“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water” said famous American anthropologist and natural science writer Loren Eiseley. Indeed, the beauty and abundance of the water world magnetically attract the attention of everyone, no matter you are a kid or grown-up. There are so many unexplored things that hide below the sea level and are mostly unattainable to our view. This fact awakened human curiosity and ingenuity and, thus, aquariums were created.
Starting with the first public aquarium or Fish House, opened in London Zoo in 1853, followed by the first American aquarium opened in 1856, European aquarium – in 1860, Asian aquarium – in 1886, it seems like the “race” for the top biggest aquarium in the world has begun. Among the latest, rank of the world’s largest oceanariums are:
- 2005-2012: The Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) with the total volume of water tanks ~ 10 mln US gal (38 mln l) and > 100,000 animals of 700 different species.
- 2012-2014: Marine Life Park (Sentosa Island, Singapore) with the total volume of water tanks ~ 12 mln US gal (45 mln l) and > 100,000 animals of 800 different species.
- 2014-currently: Chimelong Ocean Kingdom (Hengqin, Zhuhai, China) with the total volume of water tanks ~ 12.87 mln US gal (48.75 mln l) and the largest single tank volume of ~ 6 mln US gal (22.7 mln l)
Impressive, isn’t it? But now we’d like to focus on aquarium located right in famous Haeundae Beach of southeastern Korean city of Busan. So, let us mention some…
Facts about Sea Life Busan Aquarium:
Aquarium area is ~ 36 000 m2 and it has 3 underground levels: B1 with restaurants and souvenir shops, B2 and B3 with exhibits (check out the map).
- Its main tank contains 0.79 mln US gal (3 mln l) of water.
- There are ~ 35,000 animals of 250 different species.
- There are 40+ exhibits, which include sharks, piranhas, turtles, penguins, otters, sea jellies, electric eels etc.
- The animals can be viewed through acrylic windows in the walls and partially in the floor.
- There is a touch tank enabling the direct contact with some “peaceful” aquatic animals.
- There is 80 m (260 ft) long and 7 m tall cylindrically-shaped underwater tunnel.
Now, let us present a few brief word-photo impressions about some of the exhibits.
Red-lighted red-belly piranhas’ tank with human skeleton at the bottom looks alarming, do you agree? Even though, we couldn’t hear their “barking”, it was quite fascinating to observe how they calmly swish through water. Remember that in the mouth piranhas have rows of razor-sharp, triangular teeth, so do not put your hands in the tank and do not jump in!
20 meters Moonlight Zone creates a reef-like view of an extraordinary beauty. Here, using special goggles, you can even look for the glowing tube anemones that typically live in dark places, buried in soft sediments.
Floating sea jellies produce a calming effect. You can spend a considerable amount of time watching how gently they move their soft bodies. You can enjoy as much as you want, but only in the Aquarium. In real life, jellyfishes are dangerous due to their painful and even deadly stings.
The underwater tunnel and the transparent glass floor give you unforgettable emotions, while walking along or above the huge sharks and giant turtles. Can you imagine that you’ll be able to sit beside or step above sharks, scrutinizing multiple rows of their sharp teeth and fins, making photos with them or even teasing them. We tried to do all of these, so you can check it on the photos below😉. Where else can we get enough courage to behave like that with the predatory fish?!
Do you wonder about the history of the Busan Aquarium?
The aquarium was constructed as a joint project between Korean government and Australian company and was officially opened in November 2001.
What should you know before go there?
- Operating Hours:
Mon-Thu 10:00-19:00, Fri-Sun and Holidays 09:00-21:00
Hours subject to change (check the homepage before visiting: https://www.busanaquarium.com/en/).
- Admission fee1*:
- Discount: for foreigners, there is 30 % entry discount coupon, which you can get in the Tourist Information Center, located in the building right next to the Aquarium.
- Show time2*
Nowadays, there is one more exciting event – “Sea at Night Mermaid live show” at B2-3 Coral Display.
Time: (Tue-Thu) 11:00 / 13:00 / 14:00 / 15:00 / 17:00
(Fri-Sun) 11:00 / 13:00 / 14:00 / 15:00 / 17:00 / 18:00
What else can you do in Busan Aquarium?
- 4D ride: 4D experience movie theatre with programmed seater chairs. Fees and restrictions3*:
- Glass bottom boat ride: The tour boat with transparent floor enabling you literally see the sharks right under your feet! You’ll be provided with guide’s explanation and you can have a chance to feed fish in the shark tank. Location: between B2 and B3 levels. Restrictions are similar to 4D ride ones.
- Shark dive: for anyone (!), aged 16+, even without a diving certification. All diving equipment is supported by the Aquarium.
Fee: Shark Diving + Busan Aquarium admission fee + Certification Photos 150,000 Won (with Tax).
Reservation and info: http://aquaticfrontier.com/
- Aquarium’s special souvenir shop, where you can acquire sea character products, books, stationery, clothing etc.
How to get to Sea Life Busan Aquarium?
Address: 266, Haeundaehaebyeon-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea, 612-846 (Joong-dong). In Korean: 부산광역시 해운대구 해운대해변로 266 (중동).
If you are not in Busan City, get in there. The fastest way using ground transportation is to go by KTX train. Check out how to buy the train tickets here.
After you’ll arrive to the Busan Train Station, follow the next directions:
- Subway Line 1: from Busan Station to Seomyun Station.
- Transfer to Line 2.
- Subway Line 2: from Seomyun Station to Haeundae Station.
- Exit 3 or 5: walk ~ 500 m towards Haeundae Beach.
Enjoy your trip!