Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

More than twice the size of Changfeng Ocean World across the river, Shanghai Ocean Aquarium (Shànghǎi Hǎiyáng Shuǐzúguǎn, 上海海洋水族馆) briefly the biggest in Asia when it opened in 2002, though it was soon eclipsed an even bigger aquarium in Okinawa, Japan.

Still, its sheer scale still impress: 20,000 sq m (215,278 sq ft) in area and representing eight climate zones, Shanghai Ocean Aquarium features 28 exhibit areas, over 10,000 fish of 300-some different species, and an underwater display tunnel more than 150 m (164 yd) in length.

There’s plenty here to occupy the whole family: an interesting display of marine life native to the Yangtze, a sea otter enclosure,  tanks of giant manta rays, and that grand glass tunnel with bull sharks, turtles, and a kaleidoscopic display of fish all swarming around it.

As at Changfeng Ocean World (and Beijing’s Blue Zoo) it’s possible to arrange to dive with the sharks and spend the night (as part of a group) inside the tunnel; in a city with no shortage of nightlife options this must still count as one of the most unusual.


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