Noah's Ark (Hong Kong)
Noah's Ark is a tourist attraction located on Ma Wan Island in Hong Kong. It is an evangelical Christian theme park centred, according to its own materials, on the themes of nature, art, education and love. The overarching theme of the park is a creationist narrative. It was built by Thomas and Raymond Kwok, Hong Kong real estate developers who, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, between them control a $15 billion fortune. Thomas and his wife converted to Christianity after completing an eleven-week Alpha Course designed to introduce non-Christians to the basic tenets of the faith.
Noah’s Ark opened to the public in May 2009. Then in 2012 the two Kwok brothers were charged with bribing Rafael Hui, the former Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong from 2005 to 2007, to be their "eyes and ears in government" in a case said to highlight "the cozy relationship between the city's powerful developers and government." The bribes were claimed to total $4.5 million. The two brothers were arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption In December 2014, Thomas Kwok was convicted of "conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office," while his brother Raymond was cleared of all charges. Thomas was sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of $500,000. Rafael Hui, Sun Hung Kai executive Thomas Chan and businessman Francis Kwan were also jailed.
The park's centrepiece is the world's first full-size simulation of Noah's Ark. Alighting from the ark are sculptures of 67 life-size pairs of exotic animals, birds and creatures. The ark is, in fact, a multi-storey building where visitors may book a stay in either a hotel or a youth hostel located on the top floor.
Within the park is a nature garden alongside the existing natural landscape, where native trees have been preserved along the terraced paths. The park features amusements designed for young children together with a menagerie of small animals (mostly reptiles) in small display cages. There is also an obstacle course, climbing, and outward bound type courses.
Inside Noah's Ark the main attraction is a multimedia experience, including a 180-degree wide-screen theatre. The multimedia experience begins with an introduction to Judeo-Christian teaching from the time of Moses and features an imagined 'reconstruction' of the Holy of Holies complete with the Ark of the Covenant. There are guides who lead the audience through a series of theatres and galleries designed to convey messages about the challenges that the Earth and humanity are facing today.
The suggested solution to said problems is an acceptance of the Christian God and Biblical teaching. The multimedia experience concludes with a history of the Bible with emphasis on the dissemination of the Bible in China. Elsewhere within the park visitors are likely to come across staff playing the role of the Holy Family being pursued by others dressed as Roman legionaries.
- "Noah's Ark Brings Fiberglass Tigers, Rainbow to Hong Kong Beach". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
- Hong Kong Tourism Board
- Rory Boland, Noah's Ark Hong Kong Creation Museum, About.com, .
- Noah: the Real Story by Larry Stone, WND Books, Washington DC, 2014, p. 128.
- Noah's Ark
- Lee, Yimou; Ko, Lizzie (19 December 2014). "Hong Kong former official, property tycoon guilty in graft case". Reuters.
- Bloomberg Business, September 06, 2012, "The Kwok Brothers Who Re-Created Noah's Ark" by Alex Cuadros.
- "Kwok brothers arrested in Hong Kong on bribery charges". BBC News. 29 March 2012.
- "Tycoon brothers arrested in Hong Kong corruption probe". CNN. 29 March 2012.
- Law, Stuart (23 December 2014). "Rafael Hui jailed for seven-and-a-half years; Thomas Kwok locked up for five years". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- Brief information on Noah’s Ark at Ma Wan
Media related to Noah's Ark Hong Kong at Wikimedia Commons