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Ocean Park: the grande dame of Hong Kong theme parks continues to innovate

Our travel and food writer, Baldwin Ho explains why Ocean Park Hong Kong holds a special place in the hearts of many locals and tourists alike and the future developments of this Hong Kong institution.

Ocean Park holds a very dear place in the hearts of most Hong Kong locals and tourists who have visited the magical marine park. For some it’s a theme park, for others, it’s a conservation or education centre. The mesmerising location in the Southern District of Hong Kong with spectacular sea views makes it one of the top tourist attractions in Southeast Asia. However it’s been having a tough time due to competition from the likes of Hong Kong Disneyland and COVID-induced lockdowns. However, with the indomitable Hong Kong entrepreneurial spirit, they’ve come back with bigger and better products that will secure their legendary status for decades to come.

Ocean Park

On the top of the list of recent improvements is the opening of Water World Ocean Park at the back end of 2021. It is Asia’s first all-weather, year-round seaside water park. They have 27 indoor and outdoor attractions spread across five zones. The varying levels of difficulties range from a kid fun zone to a fearless fun zone for those adrenaline-seeking junkies. They have the first-ever indoor surf simulator in Hong Kong and an infinity pool at their Riptide area which has majestic ocean views.

They’ve launched a starry double feature Friday at the beginning of this year where you can enjoy Hollywood blockbusters on floating tubes at their state-of-the-art aquatic theatre or from beach chairs at the shore. It is priced at HK$88 and you can enjoy both the movie and exceptional rides on a Friday evening.

Their “Get Closer to the Animals” programme is another side of their business which successfully marries conservation work with entertaining education. You can visit delightful red pandas inside its living enclosure but also understand the daily husbandry work of the park’s keepers. And what is the best way to conserve them in the wild?

They are also offering starry summit glamping at the moment. The focus is on glamorous camping with an air-conditioned tent, and private showers and all necessities are taken care of by the staff. A Thai feast is served at Ginger Grill whilst breakfast is served at Bayview restaurant. The whole stay includes special programs such as Sunrise Moment, South Pole Spectacular Night Tour, and Sea Lion Meet and Greet.

There is the Island South Discovery programme supported by the Tourism Commission where you are offered unique itineraries to learn more about the Southern District of Hong Kong, the fishing traditions and the ecological landscape of the surrounding area. It is extremely child-friendly and shows the importance of the educational work which often happens behind the scenes. It is all part of their Ocean Park Academy which opened in 2004 and aims to foster greater learning and understanding of the subjects of nature and conservation.

They are closely linked with two of the best hotels in Hong Kong: Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel and The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong. They are both only a short walk from the marine park and have numerous world-class dining options from sumptuous buffets to authentic Singaporean cuisine. With the latter, it is the first Fullerton resort worldwide and all 425 well-sized guest rooms have breathtaking ocean views overlooking the South China Sea.

What about the future of the park? They are not resting on their laurels. They have three new zones in development. The lower park will be a major new hub for retail, dining and entertainment. Whilst at the summit of the park will be an adventure and a wellness zone. Unbelievably, the park is a mere 6 minutes away by underground from the city centre. With their lofty goals set for the coming years, they will certainly remain a major resort and leisure destination with a strong focus on conservation and education in Southeast Asia.

All-day packages are currently: Adult ticket at HK$360; Child ticket at HK$216. Do check their website for the latest information on what special events they are offering.