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In Hong Kong, visit a park spread over two islands

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HONGKONG
Photo Source, Google

Hong Kong, March 20 

You want to feel spoilt for choices of sumptuous street food, shopping options and roller-coaster rides? This oceanarium, a park near the disputed South China Sea in Hong Kong, may just be the right place to visit.

The Ocean Park, spread over two small islands separated by a distance of 1.5 km and connected by a cable car ride, also houses animal-themed amusement parks and is one of the most visited places in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is nearly five hours away by plane from New Delhi and is quite popular for its attractions like Ocean Park and Disneyland. Its street food and shopping options also draw revellers. And if time permits, some even take a ferry ride.

But if one has a tight schedule and just wants some entertainment, good food and roller-coaster rides, the Ocean Park is a one-stop shop for all this.

To reach the park, travel via the rapid transit MTR from Admiralty Station, an area which was once headquarters of the Royal Navy. Travel time is usually around 10 minutes.

The fair weather and sudden cold breeze welcomed me upon arrival at the park. The park entrance was crowded by a swarm of tourists taking selfies. We opted to join them and looked for the very first stop at the Giant Panda adventure, one of the highlights of the park.

Ocean Park’s giant pandas are not only among the most popular attractions, they are also well pampered residents, with a sophisticated feeding regime to satisfy their fussy eating habits.

A walk in the park will show you helpful signages telling you where to go next. So you never really get lost, despite it being a huge place.

The park is divided into two islands — Waterfront and the Summit.

To cross between the two islands, you have a choice of riding the cable car system that features an astonishing view of the island and the much famous and disputed South China Sea or an underground train system known as the Ocean Express that utilises multimedia effects to simulate the feeling of travelling into the depths of the sea.

We took the cable car to cross to the Summit island. The queue was long but we had the privilege to enter via a staff line as we were hosted by the park management itself. The eight-minute ride gave a panoramic view of the Waterfront and Summit islands.

Ocean Park is not just a theme park full of animals for kids but also has an amusement park for adults to enjoy too.

There were lots of tourists and one could spot many Indians among them. For visitors to Hong Kong, Ocean Park is increasingly becoming a must-visit destination.

You cannot claim to have done Hong Kong, unless you take a ride on a ferry. Since 1888, the Hong Kong Star Ferry has been one of the unique — and cheaper — things to do in an expensive city.

It is basically a short 10-minute ride that takes you across to the Victoria Harbour between Tsim Sha Tsui, Central Pier. But that short cruise lets you enjoy the amazing view and ocean breeze and the images seem to remain stuck in your mind for many days, especially if you do the night trip.

Whether you’re shopping on a budget or willing to splurge, it’s guaranteed that you’ll find what you’re looking for in Mong Kok. Even in early hours, Mong Kok’s streets are as busy as in day time.

With a wide range of products on offer, shoppers are advised to prepare a list of what they want to buy or else you’ll be overwhelmed by the wide range of products on sale. From electronics, computers, high-end fashion, jewellery and traditional Asian ornaments, you get everything. Name it, and you have it, in this shopping haven.

Make sure to drop by in Ladies’ Market, Flower Market and Bird Market for excellent bargains. Another shopping destination is the Temple Street Night Market. It is kind of interesting and slightly different from that of the more commercialised Mong Kok. It only opens when the sun goes down. You can see Fortune tellers offering a glimpse into the future if you are willing to part with a bit of moolah.

It is a popular street bazaar, named after a Tin Hau temple and a place so steeped in local atmosphere that it has served as the backdrop to many a memorable movie. Also, haggling with the local vendors is one of the fun experiences you’ll have in this night market. Hint: They’ll eventually give in to the price you offer.

Souvenir pieces such as chopsticks, magnets, tea ware, electronics, watches, jade and antiques are also up for grabs for low prices.

Adventure and excitement are always in the air. Hong Kong tries its best to make your dream come true. And even small things are a pleasure, like a languid stroll in the narrow streets. And if you have a large budget, many more doors will open. Hong Kong seems to meet you half-way in everything you want to do.

By Aadil Mir 

(IANS)

(Aadil Mir was in Hong Kong at the invitation of Ocean Park. He can be contacted at [email protected])

Lifestyle

How active holidays can develop children’s all-round skills

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children school study education

Children used to spend their childhood in the playground – while playing with their friends, enjoying the rides or climbing trees. Thanks to the emergence of the television and video games and the digital media, along with increased school pressure, children today don’t engage themselves in too much outdoor play. However, it is important to realize that active vacations are essential for a child’s overall development, which includes studies. Let us see how –

Akash Korgaonkar, Founder of Ruggedian Lifestyle lists out many factors, such as  Increases their physical health.

Usually, children remain with their books and their muscles remain underdeveloped. Enrolling them in competitive sports will develop their endurance and flexibility, cause movement of large muscle groups, cause them to sweat and develop a healthy heart and lungs. Apart from this, a physical activity regulates blood pressure, strengthens the lungs, reduces blood sugar, reduces obesity, strengthens bones and improves energy levels in children,Korgaonkar said.

Try out – martial arts, skateboarding, roller-skating, dancing, swimming, jogging, skipping, basketball, etc.

Korgaonkar said , ” Develops social interaction with friends :Most urban parents now want their children to concentrate on their studies and extracurricular activities, forgetting that outside play is necessary as well. This way, the child will concentrate only on indoor activities which can make them unsocial and weaken their immune system. Encourage your children to engage in team-based or individual-based sports to increase motivation, commitment and discipline and team spirit.”

Try out – football, basketball, volleyball, kabaddi, kho-kho, tennis, badminton, playing tag, etc.

Korgaonkar said , ” Maintains a healthy body and strengthens their immune system-Today, it is difficult to get children off the screens and send them out to play. On the other hand, we must realise that physical activities maintain a healthy body weight due to the constant exercise and increase appetite in children. As a result, they do not spend their free time watching television and eat junk food but follow a balanced diet. Sports improve blood circulation, releases tension and improve their immune system.”

“Improves their self-esteem and encourages body positivity:Intense sports activities have been proved to deal with issues like depression, obesity reduces insulin resistance and helps in anger management. Children start to feel a sense of personal achievement, autonomy and independence in them which gives way to confidence and self-esteem. It has been reported that children who were engaged in sports were well-adjusted in society, were healthier in general and were much happier in lives. When winning a sports competition, our brain releases beta-endorphins which give us the general feeling of being happy,” he said.

· Makes lifelong memories

Holidays are perfect for parent and child to catch up and make great memories. If you’re the active parent and want your children to follow, sign up for physical activity courses together while on vacation. Your children will definitely learn something new by the end.

Try out – canoeing, hiking, trekking, rock climbing, diving, extreme sports

· Develops sportsmanship

First things first, playing sports comes with defeat and winning – you cannot win every time. Sports teach your child sportsmanship, a respect for rules and the ability to accept defeat at times – and bounce right back into action.

· Promotes team spirit and acceptance

Your child needs to learn team spirit to build a harmonious environment with his friends and co-workers in later life. They learn to accept everyone with their own strengths and weaknesses and plan the best way to reach their goal and win the game. Working together is an important quality that they will need in life.

· Encourages them to try out new things

With children, all they need is some confidence in them. Active vacations help them de-stress and explore new places with curiosity. They bring out warm, loving feelings in children to help them bond with their parents over a happy memory. Trust me, you’ll find their love worth everything in the end.

Try out – adventure camps, wildlife safari, rope challenges, cave exploration trips

· Pushes them to challenge themselves

All of us are afraid of something – the heights, the water, insects, the darkness… adventure holidays are great to kick them out. Sign up for a physical activity about something that they fear the most and inspire them to break their fear. Though it takes time and patience, your child will come out as a much braver and confident person.

Try out – rock-climbing, snorkelling, races

It is wise to choose an active holiday plan that both of you will enjoy and treasure for a lifetime. Pack your bags, book a holiday and set out with a water bottle – making some amazing memories along the way.

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Cities

Train services partially resume in Amritsar; protesters booked

The people were watching the proceedings from the railway tracks when the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU (diesel multiple unit) train crushed them.

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Joda Phatak

Amritsar, Oct 21 : Amid tension and tight security, train services were partially restored on the Amritsar-Jalandhar railway section as the Punjab Police booked unidentified protesters on Sunday who clashed with the police at the spot where 59 people were crushed by a speeding train on Friday.

A near-empty passenger train was plied on the railway section amid tight security measures on Sunday evening.

Railway services on the track on this section had been suspended following the train disaster.

Punjab Police personnel stood guard on both sides of the railway tracks near Joda Phatak (railway gate) area of Amritsar to prevent any protesters from getting near the tracks.

Earlier in the day, railway authorities plied a cargo train on the same section. The cargo train also had empty bogies.

The police booked unidentified protesters who clashed with them on Sunday morning as the police began clearing the railway tracks in the area. The protesters were booked for rioting and attempt to murder.

The protesters indulged in stone-pelting, leaving at least half-a-dozen policemen injured. The police resorted to cane-charge and even arrested one person.

Protests staged by residents against the Punjab government and the railways turned violent on Sunday. Police had to rush reinforcements to the area.

The injured policemen, including a Punjab Police commandos, were rushed to a government hospital. Residents of the area threw stones at the police when the latter tried to remove them from the railway tracks where the tragedy occurred.

The protesters were demanding action against organisers of the Dusshera function near Joda Phatak for which hundreds of people had gathered to see the burning of the Ravan effigy.

The people were watching the proceedings from the railway tracks when the Jalandhar-Amritsar DMU (diesel multiple unit) train crushed them.

Family members of the train tragedy victims said Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur, who was the chief guest at the Dusshera function on Friday, had not even bothered to meet them despite their loss.

The Punjab government headed by Amarinder Singh on Saturday ordered a magisterial probe into the train tragedy. The probe will cover if mandatory permissions for holding the function were given.

The railways said it was not responsible for the incident.

Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal demanded that a case of murder be registered against the organisers, who were mostly ruling Congress leaders.

IANS

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Cities

Hyderabad Airport terminal to open on Oct 23

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Hyderabad Airport terminal

Hyderabad, Oct 21 : The Interim International Departure Terminal at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here will be made operational on October 23.

According to GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), the airport operator, all international departure flights will operate from this terminal with effect from 10:30 a.m. on October 23.

It has advised the passengers to check with their respective airlines before leaving for the airport. Passengers who are booked on Air India International flights AI 127, AI 952, AI 978, AI 988, AI 966 & AI 051 and travelling to domestic destinations are also advised to report at the Interim International Terminal (IIDT) as per their scheduled departure times, GHIAL said in a statement.

IIDT, which has been built to facilitate airport’s expansion, is located adjacent to the Haj Terminal and can be accessed from both Shamshabad and Srisailam sides of the airport’s main approach road via Rotary 1 (Cargo rotary).

A dedicated free shuttle service has been arranged between the existing terminal and IIDT for the convenience of passengers. This shuttle service will be available at the Arrivals Ramp and will operate at regular intervals.

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