“Anything is possible when you have inner peace.”-Master Shifu, Kung Fu Panda
The panda looked so cute and so cuddly! Still, I noticed that it didn’t look too happy. Perhaps because the people were noisy? Perhaps An An (this male panda), was missing his partner, Jia Jia, whose health deteriorated so much that the doctors felt it was better to euthanize her. I guess it was better than seeing her suffer every day.
Turns out, this panda is already of old age. Having born in 1986, An An is now 33 years old and is the oldest male giant panda under human care. That’s probably why he needs more rest and quiet. He did not stay outside for too long and preferred to stay in the back room. He looked like he was sulking just like a kid who did not get what he wanted. It must have been the noise from the other tourists or the constant tapping on the glass to get his attention. That must have been stressful for this fella.
Two viewing areas away from An An were two Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkeys, Le Le and Qi Qi. For some reason, they either looked like they were bored or were pissed off. All I know was that they looked so displeased that day. Maybe that’s really how they look, earning them the snub-nosed monkey name. It fitted them quite well, to be honest.
Outside the viewing area for the panda and the monkeys was another shop filled with souvenir items and stuffed toys. You can bring home as much panda-inspired stuff as your wallet can handle.
At this point, realizing how big Ocean Park was, Jana and I decided to see the other animals we went for first. This was to ensure we saw the animals we came for before spending time looking at the rest. For that reason, we decided to visit Polar Adventure for the penguins.
Before getting to the penguins, we had to walk around and find where we could ride the cable cars. At first, I was kind of disappointed at the cable cars, thinking that they were hanging very low. You see, I was comparing it to my experience before in Ngong Ping. For that reason, I thought the cable cars here were child’s play and would not elicit a sense of thrill at all.
We had to pass by Old Hong Kong, where we should have gotten some food as part of the Klook package we got. Unfortunately, I totally forgot about that premium. Argh!
Boy, was I wrong about the cable cars…
Initially, we were pretty okay. Everything was chill and relaxed. A few meters away, my golly! We were being lifted so steeply! I swallowed my criticisms of these cable cars. They actually hanged pretty high up in the air! Ngong Ping cable cars weren’t as nerve-racking as these! All I could think of was how much longer we had to go and why we didn’t just take the trains. I did not want to ride back anymore because every time we passed by those tall supporting towers, it would feel very bumpy and unstable inside. Plus, there was some sound that was made that did not do anything good for my nerves.
I have never been afraid of heights, but I have always been afraid of falling. It’s why I am such a paranoid flyer. Oh well, I guess I need more practice to get over that fear. Thankfully, we survived the cable cars without anyone passing out from fear. Although, I think Jana’s tougher than she looks like and I am the one who’ll pass out first if ever that will happen.
After a few minutes of walking, we finally got to North Pole Encounter to see the seals and walruses. I’ve never been fond of them, but I have to admit that they have a certain trait that makes them adorable. Perhaps, that’s why Jana could not resist having a picture taken with the mascot.
I was worried that it was going to be so cold where these animals stayed, but it wasn’t that bad. We weren’t freezing at all despite the temperature being a little on the colder side. I could say they tried to mimic the natural habitat of these animals to a certain degree, but there was not much ice around, whether natural or artificial. Perhaps, they were okay with the temperature not being too cold for human comfort.
Anyway, the first one I saw was a small seal. It was not that tiny, but compared to the walruses in that place, it looked like a sweet little baby. It was happily swimming and floating around without a care for the visitors who were its pictures. Ah, to have that carefree life.
In another section were the walruses. Initially, I thought there were only two. Watching the videos I have taken, however, I noticed that there were actually three of them. The largest one was the most camera-comfy of them all since the two others remained strictly under water.
I was so amazed at how well they swam without much flapping around needed. How could they float so well considering how heavy they looked?!
As we went further down, we heard a very loud thump that sounded as if someone tried to bang heavily on the glass panels that kept the animals and the water in. Jana theorized that it must have been a walrus that hit the glass. When we got to another spot that had a better view of the three walruses I took a video of earlier, I guess she might be right. I thought they were huge earlier. They looked even more huge closer!
They looked kind of pissed off too. Hahaha…
I am so awestruck by how well the viewing areas were designed. You see, you get to have different vantage points of these magnificent creatures. It really was well-thought-of and masterfully designed! I cannot even draw a decent 2D picture of a house!
I truly enjoyed seeing the seals and walruses. I am not sure though if there was a manatee or a sea lion there as well. I would probably look out for those when I visit Ocean Park again in the future. I still have plenty of animals to see when I return.
After seeing the seals and walruses, we got to see arctic foxes. Gosh! They look so regal and majestic even though they were sleeping peacefully.
There were three of them and all of them looked like babies. I wondered where their parents were. They must be somewhere else or resting at a more secluded area.
Now, this is the part where my heart got broken. The South Pole Encounter section was closed. That meant we could not see the penguins. Therefore, I had to content myself with the penguin statues outside.
I had no idea that the section was closed for renovation until the end of June. I was tremendously disappointed because I wanted to see penguins for the first time in real life! I felt like a kid whose toy was taken from her. Oh well, at least I saw a panda. That’s also black and white.
That’s it for now. Please stay tuned for my final post on our Ocean Park trip. In the meantime, please click here to read more about my trips to Hong Kong.