The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Ocean Park and Neptune's Restaurant (Hong Kong)

I mentioned in my previous post that my mother-in-law visited us last week. One of the things she really wanted to do was see the pandas, which gave us the opportunity to visit Ocean Park a second time and do the other part of the park that we didn't get to last time. The worst of the typhoonish weather had passed, but it was still a rather blustery and windy day, and the T3 weather warning was still in force when we set out to Ocean Park that morning. This meant that all the fun and thrilling rides we did last time were not operating, but it didn't matter at all because we spent most of our time at Waterfront, the more kid-friendly and cuter part of Ocean Park where the Giant pandas and sea lions were. Besides, hubby and I had already done most of the rides at Summit (the less kiddie-oriented part of the Park) last time and didn't feel like we were missing out. Despite it being a weekday combined with the bad weather, there were a lot of people at the park, and our group were grateful that we didn't have to postpone the visit until the weekend where we would no doubt be fighting a huge crowd.

I was pleased to find a marine conservation theme running all throughout this part of the park. It is a great and fun place for everyone to learn more about the marine life and how to be more environmentally aware and responsible.

One of the 2.5 y/o favourite animals: panda! This was everyone's first time seeing a live panda, and this one was sitting so primly with its hands off to one side:

I never realised how cute otters were until I saw them at their scheduled feeding time in their enclosure! I read the Redwall novels by Brian Jacques when I was a teen, and the otters were the one of the good characters. Yes, I used to be enthralled within the fantasy world about courageous mice, lordly badgers and conniving shrews:

This panda was asleep when we arrived and did not move from this spot. Must admit it looks cute even when sleeping and doing nothing!

A red panda saying cheese to my camera. The red panda was previously classed with the raccoons and bears at some point, but recently placed in its own family:

Hands on interaction with a starfish in the touch pool at the Aquarium:

We went to Neptune's Restaurant when it was time for lunch. This is a relatively new restaurant which wasn't yet operating six months ago when we were here last. It's main feature is the view of the Grand Aquarium's main tank and all the sharks and various marine creatures swimming in it. It's a fairly swish restaurant, with reasonable service (the waitstaff still seem rather new at their job and there are a few kinks to iron out) and a decent menu offering international dining. One part of the menu features seafood items that have been obtained in a sustainable manner, so it makes you feel good about eating it. The food was okay, a little pricey but that's to be expected when you want convenient dining in a park.

The aquarium from our table:

Rob ordered an Australian Scallops dish. I can't remember the specifics, only that it was pretty good, moist and tender (i.e. not overcooked):

The rest of us ordered the Lunch Bento, which came to the table in a tall bento box that opened up to reveal a second tier. On the top tier was sauteed beef with papaya salad and a few slices of melon. The beef was lovely, very moist and flavourful (and nicely marbled with fat). Behind the box is the covered bowl of miso soup:

The second tier of the bento is fried rice and teriyaki chicken. I requested the teriyaki chicken to be served separately so that the boy could eat the fried rice (he is allergic to soy amongst many other things). The fried rice didn't really seem much like the typical fried rice, and it contained only egg and rice, but I liked it, and Zak loved it too. It didn't even seem the slightest bit greasy:

After lunch, we caught the "Sea Lion Fun Time" show at Whisker's Theatre. Fairly entertaining, but not quite as spectacular as the "Sea Dreams!" production we saw last time.

This huge sea lion could easily overpower its trainer...

It is a well-trained animal and it is evident that it has a good relationship with its trainer:

It was a great day out at Ocean Park, and the 2.5 y/o had a ball! He took home a stuffed panda (a gift from MIL's friend) and it is currently his favourite toy.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    My name is Isabela Souza and I’m a brazilian undergraduate student of biology. I’m writting to you to know if you allow me to use one of your pictures (more specifically, the one of a panda in the Ocean Park of Hong Kong) in a paper that I’m currently writting (in case of a positive answer due credit will be given). If you would like to know more about the research please tell me (; I'll be pleased to give you detailed information.

    Thank you very much for your attention.

    Best regards,