Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Aquaria KLCC

One fine Sunday morning, as I was sleeping away peacefully dreaming of something sexy and delicious sweet, my phone suddenly buzzed and screamed out of control, breaking me right into this painful waking reality.

And so it was a text from a fellow Kuching blogger, SleepyHao who informed me that he and his merry gang were on the way from Kajang to KLCC, and asked me to tag along their visit to the Aquaria.

Part of me wanted to just pretend nothing happened and return to that perfect dreamland, yet another part of me forced myself to rise up and prepare myself for the spontaneous journey. Guess Sundays are supposed to be lazy, no?


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And so I dragged my huge heavy ass out of the bed and prepared as quickly as I could. I flew out of the house without even having breaky, rushing my way to the bus since I know that I will definitely be late already. Stopped at KL Central and pushed and squeezed my way into the packed LRT with a bunch of sardine wannabes that very well smelled like sardines already to begin with. Poor Hao and gang, had to wait for me for over an hour.

And so we went into the line of queue for our tickets. At the counter, I discovered that the concession price is charged differently for local and international students.

Seriously, WTFFFFFFFF ????

Why the heck would there be any difference between international and local students? International students would have to spend much more since everything else outside Malaysia will be more expensive, hence us poor students would have less to save in return. This is just purely not sensible. I uttered loudly near the ticketing counter "What a ridiculous discrimination !!!" I think the counter lady heard me and rolled her ugly eyes.


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And so I paid that extra RM5. Sometimes I just hate the way people run things in Malaysia.

The whole Aquaria was broken down into several parts, starting from the earlier part that represented the rain-forest end and slowly moving into the later parts of the rivers, and ultimately the oceans. The creatures and animals on display were mostly placed behind glass. Once we stepped our foot into the place, I saw Miao and Hao starting to click their shutters, hence I did the same too.

There were soooooo many things to photograph there, but to be honest, only a handful of the exhibits were good looking and the rest were just plain uninteresting.

Though this was my first time to Aquaria, but it was not my first time visiting a waterworld FAKE aquarium display. I went to the AQWA in Perth last year, hence I have had a few listed down expectations once I went into this similarly themed place. I shall not try to compare, since comparisons would never be fair anyway, but I can say that I prefer the AQWA in Perth.


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The fact is, AQWA having more variety of fishes and many other creatures, live performances and a bigger splash pool, despite their slightly smaller size compared to the Aquaria at KLCC. In AQWA, you get really, really colourful fishes, Nemo (clown fish), Dory, JELLYFISH, and of course sea lions. None of those are displayed at Aquaria, and I believe the reason would be that none of those mentioned creatures/fishes were found in Malaysia to begin with.

Probably Aquaria displays only the local species, but you have to admit though if you have visited that place, most of the fishes there were VERY UGLY.

Nevertheless, considering that Aquaria is situated right in the middle of the city, the whole setup was rather impressive. Must have costed Millions to build such a place.


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Photographing inside Aquaria was an extreme challenge for me. Not having breakfast, and skipping lunch at noon did not help me a bit. For the first time, I discover the horror of shooting pictures under extreme low light condition (without flash) with a thundering growling empty stomach. My body was shaking from time to time, and under the humid though cool atmosphere, with a huge crowd (it was a Sunday), especially the kids running around bumping into you, it was very difficult to pull out shake-free shots.

I did what I could, and some of the pictures turned out rather useable. I must remind myself not to shoot under extreme hunger ever again, espeically the shots that require superbly steady hands.


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I should have brought a bottle of water with me. Being dehydrated was not helping. Going into the blue blue under water tunnel just made my conditions worse. Looking through the roundish glasses made the images kind of distorted, and trying to focus under terrible lighting, I started to get headache and dizziness.

It truly was amazing how Aquaria could maintain the salinity of the salt water, and the PH balance and everything else in the water. AQWA in Perth was situated right next to the ocean, hence I believe the sea water was used to fill up the tank for the tunnel. But in KLCC, right in the middle of the city, it must have costed a lot, and taken a huge effort to maintain the live-able condition of the waters for the undersea creatures.

Alright, enough pictures of the creatures, lets see some humans !!

This is the gang that travelled all the way from Malacca, and stayed in KL for a brief visit.


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When we were out of the Aquaria it was already after 3pm. We have spent more than 2 and a half hours in there. At that point, I was not feeling hungry anymore, probably because the extreme thirst and exhaustion took over. I was dying for a glass of cold water.

We decided to grab a bite at KLCC Shopping place. When the gang decided to go to Burger King, I was beaming with joy, because it means, I get FREE refills for any of the soft drinks !! Whoo hooooo...... Plus I have been craving for Whopper.

I know there is nothing special about the Whopper here in Malaysia, and I dare say Whopper in Perth I have tasted was much better, but hey, I still rank the Whopper higher than any beef burgers you find in McD, or any other burger operating outlets out there.

While we were waiting for our food, we took more pictures.


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Miao from
SleepyHao from

And when I saw the food, ohhhhhhh it was like a reward from heaven. I gulped down my first glass of drink, and went to refill TWICE. I could have had more, but I think if I did that, I would have looked like a freak in front of everyone. We all had a hearty meal at Burger King, and though the price is slightly higher than other places, but hey, you pay for the quality in the food.


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Can you guess whose mouth that was?

After lunch (which was superbly delayed) we went out to the KLCC park, and more pictures did we take. Under such exhaustion, it was a wonder how everyone could still pull smiles on their faces !!


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Nian You, Geek, Hao, Jian, Nicole, Sze Ming

It was great meeting up with everyone. Hope to catch up with everyone when I do visit Malacca soon. It was definitely an afternoon well spent, though a little rushed, and dreadfully tiring.


  1. Holy shiet how u manage to pull those low light shots so well? I tried to do that once and it all turn out like bubur cair. Maybe I'm too noob :( Gotta go visit aquaria again sometime can't lose to you > <

  2. hey fish tan,

    Kiasu !!!!

    ahahahahah i gotta admit its not easy taking pictures in there.. its hell for photographers like me with my kit lens only.

    A prime lens, or anything fast would be realllllyyyy really nice.
    But then ur sony has Super steady shot right?

    should be able to pull out good shots with that lor... my ollie doesnt have.

  3. Yes, you don't have a fast prime lens and any image stabilizer feature and yet able to take such close shot and no blur shot.

    Seriously, the title Shutter God fits you. :P

  4. Eeee... nvr told me you are hungry and thirsty... LOL

    Kudos for the great pics though. Too bad there isn't any jellyfishes there (which I'm hoping to see them too :( )

  5. Hey Jasonmumbles,
    LOL... u just have to use "that phrase" do u?
    But shooting in that Aquaria seriously made me realise the importance of having Image stabilization.....
    I can steady my hands... but not for so many hours... in the end everything just come out bad.

  6. hey hao,
    Thanks !!! Yeaaahh I was soooo looking forward for the jellyfish ahahahaa...
    Eh dun worry about it lar, me hungry + thirsty was my own fault, ahahahaha.. nothing to do with u.
    Oi quick quick update ur bali entries !!!

  7. No mood to update lehhh... Hehehehehehehehehehe :P

    Somemore my current connection is damn unstable. Take ages to completely load a page and pictures (I'm camping in Jason's house using his Wifi while I'm typing this comment now :P )

  8. hey hao,
    aaaahahaha how come no mood??? Mood or no mood MUST UPDATE !!!!
    U at Jasonmumble's place? Then use his internet UPDATE ur bali entries !!!

  9. L-a-z-y.


    Will try to update before going back :P

  10. hey hao,
    GGggrrrrrrrrr..... like that also lazy....
    u better update !! ahahah

  11. haha robin just listen to yourself! how can anyone possibly feel dizzy all from just skipping breakfast? i do it all the time!

    anyway wonderful shots! i can see the fine details on the reptiles scales! and to think u are a self taught photographer! that's what i call natural talent!

    hmmm that whopper looks kind of puny. its so tiny! everything in Perth just is better isn't it :)


  12. All hailed the god!!

    Gengnya~~~ Dapat get so much nice shots!

    Mine all ended up blur wahahaha.. as usual :P

    And I love the group shot inside the tank.. everyone looks hensem and pretty~~ wahahaha except geek *koff koff*

    yalor.. so sien that there wasn't any little jellyfish anymore :(

  13. Update liao update liao... lol

  14. hey marcus,
    LOL... i meant i only got dizzy when I was inside the underwater tunnel...
    I did not just skip breakfast. it was late in the afternoon, so it meant i skipped both breakfast and lunch LOL... bad idea...
    aaaaha.... self taught is correct, but i have tips and guidance from friends too !! Bout the details on the reptiles, it all depends on where you focus !!

    hey akiraceo,
    Thanks but.. wah lau... me not qualified to be god leh.... still very noob.
    plenty of my shots come out blur too, you are not alone !! The few I had here are quite lucky one lah aahhahaha...

    hey hao...
    yes yes !! me go see now

  15. Great pictures. The pictures are way too nice than the ones I witnessed myself there.

    I am amazed.

  16. eh.. how come flash international student card? i thought u could enjoy discount privilege as malaysian citizen by flashing ur IC?

    dude! seriously! you shot those with your steady hands??!! at 1/15??? walao! like jason said, you really fit the bill for Shutter God!

    Max the ISO? Can't see the ISO setting from the EXIF here.

  17. Wah! Your photos really nice ler!!! I think you only can do those with a DSLR right.. Using compact won't give you such good results.

    I like the buaya alot! Kekke.. Din't get a front view of it?

    Eh you din't watch Snicker's advertisements? All photographers carry a snicker bar in their pocket ler. Should learn from them then you won't be that hungry. :P ^.^

    Maybe you should bring a monopod when you take indoor photos next time? I think it can help stabilize. But with those photos you posted.. *respect* d lor. No need what "-pod" d. (Maybe just an ipod) :P

  18. hey she's jess,
    thanks !! ahahaha in pictures we can choose to show only the nice side of things, and hide the ugly ones.

    Hey Allen,
    International student card still cheaper than IC. Coz still student, juat that if local uni card, would be cheaper.
    Ahahhaaa, some shots even went down to 1/6s !! LOL...
    but then, most of those shots come out blur lar, only a few lucky ones survived.
    Cant see ISO?? hmmm.. weird...

    Hey shinky,
    Thanks !!
    The previous visit to AQWA in Perth, I brought along a tripod with me, it proved to made things worse in the end. It helped steadied the camera from shake, but in such slow shutter speed, even a slight movement of the creatures can cause blur already. Tripod or monopod isnt exactly easy to carry around with, especially in such confined space.
    The buaya is inside a glass casing lah, and its not moving... ahahhaha...
    The snicker ad? I have not seen it wor...

  19. I think I read from the papers sometime back when they were still setting up the Aquaria, they bought fishes from all over the world and some of the sharks were shipped form South Africa.

  20. hey mrbherng,
    Yeaaahhhh... im sure the fishes are from all over the world, especially the sharks and stingrays. DUn think u can get those locally LOL