I had a planner all set. Every activity was assigned a time and day. But alas, vacation means something or the other is going to go off track. The climate looked really unpredictable on day 2 and we decided to head over to Sentosa Islands. On day 1 when we had been to Jurong, the rains almost ruined the experience of close interaction with the birds. I didn’t want day 2 to suffer like that.
So down the drain went my planning, and we decided to visit the Singapore Sentosa S.E.A. Aquarium. Both me and the hubby have always been an experience hunting couple. More than places, sight-seeing…its the ‘hatke’ experience that matters to us. So while Singapore shopping, city tour etc was on the list…S.E.A. Aquarium is what was the highlight of our days event. Everything was to revolve around this.
We had earlier planned to spend like 2-3 hours in this place, but once we entered, we only came out by evening. That’s how brilliant and one of a kind experience this magical place was. I truly now know what an aquarium should be like, and hopefully once you see the pictures…and read about the place in this post…you might want to visit this place too. I assure you its not to be missed !
Disclaimer: All the pictures in this post are not from my camera. The source is mentioned. Only the pictures with me in it, and others with no source mentioned are my own.
Why is that?
It so happened that my dearest husband forgot to put the memory card back in the camera on Day 2. After all the Jurong Bird Park adventures, we had transferred all the pictures onto the laptop, and then someone conveniently missed taking out the memory card from the laptop. [Notice how I’m blaming the shift entirely on him – its called my blog, my words 😛 ] But anyhow, I was so upset, the first half pretty much went in us behaving like cats and dogs, because this was our number one priority activity/experience and we were going to miss it entirely.
So sorry guys, I have pictures…but that’s from the phone…and it really doesn’t do justice to the place.
We got up in the morning, had our breakfast and were out of the hotel by 10am. We were headed to Sentosa Islands, which is pretty much the entertainment/activity hub of Singapore. Located on the outskirts of the city, the islands have close to 30+ attractions for visitors. Let me tell you, you can’t cover this place in a day. Impossible !
We had our tourist travel passes, so commute was kind of free. It was pretty simple, we just had to take the metro, change once and we were at the location. From Sentosa station, we opted to take a monorail and got down right outside S.E.A. Aquarium.
I had done some of my research previously before picking this place…so I kind of had some idea of what was in store. Sharks was what I was waiting to see. I mean its not like every other day, you can see them up close and personal right? So I was super excited to get going.
We entered the aquarium and the space was huge. The aquarium was no where in sight, but there was a beautiful ship in front of us. Quite a majestic sight you know. To top it up, it was hanging from the ceiling. We walked through sections which were immersed in various cultures. From seeing Calicut silk sarees on display to Noah’s Ark recreated on the ship, it was quite an enriching experience to walk from one culture into another.
The minute we entered the main aquarium venue, we were greeted to the sight of sharks right in front of us. Like OMG, my jaw dropped in awe. You know, total paisa vasool right there. There were so many species of sharks in there, and before we knew it, we were walking right below them. I had goosebumps, its something that only seeing it can explain what it feels like to be there.
From endangered species like the scalloped hammerhead shark, to the aggressive silvertip shark, and then seeing one of the largest species of shark, the sandbar shark…all in one place. It was a dream come true. I think this one experience was definitely something that I can tick off from my bucket list now.
I think we pretty much stood here for a good 45 mins to an hour…because lets face it, we have seen fishes and turtles and other aquatic beings, but how often do we come across a tank full of sharks ! The best part was, they didn’t just have one or two in captivity and on display, they had 100s of them, and the tank was so huge, I don’t even know how high up it went…we couldn’t see it…but that gave them the space to be exactly how they should be. Ferocious and scary !
Strait of Malacca & Andaman Sea
I loved this section purely because they gave us a close personal experience with starfish. We could touch them and feel these beautiful creatures and look at them really up close. I haven’t been to Andamans, and may be this is not that big of a deal, but knowing that there were experts right there in front of us, telling us that these beautiful living beings are totally harmless…it was the best feeling to be close to them.
Some spectacular marine beauties
We have all seen some kind of jelly fishes here and there, but seeing so many varieties in one place. It was mindblowing. They are so much fun to look at. They are colorful, in various sizes and to top it off, you see coral reefs all around. Its a sight to behold.
My favorite was definitely seeing Nemo, and a dragon fish. I almost couldn’t figure out where the dragon fish was up until I saw its eyes moving around. It was such a camouflage. There were a lot of firsts for me in this aquarium and I am so so glad to have experienced all of this.
But the best was definitely something else…
THE OCEAN DOME
The minute you walk into this theater, I call it a theater because the size of the viewing deck was equivalent to two rows of three double-decker buses stacked atop one another. Yes, I googled it and that’s the accurate size of the viewing deck. It was huge. I was so wrong when I thought sharks was pretty much what the wow factor was in S.E.A. Aquarium, but I was so wrong. This just took it to a whole another level.
By the time we reached this place, before entering, we thought lets just hang out for half hour more, have lunch and move on to the next attraction. We walked in here at 12:30 pm and only managed to get out at 4:45pm ! Nobody asked us to stay, it just happened.
THERE WERE TWO SHOWS POST LUNCH
#1 Feeding Session
The huge tank consisted of sting rays – the highlight being the mantas which is one of the biggest sized sting ray I have ever seen. Just think of it as the whale of sting rays. That + 100 other species of fish and some sharks swimming around like its their ocean and we are the guests peeking into their world.
2:30 pm was the feeding session and quite honestly I thought the authorities would just pour some food from the top which we could see how these giant creatures really eat. But how wrong was I. There were actual divers who got into the tank and started feeding all of them.
It was amazing. The sting rays were almost engulfing these divers to give them food, and from time to time I could see these divers simply push them away like it was nothing. My only memory of sting rays is when crocodile hunter Steve Irwin got killed by a sting ray. I always thought of these creatures as predators and less as some harmless aquatic beings. But these divers showed just how wrong our perception was about them.
In many cases, the divers even put their hand inside the sting rays mouth to feed them fishes. The whole crowd went all ooooh and aaahhh and it was simply a-m-a-z-i-n-g. !
#2 Divers Show
Since I don’t have pictures, I thought best to share with you guys the whole thing. This is just me capturing a bit of the show. This was from the closing bit, the rest of the time quite honestly all of us were just totally glued into what was happening in the place. It was out of the world.
THINGS WE MISSED:
- Shark feeding session – It only happens on alternate weekdays
The day ended with us doing one more attraction at Sentosa, which was the Tiger Sky Tower. It gave us an aerial view of the city, and because of our (perfect) timing, we pretty much saw Singapore both during sunlight and sunset. It was beautiful.