During the December school holidays, I brought the kids to the S.E.A. Aquarium in Marine Life Park, Resorts World Sentosa. Opened recently on 22nd November 2012, it is touted as the world’s largest aquarium, so I decided that it was definitely worth to go take a look.
We took public transport down to avoid hefty parking fees. Instead of taking the shuttle bus in after we got off at Harbourfront MRT, we opted to walk down the Sentosa boardwalk. It was a leisurely 20 minutes stroll, down a covered walkway, and travellators made it manageable even with 2 kids in tow (G was in a stroller). G had a good sleep in the stroller on the way there.
After a quick lunch, we made our way to the aquarium. Admission fees were at S$29 for adults and S$20 for children (4-12 years old). Not cheap, but each ticket came with S$5 meal vouchers, and included the admission fees to the Maritime Experiential Museum.
Tip: Use the meal vouchers at the Malaysian Food street, a food court located near the Universal Studios. You will be able to get a decent meal there using the S$5, compared to the sky-high prices at the restaurants.
To get to the aquarium, we had to cut through the Maritime Musuem. A separate review of the museum will been done.
In the aquarium
The entrance of the aquarium was an aquarium tunnel, with a travellator bringing visitors in. C was really excited to see the fishes swimming in the tunnel, and was going “oooh” and “aaah” at each passing fish. It was the next best thing to scuba diving, to be able to see fishes from a different perspective.
For me, this concept was not new, having seen it at the Underwater World (an older, smaller aquarium, also located in Sentosa). The variety of the fishes was not that fantastic, but it was good enough for 5 year old C.
There were interactive stations with touch-screens at each section, giving an introduction of the different fishes in the various exhibits. C did not need much prompting, and insisted on reading through the descriptions of all the fishes, before going to the tank to identify each one. Needless to say, we spent quite a bit of time at each tank.
One of the highlights was the touchpool, where we got to touch some of the sea-creatures. C was too short to reach the pool, so pardon the poor angle… I had to hold her in one hand while I took a picture with the other!
By this time, G, who had been sleeping from the walkway all the way to the aquarium, had woken up. Initially he was rather apprehensive as the aquarium was not brightly lit, but was soon fascinated by the fishes swimming around. His favourite sea-creatures were the jellyfishes – he thought they were bubbles!
Besides the usual varieties of sea fishes, some interesting sea creatures caught our attention.
C was fascinated to know that the nautilus was also known as a “living fossil”.
And the giant spider crab really lived up to its name!
Giant viewing tank
One of the main features of the aquarium is the huge viewing tank, but unfortunately, this forgetful mommy had neglected to charge the camera battery prior to the trip, so please pardon the poor quality of the pictures, which were taken using the phone.
It was actually quite mesmerizing watching the huge manta rays swimming round in the blue water. I think I could stay there for hours! Of course, for C, it was another “wow” moment 🙂
After the huge tank, we moved on to the swamp exhibit, where we saw sea stars, horseshoe crabs, sea cucumbers and rays. There was a really nice and patient staff who spent 20 minutes explaining to C, who was asking non-stop (“What’s this? why doesn’t the horseshoe crab look like the normal crab? Does the sea cucumber have eyes? What does it eat?… you get the idea) . This was also where we saw the chocolate chip sea stars (no, I’m not kidding… try googling it!), which was C’s favourite (guess why?)
As we walked towards the exit, I was struck by the beautiful multi-coloured corals. I didn’t realise that they came in so many colours!
Learning about pollution
Just before we left, there was a final stop at the learning corner, where C learnt about pollution, and how it impacts the sea-creatures. I could tell that it left a deep impression on her, as she kept saying that it was wrong to throw plastic bags into the sea.
At the exit, there was also another tunnel, this time with sharks. Unfortunately by this time my handphone battery had also died, so there are no pictures.
A good learning experience
Both C and G enjoyed themselves. It was definitely an educational experience for C, who was still talking about the chocolate chip sea star on the way back.
Overall, I would say that it was worth the money paid although not all the displays were ready. For those with young children, it was very family friendly, and we had no problems navigating the stroller inside the aquarium. I’m definitely going back for another visit 🙂
Do you like aquariums?