We went to the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium for my birthday. The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is located off of Line 2 in Lujiazui. Admission tickets are about 135 RMB per person. At first I was hesitant about whether or not I would want to go in since the price is quite expensive for Chinese standards. The reviews online are decent although most say that the aquarium was a bit too small.
Despite all of that, my husband and I chose to check it out. We are big fans of aquariums and have been to many in the US including Sea World and Monterey Bay Aquarium. We thought that it would be fun to check out one in China also. And we were not disappointed in the least bit.
The aquarium consists of 4 floors. The first floor shouldn't count - it's a gift shop, restaurant, and games floor. The top floor consists of fish that you would find in the Yangtze river. I thought it was interesting, although a bit tame. (It kind of reminded me of a pet's store in the US - think Petco or something of the like). Anyway, the main junction of the 2nd floor are the Chinese crocodiles. They are fiercesome looking creatures and remind me very much of the Florida alligators although much smaller. The scary thing was that they placed 4 ducks in the crocodile pond! Now I had feared for those ducks' well-being as they carefully swam uncomfortably close to their crocodile mates. It was until I read the description of the Chinese crocodile that my fears were laid to rest. Wow, they normally eat turtles and jellyfish. They don't harm humans. Although it didn't say anything about ducks - I think they should be okay. The other section was the Amazon forest. The lights and sounds were a bit much, kind of like the Rainforest Cafe on crack. But it was still a great exhibit. One of the most amazing exhibits were the fish found in the Amazon River. They had 2 humongous arapaima in their tanks! Those are some very prehistoric looking fish and was my first time seeing one live in person. It was then that I felt assured that the price of admission was worth it just to view the arapaima in person.
The 3rd floor had some African and Australian fish. None of which I remember particularly well. They also had a polar section with some penguins. Penguins in aquariums are a bit overdone and definitely overrated. They might as well be stuffed animals or replicas sitting behind that glass display. Oh well. The bottom floor was quite a sight. There was a moving travelator which takes one through the looking tubes surrounded by fish above and side-to-side. I think it was larger than any of the ones I've seen in the US. We really enjoyed the section with the sharks and sea turtles. The sea turtles were such majestic and serene creatures who looked at you lazily. While I had an uneasy feeling looking eye-to-eye with the sharks that swum around. I don't know - I myself was a bit spooked and the only feeling that put me at ease was the fact that the glass would protect me. One shark followed my husband and myself from one end of the tube to the other. Not glancing away at us. It was unnerving. I'm glad that we're not in the open ocean.
After the last floor we said good-bye to the aquarium. It's a bit small compared to the large aquariums in the US, but there's so many different types of fish found here that I think it is definitely worth it to go and check it out.