Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Very Expensive Look At Seafood


(Photo of Adam's look of concern at the ticket counter. "Is my struggling actor papa really going to be able to afford this trip?")


This morning I made my maiden visit to the spanking new KL Aquaria in the monolithic Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the other KLCC). Now the reason why I decided to do something which I would not normally attempt was that my daughter's kindergarten had arranged a field trip there. And since only one parent could accompany her, my wife went and I decided to take my son, Adam separately so he wouldn't feel left out.

Sad to say, the KL Aquaria is yet another Malaysian rip-off. First, it costs RM76.00 with taxes for 2 adults, me and our helper. Adam got in free cos he is only 2. Second, the price roughly translates into more than RM1.00 per minute per person for a visit. 30 minutes is approximately how long it takes to tour the place at a leisurely pace. It is small.

If you factor in parking and lunch a visit to the Aquaria can easily cost a family of 4 or 5 upwards of Rm200.00!!! And who has that kind of money to spend these days?

Now for the positive side of things. The KL Aquaria is bright and new and is actually quite well done. The exhibits, although very limited are well designed. Even for a short fler like Adam. Quite un-Malaysian, all the staff were well dressed, polite, cheerful (and this is the fasting month remember). And very eager to assist with information about the exhibits which they all seemed to be very knowledgeable about. But the most surprising thing for me meeting them this morning was that they all spoke English willingly! And spoke it very well too. Certainly much better than newsreaders on RTM and some radio deejays we all know. Sorry, couldn't resist that. Whatever the management did here with the training of their staff they should sell their system to Pak Lah's gormen departments.

All in all I guess it was a good morning for little Adam. He enjoyed looking at the seafood. He enjoyed petting a starfish. He loved moving along on the walk-a-lator through the 'undersea' tunnel. He had a good time.

When I did my sums this is how it went...

Tickets for 2 adults RM76.00
Parking FREE
(I know the owner of Top Hat restaurant across the street. So I begged and she let me park there at no charge)
Lunch RM36.00
(We escaped the souvenir shop but I couldn't fight the bright lights and colors of the food court. Adam made a beeline for the Kenny Rogers restaurant cos he loves eating chicken)

And so, for a 2.5 hour visit on a Tuesday morning I spent RM112.00

Okay that's it for this blog. Got to go figure out how I am going to feed my children the rest of the week.


Oh yes, some useful advise. Maybe. If you're planning to visit the Aquaria do not park in the KL Convention Centre. It costs RM3.50 EVERY hour or part thereof you park. There is a tunnel that links the Suria KLCC to the KLCC (confused?) and that leads you straight into the fish show. Parking at Suria KLCC is cheaper. I think. I am assuming that not many of you are fond of begging lah.

37 comments:

Samm said...

Did you take photos to make that trip more worthwhile or not? I'm sure not gonna spend that kinda money twice. If adam enjoyed his fish-seeing, ok what. Tho i'd say it's a tad on the ex$$ side for the short duration that one would normally be there. Has Laura been there? If not.......

Nine3 Nine 3 said...

Wah my mentor Patrick also blog wor.
I gonna spend next hour read your blog as I miss your voices those day at radio 4 when i was a kid.
All the best Patrick

Julian Chan said...

Heheh.. hey unc Patrick!

I was a little more lucky. Managed to scot in da place for free, did an event there not too long ago. So during soundcheck we checked out the whole place, so it was kinda cool

But now I've seen it, I won't be spending that RM30-over bucks to go see it again! Ahahhaa..

Place is nice.. but definitely rip-off on the OTHER incidental expensese!

TV Smith said...

I guess the Aussies running the place didn't factor this. To the average Malaysian family, paying RM 100+ and still cannot eat the fish sure complain one...

maria said...

I find the fees OK, consider we not visit that often, once a year may be? Anyway, I already made two trip in two months. just love it, can't help :).

Trashed said...

Ehh Patrick, maybe even cheaper if you park and ride on LRT lah.

But cannot escape the entrance fee. Got senior discount or not ?

mob1900 said...

TV Smith is right, the only fish I would pay to see will be on my platter. namely Pak-sou-kung and Suun-Hok!

lecram sinun said...

"Quite un-Malaysian, all the staff were well dressed, polite, cheerful (and this is the fasting month remember)."

LOL!

That's all I had to say.

Egghead said...

geee... I was just about to plan on bringing my family there this weekend... having second thoughts now :(

patrickteoh said...

Hi Samm. Yes Laura went there as part of her kindergarten field trip. She also went to the National Science Centre. And all for RM25 including lunch! Yes Adam's enjoyment was the only thing worthwhile about our visit there yesterday. Yes, mom. I took photos.

93~94, Wah! I'm your mentor ah? That's an honour for me leh. When were you a kid? Last year ah?:-) Eh? Can't be. Last year they'd already become Traxx FM. What a stupid name.

Julian, you got in FREE??? Niahma!!!

Smith, so it was Aussies that built it. Dinch know that. Saw some maintenance work being done to some of the tanks and the workers looked like they came from Ah Seng Karaoke and Sea Food Palace Jalan Klang Lama. LOL. RM100 these days don't translate into much. SING$44, US$26, Pounds15, AUS$35

patrickteoh said...

Hi Maria. You made 2 visits in 2 months??? You must really like the place or you have lots of something in your wallet that most of us would like you to share:-)

Trashed, no they didn't offer any discounts for Warga Emas or Orang Kuran Upaya. But if I had a MyKad I would have gotten a 10% discount on my ticket. Ironic isn't it? Yesterday someone wrote in the papers complaining about the M.O. of the JPN and why road shows should be organised and prizes like cars offered to entice Malaysians to change over to MyKad. His beef was that since it was mandatory Malaysians should just do it and not wait for handouts. The writer has obviously been hibernating for the past 4 decades or he's an alien.

Mob, if that's what you like I recommend you go to this restaurant along that's next to the Datsun showroom along the road that leads from the University roundabout to Section 14 (sorry bad memory for names) There you can watch the fish swimming around for free. But if you want them to join you at your table you'd have to pay BIG bucks.

Egghead, if your kids are of an independent age you can let them go in by themselves. The place is actually quite safe and kids friendly. Then you just wait for them at the exit. Saves money:-)

Kat said...

Well, all I can say is go NOW before the usual Malaysian phenomenon occurs.. ie. 6 mths after opening, all fishes are gone except for some guppies and gold fish, you can forget about seeing the sharks and the toilet seat cover is leaning against the wall next to the bowl. Malaysia Boleh?? Malaysia Moh-leh (cantonese), I say...

patrickteoh said...

Good advice, Kat. But if you do go before the 6 months are up try and look out for other iconic signs of Malaysiana. Hand written A-4 paper signs stuck up with Cello tape is one. See how many others you can find.

james said...

RM 112 is too elite for me. My kid will just have to settle for the local chinese restaurant. He can see the fish, and we can eat the damn thing.

Wingz said...

latuk Patrick, can intro to me the owner of the restoren orso ka ? i also wanna park free sial lol i dont mind begging ... kiss ass also can LMAO!

Royz said...

If I were to pay RM112, there better be a damn big white jaws in there eating or fighting an octopus to the death. Hmm..maybe the big garoupa can tag in along with the big crocodile..heck..I hope every sea creature in there to be monster size..hehe

twotablet said...

I thought there was an aquarium at the National Zoo? Of course it was magical, going into that darkened aquarium with only light from the fish tank illuminating the corridor, in 1982 when I was still in primary school. It was much cheaper, only the ticket price going into the zoo.

Or instead of an aquarium, it is now an "antiquarian", collecting stale air and dust?

helen said...

I don't need to pay anything to see the Aquaria. Astro is pimping it big time. Everytime I watch Astro, I get to watch the damn Aquaria. (...and the shark)

Julian Chan said...

There's also a big garoupa named Bob... did they show that on Astro? Heehehe..

patrickteoh said...

Antiquarian ah, twotablet? Don't think I've heard of that before. But then I am only a Form 5 boy lah:-) My kids have been to the aquarium at Zoo Negara and Laura says it is good. Best of all it's cheap. But my wife tells me that it is now closed for "renovations".

Helen, ASTRO? Got meh? I've never seen it. Nothing like seeing the real thing ma. And there are more than 1 shark swimming around there for your RM112.00

Sorry royz, there's a big set of jaws at the exit. Made of plaster. No octopus but there is a big garouper. No crocodile. I love your comment though. LOL.

Wingz, wanna park free? Show me the callouses on your knees first.

twotablet said...

"Antiquarian" in this context is stretching meaning to the limits ;-) hehehe.., no disrecpect to your "only Form 5 boy lah"...

C-Fu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
C-Fu said...

patrickteoh:
Smith, so it was Aussies that built it. Dinch know that. Saw some maintenance work being done to some of the tanks and the workers looked like they came from Ah Seng Karaoke and Sea Food Palace Jalan Klang Lama. LOL. RM100 these days don't translate into much. SING$44, US$26, Pounds15, AUS$35


Well here in Brissy, with AU35 + 10 more a family of 2 adults + 3 children can go and have one full day of activities and jalan2 around animals, you know.

http://www.koala.net/lonepine/price.htm


Underwater World in Mooloolaba costs AU24 for an adult. AU65 for a 2+2 family. You can even hold some fishes and other underwater creatures if you want, you know. Can go inside an underwater tunnel around sharks also. Add 10 bucks and you can photograph yourself getting kissed by an otter :D
http://www.underwaterworld.com.au/content.asp?itemid=79

So for 30++ minutes going there with traffic jams and whatnot, find parking space, jalan panas2 somemore, and 30 minutes of fishing around if you walk like a baby, I'd say die better la :D

sherrina said...

yeah C-fu, I remember those Aquarium in Canberra, we had a field trip there when I was staying there years ago. I think the aquarium is a lot better than in KLCC.

It's cheaper to park at the outside parking lot at KLCC (RM5 per entrance near the Esso building) or RM3 (RM1 for weekend and weekday after 6) near the KLCC mosque. But, a but far compare to the underground parking lot.

I went there during the promo (RM20 per adult) and it was a sickening experience. Too crowded, hardly able to see fishes properly and when walking through the tunnel, the walkalator seems like shaking (maybe too many people on board at the same time)

Nothing is cheap, nowadays...

patrickteoh said...

After reading Ci-Fu's comment I think I owe the KL Aquaria an apology. So they are not that expensive after all. If we take Brisbane's price for visiting their Underwater World as a lead that it would appear that KL Aquaria's ticket price matches that almost RM for Dollar. Maybe the Brisbane facility is bigger and has more exhibits but that only Ci-Fu can say. Yes, there is a touch pool in the Aquaria too. You can touch sea slugs, starfish and even experience a mild electric shock from one of the creatures buried under the sand. So I'm told. But wait...ci-fu's place there includes a koala sanctuary and animal petting zoo with the aquarium. So better value for money lah.

patrickteoh said...

Sherrina is right. The place is small and so on weekends and special promo days I can imagine how claustrophobic it can become.

rkaru said...

I agree with Thrashed, take the LRT and then take a leisurely stroll thru KLCC to the Aquaria. Tho anybody who says walking with two kids (I got 2 oso and the youngest is oso Adam. Hey!) can be a leisurely stroll obviously haven't got kids... or their kids must be super-obedient-with-leash-on-collar types.

Anyway Patrick, I chanced upon your blog today (and as a result, also Dinda's and Lecram's) and I thought I'd leave my mark. Lucky you I'm not a cat, else I'd be pissing all over your blog. (Darn! The neighbour's cat has been pissing all over my lawn.)

ps. Am an old listener since the Radio 4 days... even caught the 'Duck Affair' LOL, though I didnt understand what the resulting hoohaa was about.

C-Fu said...

Umm after re-reading your post, I gotta ask this... don't you have MyKad? Assuming MyKad still is that blue IC-replacement card lah... if so then the price should be RM28 + RM38 (I assume your maid isn't Malaysian) = RM66 what.

patrickteoh said...

c-fu, yes i know about the MyKad discount. Thing is I only applied for MyKad a couple of weeks ago and it will be 3 months before I can get one.

Blue IC? Man you must have been away from this place for a long time.

rkaru, one day I shall tell you the story behind the Duck Tale. It is funnier than what you heard on Radio 4. One day.

sashi said...

My friend held a small starfish at the touch pool, and was very disappointed when the damn creature did nothing. He kept asking a staff member for proof whether the starfish was real or fake!

Doncha just love malaysians?

patrickteoh said...

Hi Sashi. Your friend is so typiclly ignorant. He is so unclear of the concept:-) Starfish are wild animals and they do not exist for his amusement. Go tell him that and set him straight. Please.

Ayah said...

Just damn expensive la...

Trashed said...

Sashi,

Patrick is right lah. Your friend, unfortunately, seems so doongoo lah. Wild animals do not exist for man's pleasure.

Baarger, if they had their way, sure they donchwan to be in Aquarium or a Zoo mah. Its just that Man got technology to catch them, so kena caught lor.

Sorry lah - your friend exhibits what is called "3rd World mentality". But please, no offense to you. Just reaction on your posting only.

sashi said...

No offense taken. Yes, my friend is a dungu. And I take every opportunity to remind him of the incident. Makes for good and funny kopitiam conversations. :)

In his defense, he _was_ very careful while handling the starfish. He just isn't much of a nature guy. But kind, generous and good-hearted, he is.

Sharizal said...

patrick, you should have brought me along and i would have brought a cup or a big bag of tissue packets.

then i could have begged and sell them tissues..

so far these crutches and tinted glasses have worked wonders... ;)

Anonymous said...

Its expensive maybe its because the fish are imported from over-seas.

sic6sense said...

wahhh, you count every cent one ah. I bet you split the bill with your wife eh.