The Phuket Aquarium in Cape Panwa is not to be compared with the massive Siam Ocean World of Siam Paragon in Bangkok as the tunnel itself it only few metres long, but it is still a great place to entertain you and your kids on a rainy day and it might even be your chance to see baby turtles. Several rooms display aquariums of various sizes starting from small containers with seahorses, some fun and colorful clown fish, the funny looking long horn cowfish, or some squarish boxfish, to end with gigantic tanks hosting some local species, including giant groupers, sea turtles, leopard sharks, moray eels and and the list could be long. You can even have a look at some Piranhas from Amazon, but I wonder why they were here, I just hope no one will release them in a nearby river…
Then of course the star of the show is the tunnel, which, even short, never ceases to fascinate kids, adults and even elders.Once you are done with Phuket Aquarium main building, like in any aquarium you can do some silly shopping and get yourself a painted plate with a Nemo in it… or worse. But don’t go yet, walk to the back of building and follow the path along the beach to reach the turtle hatchery. Many turtles, including some seriously big ones, are kept in large tanks until the day the are ready to be released. Cute.I happened to be visiting the Panwa Aquarium on a very unusual day: a rescue team was rushing in a dolphin kept wet in a stretcher on the back of a pick up truck. The poor dolphin was gently but quickly carried to a large pool. One of the crew walked down into the pool, slowly pulled the dolphin into the water and pushed it in circles around the pool, occasionally pulling his head out of the water to breathe.
The dolphin was slowly recovering and to everyone’s relief, started to swim. He was found on a riverbank of on Koh Sirey, a small nearby island connected to Phuket by short bridge, and was to be kept a short time, have some blood test done, then released in the open sea.
Phuket Aquarium is located at the very end of Cape Panwa and is well indicated from Phuket Town.
Price is 100 Baht for adult and 50 Baht for kids. Half the price if you are Thai or resident (just show a driving license). Opens daily from 8.30 am to 4 pm.
If you drive there, take the time to drive up the Panwa View Point, a nice 360˚ panorama view from a hill not far from Novotel Panwa.
View Map of Phuket Aquarium in a larger map