!

Oh I really love the panda photos! I just love pandas, what a gorgeous place Ocean Park looks!
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:41 AM   #876
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Wow, we spent 4-ish hours at Ocean Park and didn't see an animal! We went directly to The Summit and spent our time doing the thrill rides. I'm regretting that a little now that I'm seeing your photos!
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:31 AM   #877
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Love the update and the beautiful animals. I was lucky enough to see the giant Panda's here in DC at the national Zoo before they were returned to China. We even saw a birth, the news followed it from conception to delivery, and naming.

The red panda's remind me of a fox, the face is very similar.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:38 AM   #878
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Happy Belated Birthday!
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:27 PM   #879
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Love your Ocean Park updates so far. How gorgeous are those pandas!
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:35 PM   #880
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Loved the animal pics and I enjoyed your hidden Mickey in goldfish.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:52 AM   #881
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My to do list for Hong Kond is getting so long. Ocean Park just made the list. I love the pandas. You do not see them at too many zoos in the states.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:36 AM   #882
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Loving the Ocean park update

We both want to see the pandas (giant and red) and I know DBF will want to play on the thrill rides!!

Is there any indication of when the MTR station will open there?
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:41 PM   #883
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Wow, that restaurant was beautiful. But the place that was chosen looked rather interesting. Cheap prices. Love the pandas! The red ones are pretty asw well. Dont feel bad about your fish, someone we know had huge Koi and didnt realize the pond was crack and draining, and came back to them , well you know. He was so heart broken, he had them for over 10 yrs.

This park looks good, cant wait to see more! Happy birthday!!
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:13 AM   #884
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aussietravellers View Post
How on earth did you know that I lick the food porn on the screen and as someone with a severe peanut allergy, where a mere trace can kill me, I really appreciate you letting me and all others out there, know about the nuts in that dish before we licked!

Oh I really love the panda photos! I just love pandas, what a gorgeous place Ocean Park looks!
Glad I saved you from near certain full blown allergic blow out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ehsmum View Post
Wow, we spent 4-ish hours at Ocean Park and didn't see an animal! We went directly to The Summit and spent our time doing the thrill rides. I'm regretting that a little now that I'm seeing your photos!
I haven't seen Giant Pandas in over 20 years. Figured that I would take the opportunity whilst I had the chance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
Love the update and the beautiful animals. I was lucky enough to see the giant Panda's here in DC at the national Zoo before they were returned to China. We even saw a birth, the news followed it from conception to delivery, and naming.

The red panda's remind me of a fox, the face is very similar.
WOW! A Giant Panda birth outside of China! That's incredibly rare. Very spe-csh indeed!


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Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
Happy Belated Birthday!
Thanks. As you posted it on the right day in the US, it wasn't belated in any way.


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Originally Posted by zanzibar138 View Post
Love your Ocean Park updates so far. How gorgeous are those pandas!
Stick around. Still have a couple of pics on Ocean Park to post.


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Originally Posted by ACDSNY View Post
Loved the animal pics and I enjoyed your hidden Mickey in goldfish.
Well spotted! I don't think I even noticed.


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Originally Posted by kmedina View Post
My to do list for Hong Kond is getting so long. Ocean Park just made the list. I love the pandas. You do not see them at too many zoos in the states.
There aren't many zoos that have them. I believe that the San Diego zoo does have them in the US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess_Melanie View Post
Loving the Ocean park update

We both want to see the pandas (giant and red) and I know DBF will want to play on the thrill rides!!

Is there any indication of when the MTR station will open there?
The MTR station is not likely to open this year. The whole line needs to be built; not just this station. Not sure where they are up to but there was a heap of activity all over town. None of it looking anywhere near complete.


Quote:
Originally Posted by usnuzuloose View Post
Wow, that restaurant was beautiful. But the place that was chosen looked rather interesting. Cheap prices. Love the pandas! The red ones are pretty asw well. Dont feel bad about your fish, someone we know had huge Koi and didnt realize the pond was crack and draining, and came back to them , well you know. He was so heart broken, he had them for over 10 yrs.

This park looks good, cant wait to see more! Happy birthday!!
Thanks.

That would be heartbreaking to lose the Koi.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:02 AM   #885
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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
WOW! A Giant Panda birth outside of China! That's incredibly rare. Very spe-csh indeed!




Thanks. As you posted it on the right day in the US, it wasn't belated in any way.

It was back in 2005 but here is a local story on it...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,162050,00.html


well then I am glad I got it on the right day!
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