Tuesday, December 27, 2011

At Large at Ocean Park HongKong

                   Hong Kong Ocean park is one of the most famous theme parks in Asia. When I was creating an itinerary for our Hongkong trip I made sure that it would be on our list of must-visits since I would have a lot of firsts there. Anything that I hadn’t experienced or seen yet would be worth a visit. Among the things that I was looking forward to were the rides in the park like the roller coaster that  I hadn't tried yet as I had never been to any theme parks . I was also excited to see the pandas , the dolphins , the sealions , and the list of attractions worth seeing or experiencing goes on .The entrance fee of $208 was $23-higher than what was quoted online. After paying for our tickets we went to buy bottled water and I got worried when I found out that it cost HK$16 or around P95 for something that would normally cost P15 in Manila. It seemed like I had underestimated the cost of everything in this tiny island but still it didn’t dampen my spirits at all. 

                   After the expensive bottle of water quenched my thirst , we looked for the pandas right away. They are housed in a fully airconditioned building that mimics their natural habitat. That section of the park is aptly named Amazing Asian Animals. The pandas were so adorable that a little girl screamed in excitement when one of them walked towards our direction.  I'd seen a lot of panda pictures but i did not expect those lazy creatures with their big round black eyes and thick black and white fur to really look like stuffed toys in reality. The whole time we were there one of them was just sleeping , at least I thought he was ( or maybe he was just leaning on a rock). Another one hardly moved and when he did it was because he had to poo which I fortunately or unfortunately captured every moment of it!  In that part of the park we also saw their cousins the red fox pandas who were as lazy as them as they were just perched on the tree the whole time. Another creature that we encountered was the giant salamander. I’d only read about it from my college textbooks ( I took up BSBiology ), I had no idea what it looked like. Unlike the adorable pandas, the salamander is the creepiest looking animal I’ve seen in my life. It resembles lizards only uglier and it is aquatic. From the Amazing Asian Animals section , we took the cable car to get to the other side of the park. The park covers a vast area that walking to get to the other side is impossible unless your itinerary is just hiking the whole day. It was a shaky ride but the view was so gorgeous  I managed to ignore the occasional shaking. The view was pretty much like in Tagaytay but instead of a lake you’ll see the ocean below. An observatory tower stood on the other side of the park , it’s called -what else?- The Ocean Park tower. It rotates upwards and gives visitors a panoramic view of the park. Not so far from the tower was the Pacific Pier where you can see the playful sealions . At this point my companion Anna could no longer wait to try the rides. I initially protested since we hadn’t taken our lunch yet but later I gave in since I also felt the excitement mounting within me. We tried the roller coaster first. I enjoyed it so much, at some point during the ride I couldn’t tell whether I was facing up or down, everything happened so fast. Afterwards, the nausea I was feeling proved that trying the rides with an empty stomach was utterly stupid. I just wanted to puke at Anna for convincing me to do it.







                                               In case you're wondering, it's a sea horse

                  We agreed to take lunch after the ride but I thought I wouldn’t make it to the nearest foodstall without passing out. When I could already manage to walk we bought a bowl of rice with toppings of assorted meat. It cost HK$35. I didn’t like it but I just had to stuff myself to get by. We still couldn’t get enough of the park so we watched the Dolphin Show , another first for me. The tricks they performed were no different though from what I’d seen on tv but still it’s fun to watch them live. At the show we met a Filipina , a nanny to cute Aussie kids. Anna chatted with her since she was recommending a friend’s place that had an extra room they’re renting out to tourists from the Philippines. Anna got her number then we parted ways. My daredevil of an officemate persuaded me again  to try another ride , this time the “Abyss”. It looked kinda’ “interesting”. I wanted to do it last since I hadn’t fully recovered yet from the roller coaster and still felt a bit dizzy but more than that I hadn’t gotten back at Anna yet by puking at her…..Aaaargh! In the end Anna won. Abyss is a ride which lifts you on an open seat several stories- high then drops you so fast without warning. There was something weird about that ride that I was screaming the whole time while the aforementioned daredevil-female-officemate was laughing at me. I wasn’t scared that we’re being dropped from a several stories -high tower , it was the feeling of not feeling anything at all that freaked me out. At that time we were probably weightless due to freefall hence the feeling of not feeling anything at all.




                    We also went to the other sections until the park closed.We had a blast although one day wasn't enough.

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