Wetland park sees long queues

Long queues and protracted waiting times marred the opening weekend of Hong Kong Wetland Park in Tin Shui Wai. Visitors complained of inadequate organisation and a lack of information.

Yesterday 5,500 visitors flocked to the park, causing chaotic scenes outside the gates. In the morning hundreds waited for 30 minutes to an hour to gain entry, before extra staff were deployed. By 3pm waiting times were 10 to 15 minutes, though visitors continued to pour into the park and the closing was delayed by one hour to 6pm to deal with the unexpected throng.

It was 'absolute chaos', said one patron, whose family queued for an hour. 'There is no promotion or even basic information. I didn't know how much it cost for a family ticket, how long it would take, that I had to fill in a form. It took about three minutes to process each person and half an hour to process 10.'

Others were disappointed at missing Hong Kong's favourite reptile, Yuen Long crocodile Pui Pui. 'I went to her enclosure but she wasn't there. I will return next month when she has arrived,' said one boy.

Nevertheless, the tranquil scenery inside the park compensated for the nudging and elbowing outside, with most visitors saying they would return.

An Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department spokesman said delays stemmed from a misunderstanding about ticketing arrangements.


'There were some residents from Tin Shui Wai applying for an annual pass, which normally take two to three working days to process.

'It was these applications that caused most of the delays. They take longer to handle and involve filling in a form.

'We opened more ticketing counters in the afternoon to reduce the crowd. Tomorrow it will run more smoothly,' he said, and urged applicants for an annual pass to apply over the internet.