/bɪ ə gʊd gɜ:l/ n. moniker of she who blogs here [also known as, bie]; adj. personal awesome advice to all female kiddos

meet the fam #thechennies

meet the fam #thechennies

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Noah's Ark

Like I said previously, we did the less touristy stuff during our vacay to Hong Kong last December. So instead of the usual Disneyland stopover (which I made ZX go with me twice already, before we had kids, so I think I should spare him the torture - anyway, Bielet was too young for most of the rides and ditto for Ocean Park...), the alternative was Noah's Ark instead.

This place is a fairly new attraction located at Tsing Yi. From the website, there seemed like quite a few activities to immerse ourselves in, like the Ark Garden, Ark Expo, Solar Tower, Nature Garden etc. There's even a hotel/resort within its premises, but the exorbitant price was enough to put us off! Entry to the attractions cost us adults HKD155 (close to SGD25) each and Bielet's admission was FOC. [Child rates are HKD125 for 3-11yos.]

You kind of have to follow the set route, that is, enter the Ark Garden first then go into the Ark Expo (inside the massive structure of an Ark replica). The first thought that scurried through my mind when we roamed the Ark Garden was, "HUH you mean we travelled all the way here just to see fake animals?!" Sorry, but I was expecting a zoo of sorts with pairs of animals housed together across the various storeys of the ark. [That's like not possible to maintain but hey, it's called Noah's Ark right?] But still, it was rather nice to get up close to the animal figures, which a lot of attention to detail had been paid, and we could point out each one to Bielet. (The animals in the zoo tend to be a tad too far away to see clearly. And frankly, where else can you get all these animals in a single spot?)

On to the Ark Expo, there were some more fake animals but also sections of insects, creepy crawlies, birds and smaller (more manageable) animals. Bielet was wholly entertained with a couple of kiddy games ala puzzle bobble where she could whack the digital bubbles to pop them and release butterflies and all. She tried to make friends with some other kids too, but let's just say her socialising skills were wanting.

ZX's favourite part of the exhibition was probably that on the joint Turkish-Hong Kong expedition to Mt Ararak, in search of the remains of Noah's Ark. It was interesting to find out more on that bit of history (especially cuz I'm only familiar with the biblical version and not real-time happenings, check out Wikipedia on other searches for the elusive ark here). But what I liked most was the collection of Noah's Ark-related paraphernalia. It was an entire space of arks and animals figurines, from cutesy Precious Moments-esque models to kitschy animal charm bracelets. Bie: so predictable.

Was hopeful that the gift shop would carry some of the items, but alas, the shop was a complete letdown. Lunch at the in-house Harvest Restaurant was also disappointing (although there is no other eatery to choose from anyway). Bielet agreed and hardly touched her food before settling into her midday snooze.

My porridge with duck and veggies - looked better than it tasted

ZX's wrap with salad - tasted better than it looked

A whiles away, actually opposite the ark and a long hike away, we reached the Solar Tower. ZX has a fascination with outer space so we really went there for him. Other than the gallery, there was also this big telescope (not sure what the actual technical term for the space alternative is) but the cloudy weather meant vision was blocked. Shucks. [And frankly, if like us, you have already been to the Hong Kong Space Museum - then please just skip this altogether.] But ZX and Bielet had fun fixing up little structures of multi-coloured blocks and shapes.

Oh, and a word of advice: if you are taking the Park Island bus from the Tsing Yi MTR station, get off at the bus stop after the one where you see the grand sign "Noah's Ark". We got off at the first stop (after verifying with the driver, mind you, although granted we asked in Mandarin cuz we don't speak Cantonese) and had to walk such a long way to the main entrance of the park, past the flyover and all. [For the record, we walked past this way again, and beyond along the beach and some really big condo projects with gazillion blocks, as we wanted to ferry back to Kowloon.]

Tough luck if you come to this entrance/exit, cuz it's the service one for hotel staff and guests only. Hence, ZX and Bielet poring over the map towards the right!

Not that I should complain though, I rather fancy nice, long walks with ZX - as long as the weather is cool and he's backpacking Bielet most of the time. Lol. We enjoyed the attraction somewhat (it's the only full-scale ark replica in the world! Quite inspiring to imagine being in the original ark, battling thunderstorms outside and bobbing up and down in flood waters!) but don't think we'll be coming back again. Once is quite enough for us :))

In the shuttle bus from the MTR station to the ark. Not sure what the father-daughter duo were pointing at, but the dude at the back sure ain't amused...

Perfunctory snaps at the Christmas deco photo point. Lol.

Red long sleeved top with gingerbreadman motif (gift from Big P Aunty), White pants with 'I heart mom' print  (from Granny), Socks with orange hearts from Fox Baby, Oscar The Grouch sneakers from Stride Rite, Purple Lady and the Tramp sweater from Fox Baby

White asymmetrical tee with Charlie Chaplin motif from Shilin Night Market, Pink leggings from Giordano, Black cardi from Cotton On, Brown boots from Timberland (pictured here folded down with inner pink floral pattern)


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