5 National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Pingtung

Longbefore you see the museum, you hear the roar of the ocean behind it. The waves rise up many feet in the air before they crash near the perimeter.

It’s the perfect setting for a museum that prides itself on keeping things as natural as they can get. It has three sections — Waters of Taiwan, Coral Kingdom Pavilion and World Waters Pavilion — each one showcasing vibrant marine life. The museum also has an underwater walking track, where visitors, especially children, look on in amazement as Beluga whales, sharks and fish swim past.

There are interesting installations, including ‘A Troubled Environment’, made of used tyres, broken wheels and fans, and cycle chains, which seeks to portray the harm done to Earth. The recreation of a ship wreck, including the captain’s cabin, is eerily realistic. It’s a sobering lesson before you set out to explore the rest of the treasures in the museum, which works to educate and entertain. A lot of school children throng the exhibit space, especially the section where they can touch and feel certain marine life, including sea urchins.

(The writer was in Taiwan on the invitation of Taiwan Tourism Bureau and Scoot Airlines)

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