22 August 2015

Things to do in KL - the KLCC Aquarium

Malaysia’s capital, KL, is not far from us, no more than 2-2.1/2 hours in the car so it is a viable day trip for us.  My husband has regular meetings down there, if they take place in term time we leave him to it but occasionally they happen in school holidays and then we join him for a short break.
KL is full of interesting things to do and see.  On our last trip down we went to the KLCC Aquarium.  The children love fish, our son recently completed his PADI Seal course and can’t wait until he can dive with us in open water.  Our older daughter is fascinated by the fish and the baby just loves seeing the shapes flit by.  The aquarium is located within the KLCC complex which includes the famous dancing fountains, the Petronas Towers and the huge KLCC mall.  The entry is quite expensive, particularly for foreigners although there are discounts for residents and nationals.

The aquarium visit starts with a well laid out touch pool.  Here it was possible to see sea stars, horseshoe crabs and a bamboo shark.  The information panels were well laid out but sadly the staff member, though friendly, did not seem able to answer the questions we asked.  Shortly after the touch pools there is an exhibit devoted to electric fish  and then a jungle exhibit which included snapping turtles and my favourite, Otters!  Sadly the otters were not in residence during our visit.
The very best section of the exhibition was devoted to shipwrecks highlighting not only the sea life  that flourishes on wrecks but also provides extensive information on the various famous diveable wrecks around Malaysia. 

Welcome to KLCC....
A little further on the exhibits concentrate on jungle and forest fish around the world including fish native to Malaysia.  The centre of this exhibit is a two story cylindrical tank showcasing the larger fish – absolutely stunning.  The stairs around the tank are difficult to negotiate with a buggy but there is a lift provided for those with very small children or who use a wheelchair. 

Come and see the beautiful fish....
The oceanarium  with its 90m glass walkway is absolutely stunning – huge rays, friendly groupers and hideous eels are joined by a variety of sharks including white tip reef sharks, sand tiger sharks and tawny reef sharks.  There is a moving walkway but this takes you through the exhibit far too quickly to really enjoy it.  We stood to the side and took about an hour to enjoy this wonderful exhibit.

And friendly turtles...

Finally, after leaving the oceanarium  the display turns to some truly weird and wonderful exhibits including pinecone fish and, of course, jelly fish before disgorging visitors into the inevitable souvenir shop.  

enjoy the weird and wonderful
While the aquarium is not the best I have seen (my vote would go to Montery Bay in California and my husband’s to the aquarium in Osaka) it was certainly better than the Astana Aquarium (although given the challenges of running the aquarium that is furthest from the sea I thought they did a pretty good job) and probably superior to the London Aquarium where although the exhibits are stunning the infrastructure looks pretty tired and in need of a face lift. 


The KLCC aquarium is well laid out, the staff friendly and the information provided pitched to a fairly decent level.  It also takes advantage of the excellent parking facilities at KLCC (public transport or walking with a buggy are a no no in KL) and the chance to pick up a snack in the many restaurants in the area.  Like all aquaria the lighting makes photography very difficult, I am sure that they would do a roaring trade in specialist photography sessions with an expert - I know I would be interested.  Nevertheless all in all the KLCC Aquarium is very worth a day trip into town as a special treat for the end of term or a birthday.

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