Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Rainforest Zone - The Rapids and Expedition Trail @ Ocean Park Hong Kong #oceanparkhongkong #therainforest #therapids #expeditiontrail

Coming from the tropics, i am no stranger to the rainforest although i suck in spotting the wildlife. However, the rainforest in Southeast Asia differs greatly from the Amazon to the Congo and i guess the fauna at Ocean Park Hong Kong would still be of interest to many of us.

Bird species in the rainforests are typically beautiful with captivating plumes and features! One example, would the large-peak toucans which you can also find in Singapore.

Can't find any in the cafe although i did catch a helmeted curassow perched on a branch; a native of South America rainforest, it does look like a lady who was wearing a velvet hairpiece.

The Rapids - "a river rapids ride (or river rafting ride) simulates whitewater rafting." Of course we had to take the ride, given the fast track pass we purchased.

Does this remind you of the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure at The Lost World Zone in Universal Studios Singapore (USS)?! I remember it was rather boring when i last took the ride in 2013.

Grabbing on the round wheel handle in the middle. Most importantly, i forgot this was a water ride and i didn't manage to wear my poncho before stepping into the boat!

Well, guess i had to play by ear and hide my DSLR whenever i sense water coming my direction! Similar to the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, it was generally quite boring under the hot sun.

Highest elevation we got to should be at this point.

Drop was disappointing compared to the 12-meter drop at Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure. It created a bit of splash but not enough to entirely soak any of us.

There were fun moments though; like when the boat passed over this bridge that's accessible to everyone. What's fun about it were the water guns placed there!

Anyone can activate the water gun by pressing the red button and the best thing;A you can't do anything about it as you are stuck in the boat!

Alex had a great time spraying unknowing riders and seeing them attempting to shield themselves! We were lucky when we were taking the ride as no one was on the bridge then.

Even i had to give it a go; just for the fun of it.

Another fun element came from this water sprouting face that could have been drawn from inspiration of Cambodian / Maya / Aztec historical statues. To be honest, i thought it's just a decorative water feature.

Until we drew closer, like the above boat and realized we better turned the wheel in the middle to avoid getting drenched! You can imagine; all six of us frantically trying to turn the wheel so that we don't get wet.

In comparison to the drop afterwards, there's a higher likelihood of getting drenched by the water if you are the unfortunate one getting pulled under the water curtain!

Expedition Trail - ride's over and let's now proceed for an jungle expedition to browse through the amazing fauna of the rainforests. It would have been nicer to go through the exhibitions in the winter when the temperature wouldn't be so warm.

The colourful macaws! In Singapore, specifically Yishun where i stay, there is a parrot interest group that always met up near my parent's place and there were easily about 15 parrots that are similar in size to the macaws.

Utter cuteness from the pygmy marmoset which is the "world's smallest monkey"! Given their pocket size stature (on average about 15 centimetres in length), i bet they are popular in the illegal, underground pet trade.

In close proximity; the Hair Raiser roller coaster ride from the Thrill Mountain zone!

Dead-end although you get a pretty nice view of the southern islands of Hong KongOcean Park is not small and commands an area of 91.5 hectares. You know how big Universal Studios Singapore is? Less than a quarter of Ocean Park at 20 hectares.

Back to the Expedition Trail again.

See whether you can spot any of the birds in the aviary. As it was mid-day, most of them were in hiding except for one that's likely looking for a snack.

Spotted the white fronted amazon; said to be sociable, they are known in the wild to "travel in large groups which may consist of up to 50 birds". Sad when you think about it as i doubt they were so many in the aviary.

Emerald tree boa; with the potential to grow up to 3-meter in length, they mainly operate at night by ambushing their prey while hanging down from the tree branches.

The dyeing poison dart frogs in black, yellow and green; each of them has their own characteristics. For example, the yellow one sleeps during the dry season while the green one usually stays on the ground.

Red eyed tree frog; as can be seen from its elongated fingers and toads, they are better suited for climbing than swimming. The tips have suctions cups that even allow them to "cling on to wet leaves"! 

Alex and a guy, who looked like him, beside him.

Electric eel which can grow up to 2 meters long! Want to guess how strong the voltage from an electric eel is? It's about 1 AMP; equivalent to a stun gun discharge!

The display mentioned black ghost knife-fish but all i saw were silver fishes that looked nothing like a knife! Cheat my feeling; or so i though.

I had to stand nearer to spot the black ghost knife-fishes! Like the electric eel, they can also dispense electricity but at a much lower voltage. In fact, the electric eel is not related to the eel family and is in fact more connected to the knife-fish.

Green anaconda; didn't know where it was hiding!

Mentioned its name and it would send shivers down your spine; they are the ferocious red bellied piranhas from South America! Contrary to popular perceptions (no thanks to the movies sensationalizing their savageness), "it is actually primarily a scavenger and forager, and will mainly eat plants and insects during the rainy season when food is abundant." Read here if you are interested to know more about this "dangerous" fish. 

Ending photo of an Alligator Gar and Arapaima fish; seemed like it's love at first sight from the photo! I remember seeing the alligator gars before at River Safari's Rivers of the World section and they can grow up to 3 metres long!

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