Penguins in Bangkok

9 Jul

African penguins exploring their rocky home, behind glass at Siam Ocean World Aquarium, Bangkok Aquarium.

African penguins come to Thailand.

We didn’t come to Thailand for the penguins.

But there’s something surreally magical about stepping out of 35 degrees of sweaty, humid heat and coming face to face with these little fellas.

Nestled below the designer mecca of Siam Paragon, Siam Ocean World is the largest aquarium in South-East Asia.

It takes the aquarium concept and stretches it to its very limits. From penguins to beavers, from Amazonian predators to fossil fish, right through to a jacuzzi of pedicuring fish.

Scuba diver hand-feeding snaggletooth shark at Bangkok Aquarium, Thailand.

Diver hand-feeding a snaggletooth shark. Bangkok Aquarium.

Regular feeding shows run throughout the day. Divers hand-feed sharks, penguins flump after fish, and otters retrieve whole pawfuls of rubber balls in exchange for squidbits.
Z enjoying a fish pedicure in a jacuzzi-style bath at Siam Ocean World, Bangkok

Exactly as ticklish as it looks.

In a different sort of feeding time, these tiny cleaner fish nibble patients at the dead skin cells on your feet, delivering a — perhaps too — natural pedicure.

We loved the dramatic tunnel which led through a galaxy of sharks — and the glass-bottomed boat tour which took us on top of the water, behind the scenes, for a view of an aquarium one rarely gets.

The giant spider crabs, moray eels, faux coral, coelacanths and rainforest zone were incredible. But the household appliances stocked with fish are pretty unique too.

A washing machine converted into a miniature aquarium.

A washing machine full of baby fish.

Sir’s favourite part? The 4D environmental movie, where cartoon turtles take you on a rocking, jolting and occasionally damp ride through the damage humans wreak on our environment.

Though, if it weren’t for the fact that on Koh Tao, where we are now, he’d be diving on a real live reef, the chance to enter the tunnel tank and dive with 4-metre sharks would have been almost irresistible.

You honestly never know what you’ll find in a South-East Asian mall. We’ve seen climbing walls, Maseratis, painted hermit crabs and inflatable spiders.

But to find an absolutely world class aquarium a couple of floors down from D&G? That’s magic.

Thanks to Debbie Dubrow at Delicious Baby for hosting Photo Fridays

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2 Responses to “Penguins in Bangkok”

  1. Sarah V. July 10, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    The penguins are so cute. The shark? Not so much! Can’t imagine hand-feeding one of those guys.

  2. jessiev July 10, 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    i love this!!

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