Located on the southern tip of Phuket Island, the Phuket Aquarium is part of the internationally recognized Phuket Marine Biological Center and offers visitors an opportunity for a wonderful, educational and entertaining excursion. Established in 1983, this aquarium is now one of the most popular destinations on Phuket Island, and the aquarium’s mission is to increase the awareness and the understanding of marine life and the coastal areas.
The Phuket Aquarium is home to more than 150 species marine life from both fresh and salt water ecosystems, but the focus is on those forms of sea life found in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. There are a variety of interactive exhibits showcasing different water based ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and coral reefs in addition to estuaries and mangroves. This educational journey is in both Thai and English so it is accessible to both resident and tourist.
One of the features of the Phuket Aquarium is the tunnel tank. This large tunnel passes safely through an immense aquarium that is home to sharks, sing rays, wrasses, groupers and snappers. When you reach the end of the tunnel you are presented with eight enormous Giant Groupers that have been in resident at the Phuket Aquarium for more than 20 years.
While the Phuket Aquarium is constantly improving the quality of the visitor’s experience, they are also hoping to expand and plans are underway for new attractions at the aquarium including a waterfall, a mountain habitat, a hands-on wet laboratory for educational purposes, a multimedia theater, a Kid’s Cave playground area, a deep sea exhibition as well as a new restaurant.
One of the more recent and unique additions to the aquarium is the hand held audio guides that allow visitors to take informative, self-guided tours of the facility.
In addition to being an important educational center and entertainment, the Phuket Aquarium carries out serious and important marine sustenance. The scientists at this aquarium hatch and breed sea turtles that are an endangered species, striving to increase their numbers in the wild. There is even an observation area from where visitors can observe the eggs and the baby turtles in their tanks.
While certainly not the largest aquarium in Asia, the Phuket Aquarium is an important one. It also works hard to provide an educational experience for all of its visitors and is a popular destination on Phuket Island for both tourist and local resident.