In the spirit of exploring one last time before migrating out from here, last weekend I went to the SEA Aquarium. It is the world largest oceanarium located at Marine Life Park, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore.
We got down at the Harbourfront MRT and planned to have a cheap at the food court. Vivo City food court is nicely decorated with retro Chinese theme, and they serve varieties of food. It’s a good alternative, you know, on my poorer part of the month. After finishing our lunch and being yelled by a food storeowner for taking pictures of the food court (I don’t know why??), I queued to get the tickets. And soon I would relearn why Singapore is called Que City.
First queue was to get SEA Aquarium tickets at SGD$ 33 per person, and the second queue was to buy a SGD$ 4 pass to ride the train to the island.
Sentosa island was surprisingly crowded on that day. A short ride in the pink train and we reached the first stop, Waterfront station, where SEA Aquarium is located. There was a long queue (third queue) to get inside the building. It was a hot/humid day, and nobody looked happy except of course the over priced drinks seller nearby. After more than half an hour of waiting in the line, we finally got in. We were the last ones allowed to get in from our batch. I guess they took a pity of my desperately excited face.
I was inside! But then I saw dry land, no blue sea and no fishes. There was a pirate exhibition going on. It was about Silk Road and longhaired Chinese dudes. I wasn’t prepared for this. Usually, I like exhibitions, but this felt like entering an Indian restaurant but served with sushi. Never mind, I decided to make the most of it and take pictures of these random things.
At the end of the exhibition, I saw an escalator down with the sign SEA Aquarium pointing downward. Oh. It’s downstairs and what the what, there was the longest queue I have experienced, waiting for me to join in it. Fug !
So the queue began. I talked to Hulk, who was already pissed (with the queue, not me). I fiddled with my phone. I did people watching. I thought of you. I
broke down and cried, no I didn’t. I saw people taking a queue break and playing the 3D interactive games, exploring the gift shop, even enjoying their first date (a couple who were exactly in front of us; the guy was trying too hard) and we also saw someone who cut the queue and finally stand right before us. We were like “Where did this one come from?” So we had a new entertainment to keep him there and not by any chance cut pass us.
Finally after two hours of queuing to see something that usually served in a plate for us (best cooked deep fried) we were in.
First stop, photo prop where you can pose and pay them later for a price of a dress. We opted not to, we had our cameras, and walked inside the tunnel right away.
OMG, it was beautiful. Although crowded, it was still a beautiful view of the sea life. I saw interesting fishes,and weird fishes.
I also met Patrick (below) hanging out with a school of fishes, he forgot to wear his green pants.
I have been to the underwater world before yes, but they have done much better here.
At the same time, I was uber annoyed by people who took selfies in one spot of the sea tunnel for a long time. Not cool ladies. We are here to see fishes. Not fifty poses of you.
I walked out of the tunnel and saw this cylindrical tubed aquarium. Hello pretty fishes!
Okay, now I to confess something. I am uncomfortable with the aquatic world. It’s uneasy for me to dip into the blue water.
Why? Because I am scared. I share the same fear of the sea as Torre, at least in the first few chapters of her book, Love With A Chance of Drowning. and i am also scared of fishes. Yes, fishes, those tiny teeny boney fishes. Boohoo me for being scared of amazing sea creatures, but I do. At the same time, I find them fascinating. Swimming this way swimming that way. I love seeing them up and close, from a dry land, and for that I have to thank people who invented the concept of an aquarium. The first person that, instead of barbecuing his catches, decided to keep and talk to it at nighttime.
Many of fishes here are kept in an aquarium that resembles their habitat, at least for regular human eyes.
Say Hi to these bottlenose dolphins.
In the SEA aquarium, I had two favorites. The first one was a type of Jellyfish that looked like a baby jellyfish and swimming sideways instead of up and down. They are cute. I wanted to bring one home. Hulk said no.
And my second favorite was these ugly looking fish. How could you not pity-love them? They look like they are in a grumpy mood but why would they? They are fishes.
Another thing that I really liked about SEA Aquarium, other than the restaurant, was their education hut or what they called as interactive learning experience. Here and there, they put a table with someone tending to it with enough information about the featured fishes nearby. I saw a guy explaining about sharks’ teeth to a little girl and her family. Good service.
We reached the main part of the SEA Aquarium, an aquarium with the largest acrylic viewing panel where the big fishes were. The only one I recognized were the Manta Rays who are swimming majestically.
Hulk offered to take me to have a light bite at the Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, the iron chef lady. I refused. I had a feeling that they might cook the fishes that I just waved at.
“Kevin, scoop a Dory from the aquarium on the left for table 3’s fish and chips!” No, no thank you. I will eat the fishes outside, the ones whom I haven’t named and talked to yet.
I also saw many glorified Dory fishes and Nemos, but seeing them in a tank doesn’t cut after the experience of searching for Nemo few meters down the sea in Phi Phi Island.
Finally another tunnel before the exit, a tunnel with water infested with sharks. Big sharks, baby sharks, sandbar sharks and Hammerhead sharks. People are “whoo.. whaa-“ing, I didn’t get the fasciation people have for sharks. They are just grey coloured predators.
Then we were done.
The exit led to the gift shop, which is my favorite part of an exhibition or museum. I contemplated to buy the squid because I had planned from home to get a squid for my office cubicle. But this squid had crazy eyes. Me starring at it with my crazy eyes and it starring back to me with its’ during working hours would be too much stress inducing. I left it there so It could be taken by braver people who didn’t have crazy eyes during deadlines.
I was suggested to take the turtle instead, yes it was adorable, but what would a turtle do in my cubicle? It didn’t make sense at all, don’t you think?
Nearby the SEA Aquarium they have an Adventure Cove Waterpark where we can snorkel with 20000 fishes. How do they know the count of those 20000 fishes? The accountant in me was curious. I skipped it. Snorkelling in some conditioned water filled with fishes may turn out to be bad. Like over time the fishes become smarter due to some human wave radiation or what not and they end up killing us, Piranha style. Speaking of Piranha, what if they mistakenly put a baby piranha there, which didn’t look like Piranha (because it was only a baby)? Who then mate with stronger-better looking fish. We were all “Awww.. Owww” towards it because as you know, interracial off springs are always cuter until they breed enough to eat all of us in the tank in one go. You might say it would only happen in my imagination but wait and see my friends. Wait and see.
We got out an hour before the closing time and there were not many visitors or any queue. So one two hours before closing is a better option for you to visit the Aquarium and my last advice is that if you don’t have kids avoid school holidays, period. Curious kids and colourful fishes are the opposite of what have been pictured by Hollywood about romantic dates in front of a huge aquarium which I might consider doing again sometime. On a weekday. For a cheaper price.
How about you? Are you afraid of or do you love the sea? Have you been here or some place similar?