到底黃竹坑從何時開始成為了因主題樂園而著名的旅遊熱點呢？從1972年，海洋公園落成的時候？不對 — 其實早在1950年代，黃竹坑已經是市民「一家大細」的週日好去處。在50年代建成的主題樂園名為巴黎農場，是海洋公園的前身。
雖命名為巴黎農場，卻沒有艾菲爾鐵塔，也沒有凱旋門，但擁有各種奇珍異獸：例如孔雀、猴子、天鵝、飛鼠、矮腳馬、浣熊、大蟒蛇以及最受遊人歡迎的黑熊。這些趣怪的動物都是全靠巴黎農場的主人 — 謝德安搜羅所得。這位謝德安大有來頭，他曾經擔任美軍翻譯員，人脈廣博。他也是日本輪船公司買辦謝家寶之子，亦是賭王何鴻燊的五妹夫。
Paris Farm: Wong Chuk Hang’s First Theme Park
Quick quiz: established in 1972, was Ocean Park the theme park that made Wong Chuk Hang famous for family-friendly recreation? The answer is no, Wong Chuk Hang had been popular among families 20 years prior for the famous Paris Farm. Built exactly on the spot where the recent Ocean Park is, the Paris Farm commenced the legacy of family-fun theme parks in Wong Chuk Hang.
If you were looking for a miniscule Paris with the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe in the Paris Farm, you would unfortunately be disappointed. However, the Farm would ensure you a bizzare adventure with a collection of exotic animals, including peacocks, swans, flying squirrels, ponies, raccoons, anacondas and a loveable black bear. It was all thanks to the well connected owner -- Mr. Andrew Tse, who was son of a steamship company comprador, a former US Army translator, and then one of the sons-in-law of Ho Hung Sun the business magnate.
Despite the charming zoo, the Paris Farm lures the public with a vast variety of leisure activities. With just a few cents, people could also enjoy the Chinese garden, Chinese Concert Hall, wax museum, playgrounds and a plenty of farming practice exhibitions. Wondering if the Paris Farm or Ocean Park is more captivating? Why not go on a walk at the Hong Kong Island Coastal Trails, from Aberdeen to Wong Chuk Hang, and immerse yourself in a thrilling weekend?
Or find out more about the Farm here. (Only available in Chinese)