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Goldfish Diary

Goldfish World - The Goldfish Pagoda (Hong Kong)

In this issue, we take you to Ocean Park – Hong Kong Island to see the beautiful exhibits and artifacts in the Goldfish Pagoda.

Metropolis Hong Kong - 7 million people and well known for good food and bargain shopping. For the goldfish fanatics, the excitement of visiting Hong Kong is more than these - Hong Kong is goldfish country! The auspicious goldfish or “Kum Yu” in the local Cantonese dialect is synonymous with “excess gold”. Not surprisingly, the goldfish is the most popular pet fish in Hong Kong as it symbolises prosperity.

The Goldfish Pagoda is one of the many attractions of the Ocean Park. One easy way to visit the Ocean Park is to take the MTR (Mass Transit Rapid), Hong Kong’s efficient rail system to the Admiralty Station. Head for the bus terminal to buy a day ticket for Ocean Park that also includes the return trip by bus back to the terminal. With this ticket, you also get to enjoy all the theme parks and joy rides in the amusement park.

Goldfish Pagoda entrance

Goldfish rubbish bins

Ocean Park spans more than 20 acres, the largest leisure park in Southeast Asia and is divided into 2 areas by a hilly terrain. Depending on where you alight, you either end up at the main entrance or the Tai Shue Wan entrance on the other side of the hill. Grab hold of a map at the entrance and orientate yourself. The Goldfish Pagoda is situated near the main entrance of Ocean Park. If you end up on the Tai Shue Wan entrance like what I did, not to worry, enjoy yourself with all the fun rides before taking the spectacular cable car ride to the main entrance area.

The day promises to have lots of fun at the Ocean Park - the amusement park with roller coaster rides, Frying Swing, Mine Train, and the dolphin performances at Ocean Theatre. The Marine Land Theme Park with a huge shark aquarium, Giant Panda Habitat, Butterfly House, Dinosaur Discovery Trail… and before I drifted to make this article looks like a travel promotion, be sure to dedicate at least half a day in Ocean Park. You would not be bored with all the entertainment and sightseeing activities catered to people of all ages!


Let’s understand the brief history of the Goldfish Pagoda: It was set up in the 80s and was the brainchild of aquarist Johnny Chin who was also its first curator. Chin selected the goldfish because he wanted to present a Chinese-style exhibition to the overseas tourist. Everything in the pagoda were carefully planned and designed to create an oriental favor: from the carefully selected colored stones to the Chinese calligraphy relating about each variety beside the tanks and up to the Chinese paintings on the ceilings.

The Goldfish Pagoda consists of the main entrance terrace and the exit pagoda joined by a corridor supported with bright red pillars. Along the corridors, live goldfish exhibits are displayed in glass tanks of different shapes and sizes mounted on the wall and framed by specially designed wooden frames. Beautiful lanterns with goldfish paintings lit up the corridor to create a soothing atmosphere. Faint Chinese background music accompanies the visitors as they admire the exhibits.

blue aCorridor

Fancy display tanks

fan shaped display tanks

Within the “pictures”, nature’s masterpiece comes to live. Side-view goldfish varieties were displayed in the wall-mounted tanks while top-view varieties like the bubble-eye and celestial were displayed in the tanks with glass top panels. Eight-inches Orandas of various color combinations graze a big rectangular tank. A pair of extraordinary short tail moore in rich black and orange hue decorates one of the side wall panels. Translucent bubbles of the bubble eye goldfish wobble in the specially illuminated top view panel. Lively Shubunkins from the United Kingdom played happily in their new home. Rare varieties like the albino fantail and blue pompon are also displayed.

The exit pagoda leads to a wooden bridge that snakes around a central rock garden pond, where the common goldfish dwelled - the ancestor of the fanciful exhibits within. The Goldfish Pagoda, reeking oriental favor nostalgic to a thousand years of goldfish culture, is a must-go for all goldfish fanciers visiting Hong Kong.
Pair of rare blue and brown pompons  
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23 July 2003



Short tail moor


Sakura wakin


Exit pagoda




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