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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jeju Island Editions: Aqua Planet


I often find myself bragging to my family about all the amazing things there are to do and see on Jeju Island.Truly, living and teaching in Korea is somewhat of a dream come true and although it took a while to sink in, I'm settled on the idea that Jeju Island is an amazing place to live.  This is especially so with summer in full swing.  While most people are (rightfully) heading to take in the bluest waters at any of the 15 beaches on the coasts of Jeju Island, I took the opportunity to check out Aqua Planet.  Although it's one of the pricier places to see on Jeju Island, it's totally worth the 28,000 won.  As for the additional 1,800 won to see the 3D show, I'd say skip it unless you're with children.


As an English Teacher, I really should know more Korean.  But since I don't, I'm glad that the majority of the signs for the displays offer good English translations.  I found myself in awe of the marine life on display but also informed on the many aspects of marine life in Korea as well as other countries.  For the price, this is what you'll be getting at Aqua Planet.

There are four major areas at Hanwha Aqua Planet.  The Marine Science area offers lifelike displays and much information about the history of Jeju's oceans dating back to millions of years ago.  The Central Court is a meeting place of sorts with connections to eateries, restrooms, seating area and a clear view of Seongsan Ilchubong Peak (Sunrise Peak).  There's also an area to exit onto a deck for an even better view of Sunrise Peak and photo opportunities.  My favorite area is the Aquarium which houses the biggest aquariums I've ever seen, two of which have a tunnel through them for an incredible view of marine life in their natural habitat.  The last major area at Aqua Planet is the Ocean Area where two live shows are done; one with synchronized swimming and the other with trained dolphins and one lovable seal.

fishes
Animal Feedings are done in several areas throughout the Aquarium twice a day.  Animals fed include the harbor seals (10:40, 16:40), penguins (10:30, 16:30), otters (10:30, 16:30), walruses ( 10:40, 16:4),  and sting rays (12:00, 16:00).


Sadly, the presentation of the Touch Pool (open pool with rays and other marine life) was only in Korean as was the Female Divers diving.  Still, observing the women divers in a pool of water surrounded by marine life that included sharks, I got the idea of how dangerous it really is free diving in open waters.

Lastly, the Ocean Arena Performance is actually two performances.  The first follows a storyline (with some English) and included many acrobatic features and synchronized swimming.  Although I couldnt understand all that was said, it was quite entertaining. The second part of the show includes an adorable seal, a dolphin show and more information on the importance of marine life.

A snippet of the Ocean Arena Show


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