Two destinations we visited are Hong Kong Park in Central, which contains a great aviary, and Ocean Park in Aberdeen, an amusement park which is home to four Great Pandas.
The aviary in Hong Kong Park is essentially a large net-covered structure built over a natural valley where trees are growing. A wooden walkway is built at the level of the tree crowns, so visitors can walk right where many of the 800 birds are spending their time. In strategic places, fruits and other treats are fixed to attract birds.
While the aviary in the park is free, Ocean Park is rather expensive. It’s an amusement park with a number of rides and some animal exhibits, like the “Jellyfish Spectacular”, the “Goldfish Treasures” (weird), and of course, the pandas.
I had never seen a Great Panda before, which is the main reason why we went to Ocean Park at all. But now that I’ve seen them, I can attest: they are really the cutest animals in existence. They just trigger all the cuteness responses available to the human being. They have this big round face, the fuzzy fur, their eye-spots make them look like they have these BIG eyes, and they have this adorable clueless and slightly clumsy expression, while at the same time they use their paws almost like hands and seem quite industrious.
Of the four pandas at Ocean Park, two were napping and two were eating bamboo. An An was the most photogenic. I was quite impressed how An An would first systematically pick off all the leaves from a bamboo branch and then hold the bunch of leaves he collected in his fist and eat them all in one go. An almost human behavior.