Most large cities and Bangkok not being the exception is host to one of the largest indoor oceans in a thriving city scape. at the lowest level of Siam Paragon in the heart of Bangkok has seven interesting zones for you to explore including an awesome 5D cinemas which will blow your mind. With the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum just practically next door, you could spend a half day over there and another half day at the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World for a great whole day outing plus plenty of shopping and eating all along the way.
Greeted at the entrance way by a huge hanging shark and surrounded in darkness except for the illuminated tanks, it takes some adjusting to the eyes. A prominent cylindrical tank in the center of the room contains the first of the seven zone exhibits which is “weird and wonderful” and the highlight exhibit is the giant spider crabs. As large as four feet from leg tip to leg tip, theses crabs are not only huge but rather scary, looking more like hard shelled spiders! To the enthusiastic food connoisseur it would make a most tasty and meaty seafood dish and rather than looking at them in awe, it would be more like drooling mouths in anticipation of a feast, as were some of the comments heard! Other interesting exhibits here are the very alien looking Nautilus Shells that look like something out of an alien science fiction story. Did you know that the Nautilus Shell is a prehistoric creature dating back millions of years without much change to their form and structure? Just an interesting fact to consider when you look at them.
There is a pavilion tank along the way to the next zone that is two floors high with a rich collection of sea fish swimming happily. You would expect a mermaid to pop out at any time from among the corals. There are seating spaces for you to take a rest and admire the fish swimming by oblivious to the people gawking at them from the opposite side of the tank. This is the “Living Ocean” zone where you can get onboard a glass bottom boat to take a tour of the vast tunnel tank. It is a guided tour with an English speaking guide who will explain to you all the different marine life currently residing in this huge salt water tank. There are a variety of sharks, eagle rays, trevally, groupers and some other reef and coral fish. You might be interested in some of the facts presented about the marine life while on this glass bottom boat tour at the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World.
Next to this zone is home to some very interesting seahorses including the very rare and elusive “leafy sea dragon” which is actually a very elaborately decorated seahorse and present only in much colder waters especially in Australia and New Zealand. Not even regular divers can often see this particular seahorse but you have the chance to do so right here in Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World! Not all seahorses look alike, some look like floating dead upright leaves and yet others are master at camouflage making it really hard to spot them. You can have a go at trying to see if you can spot some of them in the tanks as we could not even after staring at the tank for quite a few minutes!
From here it is down to the “Amazon and Rainforest” trails where you get a glimpse of huge tropical fishes such as the Arapana which is noted to swallow monkeys whole, a small section of cave dwelling fish and insects including a very lazy cave catfish that looks like it is playing dead. There are also some unusual frogs and toads as well as snakes and a giant tortoise. However, the one fish you must check out is in the tank located to the right of the walk way. It is reputedly one of the oldest living prehistoric fish known to man that looks like a cross between a pterodactyl and a fish. It has a long flat scoop bill and swims with a box like gaping mouth! Quite an unusual specimen to say the least, and worthy of a look.
Next on is the “Rocky Shore” section where you get an eye full of the largest rats on earth and they are about the size of dogs in this case! These water rats are not your average house rats and feed mostly on mollusk and small fish. You can watch out for the feeding times for these water rats as well as the other inhabitants of this section. Then there are also the very lovable penguins and otters who never fail to steal your heart as they play and frolic around.
Walking on further, the path then leads on to the large underwater tunnel known as the “Open Ocean” where you can see a pack of swimming sharks grinning to show their full set of teeth, beautiful eagle rays gliding by like flying saucers and these huge sucker fish clinging on to the surface of the tank! There are also many other reef and coral fish swimming by, but off course everyone is anxious to take a picture with the ferocious and huge looking sharks. This long underwater Plexiglas tunnel is one of the main highlights of the whole complex and cleverly extends almost all around. At the other end of the tunnel, there is also a touch pool section for the kids and those curious enough to give it a go. Here you get to feel what a starfish is like, or have a look at a shark’s egg which is just the empty shell really but also rather interesting because it does not look like any ordinary egg. There is a staff on hand to explain to you what is unique about the species. There is also a little section that shows how sea grass is cultivated and the importance it has on the balance of the environment in the sea as well as efforts to grow more of it in the seas around the world.
The last section is reserved specially for the “jellies” and these are not your edible sugar coated jelly and sweets but rather the soft-bodied, graceful jelly fish. Displayed in fluorescent tanks, the fluorescent colors highlight these cute little jelly fish that swim like alien objects gracefully in the water. Looking at them, you wonder if they are capable of thinking with a brain because they look rather intelligent to some extent as they glide effortlessly in the water. The little colorful ones are often seen teeming on the shores in Trat province at certain times of the year, turning the whole sea-front into a colorful mass of bobbing jelly fish. This variety does not sting and make excellent food for the sea turtles who find it very tasty treat.
Within Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World are also many small cafeterias where you can grab a bite or drink while exploring the place. Look out for the feeding shows scheduled at various times of the day for the penguins, water rats, otters, sharks, tropical fish and reef fishes. On the way out there is an awesome 5D cinema with the show “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” which is actually an environmental awareness cartoon BUT what is mind blowing about this short cartoon is the 5D effect which differs from your regular 3D shows. The characters in the screen really pop out and look real enough for you to reach out and touch it, not to mention the wind effects and motion of the chairs you sit on. Also another noteworthy item to go and see while you are visiting Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World. If you are traveling with kids, there are a few small play areas with plenty of kid entertainment equipment such as climbers, swings, seesaws and the likes to keep them entertained, plus ice cream parlors inside to feed off their hunger!
Located one floor below the food court in Siam Paragon, it is easily accessible by the Siam BTS or even a taxi. Tickets can be purchased in advance via thaitourismguide.com online booking services for ease and convenience. It is recommended that you visit both Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World and Madame Tussauds on the same day if you can as they are located in close proximity to each other. These two places are must see places in Bangkok city while you are visiting and considered the main sightseeing attractions in Bangkok. Tours of Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World are part of the tour packages found on most Thailand and Bangkok travel itineraries and for the time you spend there it is a worthwhile sightseeing activity in Bangkok. So do not miss out on these two major attractions of Bangkok City and book your tickets in advance through thaitourismguide.com online booking page to avoid the hassle of running everywhere to get a ticket!