Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park

Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park (zh-tspcy|t=荔園遊樂場|s=荔园游乐场|p=Lìyuán yóulècháng|cy=lai6 yun2 yau4 lok6 cheung4, or simply 荔園) was a famous amusement park in Lai Chi Kok, Hong Kong. Located on the west shore of Lai Chi Kok Bay, this was once the largest amusement park in Hong Kong and it attracted people from all walks of life in the territory.

The park was opened by a businessman Cheung Kwan On in 1949. In 1961, Deacon Chiu (Yau Tak Kan) purchased the park and added the "Song dynasty" feature. At the beginning it cost 60 HK cents for both adult and child admission.

Theatres, amusement rides, sidestalls and various water games were featured in the park. Amusement rides included a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, a carousel, distorted mirrors, a gondola, a "coffee cup" ride, a ghost house and an ice rink for ice-skating. Knife-throwing performances also attracted lots of people. Cantonese opera and singing performances in the park nurtured many TV and cantopop stars like Anita Mui.

Lai Chi Kok Zoo with goats, birds, panthers and tigers was also located in the park. An Asian elephant Tino (天奴) was the most popular animal in the 1950s to 1970s. The elephant died in the park in the 1989.

In 1976, the park suffered from competition with Ocean Park. On 31 March 1997, the park was closed when the Hong Kong Government decided to use the land for residential use. Towards the end of the park days, it attracted many additional visitors and the count reached 20,000 visitors on the last night. The animals from the zoo were sent to Shek Kwu Chau.

In 2005 the owner Yau had negotiated with the government to build a new amusement park on Lantau Island [ [ "Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park firm eyes Lantau", "The Standard", October 11, 2005] ] , however, no results have yet been achieved on this matter.


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