Wetland Park the env equivalent of Cyberport?

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    Just been sent a copy of The Cut, an emailed mag on tourism ("uncensored"). Under activities, it says:

    Skip It – My flat has more wildlife than the new Wetlands Park, it’s the environmental equivalent of Cyberport. Ominously void of living creatures, it sits near the border with China, the air is filthy and the water is most likely polluted from nearby factory run off.

    Now, I’m no fan of the Wetland Park.
    It cost a huge amount of money – over HK$500 million [edited, after following post]; yet habitats tiny, while there’s a voluminous visitor centre, with plenty of fancy stuff like computers etc; I strongly doubt such things really help give people a good appreciation of nature.

    I doubted many people would travel out to Tin Shui Wai to visit the park.
    Yet, read that planned visitor numbers for a year exeeded within a few months of opening.
    Did also see that few foreigners among the visitors.
    Heard that many people evidently local – and after all, Tin Shui Wai isn’t renowned for its parks etc. :whistle: Heard, too, of people heading along to sit around, reading the paper and so on.

    I’ve been three times, all prior to opening. Once to help film painted snipe, a species that’s scarce in HK, though a small pool at the park attracted around a dozen. (Saw little else that day.)
    Another time, went with a tourism industry party, as the park was promoted prior to opening. Didn’t see even one egret within the park, yet at Mai Po immediately afterwards, plenty of egrets, as well as black-faced spoonbills. (My view: you want to see wildlife inc birds, go to Mai Po; for computers and huge visitor centre, the Wetland Park’s the place [and if you visit, hope you enjoy the educational video captions, some of which I wrote]).
    Another time, it was closer to opening. Rather better for birds – were some egrets, as well as sprinkling of shorebirds inc Temminck’s stints at pool known as the mudflat. But still, for half a billion Hong Kong dollars…

    Meanwhile, Mai Po is far from bursting with monies: I often reflect while visiting, that even a fraction of the money thrown at the Wetland Park could make major differences at Mai Po, including to help boost visitor numbers whilst also attracting more birds (yes, that’s possible).
    And, the money could help foster proper eco-tourism more widely in the Deep Bay wetland, inc at fishponds close to the Wetland Park: could surely work with local people, aim for tourism that benefits them. But really, the government cares little about such things: big, flashy projects with plenty of concrete are what the govt wants. ]Island hopping tour to northeast New Territories[/url] is a pleasant exception, tho I’m not sure it’s geared to helping locals, and wonder how long it will last.)

     Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/11/15 11:39

    Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/02/15 13:32


    I went last weekend.

    Its a nice resource for locals who want to take their kids out. The exhibitions in the main building are good, but the outside environment is lame in comparison to Mai Po (incidentally is that open again – for the HK$100 advance bookers?)

    Didn’t see many birds on the mudflats. There was one area that had a few birds, with some prissy twitchers who ‘ssshhhed’ toddlers who made noise. Really, if youre a serious birdwatcher, then you’re daft to go to a family-oriented attraction and expect silence

    Incidentally, if the attraction cost HK$500,000, i’m a [snipped out, by Martin the PC policeman!]. It cost a hell of a lot more than that to build !!!!!
    – oops, that should be HK$500 million! [Martin]

    I bought a copy of Martin’s book yesterday.

    Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/02/15 13:31


    Yes, not many wild birds at the Wetland Park – esp given the megabucks spent on it.
    I’m not sure the wetlands organisation that cooperated with the park – Wetland Link International – should be too proud of being involved.

    Heard of visitor forecast being exceeded already; but if mostly locals, it’s hardly the supposed big benefit to local tourism that was supposed. (Yes, another project from the Tourism Commission – like the dead trees with grafiti at Ngong Ping on Lantau. They have to do something, I guess.)

    Still, let’s see if get upsurge in local wetland conservation efforts, driven by people who’ve been to the park, got inspired there. Plenty of sites need help – Deep Bay’s in trouble, then have other wetlands as at Mui Wo, Shuen Wan, Sham Chung…

    Mai Po indeed open. Think that can be around HK$70 if join tours there.
    Can get your own permit, if join WWF and HK Birdwatching Soc.

    Hope you find the book useful!

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