Friday, October 30, 2009

Manila Ocean Park

Went to the Ocean park yesterday to avoid the crowds but forgot that since it was the sem break of Ma, Twinx and Jon, it would also be the vacation of the rest of the schools. We arrived along with a busload of other visitors from the province(possibly Ilocos) and some cadets from I don't know where...
The place is huge and I imagine would be more relaxing to see at a quieter time. They have lots of different freshwater and sea animals on display but one of the most interesting for me was the water sourced directly from nearby Manila Bay. It was murky but could still sustain mussels and barnacles.
The best thing about the park for non-divers is that one can get to see up close all these huge fish and corals even if you're afraid of the water. Entrance fee is P400 and while the mall with all the restos are open till 9 pm, the park is only open till 7pm on weekdays and 8pm on weekends and holidays. There are restos like Pancake House and North Park at the entrance and I advise you eat up before the tour because once you get out to eat, you can't go back in. We spent an hour and 30 minutes touring the place and reading the trivia posted near each aquarium. Would've stayed longer if we weren't hungry.
Fish meet ham. Ma goes all dramatic with Nemo playing the role of fish.

Shark eggs. Look like aliens

This was Twinx's favorite fish because of its forever pouty lips.
The glass arch we walked through had all sorts of fish swimming around us and made me feel like I was in Finding Nemo.

A shark checking out a baby being bottle fed beside the tank.

Mama was not a fan of the noisy visitors. hehehe

The exit leads to the second floor where they have the souvenir shops and food stalls like Chowking and Makansutra, their Asian themed resto. Above are the drinks we ordered: Bandung with chichow, P90; Longan drink, P90; Chcocolate dinosaur, P90(tastes like Milo) and the calamnsi and sour plum, P45. I liked the Bandung which is rose syrup with milk and gulaman.Our first meal to arrive was the Hainanese chicken and we were so hungry we all dug in! Liked the rice cooked in broth but a tip to all would-be diners, servings are small and pricey. Also, ask if rice is included in the order. Most of our ours did not have rice, which is sold at P20 each.

Chicken pandan and catfish and green mango salad.

Laksa-noodles in spicy coconut milk soup. I liked this.
Tom Yum-spicy and sour soup that tastes like sinigang

Chicken satay, P135. Comes with 2 minuscule blocks of rice.

Bagoong fried rice, P140. Satisfying if only there was more beef.

Funny story: My dad was shocked to see 2 cadets holding hands while touring. Turns out they were female cadets who had really short haircuts.
Trying to be Aquaman

Tip: they're really strict with time here. While the fish spa lasts only 20 minutes, they close by 6:30pm so Twinx was really disappointed she wasn't able to do this.

All in all, a worthwhile experience especially if you have a sense of wonder. And maybe you'll learn something, too!

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