Only professional divers or scientists, who have equipment for deep diving, can observe the life of underwater inhabitants in their natural environment. Those who are not ready for such exploits, we strongly recommend a trip to the Aquarium of Phuket, marked on all tourist maps, as one of the important attractions.
History of the Phuket Aquarium
The Aquarium in Phuket is not a separate facility, but a working site of the Thai Ministry of Environment. A number of quite interesting and promising studies concerning the conservation of rare and endangered species are being conducted here. The data are used to develop environmental programs.
It is first and foremost a scientific and educational institution, not a tourist attraction.
The number of visitors each year is about 300,000 people. As in most aquariums of this kind, the main route takes you through a glass tunnel, and on the sides and overhead stretches a mysterious sea world that you can literally look at from the inside.
The first time the aquarium received guests in 1983, at that time the collection of inhabitants was quite modest, the interior was more like a research bay. Gradually the number of interesting specimens increased, and after the modernization the appearance of the observation decks changed as well. Now the oceanarium in Phuket, whose reviews are attracting even more visitors, contains very unusual sea creatures that are worth getting to know better.
Who lives in the oceanarium?
Most of the inhabitants come from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Interactive displays talk about them. The whole area is divided into several thematic zones. From a cognitive point of view it is very convenient.
It is home to the most colorful fish. They amaze with a riot of colors. They are hiding in the thicket:
- the famous clown fish;
- coral trout;
- sea urchins;
- pomacentrus and chrysinters.
Recreated the relief of the seabed, growing corals and other unique species. The diffuse illumination does not disturb the inhabitants of the aquarium and allows visitors to see everything in the smallest detail.
Separately, sharks live. They do not get along well with other species, so to avoid trouble a separate comfort compartment is allocated for them. It maintains the optimum temperature, water composition, the degree of light. If the feeding process is interesting, it is better to visit the Phuket Aquarium on a weekend morning. Check the official website for the exact time of the show.
Unusual inhabitants call both in the upper layers of the ocean and at depth. The former include unique golden piranhas, the latter electric eels. Touching these residents is not recommended because they are capable of generating a current of about 600 volts.
They are a living proof of the professionalism of the staff, because they have already lived in the created artificial conditions of aquariums for over 25 years. These are giant perch and huge groupers. One of the representatives reached a record of 110 kg.
A leopard electric stingray gets special attention from visitors. It is strikingly different in coloring and behavior from its deep-sea counterparts, as it does not mind the attention of visitors and takes spectacular poses for photographs.
Fugu fish are mostly known as poisonous inhabitants with long needles. That’s not all of her surprises. It has practically no scales and would be defenseless against predators, if it were not for its ability to swell up at the slightest danger and take the shape of a ball with dangerous spikes sticking out in all directions.
Green turtles were once one of the most numerous populations that are now at risk due to a dramatic decline in numbers. They also live in the oceanarium and are the subject of study of the scientific staff of the complex.
He evokes great optimism in children. The aquarium in Phuket is not the largest, but it can safely sit on the edge and gently touch starfish, trepangs and other holothuria.
Also on the territory of the aquarium is a museum, where skeletons and stuffed animals of large marine mammals and fossil fish are exhibited. The exhibits are equipped with explanatory tablets. The hall is designed for independent visits, there are no guided tours.
In a small, cozy movie room, an informative film is shown every hour. The broadcast is in Thai with subtitles in English. Outside under a small canopy there are tanks with garra rufa fish. They are the ones who can be entrusted with the delicate exfoliation of the heels. Those wishing to attend a session can do so for only 50 baht.
How to get to the oceanarium in Phuket?
Tourists are often advised to include a visit to this site as part of a package tour. Oceanarium is marked on the map as a Phuket attraction, but to spend a whole day to visit it makes no sense. It takes 1-2 hours to see the whole exposition in detail, even taking into account the raptor feeding show.
To calculate the time of the visit, take into account that the aquarium works every day from 8:30 to 16:30, ticket sales close half an hour before closing. The cost of an adult ticket is 180 baht, children do not pay for age, but height. Those who are shorter than 108 cm are free of charge.
Phuket Aquarium is located on the southeast coast, on Cape Panwa. The most convenient way to travel is with a guided tour. If freedom of movement and saving time is a priority, it is better to use a cab or a rental car.
The development of the complex does not stand still. There are plans to build new sections, a laboratory for school and college students and other interesting facilities that will make the Phuket Aquarium even more interesting to visit.