Aug 31, 2015

Splashing fun at the Beijing Aquarium...


When I saw the outside of the Beijing Aquarium after stumbling upon it right after the zoo, I was curious and wanted to check it out.. it seemed huge and interesting... and yours truly is an animal lover... and even more... I love the mammals of the ocean.... dolphins and killer whales/orcas...

I asked my daughter to check the tickets and it was a whooping RMB150 to go in and I faltered.... it was too much money to pay... gulp...




Errrmmm..... I was travelling on a shoestring budget... so should I or shouldn't I... If I went it was going to be eating into my budget A LOT , especially since I had to pay for two!!! 

I turned away, and walked away, deciding against it, since I have just not too long ago went to the SEA Aquarium in Singapore anyway....


However halfway around the block towards the exit, I changed my mind wondering at whether I could see dolphins or killer whales in action...... and darn it... I decided to just go for it... after all, when else ?!!


Wincing inwardly, I paid RMB300 for both tickets and headed inside in a rush after the counter staff said to hurry and catch the dolphin show.... 

The Beijing Aquarium, shaped like a huge conch shell, is the largest in China. It was named by state media as a 'Beijing civilized Tourist Scenic Spot' and houses more than 1,000 marine species and freshwater fish

The interesting paths with small waterfalls, little streams can make you imagine you are in the mysterious Amazon jungle..






Both my daughter and I rushed pass the tropical fishes display at the entrance , passed arowanas, arapaimas, Colorful fairy fish, Glass catfish, African Prince, Koi carp, pirarucu, blue sharks, Gold pomfret, Monkfish, Herringl, Gar, Archerfish, Angelfish, Piranha, Olfactory striped bass and the more common ones we can see at the Aquaria , Underwater World Langkawi and SEA Aquarium or even  the Zoo Negara Aquarium in a flurry...panting and gasping to head to the show area called the Oceanic Theatre at Marine Mammal Pavilion which was like at the other end of the aquarium.....


We got there in a nick of time but the Oceanic Theatre here was oh sooooooo crowded ... but we found a place at the other end of the stage, some distance away, a little too far for my little Nikon Coolpix S33 to really take super clear action pics , so forgive the blurry pics...  :(

The Hawaiian inspired oceanic theater supposedly can hold more than 3000 visitors and is very popular among the visitors. The diversified performances by these animals on the sapphire-like water constantly earn stand ovation from the excited audiences. Main attractions: Flying-rocket man, Sea lions, beluga whales, dolphins playing balls, etc


It wasn't long before we were treated to the treat of my life.... beluga whales in action!!! 


I have seen dolphins numerous times but never seen Killer Whales / Orcas or Beluga Whales in real life so it was a treat, never mind I was a little disappointed that there was no Killer Whales/Orcas on display or around...


It was fun watching them play around and splash around...


Then we also had a short performance by the resident sea lion, shaking his blubber and showing off his clever tricks....as well as challenging his trainer to push ups...


Then the dolphin... well, only one dolphin came in....and he was brilliant, he could even carry his trainer around allowing his trainer to stand on his back through the water.... as well as jump and touch the balls dangling in mid air... 

Show times change daily, so check the performance schedule located just outside the arena. If you’re not quite ready to take in the full atmosphere of the sea at the show, then sit a few rows back from the front to avoid getting splashed!


Parched from all the running and after the show, we came across a Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice machine... fascinated, we decided to give it a try. It costed RMB20 per cup but it seems worth it as you can actually count the oranges that are dropped and then sliced into half and squeezed to make your juice....


Your juice was freshly sealed and it was really so refreshing.... especially quenching our thirst....


After having a drink, we back tracked and wandered to the Coral Reefs display 


We could see myriads of corals and fishes that lived among the corals..


As well as some fossils....


I was also in the beginning delighted to see a couple of endangered species, the Hawksbill Turtles around but that turned to disappointment as I felt they were kept in too small enclosures... Turtles can after all live a long time

The hawksbill is one of the smaller sea turtles. The hawksbill turtle

 is found all over the world in warmer waters, and remains one of 

its enduring wonders. Generally solitary, it undertakes long-

distance migrations, using instincts and environmental cues as a 

guide. Females use their navigational prowess to return to the same 

beaches where they were born to lay their eggs. Despite 

widespread distribution in both the Atlantic and Pacific, this 

sea turtle is threatened with extinction.



Hawksbills stand out from other sea turtles with their sharp, 


curving beak and the saw-like edge on their shell. They grow up to 

3 feet and a weight of about 175 pounds. 


The hawksbill lives the early part of its life in the open ocean but then is more often found around coral reefs and shallow lagoons, where it feeds mostly on sea sponges. Some of these sponges are highly toxic and lethal to other organisms and can also out-compete reef-building corals. As a result, just by eating sea sponges and keeping their populations in check, the hawksbill plays a critical role in maintaining healthy reefs.

Hawksbills take 20–40 years to mature, and are believed to live many decades beyond reaching maturity


Then of course, we also saw "Dory" or the Blue Tang..... heheh as well as "Nemo" or the clown fishes...



You can hardly miss the shark bay when  walking pass a huge aquarium with the mysteriously dark ocean bed, and a couple of sharks swimming by. Be ready for surprises that will challenge both your imagination and your sight. Hold your breath and get your cameras ready for that perfect moment for a perfect selfie with the ocean killers, in this shark zone. 

Having a ball: The whales were seen enjoying themselves by visitors today
This photo does no belong to me... Photo credit to AFP/Getty Images

Do you know that beluga whales are also known as white whales, and their unusual color makes them one of the most familiar and easily distinguishable of all the whales. 

The baby calves are born gray or even brown and only fade to white as they become five years of age.

White whales are smallish, ranging from 13 to 20 feet (4 to 6.1 meters) in length. They have rounded foreheads and no dorsal fin, and because of this, they are sometimes mistaken as mermaids...

Beluga whales generally live together in small groups known as pods. They are social animals and very vocal communicators that employ a diversified language of clicks, whistles, and clangs. Beluga whales can also mimic a variety of other sounds.

My daughter and I were in LOVE with the belugas.... 


The beluga whales also have an extensive vocal repertoire and have long been called the "sea canary" by seamen who heard their myriad sounds. Communicative and emotive calls can be divided into whistles and pulsed calls. And during our visit, the entire aquarium was just filled with the squeals and calls of these two fellas here....

My daughter though excited having able to see a beluga whale was also pretty annoyed with the shrill calls and sounds they were making...



The “Fairyland of Jellyfish,” were lit up and made for some of the most memorable exhibits in the entire aquarium. 


Which are just soo graceful and so scary just at the same time.... since it is hard to define which are the really toxic species and the ones that just make you suffer for a little while....



Whatever it is, it is definitely fascinating watching them glide around in their tanks...



Would you care to touch or swim with these pretty dainty swimmers? Not me, no sirree.....


Anyway before we left, I could not resist another peek at the noisy beluga whales and we even had a picture taken for RMB40 , though not exactly a great one....


The dolphins aquarium was kinda disappointing in my opinion. I expected a more open space like the Sharks or the Beluga Whales space but somehow we could only peer at them through four or five small rectangles glass walls....and hardly able to take any pictures of them.....

From what I see, they have the Atlantic White Sided Dolphin in here as well as the normal Bottle Nose I think.... which was at the Oceanic Theatre.... but we can hardly see them through the mostly stained glass.....


But still it was a good experience coming in here to the Beijing Aquarium.....and I would recommend it....


 Before heading home, check out the gift shop downstairs if you still haven’t managed to pick up any souvenirs along the way. They sell lots of plushies  and assorted toys here...

Bus: no. 16 (zhi xian) from Xi Zhi Men subway stop (Line 4) to Beifang Jiao Da (from Beifang Jiao Da cross road and walk west; north gate of the Beijing Zoo).. you can also walk a short distance if you are up to it from the Beijing Zoo subway stop....on Line 4


4 comments:

  1. The jellyfish are beautiful. Thanks for sharing about the beluga whales, something new for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure... I think the jelly fishes were beautiful too and the Beluga Whales were also fascinating to me

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  2. hmm not into aqua things. huhu aquaria klcc pun tak pernah pergi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haiyah.. why lah.... for me, I find animals both in the zoo or in the aquarium fascinating....

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