No journey to Kenting is complete without making a stop at the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (NMMBA) at 2 Houwan Road, Checheng, Pingtung in Taiwan. This museum is top notch and well worth the$450NT (approx $14 US) admission price to get in.
The museum exhibits the diverse natural water habitats of Taiwan. The Waters of Taiwan exhibit showcases the beauty and variety of Taiwan’s underwater world.
Visitors will experience a completely realistic waterfall and river, an oyster culture and intertidal zone, a subtital zone and an estuary.
The Coral Kingdom Pavilion features an Open Ocean exhibit with a viewing window 16 meters in width and 4 meters in height. The tank holds 1 million gallons of water. The main attraction here is the whale shark, which can grow up to 18 meters in length.
The pavilion includes a giant coral reef environment in an artificial ocean which can be viewed by walking through an underwater tunnel 81 meters in length. Visitors can also explore a sunken ship to see how corals grow and how other creatures of the sea make it their home.
An underwater tunnel lets visitors get up close and personal with their favorite sea creatures.
One of my dreams is to swim with giant sting rays and manta rays. I’m fascinated by these shy and elusive creatures.
The Coral Pavilion also features a marine mammals exhibition which allows visitors to learn about beluga whales. Take a stroll through the underwater tunnel and experience the sensation of having one of the world’s most beautiful creatures swimming elegantly beside you. Or visit the whale visiting stand to find out more about how these gentle mammals are cared for.
Schools of fish.
The Waters of the World exhibit is a whole different experience. Grab a pair of 3D sunglasses and learn how life evolved from the oceans through 3D animation in a virtual reality environment. The exhibit holds four different themes: Ancient Ocean, Kelp Forest, Deep Sea and Polar Seas. There’s also a Discovery Zone for kids.
And schools of miniature jellyfish…
Posing King Penguin. The aquarium has five species of penguins including the King Penguin, Gentoo Penguin, Chinstrap Penguin, Adelie Penguin and Macaroni Penguin. These little guys put on a show-stopping performance.
I spent some time with the beluga whales.
Even the hermit crabs and mudskippers came out to play in the estuary exhibit.
I watched kids play in the whale display pool all afternoon.
A giant squid sculpture faces the Taiwan Sea.