Officially opened on July 2003, Underwater World in Pattaya was built as the first modern aquarium in Thailand. Located on Sukhumvit Road, just 300 meters south of Tesco Lotus in South Pattaya, it is a large leisure attraction showcasing the impressive diversity of marine life found around the region. Underwater World houses more than 5,000 fishes and marine animals, belonging to more than 500 different indigenous species and some rare creatures from overseas like the rare shovelnose ray, a hybrid between a shark and a stingray. Besides opening visitor’s eyes to the brilliance and diversity of undersea life, Underwater World Pattaya also plays an important role in education and marine conservation. School visits are actively supported, and new educational programs are constantly being developed. The aquarium covers a total area of 12 Rais, 20,000sqm, and is housed in a structure similar to a large circus tent. Its highlight is a 100-metre long underwater acrylic pedestrian tunnel, with a capacity of 3.8 million litres of water, home to great shoals of fish, prowling predators and a host of other creatures that inhabit the ocean depths. At Underwater World, visitors are taken onto a voyage to the bottom of the sea, which begins at the sandy beaches and shallow rock at the waters edge recreated in the pools near the entrance. The Ray Pool, the first one, contains several fish species like starfish, bamboo shark, blue spotted ray and archer fish, while the second one houses various marine species as sea star, sea cucumber and others bamboo shark. At the Koi pool children will enjoy the feeding of white and orange Koi fish. The Cylinder tank houses coral fish as the brightly orange colored blood parrot cichlid. The next pool houses a green sea turtle, a very large species of turtle that can travel thousands of miles in the sea and grow up to 80 years old. From here, visitors start their descent, passing through several tanks holding brightly colored corals and all kinds of exotic ocean-dwellers like angelfish, butterfly fish, lionfish and scorpion fish. Other tanks house moray eel, sea horses, giant crabs and the colourful clownfish. Finally they come to the spectacular 100 meter-long acrylic tunnel, where visitors experience the illusion of walking on the ocean floor surrounded by thousands of fish of many different species including sharks, stingrays and giant groupers. The tunnel is subdivided into Coral Reef, Open Ocean and Giant of Siam zones. The Coral Reef zone houses several species of colorful corals and many tropical fish like shoals of giant trevally, while the Open Ocean zone is home to black tip reef sharks, eagle rays, black-botched rays, fat nurse sharks and shovel-nose rays. In the Giant of Siam zone lies an artificial ship wreck, which serves as shelter for several marine species like the giant arapaima, a freshwater fish that can grow to a length of 15 feet. If you are a diver, and as most of divers you want to try the experience of diving between sharks and rays, at Underwater World there is no need to look for them on deep sea. Just bring yourself and open-water dive certificate and you can dive with the aquarium's diving instructors, next to you at all time to ensure your own safety or any kind of emergency that may occur while diving. You can choose to dive into Coral Reef and Open Ocean zones while your friends or family watch from inside the tunnel. Don’t know how to dive? Not a problem. You can choose to snorkel in the Coral Reef zone. Aquarium staff makes divers’ photos in the glass tunnel which you can buy at the shop near the exit. At end of tunnel is the Jellyfish zone, which houses several tanks containing different species of jellyfish with lighting in several colours, ranging in size from just a few centimetres to very large species like the lion’s mane jellyfish which body can grow up to several meters and tentacles up to 37 meters long.
Admission fee & Opening hours: The aquarium is open daily from 9.00 until 18.00. Last admission is at 17.30. Entrance fees at ticket counters are: Adult 500 Baht, Child till 130 cm hight 300 Baht, under 90 cm hight free entry. Diving & snorkeling: 30 minutes snorkeling 1,500 Baht, 30 minutes dive 2,500 Baht, 60 minutes dive 3,000 Baht. * Diving & snorkeling prices include the admission fee.
Getting there: Underwater World is located on Sukhumvit Road, the main road running from North to South Pattaya, roughly 6 kilometers south of city center, just 300 meters beyond Tesco Lotus supermarket. The aquarium is on songthaew's southern route that runs along the main Sukhumvit Road, and so easy accessible with two shared songthaew's change from any area of Pattaya or Jomtien Beach. Alternatively, the other way to get there privately is to rent one of local songthaew as a taxi. Before leaving, make sure you agree on the price.Read More
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