Ocean Park, Hong Kong, have introduced a brand new attraction to the park which combines culture, history, architecture and local delicacies, with entertaining games designed to offer a fun and educational park experience to its guests. ‘Old Hong Kong’, as the new attraction is known, brings a bygone era back to life with the creation of an old-style street from 50 years ago.
Old Hong Kong features “tong lau” style buildings and shops and its olde worlde design is complimented with a vintage tramcar, a preserved bus and a large selection of memorabilia from yesteryear. The attraction aims to immerse guests in the “collective memories of the Hong Kong people”.
“Hong Kong experienced a golden period between the 1950s and 1970s, which saw the city establish itself as an economic miracle and bastion of creativity. Old Hong Kong offers everyone a chance to immerse themselves in the communal pride of that period and the many small joys that enriched the lives of a previous generation, ” said Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, at the launch ceremony.
“Old Hong Kong is the first new attraction to open in 2012; it is the culmination of nearly 2 years of in-depth research and a meticulous design process aimed at creating “edutaining” presentations of diverse aspects of life in the old days, from clothing, food, shelter, transportation, culture to entertainment. By bringing these collective memories to life, Old Hong Kong is at once a giant history classroom and a celebration of Hong Kong People’s indefatigable gung-ho spirit, ” he went on to explain.
The new Ocean Park attraction is themed in the style of 1950s to 1970s Hong Kong and covers almost 40, 000 square feet close to the Hong Kong waterfront. The launch was also themed in the style of a traditional Hong Kong businesses grand opening ceremony.
“Ocean Park is widely recognized for its remarkable achievements in education and animal conservation. Now with the opening of Old Hong Kong, the Park will help young people learn about Hong Kong’s cultural history, the everyday life of an earlier generation and a wonderful bygone era. Millions of visitors to Hong Kong can also travel back in time to personally explore the Hong Kong of old, ” said Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the HKSAR who was also joined for the launch by Dr Allan Zemen.
Other honourable guests at the launch included Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, GBS, JP, Secretary for Development and Ms. Rosanna Law, Acting Commissioner for Tourism, who were later taken on a tour of Old Hong Kong.
Any trip to Old Hong Kong in Ocean Park begins with a “Dai Tat Dei”-style garlanded entrance. This showcases the work of traditional Hong Kong artisans and references Cantonese opera with its coloured bamboo scaffolding.
Guests can then go on to enjoy a myriad of features including food area “dai pai dong”, where an array of local delicacies from days gone by can be enjoyed, game booths, shops, an old-fashioned cinema and more.
Old Hong Kong also has replica artefacts which further add to the nostalgic feel of the attraction, including dried seafood, old bikes and replica rickshaws. Amongst the old shops, which would commonly have been found in the Hong Kong of that era, the gift shop offers visitors the opportunity to take a piece of Old Hong Kong home with them.
Dr. Allan Zeman concluded, “Given the strong public interest in the history and culture of Hong Kong, this latest attraction is set to become a new hotspot for locals and tourists alike. I encourage everyone to plan ahead for a visit to Old Hong Kong for an immersive, fun and inspiring experience of the city’s rich heritage.”
Ocean Park opened in 1977 as a non-profit concern and has developed a world-wide reputation for its work with animals and relationship with the Hong Kong community. More than 105 million visitors have been welcomed to Ocean Park since it first opened and the company remain committed to providing a fun and educational attraction for families.
Part of the ticket and retail revenue generated at Ocean Park is donated to Ocean Parks Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong, to support wildlife conservation projects.
Additionally, the “Hong Kong’s People’s Park” is involved in a number of community initiatives so that locals can enjoy all of the amenities that Ocean Park has to offer. These include a number of concessions and a social care programme with an aggregate community value of HK$110 million.