Rayong Aquarium

The Rayong Aquarium is a public aquarium right in the town of Rayong, where the 7MT Camp is located. Owned and operated jointly by the Department of Fisheries of Thailand and the Eastern Marine Fisheries Research and Development Center, the aquarium hosts 43 aquarium tanks with the capacity of 1-4 tons each, an underwater glass tunnel, an outdoor shark and ray pond, a shell museum, and fishing boat exhibitions.

The aquarium offers several well-done info boards, including picture displays covering all of the whale and dolphin species found in Thai waters. A separate museum-like section explains the area’s fishing lifestyle alongside fishing nets and pictures of locally made boats. We appreciated how the aquarium projects a real sense of pride in the local ways of life and natural environment.

Dozens of individual tanks are home to painted sweetlips, spangled emperors and many other extravagantly named tropical fish. In the largest tank, black-tipped sharks lurk among several plus-size fish. Highlights include a tank with a pair of green sea turtles and a glass-walled tunnel where the sea life swims around on all sides. Also check out the displays of coral and “dangerous marine life” — good stuff to know if you’ll be snorkelling or diving in the area in between training sessions.