While our Lilawadee Resort is almost at the edge of the water, a visit to Underwater World for an up-close view of the deep sea is highly recommended. It admittedly cannot compare to a scuba dive in the ocean but it comes very close.
The builders of the Pattaya aquarium have been inspired by a comparable project at the holiday resort island Sentosa in Singapore. The Pattaya venue took over a year to build and is said to have cost about 300 million baht. But it was money well spent.
Driving from Bangsaray to Pattaya, Underwater World is on the left, a few kilometers past the Floating Market. It can't be missed because it has a large parking lot and a very inviting entrance. The underwater journey starts right behind the ticket counter, (where foreigners, as usual, pay a somewhat higher price than the locals). But for children as well as adults it is an unforgettable experience. You first walk past a water basis with a large number of fish in stunning colors. Next are a number of aquaria with fish native to Thai waters. Adjacent is information about sea creatures, wrecks and artificial reefs, information about environmental degradation and proposed solutions. All this makes the walk very interesting as well as educational.
Next is the tunnel! The underwater tunnel! It's 100 meters long. At both sides and above your head, separated only by safety glass... a spectacular view of the water world. Sharks swimming above your head take your breath away. And than the stingrays… their majestic moves as they float through the water. There are anemone fish, coral fish and sea horses, too many species to mention. Divers feeding the turtles always attract a large crowd who have never seen the spectacle before. Make sure to be in time for a good spot to experience this wondrous moment up close. For everybody unable to take a dive in the open ocean, this comes as close as it gets in reproducing life as it exists below the water surface.