Hong Kong Aquarium Plaza
East Point Centre, 1010-1056 King's Road,
Hong Kong Island
Tel: [+852] 2572 0163
HK Aquarium Plaza on first impression is an escalator downwards to one shop, but I was pleasantly surprised as it opened to an underground street of shops and there are more than meets the eye than first the impressions. The layout is a rectangular path of shops so you will always come back to where you started. There is the added bonus that there are no cars to dodge and when it rains you do not get wet going from one to another. The shops are quite larger and have that new feeling, the newer bit is correct as the official opening is only days away, probably an auspicious date which I am not aware off at present. There was one long ally way that was closed when I was there, it looked like a large wall of toys/models, but I could be wrong.
Hong Kong Aquarium Plaza is a venue of lots of potential that I believe will dominate Hong Kong Island side like Tung Choi Street dominates Kowloon Side. The shops are new as are so many of the fixtures, so what do the people that sell use… for lights “solarMax” was everywhere, many of the tanks had glass that looked to be of an excellent quality. The rest of the available equipment was harder to determine a winner, but the saltwater people will not be disappointed, possibly 50% of the shops are devoted to this specialisation in some form or another. I saw this critter and was almost converted
Service is friendlier as they seem to know that this is important in establishing a reputation, pricing also seemed to be better probably reflecting the reduced rental prices or again the proprietors desire to establish a shared reputation?
Maybe it is a sign of a just being a young establishment, but there were not a lot of great planted tanks although I did see some that I studied for quite a while, such as an 8 footer with a calm aquascape. ADA equipment was not easily available although did see enough ADA boxes that suggested that more was about to be displayed. Some shops specialised in Koi or Gold fish, Custom Tanks as well as one shop just devoted entirely to Juwel aquariums. There were boxes of wood and rocks everywhere which I took as sure signs of aquascapes to come.
If you are looking for plants, you will be a disappointed, If you are looking for equipment then expectations probably met, pricing expectations possibly exceeded… a lot of the shop owners spoke English, this surprised me but what surprised me even more was that people went out of their way to assist. But it is a little unfair to evaluate on such a young establishment, but I am going back.
Unfortunately I was not allowed to take pictures and was politely told to stop by one of the supervisors. The supervisor did approach me later asking where I came from and upon mentioning Singapore offered to assist future visitors in advance if they were looking for specific items. The picture or two that I did take are below, but the collage picture below I took from the Plaza’s web site is more representative of what is present.
For the person who has children with them, Tong Choi Street would be a nightmare, here in Hong Kong Aquarium Plaza you could relax and let them explore, there were even some children’s activities occurring when I was there. Should you get hungry there were a couple of eating establishments that you could “plant” the family while you do a second lap of the plaza.
Anyway I put Hong Kong Aquarium Plaza on the must visit list, look at the tanks and count the number of MH’s… 3 MH’s per 4 feet is not unusual, then there are the MH’s that are so large that I tentatively put my hand between the light and the water in case it was cooked! The small pendants are 150 watts
When I got back to my hotel it was getting dark, the rain had gone away so took a dozen more photos to get the one below:
Take the MTR to Quarry Bay Or Tai Koo and try to exit the MTR from A or B exits, not the F exit I took, which resulted in a longer walk than necessary. Whilst the building entrance has boldly coloured in red it cannot be easily seen when walking from the direction of the Quarry Bay MTR that I came from. The road slowly rises [in my case] or downwards if coming from Tai Koo and curves around a corner, If you have doubts ask where is MacDonald’s as it directly opposite.
Opening hours for the plaza is from noon to 9pm.
When walking around the shops I new something was missing and it was cash register. When you buy an item, a shop assistant will take you to one of a couple of white ‘booths” below and you pay. The invoice you receive is in the name of the shop. I guess the advantage to the shops is no cash float, no specialized equipment, more selling space ….
Edit 2 added two pictures outside the plaza. All the shops are on the lower ground floor / basement.