China / Macau

Greetings from the Underwater World

Hengqin Aqua Park - Cover

Well, I am not exactly a theme park fan, because I prefer the natural beauty of the mother nature. Honestly, I did enjoy the thrill of amusement rides and the happiness of meet-and-greet with the loving mascot; as time goes by I lost that excitement except going there with children.

But today, I would make an exception introducing the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom – not because I think it is the absolute best in the world, but my visit did go better than my expectation and it was nice to post something new about Macau apart from Portuguese heritage, or casinos and hotels.

The Chimelong Group is a Chinese amusement park operator with several tourist resorts and theme parks in China. In terms of annual attendance, Chimelong is in the top 10 behind Walt Disney, Merlin Entertainment, Universal, Six Flags, OCT Parks China, and Fantawild Group. The Chimelong Ocean Kingdom is located on the Hengqin Island and it’s crowned the most visited water park in the world.

Hengqin Aqua Park - Entrance.JPG

Where is Hengqin Island?

Hengqin is an island in Zhuhai, a city in the Guangdong province of the Southern China. The island had a population of 3,000 and it is about 100 sq.km in size. In 2009, part of the Island is leased to Macau by China, and the whole island is a designated a special economic district, similar to Binhai New Area in Tianjin and Pudong New Area in Shanghai.

Hengqin Aqua Park - Log FlumeThe Chimelong Ocean Kingdom is part of the Chimelong International Ocean Resort on the north side of the island with five theme parks (in the planning), entertainment complex, hotels, and business district. The park opened in 2014 and the first phase of the park cost over 10 billion RMB to build. The entire site aims to become the “Orlando of China”, and though it can yet be a comparison. I did see some world-class infrastructure and design that are better than what I expected.

Well yes, it was summer and the theme park is packed with crowds which children were running, parents were screaming, and families were chatting loudly (almost like yelling). When if I could just try and filter out those noises, I find the beauty of the wonderful creatures having their moments I the aquariums, and it was nice to see so many different animals in a go.

The theme park is called the Ocean Kingdom but the animal collection is quite diverse. Many of them could not be seen in Asia’s urban area. (Well, I do hope they are treated well in the park by the way.) The park has a number of exhibit sites showcasing polar bears (and lots of polar bears), penguins, brown bears, belugas, manatees, dolphins, whale sharks, seals and sea lions, walruses, lots of birds, and a giant aquarium tank that housed millions of fish.

More, the park also features a number of fun rides, like a giant log flume, roller coaster, bumper cars, with fireworks, laser, and water fountain show to look forward to in the evening before the park closes.

Hengqin Aqua Park - Aquarium

What I like about the park is that the facilities are well designed to allow visitors a good view of the animals, and at the same time, there are spaces for the animals to move around in their confinement. I saw brown bears which were sitting on a man-made cliff so adorable and asking visitors for food; Polar bears were swimming in their habitat as I could see them through the acrylic viewing tunnel underneath the pool. In the penguin world, I could see penguin standing on the ice looking silly, or chasing each other in the water through a giant glass. The theme park breaks a couple of world records. The giant aquarium is the world’s largest aquarium tank, it features the largest acrylic window which measures a massive 39.6m by 8.3m. More, the whale shark exhibit also features the world’s largest underwater viewing dome. It was exciting to walk through the tunnels and saw so many fish dancing in the water.

It was nice to interact and observe so many different kinds of amazing creatures, and it always makes me wonder and de-stress. 😊

16 thoughts on “Greetings from the Underwater World

  1. This sounds really well designed, although I’m not entirely sure about having some of those big animals in captivity. The rides seem great fun and I’m sure my son, in particular, would love it. I’d never heard of it before, so glad to read about it!

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  2. Personally we too are not much in awe of theme parks, preferring raw nature in all its wild beauty. However I did find this post interesting. The Chimelong Ocean Kingdom looks unique. Look at the varied assortment of animals they have. They have Polar bears and penguins too. I also hope that these are taken good care of, especially as they are out of their natural environment.

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    • Thanks Sandy and I agree there’s a thrill of feeling the nature at its best while everything look man-made in theme parks. But well, it’s a different kind of experience and they have their perks every now and then ~

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  3. Even we find the water rides more fascinating than the rides in amusement parks. We would love to explore the aquariums and the laser, and water fountain sounds like a fantastic idea.

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  4. Thank you very much for this them park introduction. This is all we think for our children for animals and ocean lives at the theme park, This is obsolutely at the first to think for our next trip. I have two children 3 and 5 years old. Do you think we can make it one day or two days is the best to visit?

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    • Thank you Long; there are lots of zoos and them parks in the area and for example, the Ocean park in Hong Kong is awesome, too! I think when there are more completed it would be nice for a 3-4 days trip together with Macau. 🙂

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  5. Haha, I don’t think it’s possible to visit a water park without listening to children screaming and shouting!! It certainly looks like they’ve put some thought into the planning with lots of space for the animals as well as putting the tourist viewing places out of the way. It’ll be interesting to see what the rest of the development looks like once it’s finished!

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