Oceans of discovery

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A CONCRETE jungle and capital of the country as it may be, Kuala Lumpur houses over 5,000 different aquatic and land-bound creatures in an extensive space of 60,000 sq ft, near the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Malaysians would have known this but what’s more surprising is that Aquaria KLCC’s state-of-the-art oceanarium with the likes of seals, sharks, eels and turtles was voted fourth best aquarium in Asia by TripAdvisor travellers in a survey recently.

The Travellers Choice Awards for Zoos and Aquariums ranking puts Malaysia above South Korea’s Coex Aquarium, Singapore’s SEA Aquarium and even three of Japan’s five aquariums that were in the list.

The Merlion City’s SEA Aquarium is the world’s largest with over 800 species of marine animals, including over 200 sharks, manta rays and Napoleon wrasse, while the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (NMMBA) in Pingtung, Taiwan, covers an area of 35.81ha. The NMMBA’s museum building can be divided into three theme exhibit halls — Waters of Taiwan, Coral Kingdom Pavilion and Waters of the World — apart from the administration and teaching centres.

Sitting comfortably at the top of the Top 10 is the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan in the Land of the Rising Sun, which is a vertically long aquarium with each exhibit displayed in a spiral manner from the top. Encompassing a land area of 286,000 sq ft, the walk-through aquarium comprises 27 tanks in 16 main exhibits while holding almost 11,000 tonnes of water.

Aquaria KLCC managing director Datuk Simon Foong said: “We are delighted to be honoured among Asia’s top five aquariums in the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards. This accolade recognises Aquaria KLCC’s achievement as a state-of-the-art oceanarium that aims to bring travellers on an awe-inspiring journey of discovery.”

TripAdvisor’s survey ran for over a 12-month period and the Travellers Choice awards honour worldwide top travel spots based on reviews and opinions of users.

For the complete list of winners from the 2014 Travellers Choice Zoos and Aquariums, as well as reviews and candid traveller photos, visit http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/TravelersChoice-Attractions-cZoos or http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/TravelersChoice-Attractions-cAquariums

 

 Asia’s Top 10 Aquariums
• Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Osaka, Japan.
• Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Motobu-cho, Japan.
• Siam Ocean World, Bangkok, Thailand.
• Aquaria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
• National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Pingtung, Taiwan.
• Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, Nagoya, Japan.
• SEA Aquarium, Singapore.
• Okichan Dolphin Theatre, Motobu-cho, Japan.
• Aqua World Ibaraki Oarai Aquarium, Oarai-machi, Japan.
• Coex Aquarium, Seoul, South Korea.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 15, 2014.