Acting as a tourist-in-your-own-city can be addictive. Having enjoyed our exploration of the Longhua Temple and Martyrs’ Memorial during the Spring Festival, we looked for another fresh expedition right on our doorstep.
This time we chose the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, in the shadow of the Pearl Tower in Lujiazui. (At least, it would be in the shadow of the Pearl Tower if there was a single ray of sunshine to create a shadow. Miserable bloody weather.)
The Aquarium gained notoriety a few months ago when a diver was bitten by a 3-metre shark, leaving him with a fair old chunk of tooth in his head. Shanghaiist was also bitten at the Aquarium: by the woman taking money at the ticket counter. She asked for a whopping 110 renminbi per ticket. We’re not sure how much pain the bite of a shark can cause, but it couldn’t be much worse than shelling out for several Shanghai Ocean Aquarium tickets.
Still, the place is just about worth it. There’s a wide variety of sea life, with every animal kept in a large, clean tank. Highlights include the spider crabs (damn freaky, those things), the impressive collection of giant rays, and the pool where visitors can pat a baby shark. American visitors can pet the shark. Also noteworthy is the fact that the Yangtze River section of the Aquarium is full of positive environmental messages about the importance of keeping China’s rivers clean. (Or not making them any dirtier.)
Less impressive is the “travelator” which is supposed to guide visitors through the viewing tunnel but which moves at the same speed as some of the turtles on display. And perhaps this was just our opinion, but the penguins didn’t look entirely happy to be in Shanghai.
All in all, though, a valid reason to get off the subway at Lujiazui. (Can’t think of too many others).
Here are some photos from the aquarium taken a few years ago.
Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, Lujiazui. 158 Yincheng Bei Lu near the Oriental Pearl Tower. Take exit 1 from the subway. Tel: 5877-9988. Tickets: RMB 110; children half price (bargain!).