Monday, May 18, 2015

Inspiration Lake

I'd heard about Inspiration Lake when I was looking up places for beginner skaters to skate in Hong Kong.  Inspiration Lake is a great little lake-side recreational spot that is right alongside the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park and hotels.

Inspiration Lake Info:
Open daily from 9 am - 7 pm
Free admission

7-Eleven opens from 9:30 am - 6:45 pm

Rentals opens from 10 am - 5 pm

How to get to Inspiration Lake:
1.  From Sunny Bay MTR Station, catch the Disneyland Resort Line to Disneyland

2.  From the Disneyland Station, walk towards the buses/parking lot

3.  You should see a sign that will point you in the direction of Inspiration Lake (pictured below)

4.  You can walk across the parking lot and onto Fantasy Road

5.  Walk along Fantasy Road

6.  You'll see a turnabout after a few minutes of walking

7.  Walk around the turnabout and you'll see the sign for Inspiration lake

NOTE:  It takes about 10 minutes to walk over there from the Disneyland Station

My first impression of the Inspiration Lake:  "Looks like the resort from Dirty Dancing."  I love how Disneyland makes you feel like you are somewhere else…it's really a great feeling.  It really makes me feel like I'm no longer in Hong Kong.

We got to the park at 9 am, so there were only a few people around.  Most of the few morning visitors were bikers who wanted to bike around the park.  At about 11 am is when a lot more people started entering the Lake area.  There were school kids taking graduation photos, families setting up picnic areas, and a lot of tourists who just wanted to relax around the park.

I would totally suggest being an early bird if you do want to avoid crowds.

We had a good hour of skating around before a handful of couples showed up for baby photo shoots.

Inspiration lake has a beautiful arboretum, a path into and around the arboretum, a playground area, a single pathway around the lake, paddle boats, bike rentals, lots of picnic hills to picnic upon, and also a 7-Eleven (for cold drinks, sun screen, and snacks).

This lake sort of reminds me of Greenlake, in Seattle…only much smaller.  It has that man-made feel about it, where the landscape is so perfectly perfect.  It's amazingly tranquil in the mornings and lovely to just stop and enjoy the view.

The actual path is not too long, but, a few times around, makes for good exercise.  The path is smooth and pretty flat.  There is a slight incline when heading over to the arboretum, but that's a great place to practice downhill breaking because it isn't too steep.  

***Around Inspiration Lake***

***Through the Arboretum***

***Back out to Inspiration Lake***

In the afternoon, we decided to test out the paddle boats, which I had never done before.  It's actually a shame that you cannot swim in this lake, but the next best thing is paddling out onto the lake and soaking in some lovely rays.

We had to pack our rollerblades away in the lockers in 7-Eleven.  The lockers, by the way, were small.  I think, next time, I would probably just leave our stuff on the dock before we headed out on the paddle boats.

We were only on the lake for an hour, so we took full opportunity to paddle around the perimeter of Inspiration Lake, try to greet all other paddle boaters, paddle as close to the little island in the center of the lake, and also get as close to the fountain that sits to the side of the lake. 

It's pretty darn hot in Hong Kong these days, so getting a little sprinkling from the fountain felt so amazing.

I'd definitely recommend paddle boating!  It's a good workout for the legs!

We spent most of our morning and part of the afternoon out at Inspiration Lake.  Instead of taking the MTR back to Yuen Long, we decided to catch bus R8, which sits right to the side of Inspiration Lake's entrance.

The ride to the Lantau Link was about 5 minutes.  From the Lantau Link, we caught our E34B back to Yuen Long.  The entire journey back took us about an hour…which is almost the same length of time it took us to catch the MTR from Yuen Long---> Nam Cheong --> Sunny Bay --> Disneyland.

Overall thoughts for Inspiration Lake:
1.  It's a great place for beginner skaters
2.  It's best to go early in the morning when there are no visitors
3.  Try the paddle boating
4.  It's a lovely place to just sit, read, and picnic
5.  It's a great place to take your dog and kids for a walk