After leaving the tranquility of Bali we flew to Kuala Lumpur for three days and this ended up being a rather rude jolt back to reality! The long and disorderly immigration queue at Customs had us standing for close to an hour with people pushing in wherever they pleased and standing 4 or 5 deep, in what should have been a single file queue! It was quite an eye opener.
An early morning walk from the Swiss-Garden Hotel to Low Yat Plaza revealed that shops and malls in KL only open at 10am! This gave us an excuse to walk to the Petronas Towers, around the Mall at KLCC (Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre) and through the surrounding Park. The queue to go up to the top of the Towers was extremely long and there was no guarantee that we’d make it to the front of the queue before the ticket office closed, so it was off to Aquaria for us instead.
KLCC’s Aquaria has an amazing variety of sea life and as you walk into the aquarium there are three “touch pools” where you have a chance to touch and feel a horseshoe crab, horned sea star and harmless bamboo sharks (they feel a little like sandpaper).
The journey through this large aquarium starts off with a sighting of an Electric Eel before you encounter “The Stream”; an area inhabited by giant water rats, Asian small-clawed otters, flesh-eating pirahas and freshwater alligator-snapping turtles. Amid a simulated jungle walk, the “Jewels of the Jungle” peer out at you from inside their glass cages; all kinds of reptiles, amphibians and insects that will give you plenty to look at, while the sleepy Coatimundi curl up lazily as you walk on by. A tube tank captivates the imagination as you descend to level 2.
“The Deep Forest” welcomes you to level 2 with enormous Arapaima and catfish. “The Coast” gets to show off its archer fish that spit at their prey, silver bat fish, spotted rays, bamboo sharks and little porcupine fishes that seem to endlessly ‘cruise’ up and down the surface of their shallow tank. “Weird & Wonderful” reveals venomous stonefish, pinecone fishes, a chambered nautilus, shy little seahorses and bright, neon-coloured jellyfish, to name a few.
The highlight of the aquarium was an awesome 90m tunnel with a moving walkway that takes you on an effortless journey through a glass dome past tiger sharks, moray eels, giant stingrays, eagle rays, turtles and shoals of fish. It’s a mind-blowing experience, especially when you take into account the fact that the glass dome makes the fish appear 30% smaller than they are in real life! That means that some of the HUGE rays, sharks and turtles that you see in there are actually 30% bigger! It’s utterly amazing and hard to image the true size of some of these creatures.
Taking photos in the tunnel proved to be an odd experience, especially on the moving walkway. If you start to feel a little dizzy, simply step off onto the fixed pathway. This pathway is there for those in wheelchairs, those with prams or others who prefer to walk. Of course, I had to go through the tunnel twice (both times on the moving walkway), as it was just so much fun and such a unique experience! A full day could be spent at Aquaria KLCC.
Just outside the tunnel are stands selling fashion accessories, caricatures, body art, rice art and other souvenirs. The exit to the aquarium is through the gift shop, so don’t worry if you forgot to purchase souvenirs while inside, the shop has a wide variety of mementoes in various shapes and sizes.