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Ocean Park Kicks Off 2018 Sichuan Nature Conservation Week and Launches Hong Kong’s First Ecotour to Wolong in Wenchuan Taking Hong Kong people to the motherland of the giant panda for exclusive exploration in restricted conservation areas

2018-11-08

In collaboration with the Forestry Department and the ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture Government of Sichuan Province, Ocean Park is hosting the 2018 Sichuan Nature Conservation Week from today until 14 November to present achievements in giant panda conservation and to promote Sichuan culture. The Park also joined hands with China Travel Service (H.K.) Limited (CTS) to announce today the up-coming launch of the first ecotour from Hong Kong to Wolong, Wenchuan. Accompanied by Ocean Park’s panda education experts, participants will be taken on an expedition to the motherland of giant pandas in Wolong, Wenchuan, Sichuan to track wild giant pandas in restricted conservation areas at the Wolong National Nature Reserve that require special access.
 
During the 2018 Sichuan Nature Conservation Week, guests can experience an array of knowledge-filled activities and traditional performances, including an exhibition that uses multimedia projection and lighting technology to showcase Sichuan’s mesmerising landscapes, conservation work for giant pandas, and the beauty of the region’s natural resources and ecology. Unique performances will be staged to demonstrate the quintessential Sichuan culture and rich heritage of the people from the Aba prefecture. Furthermore, a mouthwatering, limited-time selection of Sichuan delicacies featuring rare ingredients from the province and new panda-themed merchandise are also ready to immerse guests in a holistic cultural journey.
 
Peng Qing-hua, Secretary of Provincial Committee of Sichuan Province, said at the opening ceremony of 2018 Sichuan Nature Conservation Week, “This year’s joint event is of great significance for promoting collaboration on nature conservation and cultural exchange between Sichuan and Hong Kong. In addition to showcasing the ecological development and giant panda conservation work in Sichuan that the Hong Kong SAR Government has facilitated over the past few years, the event also provides a great opportunity for the public to know more about the unique landscapes of the Aba prefecture, as well as the Tibetan and Qiang culture. We invite Hong Kong people to visit us in Sichuan and Aba to experience the world’s best ecotour.”
 
Hong Kong’s First Ecotour and Tailored Expedition to Connect People with Nature
In collaboration with China Travel Service (H.K.) Limited, Ocean Park will launch Hong Kong’s first ecotour to Wolong, Wenchuan accompanied by the Park’s panda education experts. Participants will be first greeted by the Park’s panda caregivers in a “Behind the Scenes – Giant Panda” programme, where they will warm up with fun facts about giant pandas in the wild and panda conservation before going on their adventure. Thanks to the Forestry Department of Sichuan Province, China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda and authorities of the Wolong National Nature Reserve, the seven-day tour will enable participants to venture into the depths of a restricted conservation area that requires special access in the Dengsheng Forest at the Wolong National Nature Reserve. Following veteran forest keepers with years of experience in tracking giant pandas in the wild, participants will explore the area in search for giant pandas in the wild and assist in a census by setting up scientific equipment that aids the study. The group will also experience the daily tasks of a panda keeper, including cleaning, washing bamboos and preparing food at the Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base.
 
Leo Kung, Chairman of Ocean Park, said, “Ocean Park is always committed to promoting the long-term partnership and exchange on nature conservation between Hong Kong and Sichuan. Through the culturally vibrant performances and educational displays, we hope to encourage the public to take part in conserving our natural environment for the future. We are excited to launch the first-ever ecotour to Wolong, Wenchuan that will take the public to the motherland of giant pandas where they can learn and deep dive into Sichuan’s history and culture, and witness the results of ecological reconstruction and conservation work.”
 
3D Lighting Showcase of Sichuan’s Giant Panda Conservation and Traditional Culture 
The 2018 Sichuan Nature Conservation Week activities are mainly presented in the Park’s Waterfront area. Guests will find a special exhibition space right outside the Applause Pavilion that makes use of 3D lighting and videos to bring to life Sichuan’s mesmerising scenery alongside the stunning natural resources and ecology of the Aba prefecture. Also on display are creative art pieces inspired by the healthy lifestyles of inhabitants in Wolong, Wenchuan, and achievements in conservation work for giant pandas conducted in Hong Kong and Sichuan. With the help of 3D glasses, guests will embark on a visual journey that deepens their understanding about giant pandas and nature conservation. In addition, performers from Sichuan will amaze guests at the Sichuan Cultural Show that encompasses Tibetan and Qiang folk performances, folk songs sung by the Shoumo tribe and ethnic group dances performed by women of the Qiang tribe.
 
Demonstrations of Qiang embroidery, Shibi’s chanting, Qiang flutes, Kouxian (a type of stringed instrument made of bamboo) will be staged outside the Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures for guests to appreciate the intangible cultural heritage of people from the Aba prefecture. Even more exciting, guests will have the opportunity to participate in these cultural displays. Meanwhile, panda and nature enthusiasts can head over to the Park’s Mountain and River Classrooms for an educational talk on giant panda conservation conducted by staff from the Wolong National Nature Reserve. Selfie experts can make way to Panda Village at Amazing Asian Animals for countless photos opportunities amidst life-size giant panda standees and rack their brains at the lantern riddles to uncover what Sichuan culture has to offer. The Park’s mascot Bao Bao will also make a special appearance in a limited-time Sichuan costume during the event period.

Shop and Dine Options Featuring Rare Sichuan Ingredients and New Giant Panda-themed Merchandise
Chefs at Club Panda have whisked up several savoury Sichuan items for guests to learn more about Sichuan’s abundant natural resources from the dining table. From today until 30 November, guests can pop over to Club Panda to feast on a selection of Sichuan dishes featuring bamboo fungus, a Sichuan delicacy rarely available in Hong Kong. Food items include Marinated Bamboo Fungus and Cucumber with Chili Oil, Stir-fried Bamboo Tire and Diced Chicken in Kung-Pao Style, Poached Sliced Pork with Bamboo Bird’s Nest in Hot Chili Oil, Braised Bamboo Long Net Stinkhorn with Vegetables, and Stir-fried Bamboo Fungus with Bamboo Shoot in Spicy Sauce.
 
Bamboo fungus is a delicious mushroom high in nutritional value, especially the bamboo tire, which is the fungus’ earliest form and has a tender, smooth yet crunchy texture. The outer layer of the bamboo tire is also sweet, crispy, and rich in proteins and other nutritional benefits. Together with popular condiments like sesame oil, pepper, vinegar, dried Sichuan pepper and the Park’s specially made chili oil, the delectable Sichuan dishes will satisfy every diner’s craving for authentic spicy food. Those who have a lower tolerance for a spicy kick can whet their appetite with the Braised Bamboo Long Net Stinkhorn with Vegetables.
 
In addition, Ocean Park has launched an exclusive collection of new giant panda-themed T-shirts and light-up bubble wand for the occasion. During the event period, shoppers can enjoy a 30% discount when purchasing selected giant panda-themed merchandise at the Park’s souvenir shops, while those who spend over HK$800 can receive a lovely giant panda music box for free (original price: HK$450) to continue their educational experience and panda conservation journey back home.