Tuesday, October 29, 2013

S.E.A Aquarium (the largest aquarium in the world)- Singapore for kids

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S.E.A. Aquarium at Resort World Sentosa (photo by Choo Yut Shing)

Just before heading back to London, TT checked out the largest aquarium in the world.

The S.E.A Aquarium is the latest offering from Resort World Sentosa. Not to be confused with the SEA chain of Aquariums in Europe (including that near County Hall London which I have somehow not managed to check out) it is currently the largest aquarium in the world.

It is possible to get there by public transport and its website provides detailed instructions but if you are traveling with children the easiest way is probably to take a taxi. The designated taxi drop off point in the car park is just a short distance away from the Aquarium.

I went with friends and their children on a weekend. The queues to purchase the tickers were long so it was fortunate that my friends had the foresight to buy advance tickets online. You can buy a pass valid for use on any day within a four month period for SGD 33 which makes it really flexible for people who have it on their to do list but who are just not sure which day they are not going to do it. Do check the website to make sure that the Aquarium is not closed for maintenance or private functions on the day of your visit.

The entrance to the Aquarium is a spectacular glass corridor which gives you the illusion of walking through the ocean alongside the sea creatures. This is a highlight for my friend's children who could have spent the entire day marvelling at the spectacle if not for the crowds pushing us on.

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Jellyfish (photo by Aapo Haapenen)

The crowds on a weekend with the accompanying jostling and picture taking mar the illusion of being at one with aquatic creatures somewhat. Instead of feeling relaxed and at ease I felt harassed. Only a few exhibits left an impression on me given my haste to move on. The glowing jelly fish pulsating in the water was hard to ignore and equally mesmerising was the school of synchronised fish moving from one direction to another in perfect harmony.

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Open Ocean display (photo by Choo Yut Shing)

The Open Ocean display is easily the star attraction. It offers a floor to ceiling panoramic view of oceanic giants. I was spellbound by the manta rays as they glided effortlessly through the water. It was however rather disconcerting to be able to look into hotel suites on the opposite side. These suites offer their residents a view of the Open Ocean but at the same time provide Aquarium visitors with an insight into the TV shows those residents are watching! Guess there is only so much fish gazing one could do.

One can only imagine how much better the experience would have been if it were less crowded. There were some interactive activities for children but we simply did not have the time to try them. I guess that just gives us another reason to return!

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