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Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

Shanghai, China

Tucked away behind the super tall and super famous Pearl Tower and Jinmao Tower, the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is a utopia for people who like marine life and photography. The building is in the shape of twin pyramids seen against the backdrop of some really sky-high buildings. Its claim to fame is its underwater 550 feet extended viewing tunnel; the longest in the world. Being the largest public aquarium in Asia, it holds a huge portfolio of aquatic species and terrain from across the globe that are a true pleasure to watch for locals and tourists.

Lujiazui subway station, a stop on Shanghai’s metro line 2, is nearby and requires a few steps northeast to get to the Aquarium. The basic entrance ticket is RMB160 with kids under 3.3 ft going free and those above 3.3 ft but under 4.6 ft charged at RMB110. Senior citizens above 60 can get admission for RMB90 and disabled persons for RMB70. Combo tickets are also sold with combinations available for Shanghai Science & Technology Museum (RMB200), Oriental Power Tower (RMB310) and the 88th floor viewing deck of Jinmao Tower (RMB225). Timings for visitors are from 09:00 to 18:00 which are extended to 21:00 during peak tourist season in July and August and during public holidays. Entry is halted half an hour before the official closing hour. A time schedule for feeding sharks, penguins, seals and other Deep Ocean zone species is available online and visitors can choose to come for a different experience with their favorite fish. Crowd favorites are sharks and penguins.

The building has 3 floors and a basement with the ticket booth on the first floor. Visitors are recommended a top-to-bottom approach while going around the 9 zones plus special exhibitions which include weird and wonderful species; some quite rare. All zones have a lot of biodiversity and are not to be missed.

Starting at the 3rd floor, visitors glide across China, Australia and South America zones while also witnessing a waterfall, some Special Exhibitions, the VIP hall and a dedicated science education room. The special exhibitions’ rare species include emperor penguins, bluegill, Agkistrodon perch, jelly fish and poison dart frogs. And the China Zone exhibits giant salamanders, sturgeon and other fish native to the Yangtze which is something tourists probably won’t find in other Aquariums around the world.

Lower on to the 2nd floor, there is the Polar zone (penguins!), Sea & Shore zone, Cold Water zone, Southeast Asia and Africa zones.

The last place to go is the basement which has the Deep Ocean zone with the sharks and other awesome creatures of the watery depths.

Once visitors have made a circuit of the submerged tunnels spanning 3 floors, they come up to the 1st floor again to grab a bite to eat at the spacious on-site restaurant, grab quality memorabilia at the souvenir shop or gather information from the Tourist Center. Except weekends, the place is never too packed and makes for an amazing activity with kids.

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