Shawn Shakespeare recently poked me concerning Hidden Bottle, the Full region (complete with additional LI bonus) designed by Num Bing-Howlett (Num Bing) and Clifton Howlett, and which originally opened back in May 2021. In particular, Shawn wanted to let me know the region’s design has been updated, making it especially worth while paying a further visit.
Hearing things has changed both piqued my curiosity and my concern. As I noted back in May, Hidden Bottle offered a unique tropical setting of islands linked by cable car, with walks winding through them leading to event spaces and other points of interest. As such, I was leery of that design having been replaced – but my unease was unwarranted: Hidden Bottle retains much of its original iteration, whilst offering something new and different to explore.
Also still to be found are the setting’s two islands and its popular cable car system that provides a primary means of transport. Both of the islands are are both somewhat smaller than they were previously, leaving much more space for water and boats and swimming – although the shallows between the island are prone to being used by sharks for a little bit of paddling around – so swimmers be warned!
From the landing point – located on a deck extending over the water from the smaller, eastern island – it is possible to start explorations on foot, either up into into the rocky honeycomb of the east island, or via footbridge that rises by way of a single spire of rock to reach larger, western island. Or, for those that like to wait for a few minutes before setting out to wander, the deck serves as a station for the region’s cable cars as they sway their way around the eastern island and thence over open waters to the west island before dropping back to the deck.
Two other land masses rise from the water: a northern sandbar that is little more than a ripple rising above the waves, but which is nevertheless home to a quiet retreat; and a southern nub of rock that is home to a lighthouse warning of the shallows and rocks between it and the western island – although the wreck of a fishing boat on the edge of the shallows offers equal warning to their danger during daylight hours.
Of the two islands, the larger is perhaps the more natural in form, rising from its southern extreme to high cliffs at the north end, its flat centre forming a natural path with equally natural stone steps climbing down over its shoulders and slopes to connect highlands with lowlands and little nooks and places to sit – including one within a stone ring. At the northernmost end of the island sits a small beach from which two rocky pillars rise, one the home to the region’s bar and deck, only accessible via the cable car.
The smaller island is stranger in form – and potentially the more interesting to explore as a result. I used the term “honeycomb” above to describe it, and that is how it is; pillars of rock rising from the sands at the island’s base to support great slabs of rock that sit like table tops, the hollows beneath them offering more places that await discovery, their tops home to further places to sit in the open or under shade, bridges strung between them while wooden deck extending out into the air over blue waters.
One of the secrets of this eastern island comes in the form of a portal. Find it, and you can make your way to Zamonia, the other setting created by Numb and Clifton, and the gallery there (both of which you can read about here). Similarly, portals from that region and the gallery will drop you at the eastern island of Hidden Bottle.
Also – and if you can find your way into them – there’s a series of tunnels and caverns to be found winding under the west island. These offer further places to be discovered – including the pirates’ hidden still area referenced in the region About Land description. To make your way into them, look for the pool beneath the south hull’s ribs.
Perfect for photographing under a range of EEP setting and finished with a rich soundscape, Hidden Bottle remains an engaging visit.
- Hidden Bottle (Gin, rated Adult)