SEA LIFE Malaysia is the latest attraction at Legoland Malaysia, having just opened in May 2019. We visited SEA LIFE Malaysia last week, right at the start of the mid-term school holidays, which was also the SEA LIFE Junior Ranger and Media Event Day.
- This double-storey aquarium will be located next to existing ventures of Merlin Entertainments, LEGOLAND® Malaysia Theme Park, LEGOLAND® Water Park, and LEGOLAND® Hotel, occupying 2,123m2 of land space.
- SEA LIFE Malaysia will have more than 25 display tanks in 11 habitat zones, featuring 13,000 sea creatures from 120 species.
- The largest tank, Ocean Tank will feature a tunnel where visitors can watch as sharks, rays and other sea creatures swim around them in 385,000 litres of water.
- SEA LIFE Malaysia believes in informing and educating the guests about coral reefs, and how they contribute to the entire ecosystem of the Earth’s marine life.
- Some of the key habitat zones featured at SEA LIFE Malaysia are Shoaling Ring, Malaysian Rainforest, Seahorses, Stingray Bay, Coral Reef, Jellies, Ocean View, and Ocean Tunnel (the largest tank of the aquarium).
- A special Behind-the-Scenes Tour allows guests to learn about animal healthcare and food preparation for all sea creatures happening every day at SEA LIFE Malaysia.
- To make the learning experience more impactful and memorable, SEA LIFE Malaysia will also include interactive elements in every habitat zone. For instance, kids visiting Rockpools will be able to get hands-on experience to learn more about the natural habitat of Rockpools, as well as its impact on many other sea creatures, through a number of interactive tutorials.
- Embracing the local identity, SEA LIFE Malaysia will be featuring Johor River, the main river in the Malaysian state of Johor, together with some of its popular creatures.
- SEA LIFE Malaysia will also include the Malaysian Rainforest as one of its exhibit zones. The presence of unique local creatures will certainly make everyone go ‘Wow!!’.
For those of you who have visited Legoland before, you will realised that the Legoland arch is gone! It has been replaced by the SEA Life Malaysia building, but if you come from Mall of Medini side, you can still take a picture of their new arch.
|View if coming from Mall of Medini|
|View if coming from Legoland Malaysia or Legoland Hotel|
Inside SEA LIFE Malaysia, right after the entrance, we need to climb a flight of stairs to kick start our tour inside the building. There is a lift to accomodate those pushing strollers or on wheelchair.
The name of each zone is light-projected on the floor before visitor entry each zone so they know which section they are visiting. I like how it is all different designs using the same circle shape.
First stop is Freshwater Rainforest. The freshwater fishes swim inside tanks surrounded by artificial mangroove trees and plants. There is even an aquarium shaped as a Kampung House of which visitors can visit and take pictures.
Next is Stormy Rockpools. Here there is a shallow pool with starfish and red cleaner shrimp. The place supervised by SEA LIFE staff, who will educate and guide visitors how to handle these sea creatures. Visitors need to wash their hands first before dipping their hand inside the rockpool. There are basins located on each side of this section to facilitate this. This was my first time touching a live starfish. Usually the one I touched before were dead souvenirs 😧
|Touching a starfish|
|Trying to get the cleaner shrimp to come near his hand|
|Cleaner shrimp (sorry, forgot exact species name!)|
Next section is Seahorses. In this section, there are a few vertical aquariums which houses different type of seahorses.
|Beautiful signage built using LEGO bricks|
Many visitors throng this section, trying to spot as many seahorses within the aquarium. These small but beautiful sea creatures swim gracefully, sometimes hiding behind the plants, sometime they just use their tails to hang on to the seagrass. There are also magnifying glass provided at the side of the aquarium so visitors can study and observe the seahorses in detail.
|Girl with magnifying glass|
|Big belly seahorse|
We then come to a large open tank in a well lit section, complete with seating area behind. This is Stingray Bay, home to at least three type of stingrays - of which I remember Cowtail Stingray, Blue Spotted Ribbontail Ray, and Cownose Ray. I didn't manage to check with the staff but I believe there will be some form of educational tours conducted in this section in future, based on the seats arrangement.
Here visitors can come really upclose to view the stingrays, whom most will swim past the aquarium so they could have a good look at their mouth, eyes and gills.
Next up is Corals, a very small section featuring corals. These look like very young corals so the tanks looks quite empty, compared to the more mature corals I have seen elsewhere. There is also an huge interactive game where visitors can learn more about what kind of environment is needed for coral to thrive.
|Coral Reef Doctor needs your help!|
Next up - Amazing Creation - is probably the children's favourite section. This is similar to the interactive Sketch Town in ArtScience Museum, Singapore. There are small touchscreens available for visitors to choose which sea creature they would like to colour. Once they are done colouring, submit the painting to see it created on the TV screen, and subsequently swimming out to the big wall screen.
So I chose to colour a starfish.
After I have done colouring it, I clicked on the Finished button. The starfish will then be created and appear in front of the TV screen. Then it looks like it is swimming out to the big ocean screen.
After 5 minutes of waiting and looking around, I finally found my starfish swimming among all the other creations by other visitors 😊
We spent a good 30 minutes in Amazing Creations before we moved on to the next section - Jellies.
Inside this section is just a simple tank filled with jellyfish. The interactive part of it is that visitors can change the light colour to see how the jellyfish look like under different colours
I find that the jellyfish section is actually quite therapeutic. I only wish there was a bench for me to sit on and watch the jellyfish swimming in the tank.
Next section is Ocean View and Sunken Shipwreck. Here visitors can see many type of sea creatures swimming around a sunken shipwreck.
Visitors can also learn about different type of sharks in one of the interactive displays in this section.
The final section is Ocean Tunnel. Here the visitors can view the sea creatures swimming over them. My children were in awe especially when they saw the shark swam past them. It was not that crowded when we were there so we could spent a little more time observing the fishes in the tunnel.
Before we end our tour at SEA LIFE Malaysia, there is always the obligatory photo and souvenir shop selling SEA LIFE merchandise. They have a good assortment of soft toys, and if one purchase a Beluga soft toy or pin, RM1 will be donated to their whale sanctuary.
Of course what else can you find in SEA LIFE souvenir shop? LEGO sets, and these are specifically related to marine life, or water activities.
I have not been to other SEA LIFE aquariums around the world, but I am glad there is one built in Legoland Malaysia itself. I personally felt the Ocean Tunnel was a little short, and the FreshWater section could see bigger fishes (maybe more will be added in future or when the fishes grow bigger), it is a bonus for us as Annual Pass Holders that we have another place to visit besides Legoland itself.
I end this post with the various Lego figures I saw while in SEA LIFE Malaysia. Can you spot more when you are there?
* This blog post is entirely based on my own experience, and not sponsored by SEA LIFE Malaysia *