Cambodia’s first educational-focused aquarium launched its soft opening at AEON Mall Sen Sok on Sunday, June 30. The amusingly-titled Fantasea Aquarium KH has already opened to over 1,200 visitors on its first day.

A joint venture by Singaporean-based and local companies, the aquarium is set to be an educational treat for students and adults alike. Conveniently located in the family-friendly mall, the aquarium is limited to nearly 600² meters instead of the average 1000 to 2000² meters usually needed for a full aquarium. What it lacks in size, it makes up in diversity, showcasing over a thousand fishes from 50 different species from the Amazon and Mekong rivers as well as tropical and colorful fish made famous in films. Concern parents need not worry, for safety precautions have been set to keep children from disturbing the flesh-eating piranhas and bloodthirsty sharks.

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In addition to the marine and freshwater aqua life, an array of reptiles are on display for visitors to enjoy. A collection of 10 snakes and 10 lizards are part of the 50 types of reptiles on display. Children can be seen pointing excitedly at small tortoises and frogs while staring nervously at crocodiles and snakes. Most of the reptiles are from Asia and Australia consisting of local cobras, vipers and lizards. One of their most exotic reptiles is the Albino Python, a rare snake which can grow up to 5 to 6 meters in the wild. Although these snakes can live up to a hundred years, only one in a million will survive in the wild due to its lack of camouflage. Currently a baby, the Albino Python at Fantasea Aquarium will soon grow and will be rotated out to larger habitats like all their snakes, so that they can have room to grow.

The aquarium wants to focus more about Cambodia and its local aqua life and they are in the process of researching and collecting more species from the Mekong River. They aim to educate visitors about the sea and freshwater creatures by providing trained educators and offering interacting with the creatures. The aquarium plans to provide educational booklets and offer student packages for schools programs, but are still undergoing translation difficulties.

Tickets are currently at $8 for Adults and $6 for children. A current promotion of buying one adult ticket, get the second ticket 50 percent off, slated to end on July 10th.

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