Friday, May 08, 2020

Aqua City Zone - Old Hong Kong & The Grand Aquarium @ Ocean Park Hong Kong #oceanparkhongkong #aquacity

The Aqua City zone at Ocean Park Hong Kong is the easiest to find as it's where the main entrance is! However, i did realize quite a number of attractions were undergoing maintenance or changes when i was there and given the lack of time; this post would concentrate on just Old Hong Kong and The Grand Aquarium.

As the name suggests, Old Hong Kong replicates the buildings and life during the period of 1950s to 1970s and this attraction was apparently sponsored by the famous Kee Wah Bakery (i love their palmiers).

Well, from the short walk we had, i thought the place was good enough for filmmakers to use it as a movie set! It feels like an old street where time is frozen in the golden, cultural era of Hong Kong. I am not sure if it's open at night as the atmosphere would have been quite better at night.

I didn't venture into any of the 'shops' although you don't have to expect products as claimed on their signboards; a stationery shop could well be a booth for carnival games.

A disused Ding Ding tram for photo-taking!

Loving this wall where old-school advertisements were pasted all over. Such sights would be common in Singapore back in the 50s-70s, before the government termed it under vandalism and starts fining people.

Main reason for us to pass Old Hong Kong; to take the cable car to check out the summit side of Ocean Park Hong Kong! We spent so much time at the other side that it was pretty late by the time we got back to Waterfront area.

The Grand Aquarium was in fact the last stop of our Ocean Park visit and this was allowed after persuading the already-exhausted Alex who have had enough of the hot weather!

Key element of the persuasion; i think there's air-conditioning inside. To be honest, i didn't know what this attraction was about then but with such a big structure, i guess it wouldn't have an open concept!

Heng ah; full blast air-conditioning! Actually, the summer weather in Hong Kong wasn't as bad as i expected. Maybe i was lucky as it was just like our typical Singapore climate.

I love how this was depicted; the rain-forest of the ocean. It's literally how i felt when i first had my first snorkeling experience in Krabi; like exploring the coral forest but in total silence.

Note: please do not climb.

A reality in the natural ocean world; plastic bags, rubbish, discarded rubber tires etc.

This should be the touch pond with starfishes, fishes, sea slugs etc but the high transparent screens would have made it impossible for anyone to touch anything inside.

There's a sink so it should have been a touch pond. I guess the over-zealous visitors might have resulted in the closure as it would have been extremely stressful for both the marine animals and the staff.

Well, what would you have expected to see in an aquarium? In fact, we have a pretty good S.E.A Aquarium in Singapore and frankly, they are about the same for about 80-90% of what they offer.

Don't get me wrong. It's still nice to visit aquariums and they provide much needed educational knowledge to people, especially the younger ones; if they bother to read the information panels.

Rays are cartilaginous fishes which means they have no bones! Then all the while, the bones i picked out from BBQ stingrays are actually cartilage?! *in shock*

A setup befitting a home environment. Strangely, despite my love for snorkeling, i never like the idea of having an aquarium at home. Aside from being lousy in taking care of fishes (i.e. murdered a few in my younger days), i prefer to see the fishes in their natural habitats.

It's just too claustrophobic to be stuck in a small tank when the world is 70% covered in water.

Sparkling little plankton; couldn't see a darn thing! You can see them "in calm, warm waters at cloudy nights"; i did see speckles of them in Maldives but nothing like the amazing 'blue beaches' shown in pictures.

Jellyfish tanks!

Lined seahorse. One interesting trivia about the seahorses; it's a given fact that the male seahorses are the ones that give birth to the baby seahorses but do you know they would eat their own babies?! Read here!

Crystalized tanks; quite hard to take photographs when the glass panels were designed with odd angles.

Isn't this a common feature in most aquariums?! Although in this case, the fishes, for unknown reasons, were all concentrated on the top.

King crab. I am just wondering; if the king crab is about to die, would the staff eat it up and then replace with a new one from the fish market or import a live one from Russia or Japan?

Many clownfishes in the midst of anemones! In my snorkeling trips, the one fish i love to chance upon is clownfish and they are actually very territorial. Back in Perhentian Islands, i came upon a few clusters and you may click here to view the photos. 

A ray swimming above me!

Saw these round tanks all over the place. Guess it's one big gigantic aquarium and i presume we would see a viewing panel just like the one in S.E.A Aquarium.

Here it is; the 13-metre wide acrylic viewing panel that has a thickness of 0.68 meter. In comparison, the panel in S.E.A Aquarium is 36-meter wide. Record winner now is Chimelong Ocean Kingdom; its panel is 39.6-meter wide!

Two funny-looking fishes! The one with the long nose is called the unicorn fish although i think that the pinnochio fish would have been more suitable.

Last photograph showing a manta ray swimming across the viewing panel.

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