The Hong Kong Wetland Park

Yesterday, I visited one of the newest attractions in Hong Kong, the Wetland Park. It is way out in the New Territories, so much so that you can see Shenzhen, China buildings quite clearly in the distance. This park is a 61-hectacre wetland preserve. The park itself is supposed to be a eco-tourism draw despite being an MTR, KCR Train, light-rail, and short walk away from Hong Kong itself. The main visitor’s center features: a theater, gift shop, three main exhibit galleries, a cafe, a play area for kids, and a green roof (oh so trendy these days). The rest of the park features outdoor walks (10-30 minutes each) on boardwalks that take people to bird-watching houses/blinds.

I like the idea of a wetland park focusing on the necessities of preserving wetlands. To have an entire place dedicated to such a specific habitat is wonderful. The place is particularly kid-friendly particularly exhibited by the fact that all the push/pull signs on doors are placed at a kid’s eye level. The exhibits give a lot of weight to technology with a lot of computer screens and TVs. One exhibit, entitled “Human Culture,” was quite curious. If I couldn’t figure out what the exhibit was trying to impart, I think kids, the intended audience, might have an even harder time. The gallery tried to sqeeze all of what “culture” was into one room but failed miserably. The outdoor portion, although brutally hot, was really lovely with open boardwalks giving kids a chance to point at all the fish, frogs, plants, etc. Bird-watching houses gave shelter from the heat while providing the cool activity of spying on birds in the distance. Overall, the wetland park is built for the tourist, especially the child tourist. Parents should beware that it’s quite a trek via transit to get to and from the park and it is quite hot with all the outdoor exertion: bring your hat, sunscreen, and water.

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