I have been using this key chain (on and off) since 2006. I liked it so much, I bought 2 in 2006 during my very first visit to an aquarium in Singapore. And that aquarium had always been a place I wanted to return to with a regular reminder of it via a jellyfish key chain.
Unfortunately it was too late for me to return by the time I finally returned to Singapore September of 2016 by a few months! Underwater World was closed on June 26, 2016.
Our next underwater option is now S.E.A. Aquarium™ at Resorts World Sentosa which opened in 2012 with an aquarium that was once the worlds largest aquarium. I wasn’t sure what to expect here because we had just gone to an amazing aquarium in Monterey Bay but I really wanted to go to an aquarium in Singapore (nostalgia…)
In a way this place is a little more than an aquarium, it is a part of a place called Resorts World Sentosa (which is a part of the the resort island Sentosa). When you walk into this place you’re are not exactly in the aquarium (yet).
The Maritime Experiential Museum
So before you get to go see the pretty fish, you have to make a quick trip through The Maritime Experiential Museum.
You are greeted by a big ship and then you travel through the ancient Maritime Silk Route.
Start by imagining yourself walking through an old (outdoor) Asian market (souk) with hanging banners and woven baskets etc.
And section by section we traveled along the “Maritime Silk Route” or the trade route by sea (not to be confused with the famous silk route) that connects the east and the west.
At the Maritime Experiential Museum, we are taken through the journey with a famous Chinese explorer and stopping at many of his major port of calls (Quanzhou, China, Qui Nhon, Vietnam, Palembang, Indonesia, Melaka, Malaysia, Galle, Sri Lanka, Calicut, India, Muscat and Malindi, kenya).
We learned a little about their culture and what are some of the trade commodities specific to each place.
There is even a replica of a ship that would travel along this Maritime Silk Route. But it was just a really big display.
I found this part quite fascinating BUT I was getting impatient because I was here for the fish! I would like to come back again to really see more. I remember reading somewhere (sorry I don’t remember where I read it) that a lot of the maritime artifacts are actually on display at the Art Science Museum at Marina Bay Sands. That would be cool to see if we had to time to go to that museum.
And Finally before finally finally going into the aquarium is a view of the other side of the big ship that greeted us when first entered the museum.
It displays some of the exotic things the Chinese explorer brought back to China from his expositions. Do you see the giraffes and rhinos?
S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa
The S.E.A. Aquarium entrance is actually on the ground floor. From the ground floor, you will kind of get the effect that you are finally going underwater. There are little ships hanging down so that when you’re down there you will look up and see the bottom of a these ships above.
And so walk through another lobby entrance kind of thing before finally entering the S.E.A. Aquarium.
1. SHARK SEAS
I personally didn’t feel like I was at the S.E.A. Aquarium until we entered through the shark seas tunnel. And it is confirmed, that is actually where what the map says too.
The S.E.A. Aquarium layout is a straight route from the shark sea tunnel all the way to the huge open ocean habitat (that covers the left side of the aquarium) and then back out (on the right side of the aquarium) through the rest of the exhibits into the shipwreck habitat and tunnel to the exit.
And this is the perfect photo spot. And obviously everyone else things so too. There were so many people just hanging out in this tunnel!
The S.E.A. Aquarium is smart about this. They have a green screen photo shoot area at the end of the the tunnel for families to get the perfect picture in the shark sea tunnel with out the crowd.
It was also quite interesting to see some nurse sharks just chilling at the edge of the glass. And then more people who are just as fascinated. Do you take pictures on your cell phone with it connected to the selfie stick? I saw that a lot during this trip.
At the end of the tunnel are the hammer head sharks swimming above us!
2. LIVE CORAL HABITAT AND 3. AFRICAN LAKE
These 2 sections of the S.E.A. Aquarium just flowed along for me.
This giant moray eel stopped everyone in their tracks! It was meal time for this guy here. It just stayed really still with its mouth wide open. The fish just swam right into the mouth!
I guess this is where you would find Nemo and Dory…
One particular aquarium that got my attention was the (California) kelp display. It felt so underwhelming. But I stopped and had to remind myself that I was comparing this to the Kelp forest in Monterey Bay Aquarium. The kelp swaying in the display is small as it sways along with the water flow.
4. OPEN OCEAN HABITAT
The open ocean habitat is the anchor of the S.E.A. Aquarium. And we spend a lot of time just relaxing and enjoying the aquarium.
The open ocean habitat was the biggest underwater tank in the world by total water volume (Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Hengqin, China is now the record holder).
And it sure is amazing just watching all of the fish swimming in this huge tank. And you can get views of this tank from multiple angles. There is the general front view, which is the general first impression view.
There are regular speakers (I can’t find the schedule) that keep it relatively entertaining and interactive as they talk about some of the fish in the tank.
But if you don’t want to wait for the scheduled talks, there are several touch screen monitors that list out the many different type of fish (marine life) on display.
I found the spotted eagle ray! Yeah, it doesn’t look as cool as the “official” picture but at least I managed to find it.
The spotted eagle ray was only one of several different types of rays. And that was what kept me entertained and in awe! But unfortunately now that we’re back at home I can’t a actually list of exactly what is on exhibit.
Can you guess what kind of ray this is? I managed to figure out what this one is. It’s a ray shark
Of course the manta ray is one of the stars on display and hard to miss. Look at the weird looking mouth/horn thing.
The next view of the giant open ocean aquarium available is to the right of the tank. You can clearly see the “ocean dome” from the main viewing area
The “ocean dome” makes you sort of feel like you’re walking into the big tank. Instead of walking through a tunnel you’re just in a room with a few big windows and a big one up above.
Interestingly, I don’t remember even caring about what is above us.
And instead of actually looking at the fish, we sat down at one of the many little kids tables and started coloring. The particular table we sat at only had 3 colored pencils available to us (red, green, grey/green). And with only 3 colors, Mom and I definitely had slightly different final products.
There was one thing that really fascinated me when staring into this huge open ocean exhibit though. Did you ever notice the window things? They’re not reflections, they are windows that look into this aquarium. But you need to make a reservation for that view.
There are 11 Ocean Suites. Each suite goes for over $2,000 per night and includes: a Sunken jacuzzi bathtub next to open ocean tank viewing window, Outdoor jacuzzi in the living room patio, Free-form swimming pool at Beach Villas, 24-hour butler service, Buggy service on-call, etc. I took a screen shot of the Resort World Ocean Suites website.
This made me really curious to if this is even worth it, so I did a little search around for other bloggers and here are a couple that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and thanks to them got to sort of experience this $2000/night underwater hotel room.
- Lady J’s Musings – Staycation at Ocean Suites
- TJINLEE – Ocean Suite-Unforgettable Underwater Fantasy at Resorts World Sentosa
They really had some amazing pictures of the aquarium! Do you think this is worth a stay?
And after seeing the biggest tank wandered into the jelly fish / sea jellies exhibit. And this was one of my favorites! I do carry around a giant jellyfish keychain on a daily basis because of the real ones I first saw here in Singapore.
I stared into this aquarium of moon sea jelly for a while watching the colors change. And then waited for them to change again to take pictures. So it was a feast for my eyes and then I fed my camera. haha. But in the end, I think I like the non-colorful look the best. Which color is your favorite?
They look so majestic just going with the flow in the water.
And there are just so many fun and random facts about them. Did you know they have “simple eyes” that can only tell light from dark?
This one really reminded me of some of the other jellies we saw in Monterey. And I just like this picture.
Spotted Lagoon Jelly
These are the same size, but I don’t know what kind of Jellyfish they are. But these guys resemble my keychain the most!
This guy is “Pernas” a Giant Pacific Octopus. And unlike jelly fish who don’t have much a brain at all, the octopus a much bigger brain.
Do you think octopus are cool or scary? This guy was moving around and when we came upon his exhibit and that was when we actually got to see it in action. It’s pretty amazing to see how he started out looking like a rock in the corner to this thing that can pretty much cover the glass in front of us.
I just saw Finding Dory and I can’t stop imagining how this Giant Pacific Octopus can camouflage. At least we were able to easily spot him here not in camou. The S.E.A. Aquarium actually has a really good blog that gives us so many more facts about their marine animals etc.
The S.E.A. Aquarium is part of the Resort World in Sentosa Singapore which also includes: Universial Studios Singapore, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Trick Eye Museum, and Dolphin Island.
At Dolphin Island is a place where people could actually swim with the dolphins. I guess you get to see a couple dolphins swimming in the distance.
5. CORAL GARDEN
The coral garden is a big is a big 2 story cylindrical tank. We actually walked by it during the first half of our visit but you really get to walk right up to this cylinder and just stare into it.
I spent a little bit of time just trying to get a few shots of the some of the fish. This one here is not has colorful as the many fish in the coral garden, but it bares that amazing brain like (maze like) pattern on its body.
There is a touch pool, which we just walked right by.
And as if we didn’t see enough rays at S.E.A. Aquarium, we encountered more. These swam right below us as we walked over a clear walkway.
This took our aquarium to another level. We walked through a tunnel with sharks swimming, the open ocean exhibit gave us a glimpse of the vast the ocean. And now we are walking on top of another aquarium exhibit without worrying about getting our feet wet.