hongkong chronicles: ocean park

ocean park hongkong was a few minutes away by bus from the serviced apartment where i was staying.  i bought a ticket to visit the theme park from the reception at ovolo.  i was reluctant at first to visit the park alone but i thought it will be a different experience for me.

i took bus 72A and a kind english-speaking chinese woman whom i met while walking on the road gave me the directions to reach ocean park because the bus will not pass by the park itself due to the ongoing road construction.  i did found it after relying on her instructions and reading signs (ike the one above) that i saw along the way.

i waited for a few minutes for the park to open and had to fall in line for there was a crowd piling up and knowing it was a sunday, i was expecting that there will be a lot of visitors. i was kind of looking for a lone traveller like myself but i never saw one.

the first attraction i visted was the grand aquarium which houses a myriad of sea creatures.  see how fascinated these people were!

a close encounter with these stingrays and sharks!

they camouflage themselves like water weeds but they are not!  these are actually leafy sea dragons that move like graceful ballerinas in the water.

after visiting the grand aquarium, i went to goldfish treasures where they feature varieties of goldfish like this one.

the giant panda habitat is home to a panda named jia jia.  it was feeding time when i got there so i got the chance to see her closer.

another panda i saw was le le, at the giant panda adventure.

i realized that it was  near lunch time and needed something to eat.  i chose this restaurant, panda café.

the eatery serves asian food menu, mostly sichuan specialties.

i ordered some seafood congee with deep-fried rice flour pastry and red-bean and jelly milk drink.

i proceeded walking around the park after my light lunch and went to the gator marsh and had an embarassing moment as i crawled like an alligator!

i did crawled inside and i got startled for i thought that there was a real gator!  lucky for me that i did not hit my head in the cement out of my stupid reaction, haha!

there are a lot of shops around the park like the celebrity store.

i bought some ref magnets and key chains though there were a lot more souvenirs to choose from, i found most of them too expensive.

ocean park is actually divided into two, the waterfront and the summit, where the fun rides are located.  i took the ocean express, a railway system that will transport me to the summit.

i took a picture of the nearby island from the summit.

some of the rides at ocean park –  including the floor-less roller coaster, hair raiser which i did not plan to try or even dream about.

ocean park tower is said to be one of the tallest observation towers in southeast asia.  it has a rotating observation deck at the top.

i made a mistake riding the flying swing which made me nauseous after the ride.

i was alone in the cable car but i really did not mind and enjoyed the view.

a wonderful view.

i just proved to myself that theme parks are better off for families and not lone travellers, hehe.  i cannot say that i enjoyed my visit fully, it was sort of for the sake of just visiting ocean park for i was already there.

hongkong chronicles: little hongkong

usually when we hear about hongkong, the first thing that comes to our mind is that the place itself is a shopping mecca.  though it was my first time to visit the place, i never thought about it that way and instead chose to stay on a suburban part of hongkong, in aberdeen.

aberdeen is located in the southern part of hongkong island.  i had to take a bus from the international airport to get there, to take a cab was too expensive so i resorted on the bus ride which i happened to enjoy despite the several stops it had to drop off and pick up passengers.

the serviced apartment i stayed in was walking distance to the harbor where the “boat people” can be found.  these are locals who still chose to live and work on “junks”.  i spent some time watching them and observing their activities.

they would prefer spending their daily lives in the junks rather on the tall residential buildings on the other side.  one thing for sure, they do not have to pay rent!

i have read that this is a fully functional fishing village.  people get their livelihood from fishing and fresh supply of fish in hongkong comes from here.

i went back to the rented service apartment i stayed then found out that the reception had some available tickets to ocean park.

for HKD 260.00, i bought one to visit the next morning.

i ate for dinner the food i bought at a 711 store near the apartment. i had microwaveable chicken in lobster sauce, some chewy crablets (loved this!), and tofu pudding.

i went back again to the harbor, to appreciate the place at night-time.

aberdeen’s cantonese name, heung kong tsai means “little hongkong”.

hongkong chronicles: ovolo 100

i decided to visit hongkong when i was on days off last december.  i was not thinking of a shopping spree weekend but instead, i wanted it laid back – sort of get a good room to relax and maybe visit disneyland or ocean park.

i arrived hongkong international airport after about a two-hour flight from manila.  it was not my first time in this airport for i used to have a  few hours stop-over here when our company used to fly us with cathay pacific.  hkia is one of the largest and busiest international airports in the world.

i took bus A10 from the airport to aberdeen where i have booked a hotel.

ovolo 100 shek pai wan is a 27-storey serviced apartments that offers a mountainside or seaside view of “little hongkong”.

the hotel is very accessible with public transportation and is just a stone-throw away from restaurants and convenience stores.

hotel staff was very accommodating and have expected my arrival.  i have actually made my booking through agoda and not met any problems during check-in.

i noticed a desktop computer and a comfortable sitting area for their guests.

their lounge also has an area where one can have a quick fix of coffee or tea.

the room i got was a one bedroom type suite with a panoramic view of the aberdeen harbour.

the floor bed’s mattress is comfortable and the bedroom cabinet includes items for a more worry-free stay.  even a yoga mat is available! 😀

modern entertainment amenities can be found in the living room.  there is a flat tv with surround sound, a dvd, an apple tv and complimentary wi-fi internet brodband access.

the kitchen is fully equipped with a microwave oven and refrigerator.

the bathroom amenities include toiletries from crabtree and evelyn.

i was fully satisfied with my three night stay at ovolo 100.  the hotel staff were all approachable and courteous.  i would just want to suggest to them about the availability of a cleaning lady on sundays (though as much as possible, i keep my room clean on any hotel i stay), i think that is a necessity even its a weekend.

ovolo 100 at shek pai wan road in aberdeen is only one of the six properties of ovolo group across hongkong island.  check their website at www.ovologroup.com.