Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Aquarium
Kuala Lumpur Aquarium
I am probably more critical of aquariums than of other zoos I visit because they really do have to tick all the right boxes. This place ticks most of them.
Before one ever enters the aquarium proper there is the option to visit the free Aquazone Education Centre. It is excellent in spite of the fact that is a slight hotel advertising undertone. That said I have paid good money in the past to enter facilities which have less to offer than what is given away for free here.
It was here I picked up a leaflet which boasts that the aquazone holds 300+ species and has 5,000+ exhibits..... surely they mean specimens?
The very attractive young lady at the ticket desk asked me my age. I did not think twice about it and said 60. I did not think once either as to why she could possibly want to know my age. It turned out however that I got my ticket for 18 Ringgit instead of 38. Gosh if only all entrance fees were discounted.
Journey through the Aquarium
The first tank after the reception was for the Giant Snakehead Channa micropeltes . Beautiful fish, perfect water clarity, excellent graphics but the tank itself a disappointment as it was just painted blue. It did however show the fish off to perfection. If I was really pressed I would probably say that I prefer 'natural' looking aquaria but there is a lot to be said for using the odd and the innotive if it creates wonderment and does no harm. Previously I have remarked how much I have liked seeing jellyfish bathed in coloured lights. No jelly fish here though.
Directly opposite the Snakeheads were three 'touch' pools modelled as strand of DNA. The pools contained Bamboo Sharks, Horshoe Crabs and Starfish. They were closely supervised by a very pleasant young lady with a microphone who explained and answered questions. All round this area there was excellent signage and graphics some of which was interactive. This continued through the whole aquarium as did the large ever changing factule TV's. A fresh, interesting and thought provoking 'mind bite' fact every 20 seconds or so. These were so very very good.
I thought the display for the Electric Eel to be one of the best I have seen anywhere. Okay it was by my reckoning too small but it worked big time educationwise. Bigger would have spoilt it.
The whole aquarium was tastefully decorated, it had a nice 'feel' to it which was enhanced by the presence of well supervised and friendly staff.
Sometimes I thought things were a little bit overdone as in the case of the Red Belly Piranha. Somehow though it was overdone well.
I thought the Malayan Giant Frog Rana blythii was stunning and the small exhibit for the Gliding gecko Pytchozoon kuhli was very special.
There was public viewing of the feeding of their Reticulated Python. It is always popular and no less so here. I did not see the start so I don't know if it was live (which I strongly disapprove of as unnecessary) but I doubt it was.
There was the inevitable moving floor through a sub aqua tunnel. No better or worse than any other though this perhaps had more twists in it. Joe Publc loves these tunnels. Difficult to imagine a modern aquarium without one.
This place was a truly pleasant Edutainment experience. It was very very good. It did let itself down just a bit with the commentaries. They were good but there were points in my progress that I could hear three at once and it was a bit distracting. I also thought the presence of a speaker directly over the Pygmy Marmosets was unpleasant for them and they appeared the least happy of all the animals here. Their exhibit was big enough but needed a bit more oomph to it.
I cannot say anything about the Conservation or In-situ involvement of the KLCC Aquaria because its role in these areas was played down to the point where amongst all the excellent educational signage I saw nothing. Big pity.
I noted that they offered a 'sleep over' for kids. An excellent idea where you can get away with it. If you can turn learning into an adventure then far more will sink into a young mind.
Worth a Visit?
So is the aquarium in Kuala Lumpur worth a visit? Most definitely. Other aquarists could learn from a visit here. It should definitely be on everyones itiniary of places to visit. It is on the hop on hop off bus route so and just a stones throw from other tourist attractions. It makes a change and there is a food hall close by.
Whilst you are there it may be worth visiting the Fish Spa as well. Whether you believe the claims or not it is something you need to experience at least once in your life.
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