Coex Aquarium

Last Saturday, my girl and I finally visited the Coex Aquarium. I know of two aquariums in Seoul, and I’ve heard several times that the Coex version is way better than the 63 building version. Everyone seems to say that the 63 building aquarium does not provide the most humane of environment for the animals. I didn’t see anything extremely out of the norm or red flag raising at Coex. The brochure for the aquarium boasts on it’s 3,000 tons of water, 650 kinds of living things that number 40,000, all providing a unique edutainment (education + entertainment) combining play, learning and resting together. I used to have the Boogie Down Productions CD titled Edutainment, I believe released in 1990. Haven’t heard that phrase since… until now. Although the Edutainment phrase isn’t the best example of it, a topic for a later blog has got to be how this place is perpetually stuck in the late 80’s/early 90’s, so it’s funny to me to see that phrase being resurrected.

The aquarium visit is something we’ve been talking about doing for a long, long time. The problem has been finding a day you don’t mind spending so much time indoors. Coex mall is Asia’s largest underground mall as well as Korea’s largest shopping center. I have visited once before and wrote about it here. You could spend forever in there if you were in to the mall thing. I’m not, and because we’ve been trying to spend as much time rallying around outside as possible, the Aquarium experience, and everything else you can do at Coex, has been put on hold. But it has been pretty cold lately, and we have also been talking about seeing the movie 2012, as well as visiting Bongeunsa Temple together. Toss in the aquarium visit, and that’s a full day in the Coex area.

We visited the Coex Aquarium late in the afternoon, killing time before the movie. The cost is 15,500 won per adult. It was way bigger than we thought, and we spent a good 1.5 – 2 hours in there. It has a bunch of different exhibits specializing in various regions of the world, as well as providing different learning experiences. Some exhibits focus on Korean aquatic life, comparing them to their close relatives located in other parts of the world. There is an Amazon Tropical Jungle exhibit that showcases piranhas, giant electric eels and tons of fresh water fish. Another area features tropical fish. The giant main tank lets you to get up close and personal with many different kinds of sharks, as well as angel rays and sting rays. It also has a 180 degree tunnel that allows you to walk through the middle of the tank, and take it all in from above as well as both sides. Another area features fish smack in the middle of human life, making fish tanks out of things like a refrigerator, TV, computer, washing machine, toilet, coke vending machine and a phone booth. Beyond fish, you can find otters, penguins, monkeys, bats and my personal favorite… nature’s engineer and symbol of the great state of Oregon… the mighty BEAVER.

My camera died before I was able to get pictures of everything, but here is what I was able to capture…

The awards for the funniest looking animals definitely go to two varieties of turtle that I’ve never seen before. They have some pig nosed turtles that ended up taking quite a bit of verbal abuse from me and my girl. And the strangest thing in the place was a two headed turtle. One shell, one body, two heads.

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on December 3, 2009.

2 Responses to “Coex Aquarium”

  1. It’s funny you should say Edutainment because there is a job title in English Village called Edutainers. Hahahah! Pig nosed turtles rule!!!

  2. […] Aquarium was next on the agenda. We have already visited the Coex Aquarium, and had heard from others that the 63 version was quite a bit smaller and a lot more inhumane. All […]

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