A Handy Guide to Ocean Park Hong Kong

Ocean Park Hong Kong isn’t just a theme park, it’s a gateway to aquatic adventures, thrilling rides, and unforgettable wildlife experiences. This sprawling attraction offers something for everyone, from families with young children to adrenaline-seeking adventurers and here’s more on what you need to know.

How to Get There

Reaching Ocean Park is a breeze. Take the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) to the dedicated Ocean Park stop on the South Island Line. Alternatively, buses operating from various parts of the city, including a direct route from Admiralty MTR Station (Citybus Route 629), will whisk you conveniently to the park entrance. For a family getaway in Hong Kong, hotel deals can be found in Tsim Sha Tsui at properties like Park Hotel Hong Kong which makes an ideal base from which to visit such attractions.

The Waterfront

The first section you will come across is The Waterfront which features a kaleidoscope of marine life. The Grand Aquarium boasts over 400 species, from majestic sharks to tropical fish and much more which can be viewed from sections like the spectacular Reef Tunnel. Also, do not miss exploring the Giant Panda Adventure home to adorable pandas as well as the Gator Marsh and Little Meerkat and Giant Tortoise Adventure.

The Summit

Take a thrilling cable car ride up to The Summit, offering panoramic views of the park and the South China Sea. Here, adventure beckons!  For the brave souls, the Hair Raiser coaster propels you through loops and dives, while the thrilling Flash takes you on a wild spinning ride to experience a force of 3.9G! You can also experience a wet and wild ride on The Rapids, while families can enjoy a more relaxed ride on the Ferris Wheel.

Other Attractions

Ocean Park Hong Kong
Image via Wikimedia Commons – 罗布泊, 中国香港海洋公园 China Hong Kong Ocean Park China Xinjiang Urumq – panoramio (46), CC BY 3.0

Beyond the exhilarating rides, Ocean Park unveils a treasure trove of other experiences. Embark on a captivating journey at Dolphin Explorations, where you can get up close to dolphins and sea lions and learn more about them. Travel to the icy realms at the South Pole Spectacular to encounter penguins, visit Shark Mystique home to a myriad of sharks and ascend Ocean Park Tower for awe-inspiring vistas. Of course, there is plenty more to see and do here so plan your day according to your interests.

Visiting Pigeon Island, Trincomalee – A snorkel and A dive away

Renowned for its unique blend of pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs, Pigeon Island has evolved into a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. This idyllic islet, officially designated as a national park, beckons visitors with its lush landscapes, diverse marine life, and a rich colonial past that echoes through the remnants of a 17th-century Dutch fort.

Where exactly is the Island?

Pigeon Island in Trincomalee | Image by Chiranmayu via Wikimedia Commons

Pigeon Island National Park has emerged as a recent addition to Sri Lanka’s expanding conservation areas, encompassing not only the small Pigeon Island located just a kilometre off the coast near Trincomalee but also a significant expanse of the surrounding coral reef and sea. Despite the unfortunate impact of the 2004 tsunami on much of its coral, the park boasts some of the best-preserved coral reefs in Sri Lanka, and is conveniently accessible in many ways.

Getting to the Island

Pigeon Island is readily visible from the northern coast of Trincomalee, its petite expanse measuring around 200 meters, yet situated just 1 kilometer off Nilaveli Beach. Access to the island is exclusively facilitated through organized boat tours originating from either Nilaveli Beach or Uppuveli Beach. The process is effortlessly managed, with numerous snorkelling and diving establishments lining the beachfront, offering tours and equipment rentals.

The Best Time to visit

Optimal conditions for snorkelling and diving adventures at Pigeon Island prevail from April to October, aligning with the dry season in northern Sri Lanka. During this period, you can anticipate clearer skies and more tranquil, transparent waters. While water clarity may vary throughout the season, choosing a mid-season timeframe enhances the likelihood of encountering the best conditions for clear water exploration. Consider visiting resources like Truly Sri Lanka for a better idea of the weather and optimal visit times.

Snorkelling or Diving?

While one might instinctively assume that Pigeon Island is better suited for diving, experienced visitors and instructors insist that opting for snorkelling is the more rewarding choice.  The shallow reef on the south side of the island offers an ideal environment for snorkelling, providing easy sightings of reef sharks, turtles, and abundant fish, a great adventure in Sri Lanka to seek out and experience for yourself.

Get Set for the Monkey Trail Hike in Ao Nang! – Hiking Enthusiasts, This One’s For You

Embark on a thrilling hike through lush jungles and towering cliffs along the Monkey Trail to Pai Plong Beach in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand. Discover a hidden paradise of pristine shores and breathtaking views, making every step of the journey an unforgettable adventure in nature.

Богдан Сбитный, Ao Phai Plong Krabi Thailand, CC BY-SA 4.0

Tips for Hiking

Hikers are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes with a good grip as the trail can be slippery. They are also encouraged to apply sunscreen and insect repellent in addition to bringing water. Bringing food is discouraged as it can attract monkeys.

The Monkey Trail Experience

Hikers are immediately greeted by lush vegetation and greenery upon commencement of the hike, which starts from the southern end of Ao Nang Beach. True to its name, hikers are also greeted by mischievous monkeys of the trail, swinging from one tree to another. Hikers are encouraged to respect the boundaries of these playful creatures and avoid feeding them. This hike remains one of the most popular Ao Nang things to do.

Pai Plong Beach: A Delightful Gem

After descending from the viewpoint of the hike, a breathtaking sight awaits and is none other than Pai Plong Beach. The atmosphere is secluded and peaceful, inviting hikers to kick off their shoes, dip their feet into golden sand, and take a refreshing dip in its azure, cool waters.

Retreat to Quiet Comfort and Luxury

After a day of hiking and adventure, hikers can retreat to the serene comfort and luxury of a stunning property such as Avani Ao Nang.

Al Bidda to Doha – History Worth Knowing Before You Travel – A Guide to the Captivating City 

The humble and captivating journey from Al Bidda to Doha traces the transformation of a humble fishing village into a modern city while preserving its rich heritage and culture.

Jaseem Hamza, Al Bida Park, Westbay Doha, Qatar – panoramio (4), CC BY 3.0

Origins of Al Bidda 

Long before skyscrapers and busy streets dominated this city, Al Bidda was a simple settlement located along the Arabian Peninsula. Its strategic location made it a hub for pearl diving and fishing – activities which have sustained generations up to this day.

Rise of Doha 

Al Bidda’s historical turning point came in the 19th Century, when it was a dependency on the Ottoman Empire. In the 1820s, the ruling Al Thani family sought greater control thus leading to conflicts with the Ottomans. In 1867, then-ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Thani moved the capital from Al Wakrah to Al Bidda and renamed it Doha.

Preservation of Cultural Heritage 

Despite its rapid development, Qatar is committed to preserving its rich cultural heritage. The city of Doha is home to numerous museums and cultural institutions such as the Museum of Islamic Art, the Doha Film Institute, and the Qatar National Museum.

A Glimpse of Doha Today 

A glimpse of Doha highlights the seamless blend of modernity and tradition in the city today. From luxury hotels in Doha to the bustling souqs, visitors are sure to enjoy what the city has to offer. Visit the iconic landmarks and museums and indulge in traditional cuisine before retreating to the quiet comfort and luxury of a property such as the Banana Island Resort Doha.

Discover the Wonders of Gardens by the Bay

In the heart of Singapore lies a verdant urban oasis like no other – Gardens by the Bay. A harmonious blend of nature and innovation, this awe-inspiring destination invites visitors to immerse themselves in a world of breathtaking beauty and captivating wonders.

Planning Your Visit

Embark on your journey to Gardens by the Bay beside the Marina Bay Waterfront with ease, whether you opt for convenient access via the Bayfront MRT Station or prefer to take a taxi. For an ideal base, consider staying at a property of Park Hotel Group, in the City Hall district. Many of the sites within the gardens are open from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm, giving you ample time to explore; also, keep in mind that you get both free and paid attractions to choose from on your visit.

Indoor Conservatories

Step into a world of wonder within the three indoor conservatories of Gardens by the Bay, amongst the top attractions in Singapore. Explore the ethereal, mist-filled landscapes of the Cloud Forest, complete with a towering ‘mountain’, rare vegetation, and a cascading waterfall. Wander through the Flower Dome, home to a diverse array of plants and flowers from five continents, including ancient olive trees and vibrant orchids. Delve into the whimsical realms of Floral Fantasy, where fairy tales and mythical gardens come to life in four distinct zones of enchantment.


Supertrees – Image via Flickr

Marvel at the iconic Supertrees, towering vertical gardens that stand as the crowning jewels of Gardens by the Bay. Adorned with over 158,000 plants of varied species, these majestic structures captivate visitors during the day as well as at night when they are lit up. Traverse the OCBC Skyway, a 128-metre-long walkway suspended 22 metres above ground, offering panoramic views. As night falls, witness the enchanting Garden Rhapsody, a mesmerising, free light and sound show (7.45 pm and 8.45 pm), that illuminates the Supertree Grove in a dazzling spectacle.

Other Attractions

Entertain the little ones at the Far East Organisation Children’s Garden, where interactive playscapes and water features spark joy and wonder. Stroll along the boardwalk at Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes, offering tranquil surroundings and wildlife sightings. Explore the Heritage Gardens and Sun Pavilion, each providing unique botanical delights to discover. Conclude your day at the Bay East Garden, a serene sanctuary ideal for unwinding and basking in the glow of a spellbinding sunset against the backdrop of the Marina Bay skyline.





























The Hiking Trails around Kandy

Nestled amidst the lush, emerald-green landscapes of Sri Lanka, Kandy emerges as a captivating destination for hiking enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in nature’s embrace. With its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking vistas, Kandy offers a myriad of hiking trails that cater to both seasoned trekkers and leisurely explorers alike. From verdant tea plantations to mist-shrouded mountains, each trail promises an unforgettable journey through the island’s diverse terrain.

The Knuckles Range

With its diverse mountain ranges, including the challenging Knuckles Mountain Range, hikers can expect mesmerizing summit views and encounters with rich biodiversity. The Knuckles, named for their knuckle-like appearance, boast thirty-four peaks and offer various trails suitable for different skill levels. With lush forests, streams, and waterfalls, this World Heritage conservation area promises an unforgettable experience. If you choose to stay in a hotel in Kandy, make sure to consider such places as the Hotel Topaz to enhance your stay.

Riverston and Pitawala

Located within the Knuckles Mountain Range, Pitawala Pathana and Riverston Peak offer breathtaking panoramic views of nature’s beauty. Pitawala Pathana, a 24-acre grassy plain, culminates in a dramatic cliff known as ‘mini world’s end,’ accessible via designated nature trails. Endemic wildlife, such as the Kirthisinghe’s rock frog, inhabits this region, adding to its allure. The drive to these treks offers picturesque views of the Knuckles ridges and passes three natural water streams along the way.

Sigiriya and Pidurangala

Pidurangala – Image via Flickr

Fondly dubbed the ‘palace in the clouds,’ Sigiriya Rock, or the Lion Rock Fortress, stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a marvel of Sri Lanka’s historical and cultural legacy, acclaimed as the 8th wonder of the world. Rising 200 meters, this sheer rock formation, once a volcanic plug and ancient fortress, showcases the kingdom’s agricultural advancements, technical prowess, and architectural mastery. Adjacent to Sigiriya is Pidurangala Mountain, offering unparalleled views of the fortress in a serene, less-explored setting.

Rathna Ella, Hasalaka

Rathna Ella, situated in Hasalaka within the Kandy District, is a stunning waterfall boasting a height of 111 meters, making it the tallest in the Kandy region and the 9th tallest in Sri Lanka. Also known as ‘Navarathne Ella,’ this majestic cascade originates from the Knuckles Mountain Range, surrounded by lush vegetation nurtured by nearby paddy cultivation villages. Serving as a vital water source for irrigation, it supports the livelihoods of approximately 200 farmers.

Find Adventure in Thailand

Thailand, a country renowned for its vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality, offers a diverse array of adventures to thrill seekers and explorers alike. From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the serene beaches of the southern islands, Thailand’s diverse terrain provides the perfect backdrop for a multitude of exhilarating experiences. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping activities like jungle trekking, zip-lining, and rock climbing, or craving more tranquil pursuits such as snorkelling in crystal-clear waters, Thailand promises adventures to suit every taste and inclination.

Khao Sok National Park

Found in Surat Thani province, Khao Sok National Park captivates with its immense natural splendour, boasting ancient rainforests, cascading waterfalls, abundant wildlife, and iconic karst mountains synonymous with Thailand’s scenery. Its vastness and diversity make it an ideal destination for embarking on thrilling adventures. In just a few days, visitors can partake in a myriad of activities such as kayaking, hiking, swimming, and cave exploration.

Rock Climbing at Railay and Tonsai

Railay and Tonsai, adjacent beaches, are essential stops for rock climbing enthusiasts. Renowned as a premier destination for the sport, these areas boast over 700 bolted routes on stunning limestone cliffs, attracting climbers globally. The strong community atmosphere is particularly advantageous for solo travellers, as finding climbing partners and forging friendships is virtually guaranteed, enhancing the overall adventure experience in Thailand.

Scuba Diving in the Similan Islands

Similan Islands
Similan Islands – Image via Flickr

For ultimate Thailand adventures, diving in the Similan Islands stands out as an unparalleled experience. Situated in the Andaman Sea, this group of 11 islands forms a breathtaking marine national park renowned for its pristine beauty. Accessible via liveaboard cruises from Khao Lak, or tours from Phuket or Ranong, ranging from one day to a week, these islands offer an abundance of marine life encounters

Jungle Treks through Pai

Venturing along the winding road to Pai, with its staggering 700 turns, proves to be an adventure of its own, rewarded by the charming town nestled amidst stunning countryside vistas. Surrounding Pai are picturesque landscapes adorned with waterfalls, caves, rice terraces, and lush jungle, offering an idyllic setting for exploration. While the town itself offers hiking trails, adventurers can also delve further into the wilderness for some interesting vacations in Asia, as well as have partners such as Travelodge Hotels Asia to provide accommodation through your journey.

Scuba Diving in Hikkaduwa – Explore beneath the waves

Embark on an exhilarating adventure beneath the waves with scuba diving in Hikkaduwa, a coastal gem in Sri Lanka known for its vibrant marine ecosystem and stunning underwater landscapes.

Diving Sites and Marine Life

Diving to explore Marine Life in Hikkaduwa | Image via Needpix

Explore Hikkaduwa’s renowned dive sites, including Coral Garden and Kiralagala Rock, teeming with colourful fish and fascinating coral formations. These sites boast clear waters and excellent visibility, providing divers with unforgettable encounters with Sri Lanka’s underwater wonders. Keep an eye out for majestic sea turtles gliding effortlessly by, making your dive an unforgettable adventure in Sri Lanka.

Equipment and Safety Precautions

Before diving, ensure your safety by checking your equipment thoroughly and following safety protocols. Always dive with a certified instructor or guide, and adhere to safety procedures such as buddy checks and dive planning. Properly maintained scuba gear and adherence to safety guidelines are essential for a safe and enjoyable diving experience.

Choosing the Right Dive Centre

Select a reputable dive centre with certified instructors and a strong commitment to safety and environmental conservation. Look for facilities that offer well-maintained equipment, small group sizes, and personalised instruction. Reading reviews and seeking recommendations from fellow divers can help you find the ideal dive centre for your needs.

Environmental Conservation and Responsible Diving Practices

Practice responsible diving by respecting marine life and habitats. Avoid touching or disturbing coral reefs and marine creatures, and refrain from littering or damaging underwater ecosystems. Participate in conservation efforts such as underwater clean-up initiatives to help preserve Hikkaduwa’s marine environment for future generations. For more information on responsible diving practices in Sri Lanka, check out popular travel blogs such as Truly Sri Lanka.

Accommodation and Facilities for Divers

Hikkaduwa offers a range of accommodation options catering to divers, from beachfront resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. Many accommodations provide diving packages and facilities for storing and rinsing dive gear, making it convenient for diving enthusiasts to explore the underwater wonders of Hikkaduwa.

The good parts to going to a health retreat – Healing body

A visit to a health retreat offers a transformative experience that transcends the boundaries of traditional vacations. In the hustle and bustle of modern life, where stress and hectic schedules often take a toll on both our physical and mental well-being, health retreats emerge as sanctuaries of holistic healing. These havens provide a harmonious blend of therapeutic practices, nourishing cuisines, and serene environments, creating an immersive escape from the pressures of daily life.

Boosting Immunity ​​​​​​​

Beyond standard diet and exercise regimens, numerous wellness retreats provide detoxification therapies designed to eliminate harmful toxins from the body. These may include a Hunter Valley spa retreat such as the Elysia Wellness Retreat as well. These detox programs have the potential to boost the immune system, increasing its effectiveness in warding off diseases.

Fixing Sleep Cycles

Frequent sleep deprivation has become a prevalent concern in contemporary society. Wellness retreats create an optimal setting for restful sleep through the encouragement of relaxation techniques and tranquil and cosy accommodations – boosting overall sleep quality.

Introducing Healthy Habits​​​​​​​

Through the introduction of visitors to health-promoting habits like balanced diets, regular physical activity, and mindfulness practices, wellness retreats leave a lasting impact that extends well beyond the duration of the stay. Numerous participants adopt and maintain these healthy practices even after they have returned home.

Image via Elysia Wellness Retreat

Restores focus and reworks dependency

The restorative effects of wellness retreats not only contribute to enhanced work performance upon return but also foster rejuvenated mental health, reduced stress levels, and increased focus. These positive outcomes often translate into higher productivity and creativity. Embracing the common theme of digital detox in wellness tourism, these retreats actively encourage participants to disconnect from their devices.

Exploring Abu Dhabi – Discover an emirate in the UAE

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Abu Dhabi, where the desert meets the sea and the sky knows no limits. From towering skyscrapers to pristine beaches, Abu Dhabi offers a captivating blend of modernity and tradition, inviting travellers to explore its diverse landscapes and rich heritage.

Marvel at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Step into architectural splendour at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a breathtaking masterpiece of Islamic design. Admire the intricate details of its domes, minarets, and stunning marble courtyards, and immerse yourself in the serene ambience of this sacred sanctuary.

Explore the Corniche

Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Corniche, Abu Dhabi’s scenic waterfront promenade. With its pristine beaches, lush parks, and stunning skyline views, the Corniche offers the perfect backdrop for a relaxing day by the sea or a refreshing sunset walk.

Venture into the Desert

Experience the thrill of desert adventures with a desert safari excursion. Embark on a dune-bashing escapade across the golden sands, enjoy camel rides, and witness mesmerising desert sunsets that paint the sky in hues of orange and gold.

Image via Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi

Ascend the Etihad Towers

Reach for the sky and ascend the iconic Etihad Towers, where panoramic vistas of Abu Dhabi’s skyline await. Marvel at the city’s architectural wonders from the observation deck, and capture unforgettable moments against the backdrop of the Arabian Gulf. After a day of exploring, unwind and pamper yourself in the lap of luxury at one of the 5-star hotels in Abu Dhabi the likes of Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi.