To some, Bangkok Sea Life Ocean World is an aquarium. The largest aquarium in Southeast Asia, yes, but an aquarium nonetheless. But to others, Ocean World is a whole other world, an escape from every day life. It is a doorway to an underwater world full of wonders. Most importantly, it can also be a place of healing that no medication could ever compare to. If you’re on the mend, Bangkok Sea Life Ocean World may just be the perfect place for you. A few moments of quiet while peacefully observing the various species of fish can achieve so much more than months of therapy and counseling. So with that said, take a moment to read this novel, “Sea Life Love Story”.


Honestly, coming here had been the last choice on my mind. But I was slowly wasting away and my friend had told me, “You know, this may sound a little cliché but maybe you’ll feel better after a visit to Sea Life Ocean World. And so here I was, in a dark room watching jelly fish in the tank. I had to say, though, jellyfish could be such beautiful creatures. The luminescence they provided in the dimly room was… soothing. Funny, before coming to Sea Life, I never liked jellyfish. In fact, they were part of the reason why I was afraid of going into the ocean; I didn’t want to get stung. But sitting here now and watching them through glass in this dimly room, I couldn’t help but appreciate the luminous creatures. Somehow, it felt like looking at an underwater sky.

“They’re really beautiful, don’t you think?” a voice sounded from beside me. I looked up as someone sat down beside me. Who was she? “Y-Yes, very beautiful,” I managed a reply. She continued staring at the tank, “You know how Bangkok’s sky gets at night, I just come down here instead to watch the jellyfish. Sometimes, I think it’s better than stargazing.” I said nothing but thought about what she had just said. After a while, I realized she actually made a good point. Yes, the tank and the jellyfish was very much like an underwater sky full of stars. It truly made up for Bangkok’s lack of stars in the night. “I like that idea,” I finally said to her. She turned to me and smiled. Perhaps my friend was right that I come here after all. Before I could say more, she got up and headed out of the room. “Wait!” I called after her.


I almost tripped over my feet getting up to follow after her. She comes out of nowhere and suddenly she just leaves? I wasn’t going to lie. Her company, no matter how brief it may have been, had given me a sense of comfort. Before I knew it, I was running after her. I found myself arriving at a rather titanic fish tank by the time I’d caught up with her. She seemed so serene gazing up at the tank, which I’d noticed by now spanned two stories high. Within it swam too many species of fish beyond count. “Hey,” I gasped out in an attempt to get her attention. It was enough to get her to turn to me and smile, “Come on, sit here.” She gestured to an empty seat next to her. Without question, I obliged and sat down right beside her. “You seem to know your way around here, don’t you?” I asked. She chuckled, “Perhaps that’s because I’ve been here more times than any person should.” I raised an eyebrow at that, “Really? Why’s that?” I sensed a bit of hesitation before she went ahead, “I’d been weathering a rough patch; it was horrible. I felt like I hit rock bottom; I didn’t leave my home for weeks. Then one day, I randomly decided to go on a drive without any destination in mind. Next thing I know, I’m in front of Sea Life at the concession stands, ready to buy a ticket. And well… the rest is history.” As she reminsced her predicament, I could detect the slightest hint of melancholy in her eyes. I’d seen it before. It was the same thing I’d seen when I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror. “So what happened after? I mean after you came here?” I asked, wanting to know more of her story. “The craziest thing happened,” she continued, “By the time I was done, I just felt… alive again. It was like this placed helped breathe new life into me. And honestly, I mostly think it’s because of this tank right here.” She pointed to the gigantic fish tank. The sight of the numerous fish of varying colors, shapes and sizes swimming in the recreation of their natural habitat was somewhat mesmerizing, I had to admit.

That’s when I decided to open up to her as well, “You know, that’s the reason I’m here too.” I didn’t glance at her, just continued gazing at the fish tank. “Oh, I see. How are you feeling?” For some reason, in that moment, I did not know how to answer her question. To be honest, I didn’t know how I was feeling right then. Perhaps it was because I was too focused on staring at this large thing they called a fish tank. That’s all it was, right? But then why was I so fixated on it? Somehow, the effect it had on me was hypnotic. Just when I was about to tear my gaze away, I felt something inside of myself. Whatever it’d been that had weighed me down, the relentless tugging in my chest, had suddenly vanished. And all of a sudden, I felt life in me again. So that was what she was talking about. “Oh my, you were right,” I finally responded as I turned to her. “Right about what?” she asked with a tilt of her head. “That this place–this tank–it makes you feel alive!” I exclaimed. All she did was smile, “So it’s not just me, after all.” I shook my head, “Not at all. I’m telling you, this place is better than any prescripted medicine. It’s a potion from the ocean!” With that, she got up from her seat, “You want to keep on going then?” I nodded with a smile, “Let’s go.” And together, we took off. Perhaps my friend had been right, I was beginning to feel better. More to the point, I’d also come across something I’d least expected.


This encounter was the last thing I’d expected out of my trip to Sea Life but was the best thing to happen by far, to say the least. For the first time in a while, I felt that there was someone who could sympathize with me. After all, whatever she’d been through was no different from what I’d gone through. But that feeling, both the dread and emptiness, had suddenly vanished upon her emergence. Well, that and the effect this place was having on me. In the beginning, I would’ve thought this place to be merely an aquarium. But after spending some time here, I think there was more to it than meets the eye. I was lost in thought until we came across this place called the “Rockpool”. She stood at the edge of the pool, motioning for me to walk over, “Come see this!” There was some excitement lining her voice as I stepped toward the small, rock-lined river. As I looked over the edge, I saw the numerous starfish in the water. At this point, I knew what direction this was heading towards. I looked at her, “What? You want me to touch it? Is that it?” She giggled before following up with a nod. “Uh, you can touch them but please don’t take them out of the water,” a staff member standing on the side of the pool chirped up. I turned my attention to the staff and nodded, “Don’t worry, I know how this works.” After that, I turned back to her with a smile of what I could only assume to be confidence, “Challenge accepted. Now watch.” With that, I dipped my forearm into the cold water poked a finger on one of the darker-colored starfish before withdrawing. She looked disappointed, “That’s it? One poke?” I raised an eyebrow, “Well, you didn’t specify how I had to touch it. If poking isn’t enough, will grasping it do?” She feigned some consideration for a moment before nodding, “It’s a deal.” I sighed. I don’t know why I was playing these silly games with her. But I knew that these silly games were pulling me out of whatever dark space I’d ever been. This was a hundred times better than therapy or counseling, I suppose. Again, I plunged my hand into the water and firmly grasped my fingers around the same starfish and felt its soft and somewhat bumpy texture. As I was doing so, I looked back up at her, “There, you have it.” After probably about a full thirty seconds, I finally released my hold and pulled my hand out of the water. Taking a towel from the staff member to dry my hand, I turned to her and said, “Okay, now it’s your turn.”

That’s when she immediately shook her head, “No, I’m good.” I tilted my head at her in curiosity, “What do you mean? If I did it then you have to do it too. Besides, you’re the one who challenged me.” She stuttered for an explanation but could find no words. That’s when it dawned on me. “Oh, so you’ve never even touched these before, have you?” I asked somewhat mockingly. She nodded in what was probably shame. “But why?” I continued, “They’re completely harmless.” Her ego already bruised, I decided to add further insult to injury by dipping my hand in the water to touch the same starfish again. If it had feelings, it would probably say to me, “Quit touching me already!” But I was having fun embarassing her in this moment. Drying my hands for the second time, I finally said to her, “Look, if you’re a little uncomfortable touching them, how about I lend you a helping hand? You know, be your guide?” She looked up at me, “Um, I-I guess that doesn’t so bad. Wow, I’ve been here so many times but I’ve never even dared to touch the starfish. How embarassing is that?” That’s when I felt it was best to drop all my attempts to keep embarassing her, “Hey, it’s okay. Some things just make you feel uneasy. There’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, you just need a guide to help you get comfortable.” I pointed to myself, “Your guide’s right here.” Her lip finally arched into a smile, “O-okay, let’s do this then.” I took her by the wrist and we slowly dipped our hands into the water together, our target being the very same starfish I’d laid hands upon. I turned to her one final time, “You ready?” She let out a squeak, “I guess so.” And with that, I led her hand to the starfish and made sure the two made contact. She closed her eyes and let out a muffled scream, using her other hand to cover her mouth so that we wouldn’t be making a scene. After a couple of seconds, she opened her eyes and looked down at her submerged hand, still touching the starfish. “You see? That wasn’t so bad, huh?” I chuckled. I’d noticed that she’d squeezed her eyes so tight that there were tears coming out. “No, not at all,” she laughed. We finally dried off our hands. I had to admit, I was a little surprised to find that she, someone who’d come to Sea Life so often, had never bothered to touch the starfish. Oh well, I guess she could cross that off her list now. “Congratulations on touching your first starfish,” I said to her as we made our leave from the Rockpool. “I did have a guide, though. A guiding star,” she replied. Hmm, sometimes I like to think that she was my guiding star through this place of miracles. In fact, she’d been responsible for making my experience in this beautiful place all the more worthwhile.


It had been a fun day, all in all. After taking several pictures and a little more exploring, I decided that we try a ride on one of Sea Life’s glass bottom boats. Honestly, I didn’t mind the extra purchase. After all, it was a rather unique experience; looking at the marine life on a boat through its transparent floor. It doesn’t get any better than that. So aboard the boat we went, just the two of us and the guide.

It was truly such a sight to behold when we peered through the glass floor of the boat. In addition to the vibrant colors flaunted by the varying fish species, we were also fortunate to see some sharks as well. At that moment, she clung on to me. “You okay?” I asked. She nodded, “It just startled me, that’s all.” I chuckled, “Well, you’re safe with me here, I can promise you that.” And we said nothing for the rest of the tour, sitting in a comfortable silence and enjoying the view which I could only describe as a miracle.


This trip to Sea Life had turned out to be nothing like I’d expected. From the very beginning, I may as well have believed that I was pulled out of whatever dark place I’d been dwelling in. Yes, it was just an aquarium. But it was also a place of miracles. Most of all, it was a place of the unexpected. She had been unexpected. Nevertheless, I was glad for her showing up at that time. Otherwise, things would’ve played out differently. She’d made this experience so much better than I could’ve asked for. I couldn’t remember the last time I had this much fun. She’d take my hand and I’d simply follow her lead, appreciating the enthusiasm she had for this place. If anything, I had her to thank for me now developing a fondness for this place myself. Before long, we were nearing the exit and found ourselves at the penguin exhibit. Apparently, a pair of penguins had just welcomed a new member to their family. Seeing the small, innocent baby penguin, it just got me to thinking about a possible future.

I looked beside me at the woman who was admiring the penguins in her own way. That smile… how could I not love it myself? It was that same smile that had lit up my day. “You know, this is my dream for the future. Having a family… husband and kids. But I just don’t know when,” she spoke up without turning to look at me. I let out a quiet sigh, “There’s so much time to figure it out,” I replied as I looked back to the penguin family, “And I’m sure you will have all this some day.” All of a sudden, I felt a soft hand gripping mine, “You really think so?” I smiled at her, “I know so.” She reciprocated the smile. Finally, it was our time to leave the aquarium. Our trip was officially over. When we got outside, I asked her, “Look, I had a really great time here. And I have you to thank for that. Do you want to meet back here sometime?” She giggled once more, “Why, of course. I love this place. I’ll always come back.” And despite just knowing her for fewer than 24 hours, and not sure of what to expect, I instinctively planted a kiss to her cheek, “Thank you so much.” To some, Sea Life is merely an aquarium. They are right to think that. But to me, it will always be a place of memories, wonders, and miracles.


Miracles can be found in the most unexpected of places, even in aquariums.
To find out more about Bangkok Sea Life Ocean World, visit website