Phuket Aquarium: An island vacation wouldn’t be complete without fish, and we're not talking about seafood, either. For an afternoon of fun – learning about what you eat and what might eat you (not really) – the Phuket Aquarium is required viewing. Recently renovated and with thousands of tropical, colourful and exotic marine creatures, the Aquarium is a hit with youngsters who may not have come up this close and personal with such unusual sea life before.
Over 30 tanks of freshwater and saltwater creatures give children lots to reasons to point and say, “Mom, look!” The fascinating weirdness of the undersea world cannot be overstated: cuttlefish hover like spaceships, razorfish look like sinking sticks, and the so-ugly-you-can’t-help-staring stonefish could go by no other name. The diverse selection includes eel, crab, shrimp, sharks, and fish that range from brilliantly coloured to cleverly disguised.
The Tunnel at Phuket Aquarium
The star attraction is a large tank with a tunnel through its centre. Inside, you’re surrounded by a kaleidoscopic swarm of rays, snapper, grouper, wrasse, sharks, and others. (Show up at lunchtime, say 11:00, on weekends for the added bonus of watching the fish devour a meal.) Stepping out the end of the tunnel, you’re greeted by eight massive man-sized cod in the aquarium’s 110-ton tank.
All exhibits are labelled in Thai and English, with interesting facts about the creatures included. Floor-to-ceiling wall-displays go into greater detail about marine life, habitats, and conservation issues. Outside the main gallery, a nature trail leads to turtles; lots of them. Large pools contain baby hawksbills and green sea turtles honing their swimming technique, and injured adults enjoy an early retirement in the rehabilitation area.
Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC)
Phuket aquarium is part of the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) – eight hectares (20 acres) of prime waterfront on Phuket’s southeast coast devoted to marine education, research, and protection. Management is planning to harness the PMBC’s considerable resources – including a research vessel, hatchery, and endangered species museum – and develop a hands-on, educational day program for children in the near future.
- Opening Hours: Open from 08:30 until 16:00, seven days a week
- Tel: +66 (0)76 391 126
- Price Range: Adults 100 baht, children 50 baht.