When we were planning our itinerary for our recent Bangkok trip, I asked some mom bloggers for suggestions on where to bring Noah, and Life’s Tiny Miracles suggested Siam Ocean World (you can read their review HERE). We thought it would be perfect, since it’s conveniently located in the basement of Siam Paragon, which is directly linked to our hotel, Siam Kempinski.
We picked a weekday for our visit, so that we could avoid the weekend crowd, and booked our tickets a day in advance from this website, which offered a good discount, compared to the official website. We got the Super (Aquarium+5D Movie+Ocean Feeding+Back Of House+Pepsi & Popcorn) Package, but didn’t realise that there was only one place to collect our Pepsi and Popcorn (the cafe inside the aquarium), and I had to ask the staff to let me in again, so that I could get the popcorn for Noah. Tip: Get your tickets online, and print the confirmation email to collect your tickets from the Information Counter on the left side of the aquarium’s entrance.
The different packages available
Got our tickets!
We chose to do the Back of House tour at the start of our visit, as it was near the entrance, and there wasn’t a queue. There are specific timings for this, so check the timer at the Back of House entrance to find out when the next tour will be starting. Our guide, Earth (yes that’s really his name), spoke English well, and we could tell that he was really passionate about his job. He could answer our questions well, and provided us with little tidbits of information along the way. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any photos during the tour, but it was still an interesting experience, especially if you’re curious about how the aquarium works.
The Ocean Feeding Boat ride is also located in the same area, but the queue for that is at the exit of the Back of House tour, and we decided to catch the otter-feeding and penguin-feeding talks first, before coming back to it. On hindsight, we should have done the boat ride early too, when the queue was much shorter than when we returned after the two talks. I wanted to catch all the talks and feedings, but in the end, C felt that it would be pointless to rush him around just to catch the different talks, especially when he wasn’t very engaged after a while at both the talks. In the end, we let Noah dictate the pace, so that he could spend more time at the exhibits he liked.
Talks & Feeds Schedule
The boat ride was the highlight of our visit, although I think I was probably more excited than Noah. He was just happy to be on a boat! The boat basically went around the surface of the Ocean Tunnel, so we could see other visitors walking around underneath. We were fortunate enough to be able to see some sharks, stingrays, and other fishes during our boat ride, and some came really close to the bottom of our boat’s glass bottom! The photographer helped us to take a family photo at the end of the ride, and we ended up purchasing the photo and getting it made into a magnet, as we figured it was a better souvenir than a soft toy (which Noah wanted).
Checking out the fish below
Another interesting area in the aquarium is the Shark Walk, where sharks swim freely beneath the glass panels that visitors can walk on. I confess that I was quite freaked out by this, while Noah was happily running around on the glass, and standing on it to admire the sharks. He tried to reassure me that it was perfectly safe, “Don’t worry, Mummy. You won’t fall in.” and very sweetly held my hand as I walked on it with him. The room was extremely dark, and I couldn’t get a proper photo, but there’s also an interactive screen in there, where visitors can learn more about the different types of sharks. Noah had quite a bit of fun with it!
Running across the glass
Noah liked crawling into the exhibits that allowed him to look out from “inside” the tanks, as did many of the other children at the aquarium. It’s probably more for photo opportunities, which is quite a shame, since I think some children (and adults) would like to spend more time observing the fishes there.
Admiring the fishes
Noah also enjoyed touching the starfish at the Rockpools, even though he was initially quite apprehensive about it. There were also empty shark egg cases floating in the touch pool with the starfish, which we also got to touch. I didn’t know that shark’s eggs looked like that!
Pretty starfish and empty shark egg cases floating above
We spent quite a bit of time at the stingrays exhibit, and Noah was absolutely thrilled when one swam right up to the glass. He still talks about that every now and then, so it must have made quite an impression on him. It also helped that we read Ranger Anne and the Flying Stingray before and during our trip (I packed the book in his “entertainment kit”), so he was quite familiar with stingrays and how they have barbs (like fingernails) on their tails. Haha.
Hello, big stingray
As we neared the exit, we were surprised to see a mini indoor playground in the aquarium, and of course, Noah had to stop and play there for a while. He also insisted on taking a photo with the shark mascot walking around the aquarium, because he’s into taking photos with mascots for some reason now.
With the Shark mascot (in extremely bad lighting)
The aquarium was rather dark, and if you want to take proper photos of the sea creatures, I would advise you to bring a proper camera. I used my iPhone to take all the photos, so they didn’t really turn out very well.
Huge crab at the entrance
The new octopus exhibit
Not sure what this is, but it was in the jellyfish area too
Since our hotel was so nearby, we decided to go for lunch at Siam Paragon, then back to the hotel for a nap, before returning for the 5D show. The theatre is outside the aquarium, and you can’t re-enter the aquarium after you leave, so make sure you’re done with all the exhibits before stepping out. The show is 15 minutes long, and run every half-hourly, so plan carefully, and get your tickets to the show from the information counter. We stayed in the theatre for less than two minutes, because Noah got really freaked out by the 3D images, and was close to tears, so we left. I don’t think we missed anything though, because the show was about some dinosaurs chasing an explorer around, and I vaguely remember having seen it before a long time ago somewhere else.
He didn’t like wearing the glasses
C wisely didn’t even go for the show with us, and went to the tailor for his fitting instead, so while waiting for him to return, I got Noah to take some photos outside the aquarium.
He said the fish was kissing him
He surprised me by hugging the penguin!
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World is quite a nice aquarium to visit, and isn’t too big, so it can easily be completed in a few hours. Kids also get a small activity booklet, and can collect stamps at the different stations in the aquarium, to get a small prize at the exit. Depending on the age of your child, you might want to consider skipping the 5D show, and spending more time looking at the exhibits inside instead. Don’t forget to book your tickets from this website at least a day in advance, to get a better rate!
*This is the fifth and last post in our #GWTTinBKK series. Read about our hotel stay HERE, about our favourite restaurant in Bangkok HERE, our shopping tips HERE, and our experience at Safari World Bangkok HERE. Do take a look at some of our photos from this trip on Instagram, by searching for #GWTTinBKK.
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